Sen. Joey Hensley

Slave trader, Confederate general: the Nathan Bedford Forrest bust sits atop a perch outside the Tennessee House of Representatives Chamber. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Stockard on the Stump: Akbari, Towns would stamp out “fake history” of slavery 

BY: - March 19, 2021

In 2022, Volunteer State voters could be deciding the fate of a constitutional amendment banning all vestiges of slavery from the state Constitution. First, though, they have to figure out whether it’s “fake history,” at least according to one Republican lawmaker. In one of the head-scratchers of the 112th General Assembly, Sen. Brian Kelsey of […]

Tennessee House of Representatives (Photo: John Partipilo)

Senate committee bucks governor to remake Historical Commission for Forrest vote

BY: - March 17, 2021

A Senate committee gave credence Wednesday to legislation vacating the Tennessee Historical Commission over its vote to relocate the Nathan Bedford Forrest bust, despite opposition from Gov. Bill Lee. In a 5-4 vote, the Senate Government Operations Committee gave a positive recommendation to Senate Bill 600 from Sen. Joey Hensley to remove 29 Historical Commission […]

The controversial bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest perches in the Tennessee Capitol's second floor, between the chambers of the House of Representatives and Senate. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Public officials would be impeached for removing statues

BY: - March 16, 2021

Two lawmakers who want to impeach any public official who removes statues from the Capitol’s second floor are tiptoeing around an amendment that appears to punish the governor for his efforts to relocate the Nathan Bedford Forrest bust. Sen. Joey Hensley, a Hohenwald Republican, and Rep. John Ragan, an Oak Ridge Republican, both said Tuesday […]

Tennessee State Capitol. (Photo: Ray Di Pietro)

Stockard on the Stump: Top legislators seeking Mr. Phoenix

BY: - March 12, 2021

Retired Capitol Hill reporter Tom Humphrey for years wrote a column called “Humphrey on the Hill.” In his stead, Sam Stockard am taking up the mantle with a new report called “Stockard on the Stump,” a collection of briefs, anecdotes and quotes from the latest week in the Tennessee General Assembly. With the FBI prowling […]

A transgender woman hold a transgender pride flag at a rally for LGBTQ rights in New York. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images.)

Businesses support anti-transgender legislators despite public PR campaigns

BY: - March 10, 2021

Ahead of the Tennessee House of Representatives vote on SB228/HB3, which effectively bans transgender student athletes from competing in sports on teams that affirm their gender identity, both local and national businesses continued to donate money or support Gov. Bill Lee and other GOP legislators who advocate for the bill. For many of those companies, […]

Two members of the Tennessee National Guard carry one of the three original Tennessee Constitutions to a waiting vehicle for transport to the new Tennessee State Library and Archives. (Photo: Ray Di Pietro)

Editor’s Column: Tennessee’s Constitution should be handled with care

BY: - March 3, 2021

On Monday, Tennessee officials staged a parade to move three physical versions of the Tennessee Constitution to their new home in the freshly completed Tennessee Library and Archives building. The Tennessee National Guard color guard turned out in smart uniforms, the Tennessee State University drumline high stepped along the downtown parade route, and the constitutions […]

Tennessee House of Representatives (Photo: John Partipilo)

Commentary: Tennessee Republicans’ words cannot be taken at face value

BY: - February 25, 2021

If there’s one thing we’ve learned during the age of Trump, it’s that Republicans cannot be taken at face value on anything.  So when GOP lawmakers in Tennessee claim they are pushing anti-transgender legislation to “protect” girls’ high school athletics, we need only to look at their political records, personal behavior and the predators in […]

(Photo: Getty Images)

In General Assembly, bill to allow gun carry without a permit surfaces

BY: - February 2, 2021

The “constitutional carry” or permitless gun carry legislation put on hold by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 is rising again in the Tennessee Legislature, likely to set off a stirring debate as the session starts Feb. 8. Rep. Bruce Griffey, a Paris Republican, is sponsoring House Bill 18, which would exempt people from obtaining a […]

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State Senate races: Quarter three fundraising review

BY: - October 27, 2020

The presidential race and U.S. Senate races are the campaigns that traditionally earn the most analysis and coverage, but all state representatives are up for reelection in Tennessee and half of the General Assembly’s state senators. The overview of the upcoming state senate races features information on the amount of money each candidate raised in […]

Butch Eley, commissioner, Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration, leads Thursday's meeting of the Tennessee Capitol Commission. (Photo: Tennessee Capitol Commission video)

Commentary: Forrest debate has wasted time, marred Tennessee’s reputation

BY: - July 10, 2020

Thursday was a momentous day in Tennessee, more momentous than it should have been, for a decision was reached that should never have been difficult.  The Tennessee Capitol Commission voted to remove the bust of Civil War General Nathan Bedford Forrest from its perch on the second floor of the Capitol.  Much pain and drama […]