Marsha Blackburn

Some serious coin: Blackburn bill commemorating 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote passes

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

U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn’s bill to to commemorate the 100th anniversary of women earning the right to vote is on its way for the president’s signature. The Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commemorative Coin Act, cosponsored by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), creates a silver $1 coin minted by the U.S. Treasury.

Here’s the full release from Blackburn’s office:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Marsha Blackburn’s (R-Tenn.) bipartisan legislation honoring the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote with a commemorative coin has passed Congress and is on its way to the President’s desk to be signed into law.

The Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commemorative Coin Act, cosponsored by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), will create a silver $1 coin minted by the U.S. Treasury. Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) and Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.) led companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

“Every woman in Congress has the women of the suffrage movement to thank for our right to represent our constituents today,” said Senator Blackburn, the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate in Tennessee. “The 2020 centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment is a rare moment to celebrate the milestone in American history that made it possible for women to finally have a voice in government. Ninety-nine years after women gained the right to vote, I became the first woman from Tennessee to serve in the United States Senate. I am honored to have worked with Senator Gillibrand and Reps. Stefanik and Lawrence to commemorate the pioneers and trailblazers who made it possible for us to be members of these chambers.”

“Almost a century ago, after women across the nation spoke out and fought for their right to vote, the 19th Amendment was finally passed. It was one of the greatest milestones in American history, and we should do everything we can to celebrate it,” said Senator Gillibrand. “As a New Yorker, I am especially proud to celebrate a historic movement that was born and planned in our state. Though there is still work to be done to ensure that every vote is counted, I’m thrilled that our bipartisan bill to create a commemorative coin in honor of the suffragists has passed Congress. I urge the President to quickly sign this bill into law and pay tribute to the unparalleled contributions that the suffragists had to our nation’s history.”

“I am honored to celebrate the important work of women’s suffrage activists through the Women’s Suffrage Commemorative Coin Act,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “One of the most vocal advocates for women’s suffrage, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, was born and raised in Johnstown, New York, and I am looking forward to celebrating the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment in my district next year. I’m grateful to my colleagues for supporting this bipartisan legislation, and it is my hope that this bill will encourage women across the country to continue to be active participants in civic life.”

“Ninety-nine years after women gained the right to vote, the 116th Congress brought in a record number of women members and the most diverse Congress in history,” said Representative Lawrence. “As the Chair of the Bipartisan Women’s Caucus and the Co-Chair of the Democratic Women’s Caucus, I‘m proud to stand on the shoulders of the suffragists who played a vital role in rallying support for the 19th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. As we approach the historic suffrage centennial, it is my hope that this bipartisan legislation will not only tell the story of the courageous activists who played a pivotal role in the fight for women’s rights, but will remind all Americans that the right to vote was a decades-long struggle.”

Blackburn to stay neutral in GOP primary for U.S. Senate

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

First-year U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn plans to stay on the sidelines of the Republican primary to succeed retiring Sen. Lamar Alexander.

Speaking to The Tennessee Journal before Bill Hagerty joined the race, Blackburn said she expected the former U.S. ambassador to Japan to be “a fabulous candidate” if he got in. Also running for the GOP nomination is Vanderbilt surgeon Manny Sethi.

Blackburn noted Hagerty has the benefit of President Donald Trump’s endorsement.

“As the president said when he kind of outed him,  he will have the president’s full support,” Blackburn said. “We will stay out of the primary and let the voters have their say and looking forward to supporting the Republican who’s going to be the next U.S. Senator from Tennessee.”

Blackburn donor among those caught in Fla. prostitution sting

John Childs, an equity firm owner and prominent Republican donor who has given to U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Brentwood) and the National Republican Senate Committee, was among those charged with soliciting prostitution at a Florida spa tied to an international human trafficking ring, TCPalm reports.

Law enforcement issued warrants for 173 people on charges ranging from human trafficking to racketeering to soliciting prostitution. (Police have also charged Robert K. Kraft, the owner of the NFL’s New England Patriots in the investigation.)

Blackburn last year succeeded Sen. Bob Corker (R-Chattanooga), who made combating human trafficking a major policy objective of his time in office.

 

Chattanooga-area woman writes about why she disrupted Blackburn rally

A Chattanooga-area woman writes in The Tennessean about why she decided to disrupt a moment of silence during a Marsha Blackburn rally in Nashville in the waning days of the Senate race.

Yes, I interrupted during her moment of silence, saying that ‘Marsha Blackburn is a white supremacist.’

I interrupted because as a registered nurse, mom of five, wife of one of those first responders who must see, process and live with the incidents of violence that she and extremists like her are inciting.

I can’t stay silent any longer.

Read the the rest here.

O’Hara: Bredesen carried 10 biggest counties by cumulative 10 points. It didn’t matter.

U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, the Republican Senate nominee in Tennessee, speaks at a Farm Bureau event in Franklin on Aug. 9, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

A guest column by former reporter Jim O’Hara:

Crow is always best eaten warm.

So, why didn’t Phil Bredesen’s performance in Tennessee’s top 10 counties with the most registered voters translate into a closer contest for the U.S. Senate?

The short and simple answer is that Marsha Blackburn swamped the Democrat by a 69-31 margin in the other 85 counties.  If Bredesen had managed even a 60-40 split, he would still have lost the election.

