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An open letter to Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey

Fed up with partial truths
Catherine Hill

Lieutenant Governor Ramsey, you seem surprised to be challenged in your efforts to get rid of three Democratic Supreme Court Justices by using just a sliver of truth in your smear campaign against them. A smear campaign, let me remind you, using lots of big business money and out-of-state money. You think you are playing fair – but the equation has changed dreadfully.

Let’s go back a few years, just considering events in Tennessee. I wrote my first examiner.com political buzz story on March 2, 2011. Almost immediately I began fighting the efforts of the Tennessee Legislature to take away every possibility of equity from the ordinary Tennessee citizen. First, there was a TEA Rally on 3/5/11, when you first began stripping teachers of their union rights and voice about the conditions under which they worked. Then there was the Pro-Union Rally on 3/15/11, when the Republican majority expanded its activity to try to forbid ALL union activity. Then there was the repeal of the Voter Confidence Act of 2010. Many people worked very hard in the effort to make sure the state had voter-verified paper ballots and did not have to depend on ‘proprietary’ computers to count the vote. Admittedly, state Democrats did not fight for this bill as hard as we the people had. Whoops, one right gone!

Then there was the mess of the ALEC-inspired Voter ID Law. Even now, nobody has been able to pin down even a tiny amount of fraud by individual voters. Judges in some states are actually overturning these laws, which work against the poor and elderly. Well-publicized cases have proved Voter ID works against likely Democratic voters. Personally, I’ve been smiling every time somebody uses his conceal-and-carry license to vote. Some folks would be automatically challenged if they didn’t have them.

And then there was Occupy Nashville. Perhaps you didn’t notice that a number of older and disabled Tennesseans joined their ranks whenever we could. A large number of military and ex-military personnel took part and helped keep order. Some medical professionals provided free services. We all did it for a reason you’ll never understand – Occupy, for all its rowdiness, was making the points many of us seniors and disabled people wanted to make. I’ll never forget seeing a well-dressed lady pushing a sign-draped walker that cold night we protested Donald Rumsfeld. – Nor is anybody forgetting the underhanded tactics the Governor and Legislature used against Occupy. Who knew they would lawyer up and DARE to fight back?

Then there was the attempt by the Republican Legislature to criminalize picketing. Your party has shown itself to be against any measure that would help ordinary people – even to denying us health care.

Then there was the so-called Workers’ Compensation Reform Bill you Republicans rammed through – a sweetheart deal for employers and insurance companies. We knew where your party stood even before the revelations surrounding the UAW/Volkswagen vote.

No, Lieutenant Governor, in the last few years your party has become the party of the Big Lie, the party of giant corporations and the dark money flowing in the wake of two US Supreme Court decisions. Now Tennesseans aren’t going to be satisfied with a slice of the truth. We intend to test everything.