NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Two state lawmakers are proposing a promotion in honorary titles in Tennessee.
The governor under current law can bestow the honorary title of Colonel Aide de Camp at the request of a member of the Tennessee General Assembly.
Under the bill introduced by Sen. Paul Bailey of Sparta and fellow Republican Rep. Kelly Keisling of Byrdstown, lawmakers could recommend the governor grant the new honorary title of Tri-Star General to people with “a record of outstanding service to this state or a local community.”
Republican Gov. Bill Haslam told reporters on Monday that he was not familiar with the proposal, but didn’t see a great demand for new honorifics in Tennessee. In Haslam’s words: “I haven’t noticed an overwhelming need for a new title.”
Note: News release below.
Top staffers of U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais and Sen. Lamar Alexander mutually agreed that the 4th District congressman would not hold a position in the senator’s reelection campaign along with other Republican members of the state’s congressional delegation, an Alexander spokesman said Wednesday.
“Both decided it would be a distraction,” said Jim Jefferies, referring to the Washington chiefs of staff of Alexander and DesJarlais.
Jefferies declined to elaborate. He would not say, for example, if Alexander and DesJarlais personally went along with the decision made by Matt Sonneysyn, Alexander’s chief of staff, and Matt Miller, DesJarlais’ chief of staff.
Since DesJarlais was reelected Nov. 6, transcripts from testimony at his divorce trial 12 years ago have been made public that indicate he assented to two abortions for his ex-wife and acknowleged sexual relations with female patients of his medical practice. That has added to controversy over pre-election allegations of DesJarlais encouraging a mistress to have an abortion.
In announcing his reelection team last weekend, Alexander named U.S. Rep. John J. “Jimmy” Duncan of Knoxville as chairman of his campaign. Gov. Bill Haslam, House Speaker Beth Harwell, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, Sen. Bob Corker and all of Tennessee’s Republican U.S. Representatives – except DesJarlais – were named honorary co-chairmen.