But the Associated Press wouldn’t have called it as early as 9:06 p.m. Central.

The top 10 counties – in terms of registered voters – are Blount, Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, Montgomery, Rutherford, Shelby, Sumner, Williamson and Wilson.

On Tuesday, they voted at the levels typical in recent elections and provided slightly more than 1.2 million votes, or 56% of the 2.2 million votes cast in the Senate race. Bredesen won the cumulative vote in those 10 counties by a margin of 677,226 to 559,898, or 55% to 45%.

He got 71% of the Davidson County vote and 66% in Shelby; he essentially ran even with Blackburn in Knox and Hamilton counties with 48% and 49% of the vote respectively.

Blackburn’s biggest margins in those top 10 counties came in Blount (64%), Sumner (63%), Williamson (59%), and Wilson (62%).

But of the 970,866 votes cast for the Senate race in the other 85 counties, she won going away with her 69% to 31% margin.

Was there an enthusiasm gap?  In Davidson County, about 59% of the registered voters came to the polls; in Shelby it was 51%.

In Blount County, about 57% of the voters went to the polls, and in Williamson it was close to 70%.

On Wednesday, Lt. Gov. Randy McNally posted on Facebook a Tennessee map, proclaiming the state a “Red Wall,” with only Davidson and Shelby blue.  And a Democratic Facebook friend of mine bemoaned the lack of a Beto O’Rourke in Tennessee

Maybe, there is no longer a center to contest in Tennessee, but the voting tea leaves seem more complicated then either would admit.  Can Republicans keep running up 70-30 margins?  How long before even those margins aren’t sufficient as the top 10 counties grow?

___

O’Hara covered politics for the The Tennessean in the 1980s.

AP calls Senate race for Blackburn

Republican Marsha Blackburn has won the Tennessee Senate race against Democrat Phil Bredesen, according to The Associated Press.

 

Watch Blackburn’s comments at Trump rally in Chattanooga

Here are Republican Senate candidate Marsh Blackburn’s comments at a Chattanooga rally featuring President Donald Trump on Sunday evening:

Bredesen speaks in Chattanooga, hours before Trump rally

Democratic Senate candidate Phil Bredesen speaks at a fundraiser in Nashville on Aug. 20, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Democratic Senate candidate Phi Bredesen held a rally on Sunday in Chattanooga just hours before President Donald Trump was scheduled to  come to the city to headline an event for Republican rival Marsha Blackburn.

“If the previous two visits are any guide, he’ll have plenty of derogatory things to say about me,” Bredesen said in his prepared remarks.

“That’s OK — politics today is a blood sport — but I’ve come here to show that there are other ways to campaign and to present your case to the people of Tennessee,” Bredesen said. “We should vote people in and out, not shout them in and out.”

Bredesen praised retiring Sen. Bob Corker (R-Chattanooga), who “is understandably not here with us” — but was also not attending the Blackburn rally because of an unspecified prior engagement.

“I want everyone to know that I admire the job he did as Chattanooga’s mayor, and I respect enormously how he has carried himself in his two terms in the United States Senate,” Bredesen said. “As you all know, I’m seeking to follow him in that seat, and it would be a privilege to do so.”

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Haslam predicts Blackburn will win by at least 5 points

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 predicted on  NBC’s Meet the Press with Chuck Todd on Sunday that Republican Marsha Blackburn will comfortably win the Senate race against Democrat Phil Bredesen because voters in Tennessee care more about the partisan makeup of the chamber than about the individual promises made by candidates.

The governor said the furor surrounding the Supreme Court confirmation hearing for Brett Kavanaugh shifted the race in Tennessee by 5 or 6 percentage points in Blackburn’s favor, adding that he thinks “Marsha will win by at least that much.”

“Tennessee is one of those states where the Kavanaugh hearings did change things,” Haslam said. “People realized well it really doesn’t matter, kind of, what you’re saying. The color of the jersey you’re wearing up there is really important.”

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O’Hara: The hill might no longer be quite as steep for Bredesen

Democratic candidate and former Gov. Phil Bredesen, left, speaks during the 2018 Tennessee U.S. Senate Debate with Republican U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn at The University of Tennessee Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018, in in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, Pool)

A guest column from former reporter Jim O’Hara:

“Follow the money” is still a pretty good political maxim. Republican and Democratic PACs continued to spend heavily in the Phil Bredesen-Marsha Blackburn U.S. Senate race  despite recent polls showing a Blackburn lead (totals this week alone: $5.9 million for her, $7.9 million for him).

Reviewing the recently completed statewide early voting, in fact, suggests a race to the finish. An earlier column argued for the outsized role in Tennessee of the 10 counties with the highest numbers of registered voters. In the 2014 mid-terms, those 10 counties provided 54% of the total vote. One can also assume President Trump didn’t pick Chattanooga for a Sunday rally for Blackburn just because it has spillover potential in the Georgia governor’s race.

The counties are: Blount, Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, Montgomery, Rutherford, Shelby, Sullivan, Williamson, and Wilson.

In the early voting that ended Thursday, those 10 counties were the top 10 counties of early voters. They cast 814,001 votes, or 59% of the total early vote of 1,378,840.

And Davidson and Shelby accounted for 350,924 votes, or 43% of the votes cast in those 10 counties.

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