Search Results for: stand for children

Registry finds no wrongdoing by Stand for Children PAC

Four former Metro school board candidates and the special-interest group Stand for Children were cleared of wrongdoing by the Registry of Election Finance on Wednesday, reports WSMV-TV. The PAC and a independent expenditure group with the same name together about $250,000 last summer in supporting the four candidates and attacking their opponents.

Commissioners voted unanimously to dismiss a complaint that alleged Stand for Children and the former contenders for Metro Nashville School Board violated campaign finance law by exceeding contribution limits and illegally coordinating during a blackout period.

Jane Meneely, Miranda Christy, Thom Druffel and Jackson Miller all lost their campaigns. The attorney representing Stand for Children said this effort was a smear campaign orchestrated by sore winners.

“It is important to note that the original complaint filed against Stand and candidates for the Metro Nashville School Board was based on hearsay—not fact,” said attorney Stephen Zraleck. “And the facts, as presented in sworn affidavits, demonstrate that Stand followed both the letter and the spirit of state campaign finance law.”

But those who filed the complaint hailed the decision as a dark day for fair and transparent elections.

“It’s the old, ‘You’re going to believe me or your lying ears,’” said Gerard Stranch, who represented the consumer rights group Tennessee Citizen Action and a Nashville parent.  “They decided their ears are lying to them, and it’s very disappointing.”

In light of the Registry’s decision, Tennessee Citizen Action called on the Secretary of State’s Office to get involved.

“What’s the point of having the Registry of Election Finance if they are not going to hold political action committees and candidates accountable?” wrote director Andy Spears in a statement.

Black says legislature should reject in-state tuition for children of illegal immigrants (Update: Lee ditto)

Press release from Diane Black campaign

Nashville, Tenn. – Today, Diane Black released the following statement on the in-state tuition bill currently being debated by the state legislature, which would allow in-state tuition for illegal immigrants:

“I have said many times that if the state legislature were to pass a bill providing in-state tuition for illegal immigrants, I would veto it. In-state tuition is a benefit provided to legal residents of our state, and it should stay that way.

“Too many times, so-called conservatives get elected promising to fight against liberal policies, only to embrace them once in office. It’s a shame to see our state legislature do just that, particularly without real debate or even a recorded vote in committee. It’s time for the true conservatives in the legislature to stand up and say no.”

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22 state employees recognized for ‘outstanding service’

Press release from the governor’s office

NASHVILLE – Governor Bill Haslam and First Lady Crissy Haslam today recognized 22 state employees for providing outstanding service to the state and their fellow Tennesseans at a luncheon at the Tennessee Residence. The Governor’s Excellence in Service Awards was launched in 2016 to honor outstanding state employees who are helping Tennessee lead by providing efficient and effective state services every day. 

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Supremes OK forms to simplify uncontested divorces for couples with children

News release from Administrative Office of the Courts

Nashville, Tenn. – The Tennessee Supreme Court has adopted a set of plain-language forms and instructions for use in uncontested divorces between parties with minor children in an effort to simplify divorce proceedings for parties that fall into that category.  The forms will become effective January 1, 2017.

The forms are approved by the Court as universally acceptable and legally sufficient for use in all Tennessee courts pursuant to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 52. The forms and instructions were submitted to the Court by the Access to Justice Commission.

The forms arose from the Commission’s responsibility under Supreme Court Rule 50 to develop initiatives and systemic changes to reduce barriers to access to justice and to meet the legal needs of persons whose legal needs may not be met by legal aid programs. Currently there are restrictions on the types of family law cases which may be handled by federally funded legal aid providers.

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Eric Trump ends fundraising for foundation that benefits St. Jude Children’s Hospital

One of President-elect Donald Trump’s sons will stop raising money for his foundation, which gives money to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis because donations could be perceived as buying access to his father, reports the Associated Press.

Eric Trump said Wednesday that it pained him to cease soliciting donations for his organization, which he says has raised more than $15 million for children terminally ill with cancer…. (T)he younger of the president-elect’s two adult sons, has raised enough money over the last decade to fund a new intensive care unit at St. Jude, which provides free medical care for children.

Eric Trump said he will likely wind down the Eric Trump Foundation — which had just one employee — but plans to continue public advocacy against childhood cancer. About $5 million of a $20 million, 10-year commitment to St. Jude remains outstanding, money that likely will be raised by donations from patrons at Trump-owned hotels and golf courses.

… The Kay Research Care Center’s 328,000 square feet at St. Jude includes the Eric Trump Foundation Surgery and ICU Center. The Eric Trump Foundation’s total commitment to St. Jude was to $28 million since 2006, including the $5 million outstanding.

… “Fighting childhood cancer is a cause that has been central to my life since I was 21 years old,” Eric Trump told The Associated Press. “It’s an extremely sad day when doing the right thing isn’t the right thing. That said, raising awareness for the cause will be a lifelong mission for me.”

… Eric Trump’s foundation scuttled a plan to raise money for the children’s hospital through an online auction for coffee with his sister Ivanka Trump, who is considering joining the White House in some capacity. (Note: Previous post HERE.) And Eric and Donald Trump Jr. backed away from an inauguration event that aimed to raise money for conservation charities.

