Tea par­ties cite leg­isla­tive de­mands

Among 5 pri­or­i­ties, state group wants kinder treat­ment of Found­ing Fa­thers in his­tory cour­ses

The Commercial Appeal - - Local News - By Richard Locker

NASHVILLE — Mem­bers of Ten­nessee tea par­ties pre­sented state leg­is­la­tors with five pri­or­i­ties for ac­tion Wed­nes­day, in­clud­ing “re­ject­ing” the fed­eral health re­form act, es­tab­lish­ing an elected “chief lit­i­ga­tor” for the state and “ed­u­cat­ing stu­dents the truth about Amer­ica.”

About two dozen tea party ac­tivists held a news con­fer­ence, then met with law­mak­ers in­di­vid­u­ally to present their list of pri­or­i­ties and “de­mands” for the 2011 leg­isla­tive ses­sion that opened Tues­day.

Re­gard­ing ed­u­ca­tion, the ma­te­rial they dis­trib­uted said, “Ne­glect and out­right ill will have dis­torted the teach­ing of the his­tory and char­ac­ter of the United States. We seek to com­pel the teach­ing of stu­dents in Ten­nessee the truth re­gard­ing the his­tory of our nation and the na­ture of its govern­ment.”

That would in­clude, the doc­u­ments say, that “the Con­sti­tu­tion cre- ated a Re­pub­lic, not a Democ­racy.”

The ma­te­rial calls for law­mak­ers to amend state laws gov­ern­ing school cur­ricu­lums, and for text­book se­lec­tion cri­te­ria to say that “No portrayal of mi­nor­ity ex­pe­ri­ence in the his­tory which ac­tu­ally oc­curred shall ob­scure the ex­pe­ri­ence or con­tri­bu­tions of the Found­ing Fa­thers, or the ma­jor­ity of cit­i­zens, in­clud­ing those who reached po­si­tions of lead­er­ship.”

Fayette County at­tor­ney Hal Rounds, the group’s lead spokesman dur­ing the news con­fer­ence, said the group wants to ad­dress “an aw­ful lot of made -up crit­i­cism about, for in­stance, the founders in­trud­ing on the In­di­ans or hav­ing slaves or be­ing hyp­ocrites in one way or an­other.

“The thing we need to fo­cus on about the founders is that, given the so­cial struc­ture of their time, they were rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies who brought

Please see

lib­erty into a world where it hadn’t ex­isted, to ev­ery­body — not all equally in­stantly — and it was their progress that we need to look at,” said Rounds, whose web­site iden­ti­fies him as a Viet­nam War vet­eran of the Air Force and FedEx re­tiree who be­came a lawyer in 1995.

The group also wants the state leg­is­la­ture to re­ject key pro­vi­sions of the Pa­tient Pro­tec­tion and Af­ford­able Care Act of 2010 as “an in­sult to Con­sti­tu­tional prin­ci­ples.”

The ac­tivists also said they want leg­is­la­tors to ei­ther start the process of amend­ing the state Con­sti­tu­tion to pro­vide for the pop­u­lar elec­tion of the state at­tor­ney gen­eral or to cre­ate a sep­a­rate po­si­tion of so­lic­i­tor gen­eral who is di­rectly elected by vot­ers and with much of the lit­i­ga­tion author­ity now vested with the at­tor­ney gen­eral.

In Ten­nessee, the at­tor­ney gen­eral is ap­pointed by the state Supreme Court.

The group’s printed ma­te­rial says the at­tor­ney gen­eral has re­flected “views of the U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion that con­flict with those of the peo­ple of Ten­nessee.” It specif­i­cally says the cur­rent at­tor­ney gen­eral, Robert Cooper, has re­jected “the call of the peo­ple and the Gen­eral Assem­bly” to join with other states in con­test­ing the con­sti­tu­tion­al­ity of “fed­eral man­dates, in­clud­ing ‘Oba­macare.’ ”

The pri­or­i­ties also in­clude ter­mi­nat­ing state sub­si­dies for un­funded or un­con­sti­tu­tional fed­eral man­dates, and “en­forc­ing con­sti­tu­tional law.”

Later Wed­nes­day, the Ten­nessee Health Care Cam­paign said re­peal­ing the fed­eral health re­forms would mean re­peal­ing pro­tec­tions the law gives con­sumers against in­surance com­pa­nies.

Con­tact Nashville Bureau chief Richard Locker at (615) 255-4923.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.