News release from Congressman Jim Cooper:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Jim Cooper (TN-05) announced three new additions to his Washington office.
Chris Carroll, a Tennessee native and most recently the Washington correspondent for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, will join as Cooper’s new press secretary on August 5. At the Times Free Press, Carroll reopened the Capital Hill bureau and won several awards for his reporting. He is a graduate of East Tennessee State University’s Honors Program.
Carroll replaces Katie Hill, who has taken a job as communications director for former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords’ organization, Americans for Responsible Solutions.
Cooper also announced the addition of a new staff assistant, Vic Goetz, a Nashville native and former intern, who graduated from Bucknell earlier this year. Goetz replaces another Nashville native, Kathleen Ambrose, who joined the staff of Rep. Mike McIntyre (NC-7) this spring.
Cooper is also pleased to welcome a new health care legislative fellow, Paul Shorkey. Shorkey is a Rhodes Scholar and current candidate for M.Sci. in Global Health Science at the University of Oxford with a focus on U.S. health policy and health systems. He also holds a M.Sc. in Neuroscience from the University of Oxford and is a Morehead-Cain graduate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Shorkey will work with Cooper on health care issues until the end of the year.
Shorkey succeeds Ruth McDonald, Cooper’s health care legislative aide, who will begin graduate school this fall.
News release from governor’s office:
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced the appointment of Dr. Carroll Van West as state historian.
West replaces the late Walter T. Durham, who served 11 years in the honorary position. (Note: Post on Durham’s death HERE.)
“Dr. West’s faithful service to his field for many years reflects a commitment to excellence that will serve the citizens of Tennessee very well,” Haslam said. “His incredible body of work speaks for itself, and we are fortunate and grateful to have him as our state historian.”
West has served as director at the Center for Historic Preservation at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) and the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area since 2002.
He has taught as a professor in the MTSU history department since 1985. He currently serves as a co-chair of the Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission and as a Tennessee representative on the National Board of Advisors of National Trust for Historic Preservation. West also sits on the Executive Board of Lewis and Clark Trust, Inc. and on the Advisory Board of Teaching with Primary Sources, Library of Congress.
From the TFP’s Alison Gerber: At a time when many newspapers are scaling back coverage and closing bureaus, the Times Free Press is doing something to buck the trend. We’re sending a reporter to Washington, D.C. and reopening the bureau we closed there in 2008.
Reporter Chris Carroll, who covers politics for the newspaper, moves to Washington this week. And, while D.C. reporters are notorious for practicing “pack journalism,” where everyone follows the herd to the biggest story of the day, Carroll won’t be following anyone. That’s not his nature nor his assignment.
He’ll be there to cover Washington through the lens of what readers in Tennessee and Georgia care about and report on the states’ congressional delegations. And this is a good moment in time to do that.
For the full editorial page column, click HERE.
Stewart County Republican Party Chairman Kyle Mallory says Gov. Bill Haslam’s greatest failing is that “he hasn’t cleaned house” by ridding state government of Democrats and homosexuals in key positions and by hiring a Muslim.
Mallory is one what he described as “10 or 12 Republican activists” urging county party organizations to adopt resolutions condemning Haslam and urging the Republican State Executive Committee to take some action against the governor.
His home county party has done so, including a concern over homosexuals working in the Department of Children’s Services.
At least seven other county GOP organizations have also adopted resolutions criticizing Haslam, though at least two restrict their criticism to the hiring of Samar Ali as director of international marketing with the Department of Economic and Community Development.
Rank-and-file Republicans, including some in the party’s suburban Nashville stronghold, have condemned Gov. Bill Haslam for policies that include the hiring of gay individuals, Democrats and a Muslim-American lawyer.
Further from Chas Sisk: At least two western Tennessee chapters of the Tennessee Republican Party — and possibly as many as eight statewide — have passed resolutions saying Haslam has shown “a consistent lack of conservative values” and calling on state party leaders to sanction the governor.
Meanwhile, the Williamson County Republican Party has passed a more narrow resolution that criticizes the governor for hiring a Tennessee-born Muslim to a trade position.
The effort highlights the continued concern about Sharia, or Islamic law, among grass-roots Republicans throughout Tennessee. The resolutions also come as Haslam has been elevated to the state’s top spokesman for Republican candidates, including GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
…Republicans in Stewart and Carroll counties listed eight grievances. Those include Haslam’s decisions to retain personnel hired by his Democratic predecessor, Gov. Phil Bredesen; to allow openly gay individuals to make policy decisions in the Department of Children’s Services; and to hire Samar Ali, a Muslim lawyer from Tennessee, to serve as the Department of Economic and Community Development’s international director.
The county chapters also criticized the governor for not supporting gun legislation and for refusing to sign a legislative resolution that condemns Agenda 21, a 20-year-old United Nations policy document that some believe is a secret communist plot.
They say Haslam’s “policies are worse than the actions of Kent Williams,” the Elizabethton lawmaker who broke from the Republican Caucus in 2009 to elect himself speaker in an evenly divided legislature. And they call on the Tennessee Republican Executive Committee, the board that oversees the state party, to take action against the governor.
The chapters do not specify what that action might be, but the executive committee stripped Williams of his Republican Party credentials after his election to the speakership.
The Williamson County Republican Party passed a separate resolution last week that criticizes the governor for hiring a “Sharia complaint finance specialist” at ECD, a reference to Ali and her prior work as a financial adviser to Muslim-owned companies.
Although Ali is not involved in finance in her current role, the Williamson County GOP says Haslam has “elevated and/or afford(ed) preferential political status to Sharia adherents in Tennessee, thereby aiding and abetting the advancement of an ideology and doctrine which is wholly incompatible with the Constitution of the United States and the Tennessee Constitution.”
The Williamson County GOP does not call for any sanction against Haslam.
…The Tennessee Republican Party urged members to remain united in an election year.
“All Republicans should stand together on the core Republican principles that unite us,” Chairman Chris Devaney said. “Anything else is just a distraction.”
— Note: Chas has copies of the relevant resolutions posted on a Tennessean blog, HERE.