J. Holly McCall

J. Holly McCall

Holly McCall has been a fixture in Tennessee media and politics for decades. She covered city hall for papers in Columbus, Ohio and Joplin, Missouri before returning to Tennessee with the Nashville Business Journal. Holly brings a deep wealth of knowledge about Tennessee’s political processes and players and likes nothing better than getting into the weeds of how political deals are made.

Mason, Tenn. City Hall. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Editor’s Column: Government agencies prove that just because they can, they shouldn’t

By: - March 21, 2022

Until two weeks ago, I had heard neither of Mason, Tenn., nor of Joshua Lipscomb but thanks to a couple of government agencies, I am now very familiar with them and I bet there are many other Tennesseans who have learned about them. Mason is the small West Tennessee town located just a few miles […]

A group of young people celebrating the coming of spring with the Hindu holiday Holi. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Nashville Hindus celebrate Spring with Holi

By: and - March 21, 2022

Members of Nashville’s Hindu community celebrated the coming of Spring over the weekend with Holi, a Hindu holiday also known as the Festival of Spring, the Festival of Colors or the Festival of Love. About 400 people gathered at Sri Saibaba Temple in Antioch, dancing and splashing each other with colored powder dye. Pink, blue, […]

Legislators heading upstairs in the Capitol. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Editor’s column: Absolute power corrupts absolutely

By: - March 14, 2022

In July 1989, I was lying on the sofa of my brother’s Knoxville apartment one night. It was the summer I’d quit work to go back to school and finish the degree I abandoned to work on political campaigns a few years back. The TV was turned on, the volume low, while I read. And […]

(Photo illustration by John Partipilo)

Editor’s column: War on librarians is another effort to destabilize public schools

By: - March 7, 2022

I’ve got a soft spot for librarians.  As a kid, my mom hauled us to the downtown Franklin library every week as far back as I can remember. Even before I could read, I went along as she and my older brother checked out books. After I, too, could read, I got to know all […]

Sen. Brian Kelsey. R-Germantown (Photo: John Partipilo)

Kelsey will not seek Senate reelection

By: - March 4, 2022

Indicted Sen. Brian Kelsey, R-Germantown, announced Friday afternoon that he will not seek reelection this year.  Kelsey sent a message to supporters shortly before posting his announcement on Twitter.  “I will not be running for reelection due to a recent, exciting change to my personal life, and I look forward to spending more time with […]

Rep. London Lamar, D-Memphis, talks with Rep. Harold Love, D-Nashville, during a legislative hearing. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Lamar tapped for Shelby County vacancy in Senate

By: and - March 4, 2022

The Shelby County Commission voted Thursday in a lengthy—and sometimes testy— special meeting for Rep. London Lamar to serve as the interim senator for District 33, a seat vacated by former Sen. Katrina Robinson.  Robinson was ejected from the Tennessee Senate in February after a federal court found  her guilty of fraud charges. By state […]

Is she in or is she out? Odessa Kelly as been quiet of late about whether she will continue as a Democratic candidate for Congress in House District 5 or switch to a friendlier district. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Editor’s column: Dearth of Democratic candidates in CD 5 leaves voters underrepresented

By: - February 28, 2022

A redistricting that sliced Congressional District 5, the historic Nashville district, into three parts like so many pieces of the pie caused a freakout among Democrats. U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, who has held the seat since 2002, announced the day after the redistricting was made public that he would not seek reelection.  Never mind that […]

During a Senate Judiciary hearing on domestic terrorism, Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) raised questions about the impact on free speech. (Photo by Bill O'Leary-Pool/Getty Images)

Editor’s column: Blackburn’s role in opioid crisis overshadows her crack pipe concerns

By: - February 21, 2022

Given the Republican Party is so full of conspiracists and crackpots these days, it’s understandable Tennessee’s federally elected GOP characters get short shrift from the media. Competition is tough from U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia who doesn’t know the difference between the Nazi Germany police force and cold tomato soup. A year ago, […]

Despite complaints from the National Rifle Association and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) Gov. Bill Lee says he will sign a financial transparency bill into law. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Editor’s column: Lee’s partnership with Hillsdale aimed at creating a religious state

By: - February 14, 2022

A little over a decade ago, Tennessee went through a Great Muslim Scare.  A longstanding Muslim congregation in Murfreesboro decided in 2010 to build a mosque and all hell broke loose. Bomb threats were phoned in. Construction equipment was vandalized. Murfreesboro residents sued to block construction. A Rutherford County state representative, caught up in the […]

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Editor’s column: Fewer gun laws and more book bans is no way to help kids

By: - February 7, 2022

“You don’t know how it feels—in here,” an elementary school librarian told me recently, placing her hands over her midsection for emphasis. “You don’t know how it feels to have to conduct active shooter drills with children.”  My librarian friend continued, telling me that she can’t bring herself to tell the kids she shepherds into […]

Tennessee State Capitol (Photo: John Partipilo)

Editor’s column: What the hell is wrong with Tennessee.

By: - January 31, 2022

What the hell is wrong with Tennessee. Childhood and college friends who now live elsewhere have increasingly asked me this over the last few years and Thursday, I got a number of calls and texts.  We made national news twice in a 24-hour period last week and this time, the state legislature wasn’t involved. First, […]

Sen. Brian Kelsey, R-Germantown, at right, is under federal indictment. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Editor’s column: GOP legislative leadership should police their own

By: - January 21, 2022

The Tennessee General Assembly has come a ways since the days of Tommy Burnett.  Burnett was a Democratic state representative of legendary proportions. An epic schmoozer and confidant to the late Gov. Ned Ray McWherter, Burnett was elected to the state House of Representatives in 1970, rising to become majority leader, and remained popular with […]