Saturday, October 31, 2015

How Tennessee Congressmen voted on the budget deal.

District 1: Phil Roe (Republican), No
District 2: Jimmy Duncan Jr. (Republican), No 
District 3: Chuck Fleischmann (Republican), No
District 4: Scott DesJarlais (Republican), No
District 5: Jim Cooper (Democrat), Yes
District 6: Diane Black (Republican), No
District 7: Marsha Blackburn (Republican), No
District 8: Stephen Fincher (Republican), No
District 9: Steve Cohen (Democrat), Yes

For more on the budget deal, read this article in The Tennessean

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Sen. Alexander voted yes and Sen. Corker voted no on the budget deal.

The Tennessean - Tennessee’s Republican senators split their votes early Friday on a two-year budget agreement, a reflection of how the issue of government spending levels has divided the GOP.
The deal, which prevents the government from defaulting on its debts and allows for an $80 billion spending increase over two years, passed the Senate 64-35 about 3 a.m. Friday. (link)

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Friday, October 30, 2015

Happy Halloween Comic Book

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Beacon Scores Major Victories in Anderson family Airbnb Case

Beacon Center press release- Today, the Davidson County Circuit Court made a crucial decision and denied Metro Nashville's motion to throw out P.J. and Rachel Anderson's case, meaning the case has merit and will move forward.

In addition, the judge also granted our motion for a preliminary injunction on behalf of P.J. and Rachel Anderson, who sued Nashville over the city's Airbnb law. This means that the Anderson family is likely to prevail on their claim that at least some of their constitutional rights are violated by Nashville’s new law.

Beacon Litigation Director Braden Boucek stated, "Today’s ruling was really encouraging and shows that Nashville's Airbnb ordinances are deeply flawed and were passed with little concern over its constitutionality. In today’s decision, the judge ruled that there was at least a “substantial probability” that the law infringes on the Andersons’ constitutional rights."

Boucek went on to note, "Despite Metro's attempt to have this case thrown out, this ruling shows that the Airbnb law has very significant legal questions surrounding it. We look forward to a final ruling on the merits, but today’s outcome shows the need for Nashville to take a fresh look at how it addresses homeowners's rights."

To read more about the Anderson's lawsuit, click here.

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Discover Great Schools Tour by Project Renaissance

Discover Great Schools Tour By: Project Renaissance
For the inaugural "Discover Great Schools" event, attendees will tour Valor Collegiate Academy and Crieve Hall Elementary School and meet the educators behind two of the best performing public schools in Nashville. Attendees will be provided a boxed lunch. This is the first of many "Discover Great Schools" events that will be hosted by Project Renaissance. When Wednesday, November 11, 2015 from 8:15 AM to 1:15 PM (CST). Where Valor Collegiate Academy and Crieve Hall Elementary - 4527 Nolensville Pike Nashville, TN 37211.

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Mayor Barry Creates Office of Economic Opportunity and Empowerment

New office will focus on issues related to financial empowerment, workforce development, and affordability

Metro Press Release, NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Mayor Megan Barry announced today the creation of the Mayor’s Office of Economic Opportunity and Empowerment (OEOE), focused on making sure Nashville’s growth results in an increased quality of life for all Nashvillians. 

Adriane Bond Harris
Adriane Bond Harris
Anne Havard
Anne Havard
“From the outset of my campaign, I was committed to making sure that Nashville’s focus on economic growth and expansion was matched by a renewed focus on lifting people out of poverty, and expanding opportunity,” said Mayor Barry. “The Office of Economic Opportunity and Empowerment, headed by Erik Cole, will help us to do just that.” 

The Mayor has announced the appointment of three new members to the administration, who will work with Erik Cole to further the goals of expanding the supply of safe and affordable housing, engaging community partners, and efficiently leveraging resources to reduce poverty and increase the supply of career-pathway jobs for all Davidson County residents.  

  “I’m honored by the confidence Mayor Barry has shown in me and humbled by the opportunity to continue working on these important issues and lead the Office of Economic Opportunity and Empowerment,” said Cole. “All of our collaborative efforts will work together towards the common goal of building a better quality of life in Nashville.”

Cole, a former member of the Metro Council, has served in the Mayor’s Office since 2013, when he
Eric Cole
was appointed as the Director of the Financial Empowerment Center. He brings years of knowledge and experience working on issues related to poverty, and will be in charge of coordinating efforts within the office while continuing to focus on promoting on finding solutions to alleviate poverty and end homelessness in Nashville. 

