Tennessee Conservative News Op Ed

Gov. Lee Calls Special Session For Gun Control

Gov. Lee Calls Special Session For Gun Control – State Sovereignty Now At Risk (Op-Ed)

submitted by Anne Featherston

This week in Nashville, Governor Lee has called the Tennessee General Assembly back into session to create legislation for gun control.  Why?

Gun control issues heated up in Tennessee March 6 with a shooting in Nashville at Covenant school that killed 6 people.  Since the General Assembly (G.A.) was still convened, Governor Lee asked  them to consider gun restrictions called Red Flag laws. The G.A. refused.  

This drew Tennessee onto a national scene on April 6, when 3 Democrat house representatives (now known as the “Nashville 3”) disrupted the House floor in protest resulting in hundreds, if not thousands of young people protesting in Nashville. (Universities shut down classes so they could attend). Many of those protesters were also from out of state. 

By April 10, Governor Lee had a 13-page proposal pushing “extreme risk” order of protection (ERPO)  aimed at “substantially changing Tennessee’s criminal and mental health codes and in effect, implementing ‘Red Flag’ laws.”  This type of law “allows law enforcement officials, household and family members, and others to petition a judge to issue an order removing firearms from an individual’s possession and/or preventing them from making firearm purchases.”  

Red Flag laws violate 4th Amendment “due process,” which means guns can be confiscated without the individual first having a court hearing, and before a crime is even committed.  The U.S. Supreme Court ruled these laws unconstitutional in June of 2022 in the Bruen case. 

Yet,  on April 20th, According to Capitol insiders,  Rules were suspended in the Tennessee House so the legislation can bypass the subcommittee and committee process and go straight to the floor for a vote.  The G.A. refused to hear Lee’s proposals, which would require attaching them as amendments onto bills currently on the floor.  Almost immediately, rumors surfaced the governor would request a Special Sessions in the summer and on May 8 he did so.  The race was on.

At least 9 GOP county offices sent separate letters to Governor Lee requesting he retract the call for a special session.  The same offices also sent resolutions to their representatives to immediately adjourn the session if called.  Grassroots groups around the state sent petitions and letters, including Fentress County’s Tennessee Action Group which collected over 345 signatures during a public petition signing at the Historic Courthouse in Jamestown.   Representative Kelly Keisling showed up to add his signature.

After 3 months of public outcry and distress, pro and con, on August  8 the governor finally issued the formal call for a special session with a proclamation to “consider and act upon legislation” listing 18 different areas to consider.  Eighteen proposals?  None deal directly with gun control.  What is going on!?

Keep this in mind:  all of this started over one school shooting, even though there have been 22 mass shooting in Tennessee  since 2012, and five of them were in schools.  Rep. John Ragan commissioned a study which is submitting a study next week.  He found that schools have  “low probability,” but “high impact”  (yes, especially for those involved). Further, “94% of mass public shootings, including school shooting,  since 1950 occurred in Gun-Free Zones.”  Therefore, our General Assembly allocated $200 Million towards school security.

At Covenant school in Nashville, there was no school guard, and the shooter’s manifesto has been kept from the public. That leaves us with 18 proposals from Gov. Lee in response to something for which there are many unanswered questions.  

The list of proclamations  from Lee it is all over the place. His proposal allows our state’s top law enforcement officials access to personal healthcare information, including what medications a person is taking. Someone who has had the courts involved in determining the state of their mental health, will have that reported to firearms dealers. He also proposes that juveniles’ criminal records are no longer protected, and the age is lowered for adult court. Gov. Lee expands Medicaid to cover mental health programs funded by federal money—which gives the federal government control.

Where is this going?  How much will the feds ultimately be involved? 

Read the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, S2938, Public Law No: 117-15, passed July 2022. Good luck on that!)   Better, let’s look at the myriad of articles about it.  The Washington Post says this bill, “enact(s) the most significant new gun restrictions since the 1990s.”  And here is where we find $750 Million from the feds to the states to put into place red flag laws. Already 19 other states have done so. This Act offers the states another $200 Million for increasing mental health services.  Perhaps that is what Lee means when his proclamation asks for “legislation regarding mental health resources, or services.”   We also find $2 Billion provided to hire and train staff for school mental health services.  

