other states

Illinois proposal denounces TN House for spurning anti-white nationalist resolution

A resolution filed in the Illinois House of Representatives declares that the Tennessee House has “been cowed by the growing influence of white nationalists and neo-Nazis” and the Democrat sponsor tells The Tennessean he expects it to pass with Republican support. It’s suggested other states may do the same.

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Speakers retaliate against California: No state-paid travel to NCSL convention

From an AP report, as appearing in a California newspaper:

Tennessee’s Republican House and Senate leaders say the state isn’t paying lawmakers or staffers to attend a California legislative summit.

In a letter Thursday, Senate Speaker Randy McNally and House Speaker Beth Harwell said the state won’t cover the National Conference of State Legislatures conference trip in Los Angeles because of California’s ban on state-paid trips to Tennessee.

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Haslam talks with governor accused in extramaritial affair, offers no advice on resignation

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, facing an indictment tied to an extramarital affair, cancelled a planned appearance at a weekend National Governors Association meeting in Washington and fellow Republican governors who attended shied away from saying whether he should resign or fight the charges, according to Politico.  With Nashville embroiled in controversy over Mayor Megan Barry’s extramarital affir, Gov. Bill Haslam, who chairs the Republican Governors Association, said he has talked with Greitens but isn’t offering advice.

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Haslam ‘not certain about arming teachers’ while planning statewide school safety review

Gov. Bill Haslam, who last week said his administration plans a statewide review of school security in light of a recent mass shooting at a Florida high school, is quoted in a Sunday Politico story headlined, Governors to Washington: Stop dithering on guns.

The article is based on comments from state chief executives gathered for a weekend meeting in Washington of the National Governors Association meeting in downtown Washington.  An excerpt:

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Republican Governors Association reports record fundraising with Haslam as chair

Press release from Republican Governors Association

WASHINGTON D.C.  – The Republican Governors Association announced today $63.2 million raised in all of 2017, including $27.2 million raised in the final six months of the year, setting a new fundraising record that significantly eclipses the $52.5 million raised in 2013, the last comparable year. This fundraising success allows the RGA to strongly support incumbent Republican governors, target key Democrat-held governorships, and elect a new class of Republican governors in 36 gubernatorial elections scheduled to occur less than 10 months from now.

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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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