Thursday, May 01, 2008


Bill Dunn Takes On Naifeh On Abortion

My representative in the General Assembly, Bill Dunn, took part in a very interesting procedural maneuver today in an attempt to move SJR 127, which would eliminate the judicial activism of the Tennessee Supreme Court a few years back that read a right to an abortion into the Tennessee Constitution, to the floor for a roll call vote.

A.C. and Ken Whitehouse have the story, which, for wonks like myself, is fascinating. I only wish that I could have been there to help out. (For all of those e-mailers who have asked Angela and I to stay in Knox County, I can say this - having Bill Dunn representing me in the State House is one heck of a perk in favor of Knox County).

So, fine folks, why did the Democrats not want SJR 127 to arrive at the floor for a vote? While it is likely that a majority of the House would vote in favor of the measure, it is unlikely that 2/3 of the House would give it the thumbs up, and that is what is needed to move the bill on. Democrats undoubtedly will cry "wedge issue" and "election year politics." But, as Boss Hogg himself would say, that's "hogwash." After all, if the majority of voters in your district agree with how you vote on any issue, how could it hurt an incumbent in an election? Only if the representative is voting against the interests of a majority of his or her constituents does a problem arise, and then justly so. A representative voting against his or her constituents' interests is in violation of the trust put to him or her by the voters he or she represents.

The Democrats (and I paint with a wide brush here - some Democrats like Nathan Vaughn are more pro-life than many of the Republicans) don't want any part of SJR 127 because they know that the majority of Tennesseans are pro-life and would vote for a constitutional amendment if given the chance. However, like the Knox County Commission, the Democrats in the General Assembly don't want to give Tennesseans a chance to vote their mind at the ballot box.

And that is why those who support "Boss Hogg" Naifeh need to be shown the door this election cycle - be they Democrat (Karen Camper) or Republican (Doug Overbey).

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