Adriane Bond Harris will serve as Senior Advisor for Affordable Housing Issues. She is an urban planner and an affordable housing and community development professional in Nashville, TN. She joins the administration from The Housing Fund (THF) assisting with THF’s new initiatives and providing technical assistance to nonprofits, developers, and local governments on housing and community development programs and policies. Prior to joining THF, Adriane worked as a consultant assisting local nonprofits and small governmental agencies to administer federally funded programs and housing developments.

“I look forward to working with the Mayor to learn from other cities, those that have addressed affordable housing well, and those who have not, to find creative and sustainable solutions for Nashville,” said Harris. 

Joining the administration as Senior Advisor for Labor and Workforce Issues will be Ashford
Ashford Hughes
. He will be leaving his role as Assistant Business Manager for the Southeast Laborers District Council, Local 386, where he worked to organize and represent the interests of working families in Middle Tennessee. In addition, he has been a leading Executive Board Member for Nashville Organized for Action and Hope (NOAH), which played a pivotal role in bringing economic justice issues to the forefront of the 2015 mayoral election. 

“I want to thank Mayor Barry for the opportunity to serve the people of Nashville as we work together to help improve the lives of working families in Nashville,” said Ashford Hughes. 

Anne Havard will serve in the OEOE as a policy assistant, helping to research, review and implement the goals and policies developed by the office. She is a recent graduate of Vanderbilt University, and she served at Open Table Nashville doing homelessness outreach, advocacy and grant writing while attending the University. Most recently, she worked on the Megan Barry for Mayor Campaign as a policy and communications advisor, helping to draft policies and platforms during the campaign. 

“I’m truly grateful to have such a diverse and knowledgeable team to help me and my administration to fulfill Nashville’s promise as a warm and welcoming city for all of Nashville,” said Barry. “They will be key players in turning the challenges we face into opportunities to improve upon the way we’ve done things in the past, and help us to keep Nashville moving forward for everyone.”
Erik Cole and Anne Havard have already begun working in the administration, while Ashford Hughes will join on Nov. 12 and Adriane Harris will begin on Nov. 9.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Using Reconciliation to Dismantle the President’s Health Care Law & Protect Human Life

Phil Roe
by U. S. Representative Phil Roe, 1st District of Tennessee - Earlier this year, for the first time in more than a decade, both the House and Senate agreed on a budget that balances over 10 years. By agreeing to a budget, Congress now has the opportunity to use a powerful tool called reconciliation, and used it this week when the House brought the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act up for a vote. This legislation will dismantle ObamaCare and protect taxpayers’ longstanding respect of human life by taking tax dollars from abortion providers like Planned Parenthood and reinvesting those dollars in community health centers.

What is reconciliation and why is it important? Reconciliation allows the House to make changes to existing law so the law is consistent with provisions included in the budget agreement. Most importantly, this process gives Republicans in the Senate the ability to waive the 60 vote requirement in Senate rules and pass budget-related provisions by a simple majority vote. You may recall that Democrats in Congress used reconciliation in 2010 to push pieces of the president’s health care bill, which is now law, through Congress.
Three House Committees – including the House Education and Workforce Committee, on which I serve – were tasked with finding savings in the federal budget. The committees’ proposals were then combined into one package by the Budget Committee.
I support this bill for a number of reasons. First and foremost, the bill repeals the individual and employer mandates, making it impossible for the government to force individuals, families and employers to purchase certain insurance policies. Repealing the mandates will bring choice back to our health care system and protect those struggling under ObamaCare.
The bill also repeals the auto-enrollment mandate, which will force many employers to automatically enroll new full-time employees in insurance plans they may not need or want. This will excuse many workers and employers from the confusing maze of mandates and penalties triggered by the president’s health care law, saving them time and money.
I am proud the bill also includes a repeal of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). The IPAB will consist of fifteen unelected bureaucrats tasked with finding savings in Medicare. IPAB proposals will be considered using fast-track procedures and, absent a three-fifths vote of the Senate, Congress can only modify the type of cuts, not the amount. I have consistently pushed for repeal of the IPAB and introduced bipartisan legislation earlier this year to repeal the board. Lastly, the package includes repeals of the medical device and “Cadillac” taxes, as well as a costly ObamaCare slush fund, the Prevention and Public Health fund.
Together, these significant repeals will save taxpayers $78.9 billion, all while protecting them from the most harmful parts of the president’s health care law and taking a strong stand for human life. The National Right to Life is supporting this reconciliation bill and I’m proud to do the same.
I’ve heard some question why we can’t just pass a full repeal. Well, first of all, the House has already done that – it’s a bill I’ve proudly supported every Congress since ObamaCare was passed. By targeting major pieces of the law, we will preclude Democrats in the Senate from filibustering this bill, ensuring we can get a proposal through Congress and to the president’s desk.  It will be the first time the president has been forced to engage with Congress on his health care law in a serious way since he signed the bill into law.
I strongly believe this bill is the first step towards true, patient-centered health care reform. Make no mistake, our work to repeal ObamaCare is just beginning, but I am confident the committees worked to move strong and strategic repeal efforts. I thank Chairmen Price, Ryan, Upton and Kline for their hard work and leadership on these important provisions.

