Jan 30 2013
01:13 pm

Tennessee’s so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay‘ bill died with the adjournment of the state assembly last year. But now the measure is back — with new, harsher requirements.

The bill, SB 234, still bars Tennessee teachers from discussing any facet of “non-heterosexual” sexuality with children in grades K-8. But the newest iteration also includes a provision requiring teachers or counselors to inform the parents of some students who identify themselves as LGBT. State Sen. Stacey Campfield (R), who authored the bill the first time around and again introduced it this time, calls out students who might be “at risk,” but leaves the interpretation of that behavior to the teacher: (more at link)


Treehouse's picture

Got hate?


Rachel's picture

Could you folks in Stacey's

Could you folks in Stacey's district do us all a favor and please vote him out of office?

'kay. Thanks.

june jones's picture


Oh, don't you worry, we are on it!! He's making it easier!

Andy Axel's picture

Stacey Campfield wants

Stacey Campfield wants children dead.

WhitesCreek's picture

Hey, You people give Stacey a

Hey, You people give Stacey a break. It ain't easy keeping your name at the top of national whack job news cycle as much as he does. This man is a champion! If it weren't for Stacey you would be way more upset at the fact that your public schools system is being sold off and you wells are being poisoned by fracking. This is impressive stuff... being that damned mean takes work.

Treehouse's picture

No show

He won't show up for local meetings and discussions such as those hosted by the League of Women Voters. But he'll talk to Faux News! A national embarrassment.

CE Petro's picture

It's Okay to Be Takei

Perhaps someone should alert George Takei to expand on the last video.

trobinson is me's picture

After watching this nut on

After watching this nut on msnbc, (link...) seeing his blog and engaging him in the NS comment section, I've come to realize that he will do anything to get attention. It seems that he keeps upping the ante of right wing nutjobbery just to keep the media pointed at himself. I mean, why does he go on msnbc? To speak to his constituents? Don't think there's a lot of his fans there.

He really has no arguments. He just pivots from one straw man to another when someone pushes him to explain his crazy ideas.

It's creepy.

fischbobber's picture

He governs by the old adage

"All press is good press. Just spell my name right."

He understands that homophobia still sells in the south and he's riding that horse until it dies in the desert. He's good at what he does and it's going to take a special candidate and a huge support team to beat him.

He treats politics like show business and he doesn't give up center stage. He can be beat, but we won't beat him with conventional tactics. It'll be a fight.

AnonymousOne's picture

He was beaten last time in

He was beaten last time in the primary. And the Democrats won't put a substantial candidate up.

Why was he on MSNBC? Because they invited him?

They use him as much as he uses them, and that's also true with the News-Sentinel.

fischbobber's picture


If you hit my name where it's underlined, go to my blog and hit the link at the start of the Future of the Democrats part one it will take you to the Knox County election results page.

You will note that Campfield won his primary, however, he did not take a majority of the votes. Ron Ledbetter has been formidable competition against Stacy in the primaries and it's my understanding that Stacy sponsored a stiff in order to pull votes from Ron and get a Campfield win in the primary. Randy Walker did not make the impact at the polls one would have hoped. I worked for the Walker campaign, and I'm proud I did, however, in retrospect, my time and the Democrats cause would have probably been better spent working for Sam Alexander. Steve Hall is more beatable than Stacy Campfield. Randy is a good guy, but he wasn't the guy to beat Stacy. Had we softened up Hall with Alexander, Hancock had a fighting chance.

It's not going to be easy to beat the guy. He has a lock on the idiot vote. That's significant. He has a lock on the homophobe vote. That's significant. He has a lock on the anti-tax vote. That's huge. BUT and this is a big BUT, he throws children under the bus every chance he gets. His achilles heel, his soft underbelly is that he is doing his best to destroy your child and every policy he has ever put forth underscores this weakness. He votes against education, he votes against the student and he votes against the child. He votes against our states future. He is beatable. It just won't be easy.

As for his media presence, he doesn't care what they say as long as he gets exposure for free. This will work to our benefit if Gloria steps up to the camera every time Stacy says something stupid.

Rachel's picture

I know y'all don't believe

I know y'all don't believe this, but you should listen to me & Bean. If he decides to run, Rick Briggs will take Stacey down.

fischbobber's picture

Rick Briggs

Hell, I hope he does. Tell him to call me. I'll help.

When have y'all been getting this info out? How did I miss it? When and where can I meet this guy? How do I sign up?

