Saturday, April 30, 2016

Tennessee Delegation Elects Convention Chair & Committee Members

TNGOP Press Release, NASHVILLE, Tenn.-April 28, 2016— The Republican delegation from Tennessee met today to elect the Convention Chairman for the delegation as well as elect committee members for the four standing committees of the Republican National Convention.

The results are as follows:
  • Chairman - State Senator Mae Beavers
  • Credential Committee - Linda Buckles and Chris Hughes
  • Permanent Organization Committee - Beth Campbell and Chad Blackburn
  • Platform Committee - Connie Hunter and Ambassador Victor Ashe
  • Rules Committee - Betty Cannon and John Ryder
Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Ryan Haynes remarked, "I am so pleased to serve alongside all of our delegates at the 2016 Republican National Convention. I'd like to personally congratulate Senator Beavers and the rest of our newly-elected committee members."
The responsibilities of the committees are:
Committee on Credentials
The Credentials Committee will receive the credentials of each delegate filed in accordance with the Rules and submit the temporary roll of the convention, which will have been previously reviewed by the RNC.  The Credentials Committee may hear and resolve appeals to the ruling of any contest adjudicated by the RNC Committee on Contests as to the seating of delegates to the convention.

Committee on Permanent Organization
The RNC Chairman recommends a number of convention officers, including the Permanent and Temporary Chairmen, the Secretary and the Sergeant-at-Arms.  The Permanent Organization Committee will meet at the beginning of the convention to review the slate and make its recommendation to the convention.
Committee on the Platform
The Committee on the Platform submits resolutions to the full convention body to be voted on as the official platform.  The Republican Platform is a formal declaration of the principles of the Republican Party.
Committee on Rules and Order of Business
The Convention Rules Committee will draft the rules for the 2016 Republican National Convention, which must be adopted by a majority vote of the full convention body.

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Mayor Barry Promotes “Growth with Intention” Budget

Mayor Barry’s first State of Metro focuses on key priorities of education, transportation, and affordable housing to promote equitable growth and development
Press Release, 4/29/2016, NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Mayor Megan Barry delivered her first State of Metro Address today at Ascend Amphitheater before a crowd of more than 1,500 people, pledging to use $121 million in new revenue to make key investments in education, transportation, affordable housing and Metro employees.

Citing Nashville’s record-breaking economic growth as the reason she could introduce a budget that includes no new taxes and grows our fund balance, Mayor Barry said the city needs to strive for “growth with intention, growth with purpose, growth with design and direction.”

“I believe that growth can be equitable, that it can be sustainable, that it can be about people as much as buildings, that it can truly touch the entire community – but only if we guide it and manage it,” Mayor Barry said. “And that’s what we are doing here, with this budget. We are investing new revenues into our people. We are addressing those areas that success has often left behind.
“This budget is about growing the city we want Nashville to be.”

Topping $2 billion for the first time and representing a 6.1 percent increase over the current fiscal year, the budget Mayor Barry is recommending to the Metro Council calls for:
  • $33 million in new revenues for Metro Nashville Public Schools, including funding for teacher pay increases to make the school district more competitive with peer cities; additional investments in literacy programs, and resources for English Language Learners.
  • $2.6 million to fund youth employment opportunities, additional after-school programs, and juvenile justice initiatives.
  • A $10 million increase in the Barnes Fund for Affordable Housing, which is by far the largest investment in the fund since its creation in 2013 and will increase its balance to $16 million.
  • A 3.1 percent across-the-board salary increase for Metro employees, combined with adjustments to the city’s pay plan to bring pay grades to market rate.
  • Opening more Nashville Public Library branches on Fridays.
Mayor Barry also highlighted the need to move toward a bold, comprehensive transit plan that will help people move around the growing Nashville region efficiently and build on the city’s recent economic gains.

“The good news is we’re a vibrant, growing community,” she said. “But people need to be able to move about our region, and laying down more asphalt is not a viable option in most places. Cars aren’t going away, but we need to provide better alternatives to cars, so that more people will choose to move about Middle Tennessee without one.”

