Saturday, August 26, 2023

Metro Council At-Large Candidate Forum on Neighborhoods

by Rod Williams, August 26, 2023- On Wednesday of last week Neighbor 2 Neighbor hosted a virtual Town Hall Candidate Forum with the eight remaining At-Large Metro Council Candidates.  ​Councilmember Burkley Allen, Chris Cheng, Quin Evans-Segall, Olivia Hill, Howard Jones, Councilmember Delishia Porterfield, Councilmember Russ Pulley, and Councilmember Jeff Syracuse all participated in the forum. You can watch the video of that forum above. 

Questions asked of the candidates were submitted by registrants of the event and the organizing committee selected five questions. Topics addressed include public safety and crime, affordable housing, development, and transit. This forum gives you an insight into who is thoughtful and knowledgeable and who is just frustrated and doesn't have a clue. 

While one may vote for up to four candidates for at-large, I am only going to vote for one person for at-large. Voting for one person makes your vote carry much more weight. Voting for one person is almost the same as voting for that one person four times. 

The candidate I am voting for is Councilmember Russ Pulley. The reason I am a strong supporter of Russ is because he is a strong advocate for funding the police. At a time when the city was going to cut the police budget, Russ fought to keep that from happening and avoided cutting the police budget, winning that battle by just one vote of the Council. That is the kind of leadership we need in the Council. You can read about it here: Radicals lose fight to defund police, instead Council increases police funding by $2.6 million.  

In my view ensuring public safety is the most important thing local government does. Those who want to cut the police budget are still serving in the Council. Our police department is short 200 policemen from being fully staffed and crime is on the rise.  We need an advocate for public safety on the Metro Council. In addition to his advocacy for public safety, Russ is thoughtful and moderate, hardworking, does his homework, and has a heart for serving our city.

While I am only voting for one candidate for at-large and urge you to do the same, if I were going to vote for more than one, I would vote for Councilmember Burkley Allen and Councilmember Jeff Syracuse. 

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The special session was a waste of time and money. Nothing significant is going to pass.

Tennessee Senate adjourns special session until Monday afternoon

By Jon Styf | The Center Square, Aug 24, 2023 -  The Tennessee Senate went into session briefly Thursday only to adjourn until 4 p.m. on Monday.

The Senate passed three bills Wednesday and are awaiting those bills returning but Sen. Jack Johnson, R-Franklin, told media he didn’t expect the Senate to take up any other bills.

“We feel like we’ve accomplished what we came here to do, which is to address the things the governor wanted us to take up in this special session,” Johnson said.

The special session will cost the state additionally based upon the per diem amount per legislative day, which WKRN reported was $7,989 in the Senate with mileage costing $6,137 per day and a total cost of $14,126 per day.

In the House of Representatives costs one day costs $24,903 in per diem and $19,547 in mileage for a total cost of $44,450.

That up from 2021, when it cost $30,750 for per diem and $15,474 for mileage for one round trip for the combined House and Senate.

The three Senate bills included bills addressing eliminating taxes on handgun safety devices, the communication timeline of criminal court proceedings to the Tennessee Bureau of Information and a bill creating a statewide report on human trafficking.

Senate Bill 7085, the handgun safety bill passed through the Senate committee, puts in new requirements to add safe storage training to future handgun safety courses and also eliminates sales taxes on firearm safes and safety devices starting on Nov. 1.

Senate Bill 7086 requires a clerk of the circuit or general sessions court to notify TBI of the result of criminal proceedings within three business days instead of within 30 days.

Senate Bill 7088 will create a new child and human trafficking crimes report from TBI’s human trafficking unit. The report will be due in December each year before the Legislature begins its session.
Special Session: Day Three

BY MEGAN LEE PODSIEDLIK, The Pamphleteer, August 25 2023- Will only three public safety bills pass? If yesterday’s Senate floor session is any indication, yes. The body only passed three bills pertaining to safety on final reading, plus SB7089, which covers the tab of the special session. 



