State Rep. Ryan Haynes told the Knox County Commission that the possibility of a bill imposing term limits on school board members getting through the Legislature are poor, reports the News Sentinel. Haynes, R-Knoxville, told the commission that a Tennessee law allowing term limits for school board members would be subject to general application across the state (not just limited to Knox County).
“And that, in my opinion, presents a challenge in getting a piece of legislation passed,” Haynes said during a commission work session. Commission uses work sessions to discuss future action items. The body’s next legislative meeting is June 24.
A 15-bill limit that caps what legislators can introduce is another block on term limits, he said.
“We want to use it on something that is productive,” he said.
Commission Vice Chairman R. Larry Smith was not pleased to hear Haynes’ message.
“Personally, I think those are lame excuses,” he said. “I think it can be done.”
Haynes replied he wasn’t offering his own opinion.
“This is what my lawyers drew up,” he said.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A bill seeking to put controls on the secondary ticket market has been withdrawn amid what its sponsor called fierce lobbying on both sides.
Republican Rep. Ryan Haynes of Knoxville said he expects to bring back the measure backed by Ticketmaster parent Live Nation Worldwide Inc. next year.
Opponents of the bill, like eBay Inc. subsidiary StubHub, argued it would affect the legitimate transfer of tickets to sporting events and concerts by individuals and organizations. Supporters said it targeted online hoarding, price gouging and forgeries.
Lawmakers on both sides of the issue lamented what they called misinformation, large numbers of phone calls and emails, and the heavy lobbying on the bill.
A twice-delayed Senate vote on the companion bill has been rescheduled for Thursday.
The House gave final approval Monday night to a bill requiring newspapers that publish public notices to post them on their website as well at no extra charge.
The bill cleared the House on a 94-1 vote and now goes to the governor for his expected signature.
In brief debate, Rep. G.A. Hardaway, D-Memphis, told sponsor Rep. Ryan Haynes, R-Knoxville, that it seemed inappropriate to “be telling the newspaper what they can and can’t charge for.”
Haynes said the bill is supported by the Tennessee Press Association.
“They are committed to open government and this is one more service they can provide to make government more open and more transparent,” Haynes said. “To give more people the opportunity to see public notices, they’re willing to take that cost on.”
The News Sentinel’s Jim Balloch takes a look at the House District 14 race: At 27 years of age, Knoxville Republican Ryan Haynes is seeking a third term in the Tennesseee House of Representatives. And he is still the youngest member of that body.
At 57, Jerome Miller, his Democratic challenger for the 14th District seat, is making his first ever run for public office.
Haynes appears to have all of the advantages one could ask for to keep his seat.
He has name recognition that goes with being an active and energetic incumbent. His party is the majority in the distritct. And he has a bigger war chest.
But Miller, a soft-spoken grandfather, believes he has a trump card in his favor — if he can get enough exposure in the race for enough voters to see it.
“There is nothing like experience in life,” Miller said. ” I have life experiences that he does not have, and I’m not just talking about because of the differences in our ages. Age is only a number. It is a question of how can you make decisions affecting the people in your district if you have not been exposed to the many things your constituents go through on a daily basis?”
Miller, originally from Asheville, N.C., is a mechanical engineer at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant, where he oversees liquid waste operations.
Excerpts from The Tennessean’s setup story on the 7th Congressional District race:
Re-elect her, Rep. Marsha Blackburn says, and voters will get what she’s always given them — a lawmaker passionate about staying in touch with constituents, making government transparent and curing its overspending.
Re-elect her, her opponents say, and voters will get someone who has turned into a Washington insider after 10 years in office.
Such are the battle lines in the race for the 7th Congressional District, the U.S. House seat that has drawn the most candidates in Tennessee this year, with six.
Blackburn, 60, a Brentwood Republican, says anyone who thinks she has become comfortable in Washington and no longer cares about changing things just isn’t paying attention.
