Surplus Remains a Roadblock to Gas Tax Increase
Health care providers speak for uninsured
Haslam on domestic violence and human trafficking
Diabetic holds out hope for Insure Tennessee
Watchdog Group Calls For Investigation Of Republican Senator’s Stock TradesA government watchdog group filed a complaint with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Senate Select Committee on Ethics on Tuesday alleging that Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker may have engaged in insider stock trades and made false statements on his personal financial disclosure forms.
In the letter, the Campaign for Accountability (CfA), a nonprofit government watchdog, called attention to trades Corker and members of his family made on the stock of a Chattanooga-based real estate company called CBL & Associates Properties.
The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Corker had failed to disclose a dozen trades on the stock. The paper’s analysis also showed that he profited handsomely on a series of trades he made between 2008 and 2015.
Corker also recently amended his disclosures to show that he purchased between $1 million and $5 million of CBL stock in 2009. He sold it five months later and reaped a 42 percent profit, according to The Journal.
Corker made another purchase of between $3 million and $15 million worth of CBL stock in 2010 just before the investment bank UBS upgraded its outlook. The stock jumped 18 percent on the news, and Corker began selling. UBS downgraded the stock a week after that, and shares fell 10 percent.
Corker reaped profits of between $1 million and $5 million on CBL stock in both 2010 and 2012, according to The Journal.
Corker made another timely purchase — also previously undisclosed — on behalf of his daughters on March 9, 2009. He purchased between $200,000 and $500,000 worth of CBL stock when it was trading near its low of $2.07 per share. Those shares were first sold on May 12, 2010 at around $16 per share, netting Corker’s daughters a nice payday of approximately $1 million.
In 2011, Corker told The Journal that his gains came from good timing of CBL’s volatile stock.
He said he “watched the trading range on this hometown-based stock” and “found that especially during times of market volatility it trades within wide ranges.”
“I’ve bought it heavily when it is at the low end of that range and then I hold it until there is upward movement, when I sell,” he told The Journal.
But in its letter, CfA asserts that Corker has changed his explanation for failing to report the stock trades. In 2013, Corker stated that his accountant blamed UBS for failing to properly report the stock trades to him for his 2011 financial disclosure. In 2011, however, Corker accepted responsibility for the reporting error, CfA claims. The Daily Caller
Haslam on domestic violence and human traffickingGov. Bill Haslam cited the recent slaying of a Knoxville social worker — allegedly by her ex-husband who also kidnapped their child before being apprehended — in a speech on domestic violence and human trafficking Tuesday, reports the News Sentinel.
The Knoxville woman was killed Oct. 28 at her North Knoxville apartment and her daughter, Brooklynne, was kidnapped in what police said was a domestic violence case involving her husband, Tyler Enix.
“When Kimberly Enix loses her life, it’s a way too visible reminder how serious and real the problem is and that it doesn’t happen somewhere else,” Haslam said Tuesday night in Knoxville.
Speaking at the Women’s Fund of East Tennessee’s educational program on domestic violence and human trafficking at the East Tennessee History Center, the Republican governor said plenty of steps to combat domestic abuse have been taken by the state. They include the passage of stiffer laws and the opening of family justice centers for victims, both of which have helped decrease domestic violence crimes by 14.8 percent since 2010.
However, as he said of the issue, “It’s still far too prevalent.”
Haslam, who was also in town for his 4-year-old grandson’s birthday, said human trafficking is also a serious problem in Tennessee and that it is not just an urban or immigrant problem as people might believe. Humphrey on the Hill
A bit of TN partisan snipingSays the GOP email:
If that assertion (by Mancini) were in any way reflective of the electoral reality in Tennessee would the TNDP have felt it necessary to endorse a “virtual want ad” from the Knox County Democratic Party begging people to sign up and run for public office in the 2016 election cycle? See the attached screenshot. It’s clear the Obama-Clinton policies are still having disastrous effects on the TNDP.
Here’s the bottom line: Democrats are willing to take ANYONE who will put a D after their name on the ballot–and even that is not going well.
“This is how you end up with individuals tied to hate groups and individuals who want to electrocute public officials as your Party’s nominee,” stated TNGOP Chairman Ryan Haynes
The Haynes reference included links to stories on the 2012 Tennessee Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate, who was involved in a group critical of homosexuals, and the 2014 Democratic nominee for governor, Charlie Brown, who was once quoted as saying, after a reference to Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s actions, “I would like to strap his butt to the (electric) chair and give him about half the jolt.”
