Tag Archives: Tre Hargett

TN Secretary of State’s early voting press release

News release from Secretary of State’s office
Nashville, Tennessee – (February 10, 2016) – Early voting for the March 1 presidential preference primary, or “SEC Primary,” begins today.

This election cycle voting early may be an important option because of unpredictable winter weather. The number of presidential candidates as well as the number of delegates could also create incredibly long ballots for some voters.

Six Southern states will join Tennessee to help decide who could be the next president of the United States. The Volunteer State’s clout could mean more primary interest than in years past.

“I’m trying to remember the last time we were seeing this much attention in a Republican primary, this many people paying attention to Tennessee and Southern states,” Secretary of State Tre Hargett told Politico late last year. “I can’t think of a time.”

Early voting runs Mondays through Saturdays and ends Tuesday, February 23. Some counties will be closed on Monday, February 15 for Presidents Day.
Continue reading

Next TN Blue Book will be dedicated to Sen. Howard Baker

News release from Tennessee Secretary of State’s office
Nashville, Tennessee – (November 16, 2015) – The 2015-2016 edition of the Tennessee Blue Book will be dedicated to the late U.S. Sen. Howard H. Baker, Jr. of Scott County.

Baker’s lengthy and storied career spanned seven decades, including winning 56 percent of the popular vote in 1966 to become Tennessee’s first Republican U.S. senator since Reconstruction. He rose to national prominence during the Watergate hearings as vice chairman of the Senate Watergate Committee, when he uttered that famous question, “What did the president know, and when did he know it?”

After a brief bid for the 1980 Republican presidential nomination, Baker served as senate majority leader and helped pass President Ronald Reagan’s first-term tax cuts. He later served as President Reagan’s chief of staff (1987-1988) as well as becoming the U.S. ambassador to Japan during President George W. Bush’s administration.

After retirement, Baker devoted much of his time to the Howard H. Baker, Jr. Center for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee and once said that he would be remembered longest for his key role in the creation of the 125,000-acre Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, which spans over land in both Tennessee and Kentucky.

“Senator Baker set the highest of standards for excellence in public service to our great state and nation. He did this by showing respect for others, demonstrating a high regard for collaboration and civil discourse, and, most of all, by the love he exemplified for his fellow Tennesseans, all of which were hallmarks of his great life,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett.

The Tennessee Blue Book, which is published every two years, is the definitive manual on Tennessee state government with detailed information about all three branches of government, Tennessee history, election statistics and more. The Blue Book, published by the Secretary of State’s office, is available free of charge to Tennessee residents.
The 2015-2016 edition will be released in early 2016.

Note: Politico did an interesting remembrance piece on Baker on Nov. 15, which would have been his 90th birthday. (Though, yes, they have the year of his birth wrong in the headline — it was 1925, not 1945.)

Charity bin enforcement binge launched under new law

Excerpt from a WPLN report:
The agency that oversees Tennessee charities is getting serious about the donation bins often found in grocery store parking lots after inspectors spent four months scrutinizing the drop-off sites and found hundreds of non-compliant bins.

Since July, a new state law requires bins to be cleared every two weeks and to be accurately labeled.

Now the grace period ends and inspectors will begin handing out fines up to $5,000.

The state estimates as many as 600 bins aren’t properly labeled, out of roughly 2,500 statewide. And some sketchy companies have been dodging inspectors, according to the Secretary of State’s office. In one case, in Chattanooga, a company never responded to calls or mailings, ultimately leading inspectors to tape notices about the law change onto their bins.

News release from Secretary of State’s office:
Nashville, Tennessee – (November 2, 2015) – The Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming has been working with organizations throughout Tennessee for the last three months to ensure they are in compliance with a new section of the Charitable Solicitations Act that went into effect July 1.

Beginning November 2, companies operating any collection receptacle, including donation bins, shipping containers or trailers, must either have proper labeling or remove the receptacle until it is in compliance. Organizations that fail to follow the statute will face civil penalties up to $5,000 per violation or an injunction to cease operation. The division sent out letters about this deadline last month.

Many organizations are following the new law, but some continue to not be in compliance. One bin operator left the state because of the statute, while a handful of others claim they are in the process of leaving.
Continue reading

Hargett: If you don’t do politics, politics will be done to you

The Times-Free Press has an article on Tre Hargett’s voter registration promotion on Tennessee college campuses and voting patterns among the college age crowd.

