The partisan divide on Obamacare showed up in a debate between state legislative candidates Dawn White, a Republican opposed to the federal law, and Robert “Bob” New, a Democrat who supports the act, according to the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. The two are competing to serve in the Tennessee House of Representatives 37th District in the upcoming Nov. 6 presidential election that starts with early voting Wednesday. The two exchanged views on health care, taxes, jobs, education and other issues during a 45-minute debate organized by the League of Women Voters Murfreesboro/Rutherford County at Murfreesboro’s City Hall.
While White sees Obamacare as a law that is killing jobs and economic development in Tennessee, New contends the Affordable Care Act is leading to more jobs in a state with a large healthcare industry, such as the way Hospital Corporation of America recently announced it was adding 2,000 jobs in Nashville.
“Any time people have health insurance, it’s good for the healthcare business,” said New, who has a 37-year background as a registered nurse. “Insurance reform is good for Tennessee. It will add jobs in Tennessee.”
Democratic House candidate Robert “Bob” New knows he’s been out-funded by Republican Dawn White in their race for the new 37th House seat in Rutherford County, but he’s forging ahead anyway.
From the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal: “We’re working. We’re not conceding anything,” New said, adding he believes he has enough money to run a good campaign but needs more volunteers to go to work for him.
Though she out-raised New $29,800 to $4,400 during the second quarter, according to information filed with the state Registry of Election Finance, White said she isn’t taking anything for granted.
“I am continuing to attend as many community events as I can and am knocking on doors to meet as many residents of the district as I can possibly meet,” White said.
Jobs and education are the main campaign platform for New and White, who steamrolled Smyrna resident Richard Garvin in the Republican primary. But they have very different outlooks on both issues, in addition to health care.
News release from governor’s office:
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced that the state is increasing a $10,000 reward to $20,000 for information leading to the apprehension, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the death of Dawn Shannon Hercutt.
“I am hopeful that this new reward encourages someone with information about this case to come forward,” Haslam said. “It is past time for the person or people responsible for this terrible crime to be brought to justice.”
On August 3, 2009, Hercutt’s body was found in her car at the bottom of a 150-foot embankment in Sevierville. Her death initially appeared to result from a car accident, but autopsy results later revealed that she was murdered.
Along with the additional $10,000 in reward money, the governor announced that the state will match any new reward offered by a third party in this case up to a maximum of $5,000.
The initial $10,000 reward was approved by Gov. Phil Bredesen in December 2009.
James Dunn, District Attorney General for the 4th Judicial District, requests that anyone with information about this case call the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office tips line at 865-453-0312 or the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND
Republican candidates for the newly-created 37th House seat both tout a background in education and the private sector as they campaign for the post, reports the Daily News Journal. In fact, Smyrna resident Richard Garvin and his wife, Natara, met at Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Ark., before he finally persuaded her to marry him. Now, he’s a professor at Fisk University in Nashville, in addition to office manager of Star Medical Group in Smyrna, and she is director of Career Development and Leadership at Fisk.
Natara supports him “fully” in his House campaign, calling it a step in the right direction that dovetails with his other community service. Garvin served on the Smyrna Planning Commission for two years and is still on the Smyrna Historic Zoning Commission.
…At age 27, he identifies with people in their late 20s and early 30s who are starting to pay more attention to the world of politics, she said.
His opponent, Dawn White, of Murfreesboro, a former Murfreesboro City Schools teacher who entered the business world, understands the point of view of teachers and small business owners. She wants government to get out of the way of business and to let teachers spend more time on children and less on evaluations.
Like Garvin, she serves on numerous boards such as CASA of Rutherford County, Read to Succeed and the Sam Davis Memorial Association and believes a seat in the state House would be the next step in public service.
Statement to media from Lindquist Environmental Appalachian Fellowship:
LEAF is very disappointed with SB 577 as amended by the Senate Energy and Environment committee on Feb. 29, 2012.
The sponsor, Mike Bell and the Lt. Governor both say the amended bill simply codifies current practice. Current practice includes blasting off Tennessee’s ridgelines. For five years, citizens of this state have asked the legislature just to put a buffer zone around the highest elevation ridgelines. Now they have passed a bill which they admit does not change the status quo and call that a “point all honest stakeholders can be proud of.” The bill was not discussed or shared in advance of the committee meeting with any stakeholder other than industry. Industry does seem to be proud of the bill as now written.
As to the substance of the bill:
LEAF must take exception with the claim that SB 577, as amended by the Bell Amendment #0137872, is a ban on mountaintop removal.
LEAF’s request to stop mountaintop removal, is not a shell game or semantics. We mean, do not let coal companies blow the top off mountains to get the coal out. LEAF is not working for a bill like the current amendment that relates to what happens after the mountain is blown up. We are concerned with the only time that matters for Tennessee’s virgin mountains, before the permit is issued.
The bill voted out of committee repeats federal law on what coal companies do with “overburden,” a sad industry pseudonym for the little pieces the mountain becomes after it has been blasted apart. LEAF is not working for a bill about where to put the little pieces. LEAF seeks and will continue to seek protection of the natural ridgelines.
The bill, as amended, says that there is no mountaintop removal so long as the coal industry molds the rubble into the “Approximate Original Contour.” The Northern Cumberland Plateau is not known for “Approximate Original Mountains.” It is known for some of the oldest and most beautiful mountains on this earth, molded not by engineers and bulldozers, but by the hands of God himself.
If a state has no mountaintop removal, it has no need to reaffirm federal law regarding molding rubble. On the floor, LEAF calls on the Senate to redeem this weak deception by voting for the bill as proposed by the sponsor, the bill that requires the coal companies to leave the original ridgelines on Tennessee’s mountains.
Legislative Director, LEAF