Though the Senate floor session was scheduled for 9 a.m., no one showed up. Since there was no quorum, Leader Randy McNally gaveled in and gaveled out. Instead, they met at 11 a.m.—but no new committee meetings have been added to the calendar. This means that, for now, the Senate isn’t passing any more bills on final reading. Instead, there was a motion for the Senate to reconvene on Monday at 4 p.m., during which they’ll consider any amendments added onto the House companion bills. (read it all)

Governor Lee, don’t waste a crisis. Tell Tennessee lawmakers what you want out of special session | Plazas

by David Plazas, The Tennessean, Aug. 25, 2023- Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee called lawmakers into an extraordinary session this past week and now it has devolved into chaos.

What started off as a meeting to focus on one policy change regarding external risk protection orders turned into a consideration of 18 points that confounded and divided even reasonable people.

The governor essentially gave the legislature mismatched pieces of a puzzle and then expected them to put it together.

No legislation ready for the governor's signature has been passed and the lawmakers have taken off for the weekend. ... Lee has been criticized by lawmakers and the public for being missing an action. This is unusual. .... Since Lee proposed the special session last spring, he has been criticized by members of his own party and gun advocates. Some have called him a socialist or demanded that he be censured. Some on the left have called him a coward.

But let’s not forget that calling this special session as a conservative Republican governor was a political risk, and it was brave. The problem now is that Lee is not following through. ... 

This special session may not be successful, but the governor is the only one right now who can try to set things right.

Governor Lee broke it, he bought it and now must fix it .(read more)

Rod's Comment: 

It appears nothing significant is going to come out of the Special Session. This is disappointing but not unexpected. As I said in a post on August 19th, Governor Lee should have cancelled the Special Session. I agree with Plazas that it took courage for Lee to call the Special Session. However, when it was clear that nothing of significance was going to pass, he should have simply expressed his disappointment and then cancelled it. Since he did not, he should have gone all out and advocated for his proposed Extreme Risk Protection Order. I doubt he could have been successful in getting it passed, but if he was going to let this special session take place, he should have fought for his agenda. 

What I wanted out of the Special Session was passage of the Extreme Risk Protection Order and a requirement that guns left in cars be stored safely. Disappointed. 

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Friday, August 25, 2023

The final Alice Rolli and Freddie O'Connell Nashville mayoral debate on August 24

by Rod Williams, August 25, 2023- This is a good debate with serious questions asked and answered and shows a clear distinction between the candidates. 
Takeaways from the debate:
  • Alice Rolli says she is concerned that our city returned $5.25 million to the state, money allocated to put school resource officers in schools. 
  • Alice says we should be able to find a reasonable way to temporarily separate a dangerous individual from their firearms. Freddie O'Connell also supports a risk protection order bill. 
  • Freddie supports a bill requiring safe storage of guns in vehicles. 
  • In response to the question, should we have an officer in every school and should the State overide Metro's decision not to do that. Freddie says no; Alice says yes. Alice says schools should be as safe as other government buildings. 
  • Alice expresses a desire to work with the State and Freddie says we must "defend Nashville's interest." 
  • On the question of affordable housing, neither candidate have much new to say.  Freddie advocates doing more of the same; Alice says increasing property taxes makes housing less affordable and she will not raise taxes. 
  • On transit policy neither have anything very interesting to say and little disagreement. 
  • Alice ask Freddie about why he opposed license plate readers. he says parts of the city feel "over surveilled." He is concerned license plate readers might track women seeking an abortion, and that the results of which criminals get caught will not be equitable. (See timestamp 35:10)
  • Alice makes the point that Metro Nashville has more debt than the entire state of Tennessee.
  • Both candidates express moderate support for the proposed racetrack at the fairgrounds.
  • Alice says that if a parent lives in a zone with a failing school and the parents wishes to apply for a out-of-zone school, Metro should provide transportation to that school.
  • A focus of Alice's campaign is improving education and greater school choice. 

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Thursday, August 24, 2023

Nashville Mayoral Forum with Freddie O' Connell & Alice Rolli on recognizing, protecting, and improving North Nashville.

by Rod Williams, August 24. 2023- If you don't live in north Nashville, you may be tempted to skip this forum, but I urge you to watch it.  This is insightful as to the different approaches of the two candidates for mayor. 

