By Erik Schelzig, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — State Rep. Curry Todd pleaded guilty Friday to drunken driving and gun charges and was sentenced to 48 hours in jail and the loss of his firearm for a year.
The Collierville Republican was arrested in October 2011 in Nashville after failing a roadside sobriety test. A loaded .38-caliber gun was found stuffed between the driver’s seat and center console.
Todd, who is best known for sponsoring a law that allows people with handgun carry permits to be armed in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol, told reporters after the court hearing that he has no plans to resign.
“I’ve always found that we’re molded and shaped by experiences in life, both good and bad,” Todd said. “And it’s my intention to use this experience over the last 15 months to become a more knowledgeable and effective representative of the people of this state.”
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A delay in state Rep. Curry Todd’s court case on drunken driving and gun charges will move proceedings until next month.
The Collierville Republican was arrested in October 2011 after failing a roadside sobriety test. A loaded .38-caliber gun was found stuffed between the driver’s seat and center console.
Todd is best known for sponsoring a law that allows people with handgun carry permits to be armed in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of drunken driving, possession of a firearm while under the influence and refusing a breath alcohol test.
Todd had been scheduled to appear in court on Friday, but the hearing was moved to Jan. 11. His attorney said he was still in talks with prosecutors.
House District 13 Combat
In House District 13, one of the closest contests in the state, the state parties are weighing in with attacks on both Democrat Gloria Johnson ( Republicans, most recently, suggest she supports voter fraud ) and Republican Gary Loe (Democrats say he favors abortion in cases of rape and incest, for example> Story HERE. The Scene in Northeast Tennessee
The Johnson City Press, as part of a roundup of contests in Northeast Tennessee, includes a review of contested legislative races – though, naturally, Republicans are heavy favorites. Story HERE. Profiles Stories in Senate District 10
The Chattanooga Times-Free Press has campaign profile stories on Republican Todd Gardenhire and Democrat Andrae McGray.
Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey headlined a Chattanooga fundraiser Monday for state Senate Republican nominee Todd Gardenhire, reports Chris Carroll. In return for a $250 suggested donation, several Republican elected officials and a few dozen supporters heard speeches, rubbed elbows and enjoyed a multicourse meal at the downtown Mountain City Club.
The Gardenhire campaign didn’t fill up the dozen or so tables it reserved, but a staffer said the lunchtime meeting likely exceeded a goal of $10,000.
The fundraiser and public show of Republican unity stands in contrast to the situation Gardenhire’s 10th Senate District opponent finds himself battling.
Democratic nominee and Chattanooga City Councilman Andraé McGary in a Sunday Times Free Press story lamented the fact that the seat’s sitting Democrat, Sen. Andy Berke, won’t endorse him.
Major differences emerged between the men seeking Democratic state Sen. Andy Berke’s seat in a forum sponsored by the Chattanooga Voter Empowerment Group, the Chattanooga Times Free Press and NAACP, according to Chris Carroll. Asked how he would resolve a growing inner-city gun problem, (Todd) Gardenhire touted his endorsement from the National Rifle Association and said “responsible” gun owners shouldn’t be deterred by “the crazies” who obtain guns illegally.
(Andae) McGary quickly retorted that guns don’t belong in churches, schools, parking lots or the workplace. He blamed cuts in education for the city’s crime issues and criticized lawmakers who allow the Legislature to be used as “an open place for the NRA to declare war” on advocates for gun control.
When the questions ventured into education, Gardenhire came out in favor of school vouchers, an issue McGary said wouldn’t exist if “our schools were properly funded.”
After Gardenhire’s closing statement, McGary criticized its length and called it a “CPM” — what he later explained in a text message as a “colored people’s minute.”
“Gardenhire was supposed to limit his answer to a minute,” said McGary, who is black. “He took three.”
Race entered the discussion when Adams asked both candidates if Republicans were fair to minorities during the redistricting process.
“Whether somebody was being fair or unfair, it depends on what side you are,” Gardenhire said, drawing audible groans.
State Senate Democratic nominee Andraé McGary on Wednesday predicted his Republican opponent, Todd Gardenhire, “will campaign by putting forth lies” in the days before early voting begins Oct. 17.
From Chris Carroll’s report: Citing reports from “very reputable Republican sources” whom he declined to name, the 33-year-old Chattanooga city councilman declared that Gardenhire would paint him inaccurately as a liberal who supports a state income tax and accepts government assistance to provide for his wife and five young children.
Gardenhire and McGary are campaigning to represent Senate District 10, which includes portions of Bradley and Hamilton counties. State Sen. Andy Berke, D-Chattanooga, isn’t seeking re-election so he can run for Chattanooga mayor.
A former radio talk show host who quit his job to run for office, McGary also said he’s heard of a “whisper campaign” that he sells drugs to finance his “nice suits.”
Gardenhire has made only one of the statements — the income tax issue — but McGary denied even the hypothetical rumors, calling them “blatant lies” during a news conference at Hamilton County Democratic Party headquarters in Chattanooga.
