The article below combines the three most recent newsletters (#145, #146, and #147) from the Tennessee Council for Political Justice.
What Would Haslam Do?
Ever since he took office, Gov. Haslam has been aggressively promoting the Chamber of Commerce’s political agenda, an agenda that looks like it came straight from Obama:
- Common Core — we must have it or Tennessee’s kids will never get jobs
- Refugee resettlement — we need to bring in cheap serf labor because we don’t have enough workers
- Promote Islamists — Muslim Brotherhood and sharia law are not obstacles to business
- Medicaid expansion — Tennessee will like it if they would only try it
- Amnesty — this is a must otherwise Republicans will never get the Latino vote
Despite the overwhelming rejection of Common Core across the state from parents, educators and legislators, Haslam is doing anything and everything not to concede defeat. He even staged a pro-Common Core rally on September 18th. Haslam continues to insist that this is the only way Tennessee students will become college and career competent even though the standards are untested and are being challenged by content experts.
The U.S., Tennessee included, pays to bring refugees to live in America who are later recruited to perform jihad. Aggressive recruitment of Islamists by the Islamic State (IS), has forced the American public to finally acknowledge that the jihad threat on American soil from returning jihadists, is real. Syrians will now be arriving through the refugee resettlement program. We have known since at least 2010 that jihadists have crossed our unsecured Southern border. And now we are told that ISIS is operating in Mexico. The threat to our security is real.
The federal refugee resettlement program is voluntary and Tennessee does not have to participate or assume the cost of the federal program. The cost of the federal program to the state cannot be validated because of absent data and unsupported guesstimates by the legislature’s fiscal review office. What Haslam hasn’t factored into additional federal costs forced on state taxpayers is that the new job growth he is boasting about is not employing native born Tennesseeans. The jobs are going to legal and illegal immigrants.
Haslam has never indicated that he would put business interests aside to address legitimate fiscal and security concerns.
This says nothing of course about the illegal immigrants living and working in Tennessee. Nor does it address the added costs of the illegal immigrant children that have arrived to join their illegally-present relatives. The 760 children deposited in Tennessee as of July is now up to 909 and likely to increase.
Between late 2011 and early 2012, Haslam and his Commissioner of Safety and Homeland Security Bill Gibbons supported and collaborated with the formation of the American Muslim Advisory Council (AMAC). Gibbons has supported the AMAC’s participation in training state safety and law enforcement personnel.
Haslam hired the sharia finance specialist Samar Ali. When questioned about Ali’s hiring, the apologist for Islam Haslam ignored the linkage between sharia finance and terrorism and said “everyone has a right to freedom of religion.” He probably also agrees with Obama that the Islamic State has nothing to do with Islam.
Haslam’s Communications Director Alexa Poe (former development chief for Democrat Mayor Karl Dean), says that Haslam will not share his Medicaid expansion plan with the State’s legislators at the same time he submits it for the Obama administration’s approval. Is it because he doesn’t want both the federal government and his state’s government telling him what he can and cannot do?
Unlike other governors, Haslam was silent in 2012 when Obama unilaterally gave work authorization and temporary legal presence through DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) to certain illegal immigrants. Instead, Haslam is campaigning with his pro-amnesty crony Sen. Lamar Alexander. Any horse-trading between Lamar and Haslam? Lamar’s son Will Alexander received a Chief of Staff position with Haslam’s Department of Economic & Community Development (ECD) in exchange for… ?
So, what does Haslam get for selling out Tennessee?
There is no end to what the Haslam money can buy, even a joint venture between Tennessee’s elitist right and its neighborhood left.
Starting its second year, “Leadership Tennessee” is a 10-month leadership education program hosted by Lipscomb University. The program was founded and funded in part by The Haslam Foundation, the Haslam family’s Flying Pilot J, the Hyde Family Foundation and the Cornerstone Foundation of Knoxville whose board at one time included Haslam.
Leadership Tennessee says it brings people together to “find the common good.” Is this Haslam’s way of practicing the”reach across the aisle” that RHINOs in D.C. do so well?
It is ironic that Haslam would be funding a leadership program since increasingly, he’s the “leader” that nobody wants to follow, least of all growing segments of the general assembly.
The Program “Team” includes:
- Tom Ingram — advisor to Republican and Democrat politicians including Haslam, Lamar and Nashville Mayor Karl Dean. His vision of the program is that it “will represent middle, east and west Tennessee across all sectors.” Class participants include some Tennessee politicians currently in office such as the Lipscomb alumnus, Speaker Beth Harwell. Would the program ever include conservative politicians like the ones Haslam tried to unseat? Aren’t they part of coming together for the “common good?”
- Cathy Cate — executive director of Leadership Tennessee is the wife of Haslam Chief of Staff Mark Cate who just happens to be in this year’s Leadership class.
