Sam Stockard, The Murfreesboro Post, February 5, 2017
State Rep. Mike Sparks (R-Smyrna) is uncommitted on the governor’s fuel-tax plan, but he felt Haslam made a “great speech.”
Sparks adds he believes the media are “stirring up” concerns about Trump’s executive orders and in some cases not even describing them correctly. Sparks points out all Muslim-dominated countries are not part of the travel ban, though most media outlets have reported seven countries are involved in the 90-day ban.
“I think what the president is doing is the right thing to do,” Sparks says.
He contends some of his friends who are Muslims even say stronger vetting is needed for people coming here from Islamic nations because just “1 percent could do some harm.”
The travel ban was suspended nationwide on Friday, Feb. 3, in a ruling by Judge James Robart in Washington state. An emergency appeal filed by the Justice Department Saturday, Feb. 4, requesting an “immediate administrative stay” on behalf of the Trump administration was denied by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.
Although some Democratic legislators felt Haslam showed lack of leadership by not addressing the protesting crowd or national hysteria from Trump’s executive orders, the Smyrna Republican says it’s up to Haslam whether he talks about those matters in his State of the State.
“The First Amendment, as you know, you can protest about anything,” Sparks says.
Sam Stockard may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.