The Mayor’s capital spending plan, which will be released in May, will include investments to:
  • Spend $40 million to start work on a new Hillsboro High School.
  • Spend $60 million on sidewalks and road paving.
  • Expand our network of greenways.
  • Construct a new library in Donelson.
  • Build the Smith Springs Community Center in Southeast Nashville.
Metro Finance Director Talia Lomax-O’dneal will deliver a more in-depth presentation of the budget proposal to the Metro Council at 1:30PM today in the David Scobey Council Chamber in the Historic Metro Courthouse. Following delivery of the Mayor’s budget proposal, the Council and the Budget & Finance Committee will conduct public hearings as well as hearings with each individual department. The Council is required to pass a balanced budget by June 30, or the Mayor’s recommended budget proposal goes into effect by default. 

The State of Metro ceremony featured Grammy-winning guitarist Peter Frampton, a Nashville resident who remains one of the most celebrated artists and guitarists in rock history. At 16, he was lead singer and guitarist for British band the Herd. His session work includes collaborations with such legendary artists as George Harrison, Harry Nilsson, David Bowie, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ringo Starr, John Entwistle and many others. His fifth solo album, the electrifying “Frampton Comes Alive!” is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and remains one of the top-selling live records of all time. Frampton’s latest release, “Acoustic Classics,” features stripped-down versions of his classic hits such as “Baby, I Love Your Way,” “Lines On My Face,” “Do You Feel Like I Do,” “Show Me The Way” and many more.

Nashville’s 2016 Youth Poet Laureate, Cassidy Martin, read her poem “Nashvillian,” which details her route through Nashville, pointing out the beauty and security she finds within the city’s hidden treasures. Cassidy has been writing since early middle school. She is a graduate of Jere Baxter Middle School and a sophomore at Nashville Big Picture High School. 

The marching bands from Antioch, Hunters Lane and McGavock high schools also performed, and four faith leaders read blessings for the city in English, Hebrew, Arabic and Spanish.

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Friday, April 29, 2016

Not “Red” but “ROTTEN to the Roots” says Rocky Top Politics. Beth Campbell called out for her support of Walker Ferrell.

Rocky Top Politics is continuing to milk the TNGOP Ferrell scandal for all it is worth but they really haven't turned up anything new. They have called out SEC member Beth Campbell for her defense of Walker Ferrell. To summarize what the scandal is all about, Waller Ferrell is the Political Director of the TNGOP and he is married to Taylor Ferrell.  Taylor Ferrell has a contract with the Party to provide logistics support for the Party, having to do with the upcoming convention, things like arranging travel and such.  Taylor Ferrell also has a political consulting business called Southland Advantage that raises money for candidates seeking office.  Some of her clients are running in the primary against incumbent Republican office holders. A bunch of Republican office holders signed a letter calling for Walter Ferrell's resignation. To see who signed the letter and for more on this follow this link.

Beth Campbell is a member of the SEC and she has pointing out that Taylor Ferrell is not a Party employee but a contract employee and that she can have what ever clients she wants.  RTP has taken her to task for that position (link).  I consider Beth Campbell my friend but I think she is wrong on this count. I agree with RTP.   The difference between being a contract service provider and an employee is a distinction without a difference. In my view even if Taylor Ferrell did not have a contract with the Party, I still think what she is doing is wrong.  When a couple are married they share information and income. If  Walker Ferrell's wife is earning money representing clients seeking to defeat incumbent Republican office holders, that is a conflict.  It may not technically violate a rule, but it ought to.  I am not buying the argument that who Taylor Ferrell has as her clients is her business.

As distasteful as this situation is, I am equally concerned about a current member of the Executive Committee who has actually been a paid campaigner working to elect a Democrat to office while serving as a member of the Party and who had access to Party strategy and had a vote in determining how much money to appropriate to fund the Republican he was working to defeat. I am speaking of Mark Winslow.

To me, it does not matter which faction of the party one identifies with or who you are trying to oust.  It does not matter if you are part of the "establishment"  or the insurgent conservative faction, the principle should be the same.  If you are a County Chairman, or a member of the Executive Committee or an employee of the Party you should not engage in primary campaigns and you should certainly not be working to elect Democrats and defeat Republicans.  And your spouse should not be doing so either. I know people have to earn a living, but if you earn your living helping people get elected to office and that conflicts with your position with the Party, you should resign your position with the Party.  One cannot serve two masters. That is the same principle whether you are Mark Winslow or Walter Ferrell.

