Newscoma Has Moved
Monday, December 04, 2006
  Rehabilitation? As a west Tennessean, I am not appalled at all and quite happy when people from my side of the state have leadership positions in Nashville. With the announcement that Gary Odom will be the new House Majority Leader, I really didn't have an opinion on it one way or the other. He's has butted heads with the house leadership and with Gov. Phil Bredesen on occasion, which I don't think is a bad thing. I don't want my political leaders to rubber stamp everything in the name of party unity, something I've seen happen in Washington quite a bit over the past six years.

Odom found himself on the outside of the House Democrats' power structure in 2002 after he split with leadership by opposing a state income tax. Naifeh stripped him of his vice chairmanship in the conservation committee.

But Odom has since been rehabilitated, and Naifeh appointed him chairman of the conservation committee in 2004.

Rehabilitated. What does that mean in realistic terms? However, Rep. Philip Pinion made this remark in the AP story as well over the weekend, and for some reason, it struck me a bit strange.

House Transportation Chairman Phillip Pinion said Odom's election may have been at least in part a reaction against too many West Tennessee lawmakers in House leadership positions.

"I heard some talk that maybe West Tennessee had too much power up here," said Pinion, who represents Union City in northwest Tennessee.
Our area needs representation as much as anyone else. We've been floundering over here quite a bit in the last few years. These statements by Pinion are probably true to the political mindset in Nashville, but it still bugs me. Not his words necessarily, but the attitude. I realize that representatives from metropolitan areas are representing more people. But this entire Associated Press article just reeks of "politics as usual" and, quite frankly, I'm tired of politics as usual. It's a little bone to pick with. But it's my bone, so there. 
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