Haslam: Trump should be a uniter, not a divider and white supremacy is ‘wrong at all times’

Excerpt from a News Sentinel report on comments by Gov. Bill Haslam after a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Knoxville Thursday:

“I’ll say this, during the campaign when then candidate Trump was interviewed he said people will be surprised that I’m a uniter (sic) not a divider, and I think this is a perfect time for the president to work on uniting the country,” he said.

“We have a country that is very divided, incredibly divided and race is a part of that,” Haslam continued. “It’s not all of that, but it’s part of that. And this would be a great time for the president to lead and unite the country.”

He said white nationalists are just wrong.

“There are certain things that are obvious and there are certain things that are complex,” he said. “To me, it’s obvious that white supremacy and neo-Nazism is wrong at all times (and) everywhere. Period.”

Corker: Nation faces ‘great peril’ without ‘radical changes’ in Trump White House

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker today called for “radical changes” in the White House to bring more stability and confidence to Donald Trump’s presidency, reports the Times Free Press.

“The president has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability, nor some of the competence, that he needs to demonstrate in order for him to be successful — and our nation and our world needs for him to be successful, whether you are Republican or Democrat,” Corker told the Chattanooga Rotary club today.

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Cohen proposes impeachment of Trump over Charlottesville comments

News release from Rep. Steve Cohen

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice, today announced that he will be introducing articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump following the President’s comments on the horrific events in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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Former Cruz campaign manager hired by Matheny for congressional campaign

State Rep. Judd Matheny has hired John Drogin, a Texas-based political consultant who managed U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s successful campaign in 2012, for his 6th Congressional District campaign, according to Tennessee Star.

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Legislative committee approves new UT student code of conduct (after some grumbling)

A revised University of Tennessee code of conduct for students got approval from the legislature’s Joint Government Operations Committee Wednesday, reports WPLN, but not without some contention and caveats.

The relationship between the legislature and the state’s flagship university has been difficult for a while, and this committee meeting was no exception. It took nearly two hours and included testimony from five critics of the new code.

They took issue with details like its elimination of a Greek Judicial Board. Right now, that board hears cases involving fraternities or sororities, and it’s made up of students involved with Greek life, which one of the critics says is necessary to understand those cases. The university, meanwhile, says all cases should be treated like any others.

Rep. Martin Daniel, R-Knoxville, also had a long list of complaints about the new code, including that it was too long to be easily understandable.

In the end, lawmakers did pass the new code of conduct but are requiring UT officials to come back in the spring and report on the outcome.

Note: The Tennessean’s report, HERE, has more details.

Roundup of TN media reporting on Confederate memorial matters

There is a remarkable amount of media reporting on Tennessee support and/or opposition to Confederate memorials today. Here’s a sampler:

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Alexander, Corker favor moving Forrest bust (and a note on the bust history)

U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker say they support moving a bust of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest from the state capitol building to a museum.

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Backlash develops over bills limiting liability of motorists hitting protesters (TN version scuttled)

Excerpt from an Associated Press story on the “intense backlash” that has developed over Republican-sponsored bills in state legislatures that limit the liability of motorists who hit protesters following last weekend’s Charlottesville, Va., episode:

The debate over Tennessee’s bill, which would have shielded drivers exercising “due care,” showed how the measures have been divisive.

During a March hearing, Democratic Rep. G.A. Hardaway said he worried the law would allow extremists to deliberately attack protesters and then claim it was accidental. He cited social media posts from Trump supporters that suggested the bill would make it legal to “run down protesters” when the president visited Tennessee.

“It was providing them the type of motivation, inspiration to get out there and be violent,” he said. “Those who seek to harm others, they think this gives them cover.”

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Republican, Democratic guber candidates differ on moving N.B. Forrest bust from TN capitol

None of the five Republican candidates for governor declares support for removing Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest’s bust from the Tennessee state capitol building, reports The Tennessean after posing the question to all of them. Two Democrats running for governor both say the bust should be moved to a museum.

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Museum retreats from new code of ethics in face of legislator attacks

The chairman of the Tennessee State Museum’s governing board pledged that the panel would reconsider its controversial “code of ethics” in the face of round of strong criticism from state legislators at a hearing Tuesday.

“Do you want to take the legislature on?” asked Senate Government Operations Committee Chairman Mike Bell, R-Riceville, addressing Thomas Smith, chairman of the Douglas Henry State Museum Commission at the outset of a hearing.

An hour and a half later, Smith declared, “It is not our intent to take on the Legislature… Clearly we are going to go back and evaluate all of these items.”

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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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