Friday, May 10, 2019

I'm not piling on with a call for Casada to step down.

by Rod Williams - Lt. Gov. Randy McNally has joined the chorus of those calling on Glen Casada to resignOther prominent Republicans who have done so include Bill Dunn, R-Knoxville, speaker pro tempore; Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby; David Hawk, R-Greeneville; House Majority Whip Rick Tillis, R-Lewisburg; Sam Whitson, R-Franklin; and Patsy Hazlewood, R-Signal Mountain.

Many others, while not specifically calling on Casada to resign his leadership post have described the situation as "very troubling," or said it needs to be resolved quickly or said they were "disappointed." I also am disappointed and find it troubling and hope it is resolved soon.

I am not so upset that he had a "white noise" devise in his office. White noise is to protect your self from being eavesdropped upon.  It is prudent. The charge that he eavesdropped on others does not appear to suggest he bugged their offices but that he listened in to conversations taking place in committee rooms equipped with equipment for transmitting committee meeting audio. Listening in to a conversation when those talking do not know your are listening may not be a gentlemanly thing to do, assuming it is true, but if one is having a conversation in a public place equipped with listening devices one should not have an expectation of privacy.

I don't have an opinion on the allegation of texting messages considered misogynist or sexually explicit.  I haven't read anything that seems that bad. In one message he referred to his assistant Cothren as a "wolf" who "girls aren't safe" around.  I guess I'm not "woke" yet, but that just does not seem that bad to me. I have not seen the content of the texts that have been called racist. I don't really know how bad it gets. The offended texts are referenced a lot but, I don't know what they actually say. I am certainly not going to take the media's or Casada's critics word for it that they were really, really bad. I think we need to take a deep breath and see the evidence and see if anything else comes out. He did accept the resignation of his assistant. That may be all of the corrective action that is needed.

We just came off of a tremendously successful legislative session and Casada rightly gets much of the credit. Unless there is more to come, we shouldn't throw Casada to the wolves. Apparently, Casada did deceive radio host Phil Valentine in claiming he did not know the validity of the text when it appears he in fact did. However, at the time, he may not have known the source. He probably texts a lot and may have not recalled the offensive text. He needs to explain. If he intentionally deceived, he needs to apologize. 

What is bad is that Casada did not act as if everything he ever said could someday become public.  Public figures in today's environment should never do or say anything they do not want to see on the 6 o'clock news. It is not safe to think out loud or let your hair down or engage in light banter if it can be retold, recorded or released. Public figures need to be on guard all the time.  So, at this point, I am disappointed with some of what has come to light but I an not piling on with a call for Casada to step down. I may reach that point but I need to actually know what the offending text said and the context in which it was said.


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