I think in this mayor's race we have two well informed and thoughtful candidates. Both do a good job of respectfully making their case as to why their philosophical approach to government is the right one. This is exemplified in this debate. 

In answer to a question about how to preserve affordable housing, Alice makes the point that the drastic increase in taxes has forced many people to have to sell their home because they cannot afford the higher taxes. She says she will hold the line and will not increase taxes. 
In answer to a question about what you would do to ensure "inclusive" economic development, Freddie advocates the use of government to ensure minorities and women get their share of government contracts.  In reality this means preferences and quotas and experience has shown that does not work. I worked in government or the non-profit housing sector for a long time and these programs are routinely gamed.  Freddie advocates more of the same.
Alice says we must ensure that minorities are uplifted through improved education. She says we see differences in literacy rates between different parts of the city. We need to uplift people so minorities can equally compete for higher paying jobs and opportunities. Alice makes the point several times that human capital is the key to improving the lives of the disadvantaged. 

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Please vote for The Disgruntled Republican as the best blog in the Nashville Scene's Best of Nashville poll.

voting ends August 31

Follow this link. You must vote in twenty categories, but it is really not that hard to find 20 favorites. Follow this link.

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The women with $20 of groceries going home to her $15,000 home in 1980. Really?

by Rod Williams, August 24, 2023- A lot of people have the impression that things in the past were so much better than they are now. It is just not so.

I know inflation is a serious issue. We need to address it, but we need to keep it in perspective and not distort the facts. 

Also, unless America gets serious about tackling the problem of the national debt, we will see an economic decline in America. A decline is inevitable without a course correction. 

In America we have always expected the next generation to be better off than the current generation and I do not believe that will be the case going forward. That being said, we do not need to exaggerate how wonderful things were yesterday. 

There are problems. However, we need to keep things in perspective.  I think a lot of the reason people believe that things were so much better in the past than now is because of social media. Look at the picture to the right. This was in my Facebook feed today and I am sure it was all over Facebook and many people will believe it.  Many will just accept it as the truth. One sees this kind of thing all of the time.

I don't know what the true cost of that big cart of groceries was in 1980. I bet it was more than $20.

A box of 19 oz Kellogg corn flakes cost 99 cents in 1980 and today at Walmart you can get an 18oz box for $4.89. In 1980 the median family income was $21,020. On an hourly basis that is about $10.11 ($.17 @ minute). Today the median family income is $70,784. On an hourly basis that is about $34.03 ($.567 @minute). So in 1980 one had to work about 6 minutes to buy that box of cereal. Today one has to work about 8 minutes to buy it. In 1980 the average per pound cost of a coffee was $3.18. In 2021 it was $5.89. So, it took 18 minutes of work for a pound of coffee in 1980 and now it takes about 10 minutes. So some things relative to the amount of work one must do to purchase them, went up; other things went down.

Also, keep in mind that we are now experiencing a spike in grocery prices. Average annual food-at-home prices were 11.4 percent higher in 2022 than in 2021. That makes looking back make things seem so much better. We have already seen egg prices decline and the peak in prices appear to be over and prices appear to be leveling off. 

Also, the quality and variety of food was not as great in 1980. Good seafood, olives, cheeses, and sushi were not common fare in 1980. For many people, if they ate like they ate in 1980, their groceries would cost less. 

In 1980, if the shopper pictured above lived in a house valued at $15,000 it was a substandard house. In 1980 the median house value was not $15,00 but $47,200. The median home price today is $416,100. So it takes a lot more money to buy a house today than in the past, but that is not all bad. It is not all bad because for most people their home is their largest asset. While it is more difficult for people to buy their first home, if you live in a half-million-dollar home, you should not complain. You have a nice net worth and that is a nice inheritance to pass on to your children.

Another thing to consider in thinking about how cheap housing was in the past is to compare the quality. In 1980 homes had much less square footage and fewer bathrooms. Families were also bigger. Sharing a bedroom with a sibling was a lot more common. 

