There are slight disagreements among the candidates over social issues like guns, gays and abortion. But the governor's influence in the culture wars is next to none in the legislature. It takes only a simple majority to override his veto.
The governor's main power is recommending the state budget every year. In that regard, the legislature is almost a rubber stamp. Most of all, especially in this economy with state government reeling from nearly two years of falling revenue, voters deserve to know how their governor will act on taxes and spending.
Too bad. Of all the candidates, no one's for raising taxes, and no one will say how they might cut spending. So there you have it, the basic civic irresponsibility in the governor's race. It was demonstrated yesterday by Bill Haslam and Ron Ramsey in separate interviews with reporters at the Capitol. We pressed both of them on these issues, and both did a tap dance.
It sounds trite but Tennessee's at a crossroads. We may fall behind even Mississippi in everything if our political system doesn't agree soon on some way to fund an adequate level of state services. So far in this campaign, the candidates aren't giving any answers.