Tag Archives: negotiations

TN Firearms Association Excluded from GOP Gun Negotiating

House Speaker Beth Harwell told reporters Thursday that Republican leadership was continuing to work with “all interested parties” on guns-in-lots legislation, a group she says does not include the consistently boisterous Tennessee Firearms Association.
More from the TNReport:
Speaking at her weekly press conference, the Nashville Republican said her caucus is still searching for the fine line between two of the party’s primary concerns.
“This caucus is dedicated to gun rights, the Second Amendment,” she said. “We are also dedicated to property rights. And we’re going to merge those until we get to a point where we’re satisfied, or we will not. We’ll continue to work.”
Throughout the ongoing debate over the legislation, which would allow workers to store guns in their cars on company lots, the TFA has appeared to be a player, throwing grenades via press release and testifying before a House committee in support of the bill. But Harwell said they’re not in the loop on negotiations about the details of the bill.
“As far as I know, the association that reflects the Second Amendment rights in this state is the National Rifle Association, and we have had ongoing discussions with them,” she said.
…The executive director of the TFA, John Harris, told TNReport his association is working with other organizations, including tea party groups in the state, whom he says have made the issue a top priority. He said the TFA has been in contact with the NRA and is working with their lobbyist on the issue. But when it comes to the ongoing negotiations with legislators, Harris confirms that TFA is on the outside.
“The legislature has decided they’re not going to talk to TFA, which is the only state organization to have a presence in this issue for 15 years,” he said. “There are a significant amount of legislators talking to us off the record, because they’ve been threatened by leadership not to talk to us.”
Harris balked at the suggestion that the association’s frequently aggressive rhetoric might be the reason for legislators giving them the cold shoulder. He said they’re just “playing games.”

Comptroller Was Involved in Bredesen’s Deal With Amazon

Bt Eric Schelzig
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A high-ranking state Republican official kept tabs on negotiations by the previous Democratic administration that gave online retailer Amazon.com a sales tax exclusion in Tennessee.
Comptroller Justin Wilson confirmed to The Associated Press on Monday that he was kept informed of the details of the deal struck by former Gov. Phil Bredesen to bring jobs to the state. Wilson wouldn’t say how many meetings he attended or divulge the specifics of his role.
Some Republican lawmakers criticized a lack of GOP input, while others questioned whether they should honor the agreement Bredesen reached shortly before leaving office. Sales taxes account for nearly two out of every three dollars directed to the state’s general fund.
Efforts to scuttle the exemption were opposed most vocally by lawmakers who cited the more than 1,200 jobs Amazon expects to create in Chattanooga, Cleveland and Lebanon.
Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville, said earlier this year the state needs to uphold the development deals of the previous administration, but bristled at the details of incentive packages. It was easy for Bredesen to strike deals when “a few weeks later you were going to be out of office … Now he left it to us to figure out how we’re going to pay for this,” Ramsey said in March.
Ramsey spokesman Adam Kleinheider said Monday that Wilson did not keep the Senate speaker in the loop during the Amazon negotiations because of taxpayer confidentiality concerns.
“Comptroller Wilson had no obligation to inform the legislature and acted exactly as he should have,” Kleinheider said in an e-mail.

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