The argument here is not against mental health services.  Instead it questions why they are trying to implement this in the schools under federal government control and intervention.   Why are these services  not being offered through local community, especially where parents have more oversight?

So what is really going on?  The feds have dangled the proverbial carrot– money.  Do we want money instead of independence?  Do you?  Will you give up your state sovereignty, our independence from federal controls, for more control over your children, your guns?  Do you want the federal government controlling the state of Tennessee?   

State sovereignty is at risk. We will discuss that more in the coming months before the 2024 Sessions in Nashville. We will look at how to protect our state against federal encroachment. 

If any of this is something that concerns you call your representative and your senator, now.  Ask them to vote for adjournment.  Ask them to consider new laws during the regular legislative session January through April when they have open discussion with public input. Not now, and not behind closed doors.  


Tennessee’s “Transportation Modernization Act” Is Not New (Op-Ed)

By Anne Beckett [Special to The Tennessee Conservative]

Governor Lee has introduced a “Transportation Plan for Rural and Urban Tennessee”,  and he wants to implement it through HB0321, known as the Transportation Modernization Act.

Gov. Lee says he wants to “partner with the General Assembly.” So, here is his plan, G.A., get on board.

The bill is fulfilled through a “private-public partnership”, also known as PPP.

The bill Amends Titles 54 and 55 of the Tennessee Code Annotated. These are our road and highway codes. Tennessee law does not permit PPPs so they will have to be amended. Is that a good idea?

Governor Lee and TDOT Commissioner Butch Eley presented TDOT personnel with a presentation 5 days after including it in his State of the State Address. TDOT is thrilled and has produced an information flyer  to inform the public of this new project.

Of course, to the uninitiated, it all sounds good. Create a public-private partnership and let the private sector pay for a new driving lane that will be your “choice” to drive on. The rates will vary, with highest rates during prime time which could add $20 per day work and travel expenses for those who can afford it.

The bill has 17 co-sponsors from the House, along with 2 sponsors from the Senate who have all jumped on board.  What does the bill say? The HB 0321 bill says shockingly little. So what are we getting into?

There are different types of public-private partnerships, or PPPs. In a “demand risk,” the private partner takes all the risks and after a fixed period of time the infrastructure is returned. However, in an “availability payment partnership” the state insures payment whether the road is used or not. Further, a large part of the problem is PPPs are used to “conceal public borrowing.” It is a way to “sidestep legal debt limits.”

The Transportation Committee has been provided with a 56-page report, “Why Public-Private Partnerships Don’t Work,”  which reveals a “culmination of thirty years’ experience with and assessment of privatization, in countries both rich and poor.” The report concludes, “PPPs are an expensive and inefficient way of financing infrastructure and services.”

So why does Tennessee need private financing? 

Gov. Lee has bragged repeatedly that Tennessee is fiscally sound and has excess funds.  TDOT commissioner Eley echoed that after the 2020-2021 budget was announced and made no noise about the roads.  Granted, $1.2B excess is a far cry from the $54B on the table for road and bridge projects now. 

Why is this happening now? 

Eley continues, “as a result of fiscal prudence and over $180 million in spending reductions from the state agencies, Tennessee is able to return to pre-pandemic priorities and invest in public-private partnerships.”

Which partnerships are those?

Historically, private business contracts for areas such as education, where competitive bidding is awarded to run something like a school cafeteria.

However, PPPs are a different animal. In an article by American Policy, PPPs are considered to be “government-sanctioned monopolies.” This arrangement was introduced during the Clinton administration under a new policy to “reinvent government.”  Today, that “reinvention” has “revealed itself to be the policy known as Sustainable Development, and is the root of massive reorganization of American cities known as ‘Smart Growth.’

And it has come to Tennessee.  Chattanooga has been selected as “one of two U.S. cities in a global initiative to use broadband and data to plan and utilize energy, transportation, health care and communications in more sustainable and equitable ways.”

