Monthly Archives: March 2018

Black backs Blackburn (Update: Boyd balks)

Press release from Diane Black campaign

Nashville, Tenn. – Today, Diane Black released the following statement endorsing Marsha Blackburn for Tennessee’s open U.S. Senate seat:

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Democrats’ bill to ban underage marriage killed, replaced by GOP version

A Democrat-sponsored bill to prohibit marriage of persons under age 18 was killed Tuesday in a Senate committee and replaced with a Republican-sponsored measure that allow those aged 16 and 17 to wed with parental permission – so long as the newlyweds are within four years of being the same age.

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Rep. David Byrd accused of sexual misconduct; Harwell says he should resign

State Rep. David  Byrd has been accused by three women of having inappropriate sexual contact with them while he was a high school basketball coach and they were teenagers, according to WSMV. House Speaker Beth Harwell promptly called for the Waynesboro Republican to resign from his House seat after being provided a secretly-recorded tape of Byrd apologizing to one of the women. Continue reading

AG says proposed anti-discrimination rule for lawyers is unconstitutional

State Attorney General Herbert Slatery is formally opposing a proposed change to professional conduct rules for lawyers that he contends would violate the constitutional free speech rights of Tennessee attorneys, reports the Nashville Post.

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Senate signs off on Haslam restructuring of UT Board of Trustees, 27-3

The state Senate approved 27-3 Tennessee Monday evening Gov. Bill Haslam’s legislation to restructure  the University of Tennessee board of trustees, slashing the main governing panel from 27 to 11 members and creating “advisory” boards for each of the system’s four campuses. A few critics noted that there will now be 39 appointees on five boards overseeing UT operations under the “FOCUS Act” and questioned whether that is actual streamlining.

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Alexander angry, exasperated over collapse of latest attempted Obamacare fix

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander’s latest attempt to stabilize the nation’s health care insurance markets under the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, collapsed last week in partisan squabbling over abortion, reports Michael Collins. There was an accompanying “flurry of finger-pointing and bitter charges by each side that the other was playing politics.”

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Northeast Tennessee DA dies on weekend trip to Nashville

Anthony “Tony” Clark of Unicoi County, district attorney general for the 1st Judicial District of Northeast Tennessee, died Sunday while on a trip with family to Nashville, reports the Johnson City Press. Police say he died of “natural causes” and had been scheduled to undergo a medical procedure in Nashville this week while others say he was also in the capitol city for an Eagles concert held Saturday.

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PAC airs second radio ad attacking ‘dishonest Diane Black’

A political action committee funded by millionaire businessman Joe Hollingsworth of Clinton is airing a second radio commercial attacking “dishonest Diane Black” as a gubernatorial candidate, reports Tennessee Star.

The latest 60 second radio ad from a group called Tennessee Jobs Now PAC (TnJobsNow.com) is airing on several stations across the state and follows up on an ad campaign in January that featured a man and woman talking about “Dishonest Diane” directing state contracts to her husband’s company while flushing money down the toilet — to keep Diane Black from getting her hands on it.

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Legislators face monumental decisions on the unborn, David Crockett

A bill authorizing placement of a “Tennessee Monument to Unborn Children” on the state capitol grounds is scheduled for votes in committees of both the House and Senate next week. Also pending is a Senate decision on a House-passed bill to replace a statue of Edward Carmack that now prominently stands at the Capitol’s southern entrance with one of David Crockett.

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Late-night calls deemed ‘outrageous’ by legislator, a timing error by sponsor

State Sen. Kerry Roberts and Lt. Gov. Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) are calling for multiple investigations after robocalls from the Tennessee Justice Center criticizing Roberts’ TennCare work requirements legislation went out in the middle of the night Thursday, reports the Nashville Post.

“These robocalls are outrageous and the information disseminated is false and misleading,” said Roberts (R-Springfield). “They were conducted in the middle of night with the call back number, for those who thought that it might be a dire emergency due to the late hour, going to my legislative office which is completely deceptive.”

However, the TJC — a nonprofit that assists state families with TennCare, Medicaid and Medicare eligibility and appeals — insists the error was not malicious.

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