“Look at who has been (making) an issue of out-of-control federal spending since Day 1,” she said in an interview. “I have been a solid member of a whole change-agent team.”
…Several of Blackburn’s five opponents, however, portray her as captured by the congressional lifestyle and the campaign contributions that come with it. Blackburn has raised $1.45 million for her 2012 campaign, and her personal political action committee and has cash on hand of $1.26 million. Sixty percent of her money comes from special interest PACs, a larger percentage than for any other Middle Tennessee member of Congress.
“She votes to take care of the needs of the corporate empire,” said Green Party candidate Howard Switzer, 67, an architect in Linden. Switzer says America needs decentralization of its economy — highlighted by more local food production — and more “earth-friendly” policies in general. Switzer also believes these are “apocalyptic times.”
The Democrat in the race is Credo Amouzouvik, a 34-year-old disabled Army veteran in Clarksville. Amouzouvik said he was motivated to run because the low approval ratings of Congress indicate voters are not getting the leadership they deserve.
…Another Army veteran in the race is independent candidate Jack Arnold of Kingston Springs, 38, who just graduated from Vanderbilt Law School. Arnold said he would emphasize changing a campaign finance system that makes lawmakers worry more about fundraising than addressing issues.
…Arnold is the only one of Blackburn’s opponents to report any campaign money to the Federal Election Commission. He’s raised $13,353, a mix of his own funds and some individual contributions, but no PAC money.
Another independent candidate, Leonard Ladner, 58, of Hohenwald, operates his own trucking firm and drives an 18-wheeler. Ladner said Blackburn is “a slick talker” and “a Republican who has been there too long.”
…The other candidate in the race is Ryan Akin, 44, a customer service representative from Bon Aqua who contends “the American way of life is diminishing right and left.”
Akin said his drive to preserve American values would emphasize the primacy of the English language, among other aspects of U.S. culture.
After genuflecting at the altar of barbecue with a reference to Rendezous’ ribs, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan reminded his supporters that President Barack Obama’s time in office needs to end, reports the Commercial Appeal. “This is the most important election in your generation,” the Wisconsin congressman said at The Racquet Club on Thursday afternoon.
“We are picking a path that will set in motion either a reclamation of the American dream,” he said, or one that will result in a “welfare state with a debt crisis” like Europe.
The fundraiser included a $10,000 photo opportunity, a $1,000-per-person reception attended by 220 people and then a $25,000-per-plate dinner at the home of FedEx CEO and founder Fred Smith.
Earlier in the day, the Wisconsin congressman raised $1 million at a similar fundraiser in Knoxville. (Note: News Sentinel story HERE; and the Memphis Daily News says $1 million was raised at Memphis, too.)
…He stressed the need to bring manufacturing opportunities back to America, touting the dangers of “spending money we don’t have.”
“We know what we need to do,” Ryan said. “We know how to pull it together. … This country knows we don’t want four more years of the same. They want to get back to growth and opportunity and we’re going to do that.”
Ryan praised Tennessee’s political leaders — including Gov. Bill Haslam, who hosted the fundraiser — saying that he wished “we had more of this Tennessee common sense.”
A who’s who of state GOP heavyweights turned out to support Ryan, including U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, state Sen. Mark Norris and U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher.
The Mitt Romney- Paul Ryan team wants to win a GOP victory “by acclamation” in the Nov. 6 election, vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan said today at a fundraiser at the Knoxville Marriott, reports the News Sentinel. Ryan told a crowd of 310 people that since President Obama can’t run on hope and change, he’s going to do it by dividing the nation and winning by default.
At the event, Gov. Bill Haslam announced that about $1 million was raised at the fundraiser. This included persons who donated at either the $1,000 or $10,000 level.
Those donating $10,000 were able to have their photographs with Ryan.
Ryan’s theme throughout the 15-minute speech was that voters have a choice between personal liberties and smaller government offered by the Romney-Ryan team — or bigger government and fewer liberties offered by the Democrats.
