(Jeff) Miller time at the Cordell Hull?

miller-mug2After a 12-year absence, former state Sen. Jeff Miller has returned to the General Assembly as a lobbyist for a golf cart company that he has represented as a lawyer. And he is soliciting more business.

“Many of the legislators I worked with still serve and we have remained in touch,” Miller writes in a solicitation letter “to whom it may concern” that has raised some eyebrows as it was circulated around  the Cordell Hull building.

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State revenue down in January, still ahead of budget for fiscal year

Press release from Department of Finance and Administration

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration Commissioner Larry Martin today announced that overall January state tax revenues posted less than expected, while year-to-date state revenues remain more than budgeted. Revenues for January totaled $1.4 billion, and were 3.18 percent less than revenues received in the same time period one year ago, and were $25 million less than budgeted.

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Duncan facing ethics investigation — apparently over campaign payments to family

The House Ethics Committee is investigating U.S. Rep. John J. “Jimmy” Duncan Jr. of Knoxville, though not giving a reason for the probe in a statement Tuesday. But there’s immediate speculation the investigation involves  payment of campaign funds to the congressman’s relatives – most notably his son, John J. Duncan III — that continued through into December of 2017 after media reporting on the matter in July. Duncan says he’s done nothing wrong.

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Harwell PAC runs TV ad about Harwell (feat. Harwell)


A television ad running in support of House Speaker Beth Harwell, a Republican candidate for governor, is raising eyebrows. The ad is paid for by Harwell’s PAC — not her campaign account — and doesn’t explicitly say anything about her gubernatorial aspirations. But unlike typical independent expenditure ads, this one features Harwell speaking directly to the camera about her achievements as House speaker.

“Under my leadership as speaker of the House, we have accomplished a lot for Tennessee and the signs are everywhere,” Harwell says from the speaker’s podium.

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Black campaigns with Ramsey, talks drug addiction at ETSU

While campaigning for governor in the Tri-Cities area Monday, U.S. Rep. Diane Black stopped by East Tennessee State University’s Bill Gatton of College of Pharmacy to participate in a roundtable discussion on drug addiction treatment and prevention research, reports the Johnson City Press.

Accompanied by former Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, who now serves as her campaign co-chair, Black listened attentively and asked many questions, even interjecting at times to ask for clarification or provide her own feedback.

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Goins becomes latest incumbent to announce retirement from General Assembly


Republican Rep. Tilman Goins (R-Morristown) is the latest sitting lawmaker to announce he won’t seek re-election this fall.

“It is now time to step aside so that someone else with a heart for service can bring their perspective to help continue fighting for the people of Morristown and Hamblen County,” Goins said in a release Monday.

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Blackburn tries bucking historic TN trend against U.S. Reps. winning U.S. Senate elections

Press release from Smart Politics:

With Stephen Fincher ending his candidacy in Tennessee’s 2018 U.S. Senate race, a new Smart Politics report examines how sitting and former U.S. Representatives from the Volunteer State have fared in primary and general elections for the state’s upper legislative chamber over the last century:

● A Smart Politics analysis finds that prior to 2018, sitting and ex-Tennessee U.S. Representatives have been victorious in eight of 22 U.S. Senate bids in the direct election era (36.4 percent) with Democrats winning seven of 15 and the GOP one of seven.

● William Brock is the only Republican U.S. Representative from Tennessee to win a U.S. Senate seat since 1913, with failed attempts by Henry Evans (1918), B. Carroll Reece (1948), Robin Beard (1970), Ed Bryant (2002, 2006), and Van Hilleary (2006).

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Alexander, Corker back bill aimed at strengthening gun background checks

U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker are co-sponsors of legislation intended to strengthen background checks for gun buyers and a White House spokeswoman says President Trump, while not endorsing a specific proposal, “is supportive of efforts to improve the federal background check system.”

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House sub blocks push to disinter and relocate President James K. Polk’s body

The House State Government Subcommittee has rejected a legislative resolution authorizing disinterment of the bodies of President James K. Polk and his wife from a tomb on the state capitol grounds and moving them to Columbia.

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Maury County Commission chairman seeks to succeed Rep. Butt in House District 64

Maury County Commission Chairman Michael Fulbright has announced as a candidate for the Republican nomination in House District 64, now held by retiring Rep. Shelia Butt (R-Columbia), reports the Columbia Daily Herald. He says the big issue for the area is preparing for rapid growth spilling over from Nashville.

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