Friday, March 23, 2007

Guilty Conscience? The Truth About Our Senator Leaving the GOP

The Metro Pulse, the Knox County weekly paper, has the story this week of Sen. Williams very public departure from the Republican Party, calling it a "Political Divorce."

The Senator accuses County Republican Party organizations of withdrawing our affections for him after he cheated on the GOP by "getting into bed" with then Lt. Gov. John Wilder.

To quote the Metro Pulse article:

Williams has told Capitol Hill reporters he has been shunned by Republicans in his district since he voted for Democratic Sen. John Wilder for Speaker two years ago. Williams says he is not invited to party functions, like the annual Lincoln Day Dinners, fund-raisers in which officeholders get to make a pitch to the party faithful.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Even after his cheating on us by voting for 85 year old Democrat John Wilder instead of Republican Ron Ramsey for Speaker of the State Senate in 2005, I personally invited him or called his office to invite him to each and every Hawkins County Lincoln Day Dinner until this year. He hasn't been to any Hawkins County GOP function since teaming up with Wilder.

I talked to Judi Swilling, Chairperson of the Republican Party in Claiborne, and learned that she, too, had either personally talked to the Senator or to someone on this staff and invited him to the Claiborne County dinners. He was even invited to the dinner held in Harrogate last Saturday night and his invitation was not withdrawn even though he left us to be "independent". And Chairperson Swilling also confirms his absence for GOP events since becoming Wilder's Speaker pro tem.

Hobart Rice, Chairman of the Jefferson County Republican party, confirms Sen. Williams was invited but has not attended Lincoln Day Dinners in Jefferson County since he was last elected in 2004.

And, as Paul Harvey says, "here's the rest of the story". The Capitol Hill press wouldn't know to ask, but Mike Williams was the Keynote Speaker at the 2006 Grainger County Lincoln Day Dinner and, although he arrived late, was a speaker at the 2006 Union County Lincoln Day Dinner. Hancock County has not had a Lincoln Day Dinner since Sen. Williams was unfaithful to the Republican Party.


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