Lt. Gov. Randy McNally

COMMENTARY
Tennessee State Capitol (Photo: John Partipilo)

Stockard on the Stump: Senator predicts Delta variant will spur vaccinations

BY: - July 30, 2021

State Sen. Ferrell Haile, a pharmacist by trade, is not on the fence when it comes to vaccines. He was writing an opinion piece on the importance of vaccinations when other senators found out and wanted to join the push. Seventeen Republican senators signed the letter and sent it out this week hoping to bolster […]

Rep. John Ragan, R-Oak Ridge, center, and Sen. Kerry Roberts, right, chair the Joint Government Operations Committee. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Griffey stance conflicts with Senate leadership

BY: - July 27, 2021

Rep. Bruce Griffey says he’s not “anti-vax,” yet he is one of a growing number of legislators leery of masks and vaccination campaigns and gaining a bigger voice in the General Assembly. In fact, the Paris Republican believes only a small group of people should take the shots, those over 60 with co-morbidities. That outlook […]

The nearly 3,000-pound bust of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest loaded onto a flat-bed truck for transport to the Tennessee State Museum. (Photo: John Partipilo)

House Speaker wants more elected “voices” on monument decisions

BY: - July 26, 2021

In the wake of the State Building Commission vote to relocate the busts of Nathan Bedford Forrest and two U.S. admirals, House Speaker Cameron Sexton is set to push for a change in state law, likely to involve more legislators in future decisions to move statues. Sexton issued a statement last week saying, “From the […]

State Rep. London Lamar, D-Memphis, stands with activist Justin Jones in front of the soon-to-be-gone bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Years in the making, Forrest busting out of State Capitol

BY: - July 22, 2021

Black lawmakers have been fighting for years to relocate Confederate Lt. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest’s bust from the State Capitol. They were in reserved celebratory mood Thursday. Finally, after a 5-2 vote Thursday by the State Building Commission, including a rare one cast by Gov. Bill Lee, the bust is bound for the State Museum. […]

COMMENTARY
A pickup truck emblazoned with the Jack Daniel's Distillery logo parked in front of the Cordell Hull Legislative Office Building Wednesday. Inside the building, officials with company gave one-fith bottles of Jack to legislators. (Photo: Sam Stockard)

Stockard on the Stump: Jack in the bag sparks new look at gifts

BY: - July 9, 2021

Jack Daniel’s owner Brown-Forman didn’t violate any rules on gifts to lawmakers when it handed out bottles of sipping whiskey to lawmakers in February. But the gift bags are causing the Tennessee Ethics Commission to take a new look at the guidelines for giveaways. The Ethics Commission voted recently to have staff review a 2008 […]

Sen. Brenda Gilmore, D-Nashville, is frustrated by the lack of action in moving a bust of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest from the Tennessee Capitol. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Gilmore laments lack of action on Forrest bust removal

BY: - July 8, 2021

An order by the Tennessee Historical Commission to relocate the busts of Confederate Lt. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest and two U.S. admirals to the State Museum from the State Capitol is set to take effect Friday. But the Tennessee State Museum still has no plan or time frame to put together a new exhibit with […]

Tennessee State Capitol (Photograph: John Partipilo)

Amid investigation, Hakeem raises questions about state suspension of Baptiste Group license

BY: - July 7, 2021

Allegations of sexual abuse at a Baptiste Group home for migrant children gave the state an excuse to suspend the facility’s license as political pressure mounted, a Chattanooga Democrat says. “That’s my perspective,” state Rep. Yusuf Hakeem said Tuesday. “And what concerns me is that supposedly the state would have been doing on-site reviews every […]

(Photo: Getty Images)

Massive federal funding to locals could put burden on banks

BY: - June 15, 2021

Local governments are slated to receive $2.28 billion in federal funds through the American Recovery Plan, but banks could be running into a problem handling the amount of money slated to go straight to counties and cities. Finance and Administration Commissioner Butch Eley, Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, House Speaker Cameron Sexton, Comptroller Jason Mumpower and […]

(Art: Getty Images)

Harwell considering congressional run if the lines are right

BY: - June 10, 2021

Former Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell has a hankering to enter public office again. In fact, after just four years away from the state House, she’s eyeing a congressional race if the 2022 redistricting plan puts her in a strong position. In an interview Thursday with the Tennessee Lookout, Harwell, a southwest Davidson County Republican, […]

Map of Tennessee's 5th congressional district. (Map: Cooper.house.gov.)

Democrats anticipate Republican efforts to redraw Cooper’s district out of existence

BY: - June 10, 2021

Republicans already hold seven of nine Tennessee congressional districts, but with redistricting approaching in 2022, Democrats fear the GOP-controlled Legislature will try to redraw U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper’s Nashville-based district and effectively push him out of Congress. Such a move could help Republicans gain another seat in Congress to chip away at Democrat control on […]

State Sen. Todd Gardenhire, R-Chattanooga, center, has expressed suspicion about the suspension of the Baptiste Group. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Gardenhire wants facts to drive solution on unaccompanied children

BY: - June 8, 2021

Taking a different view from firebrand conservatives, state Sen. Todd Gardenhire hopes a Study Committee of Refugee Issues will remove the “rhetoric” and use facts to decide how to handle unaccompanied children coming to Tennessee as part of a migrant wave at the Mexican border. Gardenhire, a Chattanooga Republican, penned an op-ed published Saturday in […]

Tennessee State Capitol (Photograph: John Partipilo)

Stockard on the Stump: Madison County Democrats’ fracas could lead to executive member’s dismissal

BY: - June 4, 2021

The Madison County Democratic Party is no stranger to discord. The State Executive Committee dissolved the party amid upheaval two years ago, but that didn’t solve the problems, and in its most recent meeting, an alleged physical altercation broke out that could lead to dismissal of a veteran member. Hendrell Remus, chairman of the Tennessee […]