A TN political junkie reading list, 9/10/16

Special session is the feds’ fault
In separate writings this week, conservative columnists Frank Cagle and Greg Johnson fault the federal government for the necessity of a special Tennessee legislative session to revise a DUI statute enacted earlier this year – albeit with different approaches in doing so. Cagle sees the matter as “the latest example of congressional impotence,” HERE. Johnson decries it as a federal government “defunding mandate,” HERE.

An excerpt from Johnson: “The feds, never content to let the elected officials who actually live and work in the communities affected make decisions on behalf of their neighbors, insist the state fall in line with the federal 0.02 blood alcohol level for underage drinkers.”

Cagle’s conclusion: “If Congress is too spineless to stand up to federal bureaucrats, international trade treaties, Washington lobbyists, executive orders and federal judges, why keep pretending that who you elect to Congress matters?”

On congressional campaign spending
WJHL-TV has rummaged through campaign disclosures of Tennessee congressmen and reports its findings HERE.

Example: U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Brentwood leads in one category by spending “nearly $160,000 on catering, fundraisers, facility rentals and other events,” topped by an $18,000 hotel bill.

Surplus military stuff for TN
Michael Collins has rummaged through reports on distribution of surplus military equipment to Tennessee law enforcement agencies. Totals: 47,000 items worth $126 million. Some examples are listed — $58 pistols to a $733,000 “mine resistant vehicle.” HERE.

‘Do-it-yourself religion’ in TN
Over the years, Tennessee has developed a “culture of do-it-yourself religion,” observes the Nashville Scene. It’s part of “a history of charismatic preachers who have been accused of leading their flocks astray with unorthodox beliefs.”

Joe Carr and polling problems
In a lengthy piece on the increasing troubles with political polls, Sam Stockard quotes Joe Carr as being “stunned” that the outcome of his August Republican primary challenge to U.S. Rep. Diane Black wasn’t the tight race polling had indicated. HERE.

Haslam, other governors on pot
Mark Harmon imagines a joint session between Gov. Bill Haslam and other current and former governors on marijuana decriminalization, HERE.

Special session as jumping point
Legislators should use the upcoming special session as “a jumping point to address the state’s long-term transportation funding,” opines The Tennessean’s David Plazas.