Blog Entries

U.S. Senate panel votes to confirm Overbey as U.S. attorney for East TN

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday voted to confirm President Trump’s nomination of state Sen. Doug Overbey as U.S. attorney for East Tennessee. The nomination still awaits a Senate floor vote.

Statement from Sen. Lamar Alexander:

“I’ve known Doug for a long time – and I know that Tennessee will be well-served by a man of such good character,” he said. “Doug is a lifelong East Tennessean and has dedicated his life to service — practicing law for more than 37 years in East Tennessee and currently serving in the Tennessee General Assembly. I am glad the Senate Judiciary Committee approved his nomination today, and I look forward to his confirmation.”

Once confirmed, Overbey plans to step down from his Senate District 2 seat.

Attorneys General reach $120M settlement with General Motors

News release from the attorney general’s office

Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III today announced a $120 million settlement with General Motors Company (“GM”) over allegations GM concealed safety issues related to ignition switch-related defects in GM vehicles.

The settlement, reached between GM and the attorneys general of 49 states and the District of Columbia, concludes a multistate investigation into the auto manufacturer’s failure to timely disclose known safety defects in several models and model years of GM vehicles.

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TN unemployment rate falls to lowest level ever recorded (again)

News release from the governor’s office

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips today announced the state unemployment rate fell to 3 percent in September, marking the lowest it has been since the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking the information in January of 1976.

Tennessee first marked a historic low unemployment rate in June at 3.6 percent, which was bested by the July rate of 3.4 percent, and then fell even lower in August to 3.3 percent.

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In 2nd Congressional District, Matlock leads Burchett in cash on hand

Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett led candidates to succeed U.S. Rep. John J. “Jimmy” Duncan Jr. in collecting donations but state Rep. Jimmy Matlock has more cash on hand for his campaign, according to financial disclosures filed with the Federal Election Commission this week.

Duncan, who announced his retirement on July 31, still has far more campaign money than all his would-be successors combined with a reported balance of $917,303. The veteran congressman reported $52,500 in contributions received during the past quarter and continued using campaign funds to pay family members — a practice that inspired some controversy earlier this year.

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Jeb Bush plans fundraiser for Randy Boyd; Black & Beavers bash Bush & Boyd

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will speak at a fundraiser for Randy Boyd’s campaign next month, reports the Nashville Post. Rep. Diane Black, one of Boyd’s rivals for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, promptly issued a news release declaring Bush and Boyd are ‘a match made in establishment heaven.’  Mae Beavers, another Boyd opponent, had similar comments — and criticized Black, too.

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Russians behind Twitter account targeting TN?

A Twitter account that the Tennessee Republican Party tried to get suspended was created by a Russian “troll” farm that was trying to influence American political views, according to the Russian magazine RBC.

The Tennessee-targeted account was labeled @TEN_GOP; the real Tennessee Republican Party account is @TN_GOP. Twitter suspended it in August, 2017, about a year after the first request by TNGOP.

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Nashville school board votes to join Shelby County in school funding lawsuit

The Metro Nashville Public Schools board voted Tuesday night to join Shelby County’s schools in a lawsuit seeking more state education funds, reports The Tennessean.

The motion to join Shelby County Schools in the district’s ongoing litigation for increased education funds passed with a 7-0 vote by the Nashville school board. Two board members were absent — Sharon Gentry and Mary Pierce.

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Craig Fitzhugh’s online gubernatorial campaign video

Ogles says Trump should fix ‘legislative opioid debacle’

News release from Andy Ogles campaign

Republican conservative U.S. Senate candidate Andy Ogles is calling on President Donald Trump to issue an Executive Order directing DEA and other federal agencies to use all available means to intensify the investigation and prosecution of those engaged in the reckless, illegal and dangerous overprescription and distribution of opioids.

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Alexander, Murray propose bipartisan, short-term Obamacare deal

Sens. Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray say they have reached an agreement on a bipartisan Obamacare deal to fund a key insurance subsidy program and provide states flexibility to skirt some requirements of the health care law, reports Politico.

There is no assurance that the agreement will get to the Senate floor, however. Republicans on Tuesday were lukewarm about the prospect of resuming debate over whether to try to prop up Obamacare after multiple failed GOP attempts to repeal the law.

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ABOUT THIS BLOG

Former Knoxville News Sentinel capitol bureau chief Tom Humphrey writes about Tennessee politics, government, and legislative news.

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