News release from Sen. Lamar Alexander’s campaign:
Nashville, Feb. 7 – The Alexander campaign today announced that all 13 living former Tennessee Republican Party chairs will serve as honorary co-chairmen of the Statewide Committee to Reelect Lamar Alexander. The announcement follows the campaign’s recent announcements of political and finance leadership.
Congressman John J. Duncan, Jr., says: “This unprecedented support shows how much Republicans appreciate Lamar Alexander’s leadership as governor and senator building a conservative grassroots, statewide Republican Party.”
Alexander said, “I am grateful for the support from men and women who have helped the Tennessee Republican Party grow from a minority of voters to our state’s dominant political party.”
The terms of the 13 Republican chairmen span the last four decades from S.L. “Kopie” Kopald, Jr., of Memphis who served from 1971 to 1974 to Robin Smith of Chattanooga, the most recent of the 13 to serve as state party chairman.
The complete group of former state party chairs endorsing Senator Alexander include:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Former state Attorney General Paul Summers has been appointed to a four-year term as a senior judge beginning on Jan. 1.
Summers is currently a partner at the Waller law firm in Nashville.
According to a news release from the firm, prior to his nearly eight years as attorney general, Summers spent eight years on the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals. Before that, he was district attorney general for the 25th Judicial District in West Tennessee.
Summers has 33 years of commissioned military service as a judge advocate general officer, retiring with the rank of colonel in the U.S. Army. Summers received the National Guard Distinguished Service Medal from Gov. Phil Bredesen and the Legion of Merit from President George W. Bush.
A Rhea County Circuit Court jury on Tuesday evening found former state Rep. Jim Cobb, R-Spring City, not guilty of assaulting a woman in a wheelchair who supported Cobb’s opponent in the Aug. 2 primary election, reports the Chattanooga TFP. “The verdict speaks for itself,” said Cobb, who previously dismissed the misdemeanor assault charge as “politically motivated.”
The decision came at 6:40 p.m. after about an hour’s deliberation at the historic Rhea County Courthouse in downtown Dayton, Tenn. Cobb turned himself in to the county jail on Oct. 3 after a grand jury indicted him.
According to a Rhea County Sheriff’s Office report, Goins was sitting in her wheelchair at Frazier Elementary School in Dayton, campaigning for Cobb’s opponent, Ron Travis, when Cobb got out of his pickup truck and attempted to knock down a Travis sign.
Goins feared “imminent bodily injury,” the report stated, and thought Cobb was going to hit her after he raised his hand. Cobb, meanwhile, said there was no contact and not even harsh words directed toward Goins.
By Eric Schelzig, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and his wife of 31 years, Karyn, are splitting up.
Court records show Karyn Frist filed for divorce on Friday, while an answer filed on behalf of Bill Frist states that he “admits, with sadness, that irreconcilable differences have arisen between the parties that will prevent them from living together as Husband and Wife.”
Family spokeswoman Beth Seigenthaler Courtney declined to elaborate on the reasons for the split.
“Dr. and Mrs. Bill Frist have decided to end their marriage,” she said in a statement. “They ask for prayers, understanding and privacy at this time.”
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Former U.S. Rep. John Tanner of Union City is one of 37 additional attorneys to join an expanding major law firm’s Nashville office.
Tanner, a Democrat who retired from Congress in 2011 after 22 years in office, will specialize in government relations for Butler, Snow, O’Mara, Stevens & Cannada. Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour has similar responsibilities for the firm in Jackson, Miss., where it is based.
Butler Snow announced the expansion on Thursday, bringing to more than 220 attorneys practicing in 12 offices nationwide.
The firm also has offices in Birmingham and Montgomery, Ala; Jackson, Bay St. Louis, Gulfport and Oxford, Miss.; Nashville and Memphis; Baton Rouge and New Orleans, La.; and Fort Washington and Bethlehem, Penn.
The expansion makes Butler Snow one of the Southeast’s largest firms.
Federal law says that congressmen can’t become a lobbyist for a year after leaving office. The Hill reports that about 30 former lawmakers who served in the 111th Congress — for whom the year has now passed — are now employed at law firms, lobby shops, trade groups and think tanks that are registered to lobby.
Yet only 10 of those individuals are themselves registered to lobby. Among them are former Tennessee Democratic Reps. Bart Gordon and John Tanner.
On the other hand, former Republican Rep. Zach Wamp is among the majority who remain a “strategic consultant” on getting government contracts and the like — without registering as a lobbyist.
