Tag Archives: reginald

Reggie Tate: A Democrat ‘Tight With Republicans’?

Jackson Baker has a report on Sen. Reginald Tate as a “symbolic figure” in the current state of Democratic senators dealing with a Republican “supermajority.”
Tate is aware that some of his fellow Democrats consider him too tight with Republicans, especially with Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey, Speaker of the state Senate, who recently awarded him with prestigious committee assignments. But he denies that any strings were attached and says, “I never asked to be vice-chair of the Education committee. I never asked to be on Fiscal Review.”
Granted, while serving on the Senate Education committee during the 2011 and 2012 legislative sessions, Tate had voted with suburban Republicans from Shelby County rather than with Democrats on issues relating to the enabling of suburban school districts in the county, but he explains that by referring to the fact of Memphis being so largely a black city and perhaps needing at some point to practice its own form of exclusivity.
“In the long run why woudn’t I vote fot that bill because it gives them the option to do what they want?” he says, seeming to make an argument for turnabout being fair play.
And he is frank to aver that Realpolitik influences his relations with the Republican majority, who, after all, have the power. “It just so happens that I’m not dancing to the music. If I can’t get you to help me, then I’m going to get somebody else to help me.”
Yes, he is friendly with Ramsey, but that’s because “he wants to reach out to the Democratic side.” Anyhow, “If I’m not dancing to Kyle’s music, what makes anybody think I’d dance to Ramsey’s music?”

Sponsors Tout Bill Easing Path to Expungment of Criminal Records (for a $350 fee)

News release from Senate Democratic Caucus:
NASHVILLE – State Senator Reginald Tate and State Representative Karen Camper have passed legislation to give citizens who committed certain nonviolent, non-sexual crimes the opportunity to clear their records after years of abiding by the law.
“All crimes are serious, and we should take their punishments seriously, too,” Tate said. “What we are finding, however, is that mistakes people made in their lives 20 years ago are keeping them from obtaining a degree, applying for jobs and moving on with their lives.”
Senate Bill 3520 allows those convicted of certain nonviolent, non-sexual misdemeanors and Class E felonies to apply for expungement of their records. Offenders would be eligible only if the crime was more than five years old and they had completed all requirements of their sentence with no further convictions.
Eligible offenses include various nonviolent theft and fraud charges, vandalism and other nonviolent crimes like failure to appear in court.
The Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference worked with Camper and Tate to create the list of eligible offenses, as well as the steps necessary to have the crimes expunged. A $350 filing fee for expungement will fund costs associated with the process, as well as provide revenue for the state’s general fund.
The legislation is expected to add more than $7 million in annual revenues to the state’s general fund, but bill sponsors and other lawmakers spoke more to the value of giving one-time, nonviolent offenders a fresh start.
“We have a duty to uphold the law, but we also have the responsibility to forgive those who serve their punishments and learn from their mistakes,” Camper said. “This legislation will provide opportunities to those who have paid their dues and are looking for ways to better themselves and provide for their families.”
The bill now goes to Governor Bill Haslam for his signature.