Thursday, March 08, 2012

Thank You, Mr. Speaker

A giant, an icon of Tennessee politics, a servant of the public.

Jimmy Naifeh has been all of that and then some in his 38 years in the Tennessee House of Representatives, 18 of those years as the longest serving Speaker in state history.

 Naifeh, 72, of Covington, announced on the floor of the House that he will not seek re-election to his seat this fall, a seat that had been made difficult, if not impossible, to win due to GOP redistricting. It is a damn shame he is leaving, because he has been great for his state, his party, and ESPECIALLY Memphis and West Tennessee.

Yes, I understand I have not always been charitable towards the Speaker, but I have always respected his ability to get things done for our state, to make government work FOR the average citizen instead of against it, as the GOP is doing now. When Speaker Naifeh led the House, none of these idiotic gun bills or anti-Memphis/urban area bills ever saw the light of day, and we were better off for that.

 Much of what Memphis has received from Nashville (which was usually not as much as we GAVE to state government) we got due to Speaker Naifeh, who worked closely with the Shelby County delegation.

It is my opinion that his 38 years was spent trying to ensure that every Tennessean, whether they lived in Germantown or Boxtown, Farragut or Austin-East, Brentwood or Palmersville, had better opportunities to achieve what they wanted than his father had when he emigrated from Lebanon those many years ago.

 He was even nice enough to meet with a bunch of crazy leftie bloggers from all over the state on more than one occasion, which we all appreciated.

Mr. Speaker, you have served this state faithfully and left a shining legacy of service for others to follow, and one can only hope that they DO, or we are all in big trouble.

Thank you, Speaker Naifeh.

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