Freshman Senator Paul Bailey represents the very conservative Upper Cumberland area and campaigned as a social conservative. Imagine the shock to legislative insiders when Bailey told The Tennessee Journal that he “aligned on more issues than not” with one of the nation’s most radical, left winged government unions; a group that openly supports abortion, gay marriage and gun control. But read further in the article and Bailey explains his affinity for the union. He “welcomed an endorsement-along with the phone banking, door knocking, and direct mail that came with it.”12 Bailey could have also added the $14,800 given to Bailey’s campaign by the union and over $20,000 paid by Bailey to a known union ally for “Professional Services” and “Advertising.” 13
The government union’s investment in Bailey paid off. Bailey voted against a bill that, as amended, would have ended a a unique taxpayer benefit to the union worth several hundred thousand dollars a year.14
Such “commitment to conservative values” has not escaped the notice of fellow Senators. In the just completed session, Bailey suffered the unusual embarrassment of having one of his bills voted down 0-9 in committee.15 Such a defeat is rare because one or two fellow Senators will often cast a vote for a colleague’s bill just to prevent the humiliation of complete, bi-partisan repudiation. Perhaps the Senate makes an exception in the case of a bill being carried by someone the Forum considers a puppet.
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