TennCare Drawing Lampooned on Daily Show
Comedy Central’s Daily Show with Jon Stewart has lampooned Tennessee’s “health care lottery,” otherwise know as the TennCare “spend down” drawing wherein 2,500 people with huge medical bills get to apply for TennCare benefits via telephone call. Video HERE. Paul Wants to Raise Kane
Former Congressman Ron Paul has been urging professional wrestler Glenn Jacobs, whose stage name is “Kane,” to run against Lamar Alexander in the 2014 U.S. Senate primary, according to Matt Collins, who was on Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign staff. So reports Reason.com. Dawn in the Legislature
Freshman state Rep. Dawn White, R-Murfreesboro, tells the Daily News Journal in a Q-and-A story that she learned a valuable lesson during her first legislative session: How a bill begins is usually not how it finishes. “I always tell people … that how the bill is written (will determine if) I will support it or not, because I learned that one amendment can change the entire face of the bill,” White said Cooper’s PR Person Exits
Katie Hill, the press secretary for U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper for the past 18 months, is leaving the Nashville Democrat’s staff to take the same role with Gabby Giffords’ new political action committee. HERE. Lazy Headline Writing Denounced
Frank Cagle’s weekly column begins with this line: It’s not an Internet tax, dammit, no matter how many times lazy headline writers call it that. You Could Say Hill’s Bill Just Hit a Speed Bump
State Rep. Timothy Hill backed off on his bill to prohibit Bluff City from using traffic cameras to ticket speeding motorists during the past session, but says he’ll put the measure on notice for another try in 2014. HERE. Quiz on a State Senator
Robert Houk poses the question: How much do you know about Rusty Crowe? On the UT Fracking Front
The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees has not been involved in plans to drill for oil and gas on UT land in Morgan and Scott counties. The Southern Environmental Law Center thinks they should be. HERE.
Meanwhile,t UT is now taking bids from those interested in drilling on the 8,600 acres. HERE
U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr. is getting a lot of opinions from a lot of people as he weighs the pros and cons of taxing items purchased over the Internet, according to Michael Collins. Gov. Bill Haslam wants states to have the power to collect the tax, arguing it is money that is already owed. Some small businesses in Duncan’s Knoxville-based congressional district take the same position and say it’s a matter of fairness: They already are required by law to collect the tax and send it to the state, but out-of-state online retailers are not.
Calls to Duncan’s congressional offices, on the other hand, are running roughly 12 to 1 against Internet tax legislation pending in Congress. Even his own staff is divided. A couple of his close advisers are encouraging him to support the bill. Another argues it amounts to a tax increase and that he should vote no.
“I’m feeling a lot of pressure from both sides of this bill,” the Knoxville Republican conceded this week.
So where does he stand? “I don’t know,” Duncan said. “I’m still thinking about it.”
He’s not alone. The three other East Tennesseans in the U.S. House — Reps. Phil Roe of Johnson City, Scott DesJarlais of Jasper and Chuck Fleischmann of Ooltewah — all said they are undecided about the bill known as the Marketplace Fairness Act. All three congressmen are Republicans.
“From a fairness standpoint, your small local retailers are at a disadvantage and, right now, frankly, you do owe that tax,” Roe said. “The flip side of that is, hey, this is a foul. Nobody wants to pay more taxes.”
Tennessee’s two U.S. senators — Republicans Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker — both voted for the bill when it cleared the U.S. Senate earlier this month on a 69-27 vote.
