A Bonkers Tale of Dicks, Cocaine, Racism, and Sexual Harassment in the Tennessee Statehouse

Glen Casada, left, and Cade Cothren, right
Image: Associated Press
Big Time Small-Time DicksWelcome to Big Time Small-Time Dicks, a regular column on The Slot that explores local politicians, small-town scandals, and everything else making life miserable on a local level.

May I present to you not one, but two big-time small-time dicks: Tennessee’s Republican House Speaker Glen Casada and his chief of staff Cade Cothren, two dicks united together until Monday, when Cothren resigned. You hate to see dicks split like that.

On Monday, thanks to a report in the the Tennessean, we learned many things about the pair, including their penchant for sending incredibly stupid, sexist texts to one another while Cothren was the press secretary for House Republicans. Here’s just some of what the two men texted about, according to the Tennessean:

In July 2016, Cothren shared a photo of an upside down woman standing next to a pole. He shared the picture with Casada, who said, “What about some pole dancing!!!”

Cothren referred to the woman as “wife material” before Casada asked, “Can I just touch????”

Cothren replied, “Lol maybe just once.”

And here’s another text exchange between the two in which Cothren boasts of fucking in the bathroom of a restaurant that is charmingly named Party Fowl. Their father-son dynamic is so touching here:

In August 2016, Cothren texted Casada about a sexual encounter he had with a woman.

“Just so y’all know, I did f—k (woman) in the bathroom at party fowl,” he said, referring to the Party Fowl restaurant. “Will send pictures later.”

Casada responded: “Only gone for 60 seconds,” adding, “R u a minute man???;)”

Cothren said, “Yes, I take after you. Like father like son.”

Casada replied, “Lolol! If I’m happy, then all is good!!!!!”

During the same time period, Cothren also apparently had a pattern of sexually harassing Casada’s interns, sending them explicit text messages:

In the text messages Cothren made sexual advances to a legislative intern and a campaign intern for Casada, who was not included in the conversation.

In texts sent during April 2015, Cothren solicited oral sex on one occasion and nude photos another time from an intern. He also asked her whether she was wearing underwear and attempted to pivot the topic of a conversation to orgasms.

In a text conversation in February 2014, Cothren discussed another intern’s attractive appearance.

“I’m gonna keep hitting on her just to see what happens,” Cothren wrote, noting that the intern was already in a relationship. “Before long, I’ll be THAT guy.”

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By “THAT guy,” Cothren no doubt meant that guy who later resigns in shame after his harassing and racist texts are revealed to the public. Turns out, shocker, he was right.

Last week, other text messages were unearthed by a local television station, which displayed his love of sending racist texts and snorting coke while in his offices at the state Capitol. Oh, and Casada’s office is now being investigated for Cothren’s role in allegedly trying to frame a black activist and get him thrown in jail.

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Shortly after the latest story broke, Cothren announced his resignation. Unsurprisingly, Cothren, who is currently 32 years old, trotted out the classic “I was a stupid kid” argument, saying, “I was young and dumb and immature. There’s no excuse for it at all, and I’m not trying to make excuses, but I can tell you that I have changed since then.” He was, it should be noted, in his late 20s during the time he was sexually harassing interns, snorting coke while on the job, and happily throwing around racial slurs.

His boss, however, doesn’t seem to be as repentant. In response to all of the revelations about Casada’s top aide, Democrats in the state have called for Casada himself to step down. But on Tuesday, Casada announced he has no intentions of stepping down as Tennessee’s House Speaker, telling a radio station host that it was all just “locker room talk.” Where have we heard that before?

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