On Thursday morning’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 duo spoke about the recent call for a meeting of the Tennessee Republican House Caucus to discuss the controversies surrounding House Speaker Glen Casada.
Later on in the segment, the team discussed how this was just another attempt at a Democratic induced “scandal” to remove Casada based solely on inappropriate text messages sent before he became Speaker and unproven allegations of bad conduct. The men agreed that the caucus should be held openly so that the truth would be heard by the public.
Here is the transcript from the show:
Gill: Alright, the poll is open and voters are flocking to Tennessee Star on Facebook to cast their votes. The poll question of the day, very easy. Should the Republican House caucus meeting Monday to discuss the future of Glen Casada be open to the public? Is there support? Is there the base to pull him off the speakership? To pull him out of the House all together to expel him? And again, what are the charges? What has he actually done that they’re claiming would justify removing him? They’re going to have this meeting Monday because you have 10 House Republican caucus members according to the bylaws can submit a letter calling for a caucus meeting for a particular purpose. And that’s been done. It’s interesting you can’t trust anybody in the Republican caucus, well apparently at least a vast majority of the Republican caucus can’t be trusted. Jerry Sexton. Jerry Sexton sends out this letter with 11 House members signing on with him to call for a caucus meeting to discuss how you bring the party back together. How can you bring the caucus together? And before the ink is dry on the letter it’s being provided to the mainstream media by some of those that are wanting to continue to foment the discontent and the chaos. Literally, even though the letter says, “This is just for the caucus don’t share it.” The same way that when they had the private caucus phone call…
…a couple of members gave the code number for The Tennessean to call in and listen in without informing people they were on the line. So legislators did not know that the Tennessean reporters were listening. They were secretly listening to a conversation that they were not entitled to be on. And the same things going to happen in this caucus meeting on Monday. They’re going to meet and they’re talking about gathering everybody’s cell phones so somebody can’t live stream or record the conference…
Leahy: Oh, give me a break.
Gill: But as soon as they walk out, some of the same backstabbers in the Tennessee legislature, the Republican members are going to call up The Tennessean and selectively report what they want to spin and The Tennessean and Channel 5 will do that.
Leahy: The Tennessean will have audio of it live I’m sure. Somebody on the inside will figure out how to do that. So if that’s going to happen I mean c’mon. Just open it all up so The Tennessee Star can be there as well.
Gill: Yeah, let’s live stream it and let everybody watch. Or not. Maybe it should be a private meeting and they should take additional security precautions. It’s up to you.
Leahy: Not going to work.
Gill: Go to Tennessee Star on Facebook and cast your vote. Should it be a public viewing of this caucus meeting or should it be secret? And you can cast your vote at Tennessee Star on Facebook.
Leahy: So let me tell you why I think it should be open to everyone. Because we got this letter as everybody else did yesterday which said here are the 12 members of the caucus that are requesting a caucus meeting in compliance with the bylaws but at the very top, it said this is a privileged communication you can’t share with anybody.
We respected that request and so you’ll see we took content– some of the highlights of the letter–and described them but we didn’t show the letter per se. But of course, you know that put us at a sort of a disadvantage because we respected the request, nobody else in the media did. In fact, we published at midnight and by that time, virtually every other outlet had published the entire content. And so, if that’s going to happen. C’mon! C’mon!
Gill: Yeah, Tennessee Star apparently the last bastion of journalistic integrity. By the way, it’s important, I think, for the Republicans in the caucus to know two things: one, the people that just signed this letter many of whom are only in the state legislature because House speaker Glen Casada helped them. Raised money for them. Went in and campaigned for them. Helped them win their seats.
And they repay him by stabbing him in the back without any real basis to say, “Yeah, here’s what he did wrong that would justify removing him. Would justify removing him as Speaker or whatever else.” Many of these people who signed this letter are only there because of Glen Casada. And man, they showed no good deed goes unpunished.
Leahy: Yeah, in politics that’s true as in life. How would you describe the people that either asked for this meeting or are likely to get that secret ballot and try to vote against Speaker Casada based upon these three-year-old texts? Nothing provable more. What motivates them? How would you describe that?
Gill: Well you’ve really got two different groups. And that would include the ones that have signed this letter. That would include the ones who’ve been issuing statements calling for Casada to resign or step aside. You have two different groups. One is the ‘hate Glen Casada’ caucus. They’re folks that either they feel like he hasn’t treated them right in the past. Or he didn’t appoint them to the committee chairmanship they wanted. There are people who wanted to be Speaker and ran against him and lost because they’re fellow Republican caucus members didn’t see the leadership in them that they could trust which is now being born out by their behavior. So you get the ‘hate Casada’ caucus. Then the other group is the ‘political naivete’ caucus. Where they’re clueless. Where they think that somehow bringing Glen Casada down will either elevate them, it won’t. It will help the Democrats.
Gill: And the Democrats don’t have issues to run on nationally or here in Tennessee. The reason the Democrats are attacking Trump based on hoax’s and bogus Russian collusion and false claims of scandal. They can’t contest on the economy. They can’t contest on the issues. I mean they’re for killing babies just before birth and after birth. They want to take your second amendment rights away. The anti-constitutionalists. They want to put liberal anti-Americans on the Supreme Court. They can’t win the votes of the American people on the issues. So they have to deflect and distract with scandal.
The same things true with the Democrats in Tennessee. The Democrats can’t win on the issues that they are promoting which is again the racial divisions, the racism, he let’s raise taxes. All the issues that the Democrats have been put into super-minority status in Tennessee. That’s the reason there’s only five out of 33 Democratic state Senators. That’s the reason there are only 24 out of 99 Republican House members. Tennesseans have rejected their views, their values and their issues. So they have to use sandal, bogus scandal in some cases to promote their cause. It’s the reason they’re putting up billboards attacking Representative David Byrd for what is alleged to have happened thirty years ago.
But Rick Staples, a black Democrat from Knoxville, isn’t having billboards put up by the Democrats demanding that he resign or be forced out when he has credibly been accused by actual women, multiple women of groping, touching, and mistreating them during the legislative session on Capitol Hill. So where are the calls to remove him? Because it’s all partisan hackery. So you’ve either got the hate Glen caucus or “I’m an idiot caucus.” And I guess some of these people just need to identify for themselves which one they’re in.
Listen to the full hour 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 “Tennessee House Floor” by Tennessee General Assembly.