Monthly Archives: October 2018

New Dean ad (produced pre-Pittsburgh) takes on mass shootings

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Karl Dean discusses mass shootings and his opposition to arming teachers and getting rid of permit requirements to carry handguns in public. The ad was filmed before the fatal shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue, which the campaign said illustrated once again how “families and communities can be shattered by senseless gun violence.”

“After every mass shooting, my thoughts go to my kids and my wife, Anne, and how devastating this would be for any family,” Dean says in the ad. He goes on to say:

I’m Karl Dean, and we can respect the right to bear arms while protecting our families. But Bill Lee supports concealed carry without a permit, making it hard to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill, and he’d let teachers bring guns into the classroom. I’m against permitless carry and arming teachers. It’s a real difference with life-changing consequences.

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Rumblings of another Trump visit

Republican Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn speaks at a business forum in Nashville on Aug. 15, 2018 (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Chattanooga’s WCRB-TV reports President Donald Trump may be planning another Tennessee visit on the eve of the Nov. 6 election on behalf of Republican Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn:

Channel 3 has learned several Chattanooga agencies are preparing for a possible presidential visit ahead of Election Day on November 6.

“We would welcome a visit from the president should the president decide to come,” said U.S. Congressman Chuck Fleischmann of Chattanooga.

A senior White House official tells NBC News that the president is expected to visit Tennessee prior to Election Day to campaign for U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Marsha Blackburn, but a date has not been confirmed. 

A staff-wide email was sent to employees of the Chattanooga Police Department telling them no time off would be granted on November 5, the day before the midterm elections. A spokesperson for the department was unable to confirm the visit will take place.

Read the full story here: http://www.wrcbtv.com/story/39359560/agencies-prepare-for-possible-visit-from-president-trump-ahead-of-election-day

UPDATE: Axios reports Trump’s Chattanooga rally will take place Nov. 4.

Race cars in political ads: Who did it better?

When Republican Marsha Blackburn rolled out (ahem) a new ad featuring the candidate in a race car, some old timers were reminded of a similar spot run by Van Hilleary, the GOP nominee for governor in 2002. So who did it better?

Here, for comparison’s sake are the two ads:

And, lest we forget, Blackburn and Hilleary’s common opponent, Democrat Phil Bredesen, hasn’t been averse to sponsoring a race truck. But we can’t remember if it featured in any ads. If so, send a link in the comments and we’ll add it to the comparo.

Haslam outlines TNReady changes following testing problems

Gov. Bill Haslam, left, and Wayne Miller, the former executive director of the Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents, attend an Oct. 24, 2018, press conference in Nashville about changes to the TNReady testing program. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

A release from Gov. Bill Haslam’s office:

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Education Commissioner Candice McQueen today announced changes in the delivery of the TNReady assessment for the current school year and additional changes that will take effect beginning in the 2019-20 school year. The changes are a direct response to a report from educators generated by the recent statewide listening tour that included roundtable conversations and online feedback from educators including teachers, testing coordinators and school administrators on how to make improvements to assessment delivery.

“These are real solutions, some of which are already underway or will be implemented later this year, that will be felt by educators, students and parents across the state,” Haslam said. “Throughout the listening tour, the message from teachers was clear that we do not need to start over but rather do all we can to improve the delivery of TNReady. We think these changes will do just that and create a better testing experience for both students and teachers.”

The Department of Education has already made significant changes, including a successful verification of the testing platform involving roughly 50,000 students, ensuring quicker turnaround of results starting with the fall end-of-course assessments, and providing better educator training opportunities.

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Blackburn fundraising appeal cites ‘statistical tie’ in Senate race

Republican Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn speaks at a rally in Franklin on Oct. 17, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

A fundraising appeal from Republican Marsha Blackburn’s campaign calls the Senate race with Democrat Phil Bredesen a “dead heat” and says she needs to raise the (oddly specific) amount of $22,876 per day through the last 10 days of the month to prevail.

