Election chief's pay raise upsets Democrat commissioner
VW troubles escalate; TN legislature to investigate
Tennessee Gun Laws Leave Permit Holders Confused
Such dissent hit home and became a national story when Miss Tennessee Hannah Robison was asked that very question during the Sept. 13 Miss America contest.
Judge and former Miss America Vanessa Williams asked Robison: “Should Planned Parenthood funding be cut off?”
Robison, who was limited to a 20-second response, said: “I don’t think Planned Parenthood funding should be cut off. The $50 million that gets given to Planned Parenthood every single year gets given to female care, it goes for scanning for cancer, it goes for mammograms, and if we don’t give that funding to Planned Parenthood, those women will be out of health care for reproductive health.”
That response may have cost her the Miss America crown.
Hopefully, Congress will not use it as a wedge issue to cost Americans access to their federal government.
However, a government shutdown could happen on Oct. 1 if the majority in Congress continues to insist on tying Planning Parenthood’s funding to paying for running the federal government. LINK
McConnell Sets Up Shutdown FightSenate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) set up a contentious battle Tuesday that could shut down the government, offering up a bill that links federal spending with the Republican push to defund Planned Parenthood.
The federal government will run out of money at the end of the month if Congress does not act before then.
But McConnell announced that rather than move a short-term measure to keep the government operating, and thus give Democrats and Republicans time to compromise on a longer plan, he will push a bill that defunds the family health care provider.
Democrats are nearly unanimous in opposing such a move, meaning that government funding is all but guaranteed not to pass in time unless McConnell brings forward a clean continuing resolution immediately after the expected defeat of this one. The vote is scheduled to happen Thursday, right after Pope Francis addresses a joint session of Congress.
By way of explaining his move, McConnell cited the series of heavily edited sting videos, released earlier this year, that purport to show Planned Parenthood officials bargaining to sell baby parts.
“I know Democrats have relied on Planned Parenthood as a political ally, but they must be moved by the horrifying images we’ve seen," McConnell said. "Can they not resolve to protect women’s health instead of powerful political friends?”
After meeting with his Republican conference, McConnell told reporters that the vote will give those in his caucus who are “offended” by the videos “the opportunity” to defund Planned Parenthood.
A recent analysis of the sting videos found that the footage had been extensively manipulation, and fact-checkers have said that Planned Parenthood was donating fetal tissue for research, not selling it for profit.
The short-term bill would last until Dec. 11, and would leave most spending at reduced levels, except for adding some $13 billion to the military -- another step that Democrats have said would be unacceptable. They want domestic programs to be adjusted upward as well. LINK
VW troubles escalate; TN legislature to investigateAs Volkswagen’s troubles escalated internationally on Tuesday, state Sen. Bo Watson called for a legislative committee hearing “at the earliest possible date” to consider possible impact within Tennessee, where lawmakers honored Gov. Bill Haslam’s request for $165 million in incentive payments to Volkswagen earlier this year.
“While all of the relevant facts may remain unreported at this time, I am very concerned as to the financial impact these violatons could present to the State of Tennessee,” Watson wrote Senate Finance Committee Chairman Randy McNally in a letter distributed to media Tuesday.
“It therefore seems prudent and responsible that the Finance, Ways and Means Committee of the Tennessee Senate consider a public meeting to hear testimony from Volkswagen and state officials as to the impact upon Tennessee’s investment in Volkswagen,” Watson said. LINK
ECD: No excuses with MegasiteRandy Boyd stood in front of a standing room only crowd Tuesday morning just minutes after the state’s Economic and Community Development team showed community stakeholders the marketing plan for the Memphis Regional Megasite.
The state has a history of grabbing major manufacturing plants like Nissan in Middle Tennessee and Volkswagen in East Tennessee. Monday, leaders were shown an entire plan for “Mastered in Tennessee” in hopes that a similarly sized company would come to West Tennessee.
“We know we’ve got no excuses,” Boyd, the state’s ECD commissioner said about bringing a major company to the site. “We’ve got the great site, the great collaborative material, a great state of support — and so we’re excited about hitting the road.”
Boyd and Clint Brewer, assistant ECD commissioner for communications and marketing, showed a room full of chamber leaders and city and county mayors the two marketing videos that highlight the property and the plusses of building in West Tennessee, a pamphlet book and a new website to attract businesses worldwide that might move to the Megasite.
Boyd said the state has a list of 34 companies to pitch the Megasite to, 35 if you count Apple, which announced Monday it would be building an electric car by 2019.
“There’s no guarantee of success, but like at the start of every football season everybody says they’re going to win the Super Bowl, we believe we can win the Super Bowl,” Boyd said. “We’re determined to try and get it done — and now we’re going to go get it done.”
Boyd has repeatedly said the Megasite is the state’s No. 1 asset and his No. 1 priority, and, since being appointed as commissioner in December, he has come to West Tennessee to speak about the Megasite three times.
Haywood County Mayor Franklin Smith, the county where the site is located, has been an outspoken critic of the state’s urgency with the site, but Tuesday applauded ECD’s showing.
“I think the state did an excellent job putting this together,” Smith said.
Smith also said he agrees with Boyd in that the state has no excuses for not being able to bring a major company to the site.
Boyd restated comments he made in Brownsville last month that the Megasite would be best utilized with multiple tenants instead of one with many subsidiary tenants. His reasoning? The site is too big for just one major company.
The site is 4,100 acres. According to Boyd, Hankook, Nissan, Volkswagen and Boeing’s plant in South Carolina are a combined 1,792 acres. LINK
Election chief's pay raise upsets Democrat commissionerA recent pay increase awarded to Nashville's election chief is the source of bitter disagreement between the Republican chairman of the Davidson County Election Commission and one of the panel's two Democrats.
As part of a cost-of-living pay hike for all Metro employees, the five-member election commission voted 3-1 last month to give Elections Administrator Kent Wall a 2.5 percent pay hike on top of his $102,500 annual salary.
The lone no vote was Democrat Tricia Herzfeld, who has argued the pay bump wasn't warranted because Wall has declined to go through the process to become a certified elections administrator with the state. She's also called the pay hike inappropriate after a temporary shortage of departmental funding earlier this year jeopardized the number of early voting sites during Metro's election in August. LINK
Tennessee Gun Laws Leave Permit Holders ConfusedTennessee's gun laws have left many permit owners with a lot of questions and concerns about where they can bring their guns.
Tuesday, another opinion from Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery came into the picture and may not have helped the situation.
It said, people can't bring guns to a church, any religious entity or a private school, if that property is being used for a school event.
This comes after another opinion on the guns-in-parks law that said, local municipalities can't ban guns at large events or venues, like Ascend Amphitheater in Nashville, if those venues are owned by the city or county.
However, Metro still plans to ban guns at Ascend Amphitheater, Nissan Stadium and Bridgestone Arena because city officials argue the opinion doesn't accurately reflect the intention of the law. This is one of many situations that have left permit holders confused. LINK
Crockett Policy Institute