More 2013 supermajority session superlatives (first installment HERE):
Celebrity of the Year: Sen. Stacey Campfield, of course. Hands down. From Jay Leno and Stephen Colbert to Jon Stewart and Piers Morgan on national TV, from TMZ to Huffington Post on the national blogosphere, they all talked with — or at least about — the red-haired Knoxville Republican on the cutting edge of red state conservatism. He’s been there before, of course, but this session his national media stature grew — and much of Tennessee’s media, including bloggers, went into an absolute tizzy, sometimes just to report that national celebrities had noticed the senator or one of his blog posts. With exceptions such as Bill O’Reilly, most of the attention was negative — much amounted to ridicule — and centered on his bill to tie a parent’s welfare payments to a child’s school performance. He never backed down in rhetorical fights, whether on TV or the News Sentinel website comment sections, but did back down from putting the bill to a Senate floor vote this year, perhaps a politically practical and tacit acknowledgment that others fret more about such things than he.
Haslam: From Fla. to N.C. for Romney
Gov. Bill Haslam travels to Tampa today but says he’ll soon be on the road again to North Carolina where he’ll resume his role as a Romney surrogate.reports WPLN.
The first-term governor says the choice is between four more years of the federal government telling people what to do and a government that – in his words – “takes advantage…of the free enterprise system.”
“I think the President has done a nice job on some things. I don’t think he has a real appreciation for what makes the economy grow, and I think the numbers reflect that.”
While a longtime Romney backer, Governor Haslam does not have a speaking role at the Republican National Convention. Corker: Romney’s Like Reagan
The presidential contest between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney is the most important race the country has seen since the 1980 matchup between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, U.S. Sen. Bob Corker said Monday.
More from Michael Collins:
The Chattanooga Republican said he attended an event with Romney a couple of months ago in Park City, Utah, where Romney gave a speech that sounded “incredibly Reaganesque.”
“I left there about as excited as I could possibly have been at that moment,” Corker told Tennessee delegates to the Republican National Convention. “I think when people get to see who he is, it’s going to make a tremendous difference in this race.”
Corker, one of the guest speakers at a breakfast meeting for the state’s delegates, framed the race between Obama and Romney as a choice between “individualism and really allowing people real opportunity” versus “collectivism and trying to have equal outcomes.”
…Corker offered high praise for Romney’s vice presidential running mate, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, the influential chairman of the House Budget Committee. Corker said he has spent a lot of time with Ryan on budget issues and has gotten to know him really well. Hagerty: A Candidate Himself Someday?
State Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty, a longtime friend of Mitt Romney, is interviewed by Chas Sisk.
“I think it’s going to be a real rush, to see someone that you’ve worked so hard for get to this next level,” Hagerty…said of Mitt Romney, the man he has supported for president for more than half a decade. “It’s also going to be a real grounding sense of responsibility there, because we’ve got the race of a lifetime.”
Hagerty first met Romney when the two were young consultants based in Boston, part of a cadre of bright minds recruited from prestigious law and business schools in the 1970s and 1980s to remake blue-chip companies. He was part of a group who urged Romney to get into presidential politics six years ago, and he was a key member of the fundraising team for Romney’s first bid for the White House in 2008.
Hagerty and his wife, Chrissy, have been selected as delegates to the Republican National Convention, an honor that will let them both cast ballots to nominate their friend for president.
The campaign could be a precursor to one of Hagerty’s own. The former political aide and financial executive has been mentioned as a possible candidate for Congress or the governor’s office after Gov. Bill Haslam’s tenure has run its course in 2014 or 2018.
…Hagerty said he came to know Bill Haslam in 2008, as the then Knoxville mayor was launching a run for governor. Just as Romney did in his runs for president, Haslam committed two years to his gubernatorial campaign.
“Whether it’s a person running for a county- or city-level position or a statewide position or national position, I feel certain that people that do it and do it well are putting 120 percent of their available time into the run,” he said. “Anybody that cares as much as a candidate that wins probably does; you’re putting your all into it.”
It is that depth of commitment needed that gives Hagerty pause about running for office himself. While he said he enjoys serving in government, Hagerty doubted that most people understand how much work it takes to win an election.
“You go through really a gauntlet of stresses and pressures,” he said. “I think until you’re near a person that does that, one doesn’t appreciate how challenging it is.