Democrats

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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TN Democrats raised $300K at Jackson Day dinner

News release from Tennessee Democratic Party

Nashville, Tenn. (May 22, 2017) – On Friday, May 19, 800 Tennessee Democrats from across the state gathered in Nashville to celebrate the annual Three Star Jackson Day Dinner. Attendees heard from elected leaders and candidates, paid tribute to President Barack Obama and looked to the future.

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Jackson Day crowd (800) urged to turn ‘outrage’ over Trump into 2018 TN Democratic wins

A crowd estimated at 800 turned out for the Tennessee Democratic Party’s annual Jackson Day dinner Friday night and heard speeches that included criticism of President Donald Trump and optimism about the improved prospects for the party in the 2018 elections, reports The Tennessean.

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota was keynote speaker with others the group including former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, who has announced as a candidate for governor, and House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh, who had expressed interest in running for governor as well.

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Democrat Mackler’s introductory U.S. Senate campaign video

Posted on Democratic U.S. Senate candidate James Mackler’s campaign website, the video is mostly promotional bio stuff – he’s a veteran, has a family, loves Tennessee, etc. – but also bashes Donald Trump and incumbent Republican Sen. Bob Corker,  “another millionaire politician looking to move up.”

 

Some DC Democrats criticize Green; some TN Democrats join in praising him

In Washington, 31 Democratic U.S. House members have called for the rejection of Tennessee state Sen. Mark Green as U.S. Army Secretary. But in Nashville, all five Democratic members of the state Senate joined their Republican colleagues in voting for a resolution praising the Clarksville Republican.

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Republican Governors Association bashes Dean; Dean bashes RGA

The Republican Governors Association, apparently concerned that Democrat Karl Dean might actually have a chance of winning the 2018 gubernatorial election, has already begun attacking the former Nashville mayor for supporting a property tax increase. Dean says it’s a case of “Washington politics trying to interfere in Tennessee.”

Gov. Bill Haslam is a past chairman of the RGA, which has election of Republicans as state chief executives as its primary mission. Haslam, who cannot seek reelection next year, still sits on the RGA’s executive committee.

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TN Democrats oust old, bring in new at county level

News release from Tennessee Democratic Party

Over the past few weeks, thousands of Tennesseans gathered and reorganized 84 of 92 eligible county parties, and elected 52 new county party chairs. The change in leadership in more than half of the counties reflects a more energized group of Tennessee Democrats who are ready to stand up in their communities.

Chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party, Mary Mancini said, “We have seen a huge amount of new energy and interest in the Democratic Party since election day. People from all parts of Tennessee are becoming more active citizens, holding elected officials accountable and joining their county parties.”

Seven of the new chairs were candidates for the state legislature last year. Khristy Wilkinson, who ran for State Senate in Chattanooga, is now the Hamilton County chair. 2016 State Representative candidates Holly McCall (Williamson), Sharon Kay Edward (Bedford), Marjorie Ramsey (Cocke), Daniel Powell (Henry), Amos Powers (Putnam), and Deborah Reed (Tipton) were all elected chair of their respective county.

“The tenacity shown by these former candidates represents their resolve and commitment to continue fighting for Democratic values. They see the Republican supermajority is focused on divisive issues that do not address the everyday needs of Tennesseans. Electing more Democrats starts with growing our county parties and effective and energetic leaders are essential to that effort,” Mancini added.

All told, over 2,000 people participated in the county party reorganizations. It appears that many of the people who showed up in post-election protests and marches are now getting involved formally in the local democratic process. Currently, Tennessee ranks near the bottom in voter participation.

Mancini said, “Increasing voter turnout should be a bipartisan goal. Everyone has a stake in these elections. Many people who thought both parties were the same or that elections didn’t matter realized this year just how large the consequences of elections are. Those people are not only now participating, but they are leading.”

Nashville lawyer/Iraq combat veteran seeks Democratic U.S. Senate nomination

News release from James Mackler campaign

NASHVILLE – James Mackler, decorated Iraq combat veteran that served in the 101st Airborne Division, today announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate. James will seek the Democratic nomination to run against two-term incumbent U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN).

“I am running to restore respect, honesty, and, most importantly, integrity in Washington,” said James. “Our country has become so divided that our leaders refuse to work together to solve our most important problems. As a veteran, I know first-hand the strength of teamwork, cooperation, and the benefits of diversity to accomplish even the most difficult mission.

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Democrats denounce scuttling of prison oversight bill; Republicans denounce Democrats

The Sunday assault on guards at the state’s Turney Center shows the need for legislative oversight of the prison system, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Stewart declared at a news conference Monday.

Bills to re-establish a Corrections Oversight Committee, abolished in 2011, have all died quietly this session. One with Republican sponsors (SB1145) was sent to “general sub” in the Senate Health Committee Monday, dead for the year since the panel is now closed. That measure would also have recreated an abolished oversight committees on TennCare and childrens’ services.

Stewart called the failure to re-establish a corrections oversight panel “totally ridiculous,” reports The Tennessean.

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