State Democrats criticize GOP for failing to focus on economy

Monday, April 11, 2011 at 5:02pm

Democrats ridiculed Gov. Bill Haslam and the Republicans Monday at a news conference, accusing the majority party of reneging on its promises to focus on the economy this legislative session.

“Now more than ever, we need people who place priorities on performance rather than politics. Instead, we’re up here debating whether dogs should wear seat belts, or rewriting science books or talking about creating our own currency,” Senate Democratic Caucus chairman Lowe Finney of Jackson said, naming three of the more widely mocked bills of this session.

Finney criticized Haslam for giving up to 20 percent pay raises to his commissioners while the state’s unemployment rate rose to 9.6 percent last month.

Democrats gave reporters a list of 10 Democratic jobs bills that they say Republicans are ignoring. A small business sales tax holiday was on the list along with various tax incentives for businesses.

“I sit at the leadership breakfast table every week with the governor and the majority party, and I have yet to hear a word from them about our jobs crisis,” House Democratic Caucus chairman Mike Turner of Nashville said. “Tennesseans deserve to have their elected officials working together to put Tennesseans back to work.”

14 Comments on this post:

By: pswindle on 4/11/11 at 3:34

This sums up what the TN House and Senate has done since taking office and that is nothing to help the people of TN. They are just going after social issues. It amazes me that the GOP does not want governmnet in thier business, but they cannot stay out of your business. Leave my rights alone and get our of the union business. You can't handle it.

By: spooky24 on 4/11/11 at 3:49

" 10 Democratic jobs bills"

All unfunded mandates-somethings never change. How about they propose to borrow 800billion from the Chinese Government call it a stimulus but all it really is handouts for votes-darn, already been done. It only cost 19million a day in interest.


By: revo-lou on 4/11/11 at 4:32

What, you mean teaching creationism, “fixing” legal limits, and attacking teachers is not going to bring jobs? Seems that we had NO problem attracting Nissan’s HQ, a VW plant and many smaller companies BEFORE these GOP bills were put forth.

Yes folks, thanks for electing a group that doesn’t give a crap about jobs or the economy, but instead insist on trying to reshape the state into some warped “moral Mecca”.

By: tpaine on 4/12/11 at 4:43

After creating The Great Recession by doubling our national debt, giving us the energy crisis, the financial crisis, the mortgage crisis, bankrupting thousands of businesses, driving gas back up into the $4/gal range (again), Dims are complaining about job creation?
Where were they the last five years when they ran the government?

By: govskeptic on 4/12/11 at 4:57

So the West Tenn mafia wants a little attention since being swept into the
stale dustbin in last year's state elections. After controlling the state
legislature and our very poor education system for so many years they
say after just 3 months time the new majority should listen to them? Laughable!

By: pepaw on 4/12/11 at 6:58

Anyone who actually would take the time to actually look at our past history here in Tennessee, can very well see what the real facts have been over the past 50 plus years.
Anytime that the Republican Party wins the legislative majority, or the Governor seat, The People have received the bulk of cut-backs, tax increases, for the benefit of the Wealthest and Business Community It's simply a record of FACT!
And now, with Mr Haslam buying the Governor's chair for the next four years, the people of Tennesse can look forward to even more benefits to go to the Wealthy and Corporate. With control of our legislative body, the new Governor can easily do what-ever his desires dictate. And the People of Tennesse will have "NO" say in what he does. But, as past history proves, "IT IS GOING TO COST THE TAXPAYERS VERY DEARLY!

By: pepaw on 4/12/11 at 7:11

I feel a second comment is in order.
I am a registered Democrat. I vote more as an Independant voter though. I voted for and supported Mr Ramsey in the Primary election because I felt he had the People of Tennessee in his campaign plans. After his unsucessful run for the Governor's race, I could not convience myself to vote for the phoniness of Mr Haslam. Thus I did vote for Mr McWherter, though I really didn't think he had any real chance to defeat Mr Haslam's MONEY CAMPAIGN.
But, on a positive note, I,m making my plans over the next three plus years, as being a very tight survival time frame. I'm a retired disabled person, who sometimes has to chose between prescription prices, paying utilities, food costs, gas prices, etc. without enough funding to offset the daily rising cost of living.