They were named as directors along with two of their friends in a new Texas-based nonprofit that had considered offering $1 million donors the chance to rub elbows with the new president at a “Camouflage & Cufflinks” ball in Washington the day after Trump’s swearing-in. The nonprofit also proposed allowing some donors to join one or both of the sons on a hunting or fishing trip.

UPDATE/Note: Trump apparently wasn’t happy with the move. His tweet, as reported by CNN:

“My wonderful son, Eric, will no longer be allowed to raise money for children with cancer because of a possible conflict of interest with … my presidency,” Trump tweeted. “Isn’t this a ridiculous shame? He loves these kids, has raised millions of dollars for them, and now must stop. Wrong answer!”

State putting $12M into St. Jude Children’s Hospital expansion

News release from the governor’s office

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd on Thursday announced that the state of Tennessee, along with the city of Memphis, will invest in public infrastructure surrounding St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.

 

The state will invest $12 million in FastTrack funding to improve the public infrastructure surrounding the St. Jude campus in downtown Memphis, which will complement the research institution’s expansion efforts announced in 2015, and will eventually lead to the creation of 1,800 new jobs in Shelby County.

“St. Jude is known around the world for its research and treatment of catastrophic childhood diseases and is an anchor institution in our state and we are proud it calls Tennessee its home,” Haslam said. “It means a great deal to be able to assist this world-renowned facility by supporting public infrastructure needs that will help St. Jude not only create new jobs for Tennessee, but increase its capabilities to conduct life-saving treatment and research.”

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Billboards used to push Memphis funding for schools

A week after Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland largely dismissed a new coalition’s call for $10 million in city spending on schools, the group is taking its message to billboards, reports Chalkbeat Tennessee.

Fund Students First — comprised of elected officials, education advocates and public school leaders — posted two billboards Friday in high-trafficked streets in downtown and midtown Memphis. The campaign is being underwritten by Stand for Children, a national education advocacy group with offices in Memphis and Nashville.

One billboard says:

standforchildren

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Roundup of some recent TN political reporting and opinions, 12/18/2016

Corker for governor?

In a talk with the Jackson Sun, U.S. Sen. Bob Corker reviewed dealings with Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson, the possibility of Russian involvement with the presidential elections and other topics of national interest reported elsewhere, HERE. He was also asked if he might run for governor at some point and “did not explicitly say yes or no,” but acknowledged “the fulfillment” he felt while serving in an executive capacity as mayor of Chattanooga.

“On the other hand I’m in a place right now where I’m affecting things not only in our state but also our country and the world,” Corker said. “So again we’ll look at that over the next several months and try to make what I believe to be the best decision as it relates to offering public service.”

Faison’s folly?

That part of the headline on a review of state Rep. Jeremy Faison’s crusade – despite the misgivings of some fellow Republican conservatives — to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes by Sam Stockard. Sample quote:

“The deeper you get into understanding the goodness of that plant the more you question why in the world we ever demonized it in the first place.”

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Charter school, voucher advocates ramp up TN campaign spending

Recently-filed campaign disclosures show three political action committees supporting charter school expansion and/or vouchers have pushed their  Tennessee campaign spending toward the $2 million mark and a poised to pass it.

PACs representing Stand For Children,  the Tennessee Federation for Children and Tennessee Campaign for Achievement Now – previously known in the state as Tennessee StudentsFirst – collectively reported spending more than $1.2 million in July disclosures. In the new reports, covering the period of July 25-Oct. 1, show additional spending of $584,000 – most in late attack advertising prior to the Aug. 4 elections.

Tennessee Campaign for Achievement Now, also known as TennesseeCAN, reported $300,000 in spending by the PAC set up to replace one operated by StudentsFirst following a merger earlier this year with another group. The group reported spending just $18,000 in its July PAC report, which came amid what a spokesman called “restructuring” after the merger. Most of the money spent came from the group’s national organization, known as 50CAN.

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Never assume? Lee loses key Chattanooga Republican on voucher bill

Legislative leaders kick off the joint convention to inaugurate Gov. Bill Lee in Nashville on Jan. 19, 2019. From left at podium are House Majority Leader William Lamberth, Senate Speaker Randy McNally, Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson, and House Speaker Glen Casada. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Republican Gov. Bill Lee’s administration needs six votes to get its school voucher bill out of the Senate Finance Committee. Until recently, outspoken Sen. Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga) was believed to be among those expected to vote to advance the measure. Not so, reports Andy Sher of the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

“I’d carried every voucher bill for the past six years,” Gardenhire told the paper. “But this was one I could not go along with.”

(Full disclosure: The print edition of The Tennessee Journal was among those buying into the assumption that Gardenhire would be among the bill’s supporters.)

Gardenhire has long fought to make in-state tuition rates available to children brought to the country illegally. A provision of the voucher bill aimed to screen the immigration status of K-12 students is a major reason for Gardenhire’s opposition.

“As you know, I’ve been a big proponent of making sure they get an education they’re supposed to get,” said Gardenhire. “And [Lee] and I have a fundamental disagreement on that.”

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