new edition

New TNJ edition alert: Ranking Supreme Court applicants, flight vouchers fizzle

Scorch marks from a portable toilet fire are seen on the John Sevier State Office Building in Nashville on Nov. 24, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee)

The newest print edition of The Tennessee Journal is out. Here’s what we delve into this week:

— Will the Supreme Court nominating panel break the mold or stick with tradition? The TNJ ranks the applicants for the vacancy on the state’s highest court.

— Launched to great fanfare (and no small amount of ridicule), Gov. Bill Lee’s flight voucher giveaway finds few takers.

— Prisoners could become eligible for reduced sentences after lawmakers dropped enhancements for drug dealing within 1,000 feet to 500 feet of schools and playgrounds.

— Lawmakers worry about recouping lost gas taxes from increased electric vehicle purchases.

Also: Lee sees the light (after a delay in illuminating the state Christmas tree), Gardenhire on taking the wrong hill, Robinson sentencing delayed, and the portable toilet fire outside the AG’s office goes to court.

As always, access your copy of the TNJ here or subscribe here.

New TNJ edition alert: Randy Boyd settles in UT role, Lee administration’s warnings about mask bill

Randy Boyd, right, and Bill Lee attend a gubernatorial forum at the Nashville library on Feb. 1, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

This week’s print edition of The Tennessee Journal is shipping early because of the holiday weekend. Here’s what’s in it:

— Randy Boyd hits his three-year anniversary as UT president on Friday. He sits down with The Tennessee Journal talk about his gubernatorial bid, “completing the mission” on advancing education opportunities, and shutting down his political action committee.

— The Lee administration warned lawmakers of legal problems with the omnibus COVID-19 bill, but the governor signed it anyway.

— Tennessee general fund revenues grew by 16% last year. The State Funding Board sees next year’s increase falling to a more modest 2.25%.

Also: Jeremy Durham’s latest legal setback, Todd Gardenhire takes aim at party fees to run in GOP primaries, Jimmy Haslam drops a half million to federal candidates (including two Dems), and the law banning satirical attacks in campaign literature is back on the books.

As always, access your copy of the TNJ here or subscribe here.

Happy Thanksgiving!

New TNJ edition alert: Kelsey hires new legal team, Griffey confirms departure, Sethi a no-go for Congress

Former Nashville Mayor Megan Barry and state Sen. Brian Kelsey’s new lawyer.

In this week’s edition of the print edition of The Tennessee Journal:

— Kelsey’s new legal team previously represented a certain mayor and some high-profile murder defendants. Trial has been scheduled for January.

— The uncertainty principle: Rising inflation complicates revenue projections.

— From the campaign trail: Griffey confirms departure from state House, Sethi won’t run for new-look 5th Congressional District.

— Fallings out: New books detail ousters of NRA lobbyist, Trump’s defense secretary.

Also: Miss Tootie passes away, Biden names Memphis attorney to 6th Circuit and Sewanee president to ambassadorship, the megasite loses its Memphis designation, and Lee rolls out the red carpet for out-of-state law enforcement.

As always, access your copy of the TNJ here or subscribe here.

New TNJ edition alert: Casada’s fall, Bell bows out, Durham decision

House Speaker Glen Casada (R-Franklin) checks his phone in the House chamber in Nashville on March 4, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

In this week’s edition of the print edition of The Tennessee Journal:

— Casada won’t run again after fall from speaker to delivery driver. Could run for Williamson County clerk be next?

— Redistricting: Bell, Casada retirements grant breathing room to mapmakers.

— Lee favorite bows out, leaving wide-open competition for Supreme Court opening.

— We have a ruling over ousted Rep. Durham’s record penalty for campaign finance violations.

— A shakeup at the top in Gov. Bill Lee’s office.

Also: Hagerty hits fellow Republicans over infrastructure vote, the Barretts host a fundraiser for Ketron, Trump endorses Fleischmann, and mirrors on the ceiling at the governor’s mansion (shudder).

As always, access your copy of the TNJ here or subscribe here.

New TNJ edition alert: Special session post-mortem, Warner audit comes to nothing

A statue of President Andrew Jackson is seen in front of the state Capitol in Nashville on March 16, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

In this week’s edition of the print edition of The Tennessee Journal:

— Business concerns brushed aside in hurry-up special session.

