Blog Entries

Black, husband criticized for lobbying against medical marijuana bill

Medical marijuana legislation sponsored by Rep. Jeremy Faison is hitting a hurdle with gubernatorial candidate U.S. Rep. Diane Black opposing it and her husband trying to kill the measure, according to the Tennessee Ledger. Her husband says his actions are in the public interest and not for any financial gain by his company.

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Black campaign collects $225K from donors linked to company benefiting from “pollution loophole” she promoted

Donors linked to a Crossville, Tenn., truck dealership known as Fitzgerald Glider provided 12 percent of contributions to the gubernatorial campaign of U.S. Rep. Diane Black, reports the New York Times under the headline, “How $225,000 Can Help Secure a Pollution Loophole at Trump’s E.P.A.” Black is reported to have played a pivotal role in promoting a “loophole” in federal law that helps the company.

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Lee reserves $2.2M worth of TV ad time for June through Aug. 2 GOP gubernatorial primary

Williamson County gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee has reserved $2.2 million worth of TV time to run campaign ads from June through the Aug. 2 Republican primary, reports Joel Ebert.

Although the spots are still months away from hitting the airwaves, Lee has reserved $1.1 million in ads to air on local broadcast stations in Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, the Tri-Cities area and throughout West Tennessee, including Memphis and Jackson, as well as Paducah, Kentucky.

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Poll finds 64 percent of TN GOP voters want Corker to retire

A poll of likely Tennessee Republican primary voters, commissioned by the Senate Conservatives Fund, found 64 percent want Bob Corker to retire from the U.S. Senate while 24 percent said he should run for reelection with 12 percent undecided, according to Breitbart News.

The poll also found that Blackburn – who has been endorsed by SCF – would be strongly favored to defeat Corker and U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher a hypothetical three-way Republican U.S. Senate  The results: 49 percent for Blackburn, 26 percent for Corker and 9 percent for Fincher.

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Comptroller finds no major legal problems in Memphis Confederate statues maneuver

Press release from Office of the Comptroller

The Comptroller’s Office has completed a review of the City of Memphis’ December 20, 2017 sale of Health Sciences Park and the easement to Memphis Park to Memphis Greenspace, Inc.

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Bill putting $100K cap on loans to campaigns clears House committee

A bill that limits local and statewide candidates’ from loaning their campaign more than $100,000 was approved by the House Local Government Committee Tuesday, reports The Tennessean.

Sponsored by Rep. Bill Dunn (R-Knoxville), HB1770 would not take effect until next year, after the current campaign season that has already seen at least four gubernatorial candidates loaning their campaigns more than $100,000. The bill would still allow candidates to make direct contributions to their campaigns in unlimited amounts — just not loans subject to being repaid afterwards, which sometimes occurs if the candidate wins.

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Update on Corker reconsidering: rebuff from Trump (?), Blackburn sees sexism afoot, etc.

Republican U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s campaign said Tuesday — responding to reports that Sen. Bob Corker is considering reversing an earlier decision and running for reelection to a new U.S. Senate term — that anyone who thinks she can’t win the general election in Tennessee’s U.S. Senate race is a “plain sexist pig,” reports the Associated Press.

The New York Times reports, meanwhile, that President Donald Trump has been encouraging Blackburn and rebuffing – so far – what one Republican calls a “charm offensive” by Sen. Bob Corker and supporters seeking the president’s support for Corker seeking for reelection.

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Complaints filed with FEC on Burchett and Matlock campaign financing

Separate complaints have been filed with the Federal Election Commission contending that two Republican candidates in the 2nd Congressional District primary, Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett and state Rep. Jimmy Matlock, have violated campaign finance laws, reports the News Sentinel.

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TVA’s $29M million aircraft fleet under attack (verbally)

A collection of consumer and environmental groups teamed Tuesday to blast TVA for spending millions on executive aircraft, contending they benefit wealthy executives, directors and business prospects at the expense of ordinary electric ratepayers, reports the Times Free Press.

TVA has spent nearly $29 million in the past two and a half years to buy nearly identical corporate jets and a specialized Mercedes-Benz Style helicopter formerly used by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

The executive jets and helicopter are part of TVA’s overall aircraft fleet of nine active helicopters, airplanes and jets (plus a King Air 350 plane that TVA bought for $6.5 million and is now for sale). TVA employs five full-time pilots and aircraft supervisors and spends millions of dollars a year to operate its own aircraft.

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Politico: ‘Distaste’ for Blackburn behind GOP prodding of Corker to reconsider retirement

Following up on earlier reports, Politico says  “a faction of Republicans in Tennessee and Washington” – worried that Republican Marsha Blackburn could lose the November U.S. Senate general election and give Democrats a Senate majority – continues to urge Sen. Bob Corker to reconsider his retirement plans.

A Blackburn spokeswoman scoffs at the notion of the current congressman as a loser and Corker is non-committal (though someone ‘close’ to the senator says he’s listening), according to the lengthy article. The piece also suggests that Corker has “reached out” to President Donald Trump to get his thinking on a retreat from retirement.

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