Throughout Tennessee support grows for the demonstrators in the governor’s office.
(NASHVILLE, June 25, 2005) Tennessee state security has “locked down” the governor’s office until 8:00 am on Monday. They will not allow protestors any food, water or medicine and only allow escorted visits to the restrooms. The activists may leave, but they are not allowed to re-enter.
“I believe that Governor Bredesen has a problem facing real people and real issues,” said Michael Heinrich of Tennessee ADAPT. “He may speak in generalities and manage the press well, but he has fails completely when he confronts citizens who are effected by his policies. For example, I was with Randy [Alexander] when Bredesen said he would put vent users in institutions; but last Thursday, in front of the press, the governor magically changes his position 180 degrees and talks like he has been working on the issue for some time.”
Governor Bredesen is in Washington DC over the weekend and gave two speeches concerning TennCare. Bredesen used the attention to spin his dismantling of TennCare as progressive. The governor’s published speech to the National Press Club does not contain any detail of his proposal; it is filled with unrealistic analogies and simple clichés.
“So three thoughts for some strengthening of the fundamentals of Medicaid,” said Governor Bredesen, “everybody pays something, pay first for what is most important, pay for what works.”
Bredesen seems to report that he is the first human to discover these principles and fails to explain why these “three thoughts” could not be used to fix TennCare as he promised.
The activists did not have current information about the Governor’s speech. Supporters outside held the daily newspaper up to a window to allow those inside to get some mail, but the state authorities are allowing no contact. Dave Cooley, of the governor’s office, announced that the protestors had plenty of food and water, allowing only a minimal amount inside and controlled by him.
Mr. Heinrich states that they have enough to survive, some fruit, crackers and peanut butter, along with four gallons of water. Two reporters spent the night with the protestors and left around eight Saturday morning; they will not be allowed to return.
“We are in the mode of holding the place and the message,” said Heinrich who will be in the governor’s office until Monday, “we will be here until Bredesen meets our demands.”
- Tim Wheat