Why do millionaires like Bill Lee feel so free to use state tax dollars to live out their personal religious beliefs?
Remember when Bill Lee was campaigning and trying to dazzle gullible voters with his “brilliant” idea for an Office of Faith-Based & Community Initiatives?
Once elected he launched this initiative and it may end up being the vehicle for Bill Lee to funnel more state dollars to pad the pocketbooks of federal refugee contractors and other groups that want to get into the lucrative refugee resettlement business.
In fact, Bill Lee told us as much while he was on the campaign trail:
“My wife has worked in a ministry that serves Kurdish refugees, I’ve been to Kurdistan and served with refugees from ISIS in refugee camps,” Lee replied. “I believe that the work of nonprofits is powerful and important, and that’s what this is about. And I am a Christian, so my experiences and my work with non-profits that are doing effective work has been Christian organizations, so that’s what I talk about, because I talk about my experience, and I will support works that are doing, meeting some of the greatest challenges in our community that I believe government shouldn’t meet, it’s not the role of government to do that. But it is the role of the nonprofit community and I would encourage that kind of work, for sure.”
But he might just use the government to provide the greenbacks – we’ll get to that in a minute.
So why is anyone surprised that when offered, he jumped at the chance to say “YES!” I want to put Tennessee back into the refugee resettlement program!!!
And because of the 50-100 mile placement rules from the four urban centers where the federal resettlement contractor offices are located, when he consented for Tennessee, he pretty much put every county in the state up for grabs.
Shortly after the Governor announced consenting to bring more refugees to Tennessee, a Bill Lee Facebook devotee put out hints about what is in the works:
Kurds which seem to be a Lee-Blackburn obsession, are overwhelmingly Muslim and have been in a long-standing battle with other Muslims over terrain. Let’s also remember that the PKK (the Kurdistan Workers’ Party), a U.S. designated terrorist group is part of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The SDF is a multi-ethnic group of secular forces in northern Syria led primarily by the YPG, a Kurdish militia group.
So exactly how does the Governor plan to “hold Churches and Christian organizations accountable for the refugees they resettle in Tennessee”?
It’s so simple even Governor Lee figured it out – do it the same way the federal government holds states accountable – by attaching conditions to money.
Lee can use his Office of Faith-based & Community Initiatives to offer state grants to the hard leftist federal resettlement contractors who just happen to also be faith-based non-profits. They’re paid by the feds to only provide 30 days of service during which, they get refugees a social security card, enroll kids in school and get anyone eligible for TennCare signed up.
Churches that want to get into the lucrative refugee industry by providing services after the federal resettlement contractors finish their 30 days, can also get in on the state money.
Money? What money?
Was a hint thrown out today by House Speaker Cameron Sexton during hisradio interview about the Governor’s consent on refugee resettlement?
Could the money be coming from the state’s accumulated TANF (cash welfare) reserve funds?
It was reported on November 5th, that the Governor originally supported holding onto the extremely large accumulated bundle of TANF money being held by the Tennessee Department of Human Services:
“However, Lee changed course on Monday by telling reporters he was open to using the surplus on a variety of options to continue helping Tennessee’s poor. His announcement was coupled with news that the state was planning on spending up to $70 million of the surplus on grant awards to nonprofits throughout the state starting in January.”
Maybe like the non-profits involved or soon to be involved with refugees? Would the Governor’s church qualify?
Tennessee has sued to challenge the federal refugee program because of the federal government shifting federal costs associated with the refugee program to the state government. This has been acknowledged in federal reports. And the cost transfer occurs whether or not the state consents to paying these added federal costs.
No worry now, because Governor Lee has now consented to paying the federal costs transferred to Tennessee on top of the state incurred costs for the refugee program and is possibly willing to add some of the TANF money to the effort.
Conservatives in Tennessee who put Bill Lee in office get a lump of coal for Christmas while the radical left TN Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) congratulates it’s lobbying effort on the consent push:
“We thank Governor Lee for his moral clarity and leadership in making his decision today…‘Refugee communities across Tennessee have played a powerful role in defending not only the resettlement program but the values and aspirations of this country’, said TIRRC Policy Officer Judith Clerjeune. ‘We will continue to work with refugee leaders and partner agencies to advocate for a robust and generous resettlement program.”’
During Bill Lee’s campaign his first major policy initiative was his “Roadmap for Rural Tennessee” which he highlighted by riding around on a tractor and talking about “his farming roots” and about how Tennessee is just one generation away from losing this way of life.
Not sure what happened to all that rural love, because what we have now, is the rural governor scrooging Tennessee’s rural counties in deference to the urban-based federal contractor resettlement agencies.