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Governor Haslam's wrap-up of this legislative session. Main accomplishments are education and fiscal strength.

From Governor Bill Haslam:
The General Assembly adjourned this month, and for Tennesseans who don’t follow news out of the State Capitol every day, I think you can take away two main things from this session: education and fiscal strength.

First, we’re making the largest investment in K-12 without a tax increase in Tennessee’s history and reorganizing our higher ed structure in Tennessee in the best way to increase student success and the number of Tennesseans with a degree or certificate.

Second, as I spend time with other governors I’m reminded how fortunate we are as a state to be passing a balanced budget this early in the year, to be taking on no new debt, to have no transportation debt, to be in a position to fund priorities and add to our savings account to prepare for uncertain times down the road. We can’t take any of that for granted. 

Click here to see our end of session press conference and here to read about our legislative agenda and budget highlights.


Our jobs momentum continued in a strong way this month. You’ve probably heard me say that today more Tennesseans have a job than at any point in state history. We’re no. 1 in the Southeast and no. 2 in the United States for job growth over the last year. We also learned this month that our March unemployment rate of 4.5 percent is below the national average (5 percent) and the lowest it’s been in Tennessee since June 2007.  We had several significant economic announcements and events in April, including:

April 13: Hankook Tire America Corp announced it will locate its North American headquarters in Nashville, investing $5 million and creating up to 200 jobs in Davidson County.

April 15: We celebrated the opening of Beretta’s state-of-the-art facility in Gallatin.

April 18: Wacker Chemie AG officially opened its new polysilicon production site in Charleston, Tenn.

April 26: Academy Sports + Outdoors opened its 1.6 million square foot facility in Cookeville.

April 27: General Motors announced it will invest $788 million and create 780 new jobs at its Spring Hill manufacturing plant.
These companies could go anywhere, and were incredibly grateful they have chosen to invest and create jobs in Tennessee. The reason? We’re a low-tax, low-debt, strategically located state that is the first in the nation to offer high school graduates last dollar scholarships to attend community or technical college free of tuition and fees.

And along those lines, we got very encouraging news this month as it relates to our Drive to 55 to equip 55 percent of Tennesseans with a degree or certificate:

Eighty-one percent of the 2015-16 class of Tennessee Promise students returned for the spring semester after beginning classes last fall. (Read more:

And, Tennessee is again no. 1 in the nation for FAFSA filings – a great indication that we are expanding college access in Tennessee.   (Read more:

A few other highlights from the month:
April 4: We welcomed the Tennessee Federation of Republican Women to the State Capitol
April 6: We broke ground on the new Tennessee State Museum on the Bicentennial Mall in Nashville (Click here for video highlights from the ceremony featuring Pulitzer-prize winning author and historian Jon Meacham)
April 25: We announced Decatur County, Dyer County, Jackson-Madison County and Germantown as “Healthier Tennessee Communities,” and I administered Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Roger Page’s oath of office at a packed ceremony in Mifflin
Crissy has continued to work hard promoting our statewide Read to be Ready literacy campaign. This month she visited schools and read to students in Chester, Henderson, Decatur, McNairy, DeKalb, White, Clay and Overton counties with a goal of promoting literacy in all 95 counties by the end of the year.
Thanks for your interest and feel free to let me know any feedback at

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Thursday, April 28, 2016

About the shooting at the MTA downtown bus terminal

Gun control advocates such as Mayor Barry have not let the opportunity to blame the downtown shooting at the MTA bus terminal on guns, saying the incident is a"tragic reminder of the plague of gun violence in our society." The gun did not fire itself'; someone had to pick it up and pull the trigger.

I think the shooting at the MTA bus terminal is a reminder of the consequences of the welfare state which produced a generation of alienated kids born to unwed mothers.  This is what happens when we promote policies that destroy the family. We can each draw our own "reminder" but in any case we can agree that what happened is a tragedy.

