Corker failed to disclose CBL purchases

The Wall Street Journal reports on Bob Corker failing to disclose several purchases of CBL stock. Action Andy explains:

Over a several year period, U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., omitted a dozen stock purchases he made in Chattanooga-based CBL & Associates Properties Inc. from his required Senate personal financial disclosures, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The newspaper said that in one previously unknown instance, Corker, a former Chattanooga mayor and real estate developer, in late 2011 purchased between $1 million and $5 million of stock in CBL, one of the nation's largest shopping mall operators where Corker began his career.

He sold the stock five months later for a 42 percent gain, the newspaper reported.

Nov 5, 2015 6:50 AM

Driving Fred Thompson

Gregory Gleaves shares tales from the road in his time as Fred Thompson's driver.

Nov 5, 2015 6:48 AM

Can the Dems dwindle the Senate supermajority?

Andrea Zelinski visited the Senate Republican Caucus retreat and got a sense of who the Dems might target:

The Tennessee Democratic Party has already put a bullseye on the back of Sen. Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga), one of seven lawmakers who killed a bill expanding health care coverage to poor citizens earlier this year. Like five other GOP senators who voted with him, Gardenhire was enrolled in taxpayer-subsidized health care insurance at the time. Nevertheless, the smaller-government tub-thumper made a show of his opposition, declaring falsely that he didn't accept state health insurance and later calling a demonstrator an "asshole."

"It's one thing to say you've got Sen. Gardenhire [as] your enemy No. 1, but you need to have someone to beat him," Young says.

Asked about that point in a phone interview, Mary Mancini, chairwoman of the Tennessee Democratic Party, takes great pains to avoid specifics.

"It's so funny," Mancini says. "It's not a matter of us finding people. It's a matter of people coming out of the woodwork to challenge him specifically because they know that he's not representing his constituents."


Moving down the hit list, Republicans also expect the minority party to target Davidson County Sen. Steve Dickerson, a anesthesiologist representing Metro's outskirts. His politics deviate from hard-line conservatives, evidenced by his pushing legislation to allow medical marijuana for some patients and voting against locking up pregnant women who abuse drugs.

He has a possible contender: Erin Coleman, a civil engineer, lawyer and military veteran, is interested in challenging him after a failed but strong bid for a countywide seat on the Metro Council. But she's already $100,000 behind Dickerson in the fundraising game, given nearly $15,000 in debt from her last campaign and the doctor's $85,000 headstart after years of saving.

Young is also eyeing a challenge in politically divided Clarksville to Sen. Mark Green, a doctor regarded as a rising GOP star. Mancini wouldn't say if the party is grooming a candidate to buck him this election, only that the party will seize every opportunity it can.

Nov 5, 2015 6:42 AM

Haslam takes Chattanooga VW officials 'at their word'

Officials at Chattanooga's VW plants have repeatedly said they knew nothing of the deceptive diesels and the governor says he trusts them.

Nov 4, 2015 2:01 PM

Council action on quarry might not solve much

Steven Hale reports from last night's council meeting:

At issue is whether White's clients are vested in the property. If they are, state law would protect them from new restrictions. White says they clearly are, noting that building permits were issued months ago and that those buildings have already been constructed on the site.

In his first meeting as Metro Council attorney, Mike Jameson came close to agreeing. Asked by newly elected Councilman Sam Coleman, who represents the southeast corner of Davidson County, to clarify that vesting issue, Jameson urged the council not to base their votes on that question, reminding them that regardless of the impetus behind them, the bills would apply countywide. But he did offer his opinion, with the caveat that a legal analysis has yet to be done on the question.

“My opinion, for what its worth at this point — which is uneducated at this point — is that because the quarry obtained a building permit on April 24, they have a fairly strong argument as to its having vested," he said.