Rachel's picture

We talked about it on some KV

We talked about it on some KV thread - heck if I know which one.

Rick Briggs is Dr. Richard Briggs, heart surgeon. He's also a County Commissioner, so if you really want to meet him, you shouldn't have much trouble finding his contact info.

fischbobber's picture


Is he a progressive, traditional or crossover Democrat? Independent?

I really don't give a shit as long as I don't have to cross over to the dark side to vote for him.

Rachel's picture

He's a Republican. He will

He's a Republican. He will take Stacey out in the primary. It won't matter who the Dems run.

He's way more conservative than I am, but he's very smart and not out in RW cukoo land. And he has a good personality (which is kind of rare in surgeons, in my experience).

And he won't embarrass Knox County every time he opens his mouth. LARGE plus.

Gregg Lonas's picture

Just perfect.

Exactly what a democratic candidate needs to see on here. "It won't matter who the Dems run."

Bbeanster's picture

East Tennessee Democrats need

East Tennessee Democrats need to be tough -- and smart.

Gregg Lonas's picture

elaborate please

elaborate please.

Rachel's picture

Sorry, Greg, but if Rick

Sorry, Greg, but if Rick Briggs is the Republican nominee for that seat, it WON'T matter who the Dems run. Not this time 'round anyway.

I'm not trying to discourage Dems from running; just talking reality.

JHayes's picture

This goes both ways

Like the 1st and 2nd Districts on County Commission, they are safe as safe can be for Democrats right now.

Rachel is just stating the obvious. I would tell a strong Democratic Candidate from Stacey's district to run for City Council, if he lives in the City part of it, or run for one of the overlapping County Commission seats (doubtful he'd win this, but the district is much smaller, less people to convince to pull the lever from Republican to Democrat)

Amos Rucker؟ 's picture

It worked for Cas Walker . . .

Local voters seem to appreciate entertainer-politicians: Campfield, Lambert, and Walker come to mind. Whether you're attending a commission meeting in a costume with a screw going through your back, burying a man alive to sell groceries, or relentlessly introducing outrageous legislation to gain attention (to overcompensate for self-hatred?), why monkey around with success, right?

Yes, Campfield is good at what he does . . .

fischbobber's picture


I'll go over and wish him good luck after I vote in the Democratic primary. I've met some pretty decent people down through the years doing that.

Local Citizen's picture


Jay Leno was making fun of Campfield again tonight on his show.

Min's picture

Oh, man.

This has The Daily Show written all over it.

EricLykins's picture

Organization launches fund

AnonymousOne's picture

Primaries are tricky things.

Primaries are tricky things. Pluralities are not that hard to pull off, and I assume Campfield could have the 7th District primary ticket loaded in his favor.

Any additional candidates on the GOP 7th district primary, motivated by principles or opportunism, could further divide the vote.

Plus, what is currently outrageous will be old news by the next primary. And there are a number of national issues that will influence local and especially state elections in 2014.

Gun control, Medicaid expansion, federalism, and the implementation of major parts of the ACA.

Campfield can use all to his advantage.

But yes, Commissioner Briggs is a great candidate and logical choice.

Heart surgeon, Iraq veteran, conservative yet independent,a realist, he brings a unique understanding of medicine and healthcare and will provide helpful leadership for future General Assemblies in dealing with the state's role in implementing the ACA.

Campfield politics all the time. He can be beaten, but an opponent can't assume anything with him.

Rachel's picture

Briggs also smart and a serious person. In short, everything Stacey is not.

I think it would be very difficult for Stacey to be beaten by a Democrat right now. West Knox is pretty much gonna vote for the person with the R by his/her name. However, I think a candidate like Briggs can win in the primary.

People are tired of the Stacey's shenanigans.

AnonymousOne's picture

"I think it would be very

"I think it would be very difficult for Stacey to be beaten by a Democrat right now."

Therein lies Campfield's primary strategy: campaign as the true conservative (not a so-called RINO), claim his opponent is supported by Democrats, and divide the moderate Republican vote.

I agree that Briggs is a smart, serious, thoughtful and caring public servant. And this campaign will require Campfield's opposition to be as clever as Campfield is cunning.

Rich Hailey's picture

Let's talk about the bill instead of Stacey for a minute

I know how much y'all dislike Campfield, but why not take a couple of minutes and consider exactly what the bill is saying? Shameless self promotion, I just posted an article on Babble that does just that, from the perspective of a parent who has put 6 kids through high school.

