License plate reading technology. (Photo: Getty Images)

Stockard on the Stump: Lee Administration walking tightrope on license plate readers

BY: - May 20, 2022

With questions about privacy and compelling public interest, Gov. Bill Lee’s administration appears to be treading lightly – if not reversing – on policy surrounding automated license plate readers and the state’s new blue license tags, which some cameras can’t read at night. The Tennessee Department of Transportation in late March turned down a request […]

Getting soaked: Editorial cartoonist John Cole depicts the investigation of Rep. Paul Sherrell for writing campaign checks to volunteer fire departments--and asking for cash back.

Getting soaked.

BY: - May 18, 2022

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 17: The new book by journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, "The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story" is displayed at a New York City bookstore on November 17, 2021 in New York City. First published in The New York Times Magazine, "The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story" was written to center the effects of slavery and the achievements of Black people in the history of the United States. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Commentary: Ignorance is bliss for those who can’t acknowledge roots of racism

BY: - May 12, 2022

Tennessee has recently been engaging in a crusade against so-called “critical race theory” in primary, secondary, and post-secondary schools.  This follows a national trend. A recent study published by PEN America found that 1,586 books were banned from July 31, 2021, to March 31 of this year. This follows the trend we’ve been seeing of […]

Editorial cartoonist John Cole illustrates how Tennessee's "trigger law" will ban abortion in the state upon the U.S. Supreme Court's reversal of Roe v. Wade.

Ready. Aim.

BY: - May 11, 2022

Three women hold signs at a May 3 protest in Nashville over a leaked U.S. Supreme Court document indicating the court may roll back Roe v. Wade. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Editor’s column: Normalize abortion conversations

BY: - May 10, 2022

Like many women across the U.S., I’ve been reeling from the news that broke last week about the U.S. Supreme Court’s draft decision that would reverse Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1971 ruling that legalized abortion at the federal level.  As soon as I tweeted, “Looks like the Supreme Court has given me my next […]

Morgan County Correctional Complex (Photo:

Stockard on the Stump: Vendor protests prison communications contract 

BY: - May 6, 2022

A company beaten out of a Tennessee prisons communications contract is challenging the state’s decision, claiming it is awarding the deal to a competitor that will charge inmates and families about $7 million more. Securus Technologies LLC lost an initial protest after the state gave the contract for inmate communications and technology services to Global […]

Democratic blue brain and Republican red brain.

Commentary: The road we travel, from the way it is to the way it was

BY: - May 5, 2022

It’s election time in Tennessee.   Like dandelions, campaign posters have sprung up across the state.  Many of these signs advertise “Conservative” prominently.  Some even state “Conservative Republican” as if there were currently any other Republican species.   “Conservative” is obviously seen as a virtue.    The basis of these campaign appeals is less obvious. […]

Franklin, Tenn. grammar school, circle 1936. The writer's father is front row, second from left, with hand on hat. (Photo: Holly McCall)

Editor’s column: After 100 years, a look at a father’s life

BY: - May 2, 2022

My dad would have been 100 on Sunday. He died 25 years ago, shortly after his 75th birthday, and I find it hard to wrap my mind around both facts, but he lives in my mind as he did when I last saw him, freshly shaved and looking younger than he had a right to […]

Donkey and elephant in front of American flag. (Getty Images)

Commentary: Threatening voters in open primaries is anti-democratic

BY: - May 2, 2022

My first active experience in the election process was voting in the presidential election in 2000 when George W. Bush was running against Al Gore.  I was a senior at Union University — a highly conservative, Southern Baptist university in Jackson, Tenn.  I didn’t really do any research on the candidates because as a good […]

The day before the Tennessee General Assembly ended business, members posed for a photo. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Stockard on the Stump: So long, farewell

BY: - April 29, 2022

Despite great grinding and gnashing of teeth, the Legislature adopted an ethics reform bill on the final day of the 112th session, one designed to shed more light on so-called dark money. Nonprofit groups that have been raising Cain about the bill, claiming it will require them to file reports for something as innocuous as […]

(Getty Images)

Commentary: Legislators are mini-Pharaohs treating the state’s servants shamefully

BY: - April 28, 2022

As a special education advocate and former high school teacher, the mother of two sons who have attended public school, private school, and homeschool, and the wife of a high school teacher, I am a strong defender of our public school libraries. Unfortunately, it seems Speaker of the Tennessee House Cameron Sexton and his Republican […]