Alexander agrees with Corker on Confederate flag

Lamar Alexander has joined the call to take down the Confederate flag at the South Carolina State Capitol.

Jun 22, 2015 1:58 PM

Alexander says EPA rules are unfair to Tennessee

Sen. Alexander doesn't like EPA regulations that give preference to wind and solar power:

“Sixty percent of the country’s carbon-free electricity, emission-free electricity, comes from nuclear power,” Alexander told McCarthy during a budget hearing before the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on the Interior and Environment. “Wind produces 13 percent. Solar produces 1 percent.

“If you’re really serious about climate change, if you’re really serious about clean air, then why would you disadvantage nuclear power and treat wind and solar better?”

May 4, 2015 8:21 AM

Tennessee senators develop reps as compromisers

The Tennessee Two are able to forge cross-party alliances:

Sen. Bob Corker was still savoring Tuesday's 19-0 committee vote for his legislation to review any nuclear deal with Iran when Sen. Lamar Alexander sat down next to him at a meeting two days later and passed him a note.

The committee that Alexander chairs had just voted 22-0 to approve his massive rewrite of federal education law, the note said.

"I told him we were 41-0," Alexander said, laughing.

Unanimous votes in Congress these days — other than naming a post office — are noteworthy. It's especially unusual that committee chairmen from the same state would achieve two such votes on major policy issues in a single week.

Apr 20, 2015 10:39 AM

Corker named to Time 100

Sen. Bob Corker has been named to Time's list of 100 influential folks, with this tribute written by Lamar Alexander.

Apr 16, 2015 8:56 AM

Reactions to Medicaid expansion plan

State Republicans laud flexibility in Haslam proposal
Dec 15, 2014 11:45 AM

Why did Joe Carr's campaign loan a millionaire's company $200K?

Over at the Scene, there's an explanation for that $9,500 receipt in Carr's last filing: It was interest.

A company owned by right-wing millionaire Andy Miller received a $200,000 loan from Joe Carr's Senate campaign. The company, Life Watch Pharmacy, in turn paid the campaign $9,564.54 in interest on the loan.

Since Miller has already reached the maximum for how much he can give personally, the question is whether this amounts to and end-run around campaign finance limits. Loans from campaigns to corporations are "rare," an election law specialist told the Scene.


There are no prohibitions against campaigns making loans to companies, but according to federal campaign finance regulations, the interest paid by a single-member LLC like Life Watch may be attributed to that member as a contribution.

The LLC is also required to provide documentation that it is eligible to make the contribution. There is none in either the amended filing or in a response from the campaign to the FEC.
Jul 15, 2014 4:13 PM

Alexander poll says senior senator leads Carr 4-to-1

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander might have attracted more than half-a-dozen contenders in his bid for reelection, but his recent polling suggests that hasn’t put a dent in his chances for the August GOP primary.

A survey of 600 likely Republican primary voters in Tennessee found 56 percent of voters favor Alexander, compared to 14 percent for his leading contender, state Rep. Joe Carr, according to a memo obtained by the Nashville Post. Other candidates garnered 2 percent or less of the vote, according to the memo by North Star Opinion Research President Whit Ayres. Another 22 percent are undecided.

“The campaign looks essentially the same today as it did in August of 2013 and February of this year,” wrote Ayres in a memo to Alexander’s campaign finance chairman Steve Smith.

The firm’s last survey in February showed Alexander leading Carr 62 percent to 17 percent, with 18 percent undecided and 2 percent for Brenda Lenard and 1 percent for Danny Page. Since then, the contest has attracted seven total GOP challengers who were all factored into the recent polling. The firm conducted the survey May 12 through 14 and all respondents said they were likely or certain to vote in the Republican primary election.

Carr’s campaign suggested the release of the numbers shows the Alexander campaign is nervous.

“After seeing what happened this week in Nebraska, it’s not surprising that Senator Alexander and his campaign are very worried about the threat that Joe Carr and Tennessee conservatives pose to his re-election,” said Donald Rickard, a spokesman for Carr’s campaign, pointing to a conservative Republican taking the nomination for U.S. Senate and another falling short by 6 percentage points for Congress. “Why else would he release numbers this early? As this campaign unfolds and Joe invests in informing Tennessee voters about Sen. Alexander’s support for Common Core, the bail-out of Wall Street and amnesty — the environment surrounding this race will shift significantly."

