Skip to comments.Some question Frist tribute timing
Posted on 10/06/2006 11:51:11 AM PDT by SmithL
CHATTANOOGA Some are questioning the timing of a U.S. Senate amendment that would name a new federal courthouse in Nashville in honor of retiring Majority Leader Bill Frist.
"I have a general problem with naming a federal courthouse after a person who is at least considering running for president," Dick Williams, chairman of Common Cause of Tennessee, told the Chattanooga Times Free Press' Washington bureau. "I think it is best to wait until people have really retired."
The amendment, which has passed the Senate Appropriations Committee, must be approved by the full Senate.
It calls for the building to be named the "William H. Frist, M.D. Federal Courthouse." Supporters say it is intended to honor the Tennessee Republican, who is giving up his Senate seat this year and is considering a 2008 run for president.
But Democratic U.S. Rep. Lincoln Davis of Pall Mall said he wished any new buildings would be named after long-retired senators such as James Sasser, a Tennessee Democrat who served in the Senate for 18 years.
"He did so much, and I don't know of a single building named after him," Davis said. "There will be plenty of time to name buildings after current members of Congress."
Sens. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and Christopher "Kit" Bond, R-Mo., chairman of a subcommittee that handles courthouse construction, proposed the amendment to a federal spending bill.
Frist spokesman Matt Lehigh said the senator has helped secure more than $26 million to purchase land and design the courthouse.
"Senator Frist appreciates this gracious recognition of his service," Lehigh said. "But he remains committed to pressing for construction funds so that project can move forward."
Nashville was one of 26 cities cited in 2003 by the Judicial Conference of the United States as needing a new federal courthouse.
The General Services Administration has acquired a downtown site, but funding to build the courthouse has stalled.
Plans call for a seven-story, 347,000-square-foot building estimated to cost $106 million.
Senate historian Don Ritchie said it is not uncommon for senators to name federal buildings to commemorate their colleagues who served as leaders or were longtime members of Congress. Often, he said, it is done as a retirement gift by the senators that lawmaker worked closely with while in office.
In 1995, lawmakers named a federal courthouse in Knoxville after former Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker Jr., the Tennessee Republican who left the Senate in 1985.
The current federal building in Nashville is named for former U.S. Sen. Estes Kefauver, a Democrat. It is next to a former post office that has been converted into an art museum and is named after the Frist family.
Most are not questioning it, and hardly anyone would have heard of it if al-AP hadn't gotten wind of it and decided it needed to lambaste somebody again.
Must be something sadomasochistic in their water.
"Some" will always question anything.
I wonder how they feel about naming things after the spouse of a sitting US Senator who may run for president?
Funny that AP never had a problem with Grand Kleagle, or whatever title he had in the KKK, Robert Byrd having half of West Virginia named after him.
As bad as I hate Byrd. At least he has been a effective advocate of the democrats.
Frist has not been a great advocate for the GOP. A good man. Excellent doctor, but terrible politician.
Two Words: ......Robert.......Byrd..... end of discussion.
Frist could afford to give $26 million of his own Hospital Corp of America-Columbia Healthcare money. Then he'd at least be using his own money to buy votes.
Unfortunately we "NAME" things after folks... usually politicians... some active and some "retired" while they yet live.. and occasionally while they yet serve in elected office.
Big mistake... High risk factors for the highway budget!
We should permit those hopeful of a concrete/steel/asphalt legacy to finish their terms... and hopefully even wait until the totality of their contributions has been evaluated in the light of history - instead of the convenience of political expediency.
Let's add up the pros & cons -- the votes and the vitriol.. and see if they deserve a freeway/bridge/post office... or an overpass in their own name.
Here in the great state...
Had we exercised the virtues of wisdom and patience proposed above... we might not have:
I am glad we have Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, because Dr. King -- though just as human as you and I -- had an inspired message of a better America -- a theme of overdue social justice -- for which he gave his life.
I am equally glad for Lewis Grizzard Highway -- Lewis was a true son of the South and a wonderfully gifted humorist and writer.
He left us all with the ability to enjoy southern life, and work through the important changes in our cultural worldview, even though both propositions remain a work-in-progress; All the while stopping to laugh at ourselves along the way.
I expect ol' Rough-n-Ready himself would vehemently disagree with naming a major thoroughfare after the U.S. President who refused to stand up to a tinhorn rleigiuous dictator for the skae of American lives nad honor -- then politely gave away the Panama Canal...
Likewise I expect Dr. King himself might have a few issues with naming a sizeable chunk of the bypass after a divisive, self-centered, race-baiting moonbat.
So let's "NAME"... and we will "NAME" on...
But let's learn to "WAIT" on "NAMING"...
Good things come to those who wait --
Like not having to ask the taxpayers to replace all those reflective signs so soon...
Using our pothole repair allowance to sandblast the sanctioned graffiti from the overpass.
Have a great day.
Who in hell would honor Frist for anything?