Politics

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Shelby County accepts opioid settlement

BY: - January 19, 2022

The Shelby County Commission voted to accept $20 million as a partial settlement as part of a statewide effort to crack down on the opioid epidemic.  In March 2021, Memphis city officials filed a federal lawsuit against a group of opioid manufacturers and distributors for their role in fueling the opioid influx that has significantly […]

Rep. Glen Casada, R- Franklin, photographed by John Partipilo on Jan. 12, 2021.

Registry embarks on long road to obtain testimony on Faith Family Freedom Fund PAC

BY: - January 19, 2022

The Tennessee Registry of Election Finance could consider civil penalties dealing with fraud against Cade Cothren, ex-chief of staff to former House Speaker Glen Casada, as they dig into a shady political action committee he may have run secretly. Registry board members don’t expect him to be forthcoming, and they aren’t certain what types of […]

The State of Tennessee spent $11 million on messaging before firing Dr. Michelle Fiscus for spreading the message approved by Gov. Lee's office. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Judge rules fired Tennessee vaccine official Dr. Michelle Fiscus cannot pursue monetary damages

BY: - January 19, 2022

A federal judge has ruled that former Tennessee vaccination chief Dr. Michelle Fiscus cannot pursue claims for monetary damages against the state’s top two Department of Health officials after her controversial firing last summer — but the remainder of her lawsuit seeking a ‘name-clearing hearing’ and a finding that the state violated her constitutional rights […]

Jimmie Garland of the NAACP Tennessee testifying. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Republican district maps move ahead amid claims of minority vote dilution

BY: - January 19, 2022

Republican-controlled panels approved legislative and congressional district maps Tuesday despite criticism they would dilute African-American and Latino votes. In spite of evidence that Black voters would lose their influence in elections, the Senate Judiciary and House State Government committees approved three redistricting plans for new state House, state Senate and congressional maps. New maps are […]

COMMENTARY
On Wednesday, the legislative redistricting committee unveiled new congressional maps. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Commentary: Republican maps are undermining democracy

BY: - January 18, 2022

The proposed electoral maps recently unveiled by Republicans represent not only a brazen partisan power move, but a party  disconnected from and disinterested in the voices of the people. Despite both the House and Senate Redistricting Committees holding public hearings in the last few months of 2021 and accepting submissions from both private citizens and […]

Odessa Kelly, Democratic candidate for Congress in District 5, speaks Monday at a protest of new congressional district maps. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Crowd protests GOP-drawn congressional maps on MLK Day

BY: and - January 18, 2022

Concerns over COVID-19 and lingering snow from a weekend storm halted several Middle Tennessee events traditionally held on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to honor the late civil rights leader, but more than 100 people turned out in Nashville to protest new GOP-drawn congressional and legislative district maps. The Nashville Justice League, which is comprised […]

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Seven states to watch in the 2022 push to restrict voting rights

BY: - January 17, 2022

WASHINGTON — Republican state lawmakers across the country are ramping up their drive to enact voting and election-related laws in time for crucial 2022 midterm elections. As federal legislation that would limit state-level voting restrictions appears stymied in Washington, Republicans in the states are moving forward with new proposals and revisiting old ones that Democrats […]

The World Health Organization classified the new COVID-19 variant as a “variant of concern” due to its high mutation and transmission rate. The new strain is called “omicron.” (Getty Images)

Online orders for free at-home COVID tests to begin Jan. 19

BY: - January 17, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration on Friday launched a new website for Americans to request up to four free COVID-19 tests per household. The administration is buying 1 billion at-home rapid COVID-19 tests, and Americans will be able to begin ordering the tests online on Jan. 19 at COVIDtests.gov. This is part of the administration’s effort […]

(Photo: John Partipilo)

Governor plans to put more money into K-12 amid funding formula push

BY: - January 15, 2022

In the midst of an initiative to change the state’s K-12 funding formula, Gov. Bill Lee said Friday he plans to boost spending for public schools next fiscal year. Tennessee is spending $6.9 billion on K-12 education this year, $5.6 billion in state funds and $1.14 billion from the federal government. The state has spent […]

COMMENTARY
Senator Katrina Robinson, D-Memphis, working during the Ford special session. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Stockard on the Stump: Convicted state senator could be ousted

BY: - January 14, 2022

State Sen. Katrina Robinson could face removal from the state Senate based on a decision by the chamber’s Ethics Committee. Lt. Gov. Randy McNally said this week the panel is reviewing Robinson’s legal situation.  “I think what they’re looking at is the plea agreement where she did admit to committing felonies and whether it would […]

A protester holds a Trump flag inside the US Capitol Building near the Senate Chamber on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Federal prosecutors file seditious conspiracy charges against Oath Keepers in Jan. 6 attack

BY: - January 13, 2022

WASHINGTON — Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the far-right militia group the Oath Keepers, was charged with seditious conspiracy in organizing an attack on the U.S. Capitol and disrupting the Electoral College certification of the president, the Justice Department announced Thursday.  Edward Vallejo, 63, of Phoenix is charged along with Rhodes in connection with events […]

On Wednesday, the legislative redistricting committee unveiled new congressional maps. (Photo: John Partipilo)

House redistricting panel splits Davidson congressional map three ways

BY: - January 12, 2022

Snickers and gasps filled a House meeting room Wednesday when Republicans revealed a congressional redistricting map that splits Davidson County three ways. Most onlookers knew what was coming, but they were still shocked when they saw it. Democratic state Rep. Antonio Parkinson of Memphis summed it up best: “When this map was unveiled you could […]