Councilman defends tirade after effort to honor students blocked

Wednesday, July 6, 2011 at 11:42am

Metro Councilman Jamie Hollin defended Wednesday his actions from the previous night's council meeting, when he erupted into a profanity-ridden tirade aimed at two social conservative colleagues who blocked his attempt to honor high school students who protested the state’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” legislation.

Earlier Tuesday, Hollin had missed a committee meeting in which the resolution had been considered, meaning he had to suspend rules during the full council meeting to vote on the legislation. The bill, a standard honorary resolution, sought to recognize local high school students who went to the steps of the State Capitol during the past legislative session to object to a bill that sought to remove homosexuality from discourse within the state’s public schools.

But two members — Councilmen Phil Claiborne and Jim Gotto, who is also a state representative — objected Tuesday, setting off yelling from Hollin that began on the council floor and spilled into the back council offices after the meeting concluded.

A security guard responded to the scene near the council’s elevator, though the guard told The City Paper he had been stationed nearby anyways.

Hollin’s rant, directed at Claiborne and Gotto, continued as the East Nashville-area councilman stepped into the elevator en route to the courthouse parking garage. Hollin, who sponsored the council’s now-nullified nondiscrimination bill, questioned the motives of Claiborne and Gotto’s opposition, suggesting it was out of disdain for gays and lesbians.

According to other council members who were heading to their cars, Hollin waited in the parking garage and confronted Claiborne and Gotto there as well.

Later Tuesday night, Hollin recorded his thoughts on his blog where he wrote that he made a “conscious decision” to do what he did.

“They showed [Tuesday] how deep their animus for gay people is,” Hollin told The City Paper.

“We have a very limited opportunity to show our respect and appreciation for people that engage in the political process,” Hollin said. “The overwhelming majority of people don’t anyways because they feel like their voice won’t be heard. These students chose to engage against a tilting headwind. And it wasn’t just a one-day show-up. They kept showing up.”

Hollin, who is not running for re-election, will not see his resolution considered this council term.

Gotto declined to comment on Hollin’s reaction and his decision to oppose the resolution when contacted Wednesday.

Claiborne did not immediately respond to a message left by The City Paper on Wednesday. 

Vice Mayor Diane Neighbors, who presides over council meetings, said she interpreted Hollin's reaction as frustration over his resolution being deferred by rule. 

Neighbors said she doesn't plan to reach out to the three council members when asked if she would.  

"We've got three more meetings in this term," Neighbors said. "We did not suspend the rules. We did not have any discussion about it. As far as I'm concerned, that issue is closed." 

Filed under: City News

41 Comments on this post:

By: RTungsten on 7/6/11 at 10:05

Pam Murray seems normal compared to Hollin.

By: bfra on 7/6/11 at 10:32

A shame that either Murray or Hollin would even be considered for public office. Nuts like this, are not needed.

By: boyer barner on 7/6/11 at 10:40

What's the big deal?

So Mr. Hollin cussed someone out? Good for him.

You can't have a solid marriage or real relationship without some "tirades" being thrown in from time to time. It's how you break things down to bare bones and then move on.

It's also much better than the "silent treatment" practiced by most council members who conduct the majority of their dealings behind the scenes and out of our ear-shot.

I applaud Jamie Hollin for standing up for his beliefs and his constituents.

By: pswindle on 7/6/11 at 11:39

What about the two conservatives? They can be racist and nothing should be said or done. I have never seen the likes of the GOP going after gays and people that think differently from them. Why should we let them control our lives or thinking?

By: bfra on 7/6/11 at 1:39

What about, why do the little nerds for their protest need honoring anyway?

By: ccmishu on 7/6/11 at 1:53

I'm confused. Where did race come in to play in this article. Does being against gays make you racist or is it discrimination?

By: CrimesDown on 7/6/11 at 5:38

I reread the article. I didn't see anything about race. pswindle....Did you comment on the wrong article? I'm confused.

By: Lischey_Ave on 7/7/11 at 5:21

The unfortunate situation here is not the tirade (though let's face it, not his finest hour), but that Hollin's recent focus has been on issues that by in large are not really relevant to District 5 and to those he supposedly represents. Obviously the fairgrounds and gay discrimination are more sexy issues than whether or not we can attract businesses into the area, continue to improve our neighborhoods and help the underserved.