Our Governor is selecting Tennessee to enter into the “Sustainable Development Goals” of the G20. In the 30-year study it notes, If this is successful, “privatization could become official UN policy.” That is where we are headed.

 “This is a specific agenda with pre-determined outcome.”

“To enforce the Sustainable policies proponents have worked hard to recruit private international corporations to work directly with them to promote the policies through creation of PPPs.”

What international corporations? 

Gov. Lee referenced a Spanish corporation as an example of a PPP. When this issue was raised with Rep. Ed Butler (R-Dist. 41), he said, “the committee is working to ensure that it is an U.S.A. owned corporation.” 

However, Rep. John Ray Clemmons, (D-Nashville), Chairman, House Democratic Caucus, reminds us that the “roadways are an inherent governmental function.”  He also comments, “privatizing government services has been a goal of both Lee and former Gov. Bill Haslam.”

Is this goal, privatizing government services,  in line with our Tennessee Constitution and values?

Our legislators need to think deeply about this, instead of quick fixes for long-term problems. If indeed this all leads to the Great Reset we have a choice. We can walk in, or we can make them drag us. Dig in.


  1.  https://www.tn.gov/governor/news/2023/1/5/gov–lee-unveils-transportation-plan-for-rural-and-urban-tennessee.html
  2. https://www.capitol.tn.gov/Bills/113/Bill/HB0321.pdf
  3. https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2021/
  4. https://tennesseestar.com/2023/01/10/governor-lee-unveils-26-billion-transportation-modernization-act-of-2023/
  5. https://www.tn.gov/governor/news/2023/2/6/gov-lee-delivers-2023-state-of-the-state-address-tennessee–leading-the-nation.html
  6. https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/tdot/build-with-us/2023%20Transportation%20Modernization%20Act%20one-pager.pdf
  7. https://www.cato.org/blog/good-bad-public-private-partnerships
  8. https://www.world-psi.org/sites/default/files/documents/research/rapport_eng_56pages_a4_lr_0.pdf
  9. https://www.sycamoreinstitutetn.org/2023-tax-revenue-tracker/
  10. https://www.wbry.com/general-assembly-has-approved-tennessees-budget-for-fiscal-year-2021-2022/
  11. https://americanpolicy.org/2017/01/31/publicprivate-partnerships-government-sanctioned-monopolies/
  12. https://www.govtech.com/fs/infrastructure/chattanooga-tenn-picked-for-smart-cities-tech-test.html
  13. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G20
  14. https://tennesseestar.com/2023/01/10/governor-lee-unveils-26-billion-transportation-modernization-act-of-2023/

The Fallacy Of Fossil Fuels Vs. The New Green Deal

June 1, 2022

By Anne Beckett [contributor to The Tennessee Conservative and founder of Tennessee Action Group] –

The Green New Deal is part of a socialistic policy based on a long running fallacy:  that we have limited amounts of oil that are not renewable. 

The New Green Deal defines its goals as,  “meeting 100 percent of national power” demand through renewable sources, retrofitting “every residential and industrial building for state-of-the-art energy efficiency, comfort, and safety,” and eliminating “greenhouse gas emissions from the manufacturing, agricultural, and other industries.

That will be done through “green power,” defined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as “electricity produced from solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, eligible biomass, and low-impact small hydroelectric sources.”

Many Americans (Dems 92%, Repubs 64%)  back the Green Deal plan (which would include universal healthcare) until they know the cost of beginning estimates at $5.2 trillion over 20 years. It would also incur increased taxes to pay for the 170% increase in the federal budget for these 2 programs (would that be a 170% increase in taxes? Do the math).  Ultimately, the Green New Deal, is actually just a “starter package for turning our mostly free-market economy socialist.”

But wait, oil is not renewable! Or is it?  We need to conserve! Or do we?

According to an article published in 2016 by CNN Business, “America now has more untapped oil than any other country on the planet.”  In 2016, we were the greatest producers of oil in the world.

