Turner says GOP makes state look 'barefoot and bucktoothed'

Thursday, May 26, 2011 at 2:52pm

A Democratic legislative leader said Thursday Republicans made Tennessee look to the rest of the country like a “barefoot and bucktoothed” state with their social conservative agenda in the just-finished session.

“A bunch of the radical extreme stuff passed,” House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner of Old Hickory said.

“It hurts business. It’s embarrassing for me to talk to people in other parts of the country. It hurts our image down here. We had an image of everybody being barefoot and bucktoothed with cow licks on h sides of their head. [In the past], we came a long way to try to diminish some of that. We might have stepped back in the pack in the South.”

Turner named two Republican proposals: the “don’t say gay” bill by Sen. Stacey Campfield of Knoxville to ban any mention of homosexuality in schools, and the bill by Rep. Glen Casada, R-Franklin, to overturn Nashville’s anti-gay bias ordinance. Campfield’s bill passed the Senate in a watered-down form but did not advance in the House. Casada’s bill became law when Gov. Bill Haslam signed it on Monday.

“On the social issues, the John Birch Society issues, Tennessee maybe led the way in that,” Turner told reporters. “We stood out. We made the paper a whole lot more. A lot of people around the country might think Sen. Campfield is a typical legislator here in Tennessee, which  is unfortunate.

“Tennessee is a middle-of-the-road state,” he added. “That’s where we need to be. If the Republicans get back to the middle of the road, they could end up ruling for a long time in this state. But with the course they’re taking now, we’ll be back in power in a very short time.”

Turner summoned reporters for a press conference to contradict a Facebook posting by Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey hailing the session as a great success.

"Tennessee Republicans have talked a lot about what we would do when we took power,” Ramsey wrote. “Now we are showing what we can do. This year was just an appetizer. Next year, and in the years to come, you will see the main course."

Turner scoffed, “We put forward several jobs bills, and they killed every one of them. Jobs are not that important on their list. They’d rather attack teachers and dismantle public education.”

33 Comments on this post:

By: gruntz on 5/26/11 at 3:03

Turner is a leftist Democrat hack. There is nothing middle of the road about him.

By: typicalsutherner on 5/26/11 at 3:10

Can you please state some specifics on why he is a "leftist Democrat hack?" Please site your references as well, thanks.

By: Kosh III on 5/26/11 at 3:13

Thank you Mr Turner for finally noticing that some people are SECOND-class citizens with lesser rights, despite no laws being broken.

Maybe someday people like Haslam and gruntz will understand the most basic concept of our society: equality.

By: i.am.a.taxpayer on 5/26/11 at 3:37

I'm not sure either barefoot or bucktoothed are accurate. Being barefoot is a temporary situation, and bucktoothed is an unintentional physical situation.

Being mean-spirited, self-centered, irresponsible and greedy are all of their own volition, and far worse than being barefoot and bucktoothed.

By: pswindle on 5/26/11 at 4:24

What the GOP have done this session is shameful. They have put more government in our daily lives than any democrat has ever done. I shall not forget what they have done to teachers.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 5/26/11 at 4:47

you got that right, i.am and pswindle.

By: shoes1 on 5/26/11 at 5:07

I love Tennessee; but that such closed mindedness could graduate to the level of state legislator or governor appalls me. Worse.... these men and women present themselves as Christian. I hate to beat someone up with their own religion but what about the greatest commandment "and Love thy neighbor as thyself"???? Alas these apparently prejudice lawmakers are too our neighbors. So Love them.... but vote against them . For the Love of God.

By: shinestx on 5/26/11 at 6:00

And Turner makes the state legislature look fat, stupid and corrupt. I'd rather be barefoot and bucktooth. That can be corrected.

By: capt4chris on 5/26/11 at 7:15

That is sad the Turner has to resort to name calling. So much for taking the high road...

By: TimSkow on 5/26/11 at 9:09

Tim Skow - Its common knowledge of those who know "UNION-ist" Rep Turner ,he would prefer TN did business like Michigan. And we know how that is working for Michigan - with the highest union representation and highest unemployment in the country. The only "business people" Mr. Turner is speaking with are the Presidents of Unions who are thinking of moving here... because jobs are moving here. No truly business-oriented private sector job creating business person would give Mr Turner the time of day. Neither should readers of the City Paper. And if things stay on present course and speed, after the elections of 2012.. Mr Turner will be looking for a private sector job -- and his whining will no longer be quoted by the City Paper.

By: govskeptic on 5/27/11 at 7:02

The source for this letter to attempt pointing out the faults of others is so
laughable to anyone that has ever heard him speak. A 100% partisan that
sounds, and discusses politics exactly like a Detroit Union Boss, and
is more interested in his Firefighter Local position than anything else
to do in the legislature. Belittling versus debating shows the lack of
coolness and verbal skills of this party leader/press personality!

By: HighlyAnnoyed on 5/27/11 at 7:26

He's right. The conservative legislators in this state are making us look redneck and backwards. There is no arguing that. And, if you disagree, you are the problem. Crawl back into your caves, you whacko religious retards!!!