- Linda Peek Schacht — her impressive credentials reflect complete dedication to the Democrat party, including a position with the (Israel-hating) Carter White House and communications director for the U.S. Senate Democratic Policy Committee.
- Randolph Lowry — President of Lipscomb University, who has moved the university to more liberal, socially progressive positions. For example, in 2008, Lowry announced Lipscomb’s new scholarships reserved for Latino students. One Lipscomb Master’s project described the “Lipscomb University model for welcoming, enrolling and graduating the 1.5 Generation, undocumented young people brought to this country as children who would be covered by the Dream Act.”
At Lipscomb University, breaking the country’s immigration laws is not a bar to a college education. Would Lowry also condone an unemployed man stealing to feed his family?
Lipscomb partners with TIRRC (TN Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition) in their annual “Welcoming Events.” TIRRC addresses the issue of illegal immigration in the code of open border advocates who call it “reuniting families” or advocating for “ the Dreamers.”
The university also hosts pro-sharia propaganda events and anti-Israel propaganda films like “5 Broken Cameras.”
TN Leadership first year’s class included Sen. Corker’s chief of staff, mayors from select cities, representatives from big business, leaders and non-profit representatives like Renata Soto from the leftist organization Conexion Americas, and SCORE’s Executive Director Jamie Woodson, the biggest lobbyist and most well-financed lobbyist for Common Core in Tennessee next to the Chamber of Commerce.
This year’s class includes a BlueCross BlueShield executive, Secretary of State Tre Hargett, Speaker Beth Harwell, lawyers from big law firms, Knox County’s school superintendent, another representative from Conexion Americas and the CAIR-Hamas collaborator Remziya Suleyman from the American Center for Outreach (ACO).
Captive audience for Haslam’s agenda
Leadership TN says it is about “collaborative leadership.” Last year SCORE was highlighted as a “terrific example of collaboration in action… SCORE has been the catalyst for transforming Tennessee into a national leader in education reform.” According to Rocky Top Politics, SCORE and several of its board members helped finance Haslam’s recent attack on conservative primary candidates.
This year’s class includes Calvin Anderson, Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs for BlueCross BlueShield of TN. Haslam’s communications director Alexa Poe (who used to work for Democrat Nashville Mayor Karl Dean) said that Haslam will not show his new plan for Medicaid expansion to his state legislators until after he gets the federal government to approve it.
What are the chances this year’s Leadership TN will be discussing the need for Medicaid expansion?
The Real Payoff for Leadership TN participants: Networking and deal-making
Two of the biggest benefactors of this program will be Suleyman and Jose Gonzalez, the finance director for Conexion Americas. ACO, the American Muslim Advisory Council (AMAC) and TIRRC all work together with Conexion Americas and have their offices in Casa Azafran, the building owned by Conexion Americas.
Gonzalez can guilt trip the others about how without amnesty, families are separated and illegals have to live in the shadows. Obviously, he thinks U.S. law means nothing.
Suleyman will tell her usual embellished story about how she came as a refugee and works tirelessly as a human rights activist to defend the victimized Muslims of Tennessee. She’ll tell them about her interfaith work but probably won’t tell them that her close friend and her organization’s Civic Engagement Coordinator was a lead organizer of pro-Hamas rallies in Nashville and regularly tweets out Jew hatred. Suleyman will probably not disclose her close association with and promotion of CAIR-Hamas and her personal relationship with its director, Nihad Awad. Or that she brought anti-Semitic Michigan CAIR director to train Muslim high school students in political activism.
And she probably won’t tell them that despite her pro-sharia advocacy, she admitted “she never knew the concept of sharia.”
For Haslam, Leadership TN is an opportunity to buy support and be able to cast himself as a “consensus leader,” like the kind Sen. Bob Corker says we need for the next Republican presidential candidate. Haslam can show the participants that it doesn’t violate Republican principles to agree with Obama — amnesty, entitlements, pro-Islam, and drivers’ licenses for illegal immigrants. He can show them that Republican principles won’t drive his politics. He can show them that it’s okay to reach back and forth “across the aisle” because in the end, we are all the same whether Democrat or Republican.
This past Labor Day weekend, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) held its 51st annual convention in Detroit. This is the largest annual Muslim Brotherhood event in the U.S.
ISNA is listed in the 1991 Muslim Brotherhood strategic plan for North America and was also a named unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror financing prosecution. ISNA was founded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood’s first U.S. organization, the Muslim Students Association (MSA). Many of ISNA’s leaders were active in their respective college MSAs.
A look at ISNA’s website, leadership, annual convention speakers and partners shows why ISNA supports the BDS goal of destroying Israel as the Jewish homeland. ISNA supports Hamas, the armed branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is dedicated to the destruction of Israel. Hamas is a U.S. designated terrorist organization.
