The TN House Republican Caucus meets on January 12, 2016 to consider the fate of it’s whip Rep. Jeremy Durham of Franklin. The Caucus is 73 members, with the exception on one year Rep. Leigh Wilburn of Somerville whose December 31, 2015 resignation will take place 13 days before. The caucus is expected to take up concerns about Durhman. First, he was the target of prescription fraud, however, a grand jury chose not to indict him, you can read the Times Free Press story, here or The Commerical Appeal’s story, here. You can read the Times Free Press story about the January 12, 2016 caucus meeting, here.
Most damaging in my humble opinion on Durham is his letter request for sentencing leniency of a child pornographer. This is an act that even the Subway company did not do for their 15 year spokesman, Jared Fogle. I am sure in hindsight, Durham has someone or some explanation for why he wrote the letter. However, if he were pressured to ask that a child pornographer receive a lesser sentence than he likely believes that crime is not a serious crime or he is unable to not cave into peer pressure, in my humble opinion.
The Republican whip is generically defined as an assistant to the floor leader, ensuring member’s attendance, counting votes and generally communicating the majority position. If you were a Republican member of the TN House, do you want to stand beside someone that believes a child pornographer should not be sentenced to the full extent of the crime that are convicted of? Do you want someone that doesn’t take the crime of child pornography seriously enough that he would author a letter seeking that a Judge impose a lenient sentence?
What does the members of the Knox County Legislative Delegation have to say about the accusations of their Republican Whip?
Rep. Bill Dunn said, “I don’t think someone should be tried in the media (especially the ultra liberal Tennessean) and so I await the facts which I presume whoever initiated the meeting will lay out. ” The meeting being the January 12, 2016 Caucus meeting.
Rep. Roger Kane said, “my opinion at this point is I don’t have one.”
Rep. Harry Brooks said, “When I have studied the situation sufficiently. I will make a decision.”
Rep. Martin Daniel said, ” I will make a decision as to my vote on the Jeremy Durham matter after all evidence and arguments have been presented.
Rep. Eddie Smith said, “I like many of my colleagues in the Republican caucus are looking at all facts before making a decision. I know you (brianhornback.com) are someone that looks for facts over rumors before making any decision or post, and we are doing the same. We will be meeting as a caucus on January 12 and will take all facts into consideration at that time.”
Rep. Jason Zachary was non responsive to emails at his legislative email address, to his personal email address and texts to his cell phone.
When these six Knox County Representatives make their decision in caucus, I hope three of them will excuse themselves from participating in the deliberation and casting a vote. Unless they first return campaign contributions to Rep. Durham before the caucus meeting and return it publicly.
Rep. Jason Zachary received a $1,500 contribution from Rep. Durham on 6/23/2015
Rep. Eddie Smith received a $1,000 contribution on 12/12/2014 and a $1,000 contribution on 9/24/2014 from Rep. Durham
Rep. Martin Daniel received a $1,000 contribution on 12/2/2014 from Rep. Durham and a $500 contribution on 9/19/2014 from The Durham PAC.