Tag Archives: roundup

Recent TN political junkie reading list

Demise of Shelby County Democratic Party
Jackson Baker has a review of the decertification and pending rebirth of the Shelby County Democratic Party. HERE.

Trump may be ‘Camfielded’
George Korda likens Donald Trump to former state Sen. Stacey Campfield, who “became known locally and nationally for statements and issue positions the news media followed like a deranged stock car spectator yearning for a wreck.” HERE.

McNally shows lack of judgment
Frank Cagle says Sen. Randy McNally’s support of Rep. Jimmy Matlock for House speaker is puzzling. “It’s hard enough herding cats in your own chamber without getting involved in the House Republican Caucus.” HERE. Also, note Cagle’s column last week, wherein he puts Nashville conservative talk radio hosts atop a listing of losers in the Aug. 4 elections.

Boozing at ASD
Sam Stockard eyes the recent audit of Tennessee’s Achievement School District, starting out with a focus on partying with alcoholic beverages but getting into less intoxicating aspects with perhaps more long-range implications. HERE.

Ketron defends voter ID law
Excerpt from Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Bill Ketron’s op-ed piece in defense of Tennessee’s voter ID law with similar statutes under court challenge elsewhere: The vast majority of reasonable minds agree with Tennessee’s voter ID law. A Middle Tennessee State University poll determined that 81 percent of Tennesseans support voter ID at the polls. Most people agree it shouldn’t be easier to cash a check or buy cigarettes than to vote in Tennessee. Even the Democratic National Convention has required a photo ID to get in and vote.

Alexander on the Smokies
U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander opines that, in many ways, things are better today in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park than when it was established 100 years ago. HERE.

Some holiday weekend reading suggestions for TN political junkies

Democratic dysfunction
Otis Sanford bemoans the squabble over financial troubles at the Shelby County Democratic Party, which last week put some local party leaders at odds with Tennessee Democratic Chair Mary Mancini. (ICYMI, post HERE.) His starting proposition:

The dysfunctional political family otherwise known as the Shelby County Democratic Party has managed itself into complete irrelevance. After resembling a circular firing squad for the past few years, local party leaders have finally turned the once highly effective and highly diverse group into a laughingstock.

The Tennessee Republican Party, which has had its share of dysfunctional episodes lately (most recently HERE), was naturally eager to offer commentary, too, HERE.
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WIGS, guns-on-campus among laws taking effect July 1 (with list)

By Eric Schelzig, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Wine will be available in Tennessee supermarkets, professors will be allowed to carry guns on public college campuses, and drivers will be subject to stricter penalties for texting on the road, under new laws taking effect Friday.

Many bills passed by lawmakers this year took effect upon being signed by Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, but others were linked to the start of the new budget year, which starts July 1.

The campus-carry bill was the result of heavy negotiations between gun-rights advocates and higher-education officials who opposed allowing more weapons on campus.

The law keeps gun bans in place for stadiums or gymnasiums during school-sponsored events; meetings where disciplinary or tenure issues are being discussed; hospitals or offices where medical or mental health services are provided; and any location prohibited by another law, such as at day care centers or elementary schools located on campus.

Those changes made the bill more palatable to Republican Gov. Bill Haslam.

“I was not in favor of that law to begin with, because whoever controls any piece of property should be able to decide what happens on that piece of property,” the governor told reporters this week. Continue reading

AP’s Super Tuesday Roundup on Sunday — Running from Rush

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Intensifying debate over conservative social values — and Republican icon Rush Limbaugh — overshadowed the nation’s economic concerns Sunday as the Republican presidential campaign hurtled toward Super Tuesday contests that could re-shape the nomination battle and shift the direction of the Grand Old Party.
Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum distanced themselves from Limbaugh, who boasts a huge conservative following and recently apologized for calling a Georgetown University law student a “slut” and a “prostitute” on his nationally syndicated radio program. The woman testified at a congressional hearing in favor of an Obama administration mandate that employee health plans include free contraceptive coverage. While religious institutions are exempt, their affiliates, such as hospitals and universities, were at first included in the requirement. Under harsh criticism from conservatives, President Barack Obama later said the affiliates could opt out, but insurers must pay for the coverage.
The GOP framed the issue as one of religious liberty. But Obama’s chief political strategist suggested the Limbaugh’s reaction — and Republicans slow repudiation of his comments — would benefit Democrats in the general election this fall.

Continue reading

Super Tennessee Tuesday News Notes on Sunday

Romney Rising?
From Rasmussen Reports:
Just two days before Super Tuesday, the Republican primary race in Tennessee has become a two-man competition between Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. The first Rasmussen Reports survey of Likely GOP Primary Voters in Tennessee shows Santorum attracting 34% of the vote, while Romney earns 30%. Polls from other firms have previously shown Santorum with a large lead in the state.
This Tennessee survey of 750 Likely Republican Primary Voters was conducted on March 3, 2012 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC.

