In an an exclusive interview on The Tennessee Star Report with Steve Gill and Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast Friday on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 am to 8:00 am – Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada made news on several fronts.
Casada said that the fetal heartbeat bill “bill progress quickly through the House,” and noted he spoke with Governor Bill Lee on Thursday and expects the governor will outline the details of a proposed education savings account proposal in his State of the State address, to be delivered on March 4. Casada also described the recent efforts of social justice warrior, Justin Jones, currently out on bond for resisting arrest in an October protest of Sen. Marsha Blackburn, to instigate a confrontation at the Capitol.
Gill: This week House Speaker Glen Casada has been dealing with really serious issues like, do we put more SRO’s (School Resource Officers) in schools to protect our kids from what we saw happen at Parkland about a year ago. Do we expand vocational education to create job opportunities for Tennesseans for generations to come? Do we deal with the opioid epidemic? Do we protect unborn life with a fetal heartbeat bill? Serious issues. But instead of being able to focus on those things, house speaker Glen Casada’s been forced to confront two issues; one from a guy named Justin Canoe, who’s a Hollywood, California guy who came and ran and lost a congressional race here. And then a California guy who came on scholarship here who’s a social justice warrior who physically confronted the House Speaker yesterday and now claims, (High pitched voice) “I was assaulted,” when Glen Casada simply put up a forearm to protect himself from a physical assault. Both these guys from California. House speaker Glen Casada on the phone line with us this morning. And Glen what do people in California have against you man?
Casada: Good morning Steve.
Gill: Good morning.
Casada: I think sometimes the left just can’t stand the truth and if you try to express your personal views all of a sudden you’re offensive and should not be heard. It’s kind of scary. Smacks of socialism doesn’t it?
Gill: You’re a racist. You’re a Nazi. Let’s deal first with Representative Byrd was a coach in Wayne County high school. He’s a state representative from Waynesboro. Has done a great job as a state legislator. A lot of these issues came up before his election. He was re-elected by the people of Waynesboro who know him better than the allegations that are being spewed by the left. He got re-elected. You appointed him to an education position in the legislator as chairman of the education sub-committee. He’s a former teacher, a former coach. No charges have been brought against him and yet you have these folks saying that he should be denied his position. Should basically be removed from the legislation because of these thirty-year-old allegations.
Casada expressed that one of the sacred rights we have in this country is the right of innocent until proven guilty. He feels that no repercussions should come to him until there is evidence to the contrary. Gill said that people in that community know Byrd and voted for him as they know him better than most as a member of the community. Gill found it interesting that people aren’t believing in the women involved in the Virginia Governor Black debacle with corroborating witnesses but then are guns blazing for a thirty year old high school girls in this Republican case. Casada added that nobody ever questioned Hillary Clinton on her defense for her husbands sexual harassment situations.
Gill: One of the things that they’re trying to do is claim that at a meeting the other day when you were confronted with this video camera carrying liberal from Hollywood. You said “Look, here’s what I would do, if the situation, I’d move and hell hath no fury.” What were you intending to express?
Casada: So he was talking over me and it’s been a month ago but my intent was, I would move on, I would move forward and hell hath no fury if someone had raped me or my daughter or somebody like that. The word move doesn’t mean physically pick up your furniture and move. It means move forward with whatever means is necessary to combat that action.
Gill: Yeah an action could have been taken at that time.
Casada: Yeah and then the Tennessean took it out of context. Which is very disappointing. They did not call me and say well did you mean by move?
Leahy: I’m shocked, Speaker. I’m shocked, Speaker Casada.
Gill: They were to busy reviewing yearbooks.
Leahy: That The Tennessean took you out of context. Have they asked you for your yearbooks from thirty years ago Speaker Casada?
Casada: No, they have not. (Chuckling) Thank goodness.
