Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Buzz for 8-11-15

Legislators ask AG to file another lawsuit against EPA

Super PAC election notice gave wrong voting address (for Nashville Mayor Race)

Despite Data, Tennessee Not Declaring Prison Emergency

Ted Cruz Draws Big Crowds, Hits Conservative Hot Buttons In Tennessee Tour

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz drew overflow crowds in Murfreesboro and Franklin Monday, and the tea party icon didn't disappoint his conservative audiences, levying attacks on President Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
Cruz became the latest in a string of Republican presidential candidates to visit Tennessee, one of a group of states that will hold its primary March 1.
But none has been greeted as rapturously or by as large crowds as Cruz. Perhaps as many as 1,000 people turned out to see him at the Patterson Park Community Center in Murfreesboro, and a crowd that was at least as large packed a hall in the Factory in Franklin.
The GOP presidential contender delivered speeches in both locations that were unyieldingly conservative. He called Clinton "a socialist" and reiterated his claim President Obama would become the "leading financier of radical terrorists" if the nuclear deal with Iran is approved.
Cruz also lodged attacks against the U.S. Department of Justice, the IRS and Planned Parenthood. The message played well with the ardently conservative voters who will likely decide the Tennessee primary. But Cruz says his message can also win the Republican nomination and the White House. LINK

Super PAC election notice gave wrong voting address

A mail flier paid for by a Super PAC that has helped David Fox in Nashville's mayoral race urged hundreds of residents in Green Hills to vote at a polling location that had the wrong address listed.
But a top official for Austin, Texas-based Citizen Super PAC says the political action committee did not intentionally mislead voters.
Nashvillians in several neighborhoods across Davidson County received "election participation" notices the day before Thursday's election and on election day itself that were paid by Citizen Super PAC, whose Nashville efforts are bankrolled entirely by Fox's older brother, George Fox, a hedge-fund manager in Connecticut.
The double-sided notice, which features the United States seal, makes no mention of Fox and simply reminds voters of the election. It is unclear who the notices targeted, but previous mail ads funded by Citizen Super PAC have targeted Republican voters.
People in Green Hills whose polling location is 25-1 were given the wrong address as their voting location, however. The Citizen Super PAC flier told them to vote at Boy Scouts of America at 3414 West End Ave. The actual address of Boy Scouts of America is 3414 Hillsboro Pike. LINK

Legislators ask AG to file another lawsuit against EPA

While 63 state legislators urged state Attorney General Herbert Slatery to join a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency over new federal water pollution rules, just 19 have now signed a letter last week urging him to join a lawsuit against new EPA air pollution rules.
A Democrat-oriented group, meanwhile, has been established within the state to promote approval of the air pollution regulations.
Slatery followed the 63 legislators’ advice on the “Waters of the United States” rules — a coalition of business organizations sent a similar letter — and filed the requested lawsuit. He has not responded to the new request from 19 legislators.
Two Democrats joined the water pollution request letter. Only 19 Republicans — including Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey — signed the air pollution lawsuit request letter. LINK

Despite Data, Tennessee Not Declaring Prison Emergency

Despite recent data that shows the Tennessee prison system is at a capacity level that could allow for an overcrowding emergency to be declared, Gov. Bill Haslam and state's Department of Correction say no overcrowding emergency exists.
According to data obtained by The Tennessean, as of June 30, the prison system was operating at 98.5 percent capacity, with 95.1 percent of total beds filled. State law says if the in-house prison capacity exceeds 95 percent for more than 30 days, the commissioner can ask the governor to declare an overcrowding emergency.
Tennessee Department of Correction spokeswoman Neysa Taylor said the department isn't required to declare an emergency based on current data.
"Our operating capacity is established lower than the total number of beds available to TDOC. Based on those numbers TDOC is within guidelines and no declaration of overcrowding is required," Taylor said.
The law says if an emergency is declared, state and parole officials may determine which prisoners should be granted early probation until capacity reaches 90 percent. LINK

Washington Update by Billy Moore

The Senate adjourned for August last week after failing to begin debate on legislation to make Planned Parenthood ineligible for federal funding and reaching agreements on how to conduct September debates on cybersecurity and the proposed Iran nuclear agreement.  The House and Senate will reconvene for legislation again on September 8.
A tall stack of unfinished business awaits the scheduled 45 legislative days of the fall session: a highway bill, its Ex-Im Bank rider, its possible international tax reform revenue source, banking regulatory reforms, a continuing resolution, the debt ceiling, a budget deal, disapproval of the Iran nuclear agreement, cybersecurity, education reforms, reconciliation legislation to repeal health care reform, tax extenders, criminal justice reform, and a possible Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed on Thursday that Congress would not shut down government over funding for Planned Parenthood, despite calls from conservatives led by Senator Ted Cruz - who helped foster the 2013 shutdown over health rate reform - to vote down any spending bill that does not make Planned Parenthood ineligible for funding.
When the Senate returns in September, the Iran disapproval resolution will be the first order of business. Currently, 53 Republicans and 2 Democrats have announced their opposition to the seven-nation pact, 29 Democrats and 1 Republican have not announced a position.  When Senator Chuck Schumer, the presumed successor to Democratic Leader Harry Reid, announced his opposition Friday, White House allies attacked with unusual vigor while expressing confidence that Schumer's opposition would not derail the agreement.

Thursday night's Republican presidential debate described a U.S. in deep trouble.  Ohio Governor John Kasich and Florida Senator Marco Rubio probably had the best performances, while New York businessman Donald Trump refused to rule out running as a third-party candidate if he fails to win the Republican nomination.

Crockett Policy Institute

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