He said the Romney-Ryan ticket stresses the American system of freedom and free enterprise, while President Obama practices a different government and sees its role as establishing new government-defined rights.
Earlier today, with a wave to reporters and a nod toward a banner touting the University of Tennessee, Ryan had stepped off his campaign plane at McGhee Tyson Airport and headed for the fundraiser at the Marriott.
U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, chosen less than two weeks ago as the Republican vice presidential nominee, will be in Knoxville for a $1,000-a-plate luncheon on Sept. 27 at the Knoxville Marriott, reports Georgiana Vines. “Yes, he’s coming. It will be a fundraiser. We don’t know all the details yet,” businessman Jim Haslam II, a major fundraiser and contributor to the Republican Party, said Sunday.
Haslam, father of Gov. Bill Haslam, and Susan Richardson Williams, a delegate to the recent Republican National Convention, are among those selling tickets and tables.
…. “I think he will be a big draw,” Williams said. “We have not had an opportunity to meet him. He hasn’t been here. He’s someone very popular among Republicans, particularly conservatives. An easy ticket (to sell).”
Devaney Cheers Release from Tennessee Republican Chairman Chris Devaney:
Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney released the following statement on the selection of Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s running mate:
“Paul Ryan is the right choice to serve as Governor Romney’s running mate. Ryan has immense experience, including a knowledge and grounding on fiscal issues and the economy, something we are sorely lacking at Pennsylvania Avenue currently. Romney and Ryan will make a great team for the USA.” Forrester Jeers Release from Tennessee Democratic Chairman Chip Forrester:
Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester issued a statement following Mitt Romney’s choice of Rep. Paul Ryan to be his running mate.
“There’s no doubt what Romney-Ryan politics would mean for Tennessee – budget-busting tax breaks for the wealthy, greater burdens for working families, fewer health care options for women, and less security for seniors who’ve worked their whole lives for some peace of mind.
“Tennesseans wholly reject the Romney-Ryan plan to end Medicare as we know it and shift millions of dollars in health care costs to Tennessee seniors through a paltry voucher scheme.
“Our children and our economy simply cannot afford the deep cuts Romney and Ryan want to make education — from Head Start to college aid. These are investments that are critical to a safe and secure future for all Tennesseans.
“The Romney-Ryan ticket would also giveaway a $250,000 tax cut to millionaires and billionaires at a time we should be working together to balance our budget.
“The Romney-Ryan plan is irresponsible and outrageous. Moreover, it’s just plain wrong for Tennessee.”
News release from Senate Republican Caucus:
(NASHVILLE, TN), August 1, 2012 — A new state law making elected and appointed officials ineligible for pre-trial and judicial diversion for criminal offenses committed in their official capacity meets constitutional muster according to a recent Attorney General’s opinion. Tennessee Attorney General and Reporter Robert Cooper, Jr. opined the state “may treat elected or appointed public officials differently from the general public by making them ineligible for pretrial or judicial diversion, without running afoul of federal or Tennessee constitutional protections.”
The request was posed by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Eric Watson (R-Cleveland). The bill was sponsored by Senator Ken Yager (R-Harriman) and Representative Ryan Haynes (R-Knoxville).
“I am pleased that the Attorney General has opined that this new law passes constitutional muster,” said Senator Yager. “It is good to restate that both pre trial and judicial diversion are not a ‘fundamental rights’ for public officials. Those of us who have the privilege to hold public office should be held to a higher standard and violations of the law related to our official duties ought not to be swept under the rug by pre-trial or judicial diversion.”
“I was confident that our legislation was on solid constitutional ground,” added Representative Haynes. “With this new law we are sending the message that a public office is still a public trust and criminal conduct in public office will not be tolerated.”
The opinion stated that pretrial and judicial diversion are treated as “truly extraordinary relief” and are not fundamental rights. It also said “Tennessee and federal courts have not recognized public officials as a suspect class for equal protection purposes. The act took effect July 1, 2012.
— Note: The full attorney general’s opinion is HERE.