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Tennessee Federation of Republican Women Pass Resolution in Support of School Vouchers

Resolution Passes with Unanimous Support at Statewide Convention

Press release, MURFREESBORO, TN - The Biennial Convention of the Tennessee Federation of Republican Women (TFRW) approved a resolution Saturday supporting school voucher legislation currently before the general assembly.
“We’re excited to have the resolution unanimously adopted by our members. It underlined the long-held Republican principle of freedom of choice for parents and taxpayers. With the excellent leadership of our TFRW President, Linda D. Buckles, we look forward to working with our elected Representatives to uphold the Republican platform and make school choice a reality in Tennessee,” said Susan Shipley, President of the Greater Kingsport Republican Women.
At least one bill is advancing in the Tennessee General Assembly to provide opportunity scholarships or “school vouchers,” pending a vote in a key House Finance Committee.  School choice—and specifically school vouchers—is an issue that has achieved uniform support across the Republican Presidential candidate field and the Republican National Committee’s Platform on Consumer Choice in Education.
In a video greeting to the Convention Friday evening, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) repeated his campaign message to “repeal common core and champion school choice, the civil rights issue of our generation.” Senator Cruz is one of many candidates standing up for the Republican party’s position on school choice, with other leading candidates Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina, Jeb Bush, Bobby Jindal and Ben Carson, all having voiced support for school choice.
Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey expected the resolution to pass: “The TFRW has for decades stood for strong conservative values and principles. Republican women are the heart and soul of our party. It is thus no surprise that they have made this strong statement in favor of school choice. No parent should have to wake up every morning knowing they have no choice but to send their child to a failing school. Republican women recognize this more than anyone."
State Senator Brian Kelsey (R-Shelby County), a vocal proponent of vouchers, was also encouraged by the support: “The Tennessee Republican women recognize that school choice is a conservative value. Hopefully, our Republican legislature will, too.”
Organizations opposing Tennessee’s school choice legislation include the Tennessee affiliate of the National Education Association (NEA) and the Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents (TOSS). The NEA recently experienced internal strife after their supporters of Bernie Sanders objected to the NEA’s early endorsement of Hillary Clinton, while TOSS is represented by attorney Chuck Cagle, a recently controversial figure in Tennessee political circles.
The Tennessee Federation of Republican Women has not been shy about standing up for conservative principles in the past. Last year the Tennessee Municipal League and several other taxpayer-funded organizations opposed a bill sponsored by Rep. Mike Carter (R-Ooltewah) that would have banned annexation without voter consent. After receiving the endorsement of the Tennessee Federation of Republican Women at their 2013 convention in Kingsport, the legislation passed the House of Representatives in 2014 with near unanimous GOP support.

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Monday, October 26, 2015

Time to Repeal the Hall Tax!

Brian Kelsey
By Senator Brian Kelsey - Last week I filed legislation which would repeal the Hall tax next year. As you probably know, the Hall tax is a 6% tax on interest and dividends. This past session I proposed legislation that would have phased out the tax over three years. Better to abolish the tax next year. 

The Hall tax especially hurts our seniors and those who have saved for their retirement, as almost half of those who pay the tax are 65 or older. Not only that, nearly 9 of 10 individuals who pay the tax have less than $34,000 per year in investment income.

Now is the time to repeal the Hall tax forever. Opponents of repealing the tax have prevailed in past sessions by claiming there was not enough state revenue to off-set repeal. That objection is off the table this year.

Tennessee has a $600 million surplus in over-collections, and the Hall tax brings in only $167 million in state revenue each year. Economists project that at least half of this year's budget surplus will be available in future years to "pay" for the repeal without any cuts necessary.

