Thursday, May 14, 2015

Ramsey Cares Not For What Tennessee Voters Want...More Crockett Buzz

Vanderbilt poll: Majority support Insure Tennessee

Ramsey trashes VU poll on Insure Tennessee plan

The full General Assembly should vote on Insure Tennessee: Vanderbilt Poll

Columnist: Haslam is a nice guy who doesn’t do politics

Nashville entrepreneur, politico Frank Woods passes away

Nashville attorney, entrepreneur and political leader Frank Woods passed away on Wednesday at the age of 74 following a battle with Parkinson's disease.
Mr. Woods played a critical role in launching several companies.
Chief among them, the Shop at Home Network, which sold to E.W. Scripps Company in 2002 for $285 million. Mr. Woods also helped launch Country Music Television (CMT) in the late 1980s and the Americana Television Network in 1991.
Other companies founded by Mr. Woods, who was regarded as a consumate dealmaker, included communications and strategic planning firm Media One, Sun Group Inc. and Woods Capital. He also worked as an executive, consultant, merger manager and broker for various radio, television, cable networks, banks and real estate companies.
Mr. Woods' influence was regularly sought by Democratic Party candidates, and he served as advisor, strategist and fundraiser for many prominent politicians, including Gov. Ned McWherter, U.S. Sen. Jim Sasser and the 2007 mayoral campaign of former Congressman Bob Clement. LINK

Vanderbilt poll: Majority support Insure Tennessee plan

An overwhelming majority of Tennesseans support Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's failed proposal to extend health coverage to 280,000 low-income residents, according to a Vanderbilt University poll.
The results, released Wednesday, also show that about two in three voters say they think the state Legislature does not spend enough time on issues they care about. Still, the General Assembly's 55 percent popularity rating remained unchanged from the university's last poll in November.
Haslam's Insure Tennessee proposal was defeated twice in Senate committees during the recently concluded legislative session. But the poll of 1,001 registered voters finds that 78 percent want the full Legislature to vote on the proposal. Sixty-four percent said they support Insure Tennessee, while 19 percent said they oppose it.
The poll also suggests that Haslam will face a tough path in trying to build support for a gas tax increase in Tennessee. Just 25 percent said they support increasing the tax for the first time in 25 years. Forty-six percent said they would oppose an increase.
On gun issues, 9 percent said they support allowing Tennesseans to buy guns without background checks, and 21 percent said they want people to be able to carry handguns in public without a state-issued permit.
A bill Haslam recently signed into law to allow firearms in public parks had the support of 44 percent, while half respondents said they would support a ban on anyone being armed within 250 feet of a school.
A proposal to make the Bible the official state book roiled the Legislature in the final weeks of the session. It ultimately failed amid twin concerns over its constitutionality and the placement of the Bible on par with innocuous state symbols such as the official salamander, tree and beverage.
But the poll found that the 60 percent of registered voters support making the Bible the state book. Support was highest among those identifying themselves as tea party members at 80 percent. Support was lowest among Democrats at 50 percent. LINK

Ramsey trashes VU poll on Insure Tennessee

Upon hearing hearing that two out of three Tennesseans favor the governor’s Insure Tennessee plan in a recent survey, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey turned to his spokesman and asked a question.
“Did you pull that out of the trash can yet?” he said, followed by a laugh.
Ramsey, arguably the most powerful Republican in state government, said he gives little credence to poll results released Wednesday by Vanderbilt University showing that people favor the governor’s embattled plan nearly by nearly a 2-to-1 margin, want an expansion of health care coverage and want the full legislature to vote on it. Vanderbilt is "notoriously wrong in their polling," Ramsey told reporters.
“All I know is I want to try to create the best policy for the state of Tennessee and I’m not going to do it literally based on polling. And I do think there’s all kinds of problems with the basic structure of Obamacare,” said Ramsey, who once straddled the line for support of the governor’s plan before the measure barreled toward two rejections in Senate committees this year.
“I think what we need is to wait until 2016, and I mean this, and we’ll have a Republican-elected president, I hope, and give us a block grant and let us design this to where we aren’t just addressing the 100 percent poverty, the 133 [percent],” he said after a meeting of the State Building Commission Wednesday. “We’re addressing everybody. Everybody should have to pay co-payments, everybody should have to pay deductibles, not just that little group right there and I don’t want to have my hands tied when that time comes. I just think that’s bad policy.”
Insure Tennessee is the governor’s state-specific proposal to expand Medicaid in order to close a coverage gap of people who make less 138 percent of the federal poverty level but don’t currently qualify for TennCare. LINK

