Apparently, StudentsFirst is continuing its focus on Tennessee. (Note prior post HERE.)
The following is a news release from the organization distributed Tuesday:
Nashville, TN – StudentsFirst, a bipartisan grassroots education reform movement, announced three new hires today as the organization expands grassroots momentum in Tennessee. The new additions include Carter Maxwell, who will serve as the State Outreach Director and Mario King, the Shelby County Field Coordinator. They join Paige Donaldson, who was brought on in February to serve as Field Coordinator for Middle Tennessee.
“We’re lucky to have three passionate individuals who know and love the state leading our grassroots efforts in Tennessee,” said Kellen Arno, VP of Membership at StudentsFirst. “As we continue to grow our movement and build momentum in the Volunteer state, we’re bringing together an incredibly strong team to help elevate the stories of parents and teachers on the local level.”
Excerpt from a story on The Hill’s Gossip blog:
Rep. Steve Cohen repeatedly tweeted, and then deleted, messages to a woman on Twitter who his office is calling “the daughter of a longtime friend” and who has the same name as a Texas State University blonde bombshell featured in a college co-ed calendar.
In a Tuesday night message ahead of President Obama’s State of the Union address, a Twitter user named Victoria Brink tweeted to the Tennessee Democrat, “just saw you on tv!”
According to a tweet captured by the nonpartisan Sunlight Foundation’s Politiwoops site, Cohen replied to Brink, “pleased u r watching. Ilu” The tweet was deleted after three minutes.
Both Wikipedia and UrbanDictionary.com define “ilu” as Internet slang for either “I love you” or “I like you.”
In another message sent Wednesday morning, Cohen wrote again to Brink on Twitter: “nice to know you were watchin SOTU (state of the union.) Happy Valentines beautiful girl. Ilu.” That message was deleted within 15 minutes of being posted.
A biography of Victoria Brink on CollegeDozen.com says the 24-year-old, who is seen posing in a turquoise and pink bikini, plans on “moving back to Beverly Hills or Houston to pursue a career in the fashion industry and do modeling on the side,” following her graduation.
… Cohen’s spokesman, Michael Pagan, tells ITK that his boss and Brink “are pretty much like family.” Adding, “There’s nothing going on there. He actually has a longtime girlfriend in Memphis.”
When ITK pressed Pagan why Cohen was writing “ilu” and wishing the Twitter user a happy Valentine’s Day, he responded, “That I do not know.”
The press secretary explained of the deleted tweets, “He meant to do it as a private message and then he realized he did it publicly.”
The Tennessee Republican Party, not surprisingly, was quick to attack Cohen with a press release. It’s below.
News release from Tennessee Republican Party:
NASHVILLE, TN – The top spot on the staff of the Tennessee Republican Party is going to a fresh face, while a new position will be filled from a much-deserved promotion from within the organization.
Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party, Chris Devaney, today announced the hiring of Brent Leatherwood to be the Party’s new Executive Director. At the same time, he announced that the Party’s current Political Director, Michael Sullivan, will be promoted to Deputy Executive Director.
“We have a great team at the TNGOP, and we are excited about Brent Leatherwood helping us lead our effort for the next two years. Brent has extensive campaign experience, and his knowledge of the state legislature will also be a valuable asset as we prepare for the 2014 elections and beyond,” said Devaney.
Leatherwood remarked, “I am incredibly excited about this opportunity to help guide the Tennessee Republican Party. Chairman Devaney has led the Party to new heights and I believe we’re going to continue excelling as the organization that represents the values of Tennesseans. We’ll do that by being a robust operation that serves as an unparalleled information resource, provides a strong Get Out the Vote effort, and continues to help elect Republicans across the state.”
Leatherwood will join the TNGOP in January after serving the Tennessee House Republican Caucus as the Communications Director. A native of Chattanooga, he has worked in Congress as a Senior Policy Advisor for U.S. Representative from Florida, has led two congressional campaigns in Tennessee, and has worked on multiple U.S. Senate and U.S. House races.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to continue working for Chairman Devaney and the TNGOP at a higher level. Republicans have made significant gains in Tennessee in the past few years, but there is still more we can do to ensure a strong Party in Tennessee for years to come. ” added Michael Sullivan.
Sullivan has been with the TNGOP since July of 2011. Prior to his current role, he served the Indiana House Republican Caucus as a Press Secretary. An Indianapolis native, Sullivan has worked on multiple campaigns including Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels’ 2008 reelection campaign, as well as running a congressional campaign in Indiana and a Senatorial campaign in Illinois.
Brent Leatherwood, spokesman for the House Republican Caucus, has sent members this memo on the history of partisan majorities in the Tennessee General Assembly:
Re: FACTSHEET about Supermajorities in Tennessee
The following information has been verified by the Office of the Librarian. What is the largest House supermajority in Tennessee history? What Party was in power? Who was the Speaker?
* Governor Brownlow’s Administration in 1865 had a 99 House and 33 Senate
vote majority. (Note: They were known as “unionists,” according to Legislative Librarian Eddie Weeks — but effectively Republicans. Also, Weeks says the House had just 75 members and the Senate 25 in 1865. The size was expanded by the 1870 state constitution.)
* SINCE 1901: In the House of Representatives, at the start of 1939 (the
71st General Assembly), the party breakdown was 84 Democrats, 14 Republicans (70 majority D). The Speaker was John Ed O’Dell. When is the last time a House majority had over 65 Members?
* At the start of 1977 (the 90th General Assembly), the party breakdown was
66 D, 32 R. When is the last time a House Majority had over 70 Members?
* At the start of 1965 (the 84th General Assembly), the party breakdown was
74 D, 25 R. Overall, are supermajorities common in Tennessee history?
* The last time one party held a 2/3rds majority in both Houses was 1977 (35
* However, from 1901 (the 52nd GA) until 1967 (the 84th GA) the Democrats
never held LESS THAN a 2/3rds majority in both houses (67 years).
* The high points of control in those years:
* HOUSE: At the start of 1939 (the 71st General Assembly), the Party
breakdown was 84 D, 14 R (70 majority D).
* SENATE: At the start of 1943 (the 73rd General Assembly), the Party
breakdown was 30 D, 3 R (27 majority D).
* Even in 1967 (the 84th General Assembly), the Democrats still held a
2/3rds majority in the Senate (25 D, 8 R); their majority in the House was 58 D,
41 R; down from 74 D, 25 R in 1965.
* From 1969 until 1977, neither party held a 2/3rds majority in either
Chamber. Bottom Line
* Since 1901 (111 years), there were 67 straight years of 2/3rds majority,
followed by once in the next 44 years.
* Supermajorities were once very common, but have been very uncommon since