Monthly Archives: August 2017

Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver gets GOP primary opponent

Chad Williams, a Smith County native and Tennessee Tech student majoring in political science who operates a Lebanon antique shop, has announced he will challenge incumbent Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver in the House District 40 Republican primary. He has the same hometown as Weaver, Lancaster.

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Registry memo: Legislators should not double dip on expense payments

Back in June, House Speaker Beth Harwell and Senate Speaker Randy McNally asked the Registry of Election Finance to produce a memo on the legality of legislators using campaign money to pay for meals and motels on days when they’re also getting “per diem” expense money from the state — $220 per day for those living more than 50 miles from Nashville.

After discussion of the matter at a Registry board meeting earlier this month, the Registry staff has produced the requested a short memo this week and sent it to the speakers. Not surprisingly, the brief memo says legislators shouldn’t be reimbursed twice for the same expenses.

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TVA board approves 1.5 percent electricity rate increase, $10B budget

The Tennessee Valley Authority Board of Directors on Wednesday approved a $10.37 billion budget for its 2018 fiscal year that includes a 1.5 percent rate increase for electricity customers, reports the News Sentinel.

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Beavers resigning state Senate seat; expanding gubernatorial campaign team

News release from Sen. Mae Beavers

MT. JULIET, TN – Tennessee State Senator and conservative Republican candidate for Governor Mae Beavers has announced that she will resign her seat in the legislature effective Friday, September 1st at noon. Beavers also disclosed key additions to her gubernatorial campaign team.

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TN sheriff gets prison time for having sex with women jail inmates, beating male inmate

Former Fentress County Sheriff Charles S. “Chucky” Cravens was sentenced to two years, nine months in prison Wednesday by U.S. District Court Judge Aleta Trauger of Nashville, reports The Tennessean.

I do take responsibility for my actions,” he told the judge, hands folded behind his Wranglers. “What I done, I done it myself.”

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More on Memphis effort to remove Forrest statute — with Haslam’s help

The Memphis City Council, which voted in 2015 to remove a statute of Nathan Bedford Forrest from a city park but saw its effort rejected by the Tennessee Historical Commission, held a meeting Tuesday to talk over options for getting around a state law that requires commission approval. One is to sell the park to a private entity, which would not be covered by the state law; another is to cover the statute up.

Gov. Bill Haslam, who was in Memphis Tuesday and who is a member of the commission, told reporters that he’s been talking with Mayor Jim Strickland and supports the Memphis chief executive’s efforts to remove the statute.

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Alexander says he’s changed his thinking on Forrest bust

Four decades after defending the placement of a Confederate bust in the State Capitol, Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander now says it should go, reports WPLN.

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Poll finds Corker approval rating down to 34 percent; Corker staffer says it’s a ‘push poll’

Tennessee Democrats say a new poll, commissioned by a national advocacy group fighting GOP efforts to repeal Obamacare, demonstrates U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., is vulnerable on the health care issue. The Times Free Press reports that a Corker staffer and Vanderbilt University pollster question the validity of the survey.

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Rep. Van Huss ‘doubles down’ in praise of Confederate battle flag, bashing Black Lives Matter

State Rep. Micah Van Huss has rejected a request to “dialog” with a group that criticized his Facebook posting declaring the Confederate battle flag a “symbol of freedom” and that the Ku Klux Klan and Black Lives Matter are both “racist hate groups.” Instead, reports the Johnson City Press, the Washington County Republican “doubled down” on his previous remarks.

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With $700K spent, new Reelfoot Lake State Park building may be torn down rather than finished

State officials are tentatively planning to demolish an interpretative visitors center that has been under construction at Reelfoot Lake State Park rather than complete it, reports the Commercial Appeal. That comes 18 months after a ceremonial groundbreaking, expenditure of up to $700,000 in taxpayer dollars and an audit indicating possible bidding improprieties in awarding a construction contract.

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