Tag Archives: doug

Haslam Backs Overbey; ‘Tea Party PAC’ Backs Challenger

Gov. Bill Haslam will be supporting state Sen. Doug Overbey in his re-election bid against Republican primary challenger, Scottie Hughes, according to the Mountain Press.
Overbey’s Senate district includes Blount and Sevier counties. The governor had previously said he would back House Education Committee Chairman Richard Montgomery, who also faces a challenger in the Republican primary.
A spokesman for the governor said Haslam is offering his “full support” for fellow Republicans Rep. Richard Montgomery and Sen. Doug Overbey in both their August primary contests and the November general election. (Note: No Democrat is running for either seat.)
Haslam told reporters recently he would be working for incumbents including Montgomery, with Press Secretary David Smith explaining Overbey will also receive that assistance. While the governor’s office is being careful to point out he’s not offering any full endorsements, Smith was willing to say Haslam “fully supports” both men in their campaigns.
(Note: Say what, Dave??)
Meanwhile, a political action committee declaring ties to Tea Party groups has endorsed Hughes and declared Overbey too liberal and too tied to special interests. The news release is below.

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Overbey: Liquor Deal ‘Pure Fiction’

State Sen. Doug Overbey is fighting back against the suggestion he was involved in some secret deal to sneak liquor into Pigeon Forge, reports The Mountain Press. He says the accusations made by some in that city are “pure fiction.”
Though he was not named specifically, businessman Jess Davis leveled allegations during a recent City Commission meeting that a “Tennessee senator” was in on closed-door meetings Davis claims were held on an end-around for spirits. Overbey is the only person who represents Sevier County in the state’s Senate and, like everyone else Davis claims or suggests was part of the gathering, vehemently denies there was such a meeting.
“I have hatched no plan and I have not been part of hatching some plan,” Overbey told The Mountain Press. “My consistent position has been that the citizens’ vote in May needs to be respected. I could not support or go along with anything other than that and, if it’s desire, a new referendum on this issue.”

Scott Hughes Challenges Sen. Doug Overbey

News release from Scott Hughes:
Today, Seymour resident and Republican activist Scott Hughes announced his candidacy seeking the Republican nomination for the newly-drawn 2nd District State Senate seat currently occupied by Maryville attorney Doug Overbey. The recently reconfigured and renumbered district includes all of Blount and most of Sevier Counties.
Scott currently serves as the Chief Financial Officer for the church he and his family attends, Fuse Church. In addition to his history of involvement in the Republican Party, including a 2010 run for the 8th District State House seat, Scott has over 10 years of experience working in the Pro-Life movement. Most recently, he served as the Executive Director for the Hope Resource Center, East Tennessee’s largest crisis pregnancy center.

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Haslam on Lakeshore Closing: ‘I think this is the right approach’

From the News Sentinel:
Gov. Bill Haslam indicated Tuesday he is inclined to push ahead with a proposal to close Lakeshore Mental Health Institute — a day after Knox County commissioners said they would ask state officials to step in and keep the facility’s doors open.
Haslam told the News Sentinel the proposal made by state Department of Mental Health Commissioner Douglas Varney in mid-November was part of a “top-to-bottom review” of his department, which the governor ordered all commissioners to conduct.
Haslam said the final decision to proceed with closing the Lyons View Pike center will be made “in four weeks or so,” and he left the impression he would follow Varney’s recommendation.
“From everything I understand, I think this is the right approach to take,” he said. “The question is: Can we help more people more effectively? It seems to me that we can.”

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State to Close Lakeshore Mental Health Institute

From the News Sentinel:
Tennessee Department of Mental Health Commissioner Doug Varney has announced that closure of Lakeshore Mental Health Institute on June 30, 2012, is part of plans for changing mental health in Tennessee.
Varney said community services will be expanded by leveraging three existing contracts with private psychiatric mental-health providers in East Tennessee: Covenant Health (Peninsula, a division of Parkwest Medical Center); Mountain States Health Alliance (Woodridge Hospital of Johnson City), and Ridgeview Community Mental Health Services of Oak Ridge.
“Moving these mental health services into the community where our patients live allows them to start the process of recovery near family, friends and local community mental health support services,” Varney said in a statement. “Our intent is to promote care that is of the highest quality and delivered in the most efficient and effective way. We believe this new model accomplishes those goals.”
Varney said the changes are part of a national trend to close state facilities, owning to improved medications, shifts in public policy and studies that show community-based services have better outcomes. He said Peninsula, Woodridge and Ridgeview “have been serving this population effectively, efficiently and successfully through the current contracting process and are committed to begin accepting new admissions.”

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UT Touts Cost-Cutting to Impress Legislators

The University of Tennessee saved more than $52 million through 132 cost-cutting initiatives in a bid to maximize its leaner budget and build goodwill with the state, reports Megan Boehnke.
“One of the reasons we did it was, of course, it was the right thing to do, and the second reason we did it was so we could tell our story to the Legislature and the governor and hopefully they would figure a way to give us no change or an increase in appropriations,” said UT Trustee Doug Horne at the Effectiveness and Efficiency for the Future committee meeting Friday on the Knoxville campus.
The committee, formed in 2008 as a way to find savings within the university at a time of drastic budget cuts, presented an update that showed 78 projects completed, another 44 in progress and 10 that are proposed.
The initiatives on the Knoxville campus include eliminating some vacant positions, a campaign to reduce energy consumption, a recycling program that decreases the waste removal costs and reducing campus bus services during semester breaks. The Knoxville campus expects a savings of more than $17 million and is working with TVA on a long-term energy savings plan that could result in several million dollars in savings
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