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.

Attorney James Blumstein provides legal advice to the Davidson County Election Commission at its meeting on Monday, May 10 in Nashville. (Photo by John Partipilo.)

Anti-tax charter amendment set for July 27 election, but lawsuit is likely

By: - May 10, 2021

The Republican-led Davidson County Election Commission voted along party lines to put a charter amendment proposal on the ballot for Aug. 3.

A primer: Key players and legal ramifications of the Nashville anti-tax referendum

By: - May 10, 2021

The Davidson County Election Commission will meet on Monday to consider a proposal that would completely overhaul how Metro operates, drastically curb the government’s ability to raise property taxes and make elected officials susceptible to be easily recalled from office. The election commission will hear a report from its handpicked attorneys about the legality of […]

Mayor John Cooper gives his second State of Metro Address on April 30 at the Music City Center. (Photo:

Mayor Cooper’s moves on education create optimism for MNPS

By: - May 7, 2021

In the last three months, Nashville Mayor John Cooper has broken two records for public education spending. In February, Cooper’s administration dedicated a record $191 million in capital projects for Metro Nashville Public Schools. The capital spending plan included $100 million for a new Bellevue high school, which would be the most expensive capital schools […]

Conceptual rendering of the Oracle campus in Nashville courtesy of Mayor John Cooper's office.

Metro Council unanimously approves $175M Oracle economic development deal

By: - May 4, 2021

Metro Council unanimously approved a $175 million economic incentive for tech giant Oracle to build a campus on the east bank of the Cumberland River, bringing to fruition a project years in the making. The Oracle project will bring 8,500 jobs with an average annual salary of $110,000. The company is committing to $1.2 billion […]

Ronnie Campbell, a Nashville Speedway driver, takes his car for a spin on the track in March 2020. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Bristol Motorsports makes its sales pitch to Nashville

By: - May 3, 2021

After nearly a decade of overtures, near deals and rumors, the return of NASCAR to the Nashville fairgrounds is approaching the checkered flag. Nashville Mayor John Cooper has signed a letter of intent with Bristol Motor Speedway and state legislation to create a funding mechanism is making its way through the General Assembly. While crucial […]

Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 12 - Mayor John Cooper speaks at prayer vigil at Shrader Lane Church of Christ.

Mayor Cooper devotes $50M to make MNPS teachers highest paid in state

By: - April 29, 2021

Nashville Mayor John Cooper is proposing a budget that will pump $81 million more dollars in public schools and make the city’s teachers the highest paid in the state. Cooper unveiled his budget priorities during Thursday’s state of Metro speech, providing an optimistic vision for a city besieged by pandemic, tragedy and natural disaster. Fresh […]

John Cooper takes the oath of office on Saturday, September 30th at Stratford STEM Magnet High School in East Nashville as the ninth mayor of Nashville's metropolitan government. (Photo:

Three things to watch as Nashville Mayor Cooper unveils budget

By: - April 28, 2021

Nashville Mayor John Cooper will make the annual state of Metro address on Thursday, providing the first insight into his budget priority for the fiscal year ahead. A year ago, Cooper foreshadowed the 34 percent property tax increase during his first state of Metro speech.  Nashville is still dealing with the pandemic, with the city’s […]

Conceptual rendering of the Oracle campus in Nashville courtesy of Mayor John Cooper's office.

Oracle deal advances after approval by IDB

By: - April 27, 2021

The Metro Nashville Industrial Development Board approved the $175 million economic development plan for tech giant Oracle to build a corporate campus on the east bank of the Cumberland River despite 11th hour objections from the city’s political left flank. The vote was 7-2 after over four hours of consideration including more than two hours […]

Historic Nashville Courthouse. (Photo:

Analysis: A $710 million spending puzzle confronts Nashville leaders

By: - April 26, 2021

The last time the Metro government had an influx of funds the likes of which it will see over the next two years thanks to an influx of federal stimulus money was 2009. After years of very public debate, intense media scrutiny and approvals by multiple government agencies, the city allocated a set of newly […]

Odessa Kelly works on the porch of her East Nashville. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Odessa Kelly enters race for Congress after a decade of African-American candidates winning more countywide races

By: - April 20, 2021

Before Odessa Kelly ever entered the race for Congress to challenge incumbent U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, Nashville politics had been in the midst of a transformation. Over the previous decade, more Black politicians won notable countywide elections for desirable posts that had long been occupied by mostly older, white men. Since 2012, 13 African-American candidates […]

Nashville Mayor John Cooper speaks to volunteers at a recent COVID-19 vaccination event. (Photo: Ray Di Pietro)

Mayor Cooper vows property tax decrease

By: - April 16, 2021

Nashville Mayor John Cooper touched off a public relations firestorm Friday by doing a local television interview tour that left the false impression that property tax bills are set to come down. Cooper told WSMV and NewsChannel 5 that property tax rates will fall this year. That’s true, but it’s a legally prescribed process based […]

Conceptual rendering of the Oracle campus in Nashville courtesy of Mayor John Cooper's office.

Oracle brings record-setting economic development deal to Nashville

By: - April 15, 2021

Oracle, the Texas-based technology giant, will bring 8,500 jobs and $1.2 billion of capital investment to Nashville’s River North development, representing a record-setting economic development project for Tennessee. Details of the long-discussed project began to emerge on Wednesday because the project will soon be in front of Metro’s Industrial Development Board for consideration. The terms […]