Time and again Governor Haslam has failed to follow through on his promises to Tennesseans.
He has failed to gain the support of his own Republican Party for a myriad of proposals, including Insure Tennessee, a roads plan and privatization of state facilities. Instead of embracing the Federal Government’s Affordable Care Act to insure hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans, Governor Haslam created his own watered-down version, Insure Tennessee, with the hope that it would be passed by his Republican majority in the legislature.
They refused and sent the Governor’s plan to the trash. As a result, the governor failed.
The state has billions of dollars of backlogged road projects that would relieve gridlock and improve safety on Tennessee’s highways - an issue Democrats have been promoting for years.
Recently, the governor hinted at a revised fuel tax to pay for his plans, yet GOP leaders have already taken to media outlets in protest. The governor has now taken it off his top priority list for 2016. Again, the Governor failed.
Haslam hired three part-time consultants at an annual rate of $612,000, according to the Associated Press, who are working on "plans" to privatize state facilities. There seems to be no benefit for Tennessee, so far.
A governor must strive to employ the people of his state, not send opportunities to a private, out-of-state firm. The governor failed.
Caving to political pressure from Republicans, Governor Haslam recently announced that he was asking the federal government for a "pause" in accepting Syrian refugees. Too paralyzed to stand up and reach out to those in need, he chose to side with his fear-mongering party, instead.
This is not only a lack of leadership. The "I’ve got mine" attitude displayed by him and Republicans reveals a failure of compassion, empathy and common sense.
In the Volunteer State, we reach out to those in need. Haslam has chosen to turn his back instead. The governor failed. Instead of leading he has caved at vital moments and let the extremists in the Republican Party hijack our state government.
This state has a history of governors who have worked hard for Tennesseans, not special interests and themselves. 2016 is an election year and though Governor Haslam is not on the ballot, many of his Republican friends are up for re-election. It’s time to tell the GOP in Tennessee that we’ve had enough of their hateful extremism.