Former state Rep. Scotty Campbell, R-Mountain City, won the chance to appear with Tons of Funk and the Funkadactyls at a World Wrestling Entertainment event through an online charity auction to benefit victims of Hurricane Sandy. Here’s the video of his debut dancing performance last night. (youtube link HERE.)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Rev. Will Campbell, a white minister who drew acclaim for his involvement in the civil rights movement, has died at the age of 88.
John Egerton, a close friend of Campbell’s for nearly 50 years, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Campbell died Monday night from complications following a stroke he had about two years ago. Egerton said he was contacted by Campbell’s son, who was at the minister’s bedside in Nashville when he died.
“He never really recovered from it,” Egerton said of the stroke.
Campbell was born in 1924 in Amite County, Miss.
After a stint in the military, he attended Yale, where he got a divinity degree in 1952 and then headed to Taylor, La., to preach at Taylor Southern Baptist Church.
He later came to Nashville, where he was described as a staunch leader for civil rights, and was well respected by others in the movement.
By Travis Lollar, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A federal judge overseeing changes at the state Department of Children’s Services expressed cautious optimism Monday that the agency’s new leadership can resolve some of its problems.
The tone of the hearing marked a decided change from a January hearing where U.S. District Judge Todd Campbell expressed frustration that the agency seemed to be moving backward and concern for the safety of the children in its care.
That hearing took place during a public outcry over the agency’s inability to say how many of the children it had tried to help had died or nearly died over the past two years.
DCS Commissioner Kate O’Day resigned a few days later and was replaced by Interim Commissioner Jim Henry, who was in the courtroom Monday.
Campbell said that Henry “seems to have developed a new tone at the agency, and that’s a good step.”
The agency was in federal court to report on its progress toward meeting the goals of a 2001 settlement with the child advocacy group Children’s Rights.
A federal judge on Friday said he has become impatient with the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services’ inability to accurately count child deaths and issued firm deadlines for officials to make improvements, according to The Tennessean. Judge Todd J. Campbell ordered DCS to give child fatality records to a child advocacy watchdog group within seven days and to overhaul the department’s child fatality review process within 90 days.
And the judge again questioned the reliability of department data and said time is running out for DCS to fix the computer system it uses to keep records.
“This is too important to keep pushing deadlines down the road,” Campbell said. The judge scheduled the hearing months ago to check in on DCS, which must improve its care of foster children, according to a federal court order. A class action lawsuit known as “Brian A.” prompted a settlement agreement in 2001 and set up a team of experts to monitor DCS.
The department made enough progress by 2010 that the judge agreed to an exit plan under which DCS would be released from court-ordered monitoring. But recent problems have concerned the judge and the New York-based child advocacy group Children’s Rights, which joined with Tennessee attorneys to sue in 2000.
Problems continue to surface. A day before the hearing, state officials disclosed that the deaths of nine children in state custody had gone unreported for months — raising the number of custodial deaths in the past two years to 25. The revelation spurred Gov. Bill Haslam to appoint special adviser Larry Martin to probe the department.
From Hank Hayes comes this report on the race in state House District 3:
Timothy Hill has been down this road before.
Hill, a Blountville businessman and former press secretary for ex-U.S. Rep. David Davis, looked like the front-runner to win the GOP primary for Tennessee’s 3rd House District seat two years ago.
Hill, the brother of GOP state Rep. Matthew Hill of Jonesborough, had name recognition in Sullivan County, a number of campaign donors, and a conservative message to go with his candidacy.
But Mountain City Republican Scotty Campbell’s base of Johnson County voters in the district showed up in droves, and Hill came in second to Campbell after splitting the rest of the primary vote with five other candidates. Campbell, a former legislative aide to ex-House Speaker Kent Williams of Elizabethton, easily defeated Democrat Joe Mike Akard and two independents in the November 2010 general election.
After one term, Campbell isn’t seeking re-election, and Hill is again seeking the seat.
And now Hill is facing another GOP candidate with considerable Johnson County name recognition — former Mountain City Mayor Kevin Parsons. Also in the primary race are Karen Greene Morrell and Lee White, both of Bluff City.
Tennessee State Representatives Scotty Campbell announced Wednesday he will not seek another term in the house, reports WCYB-TV.\ Campbell tells News 5 WCYB his long term personal and education goals are the reasons he cannot commit to another term.
He says he does not have a desire to become a career politician.
He thanked the voters of Johnson and Sullivan Counties for giving him the opportunity to serve them in the General Assembly.
Campbell, R-Mountain City, is a freshman lawmaker representing House District 3 who serves as a top aide to Kent Williams when Williams was speaker of the House.
He’s the fourth Republican legislator to announce he won’t seek another term in his current seat. (Two other representatives leaving the House, Joey Hensley and Frank Niceley, are running for the Senate.)