A Battle for the Heart & Soul of TN GOP?
With Republicans firmly in control of Tennessee, the outcome of the battle between Romney and Santorum could signal the direction in which the Tennessee GOP, and possibly the entire state, will march for years to come, according to Chas Sisk.
“Tennessee, it’s moved past center right and more to the right in the last few years,” said (Santorum supporter Glen) Hughes, 47, a Bellevue accountant and the president of a group called the Tennessee Republican Assembly — the “right-wing side of the Republican Party,” as he put it.
“I think Santorum appeals to your average Tennessean.”
A victory by Santorum would suggest that the GOP’s conservative wing will continue to rise and could even displace moderates such as Haslam and House Speaker Beth Harwell in Nashville. But a come-from-behind win by Romney would show that top party leaders still have their fingers on the pulse of Tennessee’s voters.

Gingrich Wins TCU Straw Poll
Excerpt from a Gingrich campaign email on Sunday:
Just last night, Newt won the straw poll at the Tennessee Southern Conservative Union’s annual banquet with 37.96% of the vote. Santorum was next with 33.8%. Rep. Paul pulled 11.11% and Romney finished in last place with 10.65% of the vote. Over in Jackson at the Madison County Reagan Day Dinner, Newt Delegate Mike Peery was named Madison County’s “Man of the Year.”
Romney Rally Breaking Rules?
Blogger R. Neal suggests that Sunday’s Knoxville Romney rally breaks Knox County school policy.,
Knox Co. School Board policy states that “No part of the school system, including the facilities, email addresses, the name, the staff, and the students, shall be used for advertising or promoting the interests of any commercial, political or other nonschool agency or organization.”
Crossover voting? Well, It Depends
While slamming crossover voting by Democrats in Michigan, Mitt Romney backers aren’t so much opposed in Tennessee, reports The Tennessean.
Middle Tennessee State University released polling data that showed Romney leading among Democratic voters and tied with Santorum among independents. He was losing to Santorum by a 21-point margin among Tennessee Republicans. So was the Romney campaign saying they didn’t want Democrats and independents to vote in the Republican primary in Tennessee?
The campaign didn’t seem to have a ready answer. When asked, they fell silent for a good five seconds before former U.S. Treasurer Bay Buchanan finally said crossover voters might be OK after all.

Note: Both party chairmen in Tennessee, Chris Devaney and Chip Forrester, say they don’t expect much crossover in the state on Tuesday. But there are some like, say, Pam Strickland.
Heckled Newt’s Finest Moment
According to Chas Sisk’s notebook, Newt Gingrich’s best moment during last week’s campaign swing through Nashville may have been his handling of six Occupy Nashville protesters who disrupted his Monday afternoon rally at the state Capitol by waving a red banner and shouting slogans.
Gingrich did not ask security to have the protesters removed. (Note: But a Highway Patrol officer who has dealt repeatedly with the protesters suggested, ‘This is not your party’ and they ultimately departed.) Instead, he quietly waited them out from the podium, giving them an icy glare while occasionally waving to his supporters to keep their cool.
Once things had started to quiet down, Gingrich delivered his retort: “I just want to make one observation. In terms of being out of touch with reality,” he said, gesturing toward the protesters, “somebody who 21 years after the collapse of the Soviet empire still has a red flag, is a sign of a commitment to fantasy over reality that is breathtaking.”
Video of the exchange is available at Tennessean.com.

Romney is the TN Money Man
From Michael Collins:
Rick Santorum may have a 2-to-1 lead in Tennessee polls heading into the GOP presidential election on Tuesday, but in the race for campaign dollars, he remains dead last.
The former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania has collected just $2,700 in campaign donations from East Tennessee, according to the most recent fundraising reports on file with the Federal Election Commission.
Santorum’s cash yield is a fraction of the haul taken in by the most prodigious fundraiser in the race, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Romney has collected $263,000 in contributions from East Tennessee, putting him far ahead of any of the other candidates.

Cain: Don’t Protest on Tuesday
Former presidential aspirant Herman Cain said he’s still on a mission to defeat President Barack Obama and urged conservatives on Saturday in Knoxville, as part of a statewide tour, to support former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich in Tennessee’s Republican presidential primary on Tuesday, reports Georgiana Vines.
For those who still wish the Georgia businessman was in the race, he said to vote for his fellow Georgian instead. “Don’t protest on Tuesday,” he said.
Cain was the main speaker at the Tennessee Conservative Union’s annual Reagan Day dinner at the Crowne Plaza hotel and made his comments during a reception for table sponsors before the event.

Occupy Nashville Sideshow Roundup

Haslam Defends Decision
Gov. Bill Haslam said he approved plans to enforce a new curfew on Legislative Plaza at 3 a.m. Friday because the situation had “deteriorated” to the point that action was necessary, reports the Tennessean.
Haslam defended the arrests of Occupy Nashville protesters for trespassing on the ground that protesters were informed 14 hours in advance of that a curfew would be implemented at 10 p.m. The arrests were made even though a state spokeswoman had said protesters would be given an opportunity to apply for a permit to use the plaza.
“It was my understanding that we were going to enforce the curfew from the very beginning,” Haslam said after attending a University of Tennessee trustees meeting in Knoxville. “In 14 hours, you should have time to decide whether you’re going to stay or not.”
Haslam said his administration was responding to complaints from lawmakers and the general public about sanitary conditions and safety on Legislative Plaza.

