If Campfield Didn’t Exist, I’d Have to Make Him Up

HB 768–Non-U.S. citizen pay a 25% tax on checks, money orders, and traveller’s checks.

HB 770–Raises taxes on sexually explicit businesses.

HB 772–Makes it a felony to expose someone to hepatitis B.

HB 783–Bars the state from doing business with any business or individual who discriminates against others based on race, ethnicity, color, national origin, or political beliefs.

HB 796–Prevents the county election commissions from releasing information they collect about the candidates.

HB 981–Prevents people who receive state aid from collecting lottery winnings.

HB  982–Requires the issuance of a death certificate for aborted fetuses.

HB 988–In cases of supervised visitation, the parent required to pay for the supervised visitation gets to pick the supervisor.

HB 990–A person who has an order of protection sworn out against him or her would have the right to depose his or her accuser.

HB 991–Unless there’s a preponderance of evidence otherwise, the best custody arrangement would be shared custody.

HB 992–Violations of restraining orders must be handled more quickly.

HB 993–A defendant may preemptively challenge the judge in his or her divorce case once.

HB 994–If a person is found to have lied about being sexually abused, he or she must pay the court costs of the defendant.

HB 995–If your request for an order of protection is dismissed, you have to pay the court costs of the defendant.

HB 1523–If you are not the biological father of your child, you don’t have to pay child support. 

 It may be wrong to judge a man based on the legislation he brings forth, but, if that’s wrong, I don’t wan to be right.

There are a few things I find extremely interesting.  One is that Campfield (a Republican) seems hell-bent on regulating the shit out of our lives.  Provide proof that you’re a U.S. citizen.  Provide information to the state about your medical history.  Provide information to your abuser when he or she wants it.  Provide DNA so that your father can feel sure that he’s yours.  Provide proof that you don’t discriminate.  Provide proof of your STD status.  Provide, provide, provide.

Your life is up for scrutiny and, if you fail to negotiate said scrutiny, you have to pay.

But check out  HB 796, which will surprise none of you.  While Campfield moves to make our lives more open to scrutiny, he’s moving to make his and his fellow legislators’ lives a little more opaque.

The other is how determined he seems to be to punish people who are sexually active–meaning 99% of adult human beings.  Pay more for sex toys or trips to the strip club or for trips to the Hollywood Hustler.  If you get pregnant and decide you don’t want to be, you have to make your medical information available to the state.  If you’ve made the mistake of fucking a person who turns out to be a controlling asshole, well, guess what?  Campfield wants to make sure it’s even easier for that person to remain a controlling asshole presence in your life.

And just in case you don’t get how much Campfield hates you, if you’re too poor and you win the lottery, he wants to bar you from being able to collect your winnings.  Yes, apparently money is only for the wealthy.

I’ve saved HB 783 for last because I want you to think long and hard about what this means.  You and I both know that, what he’s aiming for is to dismantle affirmative action, to try to force folks who use it in hiring to stop or lose the state’s business.

But how many of you go over to Vanderbilt for medical treatment?  You know they must use some system of preferences somewhere in the university.  Will people who need state assistance to pay for medical treatment no longer be able to go to Vanderbilt?

What about Lipscomb?  They obviously prefer that Christians attend their college.  Will students be forbidden from using state scholarships at Lipscomb or Fisk?

I can’t think of any pithy way to wrap this up, but I think it’s interesting.

I’m curious about Senator Bunch, who is the co-sponsor on a lot of these bills.  What, if anything, do we know about him? 

17 thoughts on “If Campfield Didn’t Exist, I’d Have to Make Him Up

  1. Wow. Especially disturbing to me is HB 991. It depends on what he means by "shared custody"- if it’s joint custody in a decision making capacity, I’m not altogether disturbed, but if he means "shared custody"- the kid lives with the mother half the time and the dad the other half of the time, that’s really not okay. Some parents who divorce and aren’t really bitter toward each other can make the "one week at mom’s, one week at dad’s" work, but if you’re getting a divorce, you’re probably bitter and it’s hard to make that kind of arrangement work. It also means the parents have to live in the same school district. That kind of arrangement is a nightmare for most. Additionally, breastfeeding mothers *need* to be with their babies for the vast majority of the time, but I won’t go on about that in a comment. Needless to say, all these laws he’s trying to bring about piss me off- and should piss off most normal Americans.

  2. And by "all these laws", I mean the grand sum of them, not every single one. Some of these are not all that bad. But if you look at the whole collection, it’s disturbing.

  3. Ivy, I totally agree. And I’d just point out that a lot of his legislation makes it easier for an abusive ass (of either gender) to continue to be an abusive ass even as the abused tries to take steps to get the abuser out of the family’s life.

  4. I’m very curious about the impeti behind many of these bills. I’m wondering if he doesn’t receive a lot of funding or emotional support from some fringe male-rights groups. Many of these proposals seem tailored to appease a specific agenda.

