Campfield is Being Played

I should unequivocally enjoy watching Campfield get his ass handed to him by one of his colleagues. So, yes, when I read that Campfield’s budget amendment to defund Planned Parenthood had been undone by another amendment Campfield tried, but failed, to remove from the budget, I laughed. Oh, I laughed long and hard.

But this concerns me (yes, sorry, the link goes to Senator Douchecanoe’s blog):

He said he originally took it out when we requested him to do it but later a member came back and had him put it back in. I asked him who it was and he said he could not tell as it would violate lawyer client privilege.

How can any state legislator have attorney/client privilege with a state attorney over the state’s business from a state senator? Plus, Campfield isn’t a court of law (thank god). The lawyer isn’t being called to testify about what he and his client were talking about, nor is Campfield asking for the ability to listen in on the lawyer’s conversations with some other legislator. Campfield, who (terrifyingly enough) is an elected official is merely asking which other elected official fucked him over.

I’m not sure it’s right for the lawyer to keep that from Campfield (though I find it hilarious). But it’s definitely not right for the lawyer to lie about why he’s keeping it from Campfield.

That just doesn’t sit right with me.

And that pisses me off. Because I’d like to be able to enjoy this moment of Campfield realizing he’s been dicked over by some high ranking Republican, some member of his own party, possibly someone who’s pretended to his face to be just as upset about this as Campfield is without a second of hesitation. I would like to be gloating over Campfield like Cartman over Tenorman, back before Cartman learned Tenorman’s dad was his dad as well.

But this is kind of ruining it for me a little bit.

20 thoughts on “Campfield is Being Played

  1. How can any state legislator have attorney/client privilege with a state attorney over the state’s business from a state senator?

    You couldn’t. The state attorney’s “client” is not individual legislators but the state as a whole.

    If it were, then the line about attorney-client privilege might make sense–the privilege applies whether or not you’re in court to testify, and lawyers have a duty not to disclose. But again, individual legislators are not the “client” for attorney-client purposes.

    I am laughing over this though, both at Stacey Campfield’s misfortunes and at the fact that someone in the GOP is apparently so afraid of him that they’re going to these lengths to cover it up.

  2. Here’s what I find interesting, though. The problem Campfield has is that, while he might suspect that the person who put the second amendment in the budget is not more powerful than him, he can’t know whether the person who put it BACK in the budget is more powerful than him.

    But, honestly, I don’t think whoever did this is hiding from Campfield. Who’s afraid of Campfield?

    They’re obviously hiding from the Tennessee Right to Life people.

  3. This is veering way off course. What is the big deal about who did it? The idea that there is something wrong with adding language to the budget that says, essentially, “we won’t do anything to supercede existing state or federal law” is so ridiculous! Please! There is a 2007 TN Attorney General’s opinion that indicates we would risk losing ALL of the state’s Title X family planning funding from the feds if an anti-Planned Parenthood effort were successful. Those funds are used in all 95 local health departments to help provide contraception and other services to people who have no other way to get them. Would any reasonable person want to jeopardize that? It doesn’t matter who got the language added. What matters is that an extremist state senator from Knoxville is trying to strip federal family planning funding used to serve thousands of poor women from PP clinics in Memphis and Nashville. In the process he may cost Tennesseans a fortune in future TennCare and other costs for all the extra unintended pregancies and births.

  4. Yes, but no matter how big an evil nutball he is, and he’s an enormous evil nutball. Believe me, I’ve got no love for the guy.

    But the dude he asked is A LAWYER. It’s his duty to not fucking lie about what the law is. If he wanted to tell Campfield to fuck himself or tell him whoever did it told him not to say, fine.

    But that he can’t say because of attorney/client privilege? That’s bullshit. Dude knows better and he shouldn’t have lied to Campfield.

    Campfield needs to understand basic legal concepts (now he’s arguing that the governor should line item veto the second amendment when we don’t have a line item veto that works that way). That is not helped by the state’s lawyers lying to him.

    It also matters who did it because the Democrats aren’t coming back. At least not next election.

    So, if we have some allies, even uncomfortable allies, in the Republican party, that’s good to know.

  5. So, if high-ranking Republican has to go to these lengths to hide a measure designed to save the State from a major lawsuit and possibly losing all Title X funding, isn’t that a pretty ominous sign to us all?

    If the Tennessee Right to Life is that powerful, then we obviously live in a de facto theocracy. Doesn’t anyone worry that they will become the next group to be the target? If TRTL gets what they say they want and abortion becomes illegal in Tennessee, do yo really think they’ll stop there? There’s a whole lot of other perfectly legal behavior I’m sure they’d like to legislate against.

    Be afraid. Be very afraid!

  6. @AuntB Do you know the Governor doesn’t have a line-item veto? Because I’ve heard both yes and no today.