If one thinks the problem is unwed mothers and the welfare stare or it one thinks it is guns, there is no short-term solution to either problem. Even if we agreed on the problem, the solution would be long-term. We cannot however wait long-term and we cannot pretend the problem is not real.  A report on the problem of youth violence in Nashville states that over the past five years, 16,955 violent incidents in Nashville involved youth. Last year, among the country's 50 largest cities, Nashville ranked second in the highest percentage increase in homicides — from 41 in 2014 to 78 in 2015. Of those, 55 percent of the perpetrators were 25 years old or younger, and half those killed were younger than 25. African-American males are disproportionately involved in the crimes,  both in terms of victims and those arrested.

The report refers to youth violence as an “epidemic” with a range of root causes: joblessness and poverty; poor educational opportunities; a lack of adult role models; barriers to re-entry for those who have been incarcerated; and a cycle of trauma and violence. (link)

Barry has proposed a series of steps to address the issue of youth violence.  "By 2017, I want 10,000 of our youth to have an engaged opportunity that includes a paid internship," Barry has said (link). I don't know that this or any other part of her plan will make a difference, but it might and I hope it does.  Maybe if a kid born in poverty to a single mother has a job they will, if only for that crucial period of their teen years, have hope and maybe they will have influences other than their peers who are urging them to deal dope and commit robberies.

I don't think government can replace the function of that most basic building block of society, the family. I don't think government can build character and instill values that the family should be doing,  but in looking for short-term solutions maybe providing internship to youth will help. I think we could get more impact by rapidly expanding charter schools.  Charter schools have had remarkable success in producing successful college-bound graduates where that demographic would predict school drop outs and criminals.

Maybe, also increasing policing would help and paying for youth informants would help. I don't know the solution but think a multi-prong approach which includes charter schools is what is needed. I agree we should be doing something. 

One thing the mayor is doing that I think is actually counter productive is hosting a "Stand Against Racism" rally. She should not be fanning the flames of racial animosity and telling Black young people that they are victims. The mayor should cancel the "Stand Against Racism" rally and host a "Stand Against Violence" rally.

 Below is more on the recent shooting at the MTA bus terminal.

It could have been my kids. 

 Press Release Jackson Miller- There was a shooting this afternoon at the downtown bus station. It happened at a time when many Nashville students transfer from the MTA bus that picked them up from school... onto the MTA bus that will take them home. I know, because 3 of my sons were there.

They're there everyday, at that time... Many kids are. Thankfully, my sons are ok. Public school students ride MTA for free each day thanks to a program called STRIDE. I advocated hard for this program as a member of the Education Report Card Committee. It is an important program that gives Nashville's kids an opportunity to attend the school they choose. It is critical to participation in after-school programs -- especially for kids with working parents. I am still a strong believer in the STRIDE program, and will continue to advocate for it.

I also recognize why riding MTA is a tough option for many families. Several parents have told me that they are uncomfortable with their kids riding MTA busses, and today we see why that is a valid concern.

As I hug my family a little tighter tonight, I can't help but think of two takeaways from today's events: Parents weigh many costs when choosing where to send their child to school. We need great schools in every neighborhood.

Rod, even if you did not have a child at the bus station today... if you're getting this email -- I know this story will impact you. This story is why I am running for school board. I know we can make a difference and I know that together we can give EVERY neighborhood a great school to be proud of. For students,

Barry Statement on Shooting at Music City Central

Metro Press Release, NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 25, 2016) – Mayor Megan Barry has released the following statement regarding the shooting at MTA’s Music City Central station that has resulted in four shooting victims, one with critical injuries:
The shooting today at Music City Central is a tragic reminder of the plague of gun violence in our society, where one person with a gun can devastate lives and bring a city to a halt in a moment’s notice. My heart sank when I heard that youth were the victims in this shooting, and my hope and prayer for those victims and their families is that they have a full and speedy recovery.
Metro Police will be assigning additional officers to the terminal in the coming days, and as a clearer picture of the shooting today comes into view, I will be meeting with Police and MTA officials to see what we can do better to improve security at Music City Central and prevent incidents like this in the future.
As Mayor, as a Nashvillian, and as a mother, I will never accept a status quo where our children fear being victims of violence when getting on a bus, going to school, or walking in their neighborhoods. I remain committed to working with our entire community to implement recommendations from the Youth Violence Summit Report and create better outcomes for all of our children.
Metro Police will continue to update the public and media with details related to the shooting as they are made available.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Haslam signs therapist protection bill.

