Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey said today he'll break with Senate tradition and appoint only Republicans as committee chairs this session. "The people of the state of Tennessee have spoken," Ramsey told reporters. "They want Republicans to lead, and that's what we're going to do."
Practically speaking, as is the case generally with legislative affairs, no one should care. It's bad news only for Thelma Harper, the last remaining Senate Democrat who chaired a committee in the past session. Ramsey suggested he's dumping her not only because she's a Democrat but also because she's a goofball. Her committee, Government Operations, was so inept that there were massive backlogs of bills waiting for action. Ramsey said she caused "huge problems." Asked whether he would drop Harper if she were a Republican goofball, Ramsey replied, "That's a good one."
As another reason for his action, Ramsey said, "She spent a lot of time in Clarksville." That was a reference to Harper's campaigning for Tim Barnes against Rosalind Kurita, the turncoat Democrat whose vote gave Ramsey the Senate speakership two years ago.
In other news, Ramsey said (1) the Senate will seat Barnes (2) he hopes lawmakers pass bills this session to let citizens carry handguns in taverns, state parks and just about everywhere else and (3) he'd really, really like to run for governor but he's afraid he can't raise enough money to compete and won't announce his decision until this summer.
On that last topic, Ramsey said, "Obviously, I want to run. I'm the best qualified candidate in my opinion. I'm obviously leaning in that direction."