At least nine county chapters of the Tennessee GOP are circulating resolutions condemning Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, a Republican, for various issues, some including not firing an openly-gay staffer and a Muslim lawyer. Demanding the GOP take “appropriate action” against Haslam, the attacks listed among nine resolutions include charges that Haslam “[a]llowed and retained openly homosexuals [sic] to make policy decisions in the Department of Children’s Services,” “hiring people from the Obama administration,” “elevated and/or afford [sic] preferential political status to Sharia adherents in Tennessee,” “a consistent lack of conservative values,” and “[n]on-support/lack of leadership with regards to handgun carry permits holders in last legislative session,” among many others. (Grammatical errors in the resolutions should come as no surprise to anyone.)
Then there’s this:
According to the Tennessean on January 15, 2012, Governor Haslam admitted to retaining 85% of the Democrat Governor Phil Bredesen’s Executive Service Employees.
One of the latest Executive Service Employees has included Samar Ali, an expert in Shariah Compliant Finance which is one of the many ways Islamic terrorism is funded. She is also a one-time Obama appointee and her family has a long history of supporting the Democrat Party.
The Republicans groups’ anger is directed at the June hire of Samar Ali, a Muslim lawyer, to head the international section of the state’s economic development office. Ali, a former White House fellow, is a Tennessee native and was the first Muslim president of Vanderbilt’s student body. The son of Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) recommended Ali for the job. She has worked to help Muslim-owned corporations structure deals to avoid the religion’s ban on interest.
Talking Points Memo adds:
Mallory, the Stewart County chairman, told TPM the core complaint from conservatives involved with the resolutions concerns the appointment process, and the number of state employees and appointees held over from the Bredesen era.
“You have a gay rights organization, and an immigration organization defending a Republican governor. How crazy is that? Maybe not crazy — how unusual is that?” Mallory said. “Personally, I want Gov. Haslam to be successful. And I want Gov. Haslam to fire some liberal Democrats and replace them with conservative Republicans. That’s what I would like to see.”
Mallory said the resolutions had been spurred by conversations between conservatives on Facebook. He also said that the issue was born last year, after “14 to 16 [county] chairs” wrote a letter to Haslam asking, “when are you going to start getting rid of a lot of these liberals and hiring some conservatives?”
“We got no response, not even a ‘we got your letter,’ nothing,” he said. “That kind of set several of us off.”
But when asked about the more explosive complaints included in his group’s recent resolution, Mallory hedged. Asked about Ali, for instance, Mallory said he was more bothered by her ties to the Obama administration than her religion. And pressed about the opposition to gay employees at the Department of Children’s Services, Mallory said he would have to think it over before he could offer a comment.
“I’m going to hold off comment on that one,” he said. “I don’t know how to respond appropriately to that one.”
Kevin Kookogey, chairman of the Williamson County Republicans, was more forthright. (In Kookogey’s view, the counties all agree on the Shariah issue.)
“To date, the Haslam Administration has displayed an unfortunate ignorance to the threat of Shariah,” Kookogey said in an email to TPM. “They seem willing to accept the claims and defense of the Muslim Brotherhood at face value, refusing to even consider that, perhaps, those bent on destroying Western Civilization might just be infiltrating our institutions. … It is not like this has never happened before. The Muslim Brotherhood is following the blueprint of the Communists, who infiltrated the highest levels of government and society in the 1950’s. Shariah, however, is an even greater threat, because it has cloaked itself under the auspices of a religion, thus confusing the uninformed.”
Asked about Ali, Devaney, the state party chair, said the opposition to her appointment was the product of “misinformation,” and he defended her as “the most qualified person” to fill the role she was picked for.
“There’s a lot of misinformation out there,” Devaney said. “What we’re trying to do is educate folks about the specifics. … Samar Ali is a lady who grew up in a small town called Waverly, Tennessee, and was a member of 4-H when she was in high school. We’re not talking about a radical Islamist.”
John Aravosis at AmericaBlog adds:
Tennessee is a national embarrassment. They’re the new Alabama (not that the old Alabama is any great shakes). They’re still racist, and now seem more and more liberated to spout other forms of bigotry, including homophobia and religious bigotry against Muslims.
These people are freaking nuts. And they run the Republican party of Tennessee, and are far too influential in the Republican party nationally.
We have some extremely backwards parts of our country, and sadly they’ve taken over one of the two political parties.
Tennessee is home to anti-gay state senator Stacey Campfield, whose homophobic comments about HIV/AIDS and homosexuality once got him kicked out of a local Tennessee restaurant, and whose bill requiring drug testing — presumably, urine tests — for welfare recipients passed the Senate. Tennessee is also home to James Yoakley, a Tennessee yearbook teacher who was transferred to a lower grade school after a half-page interview positively depicting a gay student appeared in the school’s yearbook. Tennessee is also home to thousands of Tennessee children who every year will be forced to take a “maturity test” to enter kindergarten. (Yes, it was signed into law.) Tennessee is also home to Rep. Jeremy Faison, a Tennessee Republican Tea Party lawmaker who blamed poor parenting yet exempted bullying as the cause of gay youth and teen suicides.
Of course, Tennessee is also home to the now infamous “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
A call to the Governor’s office was not immediately returned.
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