other states

TDOT chief to focus on fed road revenue in new role

News release from AASHTO

PHOENIX – The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ Board of Directors today (Friday) elected Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer, as the association’s president. Carlos Braceras P.E., executive director of the Utah Department of Transportation was elected Vice President and Scott Bennett, P.E., director of the Arkansas Department of Transportation, was elected Secretary-Treasurer.

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Bannon: Alabama begins ‘day of reckoning’ (with TN ramifications?)

The results of today’s Alabama Republican U.S. Senate primary may have ramifications in other states, including Tennessee, according to a Politico report that focuses on a Monday speech by Steve Bannon, former chief strategist for President Donald Trump, in supporting Roy Moore over Luther Strange.

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Breitbart bashes ‘Strange’s swamp pal’ (Corker) for Alabama ‘sweetheart deal’

Breitbart News — headed by President Trump’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon – is tying Sen. Bob Corker’s business dealings into its reporting on this week’s Republican U.S. Senate runoff primary in Alabama.

Breitbart is promoting Roy Moore over Sen. Luther Strange in the race. Corker is backing Strange and reportedly urged President Trump to personally campaign for Strange, as he did on Friday.

Referring to Corker as “Strange’s swamp pal” in its second report on the subject, the arch-conservative news service says the Tennessee senator “is set to receive more money each year from Alabama taxpayers from the sweetheart deal in an Alabama retail development arranged by a law firm that is a big donor to Strange’s Senate campaign than he receives from his salary as a United States senator.”

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On Corker, Trump and Alabama’s Moore-Strange runoff

The Washington Post has a quote attributed to Tennessee U.S. Sen. Bob Corker when he urged President Donald Trump to campaign in Alabama for Sen. Luther Strange in a Republican primary runoff election set for Tuesday:

“You’ve got to go,” the Tennessee Republican told Trump, according to people briefed on the exchange. “We need you there.”

That’s part of a story on how Washington Republican leaders persuaded Trump to campaign in Alabama, despite the president’s misgivings.

And here’s an excerpt from a Roll Call article this week:

When Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker asked President Donald Trump to campaign for Alabama Sen. Luther Strange ahead of next week’s Senate Republican runoff, he might have had a little self-preservation in mind.

A win by Roy Moore, the controversial former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice, would throw a wrench into the deliberative body in which the moderate Tennessee Republican serves. But a Moore victory could also embolden primary challengers to other sitting senators, like Corker.

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TennCare director bucks national group, backs Haslam on Obamacare bill

The National Association of Medicaid Directors is criticizing the Graham-Cassidy health care bill that faces a U.S. Senate vote next week, reports Nashville Post. But with Gov. Bill Haslam supporting the proposal as “flat-out good for Tennessee” — Tennessee’s Medicaid director, Wendy Long, stands with her boss rather than the national organization.

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Bell pushes transparency in constitutional convention planning

After four days of meetings last week, representatives of 22 states – including Tennessee – have adopted proposed  rules for what would be the first Article V convention in American history, reports the Arizona Republic. Backers of the proposed convention say 27 states have approved resolutions calling for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution requiring a balanced budget and they need seven more to get it underway.

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Trump following Corker’s advice in Alabama campaign?

Excerpt from a Politico report on President Donald Trump’s decision to campaign in Alabama for Sen. Luther Strange, who may be an underdog to controversial former judge Roy Moore in an upcoming special Republican primary runoff election for the U.S. Senate seat previously held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions:

Trump’s unexpected move sets the stage for a showdown between the president and his recently departed chief strategist, Steve Bannon, who is all-in for Moore. Bannon has cast the Alabama race as an important clash between grass-roots conservatives and the Washington establishment — and a test for whether other incumbent senators can be successfully challenged by insurgents in 2018.

… Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, who is up for reelection in 2018 and faces the prospect of a primary challenge, spoke extensively with Trump on Friday. According to two people familiar with the conversation, Corker told Trump that Strange’s fate hinged on the president going to bat for him.

… The save-Strange campaign comes at a time of growing concern in the GOP that lawmakers up for reelection in 2018 will face treacherous primary fights that divert party resources from unseating Democrats. Bannon has described the Alabama race as the initial front in a midterm war aimed at undermining McConnell.

A Moore win, Bannon has argued, could open the floodgates for conservative insurgents in states like Arizona, Nevada and Tennessee. The addition of truculent conservatives backed by Bannon to the Senate could also make it more difficult for McConnell to corral his conference.

 

Sens. Alexander, Kaine meet in bipartisan border harmony

Republican U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Democratic U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia met for a session of “nonpartisan harmony” at Bristol on the Tennessee-Virginia state line Friday evening, reports the Johnson City Press.

Whatever political differences existed between the two men were briefly cast aside during the 17th annual Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion festival.

Except for the blue and red shirts.

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Legislators spend $150K per year on out-of-state travel

From 2009 through 2016, 143 Tennessee state legislators went on about 720 out-of-state trips at a cost to taxpayers of about $1.2 million, according to a Tennessean review of records— about $150,000 per year for the eight-year period. Top traveler was Sen. Reginald Tate, D-Memphis.

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TNGOP legislators headed to constitutional convention planning session

News release from Senate Republican Caucus

NASHVILLE – The seven Tennessee lawmakers representing the state at a Balanced Budget Amendment Planning Convention in Phoenix, Arizona next Tuesday have filed a resolution to begin the process of preparing for an Article V convention.

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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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