On his Facebook profile, Glen Casada lists himself as an “unapologetic Republican.” Considering the explosion of scandals in the last week of the 2019 Tennessee Legislature and his continued excuses for inexcusable behavior, perhaps he should have simply gone with “unapologetic.”
For those who haven’t had time to keep up—and there’s been a lot to keep up with—a quick recap:
- Cade Cothren, Casada’s chief of staff, admitted to cocaine use in a legislative office building.
- Cothren and Casada send “lewd and sexually explicit comments about women” to each other in 2016.
- The House Speaker’s office is under investigation for potentially framing a young civil rights activist by forging a date on an email.
- Racist texts surfaced from Cothren including “black people are idiots,” racist memes, and the phrase “thug n***er” referring to an NFL quarterback.
- Legislators called for an investigation into Casada’s office over potential eavesdropping on private meetings of legislators, including meetings between them and their constituents.
Cothren submitted his resignation earlier this week. Casada, however, has done nothing other than deny, deflect, and defend. After complete denials early on, he later dismissed offensive texts sent by him as “locker-room talk”—an excuse as stale as his legislative ideas.
Unfortunately, Casada’s absence of leadership isn’t just limited to the bombshell admissions. All session, he has treated the House of Representatives as his own fiefdom, casting aside fairness and decorum that is supposed to go along with a representative government.
At least three separate times, he refused to call on Knoxville Rep. Gloria Johnson, during floor discussion and debate on various bills. His inexcusable actions essentially silenced her district—denying constituents their right to have their voices and concerns heard.
Tennessee deserves better. We deserve a legislature that conducts itself with respect, we deserve representation for each and every Tennessean, and we deserve a legislative process that sets aside the petty political games.
We’ve had enough of lame “locker-room talk” excuses—it’s time for Glen Casada to head to the showers.