The Congressional Term Limits resolution passed the General Assembly on Feb 4, 2016. That's right -- contrary to what has been portrayed through the numerous radio ads, full-page newspaper ads, the Facebook posts, and all the other ways the out-of-state lobbyists have tried to muddy the waters on the issue, it passed and was signed by the Governor on Feb 9, 2016.
You see, a group of very dedicated individuals who wanted it to succeed, came to the Capitol early this year to have it passed. They worked hard. They talked to all of the committee members. They were rewarded for all of their hard work. The term limits resolution passed the House floor on Feb 4, 2016. The vote was 59-31.
Not everybody liked the way it was being proposed, but it passed. In fact, some very conservative groups felt the Constitutional Convention process that was proposed could be overtaken by left-wing progressives and we could end up with a runaway convention that would take away our 2nd Amendment rights, but I will leave that story for another time.
The reason why the mysterious out-of-state lobbying group has committed to a personal attack on me is because their local lobbyists were late to the game and were unsuccessful in trying to have their resolution heard in committee. The term-limits resolution had already passed. The early bird does get the worm - even at the Capitol. These lobbyists wanted me and the other committee members to hear a resolution that was already signed by the Governor and had already been voted on. Even the most inexperienced legislators agreed that this would be a tremendous waste of time and money.
But here's a timeline of events. On February 17, 2016 the local lobbyists, hired by the mysterious out-of-state lobbying group, appeared in my office. Their goal was to finally push for a resolution we had already passed. They came to my office 8 days after the Governor signed the term-limits resolution, and 13 days after we voted on the House floor for the term-limits resolution. Now, I have always said to my children: "If you want something in life you have to work for it. If you don't work hard you will not get what you want." I told these lobbyists that we were sorry but the term-limits resolution was signed by the Governor and there would be no need for us to pass their resolution. I thought they would be happy that it passed. They weren't.
You see, in order for this group to continue to make money, they need to be able to say they were responsible for passing a resolution. It wasn't good enough that we passed a resolution that allowed Tennessee to participate in a convention of states to amend the U.S. Constitution to create term limits for Congress. They wanted their resolution passed, so they could get big out-of-state donors to fund their out-of-state operations.
When you elected me to represent you in Nashville, I made a pledge to only pass legislation that I thought would help the people of Northwest Tennessee. I made a pledge to be responsible with your rights, time, and tax dollars. Since I have been in Nashville, many people have gotten upset with me because I wouldn't play the big-money game. I'll be the first to admit that I have made some mistakes when I was first getting started in Nashville as your representative, but I have never and would never vote on a bill that would hurt the place that I love. The place where I have my life savings invested. The place where my family lives and my future exists. I love Northwest Tennessee, and if I have to make some mysterious out-of-state lobbyists mad every once in a while then so be it.
Rep. Bill Sanderson
House of Representatives
State of Tennessee