Mae Beavers

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Mae Beavers
Born (1947-12-11) December 11, 1947 (age 69)
Millport, Alabama, U.S.
Residence Mount Juliet, Tennessee, U.S.
Alma mater Trevecca Nazarene University
Occupation Politician
Spouse(s) Jerry Beavers

Mae Beavers (born December 11, 1947 in Millport, Alabama) is a Tennessee Republican politician and a member of the Tennessee Senate for the 17th district, which is composed of Cannon, Clay, DeKalb, Macon, Smith, and Wilson counties. She has served as a state senator since the 103rd General Assembly, and as a state representative in the 99th through the 102nd General Assemblies.

Early life[edit]

Mae Beavers was born on December 11, 1947 in Millport, Alabama. She graduated from Trevecca Nazarene University, where she received a bachelor of science degree.[1] She also attended the Nashville School of Law,[1] and worked as a court reporter and financial advisor before transitioning to her current role as a career politician.

Career[edit]

Beavers has represented the Wilson County Commission (1990–1994), in the State House of Representatives (1994–2002), and in the State Senate (2002–present). Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the Senate Ron Ramsey credited her first election to the State Senate as the beginning of the conversion of the suburbs of Nashville from Democratic allegiance to Republican allegiance.[2] Former Democratic State Senator Bob Rochelle attempted to re-claim his seat and ran against Beavers in the 2006 general election, yet Beavers prevailed with approximately 58% of the vote. In 2010, Beavers defeated her long-time political rival, State Representative Susan Lynn, in the 2010 Republican primary, and defeated Democrat George McDonald with approximately 63% of the vote in the general election.[3][4]

Beavers is anti-abortion, a pro-Second Amendment activist, antiscience,[5] a firm believer in nativism,[6][7] a supporter of the abolition of state income taxation, and a proponent of tougher laws and measures against illegal immigrants.[8] An ardent supporter of rape culture,[9] Beavers has also supported legislation to dismantle the civil rights of the LGBT community.[10] While running on a platform of lowered government spending, Beavers has repeatedly introduced fiscally irresponsible,[11] unconstitutional legislation [10] that does not pass. Beavers as well as current congressmen and former state legislators of women's bodies . Beavers also strongly opposed the 2010 health care reform legislation proposals, sponsoring instead the Tennessee Health Freedom Act in order to protect "a citizen’s right to participate, or not participate, in any healthcare system".[12][13]

In 2014, Beavers was rated by the Sunlight Foundation as the second-most conservative state senator in Tennessee, behind then-senator Stacey Campfield. Campfield is best known for 2012’s assertion that AIDS was transmitted to humans because "one guy" had sex with "a monkey" and then started "having sex with men." She also leads the Wilson County Conservatives.[14] Beavers is a member of the National Rifle Association and a lifetime member of the Tennessee Firearms Association.[1]

In September 2015, Beavers proposed bill SB1437, known as the Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act, to ban same-sex marriage in Tennessee despite the Supreme Court's decision to legalize it.[15] Her colleague in the House, Mark Pody, proposed a similar bill.[15] After just 90 minutes of testimony, the House Civil Justice Committee rejected that bill.[16] Had the bill passed, it would have cost Tennessee upwards of $8.5 billion in federal funding,[11] in addition to millions of dollars in legal bills, mostly impacting programs that support Tennessee families in need such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

In the next legislative session, Beavers and Pody reintroduced the bill, with specific language that no court decision (presumably including those of the Supreme Court of the United States) would affect it. [17]

Controversies[edit]

Forced sonogram bills[edit]

Beaver is a proponent of the controversial practice of forcing women to receive ultrasounds, regardless of medical necessity, and sponsored SB 1769,[18] SB 775,[19] and co-sponsored SB 632,[20] all of which failed to pass as they are widely viewed as a way to shame and harass women and government intrusion into the doctor-patient relationship.

"Obama Birther" bill[edit]

In February 2011, Beavers filed an “Obama Birther” bill requiring presidential candidates to file birth certificates with the state to win a place on the Tennessee ballot. However, in a subsequent interview with Reality Check, she did not seem to understand the contents of the bill, what the term “long-form” means, or that most states no longer print long-form birth certificates, adding that she filed first and planned to research later prior to committee. Despite President Obama’s widely circulated Hawaiian birth certificate, Beavers said she had doubts about his citizenship and that information to the contrary may have gotten lost in her inbox.[citation needed]

Wilson County Fair debacle[edit]

Beavers raised eyebrows in August 2016 when The Tennessean reported what many considered to be Beavers’ poor judgment in selling unauthorized, homemade Trump campaign gear at the Wilson County Fair. Instead of benefiting the republican nominee’s campaign as is standard practice, in this case, proceeds were directed to Beavers own PAC, Freedom PAC. Additional controversy surrounded the storefront Beavers and her husband used to sell the gear as the store was reported to be without electricity or floors and filled with water. Despite concerns, Beavers remained steadfast; "All I can say is we’re not doing anything illegal," she said.