Most importantly, there are two competing arguments for the source and composition of oil.  Depending on which historical analysis you choose to believe, oil is either abiotic or biogenetic.  That is, it is either abiotic- composed of non-living physical and chemical elements (water, air, soil, sunlight and minerals); or, biotic, biogenetic- composed of once-living organisms (animals, plants, fungi). 

If the non-organic, abiotic theory is correct, then hydrocarbon reserves would be “enormous and almost unexhaustible.

Since we have the ability to analyze the true composite of oil, it is no longer a theory.  For readable in-depth analyses of the science and history of abiotic vs. biogenetic, see here, here, here, and here.   We easily see that oil is abiotic. It is a renewable element produced by the earth itself.

So, what in the world is happening? It might be worth remembering Lenin’s words:  “A lie told often enough becomes the truth.”  And as is true for most quandaries, particularly political,  to understand what is happening then follow the money.  In other words, cui bono.   Who benefits? 

We do know Shell Oil company had record earnings the first quarter of 2022, beating its previous highest quarterly profits in 2008. It seems the past year has been good for the oil business. Here are their first quarter earnings for 2021 and 2022:  $3.2B vs $9.1B. That is an 84% increase in one year.  Wait, weren’t we in lockdown

If that does not make you ill, then enjoy riding your bicycle to work. The rest of us find it outrageous and, well, criminal. No one faults business succeeding in our capitalistic society. We do protest when it is done deceptively. The founders of the oil companies were well aware of oil’s sources. They still are. Don’t be fooled. Please. 

What will it take for the populace to rise up and say “no more”?   Most, it seems, are hanging by fingernails waiting for 2022 elections. In the least, then, let’s hope conservative politicians dominate the elections, and, they have the courage, fortitude and patiotric sense to save America.  Otherwise, we all need to find our sea legs in this rambunctious climate and make a stand ourselves.

TN Illegal Immigration Study Committee: Who’s On First?

As appeared in Tennessee Conservative News

By Anne Beckett [contributor to The Tennessee Conservative and founder of Tennessee Action Group]

The Tennessee Conservative broke a story of “migrants” coming into Chattanooga on April 9th, 2021.  On June 21, the Joint Study Committee on “Refugee” Issues was formed.  The committee was formed in response to an incident with “unaccompanied minors” that may be “illegal immigrants”,  and then was tasked by Lt. Gov. McNally and Speaker Sexton to evaluate “migrant” children.

Let’s break this down.

A migrant is, “someone who is moving from place to place (willingly) usually for economic reasons (looking for work).  It is a planned, temporary move (seasonal).

 A refugee is, “someone who has been forced to flee his/her home because of war, violence or persecution.” 

An immigrant is, “someone who leaves his/her home and moves to a foreign country with the intention of settling there.”

An illegal immigrant is one who by-passes the laws made for immigration. They have “not acquired documents before entering into a country,” and are not authorized.

So, who’s on first?  Or in other words, how does the committee intend to hit the ball when it’s not clear what or which (or who) they are to aim at? 

First, as it was rapidly ascertained, the minors coming into Chattanooga were indeed illegal immigrants.   Never migrants. (A new “softer” term is used now: UAC’s- unaccompanied alien children. This is another misnomer as “alien” refers to all non-citizens or non-nationals including tourists).

The committee tried to address the transport of these illegal immigrants in and through Tennessee.  And steadfastly encountered a total wall (pun intended): The federal “partners” refused to answer any inquiry into their various agencies from any of our law enforcement, governmental agencies or anyone from the Governor’s office.  So much for transparency. 

Now, when the federal government defies written law it is not conducting a legal operation. Why is Tennessee participating, which in fact is happening when it is not halted? 

Several participants echoed words similar to Governor Lee when he referenced a faith based mandate to help the poor and needy.  That is misdirected and a mischaracterization:  helping the poor is a high calling, but Jesus looks at the heart, not just the act itself, and the intent of this unregulated surge is under serious question. It is not transparent, and is, therefore, not without guile.

Rather, it is to obfuscate. Buyer beware.