— Registry punts on audit of Rep. Warner’s spending with mystery vendor but proceeds with probe of PAC.

— Knox GOP’s effort to topple incumbents in Knoxville City Council elections fizzles.

Also: Kelsey turns himself (and his passport) in, Robinson has a court date for her second federal fraud trial, Terry gives the Heimlich maneuver to choking colleague, and Ragan’s revisionist history on Andrew Jackson and the nullification crisis.

As always, access your copy of the TNJ here or subscribe here.

New TNJ edition alert: A deep dive into the case against Kelsey

Sen. Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown), right, confers with then-Rep. Matthew Hill (R-Jonesborough) on the House floor in Nashville on April 30, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

With the special session on dialing back COVID-19 restrictions still churning away, this week’s edition of The Tennessee Journal takes a deep dive into the indictment on the indictment of state Sen. Brian Kelsey, including:

— Details of the alleged conspiracy and our best estimates about the identities of the unnamed coconspirators and other people named in the complaint.

— An apparent split between longtime friends Kelsey and ousted Rep. Jeremy Durham.

— A look at the legal team representing Kelsey and Josh Smith, the owner of the private Standard club in Nashville.

— A primer on some of Kelsey’s greatest hits that gave him the nickname “Stuntbaby of Germantown.”

Also: An overview of the latest special session and Jack Johnson’s acknowledgement that it goes against “the tenets that we’ve held very sacred,” Bill Ketron pays his $135,000 fine, and no more take-home whiskey bottles at receptions.

As always, access your copy of the TNJ here or subscribe here.

New TNJ edition alert: Could losing 5th District be blessing in disguise for Dems?

Rep. Todd Warner (R-Chapel Hill) is sworn into the House in Nashville on Jan. 12, 2021. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

The new print edition of the The Tenenssee Journal is out in the wild. Here’s what we delved into this week:

— Why losing the 5th District might not be the nightmare Dems think it’d be.

— A look back at the last Republican elected to the 5th District seat nearly 150 years ago, and how he fell victim to redistricting.

— From the campaign trail: Vital wins over Dem accused of rape, former Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey’s once powerful PAC drained of campaign cash, audit of freshman Rep. Todd Warner’s campaign spending put off until next Registry meeting.

— Mandate two-step: Official opposition to Biden vaccine stance coupled with private relief among some businesses.

Also: The general fund bonanza endures, Katrina Robinson’s trial gets underway, the Chattanooga Times Free Press to go (mostly) digital, and state Dems “voluntarily’’ stay away from annual fundraiser.

As always, access your copy of the TNJ here or subscribe here.

Programming note: The Journal is on break next week, so expect lighter-than-usual blog fare while we kick out feet up. The next print edition appears Oct. 1.

New TNJ edition alert: Durham attorney targets Registry, committee changes in House

The state Capitol on March 16, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

In this week’s print edition of The Tennessee Journal:

— Registry on trial? Durham lawyer blames ‘scorched-earth’ treatment for record fine.

— House holds redistricting meeting, but big decisions remain a ways off.

— Lawmaker no longer on House Government Operations after diatribes over COVID-19 policies.

— House GOP lands big haul at caucus fundraiser.

Also: Katrina Robinson’s federal fraud trial gets underway next week, Gov. Bill Lee says he is vaccinated and acting like it, U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper ruminates on the passage of time in the General Assembly, and the return of Chick-fil-A at the Tennessee Tower has Capitol denizens rejoicing.

Access the your copy of the TNJ here or subscribe here.

New TNJ edition alert: Lobbying spending rebounds after 2020 lockdown at state Capitol

In the absence of lobbyists banned from the state Capitol during the pandemic, lawmakers gather in the seats outside the House chamber in Nashville on March 16, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

In this week’s print edition of The Tennessee Journal:

— Cold, hard advocacy: Lobbying spending rebounded this session

— Cabinet changes: Wiseman’s portfolio never quite matched lofty double-barreled title.

— Political roundup: Another Democrat mulls bid for governor, state party fined $103K.

— Fraud or fair play? Updated indictment filed against state Sen. Robinson on eve of trial.

Also: Durham’s lawyer updates the status of the feds’ criminal investigation into former lawmaker, the reclassification of the snail darter ends decades of political jokes, and House Republicans to hold a fundraiser at an undisclosed location.

Access the your copy of the TNJ here or subscribe here.