Joint news release from Tennessee congressional delegation:
WASHINGTON – Members of the Tennessee United States congressional delegation today announced that their inquiry into whether the administration awarded Medicare contracts to businesses not licensed in Tennessee has resulted in the finding that 30 of 98 suppliers were not licensed and will have their contracts voided.
On May 21, Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), along with Representatives Marsha Blackburn (R-Brentwood), Phil Roe (R-Johnson City), John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-Knoxville), Chuck Fleischmann (R- Ooltewah), Scott DesJarlais, (R-Jasper), Jim Cooper (D-Nashville), Diane Black (R-Gallatin), and Steve Cohen (D-Memphis) sent a letter to the administration requesting details on its policy of awarding Medicare contracts for durable medical equipment to businesses not licensed in Tennessee, a violation of the administration’s bid policy and a violation of Tennessee state law. Durable medical equipment includes products that are intended for at-home care of sick or injured individuals. The category includes wheelchairs, crutches, blood pressure monitors, and hospital beds.
In a letter responding to the May 21 inquiry from the members, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Marilyn Tavenner, said: “We have determined that certain out-of-state suppliers that were licensed in their home state, but that did not meet aspects of existing Tennessee licensing requirements at the time of bid submission, were awarded contracts. As a result, CMS will take steps to void contracts for these suppliers in the Tennessee competitive bidding areas, consistent with the policies and guidelines established for the competitive bidding program. This applies to approximately 30 out of the 98 contract suppliers in the Tennessee Competitive Bidding Areas.” Note: The full text of the CMS response is below:
Angering Tennessee’s two Republican senators, President Barack Obama again wants Senate consideration of energy efficiency expert Marilyn Brown for a full term on the TVA board of directors, reports Paul Barton of Gannett’s Washington bureau. The nomination, sent to Capitol Hill Thursday night, comes more than two months after Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker used Senate procedures to block Obama’s previous attempt to appoint her to a six-year term.
Brown, who came to the board in 2010 to fill out the a vacated term and served through the end of 2012, is widely recognized for her expertise in energy efficiency and other “sustainable” energy policies. She teaches in Georgia Tech’s School of Public Policy after formerly working for the Department of Energy at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
“This is another example of the Obama White House not listening,” Alexander said in a statement Friday.
“I told the White House in advance that the TVA board needs a nominee with a better understanding of the relationship between low electricity rates and better jobs in the Tennessee Valley. The Senate now has the responsibility to exercise its constitutional role of advice and consent on the nominee.”
Corker was even more critical.
“TVA needs leaders who enthusiastically support the mission of producing economical electricity and have an abiding appreciation of its important economic development role and impact on the well-being of Valley residents,” he said.
“Unfortunately, during my discussions with Dr. Brown, it was clear she does not share that point of view.”
Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker blocked Senate consideration of confirming President Obama’s nomination of Marilyn Brown for a new term on the TVA board, reports the Chattanooga TFP, while supporting confirmation of four new members. The renomination of two-year board veteran Marilyn Brown, an expert and advocate of energy efficiency, was not offered to Senate members for approval.
“We respect her professional credentials, but we encourage the president to send another nominee with credentials better suited to the TVA board,” according to a Wednesday joint statement from Corker and Alexander.
Brown, a co-recipent of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for co-authorship of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, praised the Senate for approving the other four nominees, but expressed disappointment with Corker and Alexander’s characterization of her qualifications.
“I think … I’m qualified and have really pulled my weight on the board being the chair of the newly formed nuclear oversight committee for two years, which has been quite an active committee responsibility and a very important one,” she said.
News release from Mary Headrick campaign:
Endorsing Dr. Mary Headrick, Marilyn Lloyd, Congresswoman for the Third District for 20 years (1975-1995), said “I wholeheartedly support Dr. Headrick’s positions to increase the minimum wage, combat job outsourcing, defend public education, protect social security and Medicare and to seek fair taxation.”
Representative Lloyd recalled with pride introducing the Obed River into the Wild and Scenic River program. She and Dr. Headrick share admiration for the beauty of Tennessee and applaud its tourism.
Dr. Mary Headrick is the Democratic candidate for the third Congressional District facing incumbent Representative Chuck Fleischmann.
Mary Headrick will meet voters at the Eastgate Center, 5PM Tuesday Oct 2, a meeting sponsored by the Unity Group. She will attend the forum of the League of Women Voters of Oak Ridge, Oak Ridge High School 7PM,Thursday Oct 4.
Dr. Headrick and Representative Fleischmann will face one another at Cleveland Middle School, 3635 Georgetown Rd, Cleveland on Monday, Oct. 8, 6:30 PM for a 1 hour debate that is open to the public.
Mr. Fleischmann’s campaign office has refused or made no reply to other forum and debate invitations. Dr. Headrick said “The voters deserve to see the opponents appear together to answer their questions and summarize positions. It is a disservice to the voters when Mr. Fleischmann avoids debates or when Representative DesJarlais refuses to debate Eric Stewart.”
President Obama has nominated Mike McWherter, the 2010 Democratic nominee for Tennessee governor, to fill one of five current vacancies on the TVA Board of Directors.