“We really feel like it’s important, especially for this generation of voters, who has been — in so many ways — disengaged,” said Hargett during a reception at Lee (University in Cleveland). “If we are going to have a great future for this country and solve problems across this nation, we have to get this generation engaged.”

He mentioned a student he met on another campus who told Hargett he didn’t “do politics.”

“Make no mistake about it,” Hargett said. “You can say you don’t do politics, but politics will be done to you.”

The Lee event kicked off in a jubilant atmosphere, with a steady stream of students lining up at registration tables. It will continue today and run through Tuesday, school officials said.

…The online Independent Journal, a nonpartisan reporting site, quoted a Harvard Institute of Politics study saying only 40 percent of likely voters aged 18 to 29 are hoping a Republican wins the White House next year, vs. 55 percent who want a Democrat to win.

Raffi Williams, deputy press secretary for the Republican National Committee, said in the Independent Journal that the GOP is boosting its presence on college campuses

“A strong point the Democrats had is that they’re very good at creating a sense of community,” Williams, 26, told the Independent Journal.

“After 2012, Republicans have been working to build a community of young conservatives, and the results of 2014 show we are making headway.”

Meanwhile the California Independent Voter Project, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that offers education on public policy issues, says polling indicates younger voters are becoming more socially liberal.

Note: Previous post HERE.

Hargett plans college voter registration road show

News release from Secretary of State’s office:
Nashville, Tennessee – (September 16, 2015) – Secretary of State Tre Hargett will visit seven college campuses this week to promote voter registration.
The Secretary’s Thursday, September 17, 2015 schedule includes:

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. CDT
Middle Tennessee State University
1301 E Main Street
Murfreesboro, Tenn. 37130

1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. CDT
Motlow State Community College
6015 Ledford Mill Road
Tullahoma, Tenn. 37388

Sen. Janice Bowling (R-Tullahoma), Sen. Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro), Sen. Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville), Rep. David Alexander (R-Winchester), Rep. Judd Matheny (R-Tullahoma), Rep. Mike Sparks (R-Smyrna), Rep. Bryan Terry (R-Murfreesboro), Rep. Dawn White (R-Murfreesboro) and Rep. Rick Womick (R-Rockvale) have all been invited to participate. Scheduling conflicts could preclude some legislators from attending.
Continue reading

UT report: TN economic indicators positive through 2nd quarter

News release from Secretary of State’s office:
Nashville, Tennessee – (August 25, 2015) – Tennessee’s economy continues on an upward trajectory as the Great Recession keeps getting smaller in the rearview mirror.

The Volunteer State recorded 8,317 new entity filings during the second quarter of 2015, which is a 9.9% increase compared to the same quarter last year. Data from a new economic report released Tuesday shows the positive year-over-year growth for 15 consecutive quarters, despite the second quarter of 2015 lagging slightly behind the first.

The Tennessee Quarterly Business and Economic Indicators report is created to provide a periodical snapshot of the state’s economy based on a variety of information, including new business data from the Division of Business Services. It’s published through a partnership with Secretary of State Tre Hargett and the University of Tennessee Knoxville’s Center for Business and Economic Research.

“Tennessee continues to be a hotbed for new businesses,” Secretary Hargett said. “These indicators tell us this momentum will continue well into the future.”

Davidson County led the way with 1,471 new filings. Shelby County was a close second with 1,096 filings.

Despite the overall growth, there were 4,398 dissolutions filed in the second quarter of 2015, which is more than double the same time last year. The yearly total is expected to rise since most entities file dissolutions during the third quarter.
The national economy got back on track after a sluggish start to the year. In 2015Q2, U.S. personal income increased by 4.2% over last year.

Tennessee’s unemployment rate fell to 5.7% in June, a 0.1% drop compared to May and a 0.9% drop compared to June 2014. That is still above the national unemployment rate of 5.3%.

Hargett spokesman: ‘There will be a retention election in 2016 for Justice Wade’s vacancy’

Secretary of State Tre Hargett’s office, which oversees the state division of elections, appears now to have concluded that the successor to retiring Supreme Court Justice Gary Wade should first face a retention election next August, and not in 2022, as some have speculated, according to TNReport.

“Per Tenn. Const. Article VII Section 5 there will be a retention election in 2016 for Justice Wade’s vacancy,” Adam Ghassemi, director of communications for Secretary of State Tre Hargett, wrote in an email to TNReport Friday evening.

The provision of the state Constitution cited in Ghassemi’s statement declares in part that should an unscheduled judicial opening arise, “such vacancy shall be filled at the next biennial election recurring more than thirty days after the vacancy occurs.”

