other states

Black names former Florida/Louisiana operative as campaign manager

U.S. Rep. Diane Black has assembled a group of “top Republican political operatives” to run her campaign for governor, according to a Politico ‘Morning Score’ notebook item:

Matt Parker is the campaign manager. In 2016 he ran President Donald Trump’s effort in Florida. He previously worked with Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and the Louisiana Republican Party.

 Lance Frizell is serving as senior adviser. He has worked for the Tennessee Republican Party, the Tennessee House Caucus, and served as chief of staff for Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey. 

 Jordan Young is also a senior adviser for the campaign. Young served as deputy chief of staff to Ramsey and executive director of the Tennessee Senate Republican Caucus.

Chris Hartline is the campaign’s communications director. Prior to that he was press secretary and communications director for the House Budget Committee under Chairman Black and has also served as war room director for Scott’s reelection campaign.

Note: An  astute reader observes, via email, that Politico misspelled Frizzell’s name — leaving off one ‘z’ of the two in Frizzell.

Corker ‘really happy’ with Moore defeat in AL; Haslam sees a message

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker tells the Times Free Press that Alabama Republican Roy Moore’s Senate race loss is “good for America” as well as the Republican Party so “that people understand this kind of beyond-the-pale extremism just is not going to elect Republicans to office.”

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TN conservatives send money to Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore

Tennessee conservatives have been providing financial support to Republican Roy Moore in his campaign against Democrat Doug Jones, reports the Nashville Post after a review of Federal Election Commission filings. That includes a political action committee calling itself “Drain the DC Swamp,” which last week spent $10,000 on direct mail advertising.

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Haslam: GOP tax bill will bring more immigration to TN from other states

Gov. Bill Haslam says more people from states such as New York,  New Jersey and California are likely to move to Tennessee with enactment of a Republican federal tax package that eliminates current deductions for payment of state and local taxes, reports the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal.

As Haslam explains it, those living in states with higher tax rates currently see a greater federal tax deduction. Residents in Tennessee, a low-tax state, don’t benefit as much from the state and local tax deduction.

“That changes now,” Haslam said, speaking Monday at Nissan’s Smyrna plant. “A lot of people who live in states with income tax of 10 or 12 percent start going, ‘Huh, well, only having to pay half is not such a bad deal, but if I’m having to pay all of it, maybe I’d be better off in Tennessee.’ We think it actually will encourage both investment growth and population growth in Tennessee.”

William Fox, an economist at University of Tennessee Knoxville, said research shows  tax rates can affect where people leave, but the impact is small. And there are several caveats to keep in mind with that calculation. Taxes pay for services, so when changing residences, an individual may also be giving up tax-funded services they enjoy.

“There is a small impact of taxes on where people live,” Fox said. “With the elimination of the deductibility, you make it more expensive to live in high-tax states.”

Another point to keep in mind, Fox said, is that the elimination of state and local tax deductions only affects those who itemize tax returns. Thirty percent of taxpayers itemized deductions in 2014, according to the Tax Policy Center. For those individuals, ending the state and local tax deduction would make Tennessee more attractive, he said.

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.”

 

National poll indicates Corker now more popular among Democrats than Republicans

Democrats are now prone to have a more favorable opinion of Tennessee’s Bob Corker than Republicans, according to an Economist/YouGov poll. Two other Republican U.S. senators who have clashed with President Donald Trump – John McCain and Jeff Flake, both of Arizona – are in a similar situation in the poll of 1,500 persons nationwide Oct. 29-31.

Corker had a 37 percent approval rating among Democrats, but just 15 percent approval among Republicans surveyed. At the same time, 45 percent of polled Republicans had an unfavorable view of Corker but only 22 percent of Democrats.

The Tennessean’s totals – Democrats, Republicans and independents combined – came out 23 percent favorable, 32 percent unfavorable.

There were a lot of “don’t know” responses on Corker and Flake. McCain, a former presidential nominee much better known nationally, was viewed favorably by 64 percent of Democrats and 21 percent of Republicans; unfavorably by 63 percent of Republicans and 27 percent of Democrats.

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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