One thing to know about comparing 1980 to now, is that 1980 was actually not a good year. In fact it was a very bad year. I bet the person who created this meme didn't do research but just picked a year at random. People earning, buying, and spending in 1980 were experiencing anxiety about the cost of living. Every time they went to buy that shopping cart of groceries it cost more than the week before. The annual rate of inflation in 1980 was a whopping 13.5%.  That was the highest since 1947.  It has not been that high since. Last year was the highest since 1981 when inflation was 10.3%. Last year it was 8% (link).

In addition to social media spreading false information, I also think there is a tendency for people to misremember what things were really like. People often have nostalgia for the "good ole days," even when they weren't that good. 

Not only is the cost-of-living something that is distorted on social media and something about which people think the past was so much better, but the crime problem and political divisions were at times just as bad in the past as now. While we have seen a crime uptick in the last year or so, for years we had been experiencing a decline in crime. As for political division and partisan tribalism, it is bad. I do think we are experiencing stronger political divides than in a long time. However, if you compare now to 1968, we don't look that bad. Everything in the past was not Happy Days. 

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Bastiat Society of Nashville presents Thomas L. Krannawitter lecturing on A Citizens's Guide to the Constitution


Thu Sep 7th 6:00pm - 8:00pm (CDT); Richland Country Club, 1 Club Dr, Nashville, TN 37215

AIER’s Bastiat Society program in Nashville will host an event with Thomas L. Krannawitter, President of Speakeasy Ideas.

There’s little left of our constitutional republic. If we are to save it and recover the virtues, habits, and lifestyles of self-governing, free citizens, we must create a constitutional culture in America. For that to happen, we are in need of a citizen’s guide to the Constitution. Not a guide for lawyers, judges, bureaucrats, or experts, but a guide for citizens who vote and make their voices heard.

The Constitution is ours, after all. We The People must understand it if we are to hold our government officials accountable to it. And we must hold government officials accountable to the Constitution, if we are to save what remains of our constitutional republic. Should we fail, self-government will fade away as we enter a terrible new age of submission and compliance under an utterly unconstitutional administrative state.

Eventbrite Ticket Required. Register here.

6:00 - 6:30 pm: Networking
6:30 - 7:15 pm: Presentation
7:15 - 7:30 pm: Q & A

Ticket Prices:
$0 for Founding Members
$10 for Annual Members
$20 for Non-Members$0 for Actively enrolled university students who register with a .edu email address. Those who register with a non .edu email address will be unregistered and asked to purchase tickets at full price.

More about the speaker:

Dr. Thomas L. Krannawitter is President of Speakeasy Ideas where he specializes in distilling the most important ideas—starting with the idea of human liberty—helping others to understand and use those ideas to improve their own lives.

He holds a Ph.D. from the School of Politics & Economics at the Claremont Graduate University. He has taught at Claremont McKenna College, Hillsdale College, Ashland University, and George Mason University, among other places. He was Director of Academic Programs and Vice President at The Claremont Institute in California. Dr. Krannawitter has received numerous research fellowships throughout his career from institutions such as the Heritage Foundation and the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.

He’s one of the principal instructors for the Leadership Program of the Rockies, based in Colorado, and the Charter Oak Leadership Program in Connecticut. His 2008 book, Vindicating Lincoln, was featured by The History Book Club and endorsed by the United States Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. His most recent book, Save the Swamp: A Career Guidebook for Budding Bureaucrats, is a comical satire.

Rod's Comment: These monthly meetings of the Bastiat Society are excellent. The speakers are always engaging, informative, and thought provoking and are experts in their field. Many are published authors and highly credentialed scholars. Also, the people attending are intelligent, thoughtful and interesting people and the socializing is enjoyable. Also, the food is excellent! It is much better than the normal cheese and veggie tray one often encounters at fundraiser or political events and there is a full open bar. I highly recommend the Bastiat Society events. 

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Alice Rolli "Get out the vote" Party, tonight, East Ivy Mansion

Thursday August 31
6 - 7 pm Reception
7 - 9 pm Concert

East Ivy Mansion
209 S 5th St, 
Nashville, TN 37206

valet parking will be available

A contribution of $500 is suggested for the reception, please let us know if a prior contribution should count towards the event.
The 7 - 9 pm concert is open to all. 