For example, University of Memphis economist Dr. John Gnuschke recently stated, "While substantial budget fluctuations occur, the natural growth of state tax collections should exceed $300 million. Over collections could exceed $300 million as long as state spending is held in check."

I, for one, intend to hold state spending in check. All lawmakers who believe in limited government should commit to giving this money back to the taxpayers before spending it on pet projects. Many such projects have already been proposed, but Republican supermajorities should reject them in favor of tax cuts.

We can no longer rest on our laurels from 2012. That year, the legislature repealed the gift tax, reduced the sales tax on groceries, and phased out the inheritance tax over four years. That phase out will be complete January 1, 2016. The logical next step in Tennessee tax relief is to repeal the Hall tax effective January 1, 2017.

A final objection to repealing the Hall tax comes from local government. An additional $90 million in Hall tax revenue is shared with the city in which the taxpayer resides or the county if the area is unincorporated. As you might expect, some cities receive far more of this revenue than others. Cities and counties should decide among themselves how to distribute their share of the revenue, and the state should send that money back to local government. Tennessee can afford repeal of the Hall Tax next year without cutting one dime from state or local government.

This legislation won't be voted on until the General Assembly reconvenes in January, but I hope you will let your state legislators know now how you feel about this tax.

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1st Tuesday guest Zach Wamp representing Sen. Maro Rubio

From Tim Skow: 

1ST TUESDAY members and friends

The pace of politics is revving up over the next week !

On Monday...OCT 26th... 
Lt. Gov Ron Ramsey joins our friends at TN Republican Minority Coalition and Latinos for TN for what will certainly be an informative look at what is coming in the 2016 Legislative session.
[ see invite below ] 

On Wednesday...OCT 28th...
The REPUBLICAN DEBATE WATCH Party is at the Four Points by Sheraton. Free tasty eats till 6:30pm....and an extended Happy Hour.
Especially those interested in being a Convention Delegate will want to be there! - 760 Old Hickory Blvd - 2 blocks of I-65S - the Brentwood exit

THEN... MONDAY... Nov 2nd... 1ST TUESDAY welcomes Congressman Zach Wamp representing Sen. Marco Rubion...and TN Commissioner of ECD representing Gov. Jeb Bush for what will surely be a VERY lively presidential primary exchange !!
[reserve seating at ]     

PASS the word !!  
Look forward to seeing you soon.

Tim Skow

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Sunday, October 25, 2015

Building a rock quarry within 200 feet of Old HIckory Dam seems like a stupid idea and should be stopped.

I am not an engineer or an attorney and I  don't have all the facts, but the project underway by Industrial Land Developers to build a rock quarry next to Old Hickory Dam seems like a really stupid idea.  When I served in the Council, the district I represented did not have a rock quarry but I sat next to a member of the Council who did represent a district with a quarry and he told me he got constant complaints about people's homes being damaged from blasting at the quarry. Many of these people lived blocks away.   I know that blasting for construction or road building can cause damages blocks away from where the blasting occurs.

No one wants a rock quarry in their neighborhood.  A rock quarry is as about as welcome as a landfill or a prison. Not only must people risk having their foundations damaged from blasting, but noise, dust, and oversize trucks constantly running up and down the roads makes for an unpleasant situation. Opposition to the proposed Old Hickory rock quarry however is more than just a case of not-in-my-backyard.  If blasting at the rock quarry should cause the 60 year old Old Hickory Dam to fail, downtown Nashville could flood and lives could be lost.

Land clearing has already started on the project and apparently, without proper approval. Here is an excerpt from, and link to, a News Channel 5 story:

OLD HICKORY, Tenn. - Despite efforts by residents and city officials in the Old Hickory area, work on the proposed rock quarry seemed to have moved forward, but was it legal?
Those who oppose the quarry claimed the work being done was not authorized. Work crews were working on the site Thursday afternoon to clear the land. State officials were also on the property doing their own investigation.(link)
Congressman Jim Cooper writing in The Tennessean says the situation is dangerous but the Federal options for stopping it are few and the State has not adopted laws to stop the project and even if they were do so now, the quarry would be vested and it is unlikely new State laws could stop the construction. (link)

I did not see the bills as significant when reading the last agenda of the Council and did not know they were aimed at a current problem, but the Council has two bills under consideration that may slow or stop the construction but it is unclear they would accomplish that objective. If the Council does pass them, there will most likely be a legal challenge by the developer. (link)

