Holly McCall

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.

(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 […]

Odessa Kelly, Democratic candidate for Congress in District 5, speaks Monday at a protest of new congressional district maps. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Crowd protests GOP-drawn congressional maps on MLK Day

By: and - January 18, 2022

Concerns over COVID-19 and lingering snow from a weekend storm halted several Middle Tennessee events traditionally held on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to honor the late civil rights leader, but more than 100 people turned out in Nashville to protest new GOP-drawn congressional and legislative district maps. The Nashville Justice League, which is comprised […]

Civil rights activists known as the Freedom Riders disembark from their bus (marked Dallas), en route from Montgomery, Alabama, to Jackson, Mississippi, as they seek to enforce integration by using 'white only' waiting rooms at bus stations, 26th May 1961. (Photo by Daily Express/Archive Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Editor’s column: The role of conservatives in denying equity to Black Americans

By: - January 13, 2022

The approach of the federal holiday recognizing Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and work means this is a good time to think about the difference in equality and equity for Black Americans and the role conservatives play in the fight for equity.  Equality offers all groups the same opportunities and resources without recognizing that […]

Photo illustration by John Partipilo.

Commentary: A backsliding democracy and a civil war in the making.

By: - January 8, 2022

The day Joe Biden was declared winner of the 2020 presidential election, my husband asked me why I wasn’t happier: He thought I’d be in a good mood.  When Biden had taken the oath of office, I told him, I might — just might — feel a smidge of relief.  You couldn’t have followed politics […]