Monthly Archives: January 2018

Study finds ‘hodgepodge’ of 538 open records exemptions

Senate State and Local Government Chairman Ken Yager (R-Kingston), left) and Sen. Richard Briggs (R-Knoxville), attend a hearing on open records exemptions in Nashville on Jan. 30, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Senate State and Local Government Chairman Ken Yager (R-Kingston), left) and Sen. Richard Briggs (R-Knoxville), attend a hearing on open records exemptions in Nashville on Jan. 30, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

When Tennessee’s open records law was first enacted in 1957, lawmakers included just two exemptions for information that should remain confidential. By 1957, that number had risen to 89. As of the beginning of this year, there are 538 exemptions.

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Sen. Lundberg tangled in flap over firing of policeman who ticketed his daughter

Bristol city officials were concerned about “political interference and retaliation” by state Sen. Jon Lundberg after his daughter was ticketed by a police officer who was subsequently fired, reports the Bristol Herald Courier.

The Bristol Republican says he did not try to get his daughter out of the ticket and has actively opposed dismissal of officer Phil Kiersnowski – though he contacted the city police chief at the time to jokingly remark on his wife and daughter both being ticketed  by Bristol police on the same day.

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Slideshow of Haslam’s final State of the State

A collection of photos from Gov. Bill Haslam’s final State of the State address:

Gov. Bill Haslam prepares to give his final State of the State speech on Jan. 29, 2018 in Nashville. (Photo credit: Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Gov. Bill Haslam prepares to give his final State of the State speech on Jan. 29, 2018 in Nashville. (Photo credit: Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

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Poll finds Black leads Dean by 11 points hypothetical governor match; Beavers tied

Former state Sen. Mae Beavers and Williamson County businessman Bill Lee would face closer general election races as the Republican nominee for governor against  Democrat Karl Dean, a former Nashville mayor, than three other contenders for the GOP nomination, according to a poll commissioned by Tennessee Star.

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Judge issues temporary injunction in Confederate statues lawsuit

An injunction issued by a judge Monday was “a partial, if unsurprising, win for the Sons of Confederate Veterans” in a lawsuit filed against Memphis Greenspace Inc., the nonprofit that recently removed Confederate statues from two former city parks, reports the Commercial Appeal.

 Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle barred the nonprofit from selling, gifting or moving the statues of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, President Jefferson Davis, and Capt. J. Harvey Mathes pending a “contested case hearing” before the Tennessee Historical Commission sometime within the next 60 days.

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Haslam’s ‘State of the State’ press release: reminisces and outline of $37.5B budget

Gov. Bill Haslam prepares to deliver his final State of the State address in Nashville on Jan. 29, 2018 (Photo credit: Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Gov. Bill Haslam prepares to deliver his final State of the State address in Nashville on Jan. 29, 2018 (Photo credit: Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Press release from the governor’s office

NASHVILLE – In his final State of the State address to the General Assembly, Gov. Bill Haslam this evening challenged all Tennesseans to lead the nation in creating high-quality jobs, improving the education of our students, and providing the most efficient and effective state government services.

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Haslam: “The message is that we can’t stop now.”

Gov. Bill Haslam gives a preview of his State of the State address in Nashville on Jan. 29, 2018. (Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Gov. Bill Haslam gives a preview of his State of the State address in Nashville on Jan. 29, 2018. (Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Republican Gov. Bill Haslam has given this preview of his final State of the State address in a meeting with reporters at the state Capitol on Monday:


I thought I’d give a quick preview of tonight’s State of the State address. As you know it’s my last – eighth and final. I will spend some time looking back over the past seven years.

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AG Slatery: Exit of communications director ‘a bummer for our office’

Press release from Tennessee Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III today announced Harlow Sumerford, Director of Communications, will leave the Attorney General’s Office to join the communications team at HCA Healthcare as Manager of Media Relations.

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Former state Rep. Joshua Evans running for Robertson County mayor

Former state Rep. Josh Evans is running for Robertson County mayor. (Photo credit: Evans campaign)

Former state Rep. Josh Evans is running for Robertson County mayor. (Photo credit: Evans campaign)

Press release from Joshua Evans campaign

SPRINGFIELD – Recognizing a strong future for Robertson County, Joshua Evans launched his bid for Robertson County Mayor in the August election.

With six years of experience, serving the residents of Robertson County in the Tennessee General Assembly, Evans brings an energetic and experienced perspective to Robertson County government.

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Poll finds Bredesen ahead of Fincher, trailing Blackburn in U.S. Senate matchups

Republican U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn leads former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen 50.7 percent to 39.7 percent in a recent poll commissioned by Tennessee Star of prospective voters in hypothetical matchup for the general U.S. Senate election. The poll also found that Bredesen has a lead – 41.5 percent to 38.2 percent – in a match with former Republican Rep. Stephen Fincher as the GOP nominee.

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