by Jeff Woods
"Politics is not my life. It's a 12-year vehicle that I used to try to better the lives of other people."--Bill Frist, announcing he won't run for governor.
"I'm the best qualified candidate."--Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, talking about how much he'd like to run for governor.
"Dealing with problem tenants is part of what I do for a living, I guess. It's not joyous, it's not glamorous, but it's part of the job."--Rep. Stacey Campfield after a house he rents to college students was condemned by the city as "unfit for human habitation" because of 47 violations, including a basement flooded with water and feces, leaking faucets, inoperable windows, missing gutters and "bootleg wiring."
"We can be the San Francisco of the South or the New York of the South."--Metro Council member Eric Crafton predicting Nashville's future after his English Only was defeated 57%-43%.
"Yes I've committed to Jason and I still plan to honor that commitment."--House Speaker Kent Williams on the radio.
"I never said that."--Williams on television denying he ever said what he said on the radio.
"I have never harassed anyone in any way; never will. I've never been reprimanded or charged with any harassment. That's all I can say about it."-- Williams again, denying this time that he ever told Rep. Susan Lynn that he'd pay to see her naked.
"I wish this didn't come out, and I particularly wish that it didn't come out at this time." --Rep. Susan Lynn going on TV to say how shy she is.
"I don't know if that memo is from two years ago or two days ago."--Former House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh on the secret memo accusing Williams of sexually harassing Lynn.
"... [T]he Republican-lead Senate, under the capable leadership of Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, stands ready to lead Tennessee through tough times based on sound conservative principles and honest dealings with the public and with fellow lawmakers."--State GOP chair Robin Smith.
"He's such a smart young man." --Williams on his No.1 nemesis, Rep. Brian Kelsey, who filed an ethics complaint against him.
"Given some time, Speaker Williams will do an absolutely outstanding job."--State Rep. Brenda Gilmore.
"It is ludicrous to say there were going to be mass firings. It's another lie in a web of lies. It's just silly. It's unfortunate that they ever subjected any employees to that type of worry but it's not surprising."--House GOP leader Jason Mumpower, denying he planned to fire legislative employees if elected speaker.
"As I speak to you today, I remember the bible passage that says, he who is without sin cast the first stone. So I put that stone back in my pocket, and I offer you what God gives to me every day and what Christ teachers us to do. I offer you forgiveness."--Rep. David Hawk sermonizing on the House floor over the election of Williams as speaker.
"We actually could end up with a decent year. There will be budget cuts everywhere, but it could be 6 or 7 or 8 percent, and there you're not talking about layoffs anymore. You're not talking about closing down major programs or something like that."--Gov. Phil Bredesen on the budget a couple of weeks before saying he might lay off 2,000 workers.
"They went to Kent Williams and said, 'Listen, you'll make three times more money, you'll have a driver from Carter County' ...so that's what it was all about; Kent has no principles, no nothing, now he makes $70,000 and has a driver."--Drew Johnson, leader of the "nonpartisan" Tennessee Center for Policy Research talking out his ass (as usual) on right-wing radio.
"There were Republicans who campaigned against me but that's in the past. That's done. That's over. I can't go back and change that. But that's over. There's no bitterness."--Williams one more time, claiming his betrayal of his party had nothing to do with those Republicans who campaigned against him last year.
"We will circle the wagons and come together." --New Democratic Party chair Chip Forrester predicting unity after he was elected despite opposition from the party's entire senior leadership.