Sunday, January 18, 2009

For the moment, GOP leaders convince sponsor of Naifeh power grab resolution to wait; But Naifeh has already named himself 'Speaker Emeritus'

Special to the Williamson Herald
Any use by other media outlets must credit Williamson Herald

A resolution prepared by House Democrats to give supposedly outgoing House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh a special new title with unspecified powers has been successfully delayed by House Republicans after a meeting with the measure's sponsor.

House Resolution 0001 simply bestows the title of Speaker Emeritus to Naifeh, who successfully engineered a revolting rejection of the ballot box statement by voters giving power to Republicans. Only a few hours after he looked into the eyes of members of his party and promised to vote for rep. Jason Mumpower, the puppet speaker sided with Naifeh and kept the Democrat in power.

The House website, however, has already bestowed the title on Naifeh even though lawmakers have not done so. So guess who is still in charge. That's Naifeh, taking things without asking.

It is his House, not the people's.

Republicans object to the resolution for what it does not mention -- all the powers Naifeh would take from the new and unprecedented title. Most certainly, it would designate that his puppet speaker officially has someone to answer to.

The resolution does not address what perks and privileges Naifeh would retain, such as his $28,000 state trooper driver, his speaker's fund to still get big checks from lobbyists to support the campaigns of his cronies, his seat on every committee of his choosing, his lobbyist's wife access to the powerful and so many other spoils of power.

A resolution -- which was going to be brought up Thursday before the House -- should ban these things. An "emeritus" title does not denote service in this case, because his corrupt reign has reduced the respect of the General Assemby among the people.

An emeritus title denotes someone who no longer could get enough representatives of his own party elected the people to keep him in power.

An emeritus title denotes he has found a way and another lawmaker to help him defy the people.

Although for the moment, the resolution author has agreed to delay it for more specific language and the House does not return until Feb. 9, Naifeh has the 50 votes to get what he wants.

This disgusting situation has resulted in more threats called into Legislative Plaza and a heightened sense of security. Passage of the Speaker Emeritus resolution would only increase the anger of the people across Tennessee.

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