Nate Rau

Nate Rau

Nate Rau has a granular knowledge of Nashville’s government and power brokers, having spent more than a decade with the Tennessean, navigating the ins and outs of government deals as an investigative reporter. During his career at The Tennessean and The City Paper, he covered the music industry and Metro government and won praise for hard-hitting series on concussions in youth sports and deaths at a Tennessee drug rehabilitation center. In a state of Titans and Vols fans, Nate is an unabashed Green Bay Packers and Chicago Cubs fan.

Historic Nashville Courthouse. (Photo:

Legal brawl begins over anti-tax ballot measure

By: - June 7, 2021

The legal brawl between Metro and the Republican-led Davidson County Election Commission began with a hearing on Monday in Chancellor Russell Perkins’ court. It was the opening foray of a complicated, multi-layer legal dispute about whether a referendum currently scheduled for July 27 can go forward. The referendum, brought by the conservative and secretly funded […]

Historic Metro Nashville Courthouse (Photo:

Save Nashville Now begins television ads opposing Metro referendum

By: - June 7, 2021

With the legal future of the Metro charter referendum still hanging in the balance, Save Nashville Now, the coalition of business groups, left-leaning grassroots organizations and labor unions, will launch its television ad campaign beginning Monday. The group is launching two 30-second ads warning of the negative impacts the charter amendment proposals would have on […]

A class of students at Nashville Classical Charter School in East Nashville. (Photo: Submitted)

Inside a bruising battle over a new charter school on Nashville’s west side

By: - June 3, 2021

A proposed new charter school in affluent West Nashville has stirred up the echoes of the city’s most brutal public education battle in recent history and provided yet another test of a new state law that watered down local control. Nashville is just under nine years removed from Arizona-based Great Hearts Academy’s failed bid to […]

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 15: Former University of Tennessee Lady Vol Candace Parker, wearing #3 of the Chicago Sky, handles the ball in front of Shavonte Zellous, #21 of the Washington Mystics during the first half at Entertainment Sports Arena on May 15, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

City leaders push for more women’s professional sports in Nashville

By: - June 1, 2021

In the last 25 years, the city of Nashville has spent around $1 billion to provide stadiums and incentives to its four professional sports teams. Proponents say those investments, beginning with Mayor Phil Bredesen’s decision to build the arena on lower Broadway in the 1990s, positioned Nashville as a major league city, spurred economic development […]

Historic Metro Nashville Courthouse (Photo:

Critics say proposed referendum wouldn’t lead to much tax relief

By: - May 25, 2021

The proposed Metro charter amendment, currently slated for a special election on July 27, wouldn’t bring residents much property tax relief any time soon, critics say. The property tax portion of the proposal, which would completely overhaul how Metro government functions, seeks to reduce the property tax rate to its level prior to last year’s […]

Murfreesboro Mayor Shane McFarland sits with his face in his hands at a contentious meeting to discuss the Middle Point landfill in Murfreesboro in May 2021. (Photo: John Partipilo)

While battles loom over landfills, Middle Tennessee hurtles toward a trash crisis 

By: and - May 24, 2021

From a lawsuit over the rejected expansion of a landfill in Nashville to the protracted political battle over closing the landfill in Murfreesboro, the urgency of Middle Tennessee’s trash crisis has increased in intensity in recent months. The situation has all the ingredients for a political logjam. Neighborhoods across the region have made blocking new […]

Ground zero of the Nashville Christmas Day bomb, just outside the AT&T Building on Second Avenue. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Tennessee board details impact of Christmas bombing on 911 systems

By: - May 19, 2021

Sixty-six emergency communications districts in Tennessee experienced service interruptions, lasting more than 97 hours, as a result of the Christmas morning suicide bombing on Second Avenue in downtown Nashville, according to a report released earlier this month by the Tennessee Emergency Communications Board. Working in tandem with AT&T, the contractor for the state’s emergency communications […]

Historic Nashville Courthouse. (Photo:

Save Nashville Now, a coalition opposing Metro charter amendment referendum, unveiled

By: - May 18, 2021

A coalition of business groups, labor groups, faith-based groups and grassroots activist groups announced on Tuesday the formation of a new coalition to oppose the July 27 charter referendum to consider major changes to Metro charter. In total, 19 groups representing dozens of businesses and organizations expressed their opposition to the charter amendment proposal. The […]

Metro Legal Director Bob Cooper, right, talks to Metro Councilman Bob Mendes during an election commission meeting on May 10. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Legal Director Bob Cooper to leave mayor’s office

By: - May 14, 2021

Metro Director of Law Bob Cooper will leave Mayor John Cooper's administration in the coming weeks to return to private practice.

Congressman Cooper chief of staff Lisa Quigley to leave post

By: - May 12, 2021

Lisa Quigley, the long time chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper and one of Nashville’s most influential political leaders, will leave her post this summer, the congressman’s office announced on Wednesday.

Metro and business coalition file lawsuits to stop anti-tax referendum

By: - May 11, 2021

Metro government and a coalition of Nashville businesses filed separate lawsuits on Tuesday seeking to stop a referendum election that proposes sweeping changes to the Metro charter.

Metro Councilmember Jeff Syracuse speaks. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Metro agencies, nonprofit groups partner to assess live music industry

By: - May 11, 2021

Metro Council unanimously approved last week a resolution to study Nashville’s beleaguered live music industry and offer solutions that can save its endangered independent concert venues.