Tennessee Journal

New TNJ edition alert: Lee’s road plans, Senate GOP re-elects leadership team, Supreme Court opening breeds speculation about successor

Gov. Bill Lee, center, attends a budget hearing in Nashville on Nov. 9, 2022. He is joined by Finance Commissioner Jim Bryson, right, and COO Brandon Gibson. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

The latest print edition of The Tennessee Journal is out. Here is what’s in it:

— Lee wants to make major road upgrades without new taxes, debt. Can it be done without tolls?

— Political update: Senate GOP re-elects leadership team of McNally, Johnson, Yager; Registry presses pause on auditing Gary Humble; and digital ads target state’s certificate-of-need rules.

— From the courts: Justice Sharon Lee’s retirement from Supreme Court unleashes speculation about who will apply to succeed her.

Also: Dolly Parton lands $100 million prize, Jonathan Skrmetti says level of federalist view often depends on who controls White House, watchdog files FEC complaint against Beth Harwell, and the Showboats are back in Memphis.

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

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New TNJ alert: Never mind the constitution, here’s the new state Senate districts

The Tennessee Supreme Court building is seen in Nashville on Dec.8, 2021. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

The new print edition of the Tennessee Journal is out. Here is what’s in it:

— Supreme Court finds election commission deadlines are more important than pesky constitutional language on state Senate districts.

— Party politics: Lee slow walks (in)action on residency requirements for congressional candidates, dumping 5th District hot potato in lap of state GOP.

— From the campaign trail: 41 state House members get free pass to re-election, Anti-Skulduggery Act to kick in after Brenda Gilmore’s announces plans to withdraw candidacy, and Andy Ogles drops mayoral bid to focus on Congress.

Also: Scott Cepicky wants to tear public education down to the “bare bones,” Butch Spyridon denies “bait and switch” on football stadium, former Nashville Banner executive editor Joe Worley dies, and Todd Warner’s Dixieland band.

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

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New TNJ alert: Awaiting more Phoenix fallout after grand jury testimony, lawmakers at odds over Ford labor disclosure rules, Lee declines to sign

Reps. Robin Smith (R-Hixson) and Mark Cochran (R-Englewood) are sworn into the 112th General Assembly on Jan. 12, 2021. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

The new print edition of The Tennessee Journal is out. Here is what’s in it:

— Waiting for the other shoe to drop after lawmakers’ grand jury testimony.

— Domed of Doomed? Lee’s $500 million bond proposal for new NFL stadium gets mixed reviews among lawmakers.

— Legislative roundup: Fracas over union labor building Ford plant, Lee doesn’t sign new sterilizer rules, and Jerry Sexton’s latest official Bible resolution appears headed for failure (again).

— From the campaign trail: 5th District race cast into uncertainty over residency requirement bill, lawsuit.

Also: Hagerty’s kids get stake in MLS team, Bell’s statue of limitations on smoking something in high school, and Weaver claims to title of “conscience of the House.”

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

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New TNJ alert: Will lawmaker’s guilty plea spur ethics overhaul?

Reps. Robin Smith (R-Hixson) and Mark Cochran (R-Englewood) are sworn into the 112th General Assembly on Jan. 12, 2021. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

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

— It took months after the Tennessee Waltz bribery sting to overhaul ethics laws. Will latest scandal prompt quicker response?

— Legislative roundup: Residency requirements, AG confirmation, pipeline priority, and Confederate artifacts.

— From the campaign trail: Hargett’s chief of staff leaving to run Lee re-elect, Curcio hanging ‘em up.

— Obituaries: Former Shelby County sheriff and a perennial candidate.

Also: Lee isn’t sold on gas tax moratorium, Nashville DA finds no evidence former vax chief sent muzzle to herself, Curcio calls investigative reporter a “silly person,” and liquor store owners complain of getting hammered.

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

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Carr defends internal poll, won’t supply crosstabs

Former state Rep. Joe Carr (R-Lascassas) announces his U.S. Senate bid in January 2013.

Former state Rep. Joe Carr (R-Lascassas) is objecting to questions The Tennessee Journal raised in this week’s print edition about an internal poll conducted on behalf of his campaign for Rutherford County mayor.

We observed pollster Triton had included a line about 180 of 455 respondents from a list supplied by the client, with the remainder coming from the company’s own voter file (an unusual arrangement, according to other campaign consultants we consulted). We then noted that despite being the source of the list that generated 180 responses, only 144 out of the total sample backed Carr in the survey.

Carr says it’s unfair for us to have said his list was “handpicked,” saying he merely forwarded the entire Rutherford County voter database created by the local administrator of elections.

Triton told us its clients sometimes provide a list of contacts to invite to respond to its internal polls.

