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Shelby County misspells Gordon Ball's name, Gordon Ball reacts

The Shelby County Election Commission misspelled Gordon Ball's name on absentee ballots (it is spelled as "Gordan Ball," as seen here). He issues a statement:

"In preparation and distribution of absentee ballots in Shelby County, my name was misspelled. Our team is respectfully requesting that the Shelby County Election Commission rectify this mistake and issue a public statement," Democratic Candidate Gordon Ball said this morning. "Our names are important. How would Sen. Lamar Alexander feel if his name had been misspelled by one letter. if Lamer Alexander was on the ballot, the senator probably wouldn't like this anymore than I do."

Jul 17, 2014 11:10 AM

New NRA rankings downgrade governor

The governor slips down to a C on the latest NRA report card.

Jul 17, 2014 6:24 AM

FOP backs Supremes

The Fraternal Order of Police supports retention.

Jul 17, 2014 6:21 AM

The difference in 21

Steven Hale looks for a difference in Jeff Yarbro and Mary Mancini and finds one of approach, not politics:

Take perhaps the biggest policy question facing the state as a whole right now: whether to expand Medicaid or to embrace Gov. Bill Haslam's nebulous Tennessee Plan — the details of which remain a mystery to Tennesseans, state legislators and apparently even the federal government. Yarbro says he's optimistic that expansion can happen in some form, if elected Democrats work effectively in the current political environment.  

"It's not compromising the values of Medicaid expansion, it's looking for the right way for Tennessee to do it," he says.

Mancini rejects the notion that the two approaches — working with the majority or rallying to oppose them — are mutually exclusive. It's a matter of picking one's spots, she says. But there's no missing the rallying-cry tone in her voice.  

"The issue is, when do you take a stand on Democratic values, and when do you work with the other side?" Mancini says. "My best way of explaining it is, at this point what Democrats need to do is to stop allowing Republicans to define what the conversation is, what we talk about, what our values are.

"As long as we have Republicans like Mae Beavers, and Stacey Campfield, and Brian Kelsey, and Ron Ramsey sort of dominating the conversation and dictating what the conversation is, then I'm not running to work with them, I'm running to stop them. Because their values and their priorities are not the values and the priorities of working people, they're not the values and priorities of small business. They're the values and priorities of special interests and large corporations."

When it comes to working with Republicans toward some form of Medicare expansion, or simply decrying their stance on the issue as loudly as possible, Mancini says, "There's actually a third part of that equation that everybody forgets about — and that's people."

Recalling her experience as an organizer, Mancini says getting people involved so that they "advocate on their own behalf" will go further than "horse-trading with Republicans."

"They're not going to move on that issue," she says. "To them, expanding Medicaid is a political football, and they are continuing to use it as political football. The only way that we're going to get them to listen is for constituents to stand up and say, 'Stop with the politics.' "

Jul 17, 2014 6:20 AM

Gibbons asks troopers to be his drivers

Safety Commissioner Bill Gibbons has repeatedly had Tennessee state troopers drive him halfway to his Memphis home at least 31 times in the last two and a half years, reports News Channel 5's Phil Williams.

The trips include a trooper driving his vehicle with a second driver tailing them until they reach Exit 108 on I-40, at which point Gibbons drives himself the rest of the way home and the troopers turn back. According to the report, Gibbons has used the troopers as chauffeurs at least 31 times. That averages to about once a month, although officials say it may have been more.

Jul 16, 2014 2:12 PM

Fleischmann boasts fundraising lead

From the inbox:

The latest fundraising disclosure numbers show Chuck Fleischmann has over $275,000 more cash-on-hand than Weston Wamp and outraised Wamp by over $100,000 in the last quarter.
“We are in a strong position for the final weeks of the campaign to tell the voters of East Tennessee how Chuck has fought for their conservative values and will continue to do so when re-elected,” Fleischmann Finance Chairman Tom Decosimo said.

“After a poor fundraising quarter, it is obvious why Weston needed his super PAC to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for him. We have yet to hear him denounce the ads and call for them to be taken down. Weston should follow through on his admission that he returns PAC contributions made to his campaign and make a donation, equal to what the super PAC spends, to a good government fund.”

Jul 16, 2014 12:27 PM

'Nixon' for Mancini

Mary Mancini is married to Lambchop frontman Kurt Wagner and last night, Lambchop played two $25-per-head shows at The Basement to raise money for Mancini's campaign.

Jul 16, 2014 11:13 AM

Gordon Ball asks Alexander about Amendment 1

The Democratic hopeful thinks it's a fair question:

The Gordon Ball campaign publicly calls on Sen. Lamar Alexander to announce how he intends to vote on Amendment 1 when he returns from Washington to cast his ballot. Amendment 1 will appear on the ballot as follows with a yes or no vote:

Shall Article I, of the Constitution of Tennessee be amended by adding the following language as a new, appropriately designated section:
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 state 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.
"It's a fair question, Yes or No?" said Gordon Ball, democratic candidate for US Senate. "Over the past several years, and particularly during this primary season, we've seen Lamar taking more extreme positions seemingly to shore up the fringe elements on his far right."

"This is an extreme form of government overreach into the private healthcare decisions of a woman," Ball added. "How would Lamar feel if one of his family members was a victim of rape, incest or the life of the mother was in danger? Does he believe the State of Tennessee should force these decisions, or should the decision be made by the woman with her family and
medical professional?"

Jul 16, 2014 8:43 AM

DesJarlais on the attack

Scott DesJarlais is going after Jim Tracy with his first ad.

Jul 16, 2014 7:07 AM