Tag Archives: Hafner

Deputy Claude: Governor Doesn’t ‘Kick, Snort and Throw Rocks’ (but the deputy might, in private)

Appearing in Sunday’s News Sentinel is a package of half-dozen stories on what might be considered Gov. Bill Haslam’s cabinet inner circle, the men and women who gather around a table in the state Capitol on most days to counsel the governor on what’s happening and what should be done.
The centerpiece is on Deputy Gov. Claude Thomas Ramsey, 68, won his first state government position almost 40 years ago as a third-generation strawberry farmer running against an incumbent state representative who “didn’t have the best reputation in the world.”
An excerpt from an interview with the deputy governor:
“He’s not one to get out and kick, snort and throw rocks,” Ramsey said of the governor.
Is Ramsey such a person?
“Not in public.”
In private?
“When necessary.”
The deputy governor said that in today’s Republican party politics “I’m probably more to the moderate side … (though) I absolutely consider myself a conservative.”

Shorter items, in alphabetical order, are on:
-Mark Cate, the ‘utility man’ who ‘makes the trains run on time’ and carries the title of special assistant to the governor.
-The ‘young but bright’ Will Cromer, director of policy and research.
-Director of Legislation Leslie Hafner, who is the newest member of Haslam’s inner circle but by no means new to state government. (A Hafner quip: “Thank you technology, you’re ruined my life.”)
-Communications Director Alexia Poe, a mother of two who is now serving as spokeswoman for her fifth politician.
Herb Slatery, who is legal counsel to the governor and a friend to Bill Haslam since childhood.

Leslie Hafner Replaces Dale Kelley as Haslam’s Lead Lobbyist

News release from the governor’s office:
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced Leslie Hafner as the new director for legislation handling legislative affairs for the administration. She has served since February as deputy director for legislation to Dale Kelley who is returning to West Tennessee to handle special projects for the governor’s office.
“Dale’s leadership during our successful first legislative session was critical, and I look forward to working with him on special projects – such as the Haywood County megasite – in West Tennessee,” Haslam said.
“I am pleased Leslie will take on this new role,” Haslam continued. “We have a lot of work to do over these next several months to define our priorities next session. Similar to this year, we plan to focus on several key initiatives that will have the most impact on making Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.”

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