other states

Haslam: Virginia election is ‘a wake up call’ for GOP governors

Excerpt from a New York Times report datelined Austin, Texas:

For nearly a decade, meetings of the Republican Governors Association were buoyant, even giddy, affairs, as the party — lifted by enormous political donations and a backlash against the Obama administration — achieved overwhelming control of state governments.

But a sense of foreboding hung over the group’s gathering in Austin this past week, as President Trump’s unpopularity and Republicans’ unexpectedly drastic losses in elections earlier this month in Virginia, New Jersey, and suburbs from Philadelphia to Seattle raised the specter of a political reckoning in 2018.

“I do think Virginia was a wake-up call,” said Governor Bill Haslam of Tennessee, who took over here as chairman of the governors association. “There’s a pretty strong message there. When Republicans lose white married women, that’s a strong message.”

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Haslam elected chairman of Republican Governors Association

Press release from Republican Governors Association

WASHINGTON, D. C. – The Republican Governors Association announced today that Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam was elected to serve as the RGA Chairman for 2018. Additionally, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts was elected to serve as Vice Chairman. Both assume the positions immediately and are a one-year duration.

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Corker outdoes Alexander in critique of Roy Moore

Tennessee’s two U.S. senators have issued short comments distancing themselves from Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore following reports of the Republican former judge pursuing teenage girls years ago.

Sen. Bob Corker, via Twitter on Saturday (as reported by The Hill):

Look, I’m sorry, but even before these reports surfaced, Roy Moore’s nomination was a bridge too far.

Sen. Lamar Alexander, in a prepared statement (as reported earlier by The Tennessean and echoing several other prominent GOP politicians):

“If these disturbing allegations are true, Roy Moore should withdraw from the Senate race.”

 

Nashville mayor joins new national group pushing city infrastructure investments

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, seen by some as a potential Democratic presidential candidate in 2020, is starting a nonprofit group with other mayors, union leaders and business executives to fund what they call innovation investments around the country, reports Politico. Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, who is pushing a $5.2 billion infrastructure investment including a 26-mile light rail system, is one of the members of an initial advisory group.

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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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