Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Naifeh Hasn't Changed

There's a story in the Tennessean about House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh's latest bullying tactic. Seems that votes in the House are almost always done by voice vote. The problem has been that, as even the Tennessean admits, many votes are called one way when it was obvious to all that it had gone the other. Efforts to get recorded votes have usually been ignored or derided. That has allowed all kinds of shenanigans, as folks who followed the Income Tax Wars can attest.

Now, Naifeh is requiring a recorded vote on every bit of business. It has brought the speed of business to a snail's crawl. He's doing it to punish those who want a record of who voted what for campaign purposes and to keep his own crooked control over the House. It's all punitive and petty; just another way to remind folks of who's the thug boss.

I'm just glad that he'll be turned out next election. It was close last time. Even though he had his district gerrymandered to bring in the strongly Democratic voters in the county next door to overcome the increasing Republican tilt of his own Tipton County, he still had to put up a fight against a last minute, write-in Republican candidate. That guy came much closer than anyone expected. Now, another candidate -- who actually started his campaign for the next election during the previous one -- is doing all the ground work to build up the voter base he'll need to beat Naifeh. It's looking good, too.

That candidate is Dr. Jesse Cannon. You can read more about him and the battle against Naifeh at Frank Cagle's site; choose the article titled "Naifeh losing his grip back home in the district."

The delicious irony of an upstart black Republican running against the old-school white Democrat isn't lost on anyone. We came real close last time. This time will be the one.

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