Monthly Archives: September 2017

Governor names new Shelby County judge

News release from the governor’s office

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today appointed David M. Rudolph Circuit Court Judge for the 30th Judicial District, which serves Shelby County. The vacancy was created by the retirement of Judge Robert L. Childers on June 30.

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Corker announces he will NOT seek reelection

News release from Sen. Bob Corker:

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement.

“After much thought, consideration and family discussion over the past year, Elizabeth and I have decided that I will leave the United States Senate when my term expires at the end of 2018.

“When I ran for the Senate in 2006, I told people that I couldn’t imagine serving for more than two terms. Understandably, as we have gained influence, that decision has become more difficult. But I have always been drawn to the citizen legislator model, and while I realize it is not for everyone, I believe with the kind of service I provide, it is the right one for me.

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Bannon: Alabama begins ‘day of reckoning’ (with TN ramifications?)

The results of today’s Alabama Republican U.S. Senate primary may have ramifications in other states, including Tennessee, according to a Politico report that focuses on a Monday speech by Steve Bannon, former chief strategist for President Donald Trump, in supporting Roy Moore over Luther Strange.

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Defiant school districts get Democrat’s backing; no penalty (yet)

School systems in Nashville and Memphis ignored the Monday deadline set by state Education Commissioner Candice McQueen for turning over student data to charter school operators while House Democratic Leader Mike Stewart publicly called on the commissioner to back off the demand, saying she’s violating expressed “legislative intent” to protect student privacy.

McQueen had declared the Memphis and Nashville school systems would face consequences if they missed the deadline, but Chalkbeat Tennessee reports there were none – except a “firm reprimand.”  At least for now.

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Coffee County commissioner seeks House District 47 seat

News release from Rush Bricken campaign

Republican Rush Bricken has announced plans to seek election to the Tennessee House of Representatives.  Bricken is a candidate for the House District 47 seat that includes Coffee County and parts of Warren County.  Incumbent Representative Judd Matheny is running for Congress and not seeking another term.

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On the TNGOP definition of ‘bona fide Republican’

An August revision to a state GOP  bylaws provision that defines who is a “bona fide” Republican will be a central topic at an Oct. 2 meeting of the Knox County Republican Party with state Republican Chairman Scott Golden on hand, reports the News Sentinel.

Since a person must be deemed a bona fide Republican to run for public office under the party label, the change could impact some potential candidates in next year’s elections.

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TN political leaders decry church shooting; Trump silent

Tennessee politicians expressed concern and sympathy for victims of a Sunday shooting in an Antioch church that left one woman dead and seven others injured, mostly in tweets. While collecting some of those tweets in one story, The Tennessean also reports that President Donald Trump did not tweet condolences as he “spent Sunday in a Twitter battle with professional athletes over patriotism.”

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Breitbart bashes ‘Strange’s swamp pal’ (Corker) for Alabama ‘sweetheart deal’

Breitbart News — headed by President Trump’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon – is tying Sen. Bob Corker’s business dealings into its reporting on this week’s Republican U.S. Senate runoff primary in Alabama.

Breitbart is promoting Roy Moore over Sen. Luther Strange in the race. Corker is backing Strange and reportedly urged President Trump to personally campaign for Strange, as he did on Friday.

Referring to Corker as “Strange’s swamp pal” in its second report on the subject, the arch-conservative news service says the Tennessee senator “is set to receive more money each year from Alabama taxpayers from the sweetheart deal in an Alabama retail development arranged by a law firm that is a big donor to Strange’s Senate campaign than he receives from his salary as a United States senator.”

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Harwell on ‘elections not auctions’ & being a cemetery groundskeeper

Campaigning for Republican gubernatorial nomination on Friday, Beth Harwell was quoting state Sen. Frank Niceley (R-Strawberry Plains) when asked about facing multi-millionaire opponent  and a Virginia politician on what it’s like to be speaker of a state House of Representatives.

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Medical marijuana task force hears cannabis critics

The first meeting of the legislature’s Joint Ad Hoc Committee on Medical Cannabis ran about five hours with much of the lawmakers’ time spent listening to concerns that legalizing use of marijuana for medicinal purposes is a slippery slope, reports WPLN.

At the meeting, lawmakers were repeatedly told medicinal use of marijuana would lead to abuse. Experts spoke of supplies contaminated with other drugs, the difficulty of keeping legally purchased marijuana from being resold and stories of underage children dying after ingesting marijuana.

The testimony drew pushback from one of medical cannabis’s big supporters.

“You need to be fair,” said state Rep. Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby (the committee co-chair). “If we’re going to hold marijuana use for medical purpose to a standard, then compare it to what’s going on right now that’s legal and that’s encouraged by a lot of doctors.”

Faison argued that marijuana is less dangerous than many opioids and psychotropic drugs.

An excerpt from WTVF TV’s report:

The state Department of Health’s Chief Medical Officer, David Reagan, said he believes medical marijuana hasn’t been studied enough to legalize in Tennessee.

“We support doing additional research. The FDA, more the DEA from our perspective, has traditionally been, for 100 years, has been an organization that exemplifies getting us safe and effective medicines,” said Reagan. Until marijuana’s schedule one designation changes, Reagan said he doesn’t think it will be studied to the level it needs.

And House Speaker Beth Harwell, who appointed House members of the panel, continues to be asked about the subject as she campaigns for governor. From WJHL TV, reporting on her campaigning in the Tri-Cities last week:

“We’re not talking about recreational at all, I’m not for that. I’m not even for smoking marijuana, that causes cancer,” Harwell said. “I’m for oils and edibles and something that can help a lot of people who are suffering from chronic pain.”

The panel plans future meetings in the Knoxville and Memphis areas.

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