Tag Archives: Eddie

Rep. Eddie Bass Eyes Party Switch (and guns are involved)

By Erik Schelzig, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Democratic state Rep. Eddie Bass may be considering a party switch before the candidate filing deadline in April, but Republicans don’t appear overly eager to have him
Bass told The Associated Press on Monday evening that he hasn’t made up his mind about which party to affiliate with in seeking a fourth term.
“We just have to wait and see how things go on qualifying day, I guess,” he said,
Republican House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick of Chattanooga said he’s heard that Bass has been mulling a party switch for the last two or three years, but said he is satisfied with potential GOP candidates considering a bid in House District 65.
“I’d rather he’d stay where he is, to tell the truth,” McCormick said. “He’s not doing himself any favors running that gun bill.”

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Two NRA-Drafted Bills Filed on Guns in Cars

From the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action:
The Tennessee General Assembly is now in session and multiple bills that are crucial to law-abiding gun owners have been introduced. On January 25, Senate Bill 2992 and Senate Bill 3002 were introduced in the Tennessee Senate. The House companion bills, House Bill 3559 and House Bill 3560, were filed on the following day.
These NRA-drafted bills would prevent employers from discriminating and enforcing policies against the storage of lawfully-owned firearms in employees’ locked private motor vehicles while parked at work.
Introduced by state Senator Mike Faulk (R-4), SB 3002 would recognize that hard-working Tennesseans’ right to self-defense does not end when they drive onto their employer’s property or into publicly accessible parking lots. It would allow firearms to be stored out of sight in a locked vehicle. Senate Bill 3002 has been assigned to the state Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration. State Representative Eddie Bass (D-65) introduced HB 3560, the House companion of SB 3002.
SB 2992, also introduced by state Senator Mike Faulk (R-4), is a Firearm Discrimination Prevention bill that would protect law-abiding gun owners from anti-gun policies by employers across the state, including forced firearm registration, random vehicle firearm searches, and “gun zone” parking lots for gun owning employees. The state Senate Commerce, Labor & Agriculture will first consider SB 2992. HB 3560, the House companion of SB 2992, was also introduced by state Representative Bass.
Link to full news release HERE.

TRA Chief Quits as Haslam Eyes Overhaul of Agency

Tennessee Regulatory Authority Chairman Eddie Roberson has announced his from the panel. This comes as Gov. Bill Haslam is engaged in a study on how to overhaul the agency that oversees many utilities in the state.
“Over this almost four decades, a sea of change has occurred in the field of utility regulation and I believe the TRA has navigated well through these changing times,” Roberson said in a letter of resignation to Haslam. The resignation is effective Oct 1.
Roberson’s term had actually expired on July 1, but he had agreed to stay on for an indefinite period as the governor’s study of the agency continues.
Haslam has assigned his senior advisor, Mark Cate, and legal counsel, Herb Slatery, to research the TRA with an eye toward revisions. They have interviewed all directors and some staff of the agency and are expected to draft legislation for next year’s legislative session.
Haslam’s administration introduced a bill in the Legislature earlier this year that would have reduced the number of TRA directors from four to three while making other changes, but he abandoned attempts at passage. The governor also nominated Andre Fowlkes, owner of a Memphis business named Innpowerment, as a director of the TRA, then withdrew the nomination after Republican lawmakers objected.
In addition to Roberson, Director Mary Freeman is also serving on the current four-member panel though her official term ended on July 1. The other two directors are Sara Kyle of Memphis and Kenneth Hill of Blountville.
Under the present TRA system, the governor, the speaker of the House and the speaker of the Senate each appoint one director and the four director is chosen by consensus of all three.
Asked for comment recently on the review by Cate and Slatery, Haslam spokesman David Smith sent this statement by email:
“As part of our review of boards and commissions, we’re having conversations with a number of stakeholders to understand the roles and functions from the perspectives of those involved including board members, staff, executive directors and representatives from the industries that are regulated. The TRA review is part of this overall process.”
Roberson served on staff of the TRA and its predecessor agency, the Public Service Commission, prior to his selection as a director. The old PSC, which had three commissioners elected by statewide vote, was replaced by the appointed commission in 1995 at the urging of then-Gov. Don Sundquist.
The TRA’s role has been substantially reduced with deregulation of the telecommunications industry and other developments, but it still has some oversight functions in telecommunications and oversees such industries as natural gas companies and private water utilities.
Roberson’s resignation letter may be found HERE.

Court of Appeals Rules DCS Shelter Director Did Not Abuse Child

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Court of Appeals has ruled that the former director of a Morristown youth shelter did not sexually abuse the daughter of a co-worker.
In its opinion, filed on Thursday, the court found insufficient evidence for the state Department of Children’s Services’ determination that shelter director Eddie Davis was a molester. That determination was made despite one counselor’s conclusion the child was lying, a yearlong delay in reporting the abuse claim and what the court said were clearly inconsistent statements by the child, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel.
According to an account in the court record, in October 2007, the 9-year-old daughter of a part-time employee at the Youth Emergency Shelter read a comic book designed to help children report abuse. She then accused Davis of fondling her.
“(Davis) has an impeccable reputation,” Appellate Judge Charles Susano Jr. wrote in the opinion. “Until the accusation at issue in this appeal, he had never been accused or implicated in any way in the abuse of a child.”
The girl’s mother did not believe the story and had the girl talk with a counselor, who also thought she was lying.
However, a year later, the mother went to the police, saying that she did so because, among other things, she was worried she might lose her adopted daughter or her job as a guidance counselor if she did not report the allegations.
Local prosecutors declined to press charges but the Department of Children’s Services began its own investigation, finding the girls’ claims credible and banning Davis from working with children.
“A person can be branded a pedophile for life based simply on a DCS investigation,” the opinion states.
Davis appealed to an administrative law judge who sided with the agency, but the appeals court found the only evidence against Davis to be a series of inconsistent statements from the girl.
“There were multiple character witnesses that testified on Davis’ behalf to the effect that thousands of children had passed through the shelter and yet there had never been any complaint lodged against Davis in over thirty years of service at Y.E.S.,” the opinion stated. “Further, it is undisputed that at no time while the child was in Davis’ office was the door ever closed or locked … Davis did not tell the child to keep what had happened a secret. The child showed no behavioral changes indicative of abuse.”