There are some very good reasons why parents should be notified, and I believe we are doing them a disservice by automatically dismissing the bill simply because of where it came from.

If you are interested in my take, and wish to reply, the article is at (link...)

redmondkr's picture

I have a friend who was

I have a friend who was thrown out of his parents' house when he was sixteen and he thought they loved him enough for him to safely reveal that he was gay. He tried suicide a couple of times before he discovered that there is such a thing as a non-birth family that cared whether he lived or died. He's fifty-two now and living in a loving relationship in Hawaii.

Campfield either doesn't know or doesn't care about the fact that he may well be pushing some gay kids over the edge by outing them to similar uncaring parents.

Rachel's picture

In a perfect world, I'd be

In a perfect world, I'd be all for parental notification. But in a perfect world, kids would be going to their parents first instead of to school counselors.

I can see the argument for parental notification but I come down on the other side. I suspect most kids who talk to counselors about this don't feel they can talk to their parents. Some of them may be wrong, but not all of them.

If the parents are told against the child's wishes, the child will find it hard to trust an adult again (or at least I would). And your statistic of 25% of gay kids being kicked out of their homes when parents find out is distressingly high. That's a mighty big chance to take.

Not to mention that if kids are struggling with sexuality, don't feel they can talk to their parents, and know that a counselor will have to tell them, how many kids will just struggle alone?

P.S. It is unfortunate that this bill comes from Stacey Campfield; it's difficult not to have a knee jerk reaction to anything he proposes. And I suspect that this bill may be less about the best interests of the kids and more about Stacey looking for more publicity.

But you are right, the topic deserves serious discussion.

AnonymousOne's picture

Why should a counselor or

Why should a counselor or teacher have to tell a parent if the behavior isn't endangering the student or others?

This idea that teachers and counselors should be informants about any behavior deemed "troubling" is absurd.

That's not the teachers and counselors' roles.

Their primary roles are to help the students navigate through school, and as an extention, life.

This would open a Pandora's Box.

Min's picture

Not only that.

When word gets out that counselors are required to inform on students to their parents, students will stop talking to counselors about their problems. Then counseling positions can be cut.

marytheprez's picture

I suspected what I learned all along, Fish.

After we talked last night, I learned what the Idiot's reasons are for ALL of it...told to me by someone who KNOWS. This person told me and others that Stacey confronted them during the start of the 2010 Campaign. This is basically his philosophy for 'winning':

"I do not CARE about anything I say or do...the more 'news' I cause, people remember my name. People REMEMBER MY NAME because of what I say, no matter what no matter who I hurt or insult. I will win this election, because this is my strategy and I have NEVER lost an election here or anywhere."

He is confident because he has GOP/TEA money behind him so he can fill a seat in Nashville...This is how the GOP/TEAs now control red states. Fools are supported by the GOP, no matter how repugnant...DesJarlais, Carr, Kelsey, Hawk, Curry Todd, so they can sit in seats and DO NOTHING for Tennesseans. This is evidenced by their lack of working on JOBS, on decent health care, on putting more money in public schools, K-12, instead of handing out our tax dollars to profit 'education experts' by ripping off poor families...vouchers, charter/private schools and the online craziness.
I note the Govenor said yesterday that he does not 'publicly' support Stacey and as much as admitted that this State's reputation has been negatively impacted by all the hate.
The voters the Idiot's District are SO impressed that he makes national news and is just so cute with his ignorance, that he WILL continue to win.
I say whoever Briggs is, he probably would win if he could condemn every single ignorant, hate-filled Bill, every lie (straight people don't get AIDS). And if Briggs IS a physician, he would have to tell the medical and scientific truth against Campfield's lack of any facts about human sexuality, or what Campfield says about violating the trust a child's might place in his/her school counselor. In other words, Briggs would have to tell the voters in that District that he DOES represent decent moral values, and he would work for THEM, not build a reputation for himself as a copycat, empty suit Stacy.
In other words, we Democrats and Independents would have to ask Jesus to run in order to 'get rid of Stacey'. Or maybe we can run a donkey for this job, one who would make more noise and is cuter.

Gregg Lonas's picture

Part of the problem

Part of the problem is, you actually don't know who "Briggs" is.

AnonymousOne's picture

That and insulting the voters

That and insulting the voters of the 7th district. And having no idea how a candidate could beat Campfield.

