Skip to comments.TENN POLITICS: (House Speaker) Naifeh's "she dogs"
Posted on 01/19/2003 3:27:29 PM PST by GailA
We need some way to immortalize the 11 state House Republicans who voted to continue the income tax regime in power for another two years by voting for Democrat Speaker Jimmy Naifeh instead of the Republican candidate.
In the venacular of the current rap music scene I suppose they would be characterized as Jimmy's Butt Boys. Or Naifeh's Bitches.
But that's not very dignified and is awkward in mixed company.
Perhaps we ought to look back at history.
We have had in the past a group I have refered to as the Track Shoe Caucus. These were Republican House members that would go to a caucus meeting; as soon as it was over they would line up in the hall and race to the Speaker's office to rat out their colleagues. Thus the Democrats were always informed about any effort to unify the House Republicans into anything resembling a political party.
The ranks of the Track Shoe Republicans were decimated after the Speaker fed them grape Kool-Aid in the form of a yes vote on the income tax. They were defeated in the last election.
One shouldn't forget these statesmen, exemplified by the likes of Rep. Zane Whitson.
I would propose then that we refer to the 11 House members that voted for Naifeh as the Zane Whitson Memorial Caucus. I would recommend to other House Republicans to note when these members attend a caucus meeting. Check to see if they are wearing track shoes.
And let's don't forget who they are. They include: Michael Harrison of Treadway; Russell Johnson of Loudon; Joe Kent of Memphis, Steve McDaniel of Parkers Crossroad, Bob McKee of Athens; Chris Newton of Cleveland; Doug Overby of Maryville; Bob Patton of Johnson City; Bubba Pleasant of Arlington; Dennis Roach of Rutledge and Raymond Walker of Crossville.
Political pundits are suggesting that the 33 House Republicans that voted for Diane Black were engaged in a meaningless gesture. They don't get it.
Last year Naifeh kept the legislature in session into July, shut down the government and finally forced a vote on the income tax. Only when it failed did he give up and allow an alternative tax plan to pass.
If he had waltzed back into Nashville and been re-elected speaker by an almost unanimous vote, including Republicans, it would have been a travesty.
While the vote for speaker was occuring, Dr. Jesse Cannon, a well respected black physician announced in Covington that he is running against Naifeh for his House seat and will campaign for the next two years.
In the last election Naifeh lost his home county. He got the narrow margin for his re-election from the traditional Democrat voting pattern of the black voters in neighboring counties.
It will be a trying two years for Speaker Naifeh. Opposed in Nashville, opposed back home.
What's the point?
The point is, that when Mr. Naifeh is gone, the next Speaker of the House will also be the most powerful figure in state government. That Speaker needs to have Mr. Naifeh's example to understand what happens when you decide to cram an income tax down the throats of Tennessee taxpayers.
That's why political pundits don't get it.
Even if you are the most powerful figure in state government you have to understand that you can't run rough shod over the people. You have to pay a price.
They include: Michael Harrison of Treadway; Russell Johnson of Loudon; Joe Kent of Memphis, Steve McDaniel of Parkers Crossroad, Bob McKee of Athens; Chris Newton of Cleveland; Doug Overby of Maryville; Bob Patton of Johnson City; Bubba Pleasant of Arlington; Dennis Roach of Rutledge and Raymond Walker of Crossville.
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