To the Editor:

“Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”  — Baron Acton, 1887

Tennessee leaders have been centrist public servants for decades,  Democrats like McWherter or Bredesen or Republicans like Baker or Corker.  Those days are past.

Voters in Tennessee have not changed; GOP leadership is now seized by ideologues bent on forcing extremism on Tennesseans regardless of cost or methods.

Sadly, some Williamson County GOP leaders are at the vanguard of this effort.  None is more strident that House Speaker Glen Casada, a Koch Brothers acolyte. In his short time as House leader, this self-professed small government conservative has:

1. Distorted parliamentary procedure to narrowly pass a voucher bill that will resegregate the state’s two largest and most diverse school systems;

2. Threatened or bribed non-supporting GOP members on the voucher scam;

3. Championed yet another sexual abuser GOP member—this time, David Byrd, who molested high school basketball players he was coaching. This comes after his earlier support for Jeremy Durham, who was found guilty of sexual harassment and abuse by the Tennessee Attorney General;

4. Led anti-LGBTQ legislation;

5. Warned some corporations to stay out of politics despite receiving tens of thousands of corporate PAC dollars;

6. Restricted access to and accountability of House members—silencing members and microphones and banning cameras from the House floor and tonight, physically detaining House members;

7. Hired Cade Cothren as his chief of staff (boosting his pay by $130,000 to a whopping $200,000), despite reports that Cothren is a racially biased man who gave false evidence against a divinity student in an effort to cause his arrest. Cothren further insisted that a persons of color “are idiots” before referencing a person of color as a “thug n—–r.”

8. Facilitated “Dodge City” gun laws;

9. Criminalized voter registration;

10. Supported blatantly unconstitutional legislation restricting reproductive rights that, if passed, would cost untold legal fees in a futile effort to defend.

Tennessee, this House Speaker does not represent Williamson County values.  Large numbers of citizens and voters — both Democrats and Republicans—are embarrassed by the Speaker’s heavy-handed and self-serving conduct.

Know that Williamson County Democrats will work tirelessly to unseat this wannabe dictator and his racist henchmen, returning our State to the “it” venue it can be without him.

Kreis White

Thompson’s Station 37179