Monthly Archives: May 2018

Nashville police arrest 21 protesters near state capitol

Nashville police arrested 21 protesters near the state Capitol complex on Monday, contending they were obstructing public passage through city streets, reports The Tennessean.
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More on Haslam and the ‘sanctuary cities bill’

Gov. Bill Haslam has elaborated on his decision to let the controversial “sanctuary cities bill” become law without his signature, reports the Times Free Press. And several politicians and individuals are offering comments on the move.

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Corker turns down Trump offer to become U.S. ambassador to Australia

President Donald Trump offered Sen. Bob Corker, currently chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to position of U.S. ambassador to Australia, but the retiring Tennessee Republican lawmaker said no. His decision has made headlines internationally.

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Unsigned: Haslam allows anti-sanctuary cities bill to become law

Critics call it the “mass deportation bill,” while supporters label it the “anti-sanctuary cities bill.” Either way, Republican Gov. Bill Haslam on Monday allowed the bill to become law without his signature.

The measure declares that municipalities can lose state grant funds if they loosen local rules involving illegal immigrants and requires state and local law enforcement officers to assist federal officials. Haslam has noted that “sanctuary cities” are already prohibited in Tennessee, despite concerns to the contrary from some of those urging him to sign the bill. He’s also argued that some concerns from the “immigrant community” seemed focused on provisions that were deleted from the measure prior to its final passage.

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New state measuring lab dedicated in Nashville

WPLN-FM’s Chas Sisk filed this fine report from the dedication of of new state metrology lab — an official center for measurements and weights. We maintain, however, that the report would have been all the better if Sisk had captured the sound of the oversized scissors cutting the ribbon. Then the scales would have really fallen from our eyes.

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Haslam backs state legislator for mayor over educator opponent

Gov. Bill Haslam has endorsed the election of state Rep. Kevin Brooks as mayor of Cleveland, joining outgoing mayor Tom Rowland and other area officials at a campaign rally Friday, reports the Cleveland Daily Banner.

Rowland announced in January he would retire as mayor and support Brooks (R-Cleveland) as his successor and Brooks announced at the same time he would not seek reelection to the legislature. The situation has “raised eyebrows of some in the community,” says the Banner – especially those of Duane Schriver, a former teacher and school principal who is opposing Brooks.

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Some political and policy commentary reading suggestions for Tennessee political junkies, 5/20/2018

Whiskey River take the Legislature’s mind?

In a rambling article on the political influence of state’s most famous whiskey, Sam Stockard mixes Jack Daniels with PAC money, lobbyists, legislators, rock  ‘n’ roll, the Tennessee Constitution, legislators and the attorney general  under the headline, “Jack Daniels may no longer be a sacred cow.” After reading the intoxicating tale, the headline may not ring true, but perhaps there is solace in the concluding line:  Just enjoy the whiskey and forget all your woes. (HERE)

In GOP guber primary, overblown emphasis on illegal immigration?

Citing TV commercials by Diane Black and Randy Boyd, columnist Frank Cagle throws in a bit of sarcasm (evidently, Gov. Bill Haslam and the Republican legislature have allowed the state to be overrun) in suggesting gubernatorial candidate passion for attacking illegal immigration is overblown to the detriment of discussing other issues actually related to state, rather than federal, government. Health care, for example. The reason, he says, is pandering to right-wing  talk radio and popular websites devoted to crusading against illegal immigrants. The article is HERE. The last line:

There was a time when John Seigenthaler and the Nashville Tennessean set the campaign agenda and influenced candidate positions on issues. That role is now being filled by Steve Gill and the Tennessee Star website.

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Review finds some TN government agencies violating law on open records

A newly-released audit shows some government agencies in Tennessee are making it difficult for citizens to access public records and, in some instances, violating state law, reports the Associated Press. It covered city and county governments as well as school districts.

Open records advocates had hoped that a state law that passed in 2016 would make it easier for people to access information that should be publicly available to citizens. But the audit by the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government found that some agencies had adopted rules that were so rigid that they threatened to slow down or thwart the process of getting records.

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Briley raises more money in Nashville mayor’s race than all other candidates combined

Nashville Mayor David Briley, who holds the position on an interim basis, has raised more money than all other candidates in Thursday’s mayor election combined, reports The Tennessean.

His total: $720,200, including $317,315 raised over the past six weeks. No. 2 in fundraising was Carol Swain, a former Vanderbilt University professor Carol Swain and a conservative commentator, at $115,560.

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Duncan among Republicans joining Democrats in U.S. House vote against farm bill

U.S. House Republicans are at each other’s throats after the Freedom Caucus delivered a shock to party leaders on Friday by killing a key GOP bill over an unrelated simmering feud over immigration, reports Politico. Thirty Republicans joined all Democrats in opposing the Agriculture and Nutrition Act, better known as the farm bill.

In the Tennessee House delegation, Republican Rep. John J. “Jimmy” Duncan of Knoxville, voted no along with Democrats Steve Cohen of Memphis and Jim Cooper of Nashville. The other six Tennessee representative, all Republicans, voted yes.   The bill got 198 yes votes versus 213 noes. (Roll call vote HERE.)

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