Corporate contributions of up to $1000 are permitted. The maximum individual contribution is $1800 per person, per election. 
RSVP to Stephanie Johnson 
Text: 615.314.0691 
or email 

This is tonight, August 31, 2023. I'm going. I know $500 is steep for some, but if you have already contributed, previous contributions can count toward the $500. The East Ivy Mansion is a nice venue for an event, if you have never been there. 

This race is winnable! Alice is the mayor we need. On crime, affordable housing, education, transit and development and a "no tax" pledge she is right on all of the issues. Join me tonight and put Alice Rolli over the top. 

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Leadership Institute: Persuading Moderates and Leftist - A fun evening presentation, Monday, September 18

 What you will learn

"Unfortunately, civility is hard to codify or legislate, but you know it when you see it. It's possible to disagree without being disagreeable." - Justice Sandra Day O'Connor

Political disagreements don't have to ruin relationships or break families. You can have honest, fruitful conversations with your leftist family members about political topics over the dinner table.

Political disagreements do not have to ruin events and outings. You can communicate openly and honestly with complete strangers about political topics without being mean and ugly.

This Pro-Life Communications Workshop will examine psychological differences and provide examples of how to bridge the gaps between leftists, moderates, and conservatives. This interactive and entertaining workshop demonstrates effective talking points and tactics to sway moderates and leftists on the sanctity of life.

Morton Blackwell, founder of the Leadership Institute, says, "You owe it to your philosophy to learn how to win." Join us to learn how to win in the dining room, board room, and voting booth.

Attendees will learn how to:

• Connect with moderates and leftists
• Craft a message
• Use the right words
• Communicate conservative values

Monday, September 18, 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM.

Location: Sonesta Hotel Nashville Airport, 600 Marriott Drive, Nashville, TN 37214 

Cost; FREE,  Dinner will be served.


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Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Drew Johnson, formerly of Nashville, is running for Congress from Nevada.

by Rod Williams, August 23, 2023- I just sent a contribution to a candidate running for Congress from Nevada. Since I  occasionally give a modest amount of money from time to time to campaigns and causes, I guess I am on every mailing list a Republican candidate can buy so I get almost daily solicitations. Most I delete unread. With 435 Congressional District, I can't give to them all or even possibly be informed enough to know if candidates for all of the races are worthy of support, so I usually give to races closer to home or give to the Republican Party and don't even consider giving to individual congressional races in other states.

Something about this solicitation caught my eye. It was for the candidacy of Drew Johnson. I remembered a Drew Johnson who some years ago was active in politics in Nashville and wondered if this was the same person.  I looked at his campaign website and it was. I remembered him. He was a nice guy. I don't know what the year was, maybe 2008 or 2009, but I met Drew at Liberty on the Rocks. LOR is a non-partisan libertarian-leaning social group that gets together monthly for drinking and eating and non-structured conversation.  I remember Drew attended often. I was a regular in those days. 

Drew Johnson was the founder and first president of the Tennessee Center for Policy Research, the organization that is now known as the Beacon Center of Tennessee. He founded the organization in 2004 and served as president until the end of 2009. Under his leadership, in 2006, the organization used the Tennessee Open Records Act to obtain Al Gore's home energy bills the day after the former Vice President won an Academy Award for the climate change documentary An Inconvenient Truth. The records showed that Al Gore's Belle Meade home consumed a lot of electricity—more than 20 times the national average. In 2006, Gore spent an average of $1,359 per month to power the home. This generated a lot on publicity for TCPR nationwide.  It also generated a lot of anger and Drew got death threats, harassing emails and threatening phone calls from Gore supporters and environmental activists. TCPR when on to become one of the most successful organizations of its kind in the country.

