News release from Gingrich Tennessee campaign:
Franklin, TN – Gingrich 2012 announced a two day Tennessee bus tour in support of Speaker Gingrich’s campaign. The tour begins in Franklin, TN on Friday March 2 and moves to East Tennessee with stops in Chattanooga, Cleveland and Knoxville on Saturday March 3.
Andrew Ogles, Deputy Director of the National Surrogate Program and Tennessee Victory Director for Newt 2012 noted, “Tennessee is excited to host Herman Cain and Jackie Gingrich Cushman for this tour. These two, along with Fred Thompson, Governor Rick Perry and so many others, are evidence of the breadth of support for Speaker Newt among people who know what it takes to do this job.”
Cain/Cushman Public Schedule for Tennessee Bus Tour:
Friday 3/2 – FRANKLIN, TN
7:00pm Central – Franklin City Club, public reception / rally
130 9th Ave South, Franklin Tn 37064
FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Saturday 3/3 – CHATTANOOGA, TN
9:30am – 10:00am Eastern – Chattanooga: VIP Kick Off at Gingrich Head Quarters (Meet n Greet / Load Bus)
1 Park Place, Lee Hwy, Ste 300 Chattanooga TN
FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
10:15am – 11:15am Eastern – Chattanooga: Rally at The Car Barn (Rally with Press)
6721 Heritage Business Court, Chattanooga, TN 37421
FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
11:30am – 12:00pm Eastern – Chattanooga: Tennessee Valley Sportsman Gun Show at the Alhambra Shrine (Drop In / Meet n Greet)
1000 Alhambra Drive, Chattanooga, TN 37421
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Saturday 3/3 – CLEVELAND, TN
1:00pm Eastern – Cleveland TN – Public Rally at Lee University open to general public
1120 North Ocoee Street · Cleveland, TN 37320 (Lecture Hall)
Contact: Jarrod Casteel TN State Chair Students with Newt e: firstname.lastname@example.org c: 423-313-2835
FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Saturday 3/3 – KNOXVILLE, TN
5:30pm Eastern – Tennessee Conservative Union Reagan Day Dinner
401 West Summit Hill Drive, Knoxville, TN
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey told about 60 business leaders at Kingsport Thursday to look for future unemployment compensation system changes favoring employers, reports Hank Hayes.
Ramsey, during his “Red Tape Road Trip” luncheon highlighting government’s negative effect on business, said he’s been getting an earful from employers about people opting for an unemployment check rather than seeking a job when the state’s jobless rate remains well above 9 percent.
He cited a trucking company that wants but can’t find drivers and a heating and cooling firm with unfilled technician positions.
“When does it become a benefit and when does it become a lifestyle?” Ramsey, R-Blountville, asked of the current unemployment compensation system.
Weekly unemployment pay averages $285 a week, and beneficiaries aren’t pressed hard enough to look for work, Ramsey said.
About 400,000 workers file initial and partial unemployment claims annually while approximately 114,000 employers pay premiums for unemployment insurance, according to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
Ramsey’s special assistant, Jordan Young, found about two-thirds of state unemployment claims are rejected in favor of the employer upon appeal.
“There are jobs out there. … It may not be the job you want, but there are jobs out there,” Ramsey said.
JACKSON, Tenn. (AP) — Herman Cain is firing up the crowd at a tea party rally in this West Tennessee town when the generator powering his sound system shudders to a halt.
Cain stands awkwardly for a few moments then suddenly begins to sing. Slowly at first but gaining in speed, he belts out “Impossible Dream” in the rich baritone he’s honed in church choir.
“You know, when it’s your rally, you can do what you want to do!” Cain says as he finishes with a raucous laugh. The 500 or so supporters who have jammed the strip mall parking lot to hear the Republican Party’s newest star speak roar their approval.
Momentum restored, Cain launches into a pitch for his signature 9-9-9 tax plan, and the crowd is right there with him, chanting 9-9-9 along with the Georgia businessman.
U.S. Reps. Phil Roe and Scott DesJarlais have told Michael Collins that a weekend trip to Afghanistan left them convinced that American troops injured on the battlefield are getting top-notch medical care and that the overall situation in the war-torn country is improving.
“As a physician, I was incredibly impressed with the level of health care they get on the ground and in the hospitals there in Afghanistan. The care they get is second to none,” said DesJarlais, R-Jasper.
Roe, a Republican from Johnson City and a member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, said he arranged the trip for the five-person congressional delegation because he wanted to see what kind of care soldiers are getting not only in Afghanistan but also as they are moved back into hospitals in the United States.
“I really personally don’t care what it costs to take care of these veterans that have served our country,” said Roe, a physician who served two years in the Army Medical Corps. “That is an obligation we have, and it’s a long-term obligation we have to care for them the rest of their lives.”
