Public enemy #1,2,3 – TN legislators and lobbyists

From our friends at


The Tennessee legislative session has a unique way of showing the citizens and taxpayers of Tennessee who isn’t protecting their rights.  It makes that old saying – “with friends like these, who needs enemies”, particularly meaningful.  Some of these individuals are elected officials and some are those hired to influence the elected:

I. Sen. Brian Kelsey– newly appointed Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Kelsey worked tirelessly as committee chair to defeat 2nd amendment rights bill SB250.   The 10th Amendment Center’s response to Sen. Kelsey’s first efforts is worth reading.

Sen. Kelsey saved the real show for his follow-up 22 minute monologue during the next hearing on this bill.  His efforts generated a number of newspaper ads in the Germantown News, Bartlett Express and Shelby Sun Times:

kelsey ad

Earlier in the year he lent his support to the Muslim Brotherhood organizations in Memphis as a speaker at the “Advocating for TN Muslims – Memphis fundraiser”.


He is up for re-election in 2014 – or not.

II. The next biggest showman at the Tennessee legislature this session was Rep. Bill Sanderson’s performance in the House State Government Committee as he passionately spoke against a bill that would have helped the state of Tennessee figure out how much the federal government’s refugee resettlement program costs the state.  Guess he missed the lesson about the 10th amendment and the federal government not being allowed to raid state budgets.

He is up for re-election in 2014 – or not.

III. But the award for one of the most offensive remarks made this year goes to liberal Democrat Rep. Johnny Shaw who said that only “bona fide citizens” (aka non-conservatives) have the right to bring their concerns to state representatives.

No one shouldn even consider him for re-election.

Here come the lobbyists….

It’s pretty amazing how a red state’s legislature is flooded with lobbyists representing every known liberal/socialist/progressive agenda.

I.  ACLU-TN (reported revenue for most recent publicly available 990 from 2010, was $501,868 with total gifts, grants and contributions from 2006 – 2010 totaling $1,211,336), director Hedy Weinberg[1] has been a fixture at the Tennessee legislature for a long time.  She is now joined by her daughter Hannah Cornfield, a “Civic Engagement Fellow” with the Muslim American Center for Outreach (ACO), Remziya Suleyman’s organization.

II. Staying true to the roots of political shariah, Ms. Suleyman recently spoke at the birthplace of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.  On Saturday, April 6, 2013, Suleyman was part of the Muslim Brotherhood Student Association, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign campus, Spring Camp 2013.  This MSA was the very first U.S. Muslim Brotherhood established organization.  MSAs across the country have become the training ground for Suleyman’s jihad generation.

III. Nathan Ridley, lobbyist for the TN Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) just happens to be married to the legislature’s Director of Legislative Administration, Connie Ridley, who is  probably a great source of insider information and an asset to Mr. Ridley’s activities as a lobbyist.  Not surprising though that TIRRC can afford a highbrow firm lobbyist given that in 2011 (last 990 available), they reported $1,169,811 in total revenue.  Lobbying expenditures since 2008 total $556,506 with $160,881 spent in 2011.  Total gifts, grants and contributions since 2007 reported total $3,901,899.

Ridley also represents Conexion Americas, an organization with reported revenue of $1,013,483 for 2010-2011.  This organization advocates for and represents Latino families in Middle Tennessee.

IV. Who even knew that Jennifer Murphy was Catholic Charities Tennessee lobbyist?  Some may be surprised to see that the lobbyist positions don’t follow the Catholic doctrine.  In fact, a recent disclosure was made that the University of TN educated Florida Planned Parenthood lobbyist who testified in support of infanticide, was on the board of Florida Catholic Charities!

Seems like liberal/socialist/progressive causes are well-funded and well represented in the Tennessee state house.

[1] TCPJ is planning to publish an extensive background piece on Ms. Weinberg

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