  7. I have answers! First, I think I’ve changed my mind about the Tennessee Right to Life. If they are so powerful, why do they need to work with Campfield? Why not get someone higher up the foodchain?

    No, I think it’s more likely that they didn’t tell Campfield just out of general disdain for him.

    But I also know a little something after my research this evening about the line-item veto power of the governor. The state constitution gives the governor the power to lower the money appropriated in a bill. So, if a bill says “Betsy–$60,” the Governor could just say “No money for Betsy” or “No, I think we should only give Betsy thirty dollars” and send that part back to the legislature to work out without fucking the entire bill.

    But he doesn’t have the legal right to cut just any old part of any bill. So, no, he can’t get rid of that amendment.

    I know Campfield is considering whether Haslam could just veto the whole appropriations for health, but that wouldn’t fix Campfield’s problem. If the budget stands, both his amendment and that other amendment stand.

    And the budget has been unanimously passed by the state legislature. And Haslam said today that he didn’t feel like vetoing the anti-anti-discrimination bill because it had so much legislative support (70%).

    But I think the only way Campfield can, at this point, legally undo that second amendment is to convince Haslam to veto the whole budget.

    It remains to be seen if Campfield has that kind of pull.

  8. I can’t believe there’s any way Campfield can get Haslam to veto the entire appropriations bill!

    Thanks for your answers! I think it’s interesting to note, and hasn’t been mentioned elsewhere that there was no fiscal note attached to the Campfield amendment. Any legislation that will cost state or county dollars is supposed to have a fiscal amendment. And Shelby County Health Director Madlock pointed out in testimony before Senate Welfare Committee that directing all the Title X funding to her dept. will cost the County $500,000 per year. Why no fiscal note?

    If you are really interested in this issue, go back and watch the videos from Senate Welfare in April. Campy makes it obvious what he wants to do, and the only senator on the committee from Memphis is so out of it that she was unable (incompetent) to mount any defense.

  9. Sorry guys but in this case, attorney-client privilege applies. The attorney in question is hired by the state to provide legal advice and/or guidance to legislators, so legislators are in essence individual ‘clients’ for purposes of attorney-client privilege and their communications are confidential and privileged for legal purposes unless the ‘client’ waives said privilege. Wish he/she would waive it so we could congratulate and thank this person accordingly…

  10. question: anyone know whether the “state attorney” in question is from the AG’s office or the legislative staff? It’s a clever dodge but I don’t think the privilege would follow either way. If the attorney is on the legislative staff the client is the legislature, not one member nor the state.

  11. Mark, well, Campfield is our eye witness, so we must take that for what it’s worth, but he said it was one of the legislative staff, which is why I think privilege can’t apply, for the reason you state–his client is the legislature, not any particular member of it.

  12. I smell a Law Review note, for someone interested in the rules of professional responsibility. I’m not a lawyer yet, but I’m curious how the rules on organizational clients and the privilege operate here. It is true, as someone noted upthread, that confidentiality is broader than privilege. Interesting stuff, if scary.

  13. But that he can’t say because of attorney/client privilege? That’s bullshit.

    I wonder if maybe the lawyer just has so little respect for Campy that he said that in a sarcastic “STFU and go away” tone, not meaning it as a literal truth, and The Senator was just too stupid to realize it.

  14. Yeah Jennifer beat me too it. It’s not a lie, it’s just some dude fucking with Campfield.

    And I’m not buying Legalitarian’s comment either. We aren’t talking about providing a legal opinion. We’re talking about changing the text of a bill in the legislature.

    It does concern me a little that it’s apparently that easy to change those things.

  15. I took it as a “nunya” kind of response to make a problem legislator go away. If he didn’t know immediately enough to challenge an “attorney client privilege” response right then, problem solved.

  16. I think we need to have Gloria Johnson go stand over Campfield in “Snoopy Vulture” mode for awhile

  17. After that next-to-last paragraph, I would advise Campfield not to eat any chili you brought him!

  18. The attorney is an attorney with Legal Services, and he works for the legislator. The attorneys in Legal Services are extremely professional, and they only do what the legislators tell them. He has to keep privileged what one member of the legislature tells him. The same attorney may draw up a bill for one legislator, and then be requested by another legislator to draw up an amendment that changes the entire bill. That attorney can’t tell either legislator what the other is doing unless the legislator makes it public or waives the privilege.

    If the privilege doesn’t apply, any legislator can go to an attorney at any time and ask whatever they want about what other legislators are doing or working on.

    Legal Services is very professional. They realize they are there to work for the General Assembly, and they only do what they are told to do. All of the staff is like that. Sen. Campfield’s issue is with another legislator, not the staff.

  19. Pingback: I am a Giant Whiner About the Heat, and Attempts to Defund Planned Parenthood in Tennessee « Women's Health News

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