Meanwhile, the Tennessee House moves to expel 3 Democrats after a gun protest which feels pretty pretty pretty anti-democratic.
Then we take a reprieve from politics and talk to Wisconsin’s new poet laureate, Nick Gulig.
Guest: Nick Gulig
Tennessee Republican lawmakers took the first steps to expel three Democratic members from the GOP-dominant House for their role in a recent gun control protest at the state Capitol. The extraordinarily rare move resulted in a chaotic and fiery confrontation between lawmakers and supporters. Resolutions were filed against Reps. Gloria Johnson, Justin Jones, and Justin Pearson after they led chants from the House floor with supporters in the gallery last Thursday. The resolution declared that the three had participated in “disorderly behavior” and “did knowingly and intentionally bring disorder and dishonor to the House of Representatives.”
Hundreds of protesters packed the Capitol last week calling for the Republican-led Statehouse to pass gun control measures in response to the Nashville school shooting that resulted in the deaths of six people. As the chants echoed throughout the Capitol, Jones, Johnson and Pearson approached the front of the House chamber with a bullhorn. As the three shared the bullhorn and cheered on the crowd, Sexton, a Republican, quickly called for a recess. He later vowed the three would face consequences.
Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Karen Camper described their actions as “good trouble,” a reference to the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis’ guiding principal. By Monday, Sexton confirmed that the three lawmakers had been stripped of their committee assignments and said more punishments could be on the way. A few hours later, House Republican Caucus Chairman Jeremy Faison referred to Jones as the “former representative”. Pearson and Jones are both freshman lawmakers. Johnson has served in the House since 2019. All three have been highly critical of the Republican supermajority. In fact, Jones was temporarily banned from the Tennessee Capitol. In 2019 he threw a cup of liquid at former House Speaker Glen Casada and other lawmakers while protesting the bust of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest inside the Capitol.
Expelling lawmakers is an extraordinary action inside the Tennessee Capitol.
Wisconsin has recently appointed a new poet laureate. Nick Gulig has authored three poetry books and is currently an associate professor at UW-Whitewater. We spend time talking to him about what a poet laureate does. We also discuss the value and use poetry provides to everyone and anyone.
Don’t know about you, but we are very excited to hear that there is a “Moana” live-action remake in the works at Disney Studios. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will reprise the role of Maui and produce the film.