During its two days in Afghanistan, the bipartisan delegation visited medical treatment facilities in the field, received briefings on the war from military commanders and ate meals with soldiers. The group returned to the United States on Tuesday.
It appears that Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey has turned red tape into an acronym, according to a report on his first stop in a tour to promote the idea of cutting it. Red tape, the Leaf-Chronicle story says, stands for Ridiculous Employee Decisions that Affect People Everyday.
Further, it appears the big topic of discussion was not a state regulatiion or rule, which Ramsey has indicated is the focal point of his cutting promotion, or a federal regulations, which were the major topic at a recent House study committee meeting to hear complaints from businessmen.
Instead, the red tape topic was a proposed Clarksville city ordinance opposed by Councilman Nick Steward, who hosted the Ramsey roundtable.
The proposed change would require anyone selling items secondhand — including antique — thrift and online stores, to verify the previous owner and keep a record of to whom the item was sold.
“The attempt is to mitigate a lot of the shoplifting that’s happening in some of the stores and then goods being sold in flea markets and (by) antique dealers and junk dealers,” Steward said. “It puts a lot of restrictions on our small businesses that aren’t a solution to the problem.”
Ramsey said the ordinance change is a good example of “red tape on steroids.”
He added, “Get a photo (identification) while you’re there, who they are, and let them at least say: Where did you get this? Write it down and you’re done. You shouldn’t have to be the policing agency.”
Steward said he also wanted to host the event to give small businessowners the chance to bring forward issues they are having with their business and how the state can help.
“The only way that issues even get addressed are them being brought to the decision makers’ attention,” Steward said. “I think we took a step in that direction today.”
News release from Department of Transportation:
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) Commissioner John Schroer has completed the first annual statewide tour of projects in each of TDOT’s four regions. The week-long tours, which began in late June in Chattanooga, concluded last week in Roane County. The tours were designed to give local, state, and transportation officials an opportunity to view projects under construction in their areas and to learn more about future projects announced this year in TDOT’s Three Year Program.
“Not only was it important to me as TDOT’s new Commissioner to see the work we’re doing all over the state, but I wanted to provide the same opportunity to our state and local partners,” said Schroer. “This was also an excellent opportunity to hear concerns within communities and have productive discussions about improving Tennessee’s transportation system.”
Over the course of 16 days, the TDOT Projects Tour logged over 3,900 miles, making stops in 55 Tennessee Counties and viewing 134 projects either under construction or under development. Fifty-four city and county mayors joined the tour, as well as Governor Bill Haslam and 40 members of the Tennessee General Assembly, along with representatives from Tennessee’s Congressional Delegation.
“These tours were ambitious and required a tremendous amount of planning and coordination by TDOT staff,” added Schroer. “The excellent participation we had all across the state proves it was well worth the effort, and this is something I plan to continue during my tenure as TDOT Commissioner.”
Dates are not yet set for next year’s TDOT Projects Tours, but announcements will be made as plans develop.
Apparently, Transportation Commissioner John Schroer is getting an earful as well as an eyeful in his “Orange Barrel Tour” of highway and bridge construction projects around the state, judging by Jim Balloch’s report on Thursday’s TDOT travels. An excerptL
Schroer’s brief visit to the downtown Knoxville project Thursday was just one of many stops on TDOT’s latest tour of major construction projects and sites of planned projects in East Tennessee.
Schroer and other TDOT officials have been traveling around the region in a bus, getting a first hand look — and affording local officials and residents a chance to talk to him about whatever projects were on their minds.
The Henley project also is the site of a pair of tragedies — the deaths of two workers in separate accidents on the bridge. Following the accidents, all projects by the contractor were temporarily suspended for a safety review, then resumed.
“While we are confident that all of the necessary safety precautions are in place and TDOT is continuing to closely monitor this work site, we realize this line of work can be dangerous,” Schroer said.
The project is scheduled for completion in 2013.
“Work is continuing at a steady pace,” Schroer said. “We look forward to its completion, which will bring a newer, safer bridge to Tennessee travelers.”
Schroer’s other stops on Thursday included Sevier, Blount and Campbell counties.
In Knoxville, he also visited the intersection of Tazewell Pike and Emory Road, and Maynardville Highway from Temple Acres to the Union County line, the Interstate 640/North Broadway interchange, and Tazewell Pike from Baum Road to north of McCamey Road.
Officials and residents alike have taken advantage of the tours to speak with Schroer or other TDOT officials about projects under way or planned for the future.
Schroer said the most common question asked is, “When are you going to start?”
In Greeneville, he said, about 40 people asked him about the proposed Greeneville Bypass around U.S. 11-E. “And that is probably 10 years away,” he said.
In Sevier County, he met with homeowners whose houses are in the path a project, according to the original design plan, Schroer said.
