Friday, December 09, 2011

Open Meetings Act

Revisions to the Tennessee Open Meetings Act should be done sparingly and handled with great care:

It is true that the chief proposal, which comes out of Williamson County and is being sponsored in the Tennessee House in the next session by former House Republican Caucus Chairman Glen Casada (R-Franklin). The legislation was apparently brought to Casada by the Williamson County Commission. The proposed change would allow closed-door discussions among commissioners and other local officials so long as a quorum is not present. The problem with this approach is that it could too easily be used to circumvent public input simply by setting up two separate non-quorum meetings, quietly coming to agreement behind closed doors, and taking a vote at the public meeting without recourse to free, open, or public debate. Such a maneuver-however well-intentioned-is a serious danger to free government wherever it exists and should be discouraged at all costs.

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Thursday, December 08, 2011


Watch it, if Tennessee doesn't repeal our voter ID law, our friends at the NAACP are going to bring in the UN!:

Suppose that the United Nations Human Rights Commission decides that Tennessee is violating the human rights of voters by requiring them to identify themselves. How would the U.N. correct the problem? Would the United Nations attempt to tell the U.S. Justice Department how to interpret constitutional law? If the Justicew Department or the federal government did not intervene in Tennessee, does the NAACP propose that the U.N. send in multinational troops to enforce its will on the people of the State of Tennessee?

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Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Silence Here

The Knoxville News Sentinel has apparently decided that there is really no Silence here:

This is yet another example of the declining quality of the News Sentinel and of Scripps newspapers generally. One has to wonder if the News Sentinel will suffer the same fate eventually as the Rocky Mountain News and The Cincinnati Post-which had been the very flagship of the Scripps chain. The Rocky and the Post were good papers, but if the KNS wants to join them in their fate, cutting your best people from the staff is not the way to insure viability. In what is likely the last post on his blog No Silence Here, Michael Silence confirmed via the paper's online staff that the rumors of his departure were true this morning.

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Tuesday, December 06, 2011

The Ballot Is Fixed

The ballot for Tennessee's March 6th Presidential primary is fixed:

Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett announced the names of the candidates who will appear on the ballot Tennessee's scheduled March 6th, 2012 Republican Presidential Preference Primary yesterday. The Republican candidates that Tennesseans will have to choose from in March are Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Gary Johnson, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Charles “Buddy” Roemer, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum.

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Monday, December 05, 2011

Super Tuesday?

Tennessee's influence in the presidential race may just have increased:

If Cain endorses Gingrich, he may throw more conservative support in Tennessee behind Newt, even as we know that Haslam family money and political push are behind Mitt Romney. That kind of political pull may wield results in Statewide races, but in 2008, we saw a clear backlash from social conservatives against the prevailing establishment wisdom when they chose Mike Huckabee in the Tennessee primary over John McCain or Mitt Romney. If more conservative primary voters are in that kind of mood in 2012, and they see Gingrich as their only option against a former Massachusetts Governor with a liberal record who can't even decide if he is pro-life this week, they may choose Gingrich as well.

Just as the 2012 presidential campaign is very fluid at this point, so is the primary race in Tennessee itself. Perhaps the biggest question for interested Tennesseans may be what kind of role Tennessee will end up playing in the nomination process. In 2008, Tennessee ended up having a quasi-major role in keeping former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee in the campaign for as long as he was. According to the current schedule of primaries and caucuses, Tennessee appears to be set to vote on March 6th, which-if there are no major changes in the primary calendar before that date-will be Super Tuesday.

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