On Friday’s Tennessee Star Report with Steve Gill and Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 am to 8:00 am – the morning duo spoke to “soon to be” Speaker of the Tennessee House Glen Casada about the mid-term elections here in the state of Tennessee, how the Speaker of the House election works, and what he see’s as a primary legislative agenda for the state.
Gill: Well we thought we’d go right to the source and find out what Republicans have planned next as the house majority leader Glen Casada who’s now the punitive head of the Republican party of the house because you have Beth Harwell whose moved on running for Governor and the speaker is moving out. Glen Casada also preparing a bid for the speakership in Tennnessee and Glen Casada on our NewsMakers line this morning Glen good morning!
Casada: Good morning Steve, Patrick great show as always, really informative, enjoyable show thank you guys.
Gill: The blue wave wiped you guys out (laughter) man, you go seventy seven to seventy six out of the ninety nine members in the state house?
Casada: So statistically speaking they steeled it sixty nine against our seventy four steady incumbents and they only won two so that’s a percentage win rate of 2.4% and so yeah there was no blue wave no.
Gill: And meanwhile the Republicans picked up Craig Fitzhughs’s seat as the minority leader of the Democrats out in West Tennessee so it was a net gain of one seat in the state house.
Casada: Yes. That is correct that is correct. And so, again the people of Tennessee Steve prove they want a party in power that cuts taxes and keeps regulations low, create a place where businesses thrive and to protect our constitutional rights. And that is the Republican party.
Gill went on to discuss how the Democrats in the state house don’t have anyone outside of the urban setting in the state house other than John Mark Wendall up in the upper Cumberland. He dissected how the Democratic composition of the state house is a black majority and 100% urban. Casada concurred by stating that the party has become a single specialized party of just urban city dwellers. He stated that he wants to reach out to the party and noted the reason for strong prosperity in Nashville, Chattanooga, and Knoxville is attributed to the Republicans.
Gill: Well and their doing their best to break those strongholds as the economy in those urban centers is not doing what your seeing, it’s not thriving like you see in these other areas across the state because the leadership in Nashville and Memphis in particular their making it less safe with this new Amendment One. We’re going to see police officers leaving and make it harder to bring them in because Nashville just voted against cops.
Casada: Yeah, well said. That’s a, I think we need to take a look at that as well that’s very limiting and dangerous to our police officers what they’ve done.
Leahy: Glen this is Michael Patrick Leahy, so question for you. You said something very interesting there. By the way first, congratulations on your commentary at the Tennessee Star that President Trump picked up, (laughs), shared on Facebook, you had over twenty five thousand Facebook shares for that…
Gill: You already knew he read the Star, though, right Glen?
Leahy: So, you said something very interesting. So Amendment One passes and now you just said here on The Tennessee Star report that the state legislature may look at that. What doe that mean the state legislature may look at Amendment one.
Casada explained that cities in the past have stepped beyond their constitutional bounds and addressed things that the state constitution does not allow them to do. Nashville one again has stepped beyond their bounds by creating this ordinance that may not be lawful. He believed it was something that needs to be looked at.
Gill: Well and it’s interesting, I was talking to Senator Jack Johnson who is you know making a bid to move into the Senate majority leader position. I was starting to think about this and he was making the distinction that the states set up the federal government so the federal government really doesn’t have the position to be telling states what to do because the states set up the federal government. And likewise, the states set up the county and municipal governments that the state does at that state level have authority to delve into what’s going on in the local government process.
Casada: That’s exactly right Steve. The cities and counties of the are not sovereign. They are a creation of the state and must work under the state constitution.
Leahy: Would you Glen ask Attorney General Slattery to provide an advisory opinion on the constitutionality of amendment one?
Casada: You know and that’s a fair question. What is the next step? I don’t’ know today. We in the leadership of the house, of course working with the Senate, their the body that we help carry along, we will…
Gill: You just, you literally put them on your back and have to carry them along with you.
Leahy: We’ve noticed that. There they are! On the back of the state House the state Senate.
Casada: But we will sit down and see what, the AG really looks at internally if it’s constitutional what they’ve done. And that’ll be the first step.
Gill: Let’s talk a little politics within the house. You’re running to become the next speaker. For our listeners, how does that process work? I mean you have what seventy four, seventy five Republican house members. They decide among that seventy four to seventy five who’s going to be their speaker candidate and then you vote collectively for who the caucus nominates is that correct?
Casada: That is correct Steve. And because we’re such a super majority that our nominee is the speaker and for that matter lieutenant governor of the state Senate as well.
Gill: So basically you’re campaigning with a group of seventy four, seventy five people, you’re not dealing in a state legislative district or state wide, there are seventy four, seventy five voters.
Casada: That is exactly right and then they, the caucus decides who they want to represent the speaker of the state house.
Gill: And when does that take place, you also elect some other leadership, but when does this take place and how does that process work?
Casada: It will be November 20th, I’d say it will convene at 1:00pm, the caucus with be a Republican caucus meeting..
Gill: The media is not there?
Casada: Actually we do invite the media, it’s open to the public. Yeah, we do this openly. We’ll put up our, go ahead I’m sorry…
Gill: But the votes are not public, but they can watch the process and see it, the Tennessee Star obviously will be there. When they cast their votes the and votes their votes aren’t public it’s not like putting up on the board like when you vote on legislation.
Casada: No you’re correct, that is exactly right, yes that is exactly right. The ballot is secret.
The conversation rounded out by Gill joking about how Casada will “eke by” with only seventy four to seventy five Republicans to vote for him. Casada went on to explain the position of the speaker and the 1/3 of member changes coming to the House. He was confident that the new members will step right in as they are former law enforcement people, doctors, and successful business men. Casada was certain that his legislative agenda would be to continue the economic prosperity trend, keeping regulations low, attracting business’s, and keep the unemployment rate near zero. As a side bar, he noted of additional importance would be to address the issue of mental health and improving education. Casada advised, “It’s kind of like the medical world. You first do no harm and continue on the successful trend that we’re on.”