I am thankful for the very hard work Hollin's done in the past, particularly during the flood, but it now feels as if he's using this stage to prepare for his future political career elsewhere, and this is disappointing for many for voted for him.

I wish him luck.

By: Lischey_Ave on 7/7/11 at 5:24

And RTungsten, Pam Murray will never be normal - not compared to this situation or any other! ;)

By: nash615 on 7/7/11 at 5:36

From all I've read Murray is a crook, and Hollin has done a lot of good for his District and Nashville as a whole. I think this resolution was politics, and it had the intended effect of drawing out the homophobes on the council. I'm 0% surprised that Gotto was one of them. That guy is the worst representative Nashville has had in a long time. I'll be glad when the ordinance is filed to prevent Council members from holding State office concurrently.

Personally I wish Hollin would run again but he made it clear quite some time ago that he would not -- that the only reason he worked to get Murray ousted was that it was blatant that she was not even living in the district (among other ridiculous things), and no one else was going to step up to run a recall against her.

By: budlight on 7/7/11 at 5:46

“We have a very limited opportunity to show our respect and appreciation for people that engage in the political process,” Hollin said.

Can we please also show our respect and appreciation for people that engage in the political process who are hetrosexual? I want a special day for each and every category of people on the planet.

pswindle on 7/6/11 at 12:39
What about the two conservatives? They can be racist and nothing should be said or done. I have never seen the likes of the GOP going after gays and people that think differently from them. Why should we let them control our lives or thinking?

pswindle, not approving of the gay lifestyle does not make one a racist. Where do you get off saying sexual preference and being born with a certain color of skin is akin to each other? It is not. No one chooses their race; it is by the Divine Creator that we are each given our skin color. We have no control.

You don't have to let anyone control your thinking. You may think what you wish. However, you may not always impose YOUR views on others and I may not always impose MY views on others. That is why we live in America and not Iran or Russia or China! We want freedom.

Jamie Holland's tirade was unprofessional, inappropriate and uncalled for, especially in a city council meeting. He is rude and owes them an apology.

By: GuardianDevil01 on 7/7/11 at 5:56

Here is an idea: Stop allowing the city council, state legislature, and Congress to pass these meaningless resolutions. Also, no more renaming streets and parks. Really. It is a waste of time better used dealing with real issues. Perhaps if we can keep our legislators focused on real business they will not have to be in session as long and we can cut their pay.

By: Nitzche on 7/7/11 at 6:21

Somebody get a resolution to jamie hollin telling him what a joke he is? i wish he grew up in Nashville so people could come forward with a different perspective on him, everything you read about him and see on tv turns him into the caricature he is.

By: govskeptic on 7/7/11 at 6:35

Hollins put on a great show for the cameras on Channel 3 until the Vice-Mayor
cut off his microphone(too bad-he sounded drunk or impaired to me) and then
he followed up in the garage for even more cameras. This guy has some
problems for sure, and that district surely needs better than it has received out
of the last 2 council members. Just another joke soon to be gone from office!

By: JohnGalt on 7/7/11 at 8:03

Hollins certainly was dressed appropriately for a council meeting...jeans, casual shirt, no tie.

By: macjedi on 7/7/11 at 8:52

Good job, Hollin. Way to ruin a perfectly good idea. This is why you're a joke and won't be missed.

By: ididntdoit on 7/7/11 at 8:54

You all are missing Hollin's political savvy here. He was mad because he couldn't get the vice-mayor to allow an official record of who voted against the resolution. Do we or do we not now know Claiborne and Gotto are the "no's"? If you think he didn't know he was being recorded, you're naive. That's why he is a good politician....and yes, a good politician gets things done. People who don't understand the process and how the "game" is played are not effective. It would almost be like getting people off the street to teach a class of 2nd-graders or prosecute a murder case or sell real estate. It is a profession, folks.

By: Radix on 7/7/11 at 8:55

Pswindle plays the race card any time. Standard Alinsky tactic. Race baiting and class warfare is all they have.

