I had planned to blog about new Senate districts today, but instead I'm going to bitch for a few minutes about the imperial cowardice of Senate Democratic Leader Jim Kyle.
I do not live in Nashville, so I have rely on info from my political contacts inside the 440-loop. Today, I was particularly disturbed by a call I got concerning a new redistricing deal struck by Senator Jim Kyle late last night.
For weeks, Senator Jim Kyle has been looking for a way to revive his electoral prospects after Republicans did away with his district. He's spent a great deal of time drawing alternatives, supposedly preparing for a court case after the bill passed.
This all changed last night.
My sources inside the capitol tell me that Senator Kyle, the Leader of the Senate Democrats, yesterday struck a deal with Republicans to save his own ass. The catch? It was at the expense of one of his own caucus members, Beverly Marrero. The main stream media seems to think Republicans hatched this plan--not so say those inside the capitol.
Apparently, Kyle presented a map to his caucus today as the "Democratic Plan." This plan took Kyle out of the district he was placed in with Sen. Brian Kelsey and instead pit him against one of his own. Let me repeat, this was done by the Republicans at KYLE's request. Meaning, the Senate Democratic Leader was more concerned with saving himself, than helping his fellow caucus members.
Politicos will know that the main job of party leadership is to protect the members of their caucus. This often means they have to take tough votes, like Mike Turner did in the House, to save some of their members. Here, Kyle instead chose to abuse his position to screw a fellow Democrat. What's worse? Not one Democrat stood up for Senator Marrero. Instead, they each went along with the Kyle/Ramsey plan and passed his amendment by a voice vote.
To add insult to injury, Kyle then proceeded to vote "present" on the final redistricting bill, after railing against it for hours. Once the session was over, he then asked the clerks to change his official vote to "Yes", presumably as part of some deal with Ron Ramsey for drawing him back into a district. Apparently, Kyle lacked the balls to cast the vote in front of his entire caucus.
This absolutely stinks. Beverly Marrero is one of the few liberals we have in the Tennessee General Assembly. She's an advocate for women, gays, the enviroment, the arts and many other issues dear to a progressive heart. I am so disappointed that Kyle chose to put his own electoral prospects over that of the members he was elected to lead. It just goes to show what a typical, raw politician this guy is. He thinks he's entitled to a seat because he married a Clement and has been in office for 30 years. He's everything that's wrong with the Tennessee Democratic Party and I for one intend to make sure he stays in Memphis after the next election.
Jim Kyle should resign as Senate Democratic Leader. He obviosuly doesn't have the testicular fortitude to lead and is more concerned with his electoral future, than the good of his caucus. Liberals and women around the state should be equally outraged at not only Kyle, but his fellow Senators who banded together to rid themselves of one of four women in their caucus. It's digusting and I'm truley sad for my party.