Tag Archives: story

New Lobbying Twist: Beer (actually, ‘high tax ale’) Named After Beer Tax Bill

By Eric Schelzig, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A special joint offering from Tennessee craft brewers Yazoo and Calfkiller features an unusual sales pitch to beer aficionados: “Now With Even More Taxes!”
The new product going on sale this week is the latest effort among brewers to draw attention to Tennessee’s highest-in-the-nation tax scheme for beer, which high-end brewers argue disproportionately affects their ability to compete.
The beer is called “The Beacon: A Tennessee High Tax Ale,” and urges consumers to “Cut the red tape, pop the cap, and enjoy this oppressively refreshing ale.”
A legislative proposal to freeze the state’s beer tax cleared its first committee last week, and the brewing industry hopes it can avoid the fate of a bill to allow supermarket wine sales. The wine measure appeared to be gathering in momentum before its surprise defeat in a House committee last week. (Note: Don’t think there’s a valid analogy here. The beer bill (HB999) is virtually assured of passage.)
Tennessee’s beer taxes outstrip any other state’s because the bulk of the levy is based on price rather than volume. The more a beer costs, the higher the taxes that must be paid to buy it.

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Political Fundraiser Arrested for Theft in Kingsport

Report from Hank Hayes in the Kingsport Times-News:
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation today arrested a Greeneville man for stealing money raised by his political action group in charge of organizing a GOP Presidential forum scheduled for October 2011 at the MeadowView Marriott in Kingsport.
The event was never held.
Fabian Farrell Story, 36, was indicted by the Washington County grand jury in November of 2012 on one count of theft over $10,000. Story was the executive director of the group called Conservatives on the Move, allegedly coordinating the political event.
The TBI says Story contacted Johnson City political activist, Phyllis White, on July 1, 2011, to help him raise money and organize the event. White raised approximately $30,000 and deposited it in a Washington County bank. The TBI investigation revealed that Story withdrew the money and it was not refunded to the donors.
Story was arrested by the TBI at the Rutherford County court house where he was appearing on a child support case. He was booked into the Rutherford County Jail on $10,000 bond and will be transported to the Washington County Jail tomorrow.

Arrested Reporter Writes His Story

Jonathan Meador, the Nashville Scene reporter arrested along with Occupy Nashville protesters, has written up an account of the evening. Excerpts:
While waiting in line to be processed onto the idling Department of Correction bus along with the others who’d been snatched up, I started to burp up my meal from earlier in the evening — an overpriced hamburger with fries and Jack and Coke. The trooper shot me a smirk.
“Smells like you been drinkin’ tonight,” he said. A few moments later, he informed one of his comrades to cite me for public intoxication.
“You’ve got to be kidding me!” I said. At that moment I happened to notice my colleagues standing near the bus, in various stages of what I can only describe as freaking the hell out. I yelled out to them to call my editor.
…(After being arrested and listening to conversations of others arrested) Normally, such talk strikes me as the fringe ramblings of stereotypical anarchists or right-wing conspiracists. But after what happened tonight, I felt only a chill.
On and on it went, while all I could think of was getting home to bed. Abruptly, we heard cheers erupt from the women’s cell. One of them had been checking her Twitter account. She learned that the sitting magistrate — again, Tom Nelson — threw out the charges against us and demanded that we be released immediately.
Since the troopers hadn’t confiscated any of my equipment, I pulled out my phone and began clandestinely tweeting in the cell. Indeed, multiple sources were reporting that Nelson declared our detainment unconstitutional. “Can I go home now?” I tweeted. To celebrate, I gathered the men into a line and proceeded to take their picture with my smart phone.
“All right,” I said. “Say, ‘Bill Haslam!’ ”
It was a stupid act of bravado, though. When I attempted to upload the picture to the Internet, one of the guards caught me. “Hey!” he shouted. “You can’t be playin’ with that in here!”
He attempted to take it from me and I pulled it back. That was a bad idea. The guard smacked the phone out of my hand, and it ricocheted off the concrete cell wall. “You know I could charge you with a felony for that?” he screamed. “That’s contraband! You’re not supposed to have that in here! That’s a felony!”
Everyone was quiet. I didn’t feel so brave now. I said I hadn’t been searched. I said nothing of mine had been confiscated. I even pointed out no one had told me the items were illegal.
“I know your little buddy, this guy, here was here last night,” he said, pointing to one of the men who’d been arrested in the previous night’s raid. “He knows better. He shoulda told you. I know he knows better.”
“Nobody said anything,” I said. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know.”
For a moment the guard stood there. He turned around and picked up my phone, which, surprisingly, was intact. He handed it back to me.
“Since these are … special circumstances,” he shouted, “I’m going to give this back to you. But don’t play with it again!”
I thanked him. I slid the phone into my laptop bag. My cellmates started laughing when he left the room.