Hollin has turned out to be another so called 'progressive' who is so narcissistic that they think their agenda justifies any means. He knows he wouldn't get reelected so he didn't run again.

By: SirKnight on 7/7/11 at 9:18

When people like pswindle have nothing rational to offer in a debate, they often resort to insults and calling their opponent names. Read any progressive liberal blog or news site today and you'll find it filled with accusations of 'stupidity', 'racism', 'evil' and 'hatred'.

When you run out of practical thoughts or factual information, the only strategy left is to throw things at your opponent and run!

By: brrrrk on 7/7/11 at 9:40

bfra said

"What about, why do the little nerds for their protest need honoring anyway?"

THIS is a good reason.....

By: girliegirl on 7/7/11 at 9:40

Sidney, the parking garage is truly scary....LONG before this scary encounter that took place. And the fact that Gotto kept his cool, did NOT react speaks "volumes" to his character. Hollin acted like a thug, and should be reprimanded for such. He's turned the garage into a battle ground now, and other mentally ill persons in Metro may get the idea that this type of action is acceptable. Great, just freaking great.

By: PKVol on 7/7/11 at 10:12

Hollin has been quoted as saying that this was an issue he was passionate about - if he is so passionate about it, why did he not show up for the committee meeting that would have eliminated this issue from happening? As for being passionate, that does not give him the right to curse at either of these men and berate them in public. I think Mr. Gotto and Mr. Claiborne have showed true professionalism by not commenting in the media about this issue. Then too, I respect their passion about the other viewpoint on this issue to do what they did and vote against suspending the rules to allow this resolution to be brought to the floor for a vote.

By: budlight on 7/7/11 at 11:06

Girlie, who's sidney? You have me mistaken for someone else!
You are correct on the Gotto keeping his cool. Of course he is a statesman and that is something that Hollin does not even understand.

By: briggslcp on 7/7/11 at 12:22

Can you be a city counselman and a state rep at the same time? (Well, obviously you can because he is, but is it supposed to be that way?)

By: budlight on 7/7/11 at 1:37

He is a state representative who won and is now finishing up his council time period. I think it's OK or else he would not be doing it.
I'm sure if it were not "suppopsed to be that way" that some of the left wing liberal nutcakes who hate the GOP would have been whaling, whining and crying and cussing in the parking garage at the courthouse by now.

So, rest assured and sleep well tonight; I am sure it's legal.

By: bfra on 7/7/11 at 2:44

brrrrk - I didn't follow on that thread?

By: numenlumen on 7/7/11 at 3:33

Forevermore, Jamie Hollerin'.

By: global_citizen on 7/8/11 at 7:36

First I'll say I agree with every word of the third poster, boyer barner.

In addition, those of you who say Hollin has embarrassed himself or calling him nuts or a joke... get real. We need more people like Jamie Hollin on the Metro Council. People who actually give a d*** about the quality of life in Nashville and the constituents they represent.

We need more reps who have a fire in the belly like Jamie does. He should be applauded for this trait but instead he gets denigrated and vilified. How I wish all of our Metro Council reps were as passionate as Jamie Hollin.

Then maybe we wouldn't have all these self-serving, go-along-to-get-along wimps who won't do anything their gut tells them is the right thing to do for risk of rubbing their colleagues the wrong way. What a bunch of sell outs.

By: global_citizen on 7/8/11 at 7:41

girliegirl, you're hard to take seriously any time, but especially when you go over the top with the melodrama. Turned the parking garage into a battleground? I would say I'm laughing out loud, but I'm afraid you're just ridiculous enough to be serious.

I guess Hollin's rocket launcher was just out of view of the camera's frame, right?

By: Radix on 7/8/11 at 8:26

Notice on Hollin's twitter account he describes himself as an 'embarrassed Tennessean'? How appropriate. Maybe that is his way of apologizing. He should come out and apologize in public if he is really embarassed by his behavior. Oh well, soon he will just be a bad memory.

By: global_citizen on 7/8/11 at 8:36

Radix, you're feigning ignorance isn't fooling anyone. Hollin is embarrassed by the Christo-Fascists he has to work with in the Metro Council. He's one of the few sane ones in that place. I don't blame him for escaping the asylum.