Transportation Coalition Says Tennessee Facing Infrastructure Crisis

 A coalition of transportation experts says Tennessee "is in a transportation infrastructure funding crisis that threatens the safety of drivers and the economic competitiveness of the state."
“Tennessee’s transportation system is now in crisis,” said Susie Alcorn, executive director of the Tennessee Infrastructure Alliance. “At a time when our state is growing – in terms of population and economy – we no longer have the ability to create and maintain a transportation infrastructure to support it.”
The Transportation Coalition of Tennessee formed late last year "to shed light on the growing transportation issues and put pressure on Tennessee’s lawmakers to address those issues."
Bill Moore, chairman of the Tennessee Infrastructure Alliance and former chief engineer for TDOT, said, "The growing number of committed but unfunded transportation projects will only get larger and more expensive if they are not addressed now.
“These are all projects TDOT has identified as needs. A maintenance-only budget not only means no new roads or transportation options, but it also means less safe roads, more traffic congestion and more inconvenience for motorists.” LINK

The full General Assembly should vote on Insure Tennessee: Vanderbilt Poll

The Vanderbilt Poll is conducted in November prior to and then in May after each session of the Tennessee General Assembly, in order to gauge how closely the concerns of citizens align with their representatives in Nashville. The poll, conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percentage points.
Other findings of the poll, conducted April 23-May 9, indicate nearly two-thirds of voters said the legislature failed to spend enough time on what the voters considered priorities, more than half believe terminally ill individuals should have the option to end their life, an overwhelming majority favor requiring police to wear video cameras, nearly half support legalization of the medical use of marijuana, and three-quarters want motorcycle riders to continue to be required to wear helmets. The poll also found that only 44 percent of registered voters supported the act passed this year that allows Tennesseans to have guns in public parks. LINK

Columnist: Haslam is a nice guy who doesn’t do politics

For Medicaid expansion opponents to win, all they had to do was nothing. It was on Haslam to find the votes in a hostile Legislature. They knew they didn’t have the votes, but Haslam launched the plan anyway. Because it was the right thing to do and it was only reasonable that legislators see that.
Like Willy Loman, Haslam has gone far with only a shoeshine and a smile. And several million dollars. But he couldn’t kill the guns-in-parks bill. Not only did he not veto it, he signed the thing. Yes, a veto would have been only symbolic and it could be overridden. But so what?
In the world of politics, signing the bill tells legislators to have no fear of defying the governor. Symbolism, optics, rhetoric — practical politics. LINK

Adams cites ‘dreams’ at Truman Dinner

The keynote speaker at the Truman Day dinner was Terry Adams, a Navy veteran and a bold young attorney from Knoxville who challenged Lamar Alexander as a candidate for U.S. Senate. He didn’t win, but that has not dimmed his enthusiasm nor his optimism.
Adams loves being a Democrat. He recalls in his youth knocking on doors for Ned Ray McWherter for Governor of Tennessee, as well as working in the Clinton campaign. He is a UT graduate and an alumnus of the University of Memphis Law School.
His speech was taken from Langston Hughes’ poem “A Dream Deferred.”
Adams’ dreams are about safer streets, good educations, fair chances and an equal society.
His speech was filled with humor and inspiration, and if and when he runs for office again, more people will have the opportunity to get to know him. He will certainly be welcomed back to speak by Jefferson County Democrats anytime. LINK

Crockett Policy Institute

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