Monthly Archives: May 2018

Roe challenger opens a campaign headquarters

U.S. Army veteran Todd McKinley, who is challenging U.S. Rep. Phil Roe in the 1st Congressional District Republican primary, has set up a campaign headquarters and is voicing optimism about his chances despite a $475,000 lead the incumbent has in campaign money, reports the Johnson City Press.

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Matlock congressional campaign and business under ‘almost constant’ cyberattacks

State Rep. Jimmy Matlock’s congressional campaign released a statement Friday saying their campaign, and Matlock’s business, have been facing “an almost constant stream” of cyberattacks, reports the News Sentinel.

 “We have filed a police report on the illegal hijacking of our staffer’s cell-phone and have retained a cyber-crime forensic investigator,” the release stated. “We are relatively certain who is behind it because they left a trail a mile wide and are just gathering the remaining evidence.”

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Mayor running for Congress, former sheriff running for legislature squabble in hallway, exchange insults afterwards

Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, who is running for a seat in Congress,  and former Knox County Sheriff Tim Hutchinson, who is running for a seat in the state House, had a heated exchange when they crossed paths in Knoxville’s City-County building recently, reports the News Sentinel.

The May 10 incident was caught on a security camera video, but without any audio. The two men offer differing accounts of the verbal exchange, though both say it included anonymous emails about Burchett and his stepson. The two have a political history: Burchett defeated Hutchinson in the 2010 mayor’s race.

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Black takes campaign trip on jet linked to company she helped in Congress and that helped her in fundraising

On a day of campaigning for governor last month, U.S. Rep. Diane Black flew from Chattanooga to Paris, Tenn., and back on a plane linked to Fitzgerald Glider Kits, reports The Tennessean. That’s the Crossville  company that received some media attention in February after getting an exemption with Black’s help from federal vehicle emission standards for the truck engines it makes —  and which has bundled $225,000 in donations to her gubernatorial campaign.

A Black spokesman says there’s nothing improper there; that she paid for the flight and it will be duly reported on her next campaign financial disclosure. The story says Black flew on the 2017 Embraer Phenom 300 twin-jet airplane from Chattanooga to West Tennessee on the morning of April 27 to attend the Paris Fish Fry, then used it to fly back to Chattanooga that evening to attend the Hamilton County Lincoln Day Dinner where she met with, among others, former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.

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TSEA endorses Harwell for GOP gubernatorial nomination, Fitzhugh for Democratic nod

Press release from Tennessee State Employees Association

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Employees Action Movement (TEAM-PAC) the official PAC of TSEA, today voted to endorse Beth Harwell in the Republican Primary and Craig Fitzhugh in the Democratic Primary in the race for Governor in Tennessee.  Continue reading

Black fishing for anti-illegal immigrant votes in latest TV ad

Press release from Diane Black campaign

Nashville, Tenn. —  Today, Diane Black released a new TV ad “Catch and Release,” which focuses on her tough stance on illegal immigration and her dedication to enforce the law as Tennessee’s next governor.

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Haslam signs compromise short-term rental bill

Legislation setting statewide rules for short-term rental of residential property has been signed into law by Gov. Bill Haslam without public comment. Similar bills have been the subject over lobbying wars for years over how much regulatory authority should remain with local government and the final version passed by the legislature was something of a compromise, worked out in a House-Senate conference committee.

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April figures show TN employment higher, wages lower

Tennessee employers added 45,000 jobs across the state in the past year, lowering the state’s seasonally-adjusted jobless rate from 4 percent a year ago to 3.4 percent last month, reports the Times Free Press. But the average hourly wage paid Tennessee workers was lower than a year ago.

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Vanderbilt poll: Bredesen ahead for Senate (but ‘not a lock’); governor’s race ‘wide open’

Press release from Vanderbilt University

As Tennessee looks to elect a new U.S. senator and governor in 2018, new polling figures suggest Republicans in those races may be facing real competition from Democrats, according to the most recent Vanderbilt Poll.

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Needle exchange programs getting underway in TN after recent legislative authorization bills

Health officials say a new needle exchange program in Johnson City will be only the second of its kind in Tennessee and will help limit infections spread by the increasing rate of intravenous drug use in the area, according to the Johnson City Press.

The report comes after the legislature has, without much media attention, moved to authorize more needle exchange programs statewide. The 110th General Assembly approved two bills on the subject – one in 2017 that allows private and nonprofit organizations to run needle exchange programs subject to Department of Health approval, and another this year that lets all local governments do the same, again subject to DOH approval.

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