other states

Five guber candidates support collecting sales tax from out-of-state retailer sales to TN customers; differ on how to use resulting revenue

Five candidates for governor – Republicans Randy Boyd, Beth Harwell and Bill Lee along with Democrats Karl Dean and Craig Fitzhugh – praised a U.S. Supreme Court decision last week that means Tennessee can now require out-of-state online retailers to collect sales taxes on purchases made by their Tennessee, reports the Times Free Press.

Their comments came at a gubernatorial candidate forum hosted by the newspaper Monday in Chattanooga. One major GOP candidate, Diane Black, was campaigning in Carter County Monday and did not participate.

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Huckabee backs Boyd for governor in TV ad

Press release from Randy Boyd campaign

Hendersonville, Tenn. – Former Governor of Arkansas and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee announced his endorsement of Republican candidate for Governor, Randy Boyd, in a new television ad that will begin airing statewide today.

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TN politicians praise Supreme Court decision on states collecting taxes from on Internet sales

Overturning older decisions, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that states may require most online retailers to collect sales taxes on purchases made by their residents. The 5-4 decision came in a South Dakota case that had seen  Tennessee’s attorney general joining in support of South Dakota’s effort to begin requirement collection of the taxes.

Tennessee’s state Department of Revenue issued a new rule in 2016 requiring internet sellers to collect state and local sales taxes from their Tennessee customers. State legislators let the new rule stand, but implementation has been stalled awaiting court action.

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Bredesen, Alabama Sen. Doug Jones talk bipartisanship at Democratic fundraiser; $450K collected

In Saturday night speeches to the Tennessee Democratic Party’s Three Star Dinner, Alabama Sen. Doug Jones and former Gov. Phil Bredesen struck similar themes, saying a willingness to work with Republicans is the way to change Democrats’ political fortunes in the Volunteer state. Party officials say about $450,000 was raised at the event in Lebanon.

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Politico: List of competitive U.S. Senate seats shrinking, with TN still on the list

The U.S. Senate battleground map has shrunk dramatically in recent weeks, reports Politico, and that’s a net plus for Democrats but not enough to change their status as heavy underdogs to win the chamber in November.

Democratic incumbents look increasingly safe in four Rust Belt states President Trump carried in 2016 — Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, where Republicans are locked in a bitter primary until August. Both parties agree a core universe of states are truly in play: Republicans are targeting Democratic incumbents in Missouri, Indiana, Florida and North Dakota, while Democrats are contesting GOP-held seats in Nevada, Arizona and Tennessee. There is disagreement on how competitive West Virginia and Montana are.

One big clue on which states are truly in play came this week when the Democratic Senate Majority PAC placed fall ad reservations in Florida, West Virginia, Montana, Missouri, Indiana, North Dakota, Tennessee, Nevada and Arizona. For now, the group decided Brown, Casey, Stabenow and Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) don’t need extra help.

Steven Law, who runs the McConnell-aligned Senate Leadership Fund, said that Democrats’ “target list is a lot like ours.”

“There were a few states they left off that we think could be competitive,” said Law, whose group has not yet placed its reservations. “But right now, we think the field of battle is already probably about 80 percent defined, and I think both sides see the battle lines as they are.

(Note: The Democrats’ Senate Majority PAC said its ad buy totals $80 million in the nine targeted states, but did not give a state-by-state breakdown. Press release HERE.)

… In Tennessee, Democrats are upbeat about former Gov. Phil Bredesen, who won every county in the state when he last ran in 2006 and remains popular. Republicans argue Bredesen will go the way of other Democratic retreads, like Ted Strickland and Evan Bayh in 2016, both of whom lost by sizable margins. Trump visited Tennessee late last month to boost Rep. Marsha Blackburn and attack Bredesen, though Republicans acknowledge they will need a more sustained effort to drag down Bredesen’s favorability.

Illinois proposal denounces TN House for spurning anti-white nationalist resolution

A resolution filed in the Illinois House of Representatives declares that the Tennessee House has “been cowed by the growing influence of white nationalists and neo-Nazis” and the Democrat sponsor tells The Tennessean he expects it to pass with Republican support. It’s suggested other states may do the same.

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Speakers retaliate against California: No state-paid travel to NCSL convention

From an AP report, as appearing in a California newspaper:

Tennessee’s Republican House and Senate leaders say the state isn’t paying lawmakers or staffers to attend a California legislative summit.

In a letter Thursday, Senate Speaker Randy McNally and House Speaker Beth Harwell said the state won’t cover the National Conference of State Legislatures conference trip in Los Angeles because of California’s ban on state-paid trips to Tennessee.

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GOP joshing: When Bob Corker, Marsha Blackburn and Diane Black broke heaven’s rules…

Excerpt from Jackson Baker’s report on “some interesting deviations in party harmony” at the Shelby County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day event Saturday:

A couple of them came from the event’s keynote speaker, U.S. Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, who told an odd joke that was probably meant affectionately but came off, no doubt inadvertently, as seeming to be at the expense of U.S. Rep. Diane Black, who had introduced him and whom Scott had acknowledged to be a friend.

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Haslam talks with governor accused in extramaritial affair, offers no advice on resignation

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, facing an indictment tied to an extramarital affair, cancelled a planned appearance at a weekend National Governors Association meeting in Washington and fellow Republican governors who attended shied away from saying whether he should resign or fight the charges, according to Politico.  With Nashville embroiled in controversy over Mayor Megan Barry’s extramarital affir, Gov. Bill Haslam, who chairs the Republican Governors Association, said he has talked with Greitens but isn’t offering advice.

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Haslam ‘not certain about arming teachers’ while planning statewide school safety review

Gov. Bill Haslam, who last week said his administration plans a statewide review of school security in light of a recent mass shooting at a Florida high school, is quoted in a Sunday Politico story headlined, Governors to Washington: Stop dithering on guns.

The article is based on comments from state chief executives gathered for a weekend meeting in Washington of the National Governors Association meeting in downtown Washington.  An excerpt:

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