By: govskeptic on 7/8/11 at 8:41

Hollins will be remembered as a nut just like the councilmember who once wanted
taxpayers to fund a landing pad for UFO's (sorry, I've forgotten his name) !

By: SirKnight on 7/8/11 at 8:57

You're thinking of Ludie Wallace, govskeptic.

By: SirKnight on 7/8/11 at 9:06

Re: Boyer's and Global's defense of Hollins: I always like to flip the tables of tolerance when people defend bad behavior, ethics or morals by left wing/liberal/progressive politicians. Just replace Mr. Hollins with another local councilman who wants to praise two young people for standing up for discrimination against Christians or Jews or other people of faith. If he blew up like Hollins did, you KNOW he would incur the wrath of all who disagree with him and blast him for his lack of professionalism or good manners in council chambers.

It's always 'okay' and 'acceptable' for the left to screw up publicly like this, but when it's a conservative, they throw slings and arrows and mock their Judeo-Christian beliefs when they commit their 'sin'. Thus they hold their own to lesser moral standards than they hold those they oppose or hate. How is that fair?

By: WickedTribe on 7/8/11 at 9:46

I'm glad Jamie Hollin gave those two homophobes what for. I wish homophobes would be cussed out more often, but I guess that's not going to happen much down here in the deep South where most people agree with them.

By: wasaw on 7/8/11 at 10:04

I guess the straight people of Nashville now know what most queer folks already know about Councilman Hollins.

This is how the vocal homosexuals act out. He can't explain the logic, so he acts out, much like the kids he proposes to commerate. Oh; let's not forget, Hollins will seek their vote in a few short years. He's a consummate politian.

If he only had 1/10th the class of the two councilman he attacked..

By: breathofdeath on 7/8/11 at 10:27

George Darden was the councilman who proposed the UFO landing pad.

By: SirKnight on 7/8/11 at 10:52

You're correct, breathofdeath! Ludye (not Ludie) Wallace was infamous for other bizarre proposals and behavior.

By: tomba1 on 7/8/11 at 12:04

Hey wicked whatever -

It's not about homo whatever.

It's about the arrogant abuse of power this council person attempted by using those kids to shield his own personal agenda on his way out of office. He knew exactly what he was doing; so did the rest of the council; and they stopped him.

Thank God for Gotto and Claiborne and their stepping in to block this resolution. Their fellow council members should be grateful as well since they didn't have to vote on the record and have their position distorted no matter how they interpret the resolution

By the way, if you live around here and don't like the South, remember, we have 3 interstates, an airport, and a bus station so you have plenty of ways out of here and some of us would even assist you if you need help.

By: global_citizen on 7/8/11 at 2:26

Wasaw, how many ways can you be factually incorrect? For one, Hollin is not gay himself. Believe it or not, many straight people are in favor of gay rights because they believe it's the just and civil thing to do.

Secondly, he's not soliciting anyone's votes because he's not running for re-election.

Third, what the H is "commerate"?

Fourth, Hollin is class all the way and I applaud him for his passion, even if it's loud and vocal when necessary. Gotto and Claiborne are not classy. They're smug. They're good ole boy southern politicians.

We'd be better off with many more Hollins and many fewer Gottos.

By: boyer barner on 7/8/11 at 4:42

Sir Knight,

You're assuming that I am of a particular political or spiritual bent.

My defense of CM Hollins is not based on such persuasions. It is based on pragmatism. All he did was get upset, and rightly so. And then he was very vocal about it.

Are you married? Or do you have a serious girlfriend? Do you have family? If you can answer "yes" to any of these questions, then I'm sure you've experienced something similar (yelling and cursing to get a point across).

I'm confident that CM Hollins would stand up for anybody if he thought the fight was right. And he has proved it. Just ask people in his district.

I'm willing to bet our Founding Fathers shouted, cursed and got in each others faces. It's part of the process. Yet they all sat down together, in the end, and signed their names on the same document.

What we witnessed on the video should have remained something between two men. Instead, it became much like witnessing a husband and wife have a shout-out on the front-porch. And while they were busy making up, the neighbors yacked and gossiped about it.

Again, I commend CM Hollin for standing up for something he believes in.

Fire in the belly beats cold blood in the heart, any day.