Monthly Archives: October 2017

Legislators bypass Jones Lang LaSalle, chose Siemens Corp., for services at Cordell Hull building

Legislative leaders have chosen Siemens Corp. to provide building management services at the just-renovated Cordell Hull State Office Building over Chicago-based real estate giant Jones Lang LaSalle, reports the Times Free Press.

While JLL now manages operations at the existing Legislative Plaza and War Memorial Building, home since 1973 for lawmakers’ offices and committee hearing rooms. Those buildings will be vacated starting next week as legislators move to Cordell Hull.

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Party hosts Republican gubernatorial candidate powwow

Representatives of five Republican candidates for governor met with state GOP Chairman Scott Golden and Executive Director Michael Sullivan on Oct. 11, reports The Tennessean.

The meeting at the party’s headquarters in Nashville included emissaries of U.S. Rep. Diane Black, House Speaker Beth Harwell, Knoxville entrepreneur Randy Boyd and Williamson County businessman Bill Lee.

Former state Sen. Mae Beavers did not send anyone because of a scheduling conflict, she said Monday. She also recently changed campaign staffers.

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Former community college president’s ouster questioned, being reviewed by comptroller

Former Motlow State President Anthony “Tony” Kinkel is trying to restore his reputation four months after resigning from the position, reports the Murfreesboro Post, and the state comptroller is conducting a review of the proceedings that led to his ouster – including an audit that Kinkel says was unfair. But the Tennessee Board of Regents says it’s putting the matter in the past and looking ahead.

 “I’ve never seen anything like what happened here,” says Kinkel in a recent interview. “I just want my good name back.”

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Domestic assault charge against Maury County Democratic party chair dropped

Charges of domestic assault were dropped against Maury County’s Democratic Party chairman last week despite a police report that described his girlfriend as having a laceration above her right eyebrow after a confrontation with him, reports the Columbia Daily Herald.

Seth James Campbell, 28, was arrested Oct. 5, the morning after the alleged incident, a Columbia Police report said. After stepping aside briefly as chairman, Campbell was reinstated by the Democratic Party’s steering committee and will continue in his role.

“Everything totally was resolved; the DA dropped all charges,” Campbell told The Daily Herald on Saturday. “The party held an emergency executive committee meeting on Oct. 10 and voted to stay the course, pending a full investigation. With the charges being dropped, they have asked me to continue as chair of the party.”

Campbell challenged state Rep. Sheila Butt, R-Columbia, for her seat in the 2016 election as an independent. The Mt. Pleasant High School special education teacher and assistant football coach was named party chairman in March.

The girlfriend told police she did not want to press charges and sent the newspaper an email saying, “The officers may have had the best of intentions, but Seth should never have been arrested.”

Alexander and Corker on Trump and pending tax overhaul

Congressional Republicans involved in crafting a federal tax overhaul are bracing for President Trump to potentially disturb their negotiations at any moment, as he has done throughout his nine months in office and this week on a bipartisan Senate agreement to shore up Obamacare insurance markets, reports Politico.

“Sure, it’s going to come,” said Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who’s been the target of his share of tweets from the president.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who brokered the health agreement that Trump has shifted between criticizing and praising, added that he had already told the president that his staying on track on tax reform could be key to getting a landmark achievement.

“If the president of the United States focuses on one thing, with everything he’s got, for as long it takes, he can usually get what he wants,” Alexander said.

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Democrat Olsen announces run against Republican Rep. Roe

Dr. Martin Olsen, an East Tennessee State University Obstetrics and Gynecology professor, formally announced Saturday his run as a Democrat for the 1st Congressional District seat now held by Republican Rep. Phi Roe, reports the Johnson City Press.

To win, Olsen says he needs one-third of those in the district who voted for Trump to vote for him. And though Tennessee is a consistently red state, Olsen believes that people have seen that what is happening now isn’t working and hopes that those who voted Republican will try something new.

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Fincher ends ‘listening tour,’ starts run for Senate

After a 10-day “listening tour” of the state, former Congressman Stephen Fincher has announced that  he is a candidate for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination. He did so in an interview with The Tennessean that was also published Sunday in other Gannett-owned newspapers around the state.

Fincher, who represented Tennessee’s 8th Congressional District from 2011 to 2017, cast himself as a “citizen legislator” as opposed to a “career politician” — a term aimed at U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Brentwood, who is also seeking the GOP nomination to the seat being vacated by Sen. Bob Corker.

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State suing Nashville schools to force turnover of student data, but probably not Memphis schools

While the state Department of Education has filed a lawsuit to force Metro Nashville schools to turn over student information to charter school operators, the Memphis school system has taken a different approach to data release and may avoid a lawsuit, according to Chalkbeat Tennessee.

Leaders of Nashville’s school district have repeatedly defied an order from Tennessee’s Education Commissioner Candice McQueen to share student addresses, phone numbers, and other information with the state’s controversial turnaround district, as required by a new state law. The state filed a lawsuit this week in Davidson County Chancery Court to force release of the information.

Meanwhile, leaders of the Memphis district have spoken out about the rule — but are preparing to comply. The district has given parents until Sunday, Oct. 22 to opt out of sharing their contact information with charter schools.

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In 6th Congressional District, Rose takes big money lead over Matheny with $250K loan and Haslam help

Former state Agriculture Commissioner Charles Rose has loaned his campaign for the 6th Congressional District Republican nomination $250,000, giving him a strong financial advantage over state Rep. Judd Matheny in the race to succeed U.S. Rep. Diane Black, according to disclosures filed with the Federal Election Commission this week.

The reports show Rose, who owns a farm and runs a small business in DeKalb County, raised $292,450 in contributions and, with the $250,000 loan, his campaign had $542,450 in receipts. He reported $74,421 in expenditures, leaving a cash-on-hand balance of $468,038 on Oct. 1.

Matheny reported $166,544 in donations to his campaign and $62,458 in expenditures, leaving a cash balance of $104,086. He reported no loans.

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Boyd camp fires back at Black: ‘This is Tennessee, not DC’

Republican Randy Boyd’s campaign is hitting back at GOP gubernatorial primary rival Diane Black after her campaign labeled his plans to have former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush headline a Nashville fundraiser as a “match made in establishment heaven,” reports the Times Free Press.

Boyd spokeswoman Laine Arnold suggested U.S. Rep. Black has spent a little too much in Washington.

“Each of those claims is ridiculous and false, and honestly beneath the dignity of Diane Black,” Arnold said. “This is Tennessee. Not DC. We don’t act that way down here.”

…”Randy is a strong supporter of President Trump and a long-time friend of Jeb Bush,” Arnold said. “We look forward to having their support.”

Note: Previous post HERE.