Monday, May 14, 2007

What needs to be gone...

is House Speaker James O. "Jimmy" Naifeh (D-Covington). Twice in a week video of the people's business in the chamber he is responsible for running has disappeared. Missing is evidence of his conduct as leader of the house that is outrageous, unfair to the people and would be roundly condemned if it happened in a Soviet satellite country.

Naifeh has a habit of wielding his speaker's gavel at a speed that would impress even the fastest hired gun in the old west. However, I shall never forget his conduct during the income tax debate where he kept the vote open for HOURS while he arm twisted and who knows what else in order to get the vote total he wanted in order to enact a state income tax. So he has the ability to slow that gavel down--when it suits his purposes.

His latest action to muzzle the voices of our representative democracy mysteriously disappeared from the online video archive. Thankfully Rep. Stacey Campfield (R-Knoxville) and others have started tracking these dictatorial behaviors and uploading the evidence to the Internet here, here, here, and here for starters. Apparently, legislators and citizens will have to start carrying their own video cameras and tape recorders in order to ensure that we get an accurate archive of what's going on.

Naifeh doesn't have a nano-second nor a lick of statesmanship on behalf of the people of Tennessee he is supposed to serve in this audio that has surfaced that fills in the missing record. Rep. David Overby (R-Maryville) at :11 minutes is recognized and moves to re-refer the bill to the judiciary committee. The immediate response from Naifeh, not a full second later, is "Without objection" and right after that you hear voices raised in objection in the background as the gavel falls. There is no pause on Naifeh's part that would indicate that he took a moment to scan the room and fairly see if there was going to be an objection by voice or raised hand. They, politely, rightly, fairly, give Naifeh a moment to respond to the motion and that's all the time that Naifeh needed in order to censor the voices of the people. The last words on this audio clip are "It's gone boys. Next bill."

Why is he given a free pass here by the House leadership, his party and the Governor? Why are they not insisting that this disappearance of information be investigated and making sure that it doesn't happen again? Because they're trying to maintain control and they'll do it by hook or by crook if they have to. They're desperate and they've resorted to desperate means.


Eric Holcombe said...

I prefer to describe Naifeh's actions in terms most public school students will recognize and therefore associate the appropriate response: Taxation Without Representation

Kay Brooks said...

Very right. It's hollow representation at best when he's allowed to continue to do this.