“I don’t know if we can (save their homes), but I gave my word that we would look at it and take it into consideration,” he said.
State Reps. Bill Dunn, and Harry Brooks, both Knoxville Republicans, caught up with Schroer.
Dunn said, “I brought my maps to plead my case” for improvements in the Emory Road area. “And when I noticed (the bus was) not scheduled to get on Emory Road, I got them to divert their path, so they could see the desperate needs of the Powell community. The problem is really self evident.”
Dunn said he was assured that construction of a new, wider road, to parallel Emory Road between Gill Road and Clinton Highway, remains scheduled to begin in the spring
News release from Tennessee Democratic Caucus:
KNOXVILLE – Tennessee House and Senate Democrats spent all of Friday in Knoxville speaking to business owners throughout the city as their statewide jobs tour explored emerging career fields.
“All of the companies we visited would either not exist or not be nearly as successful without the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory,” said House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner. “Their workforces and their partnerships with local businesses make up the economic hub of this area.”
Tour members started the day at Wright’s Cafeteria, as owner David Wright and Councilmember Brenda Palmer outlined issues facing Knoxville neighborhoods and small businesses. The group then met with industry leaders at the Knoxville Chamber to discuss bureaucratic hurdles to starting and expanding local businesses.
“Tennessee ranks at the bottom of the country for entrepreneurship, in part because new business owners often get overwhelmed by the bureaucracy facing entrepreneurs in our state,” said State Senator Andy Berke. “State government needs to be fostering entrepreneurship through a streamlined startup process.”
Tour members then visited with Elizabeth Eason of Eason Architecture and Cortney Piper of Piper Communications to discuss the growth of sustainability careers and the widespread application of sustainable building practices.
In the afternoon, members met with Mike Twine of G2 Engineering, a minority-owned business that works with ORNL and other federal agencies to produce a wide range of products and services, including mobile disaster-relief offices that are scheduled to go into production for the U.S. government.
Officials then concluded the day at Quality Label and Tag, a small business with about 15 employees that prints product labels for companies across the country.
The weeklong jobs tour concludes today in Putnam, Smith and Sumner counties.
News release from Senate Democratic Caucus:
CHATTANOOGA – House and Senate Democrats discussed agricultural and clean energy sectors as they continued their statewide jobs tour Thursday with stops in McMinnville and Chattanooga.
Officials began the morning at the TSU Nursery Research Facility in McMinnville, where they had breakfast with nurserymen who outlined the need for updated loan requirements and better communication with state agencies.
“We are blessed to have these nurseries in our region, thanks to our unique climate and growing conditions,” said State Representative Charles Curtiss. “We need to do everything in our power to ensure that these family businesses stay viable for future generations.”
Tour members then toured the research facility before traveling to East Tennessee, where Chattanooga tour members heard from Chattanooga State Community College officials about educational partnerships with area clean energy companies like Wacker. School officials also echoed the need for Tennessee high schools to raise awareness regarding technical career paths that lead to high-paying clean energy and engineering jobs.
Tour members then visited Chattanooga’s Office of Sustainability, where program director David Crockett highlighted the millions of taxpayer dollars that could be saved across the state through new, sustainable infrastructure projects.
“Tennessee’s clean energy efforts are more than just good for the environment – they’re good for governments and they’re good for business,” State Senator Andy Berke said. “The clean energy sector must be a major part of job growth strategy in the state.”
Members made their final stop of the day at SIAG Aerisyn, a German-based manufacturer of towers for wind turbines. Executives spoke of the effectiveness of job training grants, but were concerned about the scarcity of skilled welders given the high level of competition in the area.
“As large manufacturers outsourced more and more manufacturing jobs through the years, our skilled workforce disappeared,” said State Rep. JoAnne Favors. “Now that those jobs are coming back, we must work to avoid a potential shortfall in the workers to fill them.”
The jobs tour continues in East Tennessee on Friday with a full day in Knoxville.
News release from Tennessee Democratic Caucus:
DRESDEN – House and Senate Democrats continued their statewide jobs tour Tuesday with stops at small businesses in Jackson, Martin and Dresden, to hear owners speak on state contracts and challenges in an extended recession.
“Our small businesses form the backbone of Tennessee’s economy, and we need to listen to those entrepreneurs and owners if we want our communities to thrive,” said State Senator Beverly Marrero.
Members visited Jackson businesses Tuesday morning to discuss downtown revitalization efforts and development hurdles in real estate laws. The tour continued in the afternoon to Martin and Dresden, where officials visited companies employing anywhere from two to 60 people.
“The loss of major employers in rural areas has had a major impact on small businesses who relied on those companies’ employees for customers,” said State Representative Johnny Shaw. “One factory closing has an ripple effect on an entire community.”
The jobs tour continues Wednesday with stops in Columbia and Smyrna.