MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – Local 24 News political analyst and commentator Otis Sanford shares his point of view more scandal for Tennessee lawmakers.
As we get closer to a special session of the Tennessee legislature next month, the spotlight gets brighter on the sleazy behavior that continues to dog state lawmakers. Governor Bill Lee called for the special session so that his fellow Republicans in the House could pick a new speaker. Current House leader Glen Casada is scheduled to step down from that post, but keep his House seat, after his involvement in a sexually inappropriate texting scandal was exposed by the news media.
But that’s just part of the shamefulness. Some legislators have also called on Republican House member David Byrd of Waynesboro to resign after three women accused him of sexually assaulting them years ago, when Byrd worked as a Wayne County teacher and basketball coach. The girls were just 15 and 16 at the time. So far, Byrd has refused to discuss the assault allegations, saying only that he has done nothing wrong while in public office. Now, some House members say they will push for Byrd to be expelled during the special session.
For his part, Governor Lee has not asked Byrd to resign. But he reportedly has asked him not to seek reelection in 2020, for all the good that does.
This problem represents more than just a couple of bad apples. And the legislature must figure out how to repair its image, which at this point, could not be lower. And that’s my point of view.