Casada retains appointment power until resignation

Among the panels up for new appointments is the nine-member Lottery Corporation Sports Wagering Advisory Council, which was created under a law passed this session and allowed to go into force without Gov. Bill Lee’s signature. The governor and the House and Senate speakers each get three appointments to the panel.

Among the potential Republican candidate to succeed Casada, three voted for sports gambling bill (Reps. Curtis Johnson, Cameron Sexton, and Robin Smith), while four voted against (Reps. Mike Carter, Bill Dunn, Matthew Hill, and Jerry Sexton.)

Senate Speaker Randy McNally also voted against the sports gambling bill.

Another panel is the reconstituted 16-member Board of Judicial Conduct. Casada gets four appointments on the panel, one of whom must be an an attorney and three others who cannot be an attorney or a current or former judge.

“I find it just shocking that the disgraced House speaker gets to name anybody to a sports gambling commission and a judicial oversight panel,” said former Knoxville mayor Victor Ashe, a former Republican state senator and onetime U.S. ambassador to Poland.  “I would think the Republican majority would want to prevent that from happening.”

Scott Gilmer, who took over as chief of staff to the speaker following the resignation of Cade Cothren as Casada’s chief aide, told the paper the appointments need to made soon.

“Members of the gaming commission need to undergo a background check and that would take some work there,” he said.

Other boards, commissions, and councils with upcoming vacancies include the TennCare Pharmacy Advisory Committee, Advisory Council on State Procurement, the State Textbook and Instructional Materials Quality Commission, the Commission on Aging and Disability, and Energy Efficient Schools Council. The House speaker has the power to fill two positions on each panel.

“My guess is I don’t think the speaker will fill most of these,” Gilmer said. “Probably most of these we’ll leave to the next person. But if there’s some more pressing ones like the Board of Judicial Conduct and the gaming commission, I think he could appoint those. But we haven’t yet.”

8 Responses to Casada retains appointment power until resignation

  • Perry Aubric says:

    Just as a matter of good government, all questions of Casada aside, it is absolutely ridiculous that the General Assembly has usurped the Executive Branch of our state government by taking away the power of the Governor to make appointments to Boards and Commissions and giving a significant amount of that power to the two Speakers.

    This is a fairly recent development in Tennessee’s Boards and Commissions, and the trend transcends just the boards that have been mentioned. The law changes in appointments have been made in a direct attempt to limit the already limited powers of the Executive Branch and accrue more power to the Speakers. But these are almost always purely administrative functions, and should there be any questions about oversight and performance, you can bet your bottom dollar that the General Assembly will point their fingers at the Governor or his cabinet and take no responsibility themselves.

    It’s not as though Gov. Lee is doing a damn thing about appointments, though. Go to the Secretary of State’s website, and you can see that there are literally hundreds of unfilled Board and Commission appointments, and scores more being filled by those whose terms have expired, but who are allowed to remain until a successor is found.

    Here’s a story for you, On the Hill (or whoever out there actually covers State Government anymore, if there is anybody): The apparent incompetence of Bill Lee, and perhaps of Bill Haslam before him, in ignoring Boards and Commissions and failing in their responsibility to make appointments to them. It’s not that they are appointing unqualified people or political hacks or only big donors. They have not been appointing anybody at all. And important functions of state government are not occurring.

    • James White says:

      The Tennessee Taliban Legislature want total power. They want to appoint the State Attorney General, when we the people should be doing it in a vote.
      It never ends.

  • June and bill landrum says:

    Why spend all that money for a special session? Bill Dunn is speaker pro-tem and should be able to take over now

    • Silence Dogood says:

      Slow down. I am not convinced that Bill Dunn has the experience and support of the Caucus to be the Speaker of the House. His current position as Speaker Pro-temp is an excellent training position, but he has only been in it for less than a year. And I suspect he is a Haslam type Republican. I am a constituent of his, if that matters to you.

      • Perry Aubric says:

        If I am not mistaken, Silence Dogwood, Bill Dunn has been in the Tennessee House of Representatives longer than any other current member. He was first elected in 1994, a quarter of a century ago. He has served as the Republican leader in the past. So if he doesn’t have the “experience,” then I don’t know who does. That is an uninformed and illogical argument.

        Whether or not he has the support of the Caucus, of course, is not a matter of simple conjecture. We will know that soon enough, when the Caucus takes a vote.

  • Blue Lady says:

    Gilmer is Chief of Staff to the Legislature, not Casada” aide.

  • June and Bill Landrum says:

    Are you serious? Dogwood dunn has probably been in the house longer than any other member he is
    Probably “Dean of the House” as well as pro-ten. You can believe he can handle it in a positive way.

    • Silence Dogood says:

      Very Serious June and Bill. Tenure does not make for competence or suitability for a given task. Are you familiar with the Peter Principle? I like Bill. I admire his Pro-Life ethics and voting record. But I am not a single issue voter. But, I get it. You like Bill and think he would do a good job. Maybe he would. Just remember the Peter Principle.

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