Corker Intervenes to Kill Bill to End Senate Primaries

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Sen. Bob Corker has risked outraging right wingers in the Republican Party by personally intervening to kill the bill to do away with Senate primaries in Tennessee. According to this story, Corker phoned House Speaker Beth Harwell, and she immediately jumped into action by asking the sponsor to withdraw the bill.

According to Harwell, Corker said he did not support the current legislation but agreed that improvements could be made.

Harwell said the two, "had a pleasant conversation and discussed ways to improve the dialogue [between Nashville and Washington, D.C.]"

Harwell said Sen. Corker had never contacted her before about a piece of legislation in Nashville, but she is glad this bill led to what she hopes to be improved dialogue in the future.

On Tuesday Sen. Corker was asked about the bill in Nashville today and said: "This is up to the general assembly to decide, but my sense is that Tennesseans are a very involved citizenry who like their ability to vote and make those kinds of decisions."

Corker must have been quite agitated about this bill, which seemed too wacky even for Tennessee's Republican supermajority at first but then started gaining steam and looked like it might actually pass. It would have empowered the legislature's Republican and Democratic caucuses to choose U.S. Senate nominees, and that probably would have ended Corker's political career. He's a definite squish and never could have won his party's nomination from these mouth-breathers in the legislature when his term is up in 2018. At the very least, he would have been forced to grovel before them and make a lot of crazy promises he couldn't possibly keep.

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