Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mumpower Decries 'Web of Lies'

Posted By on Thu, Jan 15, 2009 at 1:51 PM

click to enlarge jason.jpeg

Even Tuesday on the day of his betrayal, Jason Mumpower says Kent Williams repeatedly lied to him by promising to vote for him for speaker of the House. Mumpower also denies plotting with Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey to carry out mass firings of legislative staffers, as Democrats have charged.

"It is ludicrous to say there were going to be mass firings," Mumpower says. "It's another lie in a web of lies. It's just silly. It's unfortunate that they ever subjected any employees to that type of worry but it's not surprising."

Mumpower adds: "I wouldn't say that I see more partisanship. I see less trust and that's a shame. Again, the biggest tragedy of this week is that simple trust has not been eroded, it has been dissolved. So much that we've been able to do is just based on the good word of our colleagues, and that is no more."

Mumpower and Ramsey met with reporters today after Republicans  succeeded in electing their nominees for the state constitutional offices. The Q &A after the jump:


Q: Leader Mumpower, does this make it all better the fact you were able to elect these three gentlemen to the constitutional offices?

Mumpower: The two are not interrelated. This is in keeping with the will of the people of Tennessee. That's all this is about, and we're delighted that it happened.

Q: Was the outcome today any different because of what happened on Tuesday?

Mumpower: Yes, I think the gentlemen's election was more firmly secured because of the outcry of the people of Tennessee based on what happened Tuesday.

Q: Comment on the governor's saying there might be 2,000 state employee layoffs?

Ramsey: ... Overall, do I basically agree with what the governor is coming up with, that is we live within our means, we balance the budget without a tax increase and we make the tough cuts when we have to? Yes, I agree with that.

Q: Both of you, you're the top Republicans in the legislature. Do you think Robin Smith should throw Speaker Williams out of the Republican Party?

Mumpower: What I'll say about that is that it's really none of our business. That's  the business of the state executive committee. I will say if there is one thing about this week, it is this that's most unfortunate. For many years around here, we have done business based on the simple word of people when they give you their word. If anything was affected this week, it is that business will no longer be done on the basis of somebody's word. It will be done by verification and double verification and triple verification that what someone says is what they will do.

Q: Can you do business with this speaker?

Mumpower: We're going to do business for the people of the state of Tennessee. I'm excited about getting started. I appreciate my colleagues putting me in the position of being majority leader. ... We will work with whoever we need to work with in order to get things done for the people of Tennessee.

Q: That includes Speaker Williams?

Mumpower: That includes anyone that we need to work with.

Q: Will you work with him on the selection of committee chairs?

Mumpower: Yes we will be working on that.

Q: How long do you think that'll take?

Mumpower: I wouldn't even venture a guess. Days, I hope.  A week, I don't know.

Q: Would you answer the question, Governor Ramsey, about whether the party should kick out Williams?

Ramsey: Well, I obviously looked  forward to working with my state representative, Jason Mumpower, as speaker of the House. The people of Tennessee spoke, and they wanted a Republican nominee  that came out of the Republican caucus to be elected speaker, and that was betrayed two days ago. No doubt about that. Trust is not something that you give somebody. It's something that's earned. ... As Jason said, a promise was broken, a word was broken, and it's hard  to repair that. Will I work with Speaker Williams? Well, obviously I'll have to work with him on certain occasions. As Jason said, there's some repairing that needs to be done.

Q: What about Speaker Williams' party label?

Ramsey: Well, as Jason said, that's up to the state executive committee. There are 66 publicly elected officials that determine what the state party does. They'll have to make that determination.

Q: Don't you think it'll complicate things for you guys if they kick him out of the party?

Ramsey: Not necessarily. I don't see how it can get  more complicated than it is right now, if you want  to know  the honest  truth. We don't know who's in charge. We don't know exactly where we go when we need a question answered. So I don't see how it gets any more complicated than it is right now.

Q: Well, if it occurs, you won't have a majority in the House anymore.

Ramsey: There's a question about whether we do right now to be honest. ... It' s my understanding that they're talking about sharing chairmanships in the state House. Let me assure you that if the Republicans end up chairing six of the 12 standing committees, in my opinion that's six of them they were cheated out of.  We won the majority. ... To the victor goes the spoils, so to speak, and that's the way this needs to be going right now.

Q: A lot of Republicans are saying Speaker Williams isn't competent to perform his duties. Do you question it?

Ramsey: We'll let that play out over the next few weeks. I have no idea. Obviously, he came from the backbench to the front row. He'll have to prove his competence. I don't know at all.

Q: What about your Republican agenda?

Mumpower: The agenda is what the people of Tennessee asked for. Focus on education and putting it first, focus on fiscal responsibility when times are tight. ... The people went out and voted. Their will has been thwarted somewhat since they voted, but we will see if their will is thwarted in terms of policy.

Q: Do you perceive more partisanship now in the House?

Mumpower: I wouldn't say that I see more partisanship. I see less trust and that's a shame. Again, the biggest tragedy of this week is that simple trust has not been eroded, it has been dissolved. So much that we've been able to do is just based on the good word of our colleagues, and that is no more.

Ramsey: ... That trust is going to have to be built back up. I don't know if it can or not. It's not up to me.

Q: Were you guys planning mass firings?

Mumpower: It is ludicrous to say there were going to be mass firings. It's another lie in a web of lies. It's just silly. It's unfortunate that they ever subjected any employees to that type of worry but it's not surprising.

Q: When did you first become aware that Kent Williams  was going to bolt?

Mumpower: Well, I don't think it came together until that morning fully. There were rumors in the wind all along.

Q: Did he assure that he would vote for you?

Mumpower: Yes.

Q: On Tuesday?

Mumpower: Yes, several times.

Comments (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

Top Topics in
Pith in the Wind

Media (66)


Politics (55)


Phillips (52)


Education (21)


Crazy Crap (16)


Law and Order (16)


40 Jealous Whores (12)


Legislature (9)


Around Town (8)


Cavendish (5)


All contents © 1995-2015 City Press LLC, 210 12th Ave. S., Ste. 100, Nashville, TN 37203. (615) 244-7989.
All rights reserved. No part of this service may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of City Press LLC,
except that an individual may download and/or forward articles via email to a reasonable number of recipients for personal, non-commercial purposes.
Powered by Foundation