The beginning of the end (of the beginning)

Early voting begins today:

Davidson County Elections Administrator Kent Wall anticipates that around 130,000 Nashvillians could vote in this Metro general election. The expectation is for about half to again vote early.

Fueling higher voter turnout projections: Nashville’s population boom over the past decade, a long slate of contested Metro races and multiple voter registration drives from different groups that resulted in 8,000 new registered voters since January.

The election also features an open vice mayoral race, five open Metro Council at-large seats and a slate of competitive district council races. There are also three Metro Charter amendments for voters to consider.


Jul 17, 2015 7:50 AM

Round-up of statements on the Chattanooga shootings

Yeoman's work from The Dean to get these all compiled in one place. 

Jul 17, 2015 7:40 AM

Andy Holt says he's going to keep on keeping on celebrating NBF

A statement from the Dresden Republican:

On Monday, Tennessee recognized and celebrated the life of Civil War General Nathan Bedford Forrest. On this day, a democratic State Representative from Nashville decided to introduce a bill to end Nathan Bedford Forrest Day. In Memphis, the city council recently voted to exhume the grave of General Forrest and his wife. While I want to believe those wishing to take action have good intentions; they are, for the most part, misinformed.

The very idea of treating someone differently and not awarding them the same opportunities because of the color of their skin is absolutely disgusting. Were he alive today, General Forrest would agree. In fact, General Forrest was one of the South’s first civil rights leaders. A fact lost on many politicians looking to capitalize off of the South Carolina tragedy.

Through Christ, we are called to believe in and celebrate redemption. When we recognize the life of General Forrest, we are doing just that– celebrating the life of a man, redeemed through Christ, that fought for the rights of black West Tennesseans.

After the war, General Forrest spoke with federal authorities controlling Memphis and the Memphis Board of Aldermen to plead with them to train young blacks so that they would not be dependent on government. He argued that blacks were just as capable as whites to be doctors, lawyers, bankers, etc.. The same Memphis city leaders wanting to exhume his grave today, ignored his calls for allowing blacks equal opportunities then. However, that didn’t stop General Forrest from living his own life as an example.  General Forrest was CEO of Selma, Marion & Memphis Railroad. As CEO, General Forrest hired and trained hundreds of former slaves. He even granted them leadership positions within the company.

Those that wish to stoke the fires of racial tension in America claim that General Forrest was the founder of the “KKK”. This is not true. The Ku Klos of the mid-1860s was founded by Judge Thomas Jones, Frank McCord and several other Confederate veterans. Two years after its founding, General Forrest was elected grand wizard of the organization. However, he never dressed in costume. Additionally, no evidence exists showing that General Forrest participated in any Klan activity at all. In fact, only two years after being elected grand wizard, General Forrest ordered that all costumes and symbols be destroyed, and that the Klan be dismantled because it had become a racist organization. In fact, recognizing his will to exercise “moral authority”, the United States Congress recognized General Forrest’s efforts to dismantle the Klan in 1871.

In 1875, the Independent Order of Pole Bearers, an early civil rights organization in Memphis, invited General Forrest to speak at their Fourth of July BBQ. Ignoring the advice of many white friends urging him not to attend, General Forrest accepted the invitation with an open heart. “Go to work, be industrious, live honestly and act truly, and when you are oppressed I’ll come to your relief. I thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for this opportunity you have afforded me to be with you, and to assure you that I am with you in heart and in hand,” declared General Forrest. After a speech that championed equality, unity and love, as large crowd of blacks roared with applause, a young black girl presented General Forrest with a bouquet of flowers, which he thanked her with kiss on the cheek.

Those interested in actually mending racial tension in Tennessee, rather than pandering for quick political points, should be singing the praises of General Forrest. We should be teaching the story of General Forrest to every last school child, not digging up his grave in an attempt to rewrite history. To do so, does absolutely nothing to improve race relations. In fact, to exhume the grave of a civil rights leader should be viewed by those seeking to improve race relations as a hostile action. By the will of his own conscious, not the force of government, General Forrest exemplified redemption, love, compassion and reconciliation.

