Some political and policy commentary reading suggestions for Tennessee political junkies, 5/20/2018

Whiskey River take the Legislature’s mind?

In a rambling article on the political influence of state’s most famous whiskey, Sam Stockard mixes Jack Daniels with PAC money, lobbyists, legislators, rock  ‘n’ roll, the Tennessee Constitution, legislators and the attorney general  under the headline, “Jack Daniels may no longer be a sacred cow.” After reading the intoxicating tale, the headline may not ring true, but perhaps there is solace in the concluding line:  Just enjoy the whiskey and forget all your woes. (HERE)

In GOP guber primary, overblown emphasis on illegal immigration?

Citing TV commercials by Diane Black and Randy Boyd, columnist Frank Cagle throws in a bit of sarcasm (evidently, Gov. Bill Haslam and the Republican legislature have allowed the state to be overrun) in suggesting gubernatorial candidate passion for attacking illegal immigration is overblown to the detriment of discussing other issues actually related to state, rather than federal, government. Health care, for example. The reason, he says, is pandering to right-wing  talk radio and popular websites devoted to crusading against illegal immigrants. The article is HERE. The last line:

There was a time when John Seigenthaler and the Nashville Tennessean set the campaign agenda and influenced candidate positions on issues. That role is now being filled by Steve Gill and the Tennessee Star website.

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Thousands attend Women’s March events in Tennessee; most in Nashville & Knoxville

Women’s March events in Tennessee, held in conjunction with similar rallies around the nation, drew thousands of participants, according to media reports. It appears the best-attended events were in Nashville on Saturday and Knoxville on Sunday.

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Some end-of-the-year reading suggestions for TN political junkies

A sampling of recent Tennessee-oriented political commentary and reporting that was not included in earlier blog postings, but is perhaps of interest to political junkies not engaged in seeking post-Christmas shopping bargains, New Year’s Eve party planning or other seasonal activities:

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Suggested TN political junkie reading: From a hallelujah for Haslam to John Wilder’s ghost

A listing of some recent writing on Tennessee politics and state government matters (delving into state history in a couple of cases; a ghost in another) that didn’t get mentioned in daily blogging but are well worth reading – at least in the opinion of one Tennessee political junkie.

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State budget hearing notes: Talk of cuts and needs for new spending

As he began hearings on developing a state budget for the coming year, Gov. Bill Haslam said Monday that some departments and agencies may have to make cuts, reports WPLN. At the same time, other media outlets report there were requests from some department for increased spending.

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Gubernatorial candidate doings, 9/13/2017

Six major candidates for governor appeared, one at a time, before a Tennessee Business Roundtable forum Tuesday and the resulting media reports focused on matters ranging from the recent state gas tax to in-state tuition for college students illegally brought to the United States as children by their parents.

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Roundup of TN media reporting on Confederate memorial matters

There is a remarkable amount of media reporting on Tennessee support and/or opposition to Confederate memorials today. Here’s a sampler:

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Some TN political junkie reading suggestions, 8/7/2017

On members of Congress running for governor

Diane Black is one of nine current members of the U.S. House who have announced as candidates for governor in their home state and a “handful of others” are mulling the possibility, reports Politico.

But most of the aspiring governors are vacating the comfy confines of safe congressional districts for what, historically, has been a bad bet. The last time this many sitting representatives ran for governor, in 2006, twice as many lost as won.

… The aspiring governors in Ohio and Tennessee have slightly better historical records to fall back on. Both states have seen three sitting lawmakers elected governor since the turn of the 20th century. But the most recent in Ohio is Democrat Ted Strickland in 2006 and in Tennessee, and it’s been nearly a quarter-century since Republican Don Sundquist won in Tennessee, Ostermeier said

TN history note: Before Sundquist, the last member of Congress elected as Tennessee governor was Democrat Ray Blanton in 1974. And before that, it was Democrat Gordon Browning in 1936 (after trying an unsuccessful run for the U.S. Senate in 1934).  Browning then lost a bid for reelection, but returned to win the governor’s office again in 1948.

Just a guess, but Black probably will not be emphasizing her historical predecessors in the coming campaign.

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Some suggested TN political junkie weekend reading

The Douglas Henry State Museum Commission’s efforts to block Victor Ashe, or any other board member, from making negative comments about museum operations have generated a round of negative comments about museum operations.  Here’s a sampler, along with other articles not involving Ashe or the museum appearing around the state during the past few days:

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TN politician commentary on Comey (‘Big distraction,’ says Haslam)

A roundup of some comments on former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony before a congressional committee Thursday:

From Gov. Bill Haslam and former Gov. Don Sundquist, via WBIR TV:

“To me, the big issue, to me, is all of this ends up being such a big distraction,” Haslam said. “Forget your politics, which side you are on, Democrat or Republican, the unfortunate reality of this is you have something like this going on around you, you are not very effective at delivering good government.”

Haslam said from what he knows now, he does not think President Trump obstructed justice. Former governor Don Sundquist agreed.

“I learned that [President Donald] Trump is not a candidate for prosecution,” Sundquist said. “Comey, I think, is distressed over the fact he was fired. He was embarrassed, and a president has the right to name their own person.”

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