The Council bills that would address this issue were before the Metro Planning Commission on October 22, 2015. To view the discussion skip to time stamp 30:00 in the video below. Councilman Larry Hagar, Representative Bill Beck and Councilman Bret Withers and several residence address the Commission in favor of the bills. Attorney Tom White, a long time lobbyist who often represents developers, speaks in favor of the bills. He argues the owners have a "vested right" to develop the quarry. Councilman Hagar, who is also an attorney, refutes the "vested rights" argument. The staff attorney for the Planning Commission says a court would likely find the developer has "vested right" as regards to the bill that would prohibit mineral extraction.  The bills are recommended by the Planning Commission.

To stay abreast of developments surrounding this issue you may want to "like" the Stop The Old Hickory Lake Quarry Facebook page.

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1st Tuesday to feature Bush vs Rubio, Nov. 2nd

From Tim Skow:

1ST TUESDAY members and friends:


Breaking NEWS.... BUSH vs RUBIO .........on Monday ... Nov 2nd 
CRUZ vs TRUMP ........on Tuesday... Dec 1st
 AND.... JAN may bring us the biggest surprise of ALL !!!

In just 4 months, Tennessee voters will determine whose presidential candidacy dreams get a boost.... and whose dreams likely have died. 1ST TUESDAY is bringing in leaders of the campaigns you will want to hear from most before the "SEC Primary" is March 1st.

Got your questions ready ? ..... [especially for the candidates you've got concerns about ????]  

Coming MONDAY... [yes... this Monday] ... Nov 2nd, TN Congressman Zach Wamp will represent Sen. Marco Rubio. Bill Hagerty, TN Commissioner of ECD and National Fundraising Chairman for Mitt Romney's campaign, will represent Gov. Jeb Bush. 

TN is "a Mission Critical State".

Rubio's campaign has 1 of the 3 premiere organizations in TN. Bush's campaign is backed by much of the TN political power structure. Multiple candidates have MUCH at stake and are pouring resources into TN. In short, TN is going to be a focal point for several campaigns that are pouring resources in for the "SEC PRIMARY"

Make plans to join us for what will be a fascinating and important 1ST TUESDAY event ! 

 As usual, we will meet at WALLER Law - 511 Union St. 27th floor. Doors open at 11AM for Coffee and Social time. Lunch, at 11:30, is $20 for 2015 Members and $25 for Guests with our program starting at NOON sharp. Secure seating at and click on "Join Us". Remember: parking is just $5 under the building !!


See you on MONDAY, November 2nd ! 

Tim Skow

PS - remember - 2016 annual dues are due. Priority seating goes to 2016 Members when events are certain to SELL-OUT For those who wish to contribute $50 or more to the TNNG Toy Fund Drive that our Nashville Republican Women help sponsor each year, please send your checks to my attention at Box 1233 Brentwood, TN. For supporting the TNNG, 2016 dues are waived and new 2016 name tags will be ready Monday, Nov. 2nd !!

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Former aide Saltsman vindicated by Tennessee Court of Appeals

by Andy Sher, Times Free Press, Oct. 25, 2015, NASHVILLE - The Tennessee Court of Appeals last week upheld the dismissal of a nearly 5-year-old defamation lawsuit filed by former state GOP Executive Director Mark Winslow against U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn., and his 2010 campaign manager, John "Chip" Saltsman.

The suit grew out of the 3rd Congressional District's bitter 2010 GOP primary, a multicandidate slugfest in which Winslow managed the campaign of former Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Robin Smith.

Fleischmann eked out a victory over Smith. In January 2011, Winslow filed suit against Saltsman and the state Republican Party. He charged he had been defamed in Fleischmann campaign ads and by Saltsman's public comments.

Winslow also charged the state Republican Party violated confidential agreements on a buyout. Fleischmann was added later to the lawsuit. The state GOP settled out of court in 2013.

In dismissing the case, Appellate Judge David Dinkins wrote that "because Mr. Fleischman and Mr. Saltsman demonstrated that the undisputed facts negate the element of actual malice which is essential to the defamation and false light claims, we affirm the trial court's grant of summary judgment."

....The judges also noted a July 19, 2010, radio interview on Chattanooga station WGOW when Saltsman stated Winslow "was paid out of the Republican Party funds for three months while he was working for Robin Smith"s campaign. So, in fact, he was getting party funds to work on her congressional campaign.". (link)

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