House balks at requiring disclosure of social media political ad sponsors

A Senate-passed bill that would require the disclosure of who paid for political ads on social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook is likely dead for the year after failing to get enough votes in the House on Monday, reports the Associated Press.

Continue reading

Blackburn campaign hires new communications director

Press release from Marsha Blackburn campaign

BRENTWOOD, TN – The Marsha for Senate campaign announced Abbi Sigler is joining the campaign as communications director. Andrea Bozek will continue to serve as a campaign advisor.

Continue reading

Corker won’t be a lobbyist; otherwise ‘no idea’ of post-Senate future

In a nationally televised interview Sunday, U.S. Sen. Bob Corker said he doesn’t know what he’ll do once after leaving Congress in January, but the Times Free Press notes he also declared there’s one thing his future won’t include: Following the well-worn Washington path from lawmaker to hired-gun lobbyist.

Continue reading

Ralph Bristol begs off of state Senate bid

As we first reported in the current edition of the Tennessee Journal, former conservative talk radio host Ralph Bristol had agreed to run against state Sen. Jeff Yarbro (D-Nashville) this fall before ultimately changing his mind because of objections to the campaign tactics that he was told he would have had to pursue.

Following is Bristol’s own account about why he made the decision not to run:

Continue reading

Columnist in chemotherapy backs medical marijuana bill

Frank Cagle, currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment for cancer, declares his support for legislation to legalize medical cannabis oil in his current News Sentinel column. It begins as follows:

If you lose 40 pounds and the sight and smell of food make you wretch, you are tempted to try most anything for relief. If you ask around, you can find cannabis oil here in Tennessee. But it has drawbacks.

— You don’t know where it came from.

— You don’t know what the dosage is.

Continue reading

Haslam urges media be ‘active and engaged’ as ‘unheard of outside money’ enters TN politics

Gov. Bill Haslam told Tennessee Press Association members Thursday that he hopes they maintain their news coverage in a “really important political year” despite economic pressures facing newspapers and that he believes there should be “not just a free press but an active and engaged press matters,” reports the Times Free Press.

Continue reading

AG Slatery: Exit of communications director ‘a bummer for our office’

Press release from Tennessee Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III today announced Harlow Sumerford, Director of Communications, will leave the Attorney General’s Office to join the communications team at HCA Healthcare as Manager of Media Relations.

Continue reading

Nashville talk show host Ralph Bristol terminated

Conservative Nashville radio talk show host Ralph Bristol says he has been fired by Cumulus Media “due to irreconcilable editorial differences.” He has been talking on WWTN – often with Republican elected officials and candidates as guests – for 11 years.

Excerpt from a Bristol Facebook post:

We cannot agree on what information and communications should be kept private and which should be hashed out publicly. Since I won’t abide by their rules, they will not abide by my continued employment.

Please know first, I am not sad or angry. And I have nothing to fear, financially or otherwise. I’m free, happy and as blessed as ever.

Bristol wrote that he may do daily podcasts instead and put up the first on Friday, during which he says the station officials accused him of “insubordination” and the dispute had to do with what he considers misleading information on President Trump’s medical diagnosis.

Anonymous robocall bashes Burchett over reported FBI investigation

A Tuesday night robocall to some Knox County residents slammed Knox County Mayor and Second Congressional candidate Tim Burchett over reports that he faces an FBI investigation, reports the News Sentinel. The automated call came from a number used by the Farragut Press, though Publisher Tony Cox says the publication had nothing to do with the call.

Continue reading

Erik Schelzig named editor of Tennessee Journal

Erik Schelzig, an Associated Press reporter on Tennessee state government and politics for a dozen years, has been named editor of The Tennessee Journal.

He succeeds Ed Cromer, who is retiring after 20 years of researching and writing astute weekly reviews of Volunteer State governmental and political doings as editor — preceded by years of newspaper reporting, much of it also on politics and state government.  Cromer announced Schelzig’s appointment in Friday’s edition of the Journal, which also hosts this blog.

Schelzig, a married father of three with a master’s degree in political science, spent a year in Germany working for the Washington Post and the German news magazine Der Spiegel before signing on with the AP in 2003.

“Erik’s knowledge of state government and politics and his many contacts will serve Journal readers well,” writes a “delighted” Cromer.

Note: Having been privileged to know both Ed and Erik for years, this old guy is delighted, too. The fellows have different personalities, but they are both smart, intensely interested in government and politics and dedicated to being as objective as possible in reporting. In these changing times, The Tennessee Journal is positioned for building in the future on the remarkable foundation of its past. As for that past, see previous post HERE on what some politicians have to say about Ed on retirement. In this case, being as objective as possible, they’re absolutely correct.