Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton, left, Lt. Gov. Randy McNally and House Majority Leader William Lamberth, all Republicans, had strong words for Nashville's leadership after Metro Council rejected a contract to hold the 2024 Republican National Committee in the city. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Stockard on the Stump: COVID-19 voucher bill draws chilly House reception

BY: - January 28, 2022

The latest school voucher bill is barely out of Pandora’s Box and already House members are dissing it. In fact, the measure that passed the Senate Education Committee last week is being rewritten, and a new bill will start from scratch. Rep. Michael Curcio, sponsor of House Bill 1671, says the changes are merely wording […]

A group of doctors attempt to get Gov. Bill Lee's attention after an October 2022 press conference. The Tennessee Medical Association is urging physicians to attend hearings to support legislation to change the state's abortion laws.(Photo:John Partipilo)

Commentary: Lee’s ‘hope’ lacks leadership

BY: - January 26, 2022

Almost two years ago, the COVID-19 pandemic came to Tennessee, changing our lives forever. Time stood still when we locked down but since then it seems that time has flown. These past two years have been a roller coaster of emotions for us healthcare workers.  First, there was the fear that we would succumb to […]

Sen. Brian Kelsey, R-Germantown, at right, is under federal indictment. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Editor’s column: GOP legislative leadership should police their own

BY: - January 21, 2022

The Tennessee General Assembly has come a ways since the days of Tommy Burnett.  Burnett was a Democratic state representative of legendary proportions. An epic schmoozer and confidant to the late Gov. Ned Ray McWherter, Burnett was elected to the state House of Representatives in 1970, rising to become majority leader, and remained popular with […]

Rep. Brandon Ogles, R-Brentwood: Bill to deter referee assault not spurred by pantsing. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Stockard on the Stump: As the whistle blows, felonies could follow

BY: - January 21, 2022

To the untrained eye, it might appear that Rep. Brandon Ogles is sponsoring legislation making it a felony to assault a referee in reaction to the “pantsing” of an East Tennessee ref by enraged Rep. Jeremy Faison. You would be wrong, according to Ogles. Ogles, a Franklin Republican, claims he planned to sponsor the bill […]

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 […]

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 […]

Civil rights activists known as the Freedom Riders disembark from their bus (marked Dallas), en route from Montgomery, Alabama, to Jackson, Mississippi, as they seek to enforce integration by using 'white only' waiting rooms at bus stations, 26th May 1961. (Photo by Daily Express/Archive Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Editor’s column: The role of conservatives in denying equity to Black Americans

BY: - January 13, 2022

The approach of the federal holiday recognizing Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and work means this is a good time to think about the difference in equality and equity for Black Americans and the role conservatives play in the fight for equity.  Equality offers all groups the same opportunities and resources without recognizing that […]

A pro-Trump mob breaks into the U.S. Capitol on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. A group of Republican senators said they would reject the Electoral College votes of several states unless Congress appointed a commission to audit the election results. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Commentary: Selling out democracy for political influence

BY: - January 12, 2022

One year ago, the foundation of our democracy was jeopardized in a full-blown coup attempt by seditionists egged on by former president Donald Trump. People died. Confederate flags were waved inside the Capitol. People with zip ties and weapons were ready to do harm or even kill members of Congress and the vice president. These […]

Photo illustration by John Partipilo.

Commentary: A backsliding democracy and a civil war in the making.

BY: - January 8, 2022

The day Joe Biden was declared winner of the 2020 presidential election, my husband asked me why I wasn’t happier: He thought I’d be in a good mood.  When Biden had taken the oath of office, I told him, I might — just might — feel a smidge of relief.  You couldn’t have followed politics […]

Tennessee Republican House Majority Leader Jeremy Faison: "Dog-faced lied to" by Robin Smith and the proprietor of Phoenix Solutions.. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Stockard on the Stump: Support needed for ‘pantsing’ victims

BY: - January 7, 2022

Amid the rancor over Rep. Jeremy Faison “pantsing” a basketball referee, a friend asked me if I’d ever been pantsed. To be honest, I’d never heard that term until Faison’s infamous foible. But, yes, I did get pantsed in high school. One day I was standing in the entrance to the gym waiting for the […]

East High School in Memphis. (Photo: Karen Pulfer Focht)

Commentary: That’s what the money’s for

BY: - January 5, 2022

There’s a scene in an episode of the television series “Mad Men” that I haven’t been able to get out of my head recently.  In the scene, anti-hero Don Draper is working late on a Friday night because he’s miserable and wants to make everyone else miserable, too.  Copywriter Peggy Olsen is also staying late […]

Two Amish men continue their routine of delivering milk, while an American flag flies at half staff. (Photo: John Partipilo)

The year in photos: Part Two

BY: , and - December 30, 2021

In our second gallery of photographs that defined 2020, we share works by photojournalists John Partipilo and Karen Pulfer Focht on topics including the environment, families with special needs children and immigration issues. While 2021 wasn’t characterized by the same type of demonstrations that marked 2020, the year nonetheless had its share of demonstrations by […]