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)

Commentary: Will Hillsdale charter schools teach truth?

BY: - March 15, 2022

Watching the news unfold about Hillsdale College creating Tennessee schools that my tax dollars will pay for is like watching a horror film where you know bad things are going to happen.  I am a product of  Tennessee public schools in Oneida, Tennessee, married a graduate of a public school, and am the stepmother of […]

Legislators heading upstairs in the Capitol. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Editor’s column: Absolute power corrupts absolutely

BY: - March 14, 2022

In July 1989, I was lying on the sofa of my brother’s Knoxville apartment one night. It was the summer I’d quit work to go back to school and finish the degree I abandoned to work on political campaigns a few years back. The TV was turned on, the volume low, while I read. And […]

(Photo: John Partipilo)

Stockard on the Stump: Speaker firing two suspended employees linked to FBI investigation

BY: - March 11, 2022

Two legislative staff members suspended since an FBI raid on the Cordell Hull Building in January 2021 are being fired, just days after Rep. Robin Smith resigned her post and pleaded guilty to wire fraud. Speaker Cameron Sexton confirmed Thursday the two employees who’ve been on suspension with pay for 14 months will no longer […]

The elephant in the room. (Photo illustration: Getty Images)

Commentary: GOP “socialists” propaganda campaign lacks credibility

BY: - March 9, 2022

The Republican Party is engaged in a persistent propaganda campaign asserting that Democrats intend to impose “Socialism” on America.  Perennial Republican gnat Newt Gingrich declared in September 2021 that Republicans had an opportunity to “rebrand” Democrats as “Big Government Socialists.” In May 2021, Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel accused Democrats of engaging in “Big […]

(Photo illustration by John Partipilo)

Editor’s column: War on librarians is another effort to destabilize public schools

BY: - March 7, 2022

I’ve got a soft spot for librarians.  As a kid, my mom hauled us to the downtown Franklin library every week as far back as I can remember. Even before I could read, I went along as she and my older brother checked out books. After I, too, could read, I got to know all […]

Tennessee State Capitol (Photo: John Partipilo)

Stockard on the Stump: Registry members ticked about Casada comments

BY: - March 4, 2022

Registry of Election Finance members are chafing over former House Speaker Glen Casada’s claim this week that the registry should have called him first about a questionable political action committee rather than issue a subpoena. The more they think about it, the angrier they get. “Casada accuses the Registry of bias and in the same […]

(Photo illustration by John Partipilo)

Commentary: We cannot address racism if we can’t talk about race

BY: - March 3, 2022

Lawmakers in Tennessee are pushing some bills that would ease the removal of books from school libraries, limit diversity initiatives in higher education, and restrict the teaching of diversity and equity concepts at the college level (the so-called ban on Critical Race Theory).  These bills represent an effort to legislate away uncomfortable truths and bend […]

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 01: US President Joe Biden arrives to deliver the State of the Union address as U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris (L) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) look on during a joint session of Congress in the U.S. Capitol House Chamber on March 1, 2022 in Washington, DC. During his first State of the Union address, President Joe Biden was expected to speak on his administration’s efforts to lead a global response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, work to curb inflation, and bring the country out of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Saul Loeb - Pool/Getty Images)

Biden’s State of the Union address

BY: - March 1, 2022

Following is the text of the State of the Union address as prepared for delivery by President Joe Biden on Tuesday night at the U.S. Capitol, as released by the White House: Madam Speaker, Madam Vice President, our First Lady and Second Gentleman. Members of Congress and the Cabinet. Justices of the Supreme Court. My […]

Is she in or is she out? Odessa Kelly as been quiet of late about whether she will continue as a Democratic candidate for Congress in House District 5 or switch to a friendlier district. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Editor’s column: Dearth of Democratic candidates in CD 5 leaves voters underrepresented

BY: - February 28, 2022

A redistricting that sliced Congressional District 5, the historic Nashville district, into three parts like so many pieces of the pie caused a freakout among Democrats. U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, who has held the seat since 2002, announced the day after the redistricting was made public that he would not seek reelection.  Never mind that […]

Gov. Bill Lee at a Sept. 2 press conference. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Stockard on the Stump: Governor goes off the rails with charter school comment

BY: - February 25, 2022

Gov. Bill Lee might have gotten a little discombobulated Thursday when he wrapped up the press conference for his triumphant and “historic” funding formula proposal. Asked whether his plan will divert public school funds to charter schools, which are being wrapped into the formula, the governor said, “Public schools are charter schools and charter schools […]

President Joe Biden talks on the phone with Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) following the Senate vote to pass the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, Aug. 10, 2021, in the Oval Office Dining Room of the White House. (Adam Schultz/Official White House Photo)

3 poll numbers that should scare Democrats, and 3 that should give some hope

BY: - February 22, 2022

If the central argument for President Joe Biden’s election in 2020 was his competence and decades of experience in Washington, three numbers in a new nationwide Quinnipiac University poll are a warning shot for the White House and Democrats as they look to hold their majorities in the U.S. House and Senate. Here they are: 56, 61, and 62. And […]

During a Senate Judiciary hearing on domestic terrorism, Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) raised questions about the impact on free speech. (Photo by Bill O'Leary-Pool/Getty Images)

Editor’s column: Blackburn’s role in opioid crisis overshadows her crack pipe concerns

BY: - February 21, 2022

Given the Republican Party is so full of conspiracists and crackpots these days, it’s understandable Tennessee’s federally elected GOP characters get short shrift from the media. Competition is tough from U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia who doesn’t know the difference between the Nazi Germany police force and cold tomato soup. A year ago, […]