California Gov. Newsom to address Tennessee Democrats’ annual fundraiser

California Gov. Gavin Newsom will be the keynote speaker at the Tennessee Democratic Party’s annual fundraiser, the Three Star Dinner. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was the headliner at the Republican Party’s annual Statesmen’s Dinner.

Here’s the release from the Tennessee Democrats:

We are excited to announce that California Governor, Gavin Newsom, will deliver the keynote speech at the Tennessee Democratic Party’s annual Three Star Dinner. The dinner is scheduled for 6:00pm on Saturday, August 26, 2023 at the Music City Center in Downtown Nashville.  

The theme of this year’s dinner is Lift Your Voice. We will recognize and honor the Tennessee Three, State Representatives Gloria Johnson, Justin J. Pearson, and Justin Jones. 

We will also hear from Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris and Nashville Mayoral candidate Freddie O’Connell.

“This year’s dinner will be filled with excitement. Tennessee was thrust into the national spotlight this year and we are using this opportunity to continue building momentum ahead of the 2024 election cycle. Governor Newsom has been deliberate about what good governance should include, his presence will be a breath of fresh air for Democrats in our state.” Hendrell Remus, TNDP Chair

Tickets and sponsorships can be purchased at

Trump to hold fundraiser in Nashville on Thursday

Former President Donald Trump is scheduled to come to Nashville on Thursday to raise money for his latest White House bid. The invitation doesn’t say where the event will be held, but it’s expected to be hosted at new luxury hotel downtown. Republican U.S. Sens. Marsha Blackburn of Brentwood and Bill Hagerty of Nashville plan to be in attendance.

It will be Trump’s second Nashville visit since holding another fundraiser and locking up several endorsements from Tennessee’s congressional delegation when the Republican National Committee held a retreat in Music City in April.

Rival GOP candidates Ron DeSantis, Mike Pence, and Tim Scott have also looked to Tennessee for campaign cash. Pence is holding an event in Nashville on Monday, Politico’s Natalie Allison reports.

Former Gov. Bill Haslam is hosting a luncheon fundraiser for Scott in Knoxville on Thursday. And DeSantis held a series of fundraisers in Franklin, Chattanooga, and Knoxville late last month.

John Rich to host Boebert fundraiser at his Nashville mansion

Country singer John Rich is hosting a fundraiser for Republican U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert at this Nashville home this week. Also featured on the invite is former NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch.

Tickets start at $2,000 and run to $12,900 for “gold sponsors,” who get two tickets to a cocktail reception and access to the photo line.

Funk revels in GOP attacks

Nashville District Attorney General Glenn Funk appears undaunted by becoming a target of Republican lawmakers during last week’s special session. The prosecutor’s supporters placed placards at tables at last weekend’s annul state Democratic Party fundraiser touting Funk’s record and reveling in negative comments made about him from GOP figures like Gov. Bill Lee, Senate Speaker Randy McNally, and House Speaker Cameron Sexton.

Republican lawmakers last week passed legislation calling for a special prosecutor to be appointed if a local DA refuses to prosecute certain crimes. Funk has drawn the ire of lawmakers for saying he wouldn’t bring charges for possession of small amounts of marijuana. He’s also said he won’t prosecute a state law requiring businesses owners to post warnings that they allow transgender people to use bathrooms of their choice.

Funk is up for re-election to another eight-year term in August.

Here are images of Funk’s placard:

Boyd pulls out of Pody fundraiser

Randy Boyd speaks to reporters in Nashville on July 25, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

University of Tennessee President Randy Boyd won’t be hosting that fundraiser for firebrand state Sen. Mark Pody (R-Lebanon) after all.

The Tennessee Journal noted the odd political alliance in Friday’s print edition, leading to follow-up reporting by the Knoxville News Sentinel and Knoxville Compass. Pody was heavily involved in the “Stop the Steal” movement following last year’s presidential election and has been a main sponsor of legislation seeking to exempt the state from the U.S. Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision and to allow men to block their female sexual partners’ decisions to get an abortion.

“Senator Pody has been a long-time friend,” Boyd said in statement Friday. “We do not agree on all issues. But he called and asked for my help, and I said, yes, in my role as a private citizen and not in any official capacity.”

By Saturday, Boyd was singing a different tune, the Knox News reports. In an email to faculty members, Boyd said his offer to pay for the breakfast was mistakenly interpreted as agreeing to host the event.

“I have not solicited nor did I intend to solicit any contributions for him,” Boyd wrote. “I have not made a contribution to him either personally or through a PAC. I am also not attending the event and have decided not to pay for the breakfast.”

Here’s what Trump told donors at his Nashville fundraiser

The Washington Post has the details of what President Donald Trump told donors at a high-dollar fundraiser in Nashville before the final presidential debate last week.

The president said he expected Republicans to have a difficult time keeping control of the Senate, though he expressed confidence the GOP would claw back a majority in the House. He repeated the latter prediction (which isn’t shared by polls or conventional wisdom) during the debate itself.

“I think the Senate is tough actually. The Senate is very tough,” the Post quoted Trump as saying at the event at the new J.W. Marriott in downtown Nashville. “There are a couple senators I can’t really get involved in. I just can’t do it. You lose your soul if you do. I can’t help some of them. I don’t want to help some of them.”

Jesse Hunt, a spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said there’s no evidence the president isn’t supporting certain Republican candidates.

“The Republican-led Senate and President Trump have had a great partnership over the last four years, highlighted by the fact the chamber is poised to confirm a third Trump Supreme Court nominee in the coming days,” Hunt told the paper. “Nancy Pelosi has turned the House into a liberal nightmare and if Chuck Schumer gets control of the Senate, he’ll do the same thing.”

Republicans have a 53-47 advantage in the Senate, meaning Democrats would need four seats to take control if Trump wins next, or three if the Biden prevails as the vice president serves as a tie-breaking vote.

The Post says Trump aslo bashed the news media, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), and Democrats for being obsessed with Russian disinformation. Nobody asked any tough questions from audience members, one of whom praised the president for taking on the “medical swamp” over COVID-19.


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