Black caucus calls for Casada resignation

Black Caucus Chair G.A. Hardaway (D-Memphis) speaks to reporters last week as Sen. Brenda Gilmore (D-Nashville) looks on. Photo: Stephen Elliott

Speaker’s meeting with group does little to assuage concerns

There is one specific item that we hate about politics. It is impossible to be professional about a subject with other individuals when they act like snots.

Stephen Elliott reported:

The Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators voted “overwhelmingly” on Monday to call for House Speaker Glen Casada to resign from his leadership position.

The vote came after the group met with Casada earlier in the day, in part to discuss racist text messages sent by his now-former chief of staff, Cade Cothren, as well as allegations that his office submitted false evidence to Nashville prosecutors that resulted in revoked bail for Justin Jones, a black protestor arrested at the Capitol earlier this year.

The chair of the caucus, Rep. G.A. Hardaway (D-Memphis), said in a release that the group has to adhere to its “moral compass to fight for the respect and dignity of everyone who enters the House of the People.”

The House Democratic Caucus, as well as a handful of Republican lawmakers, have already asked Casada to resign amid the fallout from a series of media reports regarding Cothren’s messages and admitted drug use at the legislature, in addition to Casada’s own sexual messages released in recent days. On Monday, NewsChannel 5, which has spearheaded much of the reporting on this issue, released another text message in which Casada appears to ask if two women in a video sent by Cothren were of legal age. (This after Casada told the House Republican Caucus that “there is nothing else to come out.”)

Casada dismissed other sexual texts released last week as “locker room talk.” On Monday, he reiterated that he did not plan to step down.

“I think that it’s important that I stay because if two texts run someone out of office, then there is no one qualified,” Casada said, according to the Associated Press. “We’ve got members all across the community that have done things that are not excusable and they’re still in leadership roles. I did those two texts. I’ve sought and received forgiveness for it, and so now it’s time to put the House back together.”

Casada previously cast doubt on the validity of the text messages before ultimately admitting he sent them.

The commingling controversies have resulted in several current or potential investigations. The House Ethics Committee is planning to meet to consider Cothren’s dismissal. The Coffee County district attorney has been brought in as a special prosecutor to investigate whether the speaker’s office purposely filed false information in an attempt to revoke the protestor’s bond. (Casada’s team has maintained the confusion was the result of a computer glitch). The black caucus and the Democratic caucus have asked for federal investigations into multiple aspects of the case.

loves playing the racist card
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