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.

Lt. Gov. Randy McNally slammed opponents of ethics legislation. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Lieutenant governor slams critics of ethics reform bill

By: - April 25, 2022

In the waning days of the 112th General Assembly, Lt. Gov. Randy McNally is blasting opponents of his ethics reform legislation, accusing them of lying about the bill and even questioning whether they are “grifters.” “There are many blatant untruths circulating regarding the ethics reform bill Speaker (Cameron) Sexton and I have introduced,” McNally said […]

COMMENTARY
Cardboard cutouts of fans and celebrities are placed in seats at Nissan Stadium, current home of the Tennessee Titans. (Photo by John Partipilo.)

Stockard on the Stump: Are you ready for some funding?

By: - April 22, 2022

The fix was in. Outsiders might have thought a $500 million state bond issue to help the Titans build a domed stadium was doomed after the Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee removed the governor’s plan from its budget, then the full Senate passed a $52.8 billion budget package early Thursday without this carrot. The […]

Tennessee State Capitol (Photo: John Partipilo)

Truth-in-sentencing, K-12 funding, Titans stadium part of talks in $52.8B state budget plan

By: - April 21, 2022

A truth-in-sentencing bill pushed by the House and Senate speakers, along with a K-12 funding plan and $500 million in state bonds for a new Titans stadium are the focal points of negotiations as the two chambers prepare to consider different $52.8 billion budget plans Thursday. The House and Senate are expected to take up […]

Sen. Frank Nicely, R-Strawberry Plains (Photo: John Partipilo)

Tennessee lieutenant governor urges Niceley to be “more careful” after anti-Semitic remark

By: - April 20, 2022

Lt. Gov. Randy McNally is calling on Sen. Frank Niceley to be more cautious with his verbiage after congressional candidate Morgan Ortagus lashed out at the Strawberry Plains Republican for making an anti-Semitic comment. “While I do not believe that Frank Niceley is anti-Semitic in his heart, his recent comments were clearly insensitive. I am […]

COMMENTARY
Tennessee State Capitol. (Photo: Ray Di Pietro)

Stockard on the Stump: Ethics reform could affect governor’s cabinet

By: - April 15, 2022

Part of the legislation designed to shed more light on finances in Tennessee political circles would add the governor’s cabinet members to the list of people prohibited from running consulting businesses on the side. And while some folks say that is already a state law, apparently it’s not being followed. Thus, it’s among comprehensive changes […]

The Tennessee Supreme Court Building in Nashville, Tennessee, is the historic building that houses the Tennessee Supreme Court offices and where the court meets when it is in session in Nashville. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2014. (Getty Images)

State Supreme Court overrules decision blocking Senate redistricting plan

By: - April 13, 2022

The Tennessee Supreme Court lifted an injunction against a state Senate redistricting plan, allowing the election process to continue as scheduled. In reversing a decision by a three-judge panel, the Supreme Court stated, “We conclude that the trial court erred by granting the injunction because it failed to adequately consider the harm the injunction will […]

Rep. Todd Warner, R-Culleoka (Photo: John Partipilo)

Representative continues business with shadowy campaign vendor in midst of investigations

By: - April 13, 2022

Despite a federal probe into House corruption, Rep. Todd Warner continued doing business with an Alabama campaign vendor linked to two other entities caught up in FBI and state investigations. Warner, a Chapel Hill Republican seeking re-election to a second term, purchased more than $6,000 in advertising services this February from Dixieland Strategies, according to […]

House Speaker backs ethics bill to bring expenses ‘from the dark into the light’

By: - April 13, 2022

House Speaker Cameron Sexton extolled disclosure requirements in an ethics reform bill Tuesday and questioned the motives of groups opposed to the legislation, mainly 501(c)4 organizations that can shower “dark money” on campaigns in the final two months of an election. Armed with the authority to participate in all House committee meetings, Sexton made a […]

A wall at the new cold case office in the Cordell Hull Building features photos of civil rights activists, including Rosa Parks. (Photo: Sam Stockard)

Tennessee Cold Case Office opens at Cordell Hull

By: - April 12, 2022

Four years after the General Assembly passed legislation creating a cold case office to delve into decades-old civil rights crimes, the office opened its doors in the Cordell Hull Building. Legislation signed by former Gov. Bill Haslam in May 2018 created the Tennessee Civil Rights Crimes, Information, Reconciliation, and Research Center, in addition to mandating […]

COMMENTARY
Lt. Gov. Randy McNally slams opponents of an ethics bill. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Stockard on the Stump: Senate Republicans caught off guard by redistricting ruling

By: - April 8, 2022

Senate Republicans who rule the roost in the Legislature were reportedly “shocked” this week when a three-judge panel blocked their Senate redistricting plan, finding it violated the state Constitution. The opinion forced the state to file an appeal in the Tennessee Court of Appeals arguing the decision will throw the state’s elections into chaos.  The […]

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)

Governor appeals judicial opinion blocking Senate redistricting plan

By: - April 7, 2022

Gov. Bill Lee is making an “extraordinary” appeal of a three-judge panel’s opinion blocking a Senate redistricting plan from taking effect. The governor, Secretary of State Tre Hargett and Tennessee Elections Coordinator Mark Goins filed the appeal in the State Court of Appeals Thursday after the judicial panel placed an injunction on the Senate plan […]