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) — A retired couple from Murfreesboro will testify before a House subcommittee about their experience with Tennessee’s new law requiring a photo ID as Democrats question whether these types of state laws create barriers to voting.
“These changes in state voting laws raise serious constitutional concerns under both the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and the Fifteenth Amendment,” U.S. Reps. John Conyers of Michigan and Jerrold Nadler of New York wrote in a letter to Judiciary Committee chairman.
In a hearing scheduled for Nov. 14, Lee Campbell and his wife, Phyllis, will talk about their experience securing a photo ID for her. She is one of the estimated 126,000 registered voters in Tennessee over age 60 who do not have a photo on their driver’s license.
The state has promised to provide photo IDs free of charge, but Lee Campbell told The Daily News Journal they ran into trouble when they went to a license testing center on Sept. 9 (http://ht.ly/1fsnaz ). They asked for a free ID, Lee Campbell said, but were told by a worker that the process involved too much paperwork and that they should just renew her driver’s license to add a photo at a cost of $8 or $12.
The couple persisted and said they wanted a free ID, but instead the worker made her a new driver’s license with a photo free of charge.
District Supervisor Amy Lackey told the newspaper in September that they were encouraging people to renew their licenses, rather than obtaining a separate ID for voting. She said that’s because the testing center has to create a new ID number and the state office has to merge the numbers on the driver’s license and the photo ID. People also must fill out an affidavit swearing that they have no other form of acceptable photo ID for voting purposes.
But Lackey said they will issue a photo ID for voting purposes only, if people insist on it.
“They have to let us know they need a photo to vote,” Lackey said, adding she wasn’t surprised the Campbells had to wait almost an hour to get the license renewed.
The law that takes effect on Jan. 1 does allow people to use expired state or federal identification as long as it contains a photo.
The law makes exceptions for people who vote absentee by mail, residents of a nursing home or assisted living center who vote at the facility, those who are hospitalized, citizens with a religious objection to being photographed and voters who are indigent and unable to obtain a photo ID without paying a fee.
Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey declared victory Monday for Republicans in the congressional battle over federal spending and raising the debt limit, according to a report from Hank Hayes. The Blountville Republican told a Greater Kingsport Republican Women’s luncheon he has been in GOP House Speaker John Boehner’s shoes as a negotiator at the state level.
Boehner, said Ramsey, sought “true cuts” with no tax increases plus a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
“Folks, we have won on this issue,” Ramsey said. “When we get the liberal New York Times doing an editorial today saying that (Democratic President Barack) Obama caved … and saying the Tea Party is driving the agenda, we conservatives have won. You need to take that and run with it.” Liberal Democrats, Ramsey added, are experts at getting half of what they want.
“We as conservatives sometimes are so principled that if we don’t get 90 percent, I can’t vote for that,” Ramsey noted. “We need to take this today and run with it, and then come back next year and go on to something else. If you get 90 percent of what you want, grab it, run with it and come back next year.”
Ramsey and state Reps. Tony Shipley and Scotty Campbell were at the luncheon to explain core differences between Democrats and Republicans.
News release from state comptroller’s office:
A former Campbell County elementary school principal faces theft and official misconduct charges as a result of an investigation by the Comptroller’s Division of Municipal Audit. A Campbell County grand jury indicted Sandra Chaniott, the former Jacksboro Elementary School principal, last week.
Auditors determined that Chaniott made a deal to sell her school 33 air purifiers, but she actually delivered only 12. The school paid more than $8,000 for the undelivered air purifiers.
Chaniott made a profit of more than $2,000 for the air purifiers she did deliver, which allowed her to personally benefit from a school contract.
Auditors also learned that when Chaniott served as principal at Caryville Elementary School, she sold that school 47 air purifiers. Assuming all of those air purifiers were delivered, Chaniott would have personally gained almost $7,000 from those sales.
The investigation also revealed that Chaniott had hired her son and another individual to paint the school without putting the work out for bid, which violated the Campbell County Board of Education purchasing policy. Chaniott also failed to report payments made to the painters to the Internal Revenue Service.
Also, auditors noted that the school’s bank account shrank from $44,000 to $4,000 during the first 13 months Chaniott served as the school’s principal.
“It is not acceptable for people in positions of trust to divert public money for their own personal gain or the gain of their family members or friends,” Comptroller Justin P. Wilson said. “Money spent at schools should directly or indirectly benefit the students. It seems clear from our auditors’ report that wasn’t necessarily happening in all cases at Jacksboro Elementary School.”
To view the report online, go to:
Below are some press releases issued by various intrested parties on the 2011 legislative session, ranging from the state Republican Party to Tennessee Citizen Action.
Also inclludes commentary from Ron Ramsey, Scotty Campbell, the Professional Educators of Tennessee and the Senate Democratic Caucus.
There seems to be some disagreement.