Rep. Jim Coley. He is at least as of 2015 just another poster child for the dirty tricks and shenanigans that takes place with far too much frequency in the Republican controlled Tennessee General Assembly.
In 2015, several Republican-sponsored gun bills were blocked in the Republican controlled (4 to 2) Civil Justice Subcommittee that is chaired by Rep. Jim Coley. The records prove that these 2nd Amendment bills were killed when 2 Republican leaders – Jim Coley and Jon Lundberg – voted on voice votes against the bills and then apparently changed their “record” on how they voted to conceal the fact that they had both voted “NO“.
Take for example, House Bill 684, by Rep. Micah Van Huss which would have enacted permitless open carry in Tennessee. Although the videos of the vote show that Rep. Coley held a voice vote (there was no roll call of the members) and then Rep. Coley, as the chairman, announced that the vote was against the bill, the public record on the vote later was changed to show that both Rep. Jim Coley and Rep. Jon Lundberg had requested that their voting records be changed to show that they were “present not voting.” Clearly a false statement. Clearly, despite the fact that the video record proves that Rep. Colely leaned into his microphone and said “no”.
A reporter from TNREPORT.COM interviewed Rep. Coley and reported the following statements on TNReport’s website:
Coley acknowledged to TNReport following the failure of Van Huss’s open-carry bill last week that he requested his vote be changed after the fact, and suggested Lundberg did the same.
A tie vote in a legislative committee means a bill stalls where it is, although Speaker Beth Harwell or Speaker Pro Tem Curtis Johnson can choose to vote to move a bill along. After a tie vote, a bill can later be brought up for reconsideration if the sponsor can convince someone on the committee who didn’t vote in favor of it to commit support.
Coley told TNReport he changed how his vote was recorded because he didn’t want his constituents to draw the conclusion that he’s “not in favor of firearms.” To the contrary, Coley asserted that he’s “very strongly in favor of firearms,” but also believes gun-owners should obtain a permit from the government in order to carry in public, in keeping with current law.
Watch the video:
Rep. Jim Coley — it sure looks like he falsified his own voting record to mislead the voters and it appears he has confirmed the Rep. Jon Lundberg did the same.
Tennessee deserves honest, trustworthy individuals serving in the General Assembly.