Gardenhire, 64, declined interview requests. Campaign spokesman Nick Collins issued a prepared statement that slammed McGary’s aggressive media strategy.
“Focusing on real issues is the only activity Mr. Gardenhire is engaged in,” Collins said. “Attempts to drag this campaign in the mud will be unsuccessful.”
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — State Rep. Curry Todd is pleading not guilty to drunken driving and gun charges.
The Tennessean (http://tnne.ws/Ov70Ck ) reports that attorney Worrick Robinson entered the plea on behalf of Todd, who did not attend the hearing in Nashville on Friday.
The Collierville Republican was arrested in October after failing a roadside sobriety test. A loaded .38-caliber gun was found stuffed between the driver’s seat and center console. Todd faces charges of drunken driving, possession of a firearm while under the influence and violating the state’s implied consent law for refusing a breath alcohol test.
Todd was a main sponsor of a state law allowing handgun carry permit holders to bring firearms into bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. It’s unclear where Todd was coming from at the time of his arrest.
Further, from The Tennessean: “I’ll be speaking with the district attorney’s office,” Robinson said. “We’ll be seeing if there’s any way we can find some common ground to see if we can settle this matter.”
…The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security has said that Todd can keep his handgun carry permit, though it could be suspended for a year if he is convicted of the DUI charge.
In April, Todd announced that he had been diagnosed with a form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
On Aug. 8, Republican state Senate nominee Todd Gardenhire pledged at least two debates with Democrat Andraé McGary, saying 10th District voters deserve a chance to examine their choices. Since then, reports Chris Carroll, Gardenhire has skipped several opportunities to fulfill his promise. A radio talk show host, a Libertarian group and the Chattanooga Voter Empowerment Movement on Wednesday said Gardenhire refused or ignored their separate debate requests while McGary quickly accepted all three invitations.
“We’re not waiting on this clown,” said McGary, 32, a Chattanooga city councilman and Democrat. “His language about being exuberant or excited about debating is a bunch of lies.”
Both men are seeking the soon-to-be-vacated 10th District Senate seat, which covers parts of Bradley and Hamilton counties.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — State Rep. Curry Todd’s arraignment on drunken driving and weapons charges has been delayed until next week.
The Collierville Republican was arrested in October after failing a roadside sobriety test. A loaded .38-caliber gun was found stuffed in a holster between the driver’s seat and center console.
Todd was scheduled to be arraigned Friday on charges of drunken driving, possession of a firearm while under the influence and violating the state’s implied consent law for refusing a breath alcohol test. But the hearing was delayed until Sept. 14.
Todd was a main sponsor of a state law allowing handgun carry permit holders to bring weapons into bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. It’s unclear where Todd was traveling from at the time of his arrest.
State Rep. Joe Carr, R-Lascassas, has denied telling a reporter that he agreed with U.S. Rep. Todd Akin’s theory that victims of “legitimate rape” seldom carry pregnancies to term, according to The Tennessean, but he stood by his position that the Akin should not be pressured to leave the Missouri Senate race.
The Memphis Flyer reported this morning that Carr told its correspondent to the Republican National Convention that he believes pregnancies terminate automatically after a rape, a medical fiction sometimes advanced by opponents of abortion. The remark — which the Flyer summarized and did not quote directly — came after a lunchtime speech by GOP strategist Frank Luntz in which Luntz asked members of the Tennessee delegation to demonstrate by show of hands whether they agree Akin should step aside.
(The Flyer text in dispute: All except for three naysayers– one of whom, State Rep. Joe Carr of Rutherford County, had previously made a $3,000 bid that won a brief auction held by Luntz for a large portrait of Thomas Jefferson. Looking straight at Carr, Luntz said, “I don’t know what you’re saying, but you can still have the painting.”
Carr would explain later on that he agreed with Akin that women did indeed possess certain biological means to close themselves off against pregnancy in cases of violent rape. He further thought that Republicans had no business telling a bona fide Republican primary winner what to do.)
Carr was one of only a few delegates, alternates and guests who raised their hands to indicate a belief that Akin should stay in. His reported remarks were condemned by Democrats Tuesday afternoon.
“Rep. Joe Carr has shown today what many of the women in the General Assembly have known for a long time — he is completely and totally unfit for office,” state Rep. Sherry Jones, D-Nashville, said in a press release. “Claiming that women’s bodies possess the ability to ‘close themselves off’ from pregnancy in cases of violent rape is not only biologically inaccurate, it is offensive to each and every Tennessee woman who has ever been the victim of rape.”
But as reaction spread, Carr distanced himself from the story.
Carr would confirm that he does not think Akin should be forced to drop out, but he said that view does not constitute proof that he agrees with Akin on the subject of rape.
“That’s not what he (Luntz) asked,” Carr said. “I don’t have an informed opinion on it (Akin’s views). I really don’t. … I just think they should find out what he meant first.”
— UPDATE: Jackson Baker’s followup on Carr is HERE.