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: Justice will be found in we the people

BY: , and - February 16, 2021

The U.S. Senate vote to acquit former President Donald Trump for the second time affirmed what most of us have known since Nov. 8, 2016—Donald Trump is dangerous; and, despite overwhelming evidence, Republicans will put partisan politics and personal gain over protecting America’s democracy.  “For those that continue to feign great surprise about what happened […]

Gov. Bill Lee ending his third State of the State address. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Editor’s Column: Altered state

BY: - February 12, 2021

Monday night, I switched on Facebook to watch Gov. Bill Lee’s third State of the State address. There’s much which I disagree with Lee on but having read a preview of the speech, I felt confident I at least knew what to expect going in.  Sure — we are mid-COVID-19 pandemic and Lee had already […]

Tennessee State Capitol. (Photo: Ray Di Pietro)

Commentary: Right to work is a Tennessee tradition

BY: , and - February 11, 2021

Just like delicious barbeque and great music, right-to-work is a Tennessee tradition. Quite simply, this law is about all Tennesseans’ ability to get and keep a job regardless of whether they join a union and pay dues or not. This has been the policy of our state for so long we have taken it for […]

Car decorated for AFL-CIO Protect Our Workers caravan. (Photo: AFL-CIO Facebook)

Commentary: Right to work laws and the sanctity of Tennessee’s constitution

BY: - February 9, 2021

On the same day that it joined the union nearly 225 years ago, the newly-minted state of Tennessee also adopted its first constitution. Over the course of the next century, it underwent two major revisions, one in 1834 and the second 1870. The  pair of revisions addressed critical and timely issues facing the state, including […]


Commentary: Burchett Grandstands on Term Limits

BY: - February 8, 2021

In his latest constituent newsletter, East Tennessee Congressman Tim Burchett brags about his co-sponsorship of House Joint Resolution 12, a proposed constitutional amendment for term limits.  He is joined in this effort by U.S. Rep. Diana Harshbarger, a freshman representing District 1 at the eastern end of our state. Regardless of one’s opinion of term […]

The Cordell Hull Legislative Building. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Commentary: How Gloria Johnson’s Hallway Desk Came to Be

BY: - February 1, 2021

State Rep. Gloria Johnson’s desk last week was in a hallway in the Cordell Hull legislative building in Nashville.  It was there because Johnson was given an awful office assignment by Speaker Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville —allegedly revenge for Johnson being the sole vote against him for speaker. The former small-group conference room is tiny and […]

Gov. Bill Lee addressing legislator's during the January 2021 special education session. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Editor’s Column: Bill Lee at the midterm

BY: - January 29, 2021

Just over two years ago, Bill Lee became governor of Tennessee. So at this midway point in his first term, it’s fair to review his inaugural promises and assess what’s been successful since his election and what has failed. To make a fair assessment, I watched his 15-minute inauguration speech from Jan. 19, 2019. In […]

(Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Commentary: End asset forfeiture in Tennessee

BY: - January 27, 2021

You are more likely to have your property taken from you by sworn law enforcement officers than burglars. In fact, in the past 10 years, police in Tennessee have taken $146.9 million in property and cash from citizens not even accused of a crime via civil asset forfeiture. These assets are typically used to bolster […]

Downtown Knoxville (Photo: Deidre Woolard)

Column: Legislative Webinar becomes Shadow Government

BY: - January 25, 2021

On Saturday, Knoxville Professional Chapter of Society of Professional Journalists and the League of Women Voters of Knoxville – Knox County collaborated on a “legislative webinar,” coming at the close of the special state legislature session on education and at the opening of the regular session.  It quickly devolved into an exercise in “Shadow Government” […]

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 18: The U.S Capitol Building is prepared for the inaugural ceremonies for President-elect Joe Biden as American flags are placed in the ground on the National Mall on January 18, 2021 in Washington, DC. The approximately 191,500 U.S. flags will cover part of the National Mall and will represent the American people who are unable to travel to Washington, DC for the inauguration. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Commentary: Giving gratitude for the lessons of Trump

BY: - January 22, 2021

On Wednesday, as I joined millions of other Americans who tuned in to watch the inauguration of President Joe Biden, I simultaneously scrolled my social media feeds. Many of my friends and acquaintances expressed feelings of joy and relief. Many said they shed tears of emotion.  And more than a few had words for former […]

(Photo: South Agency/Getty Images)

Commentary: Pandemic shows it’s time to repeal certificate of need laws

BY: - January 21, 2021

Asher Gross is one of the happiest little girls you will ever meet, despite the daily struggles she faces. A hypoxic brain injury has left her with developmental disabilities, and she suffers from congestive heart failure and a cleft palate. She cannot speak, she has to be fed through a tube, and she has limited […]

Gov. Bill Lee addresses members of the 112th General Assembly at the opening of a special session dedicated to education. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Commentary: A costly way to change the subject

BY: - January 19, 2021

Over 150 years after the Constitution was amended to promise equal rights to African-Americans and a decade after the nation’s first African-American president signed the Affordable Care Act into law, racism continues to dominate Tennessee health policy. Last week’s rush to ratify the Trump Administration’s TennCare block grant was the latest chapter in Tennessee officials’ […]