Try and remember Campfield won the primary with a plurality, not a majority of the votes.

Based on her strategy, the candidate would win the Democratic primary...and then lose to Campfield.

EconGal's picture

Nt. error.

Nt. error.

fischbobber's picture

Show Business

It's show business for Stacy. As I told you though, I was shocked when I started going over some of the names in the nominating petitions for candidates out here. As a lifelong resident of this district, it was a real eye opener.

Campfield is polarizing, but I truly believe he can be beat by the right candidate (again, it's going to take wearing out about six pair of shoes for starters.). I don't believe we have to abandon the Democratic Party nor core Democratic issues to win this campaign.

Consider this. The press has swarmed to Gloria. Typically Campfield's two-year old spoiled brat shows was all that the news offered. We now have an adult, a reasonable, smart adult articulating the Democratic platform.

Sometimes during the course of an election, one gets caught up with whatever one is focused on. The big picture doesn't always become clear until later. Finding a candidate that can work behind the scenes with Gloria on education and children's issues will give the voters a high profile candidate (and let's face it, thirty percent of Campfield's vote is name recognition) and a real alternative to his madness. I think Gloria's and the party's support will be enough, for the right person, to beat Campfield.

At least I hope so. I don't sleep well at night when I vote Republican. My conscience bothers me. I'm voting for the Democrat or staying home.

Rachel's picture

The voters the Idiot's

The voters the Idiot's District are SO impressed that he makes national news and is just so cute with his ignorance, that he WILL continue to win.

I don't think that's true. If it were, he would have gotten more than 39% of the votes in the last primary. If he hadn't had two opponents to split the vote, he would have been toast then.

I say whoever Briggs is..... And if Briggs IS a physician,

Clearly you have no idea who Commissioner Briggs is. But many of the voters in the 7th district do. Dr. Briggs has proved to be a competent County Commissioner from west Knoxville. He's well-liked and respected by the voters out there.

And IF he is a physician? You're asking? I sure hope he is cause he did both my dad's bypass and my husband's artificial heart valve surgeries. If he's not a physician - and a highly respected one - we sure were misinformed.

Pam Strickland's picture

Mary, I am embarrassed for

Mary, I am embarrassed for you that you do not know who the members of the Knox County Commission are. A basic requirement for anyone who is active in politics is to know who holds local office and some rudimentary information about those individuals, including their occupation. It's fairly easy to gather this information, and even if It's not known at this point, I doesn't get you any points to admit that you don't know what you're talking about if you're a local political animal. Really. I'm astounded.

Bbeanster's picture

You quote, as truth, a source

You quote, as truth, a source quoting Campfield boasting, "I have NEVER lost an election here or anywhere."

Evidently Campfield forgot that Steve Buttry beat him in the 18th House District GOP primary in 2002.

Or your source is making shit up.

redmondkr's picture

From One of 'Those People'

In 1989 the Report of the Task Force on Youth Suicide commissioned by the Department of Health and Human Services stated that LGB youth were two to three times more likely to attempt suicide than straight kids and may equal up to 30% of youth suicides.

Those findings comprised only one chapter in the report but the Bush the Elder Administration attempted to suppressed the entire report because of its 'incompatibility with the Republican Party's Christian agenda'.

Granted, 1989 was a long time ago - but not that long ago it seems in the South. I mentioned that report once to a conservative (being as kind as I can here) colleague at work who said the sad part about it was the fact that they waited until they were teenagers before they killed themselves.

Oddly enough 1989 was the year I came out to my mother and I will never forget her first words, "Your [late] daddy hated those people."

How well I knew that.

Bbeanster's picture

Briggs: (link...)



AnonymousOne's picture

Counselors informing parents

Counselors informing parents when their child's behavior might be deemed as troubling for the parents?

What if the parents are against inter-racial dating, etc.

Where would it end?

Counselor: "Mr. Jones, do you know that Margaret wishes to pursue a career in music, or art, and I wanted you to know before things went too far. We're having a talent show on Tuesday, and I was afraid...."

Sheesh, where do they get this stuff?

B Harmon's picture

KNS comments from Stacey

Stacy is once again posting on the KNS comments here.

Bbeanster's picture

Ramsey opposes Campfield's

Ramsey opposes Campfield's Snitcher bill:


Unlike some, he doesn't feel compelled to defend the indefensible – at least not this time.

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