At the state GOP Caucus' quiet pre-election retreat, the forecast calls for pain — for Tennessee Democrats
Corker griped to Clinton about Holbrooke, emails show
John McCain to speak at Fred Thompson funeral in Nashville
Until recently, he hadn’t made public a dozen stock purchases in the firm, including several that resulted in his most profitable investments.
In one previously unknown purchase, Mr. Corker purchased between $1 million and $5 million in shares of the firm, CBL & Associates Properties Inc., in late 2011 and sold them five months later for a 42% gain. A pair of purchases in 2009 in accounts in the name of his daughters likely netted more than $1 million, though in that case the exact gain is impossible to calculate.
The trades are among the CBL stock purchases that Mr. Corker disclosed only recently after questions from The Wall Street Journal about apparent discrepancies in his Senate financial-disclosure reports. Congressional ethics rules require lawmakers to make public their financial investments in broad ranges each year.
Some of Mr. Corker’s newly disclosed trades came during a period of heightened scrutiny of financial investments by members of Congress and as Mr. Corker was preparing to run for re-election in 2012.
In a written statement to the Journal last week, Mr. Corker said he was “extremely disappointed in the filing errors that were made in these earlier reports where the accounting firm mistakenly used realized gain/loss methodology instead of the Senate financial disclosure guidelines.”
As a result of the mistakes, Mr. Corker said, “in a few cases, only the sale and gain or loss of the transaction was reported. As a result of this inquiry, and after completing a full review, we are correcting this oversight.”
John McCain to speak at Fred Thompson funeral in NashvilleLongtime U.S. Sen John McCain, R-Arizona, is among the friends of Fred Thompson who will speak at the public funeral service in Nashville of the former U.S. senator from Tennessee.
Other speakers at Thompson's public funeral service, The Tennessean has learned, include U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee. There also will be musical performances from country artists Lee Greenwood, known for the song "God Bless the USA," and John Rich. Additional friends of Thompson are expected to have roles in the funeral service as well.
Thompson's funeral service is set for 10 a.m. Friday at the War Memorial Auditorium in downtown Nashville. Afterward, the family will head to Lawrenceburg, Tenn., where Thompson was raised, for a private burial. Tennessean
Corker griped to Clinton about Holbrooke, emails showSen. Bob Corker complained to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2010 that one of her top diplomats had been condescending and evasive while testifying before a Senate committee, according to newly released Clinton emails.
The emails, released over the last few months, offer a rare glimpse into the relationship between a secretary of state and Congress. They show Clinton, now the Democratic frontrunner in the 2016 presidential race, took heed five years ago when Corker, a minority member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, complained about Ambassador Richard Holbrooke’s appearance before the panel.
Clinton responded by calling Corker, R-Tenn., and offering to meet with him and his colleagues. She also used the opportunity to lobby Corker on the administration’s arms treaty with Russia, according to the 2010 emails between Clinton and her staff, made public in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.
A few weeks later, upon learning that Corker would vote for the treaty, Clinton responded with, “Halleluah!!”
Holbrooke’s July 2010 testimony before the Foreign Relations Committee focused on aid to Afghanistan. Holbrooke, then the Obama administration’s special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, discussed how the U.S. was helping Afghan civilians rebuild their economy and government after years of war and Taliban rule.
During the hearing, Corker called Holbrooke’s appearance “an incredible waste of time.”
Two days later, Clinton received an email from Richard Verma, then the assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs. The email contained a subject line of “Corker” and continued, “Wants to talk to you re Afghanistan and his displeasure with Holbrooke. They got into a verbal sparring match at the hearing. I thought Holbrooke was polite and responsive.” Tennessean
At the state GOP Caucus' quiet pre-election retreat, the forecast calls for pain — for Tennessee DemocratsBut the GOP has room for improvement. During the height of Democratic Party control, past General Assemblies scored even more lopsided upper chambers — as in 1943, when the Senate had a 30-3 majority, or in 1947, with 29-4.
The GOP Caucus would love to take the remaining seats in its quest for state domination. But the group has "hit the high-water mark," Young says. "Obviously, the name of the game is defense in this cycle."
Of 16 state senators up for election next year, 15 are Republicans in a state where the real battleground is the August primary. But Democrats remain an issue. If you combine the war chests of legislative leaders, the caucus and the three legislators considered Democratic targets in the next election, Young says, the caucus has more than $1.1 million in ammo.
The Tennessee Democratic Party has already put a bullseye on the back of Sen. Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga), one of seven lawmakers who killed a bill expanding health care coverage to poor citizens earlier this year. Like five other GOP senators who voted with him, Gardenhire was enrolled in taxpayer-subsidized health care insurance at the time. Nevertheless, the smaller-government tub-thumper made a show of his opposition, declaring falsely that he didn't accept state health insurance and later calling a demonstrator an "asshole."