Mancini, asked if she had any comment on the GOP’s missive, sent this email:
“Does he mean the Obama-Clinton policies that have led to 68 consecutive months of private sector job growth, including 268,000 jobs added just last month? Or the Obama-Clinton policies that have led to an unemployment rate that’s at a 7-year-low? Either way, I’d say we, and our potential candidates, are having a pretty good week so far.” Humphrey on the Hill
Haslam Uncertain About Seeking Lawmakers' OK on OutsourcingGov. Bill Haslam says he's uncertain whether he would seek approval from fellow Republicans in the Tennessee General Assembly about potential plans to privatize state operations.
The governor told reporters after a Veterans Day event in Nashville on Tuesday that he wants to see what the final form of the outsourcing proposal looks like before deciding whether to bring it before lawmakers. Haslam stresses that no decision has been made on whether to pursue privatization.
Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey supports transferring more maintenance work in state parks and on the campuses of public colleges to the private sector. Memphis Daily News
Surplus Remains a Roadblock to Gas Tax IncreaseGov. Bill Haslam went on the road again this week trying to pave the way for lawmakers to take up the politically combustible topic of increasing taxes on gasoline and diesel.
The governor popped in Monday on brief events across Tennessee aimed at raising awareness about sinking transportation-allocated revenues. Among his destinations were Alcoa, Kingsport, Chattanooga and Memphis before heading back to Middle Tennessee in the evening.
“We are talking about something that affects every citizen,” the governor said during his first East Tennessee pitstop. “It is how we get our kids to school, how we get to work and back. It is how goods that our farmers grow and our manufacturers build, how they get those products to their markets all across the state. So, this really is an issue that affects everybody in the state.”
“We have been the beneficiaries of some responsible people who came before us, and I would like for us to show that same sort of responsibility.”
Automobile drivers who fill up with gasoline in Tennessee pay about 40 cents a gallon in tax — 21.4 to the state and 18.4 to Washington.
Diesel users pay about 43 cents per gallon in taxes in Tennessee — 18.4 cents in state tax and roughly 6.1 cents a quart to the federal government.
The state’s current fuel tax rates have been in place since 1989.
The governor, his transportation department staff and the state comptroller’s office contend that gas and diesel tax revenues at current rates are insufficient to take care of existing roadway infrastructure. TN Report
Health care providers speak for uninsuredFamily Nurse Practitioner Charles Ricard recently saw a 45-year-old man in his Chester County clinic who has diabetes, arthritis, hepatitis C, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and mental health issues. The man takes 14 medications regularly, but without health insurance, he cannot afford proper care.
"Chronic diseases are the things that consume a lot of health care dollars that could be managed in outpatient clinics," Ricard said. "These people aren't numbers, they aren't statistics. They're not looking for something for free; they just need help."
Ricard spoke among other West Tennessee professionals on a panel in support of Gov. Bill Haslam's Insure Tennessee Medicaid expansion program Tuesday night at Buckley-Carpenter Elementary School in Somerville.
According to Tony Garr, Tennessee Health Care Campaign volunteer, Insure Tennessee is not a "handout program," but an incentive program that 280,000 Tennesseans are eligible for.
Garr said the Affordable Care Act set out to enhance the nation's health coverage, but the Supreme Court ultimately decided the federal government could not require individual states to expand the program to cover the working poor.
"Insure Tennessee was Gov. Haslam's program to fill in the gap," Garr said. "It was up to the state to decide whether or not to offer it." Jackson Sun
Diabetic holds out hope for Insure TennesseeSupporters of Insure Tennessee such as Dunlap see the need because costs make it harder for the health care industry to provide services for many without health insurance.
"It puts rural hospitals at high risk, and it puts a strain on the big hospitals," Dunlap said. "We are trying to work more efficiently and meet the needs of a growing community."
Some of his clinic's patients who need treatment not provided at St. Louise have a difficult time finding surgeons or other specialists willing to provide additional services to those without health insurance, Dunlap said.
"That need is huge," said Dunlap, noting that not all medical practices can afford to provide charity care. "A lot of doctors will donate their time, but they can't do that for everyone. Clinics like ours are very unique. If we can get uninsured people insurance coverage, then they will have a lot more options than they have currently."
Patients such as Harris hope those options will be available.
"There's no cure for diabetes at this time," Harris said while talking about his health problems with his wife, Kim Harris, at the Old Fort Park picnic pavilion.
"He can't even see a foot specialist because they all want insurance," said Kim Harris, adding that her husband also is having problems with his legs, hands and memory. "It's getting worse."
Kim Harris also has faced problems with a pinched nerve that affects her arms, and she's even passed out at work with a temporary employment service that doesn't provide health insurance. She also has endured a couple of blood transfusions, but she's more worried about her husband.
"I just want something for him to get relief when he really needs it," she said, adding how her husband has a difficult time participating in family events and depends on motorized scooters when they go to stores. "He's just tired. He needs insurance. The bills are really piling up. You can only do so much. He needs help." The Daily News Journal
Crockett Policy Institute
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