Nov 4, 2015 12:26 PM

NRA jumps into fairgrounds gun show debate

The National Rifle Association sent a state liaison to the fair board meeting to express opposition to proposals being floated to tighten regulations on gun shows at the fairgrounds. Meanwhile, Kenny Byrd, who is spearheading the effort, had some questions for David Goodman of Bill Goodman's Gun and Knife Show:

He also grilled David Goodman, who manages the gun show, for what Byrd called objectionable paraphernalia he learned has been sold at Goodman's gun shows at the fairgrounds. They include stickers that read, “Keep America Free: Shoot a liberal,” and a T-shirt that features the Confederate flag alongside the words, “Defending freedom since 1861.”

“That’s not family-friendly events,” Byrd said. “I’m a liberal. I don’t want to be shot … and I don’t want you selling stuff with that message.”

“There’s things going on (at these gun shows) that this board would not appreciate,” Byrd said. “And we can’t come in and record a video or take pictures of what’s going on. That needs to change right there.”

David Goodman, who has defended the safety procedures of his gun shows, said on Tuesday that 100 percent of all gun sellers at his shows are licensed. As for the shirts and stickers described by Byrd, he said they aren’t intended to be literal. He also defended the sale of Confederate flags at his gun shows, calling it “a matter of taste” and not a symbol of racism.

Nov 4, 2015 6:23 AM

Haslam's campaign managers team up at consulting firm

Mark Cate (left), who managed Bill Haslam's gubernatorial campaign in 2010 and later became the governor's chief of staff, and Jeremy Harrell, who handled the re-election in 2014, have partnered with Stephen Susano, who led the Tennessee Business Partnership — the group that largely funded the effort to pass the judicial selection amendment — and formed Stones River Consulting. The firm's first public client was the Tennessee State Museum Foundation, which paid Stones River $10,000 a month to coordinate fundraising efforts for a new museum.

Humphrey has the press release.

Nov 4, 2015 6:19 AM

ASD gets new superintendent

Gov. Bill Haslam has named a D.C. educator, Malika Johnson, as the new superintendent for the Achievement School District.

Nov 3, 2015 2:16 PM

Are Metro Schools rigging the test game?

Phil Williams' latest includes on-camera interviews with educators who say students were shuffled around during end-of-course tests — even those who were passing the course — in an effort to game the system and artificially inflate Metro's test scores:

But Student D's three predictive tests suggested she might score "below basic" on the exam that's used to judge the school. That's the lowest level.

That's when she was pulled from the class.

Then, like most of the others, Student D was signed up to finish Algebra I on the computer, using a program the district calls A-Plus -- an assignment that, more than a year later, Student D still hasn't completed.

"So they're really having to get that information on their own and they don't. The vast majority of students don't -- without real structure and guidance -- do not finish A-Plus, and they didn't finish A-Plus."

Finally, Kelly Brown said, she confronted the Pearl-Cohn principal.

"I said I can't work in a school where we pull students from testing," she recounted.

"And she said?"

"She said, 'Well, all I can say is I was directed to do that -- and we are not the only school.'"

Nov 3, 2015 12:20 PM

The Zone to broadcast (at least) 14 Belmont hoops games

Belmont announced the extension of its broadcasting deal with WGFX 104.5 The Zone. At least 14 Bruins games will be broadcast on 104 with play-by-play man Kevin Ingram once again on the stick.

Here's the slate:


· Saturday, Nov. 21 at Evansville
· Saturday, Nov. 28 at BYU
· Tuesday, Dec. 1 vs. Lipscomb
· Tuesday, Dec. 15 vs. Ouachita Baptist
· Saturday, Dec. 19 at Cleveland State
· Thursday, Jan. 14 vs. Murray State
· Thursday, Jan. 21 at UT Martin
· Saturday, Jan. 23 vs. Tennessee State
· Thursday, Jan. 28 at Jacksonville State
· Saturday, Jan. 30 at Tennessee Tech
· Thursday, Feb. 4 vs. Morehead State
· Wednesday, Feb. 10 vs. Jacksonville State
· Saturday, Feb. 13 at Morehead State
· Saturday, Feb. 27 at Tennessee State

Nov 3, 2015 10:22 AM