On Mae Beavers tweets, blocked Democrats, ‘hateful trolls’ and reactionary busy-bodies

The chairman of the Davidson County Democratic Party says in a press release that state Sen. Mae Beavers may be violating federal law by blocking “almost everyone who isn’t a reactionary busy-body” from her Twitter account. Beavers, a Republican candidate for governor, responded with her own press release declaring she was only “blocking hateful trolls who tweet profanity and obscene images.”

Here are the press releases:

News release from Davidson County Democratic Party:

NASHVILLE – A federal court ruling that found public officials violate the First Amendment when they block people on Twitter could spell trouble for gubernatorial candidate Mae Beavers.

“It seems like almost everyone who isn’t a reactionary busy-body has been blocked by Mae,” said Gary Bynum, Davidson County Democratic Party chair. “It’s become a joke at this point, but there’s something really wrong with holding office and blocking your statements from people you were elected to serve.”

Beavers, an early supporter and bootleg merchandise vendor of Donald Trump’s, shares the president’s penchant for blocking anyone with opposing views on social media. This week, a federal district court ruled that the president engages in “viewpoint discrimination” under the First Amendment when he blocks people.

Last February, the Davidson County Democratic Party held a #BlockedbyMae fundraiser, announcing $1 for Planned Parenthood for everyone who could post a screenshot of their blocked account.

Sen. Beavers stepped up to block 213 users, and DCDP presented a check for that amount to Planned Parenthood.

“We would appreciate the media reporting on this, so that Sen. Beavers can avoid any trouble with the law,” Bynum said. “We would notify her to let her know about the ruling, but she blocked us.”

News release from Mae Beavers campaign

NASHVILLE, TN –  Gubernatorial candidate and Tennessee State Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet) responded Saturday afternoon to a press release from the Davidson County Democratic Party alleging she could be breaking federal law and violating the First Amendment by blocking some Twitter users.

“If blocking hateful trolls who tweet profanity and obscene images constitutes viewpoint discrimination,” the former Tennessee Senate Judiciary Committee chairman said, “then I’d be more than happy to slug it out in federal court.”

“Sharing opinions is a cherished constitutional right,” Beavers continued, “but posting borderline pornography on someone else’s account is clearly not.”

Friday’s press release isn’t the first time Beavers has come under fire from the same group for her strong stances on social issues. On June 24th, the Davidson County Democratic Party tweeted out a photograph (see below) featuring a drag queen attempting to impersonate Beavers during “Nashville Pride.”

Beavers also noted laughingly that her head on a spike in the photograph is “a lot like what Kathy Griffin did to Trump.”

“Marriage is a biblical issue,” Beavers asserted, “that should be handled in the church, not the courts, and certainly not at the federal level.”

Beavers concluded, “The Obergefell v. Hodges decision, which violates 31 state constitutions, as the late Justice Scalia noted at the time, lacked “even a thin veneer of law” and took the court’s “reputation for clear thinking and sober analysis” to the level of “the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie.”

Note: Beavers’ emailed press release included this picture.

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Former Knoxville News Sentinel capitol bureau chief Tom Humphrey writes about Tennessee politics, government, and legislative news.
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