Monthly Archives: October 2017

Domestic assault charge against Maury County Democratic party chair dropped

Charges of domestic assault were dropped against Maury County’s Democratic Party chairman last week despite a police report that described his girlfriend as having a laceration above her right eyebrow after a confrontation with him, reports the Columbia Daily Herald.

Seth James Campbell, 28, was arrested Oct. 5, the morning after the alleged incident, a Columbia Police report said. After stepping aside briefly as chairman, Campbell was reinstated by the Democratic Party’s steering committee and will continue in his role.

“Everything totally was resolved; the DA dropped all charges,” Campbell told The Daily Herald on Saturday. “The party held an emergency executive committee meeting on Oct. 10 and voted to stay the course, pending a full investigation. With the charges being dropped, they have asked me to continue as chair of the party.”

Campbell challenged state Rep. Sheila Butt, R-Columbia, for her seat in the 2016 election as an independent. The Mt. Pleasant High School special education teacher and assistant football coach was named party chairman in March.

The girlfriend told police she did not want to press charges and sent the newspaper an email saying, “The officers may have had the best of intentions, but Seth should never have been arrested.”

Alexander and Corker on Trump and pending tax overhaul

Congressional Republicans involved in crafting a federal tax overhaul are bracing for President Trump to potentially disturb their negotiations at any moment, as he has done throughout his nine months in office and this week on a bipartisan Senate agreement to shore up Obamacare insurance markets, reports Politico.

“Sure, it’s going to come,” said Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who’s been the target of his share of tweets from the president.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who brokered the health agreement that Trump has shifted between criticizing and praising, added that he had already told the president that his staying on track on tax reform could be key to getting a landmark achievement.

“If the president of the United States focuses on one thing, with everything he’s got, for as long it takes, he can usually get what he wants,” Alexander said.

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Democrat Olsen announces run against Republican Rep. Roe

Dr. Martin Olsen, an East Tennessee State University Obstetrics and Gynecology professor, formally announced Saturday his run as a Democrat for the 1st Congressional District seat now held by Republican Rep. Phi Roe, reports the Johnson City Press.

To win, Olsen says he needs one-third of those in the district who voted for Trump to vote for him. And though Tennessee is a consistently red state, Olsen believes that people have seen that what is happening now isn’t working and hopes that those who voted Republican will try something new.

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Fincher ends ‘listening tour,’ starts run for Senate

After a 10-day “listening tour” of the state, former Congressman Stephen Fincher has announced that  he is a candidate for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination. He did so in an interview with The Tennessean that was also published Sunday in other Gannett-owned newspapers around the state.

Fincher, who represented Tennessee’s 8th Congressional District from 2011 to 2017, cast himself as a “citizen legislator” as opposed to a “career politician” — a term aimed at U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Brentwood, who is also seeking the GOP nomination to the seat being vacated by Sen. Bob Corker.

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State suing Nashville schools to force turnover of student data, but probably not Memphis schools

While the state Department of Education has filed a lawsuit to force Metro Nashville schools to turn over student information to charter school operators, the Memphis school system has taken a different approach to data release and may avoid a lawsuit, according to Chalkbeat Tennessee.

Leaders of Nashville’s school district have repeatedly defied an order from Tennessee’s Education Commissioner Candice McQueen to share student addresses, phone numbers, and other information with the state’s controversial turnaround district, as required by a new state law. The state filed a lawsuit this week in Davidson County Chancery Court to force release of the information.

Meanwhile, leaders of the Memphis district have spoken out about the rule — but are preparing to comply. The district has given parents until Sunday, Oct. 22 to opt out of sharing their contact information with charter schools.

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In 6th Congressional District, Rose takes big money lead over Matheny with $250K loan and Haslam help

Former state Agriculture Commissioner Charles Rose has loaned his campaign for the 6th Congressional District Republican nomination $250,000, giving him a strong financial advantage over state Rep. Judd Matheny in the race to succeed U.S. Rep. Diane Black, according to disclosures filed with the Federal Election Commission this week.

The reports show Rose, who owns a farm and runs a small business in DeKalb County, raised $292,450 in contributions and, with the $250,000 loan, his campaign had $542,450 in receipts. He reported $74,421 in expenditures, leaving a cash-on-hand balance of $468,038 on Oct. 1.

Matheny reported $166,544 in donations to his campaign and $62,458 in expenditures, leaving a cash balance of $104,086. He reported no loans.

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Boyd camp fires back at Black: ‘This is Tennessee, not DC’

Republican Randy Boyd’s campaign is hitting back at GOP gubernatorial primary rival Diane Black after her campaign labeled his plans to have former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush headline a Nashville fundraiser as a “match made in establishment heaven,” reports the Times Free Press.

Boyd spokeswoman Laine Arnold suggested U.S. Rep. Black has spent a little too much in Washington.

“Each of those claims is ridiculous and false, and honestly beneath the dignity of Diane Black,” Arnold said. “This is Tennessee. Not DC. We don’t act that way down here.”

…”Randy is a strong supporter of President Trump and a long-time friend of Jeb Bush,” Arnold said. “We look forward to having their support.”

Note: Previous post HERE.

U.S. Senate panel votes to confirm Overbey as U.S. attorney for East TN

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday voted to confirm President Trump’s nomination of state Sen. Doug Overbey as U.S. attorney for East Tennessee. The nomination still awaits a Senate floor vote.

Statement from Sen. Lamar Alexander:

“I’ve known Doug for a long time – and I know that Tennessee will be well-served by a man of such good character,” he said. “Doug is a lifelong East Tennessean and has dedicated his life to service — practicing law for more than 37 years in East Tennessee and currently serving in the Tennessee General Assembly. I am glad the Senate Judiciary Committee approved his nomination today, and I look forward to his confirmation.”

Once confirmed, Overbey plans to step down from his Senate District 2 seat.

Attorneys General reach $120M settlement with General Motors

News release from the attorney general’s office

Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III today announced a $120 million settlement with General Motors Company (“GM”) over allegations GM concealed safety issues related to ignition switch-related defects in GM vehicles.

The settlement, reached between GM and the attorneys general of 49 states and the District of Columbia, concludes a multistate investigation into the auto manufacturer’s failure to timely disclose known safety defects in several models and model years of GM vehicles.

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TN unemployment rate falls to lowest level ever recorded (again)

News release from the governor’s office

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips today announced the state unemployment rate fell to 3 percent in September, marking the lowest it has been since the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking the information in January of 1976.

Tennessee first marked a historic low unemployment rate in June at 3.6 percent, which was bested by the July rate of 3.4 percent, and then fell even lower in August to 3.3 percent.

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ABOUT THIS BLOG

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

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