The Islamic Center of Nashville (ICN) warranty deed lists the same mailing address as ISNA. Why do the Nashville’s Family of Abraham apologists for Islam turn a blind eye to ISNA’s end goals? Is it because they think the same way?
ISNA’s 2014 conference
This year’s event theme made the absurd claim that Muslims living the U.S. constitute the next civil rights movement. Tennessee’s Muslim American Center for Outreach (ACO) tried a similar propaganda tactic during the 2013 “Black History Month.”
The biggest irony with ISNA’s choice of theme is that this country’s most respected and powerful black American civil rights leader, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., defended Israel’s need for security and spoke against anti-Semitism.
Speakers at the conference included the regular group of named unindicted co-conspirators from the terrorism financing prosecution who also happen to be regular speakers in Tennessee, including Syyid Syeed, Jamal Badawi, Nihad Awad, Zaid Shakir, Hamza Yusuf, Louay Safi and Siraj Wahajj.
And no large gathering of sharia advocates would be complete without Memphis Tennessee imam Yasir Qadhi.
And no Muslim Brotherhood inspired event would be complete without high profile representatives of anti-Israel Jew-hater organizations like CAIR-Hamas and Hatem Bazian, founder of Students for Justice in Palestine.
The highest profile speakers included former President Jimmy Carter, (author of “Apartheid Israel”), Rep. Keith Ellison and Michigan Governor, Republican Rick Snyder.
Governors Snyder and Haslam: two sides of the same coin?
In 2011 Michigan Gov. Snyder spoke at an event sponsored by CAIR-Hamas. Like ISNA, CAIR was identified as a Muslim Brotherhood organization and named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing prosecution. A letter campaign shortly thereafter “cautioned [Snyder] about Muslim Brotherhood influence operations.”
Either Snyder wasn’t listening or wanted to believe the “moderate Muslim Brotherhood” fantasy. Or that ISNA’s interfaith outreach with Jews is somehow complementary to ISNA’s support for the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) and delegitimization movement against Israel. Why else would Snyder choose the ISNA convention to remind his audience of Israel’s right to exist? ISNA promptly issued an action alert against the Governor for his “insensitive remarks.”
Like Snyder, Haslam has his Department of Homeland Security interface with the state’s Muslim Advisory Council (AMAC) even though AMAC board members publicly assert their allegiance to known Muslim Brotherhood and lead pro-Hamas rallies. Would Haslam speak at an AMAC conference if asked? What about a CAIR conference? What if ISNA decided to use the new Nashville Convention Center? Any different than speaking at a KKK rally?
Haslam probably would show up and welcome the Islamists to his state. Just like he welcomed the sharia observant Mwafaq Aljabbary into the Republican political fold.
Left to right: Joshua Rawlings, Mwafaq Aljabbary or Mohammed, TN Governor Bill Haslam
Would Haslam also show his support for Israel? It’s questionable.
Shortly after the sharia finance specialist Samar Ali was hired by the Haslam administration, Commissioner Hagerty said that Samar was hired after a phone call from her father, Subhi Ali. Did it matter that Subhi Ali’s organization the Jerusalem Fund wants to destroy Israel? When questioned about why he hired a Muslim with a sharia finance background, Haslam defended his choice citing “freedom of religion.” Obviously Haslam doesn’t understand the “politics” of Islam and its sharia finance which sends money to support jihadis like Hamas or ISIS.
Just like Gov. Snyder, Islamists in Tennessee have ties to former President Jimmy Carter. Would it concern Haslam to know that Samar accompanied former President Jimmy Carter and his Carter Center team to witness the Presidential Elections in Egypt when the Muslim Brotherhood candidate was elected?
The same former President who is the author of “Apartheid Israel,” whose Carter Center took $1 million from the Bin Laden family, and donations [pdf] in the range of $10,000 to $24,999 from Samar’s father and mother?
What should Haslam do?
He should start by being educated about the Muslim Brotherhood presence in Tennessee including the Pleasant View Islamic school in Memphis. He should find out why Anoor Academy in his hometown is teaching its children lies about Jews and Christians. He should learn more about why the pro-sharia advocates like Remziya Suleyman and her ACO organization are teaming up with CAIR-Hamas and Samar Ali.
He might even want to find out why his Commissioner of Safety and Homeland Security Bill Gibbons wasn’t truthful about his promotion of the American Muslim Advisory Council in Tennessee. Instead of keeping Tennessee’s law enforcement ignorant about Islamist activity in Tennessee, he should make sure they are properly and thoroughly trained.
Haslam should look more carefully at the Israel- and Jew-hating group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) that has established itself at UT Knoxville, and he should question why Tennessee has witnessed pro-Hamas rallies in Nashville, Chattanooga and Knoxville.
Could Haslam be counted on to do what he should do? Not based on past evidence he won’t.