Any argument about saving children should address how the situation came about in the first place.

How is anyone getting to the border?  A director of one of the refugee agencies reporting to the committee told a story of a 6-year old boy who made a “2,000 mile journey walking to the border” to unite with his mother who is also illegally in the U.S.

That is preposterous in every sense of the word.  Who walks 2,000 miles? Or even 200 miles? The northern third of Mexico is the almost the size of Texas, and at least as dry and hot. Without road services or facilities. Hello?

This wave of intruders is obviously being financed and furnished with buses and planes for transport to our southern border.  That evidence is rampant at the border. Our politicians can not claim ignorance because of a lack of coverage by mainstream media. They have access to and are responsible to know the truth.

Contrary to comments by Senator Todd Gardenhire including, “it does not matter how they (children) got here we are responsible for them when they are here,” we are not responsible for children who are sent ahead as bait and need to be returned to their homes and homeland.  

Otherwise, Tennessee is fully complicit as a state in the atrocities as noted by Representative Chris Todd at the last hearing when he said, ”we are facilitating illegal immigration from the southern border.”

And what is happening to children once they get here?  Senator Richard Briggs pointed out in the 2nd committee hearing, “this has all the hallmarks of trafficking: we do not know who is traveling (with the children), where they are going, or who is paying for it.”

Trafficking may be happening in the open as 30% of the “families” are not related.

Further, for the minor illegal immigrants that are being placed with sponsors or people who claim to be family,  a high percentage disappear

Second, while there are many hopes the southern border crisis will be temporary (migration), it has never been shown in any way to be about “war, violence or persecution” which is the case for refugees. 

Yet, a significant amount of time was spent on refugee organizations which are well regulated, process people who have applied for immigration,  includes an extended vetting process that typically takes 18 months and only admits a few hundred people a year according to all the reports given to the committee in the hearings. 

So how will the committee address this as a “refugee” issue?  

If these people are not refugees, and instead illegal immigrants (by any definition), then the federal government is not conducting a legal operation.  Why is Tennessee participating?

The committee is to be commended for digging in, that is, swinging at all the balls thrown at them, even if they do not know which one is in the strike zone. 

If the committee wants to recommend legislation, it may require a sweeping gesture so broad as to potentially render it useless.  

Governor Lee has agreed to receive 415 Afghan “refugees”  (We do not know what happened to the vetting process).  Governor DeSantis of Florida has a better idea. Perhaps Tennessee should adopt his policy and end the discussion. 

About the Author: Anne Beckett is the founder of Tennessee Action Group of Fentress County, a grassroots group dedicated to promoting the sovereignty of Tennessee and its citizens. 

End The Emergency

October 27, 2021

By Anne Beckett [contributor to The Tennessee Conservative] –

The emergency powers of Gov. Bill Lee need to be limited immediately. The extended state of emergency which now governs the State of Tennessee is unconscionable.  Further, it has rendered the General Assembly ineffective in their oath of office.

This General Assembly took an oath of office to support our constitutions, and therein the “life, liberty and property” of TN citizens. These rights have been violated by being limited, suppressed and removed.

Further, the General Assembly abdicated its duty to one man, Gov. Bill Lee, by allowing the continuation of 62 particular Executive Orders issued specifically under emergency powers over the last 18 months since March 2020.

The General Assembly has delegated its duties to one man whose duty it is to execute the laws. Not create them.

That is reserved exclusively as a legislative duty.

The Tennessee Code allows the Governor to function with emergency powers for a total of 60 days. He may renew the order.

The renewals have lasted 18 months. Enough already.

An “emergency” is defined as: “A serious situation or occurrence that happens unexpectedly and demands immediate action.“ If we really have an emergency, requiring “immediate action,” why would they not stay in continuous session to protect the state and citizens?

This August, legislators admitted our medical freedoms are being abused.  Yet, a House bill entered last January was tabled by the Senate in April, which would have at least ended the “emergency” along with making the executive orders moot.   After a year of shut down, they had no excuse to set it aside and not release us. Unconscionable.

