Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tennessee Firearms Alert - Employee Safe Commute and Non-Discrimination Bills

In the Inbox from TFALAC this AM:

Tennessee Firearms Association, Inc.
Legislative Action Committee


So, one might ask, what is the status of the Employee Safe Commute (SB3002/HB3560) legislation at this point?

The bill has been delayed in the Senate. It is unclear if this was a move by the governor or those who are bowing to the pressure of "Big Business" or a benefical strategic move by the sponsor. At any event, progress in the Senate, if statements of legislators are accurate is positive. The biggest risk is that some form of amendment, probably bought by Fedex or its cohorts) could substantially remove the objectives of the original bill. To guard against that, citizens who support this bill must be called and contacting legislators to encourage and demand of them that no amendments pushed by Fedex or other Big Business dollars be accepted unless approved by firearms interests.

Senate Action Plan

  • Call and email you individual senator (use the email and phone number lookup on the Senate directory. It is important for you to get a written statement if possible that they will co-sponsor and support the bill as written and that they will oppose any Fedex or other "big business" amendments that would dilute the intent of the bill.
  • Call and email to encourage the sponsor Sen. Mike Fault to keep the bill free from Fedex or "big business" amendments
    Faulk, Mike R
    - 615 741-2061
  • Call and email to ask that the Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey work with citizens to keep the legislative effective and to defeat any Fedex or other "big business" amendment.
    Ramsey, Lt. Gov. Ron R - 615

With respect to the House, we are expecting that there will be at least 30 House co-sponsors. Many of those are Republican legislators who are probably starting to realize that the mandates of House Leadership (Beth Harwell, Debra Maggart, and Gerald McCormick) would probably cause those legislators to violate their promises to constituents, to violate their personal convictions, to violate their constitutional oaths of office or their fundamental beliefs that they were elected as conservatives to protect the rights of citizens and to minimize the influence of government in areas where government influence is nothing more than government tyranny needlessly supplanting the rights of citizens.

We do not expect, in part because of the pressure being exerted by FedEx and other "Big Business" interests on those legislators that they controll through their funds (both reported and "indirectly" applied), that the bill will move forward in the House without SUBSTANTIAL pressure and interest from individual voters. It was made clear repeatedly this week by statements to news reporters from House leadership such Debra Maggart and Gerald McCormick that House leadership is working to kill any pro-2nd Amendment legislation and that they are applying pressure in the nature of the proverbial "hounds of hell" against their own members to abide by the demands of leadership's own masters.

For example, this week Debra Maggart told Channel 4 News in response to an apparent question about the Employee Safe Commute legislation :

"We have been focused on what we know what people of Tennessee want us to work on. Our economy needs to be looked at, and we want to make sure it's a job-friendly state," said Rep. Debra Maggart, R-Hendersonville.

Now, you have to put this into context that Debra Maggart has "represented" to firearms owners in the past that she was soundly in support of the Constitution, the 2nd Amendment and working for firearms owners. Indeed, she even has used the firearms owners to raise campaign funds through programs such as her On Target to Win in 2010"1st Annual Sporting Clay Fun Shoot fund raiser (see, ) that was heavily promoted not only to the Tennessee Firearms Association but to others as well.

So what did Maggart really mean with her statement this week to Channel 4?

Essentially, that the House Leadership have been admonished by "Big Business" that they want "their" legislators to do what they want them to do - including killing the Employee Safe Commute bill and firearms nondiscrimination bills - or the floodgates of corporate campaign money may be redirected against them or cut off. She probably meant that because "we" are addicted to the corporate money to crush the Democrats and even any prospective primary opposition, we will do what is requested of us to make sure we, individually, are able to get re-elected and to recruit more RINO's and moderates to help us implement our agendas (which do not put any emphasis on constitutional rights).

Why does it appear that these Republican House leadership (and a few in the Senate as well) are so clearly deeply obliged to "Big Business"? Well, step away and look at one of the most common themes that you hear from House Republican leadership this year - "jobs, jobs, jobs". What they mean when they say that is NOT that they are creating more government jobs (although they likely are). It is not that they are making it easier for people to start new small businesses. It means most probably that they want to do whatever is possible - forget the Constitution (look what they did last year to the 7th Amendment and their lack of any focus on the 10th Amendment) - to appease businesses like FedEx, Bridgestone, AT&T, Amazon, etc. Their idea of "jobs, jobs, jobs" is to court big business in hopes that many minimum wages will suddenly be made available to Tennesseans. Not high paying jobs. Not careers. Just simply any job will do.

