Monthly Archives: November 2017

Muscle car businessman challenges Faison in House District 11 GOP primary

Press release from Greg Fodness campaign

Cosby resident and businessman Greg Fodness, owner of Mountain Muscle Cars, has announced a run for State Representative. Greg is married to his wife Shirley and has been a resident of Cosby since 1989. Fodness seeks to unseat incumbent Jeremy Faison.

“I’m running because the 11th District is my home and I know it deserves better. I truly care for the people of this District and want them to have the best representation available to them.”

Fodness has had a passion for business since age 20 when he was a Chrysler mechanic. During this time he bought and sold  muscle cars in his spare time to make ends meet.

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Corker seeks inclusion of ‘backstop’ in Senate tax overhaul; otherwise ‘very possible’ he’ll vote no

U.S. Senate Republican leaders are considering last-minute changes in federal tax overhaul legislation, including a provision pushed by Tennessee’s Bob Corker that could eliminate some tax cuts if the new law winds up adding more to the federal deficit than projected, reports Politico.

Two critical Republican swing votes, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Bob Corker of Tennessee, on Monday left open the possibility that they could vote against the tax plan in a key committee vote scheduled for Tuesday if changes weren’t made to their liking. That would tank the bill before it could reach the floor, putting more pressure on leadership to quickly make revisions.

…A handful of deficit hawks — including Corker and Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona and James Lankford of Oklahoma — are discussing a trigger mechanism that would kick in and potentially change tax rates if the economic growth needed to defray the cost of the tax overhaul doesn’t materialize.

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Black, Harwell and Fitzhugh release income tax info; other gubernatorial candidates refuse

Four of the seven major candidates for Tennessee governor have turned down a Tennessean request to make public details of their federal income tax returns.

U.S. Rep. Diane Black and fellow Republican state House Speaker Beth Harwell provided financial summaries. Of the other Republican candidates Mae Beavers, Randy Boyd and Bill Lee declined – though Boyd indicated he may reconsider in the future.

On the Democrat side, House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh released a copy of his 2016 return and former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean declined the request, though indicating he may reconsider later.

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‘Complete rebuild’ of Fall Creek Falls State Park lodging approved

The Haslam administration has received approval from the State Building Commission for its plans to rebuild the guest lodging at Fall Creek Falls State Park, reports the Time Free Press.

The plan is to tear down two existing facilities and build a single inn with about 85 rooms along with a new restaurant and conference center at the 26,000-acre park, long considered the “crown jewel” of Tennessee’s state parks system, on the Upper Cumberland Plateau. The work is expected to take 1 1/2 to two years.

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Dates set for special election to replace Sen. Jim Tracy

Gov. Bill Haslam has scheduled a special primary election for the state Senate District 14 seat vacated by Republican Sen. Jim Tracy for Jan. 25 with the general election on March 13.

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TN politicans join fans in shooting down Schiano as UT head football coach; Haslam concerned about ‘rush to judgment’

State legislators and Tennessee gubernatorial candidates joined fans in a revolt that apparently derailed a tentative deal for making Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano the University of Tennessee’s next head football coach, according to media reports.

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Cumberland County, TDEC have a dam dispute

The Cumberland County Commission is refusing to pay a bill from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation for inspection of a small dam, reports The Crossville Chronicle. The initial 2016 fee for inspection of Breckenridge Dam was $500, but that’s grown to $3,536.29 with penalties and interest.

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Veteran sues VA staffers, U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, over denial of pain medication

A Marine Corps veteran who contends he suffers constant and intense pain from service-related injuries has filed a federal lawsuit against 17 employees of an East Tennessee Veterans Administration hospital and a congressman over a policy limiting pain medication provided by the VA, reports the Johnson City Press.

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Alexander keeping U.S. Department of Education on a ‘tight leash’

First paragraphs of a Politico report:

Several months ago, Sen. Lamar Alexander phoned Education Secretary Betsy DeVos with a message: Back off.

Alexander, the Republican chairman of the Senate HELP Committee, was furious that a top DeVos aide was circumventing a new law aimed at reducing the federal government’s role in K-12 education. He contended that the agency was out of bounds by challenging state officials, for instance, about whether they were setting sufficiently ambitious goals for their students.

DeVos’ agency quickly yielded to his interpretation of the law — and she “thanked me for it,” Alexander told POLITICO.

Alexander’s heavy hand raises questions about who’s calling some of the shots at the Education Department, an agency he once headed — and to which DeVos came with virtually no expertise in running government bureaucracies.

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Ed Cromer retiring as editor of The Tennessee Journal

Ed Cromer is retiring on Dec. 31 after 20 years as editor of The Tennessee Journal, the capstone of a career largely devoted to astute observation and reporting on state government and politics since the 1970s.

Ed is 65. His retirement was announced via a brief notice in the current edition of the Journal, which adds that a successor will be named soon.

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