Democrats

Report: 9% of Tennesseans have no health insurance

The number of Tennessee residents without health insurance has dropped to just 9 percent, even though the state has rejected Medicaid expansion, reports WPLN. Tennessee was near 15 percent amid the recession and prior to Obamacare’s implementation.

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Environmentalist becomes 2nd Democrat in 2nd Congressional District race

Renee Hoyos, executive director of the Tennessee Clean Water Network,  has filed papers with the Federal Election as a candidate for election in the 2nd Congressional District, reports the Nashville Post. She becomes the second Democrat to enter the contest to succeed Republican U.S. Rep. John J. “Jimmy” Duncan.

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Poll finds Corker approval rating down to 34 percent; Corker staffer says it’s a ‘push poll’

Tennessee Democrats say a new poll, commissioned by a national advocacy group fighting GOP efforts to repeal Obamacare, demonstrates U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., is vulnerable on the health care issue. The Times Free Press reports that a Corker staffer and Vanderbilt University pollster question the validity of the survey.

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Democrat Bob Freeman eyes run for Harwell’s House seat

Bob Freeman, a real estate professional and son of prominent Tennessee Democratic donor Bill Freeman, is considering running in 2018 for the House seat that’s being vacated by Republican House Speaker Beth Harwell, a candidate for governor, reports The Tennessean.

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Citing ‘Trump fatigue,’ Democratic doctor plans run for Congress against Republican Dr. Phil Roe

Dr. Martin Olsen, an East Tennessee State University ObGyn professor and medical practitioner, says he intends to run for the Democratic nomination to the 1st Congressional District seat now held by Republican U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, also a physician, reports the Johnson City Press.

“I think I can win,” Olsen said rather earnestly. “Now, am I an underdog? Well, yes, I am an underdog. There’s no doubt about that. But the path to victory is to get about one-third of the (Donald) Trump voters. I think there’s enough Trump fatigue that it’s legitimate.”

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Reorganized Shelby County Democrats elect new chairman

A restructured Shelby County Democratic Party elected Naval Reserve officer and lawyer Corey Strong as chairman on Saturday, reports the Commercial Appeal.

Strong, 36, became the party’s first chairman since it was forcibly disbanded by the Tennessee Democratic Party a year ago.

“My goal is to have a unified message across various interest groups and people of different backgrounds,” Strong said. “The values that we share are the values we want represented in our government, our communities and our neighborhood.”

Strong, a graduate of White Station High and the U.S. Naval Academy, served eight years on active duty in the Navy. He received a law degree from the University of Memphis in 2014 and is a special project manager in the Shelby County Schools finance department under a foundation residency program.

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Fitzhugh launches run for Democratic gubernatorial nomination

State House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh announced his candidacy for governor Sunday, setting up a contested primary with fellow Democrat Karl Dean, the former mayor of Nashville, for the party nomination. Five Republicans are seeking the GOP nomination.

Dean announced his candidacy in February and reported raising $1.2 million in July. Before his announcement – in an interview with The Tennessean — Fitzhugh said he’s not intimidated by the late start and fundraising gap.

“Not at all… It really fires you up when you start $1.2 million behind.”

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On Mae Beavers tweets, blocked Democrats, ‘hateful trolls’ and reactionary busy-bodies

The chairman of the Davidson County Democratic Party says in a press release that state Sen. Mae Beavers may be violating federal law by blocking “almost everyone who isn’t a reactionary busy-body” from her Twitter account. Beavers, a Republican candidate for governor, responded with her own press release declaring she was only “blocking hateful trolls who tweet profanity and obscene images.”

Here are the press releases:

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A glance at Corker, Alexander, the Senate Obamacare dither and related Democrat bashing of Corker — just for today

Tennessee’s two U.S. senators, Republicans Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander, are apparently taking different stances on the latest move on health care legislation by many – but apparently not most — or their fellow Senate Republicans. The basic idea is to a vote to repeal Obamacare now with a two-year waiting period while Congress tries to figure out a replacement. It appears from their comments that Corker’s for it, reversing a past position; Alexander is not.

Corker issued a press release indicating support for the idea. His announcement was promptly denounced by Democrats, including James Mackler, who is campaigning for the party’s nomination to oppose him in 2018.

Alexander initially issued a press release (HERE) saying he wants to have hearings on the replacement regardless of how voting goes on the latest repeal effort with no indication of his stance  on the actual vote,  but the Tennessean today quotes Alexander on CNN as suggesting he doesn’t like the repeal-without-a-replacement idea and the votes aren’t there:

“I don’t think there are 40 votes to repeal and say to the American people, ‘Well, trust us to come up with something in the next couple of years.’ I don’t think that’s a good idea,” Alexander said.

(UPDATE/Note: Subsequently,  the Times-Free Press has this Alexander comment:  “Most pilots like to know where they’re going to land before they take off, and we should too.”)

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House Democrats list their top ten good bills passed, top ten bad bills killed in 2017

The House Democratic Caucus has come up with two “top ten” listings for the 2017 session – one for “dangerous” bills that were killed with Democratic assistance and one for bills “that improve the quality of life for people all across the state” that were approved with Democratic sponsors.

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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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