  5. You know, Katherine, that’s exactly what I started wondering myself. Or rather, I wondered whether someone in his family is in with one of those groups and feeding him sob stories.

  6. Kat and NM make good points. I bet there’s something behind those bills. Also, look at HB 998. Seriously, what the fuck?!?! Supervised visitation is rarely given. There has to be a damn good reason behind it, and letting them pick who supervises? That’s fucked up, they could pick someone to further intimidate the person who was abused. Fucked up, fucked up, fucked up.

  7. Great roundup. I am particularly disturbed by HB796, but maybe that’s because it would directly affect research for my TN voter guide website.Obviously the bulk of these are far more damaging to people in general than the hit I take from that one; but that’s my angle.Sen. Bunch is a former Rep from Dist 24, Cleveland – but that’s about all I know of him. He surely seemed more mild-mannered and well-adjusted than these sponsorships may suggest.

  8. I hate to say anything that would even remotely defend this idiot but what exactly is wrong about shared custody? One of the few reasons keeping me in this miserable excuse for a marriage is that I’d only get to see my kids every other weekend. Why shouldn’t someone put a law on the books that requires that I be equally as likely to get custody? Why is it ok for the woman to get 85% custody of the kids virtually without debate?

  9. III, like Ivy and I said, there are some things that, by themselves, seem like plausible ideas–like the notion that a man shouldn’t have to pay child support for a kid that isn’t his.And I would support a law that said that, as a default, once kids were past the need to breastfeed, men should be just as likely to get custody as women (and I don’t mean to imply that women should always get custody of breastfeeding kids, just that the dietary needs of the kids need to be taken into account). I’m embarrassed that that even needs to be a law.But that’s not exactly what Campfield’s law is saying. He’s saying that the default should be shared custody, where you and your ex-wife split custody 50/50 (at least that’s my understanding).If that makes it easier for men to make their case for custody, I’m all for it. But if that makes it easier for folks to make their exes lives hell, then I’m against it. And it’s hard to tell what the intention is. Grouped with all his other legislation?I’m concerned.And believe me, this is a subject near and dear to my heart. I have a brother who’s still married solely to prevent his wife from vanishing with his kid.

  10. Let me preface by saying that every case is different and for some parents, it’s a health and safety issue to try to be the stable adult for a kid who would be otherwise vulnerable to some Very Bad Shit. However, speaking as a child-survivor of a marriage sustained ostensibly for my benefit…my parents did not do me a favor. Neither was a terrible person, but they were desperately unhappy in their marriage. They wound up modeling egocentric stubborness by turning their marriage into a vindictive grudgematch in which I was the terrified and miserably anxious prize. When would they get sick of it and let go of the rope? When was I going to lose one of them? Why couldn’t the yelling and crying and threats and storming out of the house to come back half an hour later just end so that we could all get some sleep? They couldn’t stand each other so we rarely did things as a family. Time spent with either of them was an exercise in trying not to say anything that would set off another round of acrimony. They vied for my loyalty in unhealthy ways, encouraging me to be both judge and referee. In short, they put their own needs before mine at every turn — the need to "win" against their partner, to control my comings and goings, to deny the other hated spouse access to my emotional intimacies and redirect it all to themselves. I am positive that they thought they were doing the right thing and I can forgive them for being merely human, but damn. Their pride took an awful toll on my young life. Honest, your kid might be praying for you to get a divorce.

  11. Would someone please check the ratio of the bills Rep. Campfield proposes to the ones that get passed??? The Rep. has so alienated himself in Nashville that I would be surprised if he ever gets a bill passed. As far as senator Bunch is concerned, I would only say……."Birds of a feather" yada, yada, yada.

  12. What Bridgett said. I mean, I know the grass is always greener and all that, but toxic relationships are toxic for everyone around, not just the principals.

  13. Ginny, the way to do that is to go to the following website and click "Legislation". http://www.legislature.state.tn.us/You'll then enter his name in the query box for current legislation (where you’ll find his hard-hitting resolution to drop the temperature in the Legislative Parking Garage…what a weiner, why wouldn’t he just call up the garage manager?). You’ll find that his 2007 legislation is currently mostly in committee, which is not a measure of anything other than he just introduced most of it.If you then track him in the archives, you can then see his successful resolution thanking his student interns (that’s nice) and some "yeah, me too" co-sponsorship from all TNReps.In my cursory review, I didn’t see anything that he’s gotten off the ground by himself. Indeed, he rarely does act alone. It’s always a Campfield/Bunch production.Not to cut him too much slack, but if he’s a very junior rep, it’s probably not too unusual that he doesn’t yet have the clout to move anything himself. I suspect that the TN legislature, like many others, requires a certain amount of dues-paying and coalition-building. His current trajectory doesn’t argue well for his future success, though.

  14. Thanks, Bridgett. I also saw somewhere that Campfield is maybe going to run against Senator Jamie Woodson when she comes up for re-election. Have you heard this?

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