I don’t understand politicians.  Truthfully, I probably never will.

You and I make decisions every day to do the right thing, even when the benefit to us may not be quite so great as not doing the right thing.

Unfortunately the majority of our state legislators seem unable to do what you and I do every day.

For instance, the subcommittee of the Tennessee House Judiciary Committee had the chance to do the right thing on Wednesday to protect Tennesseans from unconstitutional encroachments of the federal government and resist the evil indefinite detention provisions of the NDAA by voting for HB2619/SB2669.

Instead, they chose to hem and haw and stall.

Van Irion, the Lead Counsel for the Liberty Legal Foundation and former congressional candidate, is one of the co-authors of HB2619 which went before the subcommittee.  He testified before the subcommittee for about an hour.  His report, along with a link to the video of the proceedings, is below:

You can watch my testimony to the TN House Judiciary subcommittee in support of HB2619 at this web site: http://tnga.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=143&clip_id=4855.

Here’s my synopsis: Several RINOs on the committee went into the meeting having already decided to vote against the bill. They spent an hour trying to justify this decision. Every substantive question/objection raised was answered. Yet at the end they were saying that the bill has some serious problems.

We must now either flex our political muscle’s or prove that we don’t even have the ability to push a bill through a subcommittee that is 60% Republican. The gloves are off. I need each of you to call, e-mail, and harass everyone on every list you have. We need thousands of people to call each member of the House Judiciary subcommittee and tell them that if HB2619 is not passed by their committee next Wednesday, then we will do everything in our power to make sure they are not in office next year.

In another e-mail he stated, “These people are laughing at us!”

Van is right.  The very people who are supposed to represent us are not only refusing to do their job to re-present our ideas in Nashville, not only refusing to do the right thing, not only working to be complicit with the evils coming out of Washington DC, but they are outright laughing at the people of Tennessee.

They are laughing as the federal government encroaches on the rights of Tennesseans, laughing at the possibility of Tennesseans being unconstitutionally detained by the federal government indefinitely.

It’s time to make them stop laughing and start worrying.

The bill comes up again on Wednesday, February 15.  In the few days we have, we must make them fear our reprisals at the ballot box in November far more than they fear the reprisals of their partisan masters or the federal government.  They need to realize that we have the power to end their political careers.

Van is right in that if we cannot get this bill passed in a state legislature that is 60% Republican and pretends to be aligned with liberty and tea party groups, then our movement has become completely and utterly impotent in the state of Tennessee.

Action Items:

1.  Contact the members of the subcommittee and demand that they pass HB2619/SB2669 without weakening it in any way.  Be polite but firm and let them know that if they do not pass this bill, you will work hard to make sure that they are not in office in 2013.  Keep in mind that we are getting opposition from legislators in both political parties.

General Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee

Rep. Jim Coley, Chair: Republican, District 97
207 WMB, (615) 741-8201, rep.jim.coley@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Vance Dennis, Vice-Chair: Republican, District 71
105 WMB, (615) 741-2190, rep.vance.dennis@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Eddie Bass: Democrat, District 65
109 WMB, (615) 741-1864, rep.eddie.bass@capitol.tn.gov
(Note that Rep. Bass is a retired county sheriff himself, and has sponsored his own version of a sheriffs first bill in the past.)

Rep. Karen D. Camper: Democrat, District 87
20 LP, (615) 741-1898, rep.karen.camper@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Jon C. Lundberg: Republican, District 1
205 WMB, (615) 741-7623, rep.jon.lundberg@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Judd Matheny: Republican, District 47
205 WMB, (615) 741-7448, rep.judd.matheny@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Barrett Rich: Republican, District 94
204 WMB, (615) 741-6890, rep.barrett.rich@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Janis Baird Sontany: Democrat, District 53
32 LP, (615) 741-6861, rep.janis.sontany@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Eric Watson: Republican, District 22
209A WMB, (615) 741-7799, rep.eric.watson@capitol.tn.gov

2.  If you can attend the subcommittee meeting on Wednesday, February 15 at 3:30 PM Central, please be in Nashville to attend.  The schedules are listed here.

3.  Contact Rep. Dunn and Sen. Campfield to thank them for sponsoring HB2619/SB2669.  Assure them that you want them to continue the fight for the rights of Tennesseans.

Rep. Bill Dunn: Republican, District 16
212 WMB, (615) 741-1721, rep.bill.dunn@capitol.tn.gov

Sen. Stacey Campfield: Republican, District 7
306 WMB, (615) 741-1766, sen.stacey.campfield@capitol.tn.gov

4.  Contact your personal state representative and senator and encourage them to co-sponsor and support HB2619/SB2669.  Let them know that if they do not support it, you will work hard to make sure they are not in office in 2013.  Remember to be polite, but firm.  You can find your the legislators for your district by clicking here and entering your street address on the left side of the screen.

5.  Contact Speaker Beth Harwell and Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and let them know you support HB2619/SB2669 and ask them to co-sponsor it.

Speaker Beth Harwell: Republican, District 56
107 WMB, (615) 741-0709, speaker.beth.harwell@capitol.tn.gov

Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey: Republican, District 2
1 LP, (615) 741-4524, lt.gov.ron.ramsey@capitol.tn.gov

6. Send a link to this article to everyone you know and encourage them to call and e-mail these legislators.

7. Please consider running against any legislators in your district who do not support this bill.  The deadline to file to run this year is April 5th. We need people with courage and principles to stand up against legislators who lack the moral courage to do the right thing.

Lesley Swann

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