Monthly Archives: August 2017

Knoxville event draws few Confederate monument backers, many counter-protesters

Demonstrators supporting a Confederate monument in Knoxville Saturday were vastly outnumbered by counter-protesters, reports the News Sentinel. Both sides were generally peaceful.

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Harwell, McNally establish medical marijuana panel

In accord with an agreement reached back in March, House Speaker Beth Harwell and Senate Speaker Randy McNally on Friday appointed a joint House-Senate committee to study medical marijuana and make a report to the Legislature for next year’s session.

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RNC adopts resolution condemning white supremists

Meeting in Nashville, the Republican National Committee on Friday unanimously approved a resolution condemning Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan, a move that comes just two weeks after President Donald Trump was widely criticized for going easy on white supremacist groups involved in the Charlottesville, Virginia, protests.

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Three charged with election law violations in Bluff City

News release from Tennessee Bureau of Investigation

JOHNSON CITY – An investigation by Special Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has resulted in three Bluff City residents being charged with violating an election law.

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Trump tweet: ‘Tennessee not happy!’ with Sen. Bob Corker

President Trump attacked another fellow Republican on Friday, taunting Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman last week publicly questioned the president’s stability and competence, reports the Washington Post (and a lot of other media outlets).

Trump said Friday morning on Twitter, “Strange statement by Bob Corker considering that he is constantly asking me whether or not he should run again in ’18. Tennessee not happy!”

Trump’s attack on Corker comes as the Republican National Committee is convening in the senator’s home state of Tennessee for its summer meeting. One of Trump’s sons, Eric, addressed the Nashville gathering on Thursday night.

Corker becomes the fifth GOP senator this month alone to draw the president’s ire. On Thursday, Trump attacked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) over his management of the health-care bill as well as the looming showdown over raising the federal government’s debt limit. At a Tuesday night rally in Phoenix, Trump went after — though not by name — Arizona’s U.S. senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake, both Republicans. And last week, Trump slammed Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), a longtime Trump punching bag.

Note: A Corker spokeswoman declined comment on the presidential remark, which could indicate the senator — widely assumed to readying for a reelection campaign, though he hasn’t announced — is actually giving serious consideration to retirement and seeking Trump’s advice. Earlier related post (pre-tweet) HERE.

UPDATE/Note: Breitbart News suggests that the Trump tweet may have inspired state Sen. Mark Green to reconsider his previous announcement about having no plans to run against Corker.

“I’ve already told Senator Corker my thoughts about his comments about the President and that’s as far as I intend to go at this point,” Green told Breitbart News on Friday.

Green announced in early August that he did not intend to run against Corker in 2018 based on how “everything sits right now.”

Asked whether recent events, including Trump’s tweet on Friday, have sufficiently altered the political landscape for him to reassess how things “sit,” Green declined to comment.

TNGOP pitches Nashville as site for 2020 convention with Sun Drop soda, Goo Goo candy

The Republican National Committee meeting, held this week in Nashville, provided Tennessee Republicans with the opportunity to make an early sales pitch on the idea of holding the 2020 Republican National Convention in Nashville, reports The Tennessean.

Among the freebies offered to visiting GOP leaders from other states: Gift bags filled with Sun Drop, Goo Goo Clusters, Moon Pies and Lamar Alexander’s Little Plaid Book. A cruise on the General Jackson on the Cumberland River and a reception at the County Music Hall of Fame.

… “I always promote Nashville to be on the list,” said Beth Campbell, the national committeewoman for Tennessee. “Everyone here this week has thoroughly enjoyed being here. They’re very impressed with Nashville so I think we made a good first impression.”

To welcome attendees of the summer meeting, the state Republican Party prepared the gift bag, which also included a visitors guide and map, a beer koozie from Peg Leg Porker and a custom “Marsha Marsha Marsha” phone wallet.

Alexander and Corker on government shutdown talk

Comments from Tennessee’s U.S. senators, Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, on President Donald Trump raising the possibility of a federal government shutdown if Congress doesn’t approve his plans for building a wall between the United States and Mexico:

Alexander, as quoted in The Tennessean: “The last time the government was shut down, it hurt small businesses all over East Tennessee at peak tourist season for people coming to the Great Smoky Mountains,” Alexander said after a Tennessee Restaurant Association meeting in Nashville.

“I wasn’t elected to shut down the government,” he said. “I was elected to make it run for the benefit of tax payers. I’m sure that’s what we will do.

Corker (part of a WKRN report on the senator’s visit to Clarksville): “People are feeling robust about the future and they’ll continue to feel that way if we keep government running,” said Corker. “Sometimes we have those little blurbs as we have seen in the past that create a lot of insecurity.”

White House spokeswoman: Corker comment ‘ridiculous’ (Joe Carr didn’t like it either)

Somewhat belatedly, the White House had a response Thursday to U.S. Sen. Bob Corker’s comment last week that Donald Trump hasn’t demonstrated the competence or stability needed by a president. And at least one prospective Corker challenger in the 2018 GOP primary, former state Rep. Joe Carr, is criticizing the comments as well.

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Haslam & Alexander health care commentary: A sinking nation with a house on fire?

Tennessee Republican Bill Haslam, one of five governors scheduled to testify Sept. 7 before the U.S. Senate committee trying to come up with a health care insurance plan, outlined his views on the issue in a visit to Chattanooga Thursday, reports the Times Free Press.

Sen. Lamar Alexander, who chairs the committee, also had a Tennessee speech Thursday including remarks on the matter. The Times Free Press has a report on both.

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Haslam administration abandons state park privatization plans

Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau told a state legislative committee today that Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration is abandoning plans to privatize operations at Tennessee state parks, reports the Times Free Press. He said TDEC’s focus will now be on using more than $100 million previously approved for state parks to begin addressing decades of ignored capital needs.

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