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.

Rep. Mark White, R-Memphis, addressing the House of Representatives in April 2022. Chair of the House Education Administration Committee, White said plans for Hillsdale College to operate charter schools in Tennessee are "shattered." (Photo: John Partipilo)

Critics fear voucher expansion could hit multiple counties

By: - December 13, 2022

Two key House members confirmed they will bring legislation in 2023 to spread the state’s Education Savings Account program to Hamilton County, a move that could launch expansion into two other counties as well. House Education Administration Committee Chairman Mark White told the Tennessee Lookout this week he plans to sponsor the House version of […]

U.S. Rep.Andy Ogles voted for Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan rather than frontrunner Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California for House Speaker. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Stockard on the Stump: Ogles draws warnings from Federal Election Commission

By: - December 9, 2022

The Federal Election Commission is threatening U.S. Rep.-elect Andy Ogles with an audit or other enforcement if he fails to fix discrepancies in his campaign finance report. The agency sent Ogles’ treasurer, Thomas Datwyler, letters Dec. 6 listing a litany of problems within the campaign’s report. Those include incorrect totals and information that deflates his […]

Sen. Todd Gardenhire, R-Chattanooga, is questioning Gov. Bill Lee's no-bid contracts. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Chattanooga senator wants private school vouchers expanded to Hamilton County

By: - December 8, 2022

State Sen. Todd Gardenhire, assured that the state’s education savings account program cleared legal hurdles, has filed legislation to expand private school vouchers to the Hamilton County school district. Senate Bill 12 would enable the state program to include qualifying students in districts with at least five schools in the bottom 10% of the state […]

As more Tennesseans transition to electric vehicles, Tennessee will need to find a funding source to replace dwindling revenues from the state's gas tax. A proposal from Gov. Bill Lee includes toll roads and higher fees for electric vehicles.(Photo: Getty Images)

Governor’s transportation proposals draw wide reactions

By: - December 6, 2022

Facing tens of billions of dollars in transportation project backlog, Gov. Bill Lee’s administration is proposing a patchwork of proposals designed to expedite work and raise more revenue, the most notable of which would institute toll roads or “choice lanes” built and maintained by the private sector through a state partnership. The thinking is that […]

Sen. Jack Johnson, R-Franklin (Photo: John Partipilo)

Senate majority leader sponsors bill to close public records in non-criminal death investigations

By: - December 5, 2022

Legislation sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson would close public records in death investigations such as those surrounding the suicide of country music legend Naomi Judd, a move drawing opposition from open records advocates. Johnson, a Franklin Republican, filed Senate Bill 9 in advance of the 113th General Assembly, a measure that would conceal […]

Former Tennessee state Sen. Brian Kelsey exits the federal courthouse in Nashville after pleading guilty on two federal counts on Nov. 22. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Ex-Sen. Brian Kelsey pleads guilty to two counts of federal campaign finance violations

By: - November 22, 2022

Nearly a year after proclaiming he was a victim of a political “witch hunt,” former Republican Sen. Brian Kelsey pleaded guilty Tuesday to violating federal campaign finance laws in a scheme to bolster his failed 2016 congressional campaign. Kelsey, 44, entered guilty pleas to two counts of a five-count federal indictment, one for conspiracy to […]

A rally in support of abortion rights drew hundreds to downtown Nashville on Saturday, May 14, 2022. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Abortion legislation pending to provide exceptions, save life of the mother

By: - November 22, 2022

Just months after one of the nation’s most restrictive abortion laws took effect in Tennessee, Republican lawmakers are considering bills to provide exceptions, including for saving the life of the mother in a deadly pregnancy. State Sens. Ferrell Haile and Rusty Crowe both confirmed to the Tennessee Lookout they are exploring legislation that would alter […]

In grainy still photos cropped from video sent to the Tennessee Lookout by staff at the Tennessee Department of Children's Service, a teen sleeps on the bare floor while another lies on an air mattress with no blanket. (Photo: submitted)

Governor weighs solutions to Children’s Services woes as Dems call for immediate action

By: - November 22, 2022

Amid a housing crisis for children in state custody, Gov. Bill Lee isn’t considering a special session of the state Legislature but is looking at options for solving the problem immediately. Meanwhile, a group of Democrats is urging the governor to take action now to keep children from sleeping in offices and, in some cases, […]

CHICAGO, IL - JULY 21: A fleet of Rivian Electric Delivery Vehicles (EDV) are seen connected to electric chargers during a launch event between Amazon and Rivian at an Amazon facility on July 21, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. This unveiling is major milestone towards Amazon's goal of having 100,000 Rivian EDVs on the road by 2030, and Amazon has made a Climate Pledge commitment to reach net-zero carbon by 2040 and has also pledged to guarantee 50% of all shipments reach net zero carbon by 2030. (Photo by Mustafa Hussain/Getty Images)

LG Chem to invest $3.2B in Clarksville battery operation

By: - November 22, 2022

LG Chem and state officials announced Monday the South Korean company will invest $3.2 billion in a new cathode manufacturing facility in Clarksville to support the production of electric battery vehicles. The project is expected to create 860 new jobs in Montgomery County and represents the largest single foreign direct investment in state history, according […]

Entry gate at Tennessee State University in Nashville. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Stockard on the Stump: Outrage over TSU was outrageous

By: - November 18, 2022

Call it a historic attack on a historically Black institution — or at least its management. Tennessee State University officials hoped for a sympathetic ear and help in expediting the use of state funds to provide new housing for overflow enrollment when they went before a Senate committee this week. Instead, they received a shellacking […]

Former President Donald Trump dances during his speech Friday at the Faith and Freedom "Road to Majority" conference at Nashville's Gaylord Opryland Convention Center. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Republicans start pushing Trump into backseat amid mixed election

By: - November 16, 2022

Former President Donald Trump announced a third run for the White House Tuesday night, even as Republicans nationwide are making it clear he no longer pulls the party’s strings. In the wake of a mixed showing for the GOP in last week’s election, Trump lost a bit of his luster. For example, state Rep. Jason […]

5th District congressional candidate Beth Harwell, photographed at the U.S.-Mexicso border wall built under former President Donald Trump. (Photo: Beth Harwell for U.S. Congress)

Campaign finance watchdog files complaint against Harwell

By: - November 15, 2022

A federal campaign finance watchdog group filed a complaint Tuesday against former House Speaker Beth Harwell claiming she violated the law by moving $47,000 in “soft money” into her failed congressional campaign this year. Washington, D.C.-based Campaign Legal Center filed the complaint alleging Harwell appears to have broken federal rules by directing $35,000 from the […]