The “next biennial election” for Tennessee judges is next August.

Justice Wade, who won a new eight-year term to the Supreme Court last August, unexpectedly announced his retirement from the bench on July 24.

Wade’s departure, effective Sept. 8, will take effect approximately seven years ahead of schedule, and it will create the first vacancy on the five-member Supreme Court since voters endorsed new judicial-selection procedures in November.

…(T)he portion of the Tennessee Constitution cited by the secretary of state’s office on Friday, Article VII, was in fact not altered by Amendment 2.

Article VII addresses “State and County Officers.” Amendment 2 rewrote only Section 3 of Article VI, which is titled, “Judicial Department.”

Amendment 2 modified the Tennessee Constitution so that it now declares that the state’s most powerful judges “shall be appointed for a full term or to fill a vacancy by and at the discretion of the governor.”

In wake of Wade’s retirement announcement, Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration indicated confusion over whether their new Supreme Court appointee will stand for a retention vote in August 2016 — the next regularly scheduled judicial election — or in 2022, when Wade’s full term was scheduled to expire.

A sample of some suggested alternative new TN logos

Noting prior post on the new $46,000 state logo that Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration has adopted, an emailer sends along for free a suggested new logo for the Tennessee Secretary of State’s office:

Tennessee Logo

And a couple of others:

haslam state lego

This one suggested as the governor’s first in-house draft:

Tennessee Logo

And there’s a parody YouTube video, HERE.

Lawsuit filed alleging massive fraud by four cancer charities

From the News Sentinel:

Telemarketers told donors all over the country their gifts to a Knoxville-based charity would provide pain medication to children suffering from cancer, help transport patients to chemotherapy appointments and pay for hospice care for those dying of the disease.

Instead, a pittance of the $187 million raised by the Cancer Fund of America and its affiliated nonprofits over five years went to patient care packages made up of sample-size soaps, Little Debbie snack cakes, Carnation Instant Breakfast drinks, plastic cutlery, women’s makeup, iPod Nano covers, blank seasonal greeting cards and batteries.

The rest of the money raised — more than 87 cents of every dollar — went to pay the telemarketing companies that solicited the donations and to fund salaries, lavish trips and personal loans for founder James T. Reynolds Sr., his family and his employees.

They bought meals at Hooters, items from Victoria’s Secret and tickets for concerts and sporting events. Employees received gym memberships, dating website subscriptions and college tuition.

The nonprofit paid for board members and employees to take extravagant “training” trips on Carnival Cruises in the Caribbean and at Walt Disney World in Florida.

The charity even paid for a baby sitter to come along.

That’s according to the Federal Trade Commission and agencies in all 50 states, all of which filed a joint lawsuit Monday against the four “sham charities” and the people who run them. Each is accused of eight counts of fraud, misleading state charity regulators and violating telemarketing rules.

The government negotiated settlements totaling more than $200 million with two of the charities and three individuals — Reynolds’ ex-wife, his son and a close business associate of Reynolds.

But the case against Reynolds, the family patriarch who founded the Cancer Fund and originated its wide-reaching scheme in 1987, remains unresolved and will likely play out in court, said Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett. Reynolds said Monday that his charity has been under federal investigation for more than four years.

Note: News release below.
Continue reading

Hargett gets a new spokesman; now all 3 ConOs have their own PR person

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Secretary of State Tre Hargett has named television reporter Adam Ghassemi as his new spokesman, completing a process in which all three constitutional officers have appointed their own communications director instead of using a joint one.

Ghassemi, who most recently worked for WTVF in Nashville, succeeds Blake Fontenay, who was originally hired to be a spokesman for Hargett, Comptroller Justin Wilson and Treasurer David Lillard.

Wilson has since hired former WZTV-TV reporter John Dunn to be his communications director, while Lillard has brought on former WTVF marketing consultant Shelli King to be his spokeswoman.

Fontenay was paid about $68,000 per year to be the spokesman for all three constitutional officers, while the three new communications directors earn a combined $239,000. King is the top earner among the three, with an annual salary of $95,000. Ghassemi will be paid $79,000, while Dunn earns $65,000.

Fontenay, a former reporter for the Commercial Appeal newspaper in Memphis, is moving to the Tennessee State Library and Archives. He will serve as spokesman and coordinator for the Tri-Star Chronicles project, which will record the life stories of Tennesseans who made a key impact on the state’s history.