Excerpt from the article: Former lawmakers at the registered firms say they want to stay involved in public policy debates but find trooping up to Capitol Hill to advocate for clients unappealing. Corporate headhunters say ex-lawmakers are wary of the
“Scarlet L” — the taint of being a registered lobbyist — because it could hinder future political ambitions.
Chris Jones, managing partner of CapitolWorks, said former lawmakers are avoiding the lobbyist tag by working as “senior advisers” at law firms and lobby shops.
“According to their job definition, they are not really meeting the lobbying threshold. … They are probably managing the effort rather than physically lobbying for the client. This is the 30,000-foot view of the project,” said Jones, who recruits lawyers and lobbyists for firms. “That seems to be the scarlet letter. People like to throw it around with disgust.”
Former state Rep. Ralph Cole, 85, who represented Carter and Johnson counties in the General Assembly for more than a decade, died Friday. From the Johnson City Press: Cole had been suffering from cancer in recent weeks.
The Elizabethton Republican served until 2002, when he was defeated by Jerome Cochran in the Republican primary election.
Cole was an influential member of the House Finance Committee during his time in Nashville, and was noted for working hard for his district during the administrations of Govs. Ned McWherter and Don Sundquist.
“He was my friend,” said Sundquist. “He was a statesmen who always did what he thought was right. He was a man of courage and dedication and was successful in life in every way.
“You could always count on him that if it was right he would do it. I didn’t have to go to him and say ‘Will you do this?’ We need more men and women like that.”
Former state Rep. Robert “Bob” Patton, who represented the 7th District, sat one seat over from Cole in the Legislature and served alongside him on the House Finance Committee from 2000-2002.
“I really enjoyed serving in the Legislature with him,” Patton said. “He was somewhat of a mentor to me. It was often that I would check with him and talk about issues that were important and he was kind and considerate and would take the time to speak with me.”
Cole served as a state representative from 1990 to 2003. In addition to his political role, he was also the sales manager at Courtesy Motors Co. for 20 years and owned C&T Volkswagen-Subaru for 18 years.
…The graveside service for Cole will be private.
By Erik Schelzig, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — At least 10 former state lawmakers are trying to return to the Tennessee General Assembly, while eight Democratic incumbents will be vying for four seats following this year’s redistricting process.
Just before the candidate filing deadline passed Thursday, state Rep. Gary Moore of Nashville announced on the House floor that he won’t seek re-election. He’s the 11th Democratic incumbent to announce they won’t return next year.
The GOP-led redistricting process and political trends in Tennessee are giving Republicans confidence they will expand their large majorities in both chambers of the General Assembly this year. But party leaders said they don’t want to lapse into complacency.
“They’ve fielded a lot of candidates, and I would warn everyone to take their complaints very seriously and take their opponents very seriously,” said House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga. “Because the seats belong to the people and not to the incumbents, and I think they’ve shown before that they’ll kick us out if we don’t do the kind of work we need to do.”
Former Democratic Reps. Mark Maddox of Dresden, Jim Hackworth of Oak Ridge and Eddie Yokley of Greeneville are seeking to return to the House after losing in a Republican landslide of 2010. Former Democratic Rep. Ty Cobb of Columbia is running for the Senate.
Also looking to return are Republican Susan Lynn of Mt. Juliet, who gave up her House seat for an unsuccessful Senate bid in 2010, and Mike Williams of Maynardville, who lost his Senate re-election bid in 2008.
COLUMBIA, Tenn. (AP) — Funeral services are Thursday in Columbia for William “Bill” Richardson of Tullahoma, a state legislator for 16 years. He died Monday at age 80.
Richardson, a Democrat, was elected to the Tennessee House in 1974 and then to the state Senate in 1986. He retired from elective office in 1990.
Richardson was a self-employed land surveyor and minister of the Ostella Church of Christ in Marshall County for 32 years.
Survivors include his wife and eight children
— Note: Sen. Roy Herron delivered an eulogy of sorts for Richardson on the Senate floor and the state Democratic party has posted it, HERE.
From the News Sentinel:
Edwin “Ed” Arnold, a former state representative and assistant district for Blount, Roane and Loudon counties, has died. He was 77. Mr. Arnold was killed Saturday morning when he stepped into traffic on Interstate 40 to help his grandson, who had just been in a wreck, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
Mr. Arnold received his undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee and his law degree from Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tenn. Arnold was active in the Loudon community as a member of the Jaycees, Lions Club and First Baptist Church in Loudon. He served in the Legislature from 1963 to 1967 and became assistant attorney general for Blount, Loudon and Roane counties.
Family will receive friends 12-1:30 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. today at First Baptist Church, 413 Wharf Street, Loudon. Services will follow at 7:30 p.m., with Rev. Richard Everett officiating.