Monthly Archives: September 2017

TDOT chief to focus on fed road revenue in new role

News release from AASHTO

PHOENIX – The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ Board of Directors today (Friday) elected Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer, as the association’s president. Carlos Braceras P.E., executive director of the Utah Department of Transportation was elected Vice President and Scott Bennett, P.E., director of the Arkansas Department of Transportation, was elected Secretary-Treasurer.

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TNDP chair: If Haslam runs for Senate, Pilot Flying J will be an issue

News release from Tennessee Democratic Party

Nashville, Tenn. (September 29, 2017) – Mary Mancini, chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party, released the following statement on Gov. Haslam considering running for the US Senate:

“Gov. Haslam’s family company, Pilot Flying J, has been embroiled in a fraud scandal since 2013 that has resulted in 10 indictments and $170 million in fines. To this day, Gov. Haslam has not had to answer for these crimes, but he has likely profited from them as he still holds an undisclosed stake in the company.

Nobody knows how much he owns or has profited because his very first executive order eliminated requirements for the governor and top aides to disclose how much they earn in outside income.
If the Governor decides to run for US Senate, we expect there will be considerably more scrutiny of his finances and his family’s business practices.”

Anthem flap inspires Haslam bashing by Beavers, Breitbart

Former Sen. Mae Beavers, now running for governor, and Breitbart News are making an issue of the Haslam family’s comments on the ongoing national anthem controversy in the National Football League. Beavers says Randy Boyd, one of her GOP primary opponents, should return any contributions received from the governor’s family.

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McNally: I’ll run for reelection and nothing else

Statement from Lt. Gov. Randy McNally

“There have been many changes in Tennessee politics revealed in the past few days and months. Many great friends are leaving public service and many are pursuing other opportunities.

Personally, I am staying put. I am not interested in running for any other office than those I currently hold. I love the state Senate and plan to run for re-election to continue to represent the great people of my district.

It has been the honor of my life to serve as Speaker of the Senate and Lieutenant Governor, I hope to retain the support of my caucus and my Senate colleagues and stand for re-election for that position as well.”

Pody unopposed in Senate District 17 GOP primary

State Rep. Mark Pody of  Lebanon was the only Republican to file qualifying papers by Thursday’s deadline for the special election in state Senate District 17 seat, reports The Wilson Post. Attorney Mary Alice Carfi was the only Democrat to qualify.

That means, of course, that the Nov. 7 primary outcome is already decided. The general election pitting Pody against Carfi, who lives in Lebanon and has a law office in Old Hickory, will be Dec. 19.

Incumbent Sen. Mae Beavers of Mount Juliet resigned from the seat to focus on her campaign for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.

If Pody wins the general election – and he’s the presumptive frontrunner in a district that has leaned strongly Republican in recent elections – the Wilson County commission would appoint a temporary successor to the House District 46 seat.

The district covers Cannon, Clay, DeKalb, Macon, Smith and Wilson counties.

Former TNDP chair backs Mackler in potential Democratic Senate primary fight

Former Tennessee Democratic Party chairman Bob Tuke is standing by fellow military veteran James Mackler, the announced Senate Democratic candidate who learned Wednesday he may come under siege in the Democratic primary from as many as four rivals, including Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke, reports the Times Free Press.

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Harwell, Casada reject Democrats’ call for special session

In a perhaps unusual move, House Republican leaders have responded to Thursday’s House Democrats holding a news conference and issuing a press release urging a special legislative session on Medicaid expansion.  (Usually such Democrat doings are ignored.) They spurned the idea.

House Speaker Beth Harwell: “As Speaker of the House, I believe that instead of calling for a wasteful special session to expand a program that is failing, we as State Representatives and Senators should instead call on Congress to return healthcare back to the states without strings attached so we can begin to develop a better, more affordable program for Tennesseans.”

House Majority Leader Glen Casada“As Republican leaders of our state, we want to get rid of the disaster of Obamacare, not support a broken healthcare system that has become a drain on Tennessee families and backed insurance providers into a corner. 

Republicans want real solutions, not political promises that would result in more bureaucracy, higher costs, and drive a bigger wedge between patients and doctors. Obamacare has caused insurance rates to skyrocket to a point where the middle class can no longer afford coverage. 

Medicaid expansion has been an abysmal failure for those states that have participated. Here in Tennessee, we are committed to improving the health and quality of life for all Tennesseans through free market principles that demonstrate real results.

Note: The House Democratic Caucus press release is posted HERE.

Veteran Rep. Steve McDaniel won’t seek reelection

New release from Rep. Steve McDaniel

PARKER’S CROSSROADS, Tenn. – House Deputy Speaker Steve McDaniel (R-Parker’s Crossroads) announced today that he will not be a candidate for reelection in 2018. McDaniel made the announcement during his annual community meetings tour in Henderson, Chester and Perry Counties.

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Fitzhugh calls for special session on Medicaid expansion

News release from House Democratic Caucus

Nashville—House Democratic Leader Craig Fitzhugh is calling for Gov. Bill Haslam to convene a special session of the legislature in the wake of the Graham-Cassidy bill failing to garner enough votes in Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

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Haslam ‘thinking and praying” about Senate run

Gov. Bill Haslam said Thursday he will be “thinking and praying” over the “next several days” about a run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Bob Corker.

The governor said he has talked with Corker about the idea and that Sen. Lamar Alexander encouraged him to seriously consider entering the race, according to The Tennessean.

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