The new Republican supermajority in Nashville, despite not even officially taking office until January, is already showing signs of pushing in predicted directions: more bills about guns and stifling progress in adopting a healthcare exchange.
The “guns in parking lots” bill, despite being opposed by major companies such as Volkswagen and FedEx, is back before this legislature. And Rep. Gerald McCormick, who represents our own local District 26, is openly opposing the state setting up an insurance exchange, despite extensive evidence that it would be to the benefit of not only thousands of Tennesseans, but the state itself. A story that aired on Nashville Public Radio, quoted Majority Leader McCormick as saying:
“At this point I don’t think there’s a snowball’s chance of that happening. We’re not going to set up a state exchange unless we really have some detailed information on it and it becomes favorable for the state of Tennessee to do so in a way that cannot be reversed. And I just don’t see that happening based on past experience with the federal government.”
This is nothing more than obstructionism. Tennesseans are going to put pressure on this legislature to deal with this issue, along with jobs and education, the issues that truly matter to our state.
Volkswagen has recently indicated the Chattanooga plant stands a good chance of being selected to manufacture a second model, but the company has also commented on the shortage of educated workers in the region to fill positions at the plant. The state legislature, rather than trying to pass bills forcing educators to teach creationism, should be focusing on modernizing schools and funding STEM classes.
The majority of Tennesseans, whether they are Republicans or Democrats, want to see our state move ahead, not fall further behind. Anti-business and anti-science bills will not accomplish that. And a futile fight against healthcare reform also pushes us backward. As Democrats, we will continue to be a voice for progress, not regression.
Chairman, Hamilton County Democratic Party
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Dear Mr. Smith.
Being an elected Democrat I realize that telling the total truth is difficult. First about the exchanges. ACA or Obama care has yet to release the requirements of said exchange. Bill Haslam responded to a (Sharon Peker's letter in the Chattanooga Tea Party Page) letter about this topic. It most likely is against Tennessee law to form an exchange on the state level. Tennessee cannot force people to buy health insurance - the governor's words, not mine.
You say Tennesseans want to move forward; we do. But not into complete Facism that the far-left-leaning Democrat Party wants.
When Newt wanted people to buy health insurance across state lines or with some federal help to drive competition, it was the Democrat Party and Democrat media ( ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN , TIME magazine) who slandered him to oblivion.
No, the Tennessee Republican Party may have the nerve to save our state.
You mentioned Gerald McCormick worrying about guns. That is one tiny bill. Last fiscal year Tennessee had a $200 million surplus. Your party, the Democrats, wanted to spend it all. The Republican House put it aside because Obamacare will cost Tennessee about $200 million.
So the first year will be paid for. If, and this is a big if, Tennesseans learn what Democrats truly stand for, only the free loaders, racists and hate mongers will continue to vote Democrat.
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Tsk, tsk, Mr. Storie, how you should be ashamed of yourself suggesting that the guns bill of last year is a small story. Your party seems to be able to not only defy logical conclusion but want so very badly to continue your preachin' about guns, health care and doing the good of the country and the state, often the butt of jokes.
Your idea and that of your party, that by the way, lost the election, is to continue to preach about areas of the party platform that was summarily dismissed by the voters. Tennessee remains, so often, near the bottom of education, health care and prefers instead to suggest that guns anywhere are okay and fearing the NRA only bolsters my lack of respect for your causes.
The health and welfare of all our citizenry will be enhanced by the health care exchanges. The alternative is more of the same and frankly, Mr. Storie, it cost more to do the way you want.
Let us think about the future of this state, not suggest that we remain near the bottom among all states.
Robert J. Brooks
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I don't consider myself a Republican or a Democrat and quite honestly would not want to align myself with either party. The half truths and name calling flow pretty freely from both spouts.
But I will say this: if Mr. Storie is looking for the party of racists and hate-mongers, he might want to check his own mirror. The party he preaches would be a good place to start.