Here’s a copy of the email from Kevin Golden, Blackburn’s campaign manager (note that the link doesn’t bring up any further information, but it does give a link to make contributions) :

Date: October 22, 2018
Re: 15-Day Strategy

Team-

We are now 15 days out from Election Day and 4 days into Early Voting.

As you know, many of the polls coming out have demonstrated a dead heat—a statistical tie—and we are in need of a new strategy to put us over the edge.

Based on the trends we’ve been observing, we need to hit our target audiences harder, so we’re going to push more digital ads and have mapped out a new plan for TV ads. We’re going to need more resources, so we crunched the numbers – huge shout out to the finance team for getting that done.

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Trump cites House Majority Leader Casada in Facebook post

President Donald Trump has cited House Majority Leader Glen Casada (R-Franklin) in a Facebook post.

Casada is running to succeed Beth Harwell as speaker of the Tennessee House. Rivals for the chamber’s top job include Reps. Curtis Johnson (R-Clarksville) and David Hawk (R-Greeneville).

 

Former Rep. Gerald McCormick joins Ingram Group

Former House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick has joined the Ingram Group lobbying firm in Nashville, which also recently hired Alexia Poe, the former communications director for Gov. Bill Haslam.

Here’s a release from the Ingram Group:

KNOXVILLE, TN – Retiring Tennessee State Representative and former Majority Leader Gerald McCormick has joined The Ingram Group, founder Tom Ingram announced today.McCormick will provide general consulting services with an emphasis on expanding state government relations practices for the Nashville and Washington based boutique strategic consulting firm which was founded over 35 years ago.

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Haslam names former state senator, NES chief to UT board

Gov. Bill Haslam speaks at a press conference at the state Capitol in Nashville on March 1, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Gov. Bill Haslam has made two more appointments to the reconstituted Board of Trustees of the University of Tennessee: former state Sen. Jamie Woodson (R-Knoxville) and Decosta Jenkins, the president and CEO of the Nashville Electric Service.

Here’s the full release:

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today appointed two additional members to the Board of Trustees of the University of Tennessee. Decosta Jenkins and Jamie Woodson join the board in advance of the meeting scheduled for November 2.

The appointments follow passage of the University of Tennessee Focusing On Campus and University Success (FOCUS) Act earlier this year. The legislation restructured the UT Board of Trustees to enhance governance of the UT system.

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Dean in new ad calls Lee’s positions ‘extreme’

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Karl Dean has a new ad out that labels Republican Bill Lee’s views as ‘extreme’ on guns, vouchers, and Medicaid expansion.

Here’s the release from the Dean campaign:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Gubernatorial candidate Karl Dean will start airing a TV ad Saturday comparing his common-sense vision of a compassionate, forward-looking Tennessee with opponent Bill Lee’s extreme, ideological policies.
Titled “Would You Want,” the ad helps voters understand the stark choice they face in the Nov. 6 election for governor, with early voting now underway through Nov. 1.
“Would you want a governor who would give public school funds to private schools? Or arm teachers and allow guns in classrooms? Or deny healthcare to hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans and let our tax dollars fund healthcare in other states?” Dean says, speaking directly to the camera throughout the 30-second spot.
“I’m Karl Dean, and that’s the choice in this election. Bill Lee believes all of that; I don’t. I’m not the flashiest guy running, but we don’t need an extreme governor who would take us backward. Let’s keep Tennessee moving forward.”

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Mandatory shop class? Lee proposes vocational training for all students

After Republican Bill Lee’s previous ad touting “20-year solutions” for education and health care became the target of Democratic rival Karl Dean, the Franklin businessman has released a new spot offering some more specifics: He appears to want to require vocational training for all students in Tennessee.

“Every student should have at least some vocational training. It might mean welding. It might mean coding. It might mean ag,” Lee says in the ad. “But we’ve got to start our kids out early. High school, middle school.”

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