Gill: And then yesterday, you have Justin Jones, the same guy who physically assaulted police officers and others at a Marsha Blackburn campaign event several months ago is facing criminal charges. Facing trial for that. Has been back up, as a social justice warrior at the Plaza a couple of times creating disturbances. And yesterday rushes at you as you’re coming out of a hearing building. What happened there?
Casada: You know it was just a defense. He literally came nose to nose. I suppose to put my hand up to you know defend what I thought was a punch about to be thrown. And I didn’t even touch him. And then I just scooted by him. And he starts crying about, that I assaulted him.
Leahy: Well the state troopers didn’t see it that way.
Casada: (Chuckling) That’s true.
Gill: Now Glen we’ve actually talked to the ADA’s office the Assistant District Attorney’s office to find out whether or not this… It doesn’t have to be a physical assault. If you come up on somebody, get in their face that can qualify as an assault. Of whether or not, what he did yesterday, coming up to try and physically confront you would justify his bond being revoked and putting him in jail pending his trial that will take place in a few months. Will the state troopers maybe make some contact with the ADA’s office to try and see if that can be revoked. Because this guys going to continue to act in this way and push the edge until he does hurt somebody.
Casada: Yes. I think so too. And you know there a lot of hot-tempered people that would have reacted preemptively. You know someone comes up in your face and acted in a different manner for his own safety he needs to go to counseling and get on some medication.
Gill: He’s looking for a physical confrontation as he was yesterday. It didn’t happen. And again the troopers and you had plenty of witnesses there that justify that it didn’t happen. And yet again, this is a guy that keeps ratcheting it up. That’s what we saw in that incident at the Marsha Blackburn event where literally he is kicking and screaming. Resisting arrest from police officers. If he will do that to a police officer what will he do to a private citizen when there aren’t witnesses?
Casada replied by showing concern as the radical left is becoming more dangerous and that it’s a sad state that we are and the Democratic party are in. Gill asked if security was available at the Capital with all these types of people coming in. He explained that the state troopers are aware of Justin Jones and some emails that have come across the server recently which has created a heightened sense of security at the Capital.
Gill: Let’s talk a little bit about the issues that are coming up. You’ve said that you want to kind of want to expedite the legislative process. Maybe get out by May first. What are the stumbling blocks to that time table at this point?
Casada: You know it’s, we just started moving legislation. So, what the question is what could cause a long delay and debate. I don’t see it today but there’s always that possibility of sports gambling or the educational savings account. Things like that could take a lot of lot of time. I don’t think they will but there’s always that possibility.
Gill: You’ve got the fetal heartbeat bill that passed out of a sub-committee this week being carried in the House by Micah VanHuss and the Senate. By Senator Mark Pody. Governor Bill Lee has announced his support for it. The Attorney General Herb Slatery has been kind of a blocking point on that. Will this fetal heartbeat bill you think progress in the House and will the Attorney General’s opinion slow it down?
Casada: No, and I think it will progress quickly through the House. I’ve signed on as a co-sponsor. We will pass that bill in the House. I feel confident, that Lieutenant Governor McNally says hey we’ll pass it in the Senate. And if we have to we’ll hire counsel to defend that at the court level if the AG will not.
Leahy: Speaker Casada, when do we expect to see the details of the education savings account bill? And do you anticipate that an education savings account bill will pass the Tennessee General Assembly this session?
In closing Casada explained that he just spoke to Governor Lee yesterday and that he expects that it will roll out at the Governor’s State of the State address, which will be delivered on March 4.
He added that this bill was something that he himself favored and especially for children in failing schools. Gill reminded that kids are being trapped in poor schools based on the recent TEAC report and questioned Casada on whether or not he thought there would be another issue that would grab attention in the coming weeks.
“Let’s be child focused and not bureaucracy focused. We’ve got some smart people that are chairman’s and the members of the House. We’re working hard and we’re going to do well and make the people of Tennessee proud and prosperous,” concluded Casada.
Listen to the full show here:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 am to the Tennessee Star Report with Steve Gill and Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Glen Casada” by Glen Casada.