Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


May 20, 2013

Stumptalk: A super majority legislature

CROSSVILLE — Much media attention has recently been focused on the inability of the super majority of Republicans in the 2013 legislature to enact every Republican bill into law. Why is this different from some of the recent super majority Democratic legislatures? If you were paying attention to the debates in the committees, and analyze that debate, you will find that Republicans don’t automatically follow their party leaders when it comes to doing what each individual legislator thinks is best for Tennessee. Republicans actually try to do what they think is best for our citizens.

It is understandable why the Democrats would think this is unusual and labels the Republican actions as “in-fighting.” The Democrats don’t seem to understand that each Republican considers the facts when deciding how to vote on issues. Most also don’t criticize the individuals who have a different opinion. They debate the differences on the issues. After all, it doesn’t take much intelligence to criticize someone but it does take more than a little intelligence to actually study and evaluate the issues in determining how they are going to vote.

To those of you who wish to learn the difference between the Democrats and the Republicans in our state and nation, the 2013 state legislature has provided an opportunity to learn the difference between the approaches of each party. The members of the Democratic Party concentrate on criticism of those who disagree with them and the members of the Republican Party actually consider and analyze the factual issues in deciding how to vote on the issues. Democrats simply vote the party line.

There has certainly been bills presented that defy logic and common sense and some discussions have shown that some of our legislators don’t understand the issues but, if you consider the differences in a super majority Republican legislature and a super majority Democratic legislature, you might learn why some of us prefer conservative legislators.

Our Tennessee legislature has one of the best websites in the country and most of the committee hearings are “streamed” online so that you can listen to the discussions and learn what each legislator believes and why they vote as they do. It is very enlightening if you take the time to watch and listen. All of the bills are posted online so that you can read them and every legislator has his/her telephone number and email address posted online so that you can let them know what you think about each bill before they vote.

You can personally learn what is happening in your legislature and you have no excuse for not being involved in what is happening in our state. If you don’t agree with what your representatives are doing, you don’t have to wait for the next election to let him/her know what you think. You also have an opportunity to let your friends and family know what is happening so that they can contact their representatives. If you don’t get involved during the legislative sessions and let your representatives know what you think then you have no right to complain later about what happens. The legislators work for us and we need to become more involved in what they are doing if we want better laws and better representation.

• • •

Stumptalk is published weekly in the Crossville Chronicle. The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the Chronicle publisher, editor or staff. To contact Stumptalk, email coordinator Phil Billington at

Text Only
  • Lion and the Lamb: A promised land?

    Back in biblical times there was a group of people who believed that God had promised them a segment of land on this planet that would be theirs forever. Who could have known back then that this ancient promise and territorial justification would be used by their descendants today to claim the same segment of land?

    July 29, 2014

  • We the People: Bring back the American dream

    Our economy continues to expand. The stock market is at record levels, yet many ask why so many of us are struggling?  Barely half of us believe the American dream is attainable.

    July 29, 2014

  • Tidbits: Taking a low-tech break

    Feeling increasingly strangled by my electronic leash, with phone, text messages, email, social media and a variety of other forms of communication always at my side, I took the weekend off.

    July 28, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Governing before and after mass corruption

    Laws in America were originally written simply. Every citizen could read them quickly and understand their meaning. The founders wrote the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the Northwest Ordinance and the Constitution of the United States, none of which was longer than 4,500 words.

    July 28, 2014

  • We the People: The last dance

    Charlie Hayden’s last recording session with his early partner, Keith Jarrett, was in 2007.  The songs they played were mostly melancholy.  The second album coming from that session includes Weil’s “My Ship” and Porter’s “Every Time We Say Goodbye.” The dark ballad “Goodbye,” by Gordon Jenkins, was the final track.

    July 22, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Living in a pressure cooker

    The Gaza Strip, a small Palestinian territory about the size of Washington, D.C., has been in the news almost every day.  Its key location at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea has attracted a number of occupying powers over the years, and it has  been at the center of much Middle East history.

    July 22, 2014

  • Tidbits: The excitement of election day

    On March 12, 1996, there were 427,183 votes cast in the presidential primary election. Among those votes was mine, the first vote I cast in an election, just two days after my 18th birthday.

    July 21, 2014

  • Raising the minimum wage

    My first job from which FICA was withheld was a minimum wage job, seventy-five cents an hour. And yes, even then no one could live on that little money. However, I was a high schooler living at home where my father provided room and board. The job gave me pocket money to buy gasoline, to take my girlfriend out for movies and burgers, and to buy tickets for baseball games.

    July 21, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Children on the move

    The news this past week has focused on the humanitarian crisis developing on our southern border. Thousands of unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras seeking to escape from the violence, human trafficking and extreme poverty in their countries have been entering the United States.

    July 15, 2014

  • We the People: Memo to gun rights groups

    The recent incident in California helps us understand why we cannot rely on mental health services alone to solve the problem of gun violence.

    July 15, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014