A verification of that comes from the enormously misguided statement made by Gerald McCormick this week concerning Rep. Eddie Bass. Rep. Bass - a very conservative legislator - has indicated he is considering running this year as a Republican. Perhaps he senses that the Democratic party continues to move left under the leadership of Obamit. Perhaps he feels that his conservative voting record is more consistent with Reagan style leadership than it is with Obamit/Pelosi leadership. It really does not matter because the "hint" from McCormick is in what he said to the news when he REJECTED the potential that Rep. Bass might run as a Republican.

Leader McCormick made this statement to the AP this week:

Republican House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick of Chattanooga said he's heard that Bass has been mulling a party switch for the last two or three years, but said he is satisfied with potential GOP candidates considering a bid in House District 65.

"I'd rather he'd stay where he is, to tell the truth," McCormick said. "He's not doing himself any favors running that gun bill." * * * House Republicans would prefer not to take up the bill in an election year.

McCormick apparently believes that his leadership (Harwell) is of the opinion that the progress for citizens such as the Employee Safe Commute bill is not "favorable." Clearly, firearms owners are a significant voting segment and they favor this bill overwhelmingly. Who does not? Well, clearly House Leadership and that is probably because their "masters" - "Big Business" do not want it.

Also note that House Leadership, according to McCormick, "prefer not to take up the bill in an election year."

Why is the election year so significant that he would mention it? Campaign funds? News coverage? The foolish belief (after the last 15 years) that voting FOR 2nd Amendment rights would cause a legislator to lose a material number of votes rather than voting AGAINST 2nd Amendment rights causing sustained frustration and anger from voters.

House Leadership has picked its bedfellows and those bedfellows are purchasing their "favors" primarily with cash. Not the Constitution. Not Biblical principles. Not natural rights. Not common sense. Not the demands of their voting constituents. CASH - and that is one of the oldest professions known to man.

House Action Plan

  • Call and email you individual representative (use the email and phone number lookup on the House directory. It is important for you to get a written statement if possible that they will co-sponsor and support the bill as written and that they will oppose any Fedex or other "big business" amendments that would dilute the intent of the bill.
  • Call and email to encourage the sponsor Rep. Eddie Bass to keep the bill free from Fedex or "big business" amendments

    Bass, Eddie D 615 741-1864
  • Call and email to demand that Speaker Beth Harwell honor her oath of office and support the Constitution and the rights of citizens even if "Big Business" is paying her to do otherwise.

    Harwell, Speaker Beth R 615
  • Call and email Rep. Debra Maggart and demand that she honor her oath of office and support the Constitution and the rights of citizens even if "Big Business" is paying her to do otherwise.

    Maggart, Debra Young R 615
  • Call and email Rep. Gerald McCormick and demand that he honor his oath of office and support the Constitution and the rights of citizens even if "Big Business" is paying her to do otherwise.

    McCormick, Gerald R 615

Big business access

Big business and their lobbyists often have direct access to legislators through their cell phones and their personal (non-government) email addresses. If you have access to this information, please post it on the TFA Online Forum so that we can take that step to leveling the playing field of legislative access. This would be particularly true for leadership in both houses and in both caucuses.

TFA Action Center

The TFA Action Center remains up and operational. So far, more than 10,000 emails have been sent to the legislature just on the issue of the Employee Safe Commute bill.

I encourage you to use it at least once a weel. It is important that you edit both the subject and the message to reflect your personal thoughts. Edit them even if you agree with the sample message. Legislators do not want or need to see 1000 of the same message. They want to hear from constituents and individuals. They do not need long messages, angry messages or threats but they do need to hear that citizens support this legislation.

Share this link, this effort and this mission with every firearms owner, constitutionalists or friend you have. Make sure that they keep the messages going to our legislators that we want progress made on this legislation even if "Big Business" is buying influence with House Republican leadership to do otherwise.

Keep in mind that FedEx, Bridgestone, Nissan, AT&T, Amazon and others spend hundreds of thousands on their lobbyists and contribute hundreds of thousands more - if not millions (directly and, uh, "indirectly") to purchase their desires from the legislators. But, these corporations do not vote. These corporations do not speak for all of their employees. Often, its only a handful of the "upper management" that make these "policy" decisions and those decisions often do not reflect the desires of the shareholders, owners and certainly not the employees.

It can be done but it is critical that voters get involved to remind the legislators that the citizens elected them as our representatives and we do not appreciate them selling their time and efforts, once elected, to whichever "Big Business" will wine and dine them, give them money and perform all manner of indirect "perks" that provide photo opportunities in their districts.

If you would like to join or renew your membership, you can do so online at this link JOIN TFA

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