After leaving TCPR, Drew Johnson went to work for the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, then served as a reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press and from there moved to The Washington Times and in 2017 joined the National Center for Public Policy Research as a senior scholar.  He has since worked in conservative and libertarian circles and has gained national prominence. He has been published in scores of newspapers, magazines, and scholarly journals around the world, including The Wall Street Journal, National Review, and Forbes. He regularly appears on national and international television and radio programs and has appeared on: Fox News, the BBC, NPR, CNN, Showtime, and Fox Business, as well as The Glenn Beck Program, Hannity, and All Things Considered, among dozens of others. I did not know all of this until just now. You can read his bio on Wikipedia at this link

Looking at Drew Johnson's website, I am pleased that his campaign is really about something. He is a person of ideas. So many campaigns are simply about party tribalism and are really pretty shallow. Drew has policy positions, and they are positions with which I agree. He is a thoughtful person with ideas and a vision. Please look at his website and see if you do not agree. Look at the "issues" section but also the "media" section where you can read some of what he has written. Also here is a piece about Drew that was published in National Review

In his campaign solicitation Drew says his opponent is a RINO. Initially that turned me off because "RINO" has become such a term of derision that some use it to denigrate any Republican who is not an extremist populist Trumpinista. The term has lost meaning. In fact, the way it is often used now, I have taking to wearing the label of RINO as a badge of honor. However, in the case of Drew's opponent, she really does appear to be a Republican in name only. She contributed thousands of dollars of her own money to a PAC that supported people like Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters, and Ilhan Omar. 

Not only in Drew Johnson a smart, thoughtful, policy oriented true conservative, but he is a down to earth likeable guy. He is one of us. See this from is website:

Born in Tennessee, Drew was raised in a blue-collar family in rural Appalachia by a single mother who worked two jobs – at Walmart and as a maid – to make ends meet.

His grandmother, Wanda, was a huge support for Drew when he was a child – both emotionally and financially. When there wasn’t enough food to feed him and his sister, she gathered them around her table – filling their stomachs with her famous chicken and dumplings and zucchini bread.

Drew was a drummer in the high school marching band. His passion for percussion continued through college where he played as a session drummer for several Nashville country and Christian music artists.

Please look at his website and see if you do not agree with me that he is the kind of person we need in Congress. I wish he had run in Tennessee in the 5th Congressional District. 

Please consider contributing to Drew's campaign.

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How America’s right turned “Rich Men North of Richmond” into a hit

The Economist, Aug 23rd 2023 - He sports a red beard fit for a Viking, prays before he performs and strums his guitar with his three hounds slumped by his boots. Oliver Anthony is an unlikely star. And yet his song, “Rich Men North of Richmond”, released on August 11th, is crowning the charts, having racked up more than 34m streams on YouTube. He is the first musician to debut in the number-one slot on the Billboard Hot 100 without having had another song in the charts before. How did an unsigned, unknown artist become the minstrel of the moment?

The song’s substance helps explain its success. With the nostalgic twang of Appalachian folk, the bearded bard is singing of Americans’ struggles. When Mr Anthony laments “your dollar ain’t shit/And it’s taxed to no end” and repeats the chorus (“It’s a damn shame/What the world’s gotten to/For people like me/And people like you”), he is speaking directly to the anger millions of listeners feel, as they struggle with inflation, high living costs and disillusionment with Washington. (Read more)


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Tuesday, August 22, 2023

What's happening in the Special Session

by Rod Williams, August 22, 2023- The Pamphleteer is providing good coverage of the special session of the General Assembly.  To access the coverage of The Pamphleteer, follow this link for today's issue, then click "archive" to view previous coverage. If you want to actually watch the sessions, The Pamphleteer provides the links to the legislative website where you can find the videos. 

Issue 547 published August 17 lays the groundwork for the session and tells you some of the bills filed for consideration and what to expect. Issue 548 published August 18 continues with more examination of the bills that are filed and insight on the lay of the land. Issue 549 published yesterday tells you of the opening session and includes a piece by Jerod Ra'Del Hollyfield exploring Red Flag Laws. That issue also has an interview House Speaker Cameron Sexton on what to expect in the session. On day one, Sen. Janice Bowling (R-Tullahoma) motioned to adjourn indefinitely but that motion was not considered due to parliamentary rules. 

