Friday, February 03, 2017

Why are ANY Democrats co-sponsoring VOUCHER Legislation?

Representative Antonio Parkinson is the staunchest defender of public education in Tennessee, perhaps, and that is why pro-charter and pro-voucher groups went after him in last year's Democratic primary.  However, because the citizens of District 98 knew that he was on THEIR side, having led the battle to keep Raleigh-Egypt High School from being taken over by the inept ASD, they re-nominated him in August and re-elected him in November.

He was right yesterday to call out Senator Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) for his bill to give out vouchers to parents who want to put their children in private schools, the second time he has done this.  The constitutionality of this bill has been questioned by SCS Superintendent Dorsey Hopson, and with good reason.

However, what I don't understand is why Rep. Parkinson seemed to overlook the fact that one of Kelsey's Senate co-sponsors is Senator Reggie Tate of Memphis, a nominal DEMOCRAT, and one of the House co-sponsors is another so-called Democrat, John DeBerry of Memphis.  Tate, who has ties to the Koch-based ALEC, and DeBerry, whose right-wing leanings were unleashed by the GOP takeover in 2010, vote as often with the GOP as with the Democrats.

So, here's my question: Why do we continue to allow them to run as Democrats?  We do control who has Democratic bona fides, or at least the TNDP does in this case. so why do we allow them to run as Democrats?  Look, I understand it is tough to beat an incumbent, and Tate will have lots of ALEC money in 2018, but at the very least he should be forced to run as a Republican or an Independent if he runs for re-election,.  That's a Democratic District (Senate 33) and it will be tough for a non-Democrat to win there.

As for John DeBerry in House 90, who here thinks he would have beaten Tami Sawyer if this race had been run in the General Election rather than in the Primary?   Not me, that is for sure.

So, we need to get past the idea that just anyone can run in the Democratic Primary and ENFORCE some standards here.  It's time to start building the case that Tate is not a Democrat and that while pre-2010, John DeBerry may have voted with us, he does no longer, and needs to run as an Independent or a Democrat.

Your thoughts?