Glen Casada

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Glen Casada
82nd Speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives
In office
January 8, 2019 – August 2, 2019
Preceded byBeth Harwell
Succeeded byBill Dunn (Acting)
Majority Leader of the Tennessee House of Representatives
In office
January 10, 2017 – January 8, 2019
Preceded byGerald McCormick
Succeeded byWilliam Lamberth
Member of the Tennessee House of Representatives
from the 63rd district
Assumed office
January 3, 2003
Preceded byMike Williams
Personal details
Born (1959-08-02) August 2, 1959 (age 61)
Jeffersonville, Indiana, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Children4
EducationWestern Kentucky University (BS)

Richard Glen Casada Jr. (born August 2, 1959) is an American politician, member of the Republican Party in the Tennessee House of Representatives, where he represents District 63 (Williamson County). He was the Speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives from January 8, 2019 through August 2, 2019, whereupon he resigned his post amid scandal.[1] [2] This was the shortest stint of a Tennessee Speaker of the House in modern history. Casada was previously the Majority Leader of the Tennessee House of Representatives. His opposition to Syrian refugees attracted national attention in the media in 2015.

Early life[edit]

Glen Casada was born on August 2, 1959.[3] He graduated from Western Kentucky University with a B.S. in Agriculture and Education in 1982.[3]

Career[edit]

In 1994, Casada was elected to the County Commission of Williamson County.

In 2003, he was elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives.[4]

Barack Obama Lawsuit[edit]

In 2009, Casada was one of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit in federal court, Captain Pamela Barnett v. Barack Hussein Obama, which claimed that Barack Obama was not an American citizen and therefore ineligible to be President of the United States. Judge David O. Carter ruled that Casada and other state legislators did not have standing to sue, since the supposed harm they feared was "highly speculative and conjectural."[5]

Other Actions[edit]

In April 2011, Casada tried to repeal a workplace non-discrimination bill for sexual orientation and gender identity in Nashville.[6][7] In an interview, he explained he was trying to "create a uniform environment across the state, similar to what the interstate commerce clause does for our country."[8] The bill was supported by David Fowler's socially conservative Family Action Council of Tennessee, and the Log Cabin Republicans were opposed to it.[8]

In November 2015, Casada said he wanted to stop admitting Syrian refugees in Tennessee.[9] He also wanted to return those who were already in the state to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.[9][10][11]

In October 2016, Casada ran for re-election against Democratic candidate Courtenay Rogers.[12] Casada won the election by more than 17,000 votes (a ratio of nearly 3 to 1).[13] In February 2017, he was selected as the Republican Majority leader.[14]

Casada voted for Ted Cruz in the Republican primary of the 2016 presidential election, and he voted for Donald Trump in the general election.[15] On March 4, 2017, Casada was one of the main speakers at a rally in Legislative Plaza in Downtown Nashville to celebrate the policies of President Trump.[16][17]

2019 Capitol Hill Scandal[edit]

In May 2019, several scandals broke out in the speaker's office from investigations that were conducted by WTVF, a local television station. First, it was uncovered that Cade Cothren, his former Chief of Staff had possibly attempted to frame Justin Jones, a local civil rights activist, for violating a restraining order.[18] This claim was later found to be false by a special prosecutor appointed to the case. [19][20] The text messages acquired showed Casada received one racially charged and several sexually explicit text messages from Cothren. One of the messages included Cothren who resigned his position on May 6.[21][22]

Several lawmakers then encouraged Casada to resign as House Speaker as more information was coming out from several subsequent findings of the WTVF investigation.[23] The other revelations were:

  1. It was also uncovered that Casada hired Michael Lotfi, a political operative, on the House payroll, but did not have to report to work daily. He was only required to come "when needed."[24] Lotfi was tasked with spinning a story to make Rep. David Byrd's sexual assault accusers look like they were fabricating their story.[25]
  2. The FBI opened an investigation on the controversial vote on Educational Savings Accounts (School Vouchers).[26]
  3. Members of the House of Representatives noticed there were additional "Research Analysts" hired, but they were assigned to be "hall monitors" and track certain members of the body.[27] Shawn Hatmaker was confirmed to be one of the "hall monitors" and was relieved of his duties.[28]

On May 8, 2019, Casada apologized to his GOP colleagues and said that he would unify the House with an action plan. He then met with the Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators on May 20, 2019. Later that day, the TBCSL announced that they had lost confidence in his ability to lead and asked for his resignation.[29]