Today Governor Haslam signed the bill that says no therapist or counselor must provide services to a client who has a lifestyle or engages in practices that conflict with the counselor's sincerely held principles. So, I guess this means that if you are a counselor who believes murder is wrong and a mafia hit man comes to you who is having guilt feeling about all the people he has killed and wants to be cured of his guilt so he can sleep well at night, that you can refuse him service and not be sued. Or, if you are not comfortable counseling a pedophile, or providing marriage counseling to a polygamist man and his three wives, or a mother and son in a incestuous relationship, or a women having her third abortion, or a gay couple, you can refuse to counsel them and not be in jeopardy of being sued.

I support the basic premise of this law.  I think counselors should be able to refuse service to those who have a lifestyle that the counselor finds abhorrent.  I do question however how often this law is really necessary. Assume a gay couple goes to a counselor and the counselor says, "I appreciate you seeking me out and I wish I could serve you, but I am a Christian and believe homosexuality is a sin and I don't think we would really be a good match; I really don't know that I could be objective enough to provide you with the service you seek, however if you absolutely insist I will serve you anyway, knowing I probably can't help you."  How many gay couples are going to demand this person be their counselor and take their money?  Probably none.

I don't fault Governor Haslam for signing the bill. He needs to use the veto sparingly.  However, I wonder if this bill is really necessary. Sort of like the bathroom bill, some things could  be worked out without passing a state law. Of course, I did not sit thorough the legislative hearings and hear the arguments, but this bill looks like a solution in search of a problem simply in order to make a point.

For more on this see Haslam signs bill giving therapists protections.

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The coming Republican demographic disaster

By 2044 America will be a minority majority in this country and minorities are not voting Republicans. I have a hard time being optimistic.  I do not think we should change our values to win elections.  If we win elections by being Democrat-lite, what is the point? We could do a better job of selling our message and increase out reach but the fact is they may simply not be buying what we are sellingthreather

We may have to face the fact that the best days of America are behind us.  Weakness in the face of foreign threats and a weakened America that no longer demands respect may be the future of the world.  We can expect Russian expansionism in Europe and Chinese expansionism in Asia.  Obama's retreat in the middle East left fertile ground for the growth of Islamic terrorism and we can expect that to continue. Since 9-11 we have only seen small scale attacks in America by lone wolf actors. I expect it to get much worse.  Obama and John Kerry cut the  deal with Iran, releasing $150 billion in frozen assets and paving the way for Iran to development a nuclear weapons capacity and terrorism sponsorship. That deal cannot end well and under a Hillary Clinton presidency, we can almost be assured that the course will not be reversed. As our allies realized we are not a trustworthy partner we can expect them to cut deals with our adversaries and we can expect nuclear proliferation.

Americans who vote for Democrats however, do not see the consequences of American weakness and disengagement, the way I do.  They view American engagement in the World as meddling in other peoples business and think that if we will only be nice, countries like North Korea and Iran will be nice. 

On the domestic front, I see no turn around in our policies under a Democrat and only a worsening situation.  Obamacare is failing, but if Democrats again control the Congress, instead of market reforms, we will see "reform" of Obamacare that further nationalizes health care and government control.  The clamor to forgive student debt and make college free will continue

 Nearly six-in-ten Hispanics are Millennials or younger
The above title does not speak to just the next presidential election when no doubt Hillary Clinton will likely win over Donald Trump by a landslide, should Trump be the nominee; the above speaks to the long range trend of the electorate. The Republican Party has become the party of old white men (and old white women), and the trends to do bode well. 

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Franklin Graham in Nashville May 3 for Decision America Tour Prayer Rally

Join Franklin Graham on

May 3, 2016
12:00 p.m.
Capitol Legislative Plaza
600 Charlotte Ave
Nashville, TN 37243
Get Directions
Get Tennessee Prayer Calendar
Watch Prayer Rally Invite                                
Volunteer at Prayer Rally

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Monday, April 25, 2016

The mess at state GOP HQs just got worse.

