Teenage protesters, and a few parents, fill the Tennessee House of Representatives gallery on March 30 to ask for safe gun laws.(Photo: John Partipilo)

The Tennessee Legislature cannot say their names

BY: - April 27, 2023

Evelyn Dieckhaus. Hallie Scruggs. William Kinney. Cynthia Peak. Katherine Koonce. Mike Hill.  Those are names of the students and school staff members killed in the March 27 shooting at Nashville’s Covenant School.  The Tennessee Legislature had a chance to do something meaningful and stand up for children, but they did not. Instead, members made it […]

Flowers and stuffed animals piled in a memorial to victims of the March 27 mass shooting at Covenant School in Nashville. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Processing a tragedy and looking for solutions in the middle

BY: - April 24, 2023

One month ago, the shooting at the Covenant School took six innocent lives —three children and three adults. It feels like it’s been a year. Normally, after an event of this magnitude takes place, I’m ready to come out fighting – attacking the keyboard with ferocity – about what should or shouldn’t be done; about […]

(Photo: John Partipilo)

Stockard on the Stump: Resignation over sexual harassment leads to more embarrassment

BY: - April 21, 2023

As if they needed another headache, House Republican leaders found themselves in another pickle Thursday when news broke that Rep. Scotty Campbell was guilty of sexually harassing at least one intern. Word circulated through the House chamber early in the day that Campbell had trouble. Around noon when NewsChannel5 reported on the matter, the funk […]

House Speaker Cameron Sexton, far right, with House Republican Caucus Chair Jeremy Faison to his left. (Photo: John Partipilo)

A petty and small-minded supermajority can’t last

BY: - April 20, 2023

Tennessee’s Republican legislative supermajority is suffering an apparent collective loss of its senses, as many lawmakers appear deaf to the requests of Tennesseans to develop gun safety legislation and blind to how hard-headed and insensitive they appear not only in the Volunteer State, but to the nation.  I’ve long said Tennessee is a forgotten state, […]

Rep. John Ragan, R-Oak Ridge, center, with Sen. Kerry Roberts, R-Springfield, at right. Ragan sponsored a bill this legislative session to ban "divisive concepts" like the teaching of meritocracy.(Photo: John Partipilo)

Tennessee’s legislature is confused about meritocracy

BY: - April 19, 2023

The Tennessee Legislature is obsessed with extending its infamous “divisive concepts” bill, first targeting primary and secondary education, now going after college education. Rep. John Ragan, R-Oak Ridge, and House Speaker Cameron Sexton of Crossville (at least sometimes) in particular have been pushing prohibitions against certain ideas being mentioned in our college classrooms. One such […]

A day after a mass shooting at The Covenant School, a woman is overcome with emotion in front of an impromptu memorial. (Photo: John Partipilo)

It’s the guns

BY: - April 18, 2023

It’s the guns.  They’re the constituents our elected officials value the most. To most of our lawmakers, guns need careful handling.  Not because they’re instruments of death, but because they’re holy and blameless chalices of liberty. If someone uses a gun as it’s designed, the excuses begin. What we need is more Jesus.  Alabama has some […]

Justin Pearson, surrounded by supporters, prepares to enter the Tennessee House of Representatives Chambers. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Stockard on the Stump: Pearson returns with fists in air but no disruption

BY: - April 14, 2023

Nashville resident Rita Nix waits patiently Thursday morning for newly-reappointed Rep. Justin J. Pearson to arrive for yet another swearing-in ceremony. The War Memorial Plaza crowd is still small as people mill about looking for the Democrats’ rising star to arrive from Memphis. “I jumped up out of my bed to support these young men,” […]

(Photo: Thomas R Machnitzki)

Patients are the real victims of insurance network cuts

BY: - April 13, 2023

As someone well acquainted with our nation’s healthcare system, I can say that for all its complexities, it delivers groundbreaking, innovative treatments that are helping countless Americans overcome chronic illnesses and diseases like cancer, diabetes, and more.  But what good are these life changing treatments if patients are denied access to them? The incredibly troubling […]

Tennessee State Rep. Gloria Johnson and former Reps. Justin Pearson and Justin Jones exit the chapel at Fisk University in Nashville, a historically Black college that played a key role in the Civil Rights Movement. (Photo:John Partipilo)

Appreciation for the Tennessee Three

BY: - April 12, 2023

Thanks to the “Tennessee Three,” the nation, indeed much of the world, now has seen the mendacity and racism lurking just beneath the surface of our Tennessee legislature’s Republican supermajority. Like many, I watched in horror, but not surprise, as our legislators voted to expel two young, Black, eloquent representatives of the people — using a […]