“To assess possible differences in the client list versus the standard voter file we obtain, we breakout the results on crosstabs so the results can be compared between the two list sources,” a company official told us in an email earlier this week. “That is the purpose for the variable you are seeing in the topline results.  Take a look at the crosstabs and you can review the differences between the list sources.”

Update: A company official confirms it received the Rutherford County voter file from Carr and used Republican-leaning individuals in its automated survey.

So we asked Carr to supply the crosstabs to show how many of the 180 respondents from the sample he supplied backed his bid compared with the responses from the remaining 275 people from the company’s voter file.

He declined.

“Your attempt to get the crosstabs to review the methodology appears to be nothing more than a ruse,” Carr wrote in an email.

New TNJ edition alert: The dead bill file, Lamar gets Senate nod, likely candidate for Kelsey seat

House members attend a floor session in Nashville on Jan. 12, 2021. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

This week’s Tennessee Journal is out. Here’s what’s in it:

— Short-term rentals, food trucks, cockfighting, and landfills: Lawmakers start to clear decks as session’s final stretch looms.

— Political roundup: Lamar gets nod for vacant Senate seat, Kelsey seat gets new challenger, Warner faces primary showdown from new Williamson County side of district.

— Going Canadian: Politically connected bank gobbled up for $13.4B.

Also: Cothren seeks to plead the Fifth in campaign finance probe, Casada chides Registry over ‘bias,’ Tennessee liquor stores pledge to remove Russian booze from shelves, and Gardenire calls for a “kilt-raising party.”

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

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New TNJ edition alert: Redistricting lawsuit, oral arguments over vouchers, 5th District field grows

The latest edition of The Tennessee Journal is out. Here’s what’s in it:

— Democratic lawsuit claims GOP remap unlawful for county splits, district numbers.

— Likely swing vote silent in Supreme Court rehash of voucher arguments.

— Harwell, Winstead join 5th District race despite Trump endorsement.

— Slatery slams legislative proposal to move consumer advocate office.

— After pandemic-related stagnation, lobbying spending on rise in 2021.

Also:

Lee unveils details of proposed overhaul of school funding formula, Juneteenth holiday runs into House roadblock, HBO’s John Oliver mocks John Ragan, and a fee to access to the Sunsphere observation deck.

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

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New TNJ alert: A pricey plan to revive the old Legislative Plaza, a new deputy governor, and an interview with Ortagus

_ Planned overhaul of old legislative complex costlier than new one, state to ‘dispose’ of controversial office tower.

_ Legislative roundup: Campbell approved for Supreme Court, standardized test requirement punted in Senate.

_ The outsider’s insider: Butch Eley named top Lee deputy.

_ Congressional races: An interview with Morgan Ortagus after she jumps into the 5th District race with Trump’s endorsement in hand.

Also: David Lillard doubles down on fossil fuel investments, a “mysterious man” walks along the Smokies, battle lines are forming in the Hamilton County mayor’s race, and a very large check arrives in an unmarked envelope.

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

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New TNJ alert: What does a stationary bike maker have to do with the Tennessee economy?

Lawmakers attend Gov. Bill Lee’s State of the State address in Nashville on Jan. 31, 2022. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

The new print edition of The Tennessee Journal is out in the world. Here’s what’s in it:

— Are Peloton’s struggles a cautionary tale for the state economy? Lee delivers annual budget address, lawmakers fret about a future economic downturn.

— Removed without delay: Convicted Sen. Katrina Robinson calls ouster from chamber a “procedural lynching.”

— Campaign finance update: Lee raises big money for re-election bid, House GOP haul is down from two years ago, and Casada travels to Santa Fe.

Also: Registry to hold special meeting to take up subpoenas on mystery PAC on March 7, McNally gives Lamberth an inadvertent “promotion,” and the Senate Finance chairman bats down ballpark funding proposal by his hometown mayor.

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

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New TNJ alert: 5th District update, logistics of Robinson proceedings, final state House maps

Sen. Ferrell Haile (R-Gallatin) presides over an Ethics Committee meeting about Sen. Katrina Robinson (D-Memphis), in Nashville on Jan. 20, 2022. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

The latest print edition of The Tennessee Journal is out. Here’s what’s in it:

— Morgan who? Trump makes surprise 5th District endorsement.

— Ouster watch: Senate to weigh whether to expel Robinson after Wednesday debate.

— Redistricting roundup: 2 steps forward, 1 step back: House GOP undoes some incumbent pairings.

Also: Advocates of right-to-work amendment get favorable internal poll results, Janice Bowling gets COVID-19, and Terri Lynn Weaver gets biblical about Nashville’s raucous tourist district.

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

Or subscribe here.