Judge Defends Dismissals
Night Court Magistrate Tom Nelson has sent an email to Davidson County’s General Sessions judges explaining why he refused the THP’s request to sign criminal trespassing warrants against Occupy Nashville protesters.
In the email, obtained by The Tennessean, Nelson said he ordered all of the protesters released from custody because the state had not given the protesters adequate notice that it was changing the rules regarding how and when they could assemble on Legislative Plaza.
Nelson said “until the new rules and regulations were promulgated there was no crime of Criminal Trespass pertaining to this group of persons for the past 3 weeks.”
He noted “It is of particular consternation that the rules and curfew were enacted after a protest movement and occupation of Legislative Plaza had been tolerated for just over 3 weeks, with no notice that the group members were involved in criminal activity.”
Nelson said the protesters should have been given a “reasonable opportunity” to apply for the requisite permit.

Arrests Fuel Occupy Flames
The state’s attempts to rein in the Occupy Nashville protests that have called Legislative Plaza home for three weeks may have served only to fan the flames, according to The Tennessean.
If nothing else, the protesters have a new chant to add to their repertoire.
“Remember the Nashville 29” is a reference to the protesters who were arrested at 3:10 a.m. Friday when they refused to vacate the plaza. It was among the rallying cries as the group defiantly marched back toward the Capitol upon their release from the Criminal Justice Center shortly before 9 a.m. Their arrests gained them publicity and new supporters, as well as lawyers promising to file lawsuits on their behalf.
“Everybody likes an underdog, and when you take steps against a group, that gives them a lot of publicity and things along those lines,” said Marc Hetherington, a political scientist at Vanderbilt University. “You can defeat the purpose of what law enforcement had in mind in the first place.”
The arrests appear to have incited people who didn’t necessarily support the movement, but who are appalled by the government’s response.
“It is absolutely my intent to be there in the next few days,” said Grae Taylor, of Knoxville. “It really feeds my fire and makes me want to be there to make my voice heard.”
Nashville defense attorney David Raybin said that he doesn’t think the Haslam administration thought things through and that the arrests could touch off a “second movement.”

List of Those Arrested Friday
As reported by WSMV: There were 29 Occupy Nashville protestors who stayed on the Plaza and were arrested. These protestors received Class C Misdemeanor citations for criminal trespassing.
Those arrested were: Connie L. Smith, 30, Murfreesboro; Shauna C. Pluskota, 25, Nashville; Elizabeth L. Drake, 22, Memphis; Mark A. Vanzant, 22, Murfreesboro; Darria J. Hudson, 23, Nashville; Stoyocho M. Velkovsky, 21, Nashville; Michael P. Custer, 47, Nashville; James R. Bradley, 39, Nashville; Michael Anger, 30, Lexington, Ky.; Jeremiah M. Carter, 19, Bellevue; Tristan P. Call, 25, Nashville; Corey B. Amons, 23, Cottontown; Eric C. Painter, 44, Smyrna; Michael T. Weber, 35, Fayetteville; Lindsey G. Krinks, 26, Nashville; Alexander Pusateri, 20, Memphis; Megan L. Riggs, 25, Nashville; Eva N. Watler, 34, Pegram; William R. White, 21, Mt. Juliet; Adam K. Knight, 27, Smyrna; Robert J. Stowater, 27, Memphis; Christopher L. Humphrey, 24, Nashville; John H. Allen, 36, Nashville; Jeremy L. Scott, 27, Hermitage; Lawren M. Plummer, 24, Nashville; Scott P. Akers, 42, Madison; Paula E. Painter, 55, Cumberland City; Alesandra T. Bellos, 33, Nashville; William W. Howell, 64, Nashville.
Note: Fof political junkies, the best known Friday arrestee is Bill (William W.) Howell, who actively lobbies for Tennesseans for Fair Taxation. He’s also the oldest. Howell talked about his arrest to Jeff Woods.
Reporter Among Saturday Arrests
The Nashville Scene’s Pith blog reported a Scene reporter, Jonathan Meador, among those arrested in the Saturday morning round.
And Some Localized Reports
Four Rutherford County residents were among a total of 29 people rounded up and temporarily jailed after refusing to leave Nashville’s Legislative Plaza early Friday morning, according to the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal.
Rick Locker discovered that three of the 29 protesters in the first round of arrests were from Memphis,,,, and officers apparently misspelled the name of one on the arrest warrant..
The Occupy Wall Street movement is planning another peaceful protest in downtown Knoxville this afternoon and while confrontations have occurred at other Occupy events across the country, Knoxville police are anticipating a peaceful event, reports the News Sentinel.