The Tennessee House Republican caucus met to discuss their future with Casada as speaker. After a 3-hour meeting, the vote was 45–24 in favor of the No-Confidence resolution.[30] After the resolution was adopted, Republican Governor Bill Lee announced that he would consider holding a special session of the legislature to hold a removal vote if he did not resign. On May 21, 2019, Casada announced that he will be resigning as Speaker of the House, but will remain in the chamber as a member.[31]

Personal life[edit]

Casada is divorced, and has four children and six grandchildren. He attends the Brentwood Baptist Church.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Glen Casada elected House speaker as 111th Tennessee General Assembly convenes". The Tennessean. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  2. ^ https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2019/08/02/glen-casada-scandal-tennessee-house-speaker-has-resigned/1899655001/
  3. ^ a b c "Representatives – TN General Assembly". tn.gov. Retrieved November 20, 2015.
  4. ^ "TN House 63 Race - Nov 05, 2002". Our Campaigns. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  5. ^ Order by Judge David O. Carter, United States District Court for the Central District of California
  6. ^ Woods, Jeff (April 12, 2011). "Committee adopts legislation to nullify Metro's anti-bias bill". The City Paper. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  7. ^ "Statewide legislation could kill anti-gay bias bill". Out & About Newspaper. April 12, 2011. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  8. ^ a b Stepien, Victor (May 1, 2011). "CAN-DO bill: A flawed Republican rationale". Out & About Newspaper. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  9. ^ a b Terkel, Amanda (November 17, 2015). "Tennessee GOP Lawmaker Wants To Round Up All Recent Syrian Refugees In The State". The Huffington Post. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  10. ^ Boucher, Dave (November 17, 2015). "Tennessee GOP leader: Round up Syrian refugees, remove from state". The Tennessean. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  11. ^ "Tennessee Lawmaker Calls For National Guard To Round Up Syrian Refugees". NPR. November 19, 2015. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  12. ^ Howze, Ray (October 11, 2016). "Glen Casada faces new challenger in District 63 race". The Tennessean. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  13. ^ Howze, Ray (November 8, 2016). "Election 2016: Glen Casada retains District 63 seat over Courtenay Rogers". The Tennessean. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  14. ^ Cothren, Whitt; Klein, Raymond (February 28, 2017). "Tennessee House Republican Caucus Announces Staff Additions, Promotions". Nashville Public Radio. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  15. ^ Gienapp, Emmett (May 5, 2016). "Tennessee lawmakers throw support behind Donald Trump". Chattanooga Times Free Press. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  16. ^ "President Trump supporters gather in downtown Nashville for rally". WKRN. March 4, 2017. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  17. ^ Marshall, Brandon (March 4, 2017). "Groups Clash At President Trump Rally, 2 Arrested". Channel News 5. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  18. ^ "Did House Speaker's office attempt to frame activist?". WTVF. May 2, 2019. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
  19. ^ [1]
  20. ^ OWEN DAUGHERTY (May 7, 2019). "Tennessee Speaker's top aide resigns over sexually explicit texts: report". thehill.com.
  21. ^ "Glen Casada, Cade Cothren sent sexual texts about women". Tennessean.com. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  22. ^ Williams, Phil (May 8, 2019). "House Speaker knew text messages were authentic, secret recording reveals". WTVF. Nashville, Tennessee. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  23. ^ "Some lawmakers call for TN House Speaker Glen Casada to resign over inappropriate text messages (video)". WBIR-TV. Knoxville, Tennessee. May 8, 2019. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
  24. ^ "House Speaker put political operative on state payroll". WTVF. May 10, 2019. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
  25. ^ "Speaker Casada used tax dollars for attack on Byrd accusers". WTVF. May 13, 2019. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
  26. ^ "FBI reportedly investigating Tennessee's voucher vote". WREG.com. May 10, 2019. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
  27. ^ "Lawmakers: Casada had 'hall monitors' track some members' movements, eavesdrop on conversations". wbir.com. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
  28. ^ "House Speaker Glen Casada gave special work schedule to second now-former aide". The Tennessean. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
  29. ^ "Tennessee black caucus calls on House Speaker Glen Casada to resign". The Tennessean. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
  30. ^ "House Speaker Glen Casada gets no confidence vote from Tennessee House Republicans". The Tennessean. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
  31. ^ EndPlay (May 21, 2019). "Tennessee House Speaker Casada announces resignation". WHBQ. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
Tennessee House of Representatives
Preceded by
Gerald McCormick
Majority Leader of the Tennessee House of Representatives
2017–2019
Succeeded by
William Lamberth
Political offices
Preceded by
Beth Harwell
Speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives
2019
Succeeded by
Bill Dunn
Acting