"It's one thing to say you've got Sen. Gardenhire [as] your enemy No. 1, but you need to have someone to beat him," Young says.
Asked about that point in a phone interview, Mary Mancini, chairwoman of the Tennessee Democratic Party, takes great pains to avoid specifics.
"It's so funny," Mancini says. "It's not a matter of us finding people. It's a matter of people coming out of the woodwork to challenge him specifically because they know that he's not representing his constituents."
The state is not as red as Republicans would have people think it is, Mancini says, pointing to Tennessee electing Democrat Phil Bredesen to the governor's office twice in the 2000s. Although voters decided overwhelmingly to open up abortion laws so the conservative legislature can tighten restrictions, they also rejected a Ramsey power play, a push to fire Democratic members of the Supreme Court.
Moving down the hit list, Republicans also expect the minority party to target Davidson County Sen. Steve Dickerson, a anesthesiologist representing Metro's outskirts. His politics deviate from hard-line conservatives, evidenced by his pushing legislation to allow medical marijuana for some patients and voting against locking up pregnant women who abuse drugs. Nashville Scene
Gay marriage attorneys want Tennessee to pay $2.3MThe attorneys who defeated Tennessee's ban on gay marriage say the state owes them more than $2.3 million for their time on the case.
Court filings show the 19 attorneys who worked on the case clocked 5,974 hours. Given their average hourly rate of $390 per hour, they say their fees and costs exceed $2.3 million. They also want repayment of $65,555 of expenses.
The state would be on the hook for those costs if a judge orders the fees to be repaid. WBIR
Vote, Dammit!There’s been lots of wailing and gnashing of teeth over yesterday’s election results, which put a Fundiegelical wackadoodle into the Kentucky governor’s office, denied transgender rights in Houston, and some other depressing news.
It seems this happens every time it’s not a presidential election year. And there’s a very good reason for that.
Democrats don’t vote in off-years. They just don’t. There may be a lot of good reasons for it — voter suppression, working three crap jobs, etc. etc. but the bottom line is, rank and file Democrats don’t think it’s important to vote in non-presidential elections. They’re not going the extra mile to overcome the obstacles like they do in presidential elections. They just don’t see it as a priority. The volunteers aren’t there, the motivation isn’t there, the energy isn’t there.
Republicans sweep every off-year election (I don’t know, feels like it, at least). Republicans run on amygdala-tweaking issues like gays and ‘bortions and fear and loathing and that gets people to the polls every time. Democrats don’t seem to do that; if they do, it doesn’t seem to resonate. Yesterday we did have one sparkle of good news: the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court. Seems to me people understood the importance of that vote and they made the effort.
This is a big problem for Democrats. It’s why we have Tea Party nutballs in Congress and state legislatures voting on Agenda 21 resolutions. Now thousands of Kentuckians could lose their health insurance as a result.
Democrats, you need to figure this out. Southern Beale
Harry Reid takes to the Senate floor to rip “Morning Joe” for its fawning Koch brothers interviewSenate Minority Leader Harry Reid ripped into “Morning Joe” hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski during a speech on the Senate floor today for hyping the Koch brothers’ “propaganda campaign” with a softball interview this week.
On Tuesday, the MSNBC morning show aired its much hyped sit-down interview with Charles and David Koch from the billionaire Republican donors’ childhood home in Wichita, Kansas.
Reid, a frequent critic of the Koch Brothers, clearly took issue with the fawning coverage and was dismayed that the businessmen were not pressed on how their political involvement has evolved to include bankrolling such minute, local issues as a zoo in Ohio to Colorado Springs’ Republican-led effort against potholes.
“This Koch media tour has failed to bury one simple truth,” Reid declared. “The Koch brothers are trying to buy America”:
The Kochs have also procured a media that is intimidated by their billions — too intimidated to hold them accountable. Consider yesterday’s interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” show. This is classic, listen. Here are some of the questions that Joe and Mika asked the Koch brothers. Joe Scarborough asked, “It’s hard to find people in New York, liberals — we were talking about this before — liberals or conservatives alike, who haven’t been touched by your graciousness, whether its toward the arts or cancer research. Do you think you got that instinct from your mom?” Huh. Mika asked, “Sitting here in your childhood home” — they were doing this interview in Topeka, Kansas — “we have the Koch brothers, which was the good brother?” Another tough question. Joe then asked, “You guys both play rugby, right? Play together?”“Wow, those were some really tough questions asked by the hosts of “Morning Joe,” Reid said mockingly. “Most of the time, they weren’t even questions, they were just compliments.”
“Those questions are so easy, they may even qualify them to moderate the next Republican presidential debate,” Reid continued. “It seems that some journalists are determined not to get on the wrong side of the Koch brothers and their billions.” Salon
Crockett Policy Institute