Friday, January 05, 2007

Form Your Own Opinion!

From the Nashville City Paper
January 5, 2007

Wilder wins Dems nomination for Senate speaker
By John Rodgers,
January 05, 2007

Sen. Joe Haynes’ ill-fated run for the Democrats’ nomination for speaker of the Senate came to an end Thursday as he lost to Lt. Gov. John Wilder in a secret ballot.

Haynes (D-Goodlettsville) said he entered the race because he believed Wilder (D-Mason) couldn’t get the 17 votes required among the full, 33-member state Senate to be reelected to a 19th two-year term.

The Republicans have a 17-16 majority in the state Senate.

After Wilder officially received the Democrat’s nomination, Haynes still thought Wilder didn’t have the 17 votes required to be elected to his 19th term as speaker of the Senate.

“I don’t think he can,” Haynes said of Wilder’s ability to get 17 votes. “I think I could.”

The full Senate gathers Tuesday, when they are scheduled to elect their speaker of the Senate.

Two Senators that will likely play a key role in Tuesday’s outcome are Senators Jerry Cooper (D-Morrison) and Mike Williams (R-Maynardville).

Haynes said if he had won the Democrat’s nomination, both Cooper and Williams would vote for him.

Wilder said Williams was “with” him, but had doubts about Cooper’s support.“I hope so,” Wilder said. “I’m with him. He’s good. He’s one of the best and I care about him and I mean, he’s good. I’m going to do all I can to help him.”

The three attendees at the meeting who knew the vote count – Sen. Doug Jackson (D-Dickson) and two Democratic staffers – would not release the results.

Toward the end of the meeting, Wilder got a call on his cell phone and answered “Mike.”

He walked into the hallway, while being tailed by two reporters, and had a conversation with “Mike” in which Wilder appeared to be telling the person on the other end of the line that their “job” was “not over.”

“This is God’s will. It is God’s will. It is. But don’t you quit.”

Wilder also told “Mike” that “we need Jerry Cooper.”

“I don’t know how we’re going to get him, but we need him.”

When asked at the meetings close if the “Mike” on the phone was Sen. Mike Williams, Wilder initially said “yes,” then said it was another caller that Wilder had clicked over to on his other line at the conclusion of the first conversation.

Wilder then told a City Paper reporter that who he talks to is “my business.”

Several Democrats at the meeting gave credit to Williams. Sen. Charlotte Burks (D-Monterey) told the Democrats’ “how much we appreciate him.”

Haynes said he invited Williams to the Senate Democrats’ meeting, but he was in Cincinnati on business.

“He gave that priority over us, but we still love him,” Haynes said.

If Williams is the only Republican who votes for Wilder, Cooper could keep Wilder from getting 17 votes and reelected by abstaining. Haynes said he believes Cooper would abstain under that circumstance.

If that happens, Wilder remains what Haynes described as a “holdover speaker.” Haynes said he wouldn’t vote for Wilder if Wilder didn’t agree to vote for him if Haynes eventually won the nomination in additional Democratic Caucus meetings.

Wilder’s victory set the stage for the official election for Speaker of the Senate Tuesday when Wilder will face the Republican nominee, Senate Majority Leader Ron Ramsey (R-Blountville).

The Republicans, with their 17-16 majority in the state Senate, could make whomever the Democrats’ nominated a moot issue if they were united behind Ramsey.

It wouldn’t be the first time Williams sided with Wilder versus Ramsey. In 2005, Williams and another GOP Senator defied party label and voted for Wilder, even though the Republicans again had a 17-16 majority.

Haynes was reelected to his position as caucus chairman.


Blogger Jay Johnson said...

Anybody out there besides Ramsey and Wilder that can come to the rescue of this state in distress?
There's 16 other Republicans besides Ramsey.
Can one of them get 16 other votes to make the magical 17?

A Reasonable Republican seeking alternative solutions to a very real problem

10:27 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home