Author

Sam Stockard

Sam Stockard

Sam Stockard is a veteran Tennessee reporter and editor, having written for the Daily News Journal in Murfreesboro, where he served as lead editor when the paper won an award for being the state's best Sunday newspaper two years in a row. He has led the Capitol Hill bureau for The Daily Memphian. His awards include Best Single Editorial from the Tennessee Press Association.

(Photo: Getty Images)

Common Core booklets go to educational scrap heap

By: - June 22, 2021

Less than a decade ago, Tennessee author Bill Carey couldn’t sell his historical booklets to school districts and teachers without a Common Core stamp on them.  Today, he fears his publications are being trashed because of a new state law banning Common Core supplemental materials after they fell out of political favor as the state […]

Tennessee State Capitol (Photo: John Partipilo)

Gardenhire: Unaccompanied children came to Tennessee before Trump left office

By: - June 18, 2021

Republican state Sen. Todd Gardenhire cast doubt Friday on whether the Baptiste Group could get a fair hearing before a legislative group studying the impact of refugee children on Tennessee. “If I were them, I wouldn’t want to come to this committee because of the preconceived ideas,” Gardenhire, who represents Chattanooga, said during the panel’s […]

U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's comparison of wearing masks and vaccination labels to the persecution and murder of Jews by Nazis during the Holocaust drew a rebuke from GOP colleagues. (Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images)

Stockard on the Stump: Congresswoman Greene to headline Wilson County Trump Day dinner

By: - June 18, 2021

Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, fresh off an apology trip to the U.S. Holocaust Museum, is slated to be the guest speaker at the Wilson County Republican Party’s Trump Day Dinner in October. Terri Richman Nicholson sent a Facebook message to members this week notifying them the party is “excited” to have Greene to speak at […]

Members of the Tennessee General Assembly on the floor of the House of Representatives. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Republican lawmakers threaten to dissolve Health Department over child vaccines

By: - June 17, 2021

GOP legislators came close Wednesday to dumping the Tennessee Department of Health after accusing it of targeting minors for mass vaccinations without parental consent. Instead, the Government Operations Committee ordered Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey to soften the state’s efforts to vaccinate children, mainly by bringing parents into the fold, and report back in July. Republican […]

A Department of Health and Human Services employee holds a COVID-19 vaccine record card Nov. 13, 2020, in Washington D.C. The cards will be sent out as part of vaccination kits from Operation Warp Speed, which is an effort by several U.S. government components and public partnerships to facilitate the development, manufacturing and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics. (DoD photo by EJ Hersom)

Piercey to face raft of childhood immunization questions

By: - June 16, 2021

The chairman of the House Government Operations Committee appears ready to grill Tennessee’s Health Department commissioner over childhood immunization policy, potentially to overturn the state’s mature minor doctrine. Rep. John Ragan, an Oak Ridge Republican, sent a list of questions June 12 to the Department of Health requesting that Commissioner Lisa Piercey be prepared to […]

(Photo: Getty Images)

Massive federal funding to locals could put burden on banks

By: - June 15, 2021

Local governments are slated to receive $2.28 billion in federal funds through the American Recovery Plan, but banks could be running into a problem handling the amount of money slated to go straight to counties and cities. Finance and Administration Commissioner Butch Eley, Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, House Speaker Cameron Sexton, Comptroller Jason Mumpower and […]

Flanked by legislative leaders, Gov. Bill Lee signs - for the second time -a law permitting permitless gun carry. (Photo: Sam Stockard)

Governor goes “back to the future” with Memphis Megasite push

By: - June 11, 2021

Gov. Bill Lee sent out a press release this week hailing a renewed effort to market the Memphis Regional Megasite in Haywood County and – at long last – build a wastewater line needed to attract a major manufacturer. It’s a tactical change of sorts because not too long ago, state officials were saying Tennessee […]

(Art: Getty Images)

Harwell considering congressional run if the lines are right

By: - June 10, 2021

Former Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell has a hankering to enter public office again. In fact, after just four years away from the state House, she’s eyeing a congressional race if the 2022 redistricting plan puts her in a strong position. In an interview Thursday with the Tennessee Lookout, Harwell, a southwest Davidson County Republican, […]

Map of Tennessee's 5th congressional district. (Map: Cooper.house.gov.)

Democrats anticipate Republican efforts to redraw Cooper’s district out of existence

By: - June 10, 2021

Republicans already hold seven of nine Tennessee congressional districts, but with redistricting approaching in 2022, Democrats fear the GOP-controlled Legislature will try to redraw U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper’s Nashville-based district and effectively push him out of Congress. Such a move could help Republicans gain another seat in Congress to chip away at Democrat control on […]

Sen. Heidi Campbell, D-Nashville, has called Gov. Bill Lee's cancellation of unemployment benefits while giving money to businesses an "immoral double standard."(Photo: John Partipilo)

Lee defends federal unemployment cut despite potential loss of $486M

By: - June 9, 2021

Citing a Memphis restaurateur’s troubles with finding workers, Gov. Bill Lee defended his decision Tuesday to end federal unemployment benefits to people still hobbled by the COVID-19 pandemic, despite a report showing the state economy could take a $486 million hit. Questioned about the expected loss by Tennessee’s economy detailed in a congressional report, in […]

State Sen. Todd Gardenhire, R-Chattanooga, center, has expressed suspicion about the suspension of the Baptiste Group. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Gardenhire wants facts to drive solution on unaccompanied children

By: - June 8, 2021

Taking a different view from firebrand conservatives, state Sen. Todd Gardenhire hopes a Study Committee of Refugee Issues will remove the “rhetoric” and use facts to decide how to handle unaccompanied children coming to Tennessee as part of a migrant wave at the Mexican border. Gardenhire, a Chattanooga Republican, penned an op-ed published Saturday in […]

Tennessee State Capitol (Photograph: John Partipilo)

Stockard on the Stump: Madison County Democrats’ fracas could lead to executive member’s dismissal

By: - June 4, 2021

The Madison County Democratic Party is no stranger to discord. The State Executive Committee dissolved the party amid upheaval two years ago, but that didn’t solve the problems, and in its most recent meeting, an alleged physical altercation broke out that could lead to dismissal of a veteran member. Hendrell Remus, chairman of the Tennessee […]