This is why we celebrate the life of General Forrest. As long as I am in office, because my conscious and faith compel me to fight for unity, I will continue to honor the life of General Forrest.

Jul 16, 2015 12:50 PM

What? No endorsement from 'Brides-To-Be'?

After being denied the endorsement of The Tennessean, which he really wanted, Bill Freeman is out touting the nine newspaper endorsements he picked up yesterday:

Today, the Bill Freeman for Mayor campaign secured endorsements from nine community papers across Davidson County. Endorsing outlets include The Green Hills News, Nashville Today, Belle Meade News, West Meade News, Bellevue News, West Side News, Donelson News, Hermitage News and the Tennessee Tribune. These announcements come on the heels of other major endorsements from Metro schoolteachers, firefighters and police officers.

"I am truly honored by these endorsements and believe it reflects on my commitment to focusing on improving all of our neighborhoods, not just downtown. We have received more than a dozen endorsements to date and believe that the diversity of the endorsements speaks to the inclusive nature of our campaign. As mayor, I will represent every resident in every neighborhood and will work to make sure no one is left behind."

The endorsement focuses on Freeman's leadership style, business experience and compassion for the community. The endorsement reads:

"Nashville needs a strong leader in the mayor's office. Our city deserves the wisdom of his experience and the freshness of someone from outside the political sphere. Just as Freeman set goals and charted the direction for his own successful business, he will utilize those proven guidelines and his decisive leadership style for Nashville and its citizens."


Eight of those papers (all but the Tennessee Tribune) are owned by the same publishing company (GCA Publishing) and run much of the same content outside of hyperlocal front-page stories. 

Jul 16, 2015 8:00 AM

Harwell says spend the surplus on roads

With the state having overcollected by $551 million and all, Speaker Harwell says spend it on infrastructure.

Jul 15, 2015 7:55 AM

Freeman poll says Freeman lead growing

Bill Freeman's latest internal poll has him up to 24 percent. Vanderbilt professor John Geer, who knows this stuff, says that's probably about right. Also worth noting: David Fox is on the way up.

Jul 15, 2015 7:26 AM

Haslam happy as DUI campaign scrapped

The GHSO has scrapped its ad campaign and the governor is happy about it.

Jul 15, 2015 7:06 AM

Corker has qualms about Iran nuke deal, but he can be sold on it

The charman of ForRel and Tennessee's junior senator has questions:

And he says his vote will turn on the plan's specifics. Among the questions he has: Will inspectors get to meet with Iranian scientists, and which facilities will they be able to visit?

Corkers says that if he and his colleagues get satisfactory answers, they could support the deal. If not, they should have no problems rejecting it.

Jul 15, 2015 7:03 AM

Womick wants to impeach Haslam over gay marriage

Rep. Rick Womick says he's going to try and impeach the governor because the Supreme Court overturned the state's gay marriage ban:

Womick contends that Haslam should enforce the Tennessee Constitution and the amendment approved by voters in a referendum that bans gay marriage because the U.S. Supreme Court has no authority to rule on marriage.

"He (Haslam) changed the constitution and changed state law without addressing the General Assembly," said Womick, who lives in the Rockvale community southwest of Murfreesboro. "He failed to uphold his oath to the state. He went and altered state law. He put homosexuals on marriages licenses.

"He did not consult the General Assembly on any of this. He did this based on the five rogue justices in Washington, D.C. He doesn't have that power, and, therefore, we are looking at impeachment proceedings."

Haslam spokesman David Smith Tuesday declined to comment about Womick's assertions.

"Yeah," Smith said. "I'm not going to respond to that."

Womick also said he is "working" with Rep. Scott DesJarlais on impeaching the five justices — though he did not make clear what high crimes or misdemeanors they committed. DesJarlais said he "listened to what" Womick "had to say."

The whole shebang from the DNJ.

Jul 15, 2015 6:56 AM