By: caluttc on 5/27/11 at 7:33

Its times like this that being a independent is a good position. It is well accepted that in any battle when one side resorts to calling the other names or attacks the person istead of the issue---that side is confessing defeat.

By: Radix on 5/27/11 at 8:25

This is a serious problem. We can't have people in other states thinking we are too capitalist or that our state government isn't big enough. I mean we have to compete with the economies of Michigan, and Illinois. Looks at all their unions and how much they pay in taxes. That is AWESOME!! I want that! (not!)

By: Nitzche on 5/27/11 at 9:07

is Mike Turner still alive? who knew? next thing you know, you will tell me Ray Blanton is relevant?....for you newbies to our fair city, he was your boy back in the day!

By: Magnum on 5/27/11 at 9:15

Tennessee needs to get over its fear that the rest of the country (that is the non-South) does and always will see us as ignorant hill people. However, that fear should not be the compelling argument for or against legislation. Sure one can argue that we can't lure companies here with this image, but in reality this is false. So long as we have capacity for low paying jobs, lack of union representation, large tax breaks for companies, etc., companies like VW, Nissan, Dell, Amazon, etc. will continue to come to TN (heck companies go to third world countries plagued by political unrest in the name of the all mighty dollar). Many recent college graduates struggle to earn over $30k in this state so there is a nice, low-paid, well educated class of people (especailly near the major cities) that companies are attracted to. These laws are simply political jabs that are intended to divide. The problem is that they actually get passed. I can see it now. Oh well they want an anti gay bias bill, let's hit them right back with a ban on all discussion of homosexuality in any public forum. That'll teach 'em. But don't get ahead of yourself Left, you're just as bad...

By: C.A.Jones on 5/27/11 at 9:32

Mr. Turner says these things as if being buchtooth'd and barefoot is a bad thing? Talk about intolerance!

How did this get starteD? By the GOP passing some law that would exclude somebody from participating in something because of thier own beliefs? No... Maybe it was by the liberal Metro gov't passing a law that excludes businesses from being able to do business in Nashville because of their beliefs? YES!!! If you want to force the hand of someone, don't complaint when you get slapped. Toughen up and move on.

If you so much enjoy the eutopian idea of living in a hippie commune, by all means, pick your junk up and move to California. I promise, we won't pass anymore right wing laws that will hurt your precious pride and sensibility.

By: WickedTribe on 5/27/11 at 10:31

Tennessee's legislature wasn't taken over by the GOP until a black man became POTUS. Is this a coincidence? I don't think so.

By: EquinsuOcha on 5/27/11 at 11:23

Tn is not a "middle of the road state"...It's a conservative state and believe it or not most of the population do not support the gay agenda ....so I don't believe this will hurt any GOP members chance at reelection.......

By: JeffF on 5/27/11 at 11:29

In other news, yet another corporate headquarters has been announced for outside of the only enlightened area of the state. The bucktooths are kicking our butts socially and economically not just electorally. Turner is standing up for the principals that will continue to turn Nashville into Detroit. Great Work there Rep. Union Thug.

Thank God everyday that my state is able to work hard to overturn the crazy stuff my city comes up with. Eventually all the jobs and money may splash over our border.

By: holleracha on 5/27/11 at 11:47

Because of the GOP's insistance on forcing THEIR moral values down the throats of the populace, the Dems will gain control and with their excessive spending keep us all bucktoothed & barefooted

By: Cookie47 on 5/27/11 at 1:48

What's unfortunate is we have legislators like Turner. This guy is an embarrassment but he is a Democrat so we don't expect much from him in the first place.

By: richgoose on 5/27/11 at 6:00

My Goodness! If the Republicans look like "BAREFOOT and BUCKTOOTHED" can one even imagine what a Democrat must look like. Perhaps 'POOR and UNABLE to THINK in addition to being BAREFOOT AND UGLY!

By: serr8d on 5/27/11 at 9:29

These whining LeftLibProggs need to learn that their loose morals and dirty socialist beliefs do not a strong nation make. If you insist on beclowning yourself like they've managed to do in San Francisco, in California proper, well, California is that-a-way. CA must release 30 K convicted felons soon; but I'm sure they can make room for some of you dirty socialists too, perhaps as prey for these criminals who need 'room' outside of prison.

I'm just about to the point to admit that we really do need to split this nation; send these leftist twit-sorts out on their own. Good riddance. Let's see how their 'enlightenment' keeps them going when there's no one 'redneck' enough left around to take care of them. Their puckered butts wouldn't last.

By: pswindle on 5/27/11 at 11:13

These post remind me of the church going bigots that hide behind their pastor's coat tail. serr8d's "puckered butts" remark remind me where TN is going. There is nothing classy about this state anymore. It has become a mean spirited state since President Obama was elected, and this is not the TN that I grew up in. The Republicans have no heart and they have just proven it with these nasty posts. I'm a proud liberal. You should try it, you may like it and you will feel better about yourself.

By: Wompcat on 5/28/11 at 6:37

Mike Turner is a d!!khead.