Obama also nominated V. Lynn Evans, a Memphis accountant, and Joe H. Ritch, a Huntsville, Ala., attorney, as new members of the board while proposing to give Marilyn A. Brown, a current board member whose term has expired, a new term on the nine-member panel.
The president in February had nominated Peter Mahurin of Bowling Green, Ky., to a TVA board seat, but Mahurin’s nomination has not been confirmed by the U.S. Senate. The four nominations announced Friday in a White House news release are also subject to Senate confirmation.
The nominations come with the Senate planning to recess until after the November election and with Tennessee’s U.S. Sen. Bob Corker declaring the “entire TVA governance structure” should be re-examined with an eye toward reform.
They also come with the TVA board facing the task of selecting a new CEO to replace Tom Kilgore, whose announced retirement takes effect at the end of the year..
From Georgiana Vines:
Democrat state Rep. Harry Tindell will not seek re-election in a redrawn 13th House District, supporters say, and Republican Marilyn Roddy, a former Knoxville City Council member who lost a state Senate race last year, may run for the new seat.
Under a redistricting plan presented by the Republican majority in the state Legislature last week, Tindell’s 13th District expands from the inner-city south to take in Sequoyah Hills and others areas in the 17th District now held by Rep. Frank Niceley, R-Strawberry Plains. Roddy lives in Sequoyah Hills.
Tindell said Friday since the Democratic caucus had suggested changes and the Legislature had not yet approved the plans, he had not made a decision about whether to run. (Note: After approval of the plan, Tindell said he’ll announce a decision no later than Thursday.)
“I want feedback from people in Knoxville who help me or who don’t help me. I will make a thoughtful decision. I do every two years anyway,” he said.
Roddy said Saturday she had “not sat down and considered it yet. I don’t have a statement yet.”
She attended the 2012 Regional Legislative Agenda put on by the Knoxville Chamber and two other chambers on Friday.
News-Sentinel Backs Roddy
When Jamie Woodson announced she would resign her 6th District state Senate seat last spring to run an education nonprofit, three fellow Republican women leapt at the chance to succeed her in a special election.
Our choice in the Republican primary to replace Woodson is City Councilwoman Marilyn Roddy.
Roddy would bring to the seat an impressive command of the issues facing state government, experience working with Gov. Bill Haslam when he was mayor and a strong emphasis on education shared with Woodson.
….Roddy faces a tough road to the general election. Her strongest opponent is Becky Duncan Massey, who has done stellar work in the community as executive director of the Sertoma Center. Though politically inexperienced herself, she grew up the daughter of a congressman and is the sister of U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr. Victoria DeFreese, a former Knox County commissioner, has enough name recognition and enthusiasm for campaigning to siphon off enough votes to make a difference in the outcome.
All three primary candidates paint themselves as conservative, but Roddy’s record on City Council and her statements in interviews and in candidate forums indicate she will be more pragmatic than ideological, making her an ideal legislative ally for Haslam.
(Full editorial HERE.) State Employees for Massey News release from TSEA’s PAC:
NASHVILLE – Monday, September 12, 2011 -The Tennessee Employees Action Movement (TEAM) – the PAC of the Tennessee State Employees Association – proudly endorses Becky Duncan Massey (R – Knoxville) in her bid for election to the District 6 seat of the Tennessee State Senate
“We are pleased to endorse Becky Duncan Massey’s campaign,” said James Braswell, Chair of the TEAM Administrative Committee. “Becky Massey appreciates state employees and values the services they provide daily to the citizens of Tennessee. She understands that quality services depend on a motivated, effective and efficient workforce and we believe she will be a strong supporter of state employees.” said Braswell.
TEAM, is the political action arm of the Tennessee State Employees Association, which represents hundreds of state employees in the 6th Senate District. TSEA was established in 1974. For further information, visit the Web site at www.tseaonline.org.
Metro Pulse has a report today on the four women running to replace Jamie Woodson in the state Senate District 6 seat. In an overview piece, there are short profiles on the candidates with each given a label in the headline: Becky Duncan Massey, “the legacy;” Marilyn Roddy, “the thinker:” Victoria DeFreese, “the outsider;” and Gloria Johnson, “the carpetbagging Democrat.”
Massey, Roddy and DeFreese square off in a Republican primary Sept. 27. Johnson is assured of the Demcoratic nomination, meaning she’ll face the GOP primary winner in Novwember.
There’s a separate Q&A piece, wherein the candidates answer questions on issues.
As an interesting example, they were asked about Rep. Bill Dunn’s bill to protect from discipline teachers who promote alternatives to scientific theories — as in creationism as an alternative to evolution.
None of the Republican candidates had ever heard of the bill, which passed the House last session and will be before the Senate next year. But two – Massey and DeFreese – volunteered that they support teaching creationism in schools , which would be going a lot further than Dunn’s bill goes in promoting creationism. Roddy dodged a direct answer on whether she would vote for the bill, even after the reporter provided her with the text of the bill and an article on the measure.
Democrat Johnson flatly opposed the measure.