Rocky Top Politics, April 24, 2016 - Political consultant/wife of state GOP political director working to defeat incumbent conservative GOP legislators while working out of office in GOP HQs. Posed as an official representative of the Tennessee Republican Party to reporter covering the delegate controversy. 

RTP has learned that party officials Brent Leatherwood and Walker Ferrell were repeatedly warned about the appearance and ethics of contracting with Ferrell’s wife.  That arrangement on its face was highly questionable, but exploded into the public view when it was learned she was also under contract to defeat several Republican officeholders. This unethical “backdoor” attempt to circumvent party by-laws was exposed in a letter delivered by over two dozen GOP legislators last week.

In a new development RTP has learned Taylor Ferrell, the wife of state party political director Walker Ferrell, has been working out of state party HQs, acting like an employee and enjoying the HQ’s facilities event to the point where she felt comfortable representing herself to the media as a spokesperson of sorts for the state party  — all while being paid to defeat incumbent Republicans.

.... Pretending that Taylor Ferrell is not an actual employee, but an independent contractor is a disingenuous attempt to provide cover for the Ferrells and perhaps others to enrich themselves while playing both sides of the street.(link)

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Mayor Barry to host "Stand Aganist Racism" rally.

A "Stand Against Racism" rally will do nothing but stroke the fires of  racial animosity. Of course, that is the goal of Democrat politicians, is it not?  They stay in power by keeping people divided and angry and feeling like victims in need of government solutions. The Metro Human Relations Commission serves no purpose except to promote a liberal agenda and should be abolished. Thankfully, the rally is only 30 minutes long; not enough time to get people riled to the point of rioting and trashing the city.

Recently the Nashville Black Lives Matter group was kicked out of holding their meetings at the public library because the group bans white people from attending their meetings. I bet that won't be the kind of racism this rally stands against.

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Conscious Conversation: How does Gentrification Impact Local Youth.


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Sunday, April 24, 2016

U.S. District Judge orders a recount of Amendment 1 vote.

On Thursday April 21st, Williamson County Circuit Court Judge Michael Binkley upheld Tennessee's method of counting ballots on the Amendment 1 constitutional amendment question which was passed by the voters in 2014.  Unfortunately that victory was short lived, because on Friday April 22nd U.S. District Judge Kevin Sharp ruled that the method of counting of votes on Amendment 1 was fundamentally unfair to the plaintiffs and ordered a recount using a different methodology.

Amendment 1 was the amendment to the Tennessee constitution that inserted  language empowering the legislature to enact, amend or repeal state statutes regarding abortion. The amendment did not outlaw abortions but allowed the state to impose reasonable limitations on abortion such as licensing requirements and waiting periods. It gave Tennessee the same right to regulate abortions as every other state. The language of the amendment was this: "Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion. The people retain the right through their elected representatives and state senators to enact, amend, or repeal statutes regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest or when necessary to save the life of the mother."

Due to a Tennessee Supreme Court decision in 2000 it was determined that the State constitution provided greater rights to abortion than did the Federal constitution and the State was prohibited from regulating the abortion industry.  As a result, Tennessee had become an abortion destination and one in four abortions in Tennessee in 2010 was sought by out-of-state women. This was a result of surrounding states being able to regulate abortions and Tennessee not being able to do so. To correct this and to restore to the legislature the power to regulate abortions which they had done prior to the 2000 State Supreme Court ruling, Amendment 1 was presented to the voters who approved the measure by 53 percent of the votes cast.

When abortion supporters lost the referendum, they challenged the method used to approve the measure. At issue is how to count the votes.  Article XI, Section 3 of the Tennessee Constitution says, "And if the people shall approve and ratify such amendment or amendments by a majority of all the citizens of the state voting for Governor, voting in their favor, such amendment or amendments shall become part of this Constitution."