Today's issue, number 550 report that new rules were adopted to govern behavior of members of the legislature and visitors. From The Pamphetteer No. 550:

Put together by a bipartisan ad hoc committee, the session’s rules packet includes new consequences both for interrupting business in committees or during floor sessions by any “material disruption” and for speech deemed out of order. Though a member who violates these rules will be unable to speak during floor or committee discussions, he or she will still be able to vote on legislation.

Also included are strictures prohibiting signs in the gallery, recording devices on the floor, and sound amplifying devices in both the gallery and on the floor. Despite some pushback, these rules were eventually adopted by the House after an hour of deliberation. It’s worth noting, though, that the rules are already being bent: this morning, protestors who appeared in the gallery with signs were allowed to stay. 

I hope the new rules work and can allow the legislature to conduct business in an orderly fashion without the disruptive antics of the two Justins.

There are plenty of people providing coverage and commentary on the special session, so unless I just can't keep contain myself, I am going to leave coverage to others. Other outlets providing coverage of the special session include The Tennessean, The Nashville Scene, Tennessee Conservative, all the local news stations, various organizations, and more, but I think The Pamphleteer is doing the best job and I recommend that source for the best coverage. 

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Virtual Town Hall Forum for At-Large Metro Council Candidates


Neighbor 2 Neighbor will host a virtual Town Hall Candidate Forum with the eight remaining At-Large Metro Council Candidates on Wednesday, August 23rd at 6:30 pm.

Councilwoman Burkley Allen, Chris Cheng, Quin Evans-Segall, Olivia Hill, Howard Jones, Councilwoman Delishia Porterfield, Councilman Russ Pulley, and Councilman Jeff Syracuse will all participate in the forum.

Members of the public are invited to attend this forum and encouraged to submit one question for the candidates. Questions will be selected and organized by the moderator and organizing committee.
Neighbor 2 Neighbor is a local nonprofit and nonpartisan organization founded and led by neighborhood leaders across Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County. Neighbor 2 Neighbor does not endorse candidates for public office.

This event is free and open to the public. If you have further questions, please contact the staff of Neighbor 2 Neighbor at or 615-782-8212.

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Beacon Center Young Professionals Happy Hour, tonight, Tue. Aug. 22


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Monday, August 21, 2023


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Sunday, August 20, 2023


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Davidson County clerks hire relatives for jobs without considering other applicants

By Jeremy Finley, WSMV4, Aug. 15, 2023 - Davidson County criminal court Howard Gentry had an idea for a new job in his department: someone who could work part-time, do social media and outreach for the growing number of people needing expungements in the county. But he didn’t advertise the job or gather applicants, and instead just gave the position to his daughter, Taylor Gentry.

In fact, Taylor Gentry didn’t even have to apply for the job, ...

... Brenda Wynn’s grandson Damien Wynn, as well as her granddaughter and niece, have all received paid internships in her office. ... County records show Damien Wynn stayed with his grandmother’s office after the paid internship and moved into his current job at more than $42,000 a year. Wynn confirmed no one else was considered for her grandson's position ... 

If you’d like to watch the full unedited interviews with both clerks, you can watch them here:

Rod's Comment: This is shameful, and it should not be this way. In his interview Gentry says, "I’m not the first person to have done this." That is true and it is a poor excuse. Corruption is systemic in these offices. These clerk positions are elected and are pretty much independent of the Council and the mayor, not that the city should not try to clean them up and ask the State for help if needed. This is the kind of thing where a Metro Council memorializing resolution and public hearing and holding up approval of the clerk's budgets could make a difference. We should not just accept this as normal.

Unfortunately, the Republican Party never runs candidates for these offices and the Democrat primary is tantamount to the election. The incumbent is seldom challenged, and people get elected to these offices and serve for decades. There is little scrutiny paid to the office and one has to be enormously corrupt and sloppily corrupt before any of these constitutional office empires are ever called to account. 

Thanks to Channel 4 for this reporting. I hope they follow up. I wish that in the incoming Council there would be a good-government crusader who not allow this kind of nepotism to be swept under the rug and who would care about this sort of thing. These offices need scrutiny. 

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