Why Would a TN Republican Legislator Support Democrats’ Ballot Harvesting Bill?

Predictably, Shelby County Democrats Sen. Katrina Robinson and Rep. London Lamar, sponsored a ballot harvesting bill.

Their bill would allow a first-time registered voter to vote absentee.

Democrats in Tennessee have been trying different ways to undermine both the state’s voter ID law and the relatively narrow allowances for absentee voting.

It’s okay to stand in line to go to the grocery store and it’s even better to gather hundreds to protest and riot and risk COVID contamination, but never okay to stand in line and be socially distanced to vote.

As it is, both the voter ID law and the absentee mail in exemptions that are in effect, are easily circumvented.

On Tuesday, June 2nd, Sen. Robinson presented her bill in the Senate State & Local Government Committee chaired by Republican Sen. Steve Dickerson.

Dickerson and Democrat Jeff Yarbro (D-Nashville) were the only two votes in support of ballot harvesting.

Sadly, self-described conservative Richard Briggs (R-Knoxville) couldn’t decide, so he passed. BTW, word is that Briggs was deeply involved, in fact deeply involved, in getting never-Trumper Democrat Eddie Mannis from Knoxville rebranded as a “bona fide” Republican so he can run in the primary for a Tennessee House seat against the actual Republican candidate Gina Oster.

Despite Briggs’ inability to vote against ballot harvesting, the bill failed because the committee’s other Republicans – Gardenhire, Jackson, Kelsey, Reeves, White, and Yager, voted against it. Kelsey deserves thanks from voters for his efforts in bringing down this bill.

In 2012, Dickerson campaigned as a “different Republican” and since being elected, he has worked hard to dilute any bill that remotely smacks of conservative principles. Instead, he supports a liberal Democrat agenda – the most recent being ballot harvesting.

Since being elected Dickerson has voted to give in-state tuition to illegal alien students, vote against the state’s Tenth Amendment lawsuit challenging the federal refugee resettlement program, and refused to support a bill that would help avoid using taxpayer money to fund elective abortions. He has worked to impair our Constitutional rights, siding with Democrats and sponsoring a red flag gun law.

“In 2016, [Dickerson] had the LOWEST rating at 57% from the American Conservative Union Foundation putting him even lower than the highest rated Democrat Senator at 75%” – but none of this stopped Bill Lee from donating to Dickerson’s campaign.

Dickerson remains the lowest rated Republican in the Tennessee legislature according to the ACUF ratings.

During two legislative sessions Dickerson has pushed creating an industry for medical marijuana which some say is the first step in legalizing marijuana for recreational use. Dickerson is also part owner of a pain management business and is being “sued by the federal government and Tennessee over alleged Medicare and TennCare fraud totaling at least $25 million.” Dickerson is alleged to have profited by about $6.5 million.

Of course he says he didn’t do anything wrong but the case has yet to be resolved.

Dickerson is up for re-election this year. Sadly he does not have a Republican primary opponent. There are, however, two Democrats in the primary, the winner of whom will challenge Dickerson for the seat. 

Combined with the lawsuit hanging over his head and a really lousy voting record, Dickerson is likely begging for the Governor and Lt. Governor to support his re-election even though he is the worst kind of “Republican.” He may be currying favor with the Governor by blocking SB2730 which is supposed to be in the committee he chairs. This is the bill that would prohibit Bill Lee from resettling refugees in Tennessee unless granted permission by the legislature.

Bill Lee and Steve Dickerson are aligned on the refugee issue. Bill Lee gave Dickerson campaign money even after Dickerson voted to give illegal alien students in-state tuition. Dickerson may be a “different kind of Republican” but he seems to be different enough to appeal to Bill Lee and other ignorant Republicans in his district. And shame on them all if they send Dickerson back to the Senate. After all, it’s no different than sending a liberal Democrat – so what’s really the difference?


3 thoughts on “Why Would a TN Republican Legislator Support Democrats’ Ballot Harvesting Bill?”

  1. Pat, when you say “Dickerson is up for re-election this year. He has a Republican primary opponent who says she is pro-life, pro-Second Amendment and for secure borders. There is also a Democrat opponent” you are both correct and incorrect. You are correct in that Senator Dickerson has a Democrat opponent. In fact he has two – one of whom will emerge from the primary to be his opponent in the November general election. You are incorrect in that Senator Dickerson does not have an opponent in the Republican primary being held in August. Ms. Canada ultimately decided to become the Republican candidate for the Tennessee House of Representatives, District 56. You are also correct when you describe Ms. Canada’s beliefs and guiding principles.

    1. No, Sen. Dickerson does not have a primary opponent. Diane Canada, who was initially planning to run, is now running for State Rep. In D 56.

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