Ever since the adoption of the Tennessee constitution, the way an amendment was approved is that  the amendment, not only had to win a majority of the votes but it had to have as many people vote on the amendment as voted for governor.  So, in order for an amendment to be approved, if 100,000 people voted for governor, then it did not matter if an amendment got 90,000 votes in favor and 9,999 in opposition it was not adopted.  It had to reach the threshold of  the same number as those who voted for governor had to vote on the amendment question.  Those challenging the approval of Amendment 1 are saying that, that method and reasoning is incorrect; that only those who actually voted for governor get to have their vote counted in the constitutional amendment referendum. 

At this time, Judge Sharp has only ruled that the vote be retabulated to exclude those who did not vote in the Governors race. That means my vote won't be counted. I purposely did not vote for governor in order to lower the threshold for Amendment 1. Judge Sharp did not set aside the result or order a new election. He also did not order that the other amendment on the ballot be recalculated. There is still hope that he will not sit aside the result of the amendment referendum.

In the November 2014 election, 1,353,728 people voted for governor and 1,386,355 voted on Amendment One; 729,163 voted in favor of Amendment 1 and 657,192 voted in opposition. So that means 32,627 voted on the Amendment 1 question, who did not vote in the Governors race and yet Amendment 1 won by 71,771 votes. If every person who voted on Amendment 1 but did not vote in the governors race voted for Amendment 1 and their vote is thrown out, Amendment 1 still wins by 38,344 votes.

For more on this issue see the following:

Federal judge orders recount of Amendment 1 voting
Federal judge orders recount of 2014 abortion ballot vote
For background see the following:
Vote Yes on 1. End Tennessee as an abortion destination state.
Amendment 1 lawsuit has no merit and is "absurd."
Why I am not voting for Bill Haslam

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Tennessee will soon really be income tax-free. Hall tax repeal awaits Govenor's signature.

The following is from Senator Mark Green's Facebook page. Senator Green was the sponsor the the repeal legislation.

We have passed a full repeal of the Hall Income Tax! SHARE the good news! I am honored to carry this monumental tax cut, the largest in state history. Thanks to those who helped to get this done. The tax rate will be reduced from 6% to 5%, a seventeen percent cut from the total dollars collected by the state for fiscal year 2016. The intent of the General Assembly in successive years is that the tax on investment and dividend income will be cut 1% annually, but is not bound to any specific rate reduction being charged to respond according to the economic health of each fiscal year. Furthermore, by January 1, 2022, the Hall Income Tax will no longer be collected and eliminated as a legal means of taxation in Tennessee. Meaning, it is set to sunset in as the year 2021 sunsets.

 The Beacon Center made repealing the Hall Income Tax one of their top priorities.  Here is their press release:

Beacon Statement on Elimination of the Hall Tax

April 22, 2016 - Today, Tennesseans from all walks of life can celebrate a major victory as the Tennessee legislature voted to eliminate the Hall Income Tax over the next 6 years. The Beacon Center was the major factor in the elimination of this unfair tax with a public awareness effort that led to over 1.8 million video views, a new anti-Hall Tax website, and over 75,000 emails sent to legislators against the Hall Tax. Beacon also testified in support of repeal in the last stages of debate on the bill.
“The vote to phase out the Hall Tax is the biggest victory for Tennessee taxpayers this session,” said Beacon CEO Justin Owen. “After spending much time and energy educating the public and legislators about the pitfalls of the Hall Tax, we are ecstatic that this day has finally come. We applaud legislators for their leadership, especially the bill’s sponsors, Sen. Mark Green and Rep. Charles Sargent. They realized that this tax unfairly hurts senior citizens and job creators and did the right thing to repeal it. We can now celebrate a major reduction to the tax bills of many Tennesseans who are in desperate need of tax relief.”

Owen concluded, “More than half of the people who paid the Hall Tax make less than $75,000 per year and that just isn’t fair. We are proud that Tennessee has finally lived up to its reputation as a truly income tax-free state.”

The bill will now go to the Governor to be signed into law.
Congratulations to Senator Green, House sponsor Jay D. Reedy, The Beacon Center and all who voted for the legislation and had a hand in advancing the cause. I hope the Governor signs it.  I don't suspect Governor Haslam would veto it, but would be very disappointed if he were to do so. 

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