Below is an excerpt from the North Star Opinion Research memo:

1. Senator Alexander holds at least a 4-to-1 lead over any Republican primary opponent. Alexander stands at 56 percent in a full ballot test, compared to 14 percent for Joe Carr, no more than 2 percent each for the six other opponents, and 22 percent undecided.

2. Senator Alexander’s opponents remain unknown to the overwhelming majority of Republican primary voters. Sixty-seven percent of primary voters have never heard of Joe Carr, almost identical to the 70 percent who had never heard of him in February. Eighty-four percent have never heard of Fred Anderson, 85 percent have never heard of George Shea Flinn, 91 percent have never heard of John D. King, 92 percent have never heard of Christian Agnew, 93 percent have never heard of Brenda S. Lenard, and 95 percent have never heard of Erin Kent Magee.

3. Senator Alexander continues to hold high job approval ratings across the state and among key subgroups of the primary electorate. Statewide Alexander’s job approval is 66 to 28 percent, including 70 to 22 percent in East Tennessee, 61 to 36 percent in Middle Tennessee, and 64 to 26 percent in West Tennessee. Strong Republicans approve of his job performance by 72 to 22 percent, as do evangelical Christians by 65 to 27 percent, and very conservative voters by 62 to 33 percent.

May 15, 2014 2:44 PM

Lamar Alexander rails against NLRB ruling that allows college athletes to form union

Sen. Lamar Alexander was quick to express his opposition to a ruling by the Chicago district of the National Labor Relations Board on Wednesday in favor of Northwestern University football players’ effort to unionize.

Alexander is a former president of the University of Tennessee and served as secretary of education under George H.W. Bush.

His office issued the following statement Wednesday afternoon:

“Imagine a university’s basketball players striking before a Sweet Sixteen game demanding shorter practices, bigger dorm rooms, better food, and no classes before 11 a.m. This is an absurd decision that will destroy intercollegiate athletics as we know it.”

NLRB regional director Peter Sung Ohr said the time commitment of meetings, practices, games, offseason training, etc., and the fact that scholarships are directly tied to performance affords the players union rights.

Northwestern said it would appeal the ruling to the full NLRB in Washington D.C.

From an report:

Ohr wrote in his ruling that the players "fall squarely within the [National Labor Relations] Act's broad definition of 'employee' when one considers the common law definition of 'employee.'"

Ohr ruled that the players can hold a vote on whether they want to be represented by the College Athletes Players Association, which brought the case to the NLRB along with former Wildcats quarterback Kain Colter and the United Steelworkers union.

… Colter, whose playing eligibility has been exhausted, said nearly all of the 85 scholarship players on the Wildcats' roster backed the union bid, though only he expressed his support publicly. The United Steelworkers union has been footing the legal bills.

CAPA attorneys argued that college football is, for all practical purposes, a commercial enterprise that relies on players' labor to generate billions of dollars in revenues. That, they contend, makes the relationship of schools to players one of employers to employees.

In its endeavor to have the players recognized as essential workers, CAPA likened scholarships to employment pay -- too little pay from its point of view. Northwestern balked at that claim, describing scholarship as grants.

Giving college athletes employee status and allowing them to unionize, critics have argued, could hurt college sports in numerous ways -- including by raising the prospects of strikes by disgruntled players or lockouts by athletic departments.

Mar 26, 2014 6:49 PM

Statewide Alexander campaign ad hits TVs Monday

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander’s campaign is running a 60-second TV ad through the end of the month focusing largely on local testimonials.

The ad's commentary from business leaders, choir members, his sons, a school principal, a singer/songwriter and a fisherman were recorded last spring, according to Tom Ingram, Alexander’s campaign advisor, months before state Rep. Joe Carr entered the primary race.

Ingram refused to detail how much the campaign is paying for the long-planned statewide ad buy, citing “competitive reasons.”

Ingram said to expect several more rounds of ads during the course of the campaign “and whatever else it takes to ensure a strong, solid victory.” This ad follows one released in July about fishing that included Kentucky's U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, and another in August about his opposition to so-called Obamacare shortly after Carr announced a bid to challenge Alexander.

Carr reported raising $250,000 in the fourth quarter of 2013. Ingram said he was unsure how much the senior senator has raised but said the campaign is “very happy with our numbers so far, and not too much concerned with anybody else’s, to tell you the truth.” In the third quarter, Alexander's campaign raised nearly $838,000 and had $2.8 million on hand.

Jan 9, 2014 3:57 PM

Butler Snow adds government relations group member

Former D.C. official has worked with Congress in various roles
Jan 8, 2014 7:00 AM