Support for alleged serial sexual harasser Jeremy “Pants Candy” Durham[edit]

According to a Tennessean investigation,[21] published in late January 2016, three women reported to have received inappropriate text messages from married Rep. Jeremy Durham. A subsequent investigation by the state attorney general found that Durham had engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct with at least 22 women, including sexual harassment. The report from the attorney general detailed the toll Durham’s behavior took on women who worked in or around the state Capitol. According to the report, "Women feared they would lose their jobs, earn reputations as complainers or damage their relationships with other members of the Republican Caucus if they came forward. Female lobbyists said they feared they would lose votes for the bills they were championing." Another finding concluded: "One former intern broke down in tears as she spoke to investigators about her encounters with Durham. Another legislative assistant took a job in the private sector instead of pursuing her ambitions to become a lobbyist after encounters with Durham, which included one instance in which he kissed her on the neck, sent her multiple suggestive texts and requested she send him pictures of her." Despite this, as well as criticism from victim's rights advocates aimed at the general assembly's handling of the scandal, Beavers remained in Durham’s corner going so far as to call an investigation into the investigation of Durham to the consternation of many of her peers. She later doubled down on her support of Durham and in doing so, demonstrated why many victims of sexual assault and harassment choose to remain silent. [9][22][23] “Why now is the Attorney General investigating these particular rumors about one specific legislator?” she asked.

Ties to Andy Miller[edit]

According to an October 31 Nashville Post article,[24] Beavers was one of five Republican legislators, in addition to ousted former Rep. Jeremy Durham,[25] who invested in controversial anti-Muslim donor Andy Miller's companies. Miller and his brother were recently the subject of a federal probe into military health care fraud and fined $7.75 million.[26] According to the Post, Beavers said of Miller, "He's not a lobbyist or anything, I don't see anything wrong with his friendship with legislators ... A lot of people are friends with Andy. He has been a friend to legislators."

Closure of the Tennessee Economic Council on Women (TECW)[edit]

Beavers voted to defund TECW, a state agency dedicated to examining the financial impact of domestic violence, gender wage disparities, and other economic issues impacting Tennessee women. Despite a 2013 report that found that violence against women in Tennessee cost taxpayers $1 billion per year, Beavers questioned why the Council only covered women's issues. The routine renewal failed by one vote.

Personal life[edit]

Beavers is married to Jerry Beavers, with whom she has children.[1] They attend Trevecca Community Church.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "About Mae". Mae Beavers State Senate. Retrieved December 18, 2015. 
  2. ^ Campbell, Sandy (2010-03-29). "Ramsey says Republican revolution in Middle Tenn. started in Wilson County". The Lebanon Democrat. Retrieved 2011-07-18.  External link in |work= (help)
  3. ^ "Election Results | Tennessee Secretary of State". www.tn.gov. Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  4. ^ http://www.mtjulietnews.com/article/mjnnews/135891
  5. ^ "Tennessee antievolution bill passes the House | NCSE". ncse.com. Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  6. ^ http://www.newschannel5.com/news/sen-beavers-supports-trumps-muslim-ban, refugees
  7. ^ "Tennessee General Assembly Moves Another Step Closer to Refugee Lawsuit Against Feds - Breitbart". Breitbart. 2016-03-17. Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  8. ^ "Issues". official website. Mae Beavers. Retrieved 2011-07-18. 
  9. ^ a b "Lawmaker: Durham investigation is a 'witch hunt' and part of Harwell 'hit list'". The Tennessean. Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  10. ^ a b "Sen. Mae Beavers Vows Not to Surrender to Gay Marriage". Nashville Scene. Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  11. ^ a b Ford, Zack (2016-01-20). "Tennessee Lawmakers Attempt To Nullify Supreme Court Decision Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage (Updated)". ThinkProgress. Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  12. ^ "Senator Beavers Applauds Federal Court Ruling Declaring New Healthcare Law Unconstitutional". official website. Mae Beavers. 2011-01-31. Retrieved 2011-07-19. 
  13. ^ Swann, Lesley. "Tennessee Health Freedom Act Passes Senate". Tennessee Tenth Amendment Center. Retrieved 2011-07-19.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  14. ^ Lind, JR (2010-11-18). "Wasn't us". Nashville Post. SouthComm. Retrieved 2011-07-18.  External link in |work= (help)
  15. ^ a b Brant, Joseph (September 17, 2015). "State Republicans file bill to end marriage equality: Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act proposed". Out & About Newspaper. Nashville, Tennessee. Retrieved September 25, 2015. 
  16. ^ "House panel kills 'natural marriage' bill". The Tennessean. Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  17. ^ "TN SB0752 • 2017-2018 • 110th General Assembly". legiscan.com. Retrieved 2017-02-11. 
  18. ^ "Tennessee Women's Ultrasound Right to Know Act (SB 1769) - Rewire". Rewire. Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  19. ^ "Tennessee Forced Ultrasound Bill (SB 775) - Rewire". Rewire. Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  20. ^ "Tennessee Forced Ultrasound Law (SB 632) - Rewire". Rewire. Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  21. ^ "With Jeremy Durham, ambition, anger collide". The Tennessean. Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  22. ^ "Tennessean investigation finds inappropriate text messages". The Tennessean. Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  23. ^ "Jeremy Durham blasts accusers, House leaders in letter". The Tennessean. Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  24. ^ http://www.nashvillepost.com/politics/state-government/article/20839211/five-lawmakers-invested-with-miller
  25. ^ "Jeremy Durham expelled from Tennessee House in 70-2 vote". The Tennessean. Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  26. ^ "GOP donor fined $7.75M in military health care fraud case". The Tennessean. Retrieved 2017-02-03. 

External links[edit]

Tennessee Senate
Preceded by
Robert Rochelle
Member of the Tennessee Senate from District 17
2002–present
Incumbent