By: serr8d on 5/28/11 at 9:45

pswindle, you are one of the problems with this nation.

There were no 'liberals' of your sort around when this nation was founded; except maybe shaking in their boots and hiding behind King George's coattails; subsequently they fled to Canada. You, as a 'Liberal' (that's a stolen term BTW...I'm a 'Classic Liberal' by definition, you are a "LeftLibProgg", a far-left non-classical liberal of the FDR and LBJ era) are dependent on a very thin veneer of civilization that was provided to you by the hard work of your predecessors: who were NOT LeftLibProggs.

That thin veneer allowing you to even EXIST is NOT guaranteed to survive, since your sorts insist on creating a 'heaven-on-earth' nirvana that is simply not affordable with our current system (the best political - economic system on Earth, if you haven't noticed).

So, you and your LeftLibProgg weak but ever-so ENLIGHTENED! sorts come along, with your CHANGE! mantra, seeking to form a new Socialist Republic (meeting China in the middle, maybe?), which will fail. You and yours will fail, our thin veneer of civilization will be stripped away by a huge crisis of economic fail, and we will as a nation decline to ruin.

Thanks for your input. Now, sit down, shut up, or go to Canada or California. We will take the keys and try to fix this thing, if it's at all possible, if there are enough Good Men and Women left in this nation who haven't answered the siren-call of "FREE LUNCH HERE! VOTE DEMOCRATIC!". Otherwise, I'll see you in the destitution line, suffering with all the rest.

By: budlight on 5/28/11 at 11:57

WickedTribe on 5/27/11 at 10:31
Tennessee's legislature wasn't taken over by the GOP until a black man became POTUS. Is this a coincidence? I don't think so.

Are you saying that the black vote got the GOP "in"? Sounds that way to me.

Serr8d, you are so correct. We must get our country back on track towards freedom - not free lunch, not free housing, not free stuff, but Free dominion over the liberals who are trying to enslave everyone who pays taxes. They want us to be slaves to work so we can be slaves to paying taxes for the Free-loaders.

I say, help widows, orphans and disabled. All others, get a job, sha-na-na-na, Sha-na-na-na-na!

By: serr8d on 5/28/11 at 12:09

WickedTribe is a one-meme lost cause. S/he has nothing but the RAAAAACIST! card to play; being too intellectually broke to form and offer any other cogent arguments.

By: pswindle on 5/28/11 at 12:49

serr8d,
Ignorance is a forgiving act. What has happened in your life to make you so angry? Could it be that we have a black President or did someone drop you on your head.
This type of behavior does not help the image of TN, and it lets the people of the world see how backward and dumb that some are in this great state.

By: slzy on 5/28/11 at 3:16

the vast majority of the worlds population neither knows or cares about Tennessee.

They spend zero time thinking about our appeareance or mores.

By: cookeville on 5/30/11 at 10:35

Does anyone here have the slightest clue what the terms 'liberal' and 'conservative' mean? I doubt it.Why? because the terms are nothing but perceptions of how people think about what a society should be. If you want a society of like thinkers, then by all means vote it in. But when you get it, don't despair when the other half that you have marginalized turn on you and do you in, as witnessed in countless other countries from the beginnings of society to today in Egypt, Somalia, Libya, Yemen, and on and on. If you can't live in a diverse society, trying to treat those unlike yourselves with respect and love, then you have a society like the one we are beginning to experience in this state. The world is changing and it isn't changing back into the 1800s, where white women cooked and produced babies while the white men worked at whatever they did. The poor Whites, Black, Indian, Chinese, and any other minority labored for a scrap of bread and was doomed to the margins of society. If the rich whites could have re-enslaved them all, they would have. But since that was no longer legal, they did the next best thing and paid them a buck a day, if that, and kept them in virtual chains. Unions changed all that and the middle class was born. Now, most of you, in your ignorance, have fallen for the rich lament that the marginalized are the cause of all your sorrows, when in fact, the filthy rich are the cause, continually asking for 'entitlements' from the govt. while increasing their dominance over the govt., asking for bailouts when they go bankrupt on the middle class's money. And now you have elected these same thinking people to the state legislature, thinking they will be your saviors, when in reality, they will be your jailors. We are not ruled by libs or consevatives; We are ruled by amoral money men who want it all to themselves and nothing for the rest. One day, in the not too distant future, it will all come to naught as the 'worm will turn', so to speak, and the marginalized will have their say. It has always happened, and until/unless this segment of society is treated justly, it will happen here as well. It would be great if all so-called Christians actually followed the precept of their faith, "Do unto others as you would they would do unto you." If we can't love(respect, accept differences), one another, what can we do? That is the ONLY thing that works, period.

By: Suellen1 on 6/3/11 at 4:00

Dear Equinsuocha,

What do you mean by the "gay agenda"? If you mean that gays seek equal rights, then that is the kind of agenda American citizens should have for themselves and for others. If you are against equal treatment under the law in employment, housing, and education, you want to hope no one ever accuses YOU of being gay. That is all it takes for some bigots to deny you your rights.

Be careful.

Suellen