Why are the General Assembly abdicating their responsibilities? Have they allowed themselves to be neutered?

Lawmakers around the country are challenging executive actions relating to the declared pandemic.

Why is our supermajority Republican legislation neglecting to do the same?

The people request the General Assembly to end the current emergency.   Additionally, they need to further constrain both the scope and duration of emergency powers of the Governor by requiring approval by the House and Senate before they become effective or extended.

This has been done in Pennsylvania, we can do it here.

If the General Assembly can not protect its citizens and uphold the TN Constitution and Codes now, how can they stand up to continuing federal encroachment and protect the sovereignty of Tennessee under the 10th Amendment of the US Constitution?

Click HERE to view all the bills currently up for consideration in this week’s Special Session.

Find your State Representative HERE.

Find your State Senator HERE.

(1) https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-58/chapter-2/part-1/section-58-2-107/

(2) https://tennesseeconservativenews.com/tn-gop-critical-of-lees-handling-of-covid-by-executive-order/#comment-5999

(3) https://wapp.capitol.tn.gov/apps/BillInfo/Default.aspx?BillNumber=HB0869

(4) https://tennesseeconservativenews.com/has-governor-lee-politically-neutered-the-general-assembly/

(5) https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/wsmv.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/e0/5e0d6a7a-3131-11ec-96d1-fb9103d306c4/616f4fd54b557.pdf.pdf

(6) https://www.jurist.org/news/2021/05/pennsylvania-becomes-first-state-to-limit-governors-authority-under-emergency-disaster-declaration/

About the Author: Anne Beckett is the founder of the Tennessee Action Group in Fentress County.   Their first action was a drive to garner signatures for a Petition to Governor Lee to stop illegal immigration into Tennessee. You can find out more at www.tennactiongroup.org, or find them on Facebook.

Migrant Children

Is Anyone Really Concerned About The Migrant Children?

Published August 17, 2021

By Anne Beckett [contributor to The Tennessee Conservative] –

During several live Nashville hearings on the Joint Study on Refugees I listened to a particular Senator voice repeated concerns about migrant children. 

It sounded good. Just as it always does when the appeal is, “but think of the children!” 

That’s how we got the state lottery.  This claim is used to justify…well, a lot. And it sounds good. On the surface, anyway. 

So here’s a question:  Are minor migrant children being helped or harmed by the current surge at our southern border?

Here’s are the reasonings: 

“Well, they are here. Let’s take care of them.” 

“Either we let DCS manage it or they enter anyway”….(so are they being managed? Tracked?  Is that happening now?)

“The programs were started under Republican administrations…(so all republicans should support the current programs even with abuses?)

I would suggest this Senator next time he encounters burglars in his home say, ”Well, you are already here so lets have supper. And take what you want, I have plenty.” 

Here is what I am not hearing. 

“Do we know how solitary children are traveling alone over 1,000 miles to the border?” 

“Do we know who is transporting the children across the southern border of the U.S.?”

“Is there any tracking of children once they are placed with ‘families’ here in the U.S.?”  

At the last hearing, a 16 year old boy was known to have left a Chattanooga migrant children’s facility and was reported to be home in Guatemala 3 days later.  With no one knowing how?

And here also is what I am not hearing.  During the 2nd live hearing in Nashville on July 15th several legislators had been at a Human Trafficking conference the day before. They made comments about how this minor migrant surge had ALL THE HALLMARKS of human trafficking: 1- no one knows where the minors are coming from; 2- no one knows who is transporting them; 3- no one knows who is paying for it; 4- no one knows where they are going once in the U.S. .

It strongly appears there is a LOT we are not hearing. Nor is anyone asking these questions. 

It looks like too many people are not concerned with the source of the problem, as opposed to the results.  Maybe that should be the primary concern for all. 

About the Author:  Anne Beckett recently founded the Tennessee Action Group in Fentress County.   Their first action was a drive to sign a Petition to Governor Lee to stop illegal immigration into Tennessee. You can find out more at www.tennactiongroup.org, or find them on Facebook.

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