By: Moonglow1 on 4/12/11 at 7:48

Moonglow1: It is about time the Democrats start shaking things up. In particular it is truly a crime that Haslam gave 11-33 percent raises to the Commissioners while the rank & file state workers receive a 1 percent raise. Our state is now the Butts & Beavers state: Sheila Butts of Aqua Net fame\climate change & Beavers for long form birth certificates & all for creationism. Haslam is legislating change that will help his own business prosper like caps on injuries. Don't trip & fall going in to a Pilot. And this bunch cheers when a fellow legislator disparages science. What can one expect when we voted in such imbeciles to represent us. In summary: Haslam gives raises to his friends, disparages teachers & science in favor of creationism, loves the NRA, hates immigrants, and yet wants a business friendly environment. Yeah? How will he attract business minded intelligent people to TN with the likes of the Butts & Beavers at the helm.

By: Ingleweird on 4/12/11 at 8:06

Yeah, I'm sure the Chinese are tripping over themselves to provide loans to the state of Tennessee.
Hint: They know we suck at budgets and are hopelessly reliant on the Feds to keep us afloat. I wager they wouldn't take the risk, they are smarter than the TGA, and they'll stick with their middlemen, thankyouverymuch!

Um, REPUBLICAN Ron "Puss-n-boots" Ramsey has been in control of the state senate since the beginning of 2007. Where were YOU the last five years?

Furthermore, Democrats have no control over the price of oil: OPEC does. Remember when GWB went to the Saudis, begging them to save us from high gas prices? Do you remember the result? GWB flew to the middle east, and all we got was a lousy bill for the jet fuel.

Please tell me your last name is actually Paine, and you aren't that guy who dresses up in colonial garb and makes appearances as the make-believe champion of the tea-party movement.

By: Moonglow1 on 4/12/11 at 8:30

Moonglow1: remember George Bush started two wars which are draining our nation financially. This includes the payment of private contractors funded by we the taxpayers. As for China: Bush gave away our jobs & needed China to finance the wars. Why are we at war??? Now public sector workers are being told they are the cause of the budget drain. Giving it to you straight: Bush stated two unilateral wars, drained the treasury, gave our jobs away, provided incentives to business to move off-shore, financed the theo-nut movement, and reduced taxes for corporations & the top 1 percent. So how did those Bush Republican party compassionate conservative policies work out for you?? Are you better off now than you were under Clinton??

By: Nitzche on 4/12/11 at 1:48

PHIL WHO?...where was all this anger when Phil was steering the ship?OOOOh, he is on their team!!!! how stupid of me?

By: pswindle on 4/12/11 at 3:39

Gov. Haslam had nothing to do with Opry Mills reopening. This was well in the works befosre he entered the picture. The GOP sure can jump on something that they had nothing to do with and try to take the credit.

By: Gary Lampman on 4/12/11 at 7:48

The GOP delegations have taking leave of their faculities. Enjoying their majority status and taking a vacation. This congress has taken on the theme as vengence is mine and so the battle Lines have been drawn. Clearly, our citizens are facing new laws that are limiting liability settlements, removing consumer protections. and unjustly interfering with and rewriting laws that unfairly leverage against our consumers ability to demand accountability..

The Tennessee Legislature provides the Protection of the Business at what cost? I see a moral versus a amoral tear in the values in America.. Writing senseless laws that clearly undermines Americas sense of fundamental justice and fairness.

Republicans continue to lower the bar of civility,Honesty,and integrity. I see that the empowerment of the Republican Party has been a exersize of vengeful children bent on turning democracy into a example of the Communist Manifesto. Wealthy Owners have a insatible need to control Labor and Unions are those that threaten the Utopia Of the Wealthy; to abuse laborers.and retract all advances in health, safety,wages and labor Laws.

By: Moonglow1 on 4/13/11 at 7:13

Moonglow1: thank you for your insightful post Mr. Lampman. It is obvious that so many people disagree with the direction of these Republicans yet cannot get the traction needed to vote them out of power. What we have now are politicians bought & paid for by corporate interests whose lobbyists are making public policy. Only the policies do not benefit the public they benefit the corporate agenda. Even the debunking of climate change is designed to maintain an oil based economy which retains profits for energy companies. Where is the innovation? Where is our high speed rail system? This group is similar to other repressive regimes. They dictate, they rewrite history, they lie, they overturn laws, they give themselves raises, and they exclude others that threaten their power such as intellectuals, scientists, & even immigrants.