Tag Archives: formed

New Group Forms to Fight Vouchers, Oppose Education ‘Special Interests’

A new coalition of Davidson County parents and stakeholders is gearing up for what it perceives as a fight to both protect local autonomy and defend public schools from outside special-interest groups during the legislative session that commences Tuesday, according to The Tennessean.
This army of primarily mothers, calling itself “Standing Together 4 Strong Community Schools,” is focused on defeating what are expected to be two of the most controversial education proposals state lawmakers will consider this year: allowing students to access publicly funded “opportunity scholarships,” more commonly known as vouchers, to attend private schools and a separate measure to hand the state authority to approve charter schools, which would effectively bypass local school boards.
“For so long, special interests have been controlling legislation regarding public schools, and parents essentially have been left out of the mix,” said Jennifer Croslin-Smith, who has helped steer the group’s foundation. “We’re usually the last to find out what’s going on.
“As the direct consumers of this, I feel like we should be the first to hear about this legislation; we should be informed; we are the ones who should be speaking to the legislature.”
The group, which organizers say includes dozens of supporters at this early stage, launched a website last week, strongcommunityschools.com, where supporters plan to list dates and times of committee meetings, organize events and gatherings and discuss the issues at hand.
Members say they don’t plan to register as a political action committee or a lobbying organization, but could opt to apply for 501(c)3 (tax-exempt nonprofit) status in the weeks ahead
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Note: The group’s website is HERE.

Robin Smith to Work With a Democrat!

In a sign that the apocalypse could occur on schedule this December, the Chattanooga TFP says, Republican Robin Smith and Democrat Albert Waterhouse have together formed a new consulting agency, SmithWaterhouse Strategies.
Smith, a Republican strategist (and former state Republican chairman) who mounted an unsuccessful bid for Congress in 2010, will maintain her focus on project management, while Waterhouse — a staunch Democrat and well-known political consultant — will continue his work in public relations and crisis management.
The difference is that now, they’ll be working toward the same goals.
“Regardless of how we feel personally, you cannot get things done without bringing all options to the table,” Waterhouse said.
Smith agreed with her political opponent.
“Congress should take heart if two partisan nemeses in Chattanooga can come together,” she said Tuesday.

New Lobbying Firm Formed

News release from Windrow Phillips Group:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee government-relations veterans Anna Durham Windrow and Bill R. Phillips today announced they are forming the Windrow Phillips Group, a new firm offering a range of services to clients with issues involving state government.
In making the announcement, Windrow and Phillips formalized an existing strategic partnership and merged their practices under the same professional banner. The Windrow Phillips Group represents leading businesses and employers including: Amazon.com, Bank of America, CRC Health, Evergreen Packaging, Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, and Western Union.
“We’re pleased to make this partnership official,” Windrow said. “Bill Phillips brings decades of strategic experience in government and politics, and I’m looking forward to working with him in the years ahead.” For his part, Phillips added: “Anna Windrow is one of the most respected government-relations professionals working with the Tennessee General Assembly and on Capitol Hill. We make a great team.”
The Windrow Phillips Group will be based in the Nashville City Center, overlooking the Tennessee State Capitol and Legislative Plaza. Also joining the firm as a member is Baylor Bone Swindell, an attorney who has worked on Capitol Hill for a decade. Combined, the firm has more than 75 years of government and political experience.
Phillips brings a depth in front-line experience in politics and government, including stints as: campaign manager; press secretary; chief of staff to former Gov. Bob List of Nevada; chief of staff at the Republican National Committee; chief of staff at the U.S. Department of Education; manager of the 1988 Republican National Convention; and deputy director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management under former President George H.W. Bush.
Most recently, Phillips served as Nashville’s deputy mayor from 1999 to 2007. He is a former associate vice chancellor of university relations for Vanderbilt University and former visiting professional scholar at the Freedom Forum First Amendment Center where co-authored the book “Nothing Sacred: Journalism, Politics and Public Trust in a Tell-All Age.” Phillips will continue to represent clients at the local government level.
Windrow, who served as the senior advisor to former Gov. Phil Bredesen, has worked in politics and government relations in Tennessee for most of her career. She began in public affairs for First American National Bank and later worked for former U.S. Senator Jim Sasser on his campaign and Senate staff. She served as executive director of the Tennessee Building Materials Association and worked for a decade as legislative director for the Nashville law firm Bass Berry & Sims. Windrow has overseen her own government relations practice for over 15 years.