State Sen. Mae Beavers says she is concerned about security at Legislative Plaza after receiving death threats and having problems with protesters interfering with meetings with constituents.
However, in an interview with The Tennessee Star on Monday, Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet) said she has not hired her own personal security as reported by The Tennessean on Thursday. Beavers said the paper “manufactured a story.”
Two men who are political friends are voluntarily helping protect her office but she did not seek their help, she said. Beavers said veterans from across the state have also volunteered to help but she has not taken them up on their offer.
Beavers said she has received a few death threats in recent weeks, including one that put her on a kill list along with President Trump and other nationally-known conservatives, as well as state Rep. Mark Pody (R-Lebanon).
Beavers has been the subject of protest because of her conservative positions on the transgender bathroom bill and gay marriage and her push to ensure that driver’s licenses for immigrants here on visas are clearly marked so they can’t vote. Last month, protesters shut down a press conference she was giving with Pody on the bathroom bill and the Natural Marriage Defense Act.
In her office, Beavers has a small reception area with only three chairs. Protesters have been occupying the chairs as well as sitting on the floor, she said. One of the protesters has been a young lady from Kentucky, Beavers said. “She’s not even from our state.” On three occasions, a protester pushed on her door when Beavers was trying to close it and she said on another occasion someone tried to take photos of her assistant’s computer screen.
Beavers said she thinks state troopers who work at Legislative Plaza could be doing more to help curb protesters’ actions and that Legislative Plaza should reintroduce a former policy that involved scanning visitors’ driver’s licenses and giving them badges. She said people can easily be let in through various doors without bearing any signs that they have gone through any type of security.
Adam Kleinheider, spokesman for Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, told The Star that “McNally has been in consistent communication with Sen. Beavers regarding security issues she has been experiencing.” McNally and House Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) “are currently reviewing our security protocols in the legislature to evaluate whether improvements can be made,” Kleinheider said.