Naifeh Overruled

Big news on SJR 127 today in the legislature. Rep. Gary Odom made a motion to suspend the rules to vote on a resolution regarding the House schedule, an issue unrelated to SJR 127. Rep. Bill Dunn then made a motion to amend that motion to suspend so that SJR 127 could be brought up for its first of three readings. Dunn was then ruled out of order by House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh. The House Republicans then objected to that ruling. A vote was called to overrule. House Republicans won that vote by 1. A recess was then called for. The House is now back in session and Dunn has renewed his motion. UPDATE: Representative Dunn's motion prevailed 51-43. Odom then withdrew his original motion. Objections were made. A motion was made to adjourn the session and recess until Tuesday. It failed. Session continues... UPDATE II: Quarreling over the rules has lead to a microphones off discussion between Naifeh, Odom and Republican leaders. UPDATE III: Odom's motion to withdraw was voted down 45-51. Dunn's amendment was thus adopted. The House then voted on whether to suspend the rules in order to bring SJR 127 to the floor. Bringing the resolution to the floor bypassing the committee process requires a two-thirds majority. The vote failed, and SJR 127 was not brought to the floor for a vote. The two-thirds majority required to bring the resolution to the floor bypassing the committee process was not reached. SJR 127 was not brought to the floor for a vote. Rep. Moore then called for a moment of prayer and silence for "what just went on here today." Republican Glen Casada praised the motion and the events of the day as a true expression of representative democracy. political reporter Ken Whitehouse was in the chamber for the events and has a full and complete blow by blow and explanation of what happened right here. SEE ALSO: VIDEO: Ben Cunningham Stacey Campfield (II) Cara Kumari blog Crone Speaks Michael Silence WSMV Report Sean Braisted Nathan Moore R. Neal Rob Huddleston Life News David Oatney WPLN Knox Trivia Tom Humphrey
May 1, 2008 10:48 AM

Jimmy Naifeh All But Endorses Kim McMillan For Governor

In an article in the Clarksville Leaf Chronicle, newly announced Democratic exploratory Gubernatorial candidate Kim McMillan paints herself as a Bredesen Democrat and seems to have found an ally in her move to box out Rep. Lincoln Davis in House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh:
When she first arrived on Capitol Hill in Nashville, it didn't her long to win over such political stalwarts as state House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh, D-Covington. Naifeh — widely viewed as the most powerful politician in Tennessee other than Gov. Phil Bredesen — told The Leaf-Chronicle Saturday he could support a McMillan bid for governor. "When she first came to the Legislature, we knew we had a bright star on our hands. She wasn't considered a freshman legislator for long. She really began standing out in the crowd when she became majority leader. "Kim is one of the brightest individuals I have ever served with. She always knows her subjects, and how to present them," Naifeh said... ..."I am not surprised that she is interested in running for governor. I think she'd make an excellent governor, and I do see her as someone I could support. "It's time we broke that gender barrier in Tennessee," he said.
MORE: Richard Locker
Apr 28, 2008 8:06 AM

Coon's Got Hands

The Memphis Commercial Appeal does a lifestyle piece on last week's kickoff to the legislative campaign season, Jimmy Naifeh's "Coon Supper." Apparently, the title dish is not all that popular:
Raccoon usually is the centerpiece dish, but -- it's safe to say -- the least popular. "I do eat every time, but not the coon," said Shelby County Dist. Atty. Bill Gibbons, who attended last Thursday night's dinner on the grounds at the Covington Country Club. "Oh, I don't know. I just kind of lean toward some of the other food they serve." Isaac Hayes, a Tipton County native, won't eat it, either. "No," he said. "He's got hands. Coon's got hands."
Apr 23, 2008 7:49 AM

The Go-To Guy Gets His Due

Newscoma pens a very reflective post on a reception she attended held in honor of Congressman John Tanner's Chief Of Staff, Joe Hill:
If yesterday was any testament about what he gave to folks, Hill was treated as a rock star. I stood over to the side watching a reception line that moved as slow as molasses where hundreds of individuals wanted just a few moments with him to share how he had helped them throughout the years. You don’t see that in politics very often. I’m pretty cynical about government as a whole, but seeing Hill stand there receiving guests honoring him because they had been impacted personally by his actions was kinda, dare I say, pretty inspiring. I was once told by a boss I had that it is better to be a kingmaker than a king. And we all know that actions speak louder than any one word can. I thought of that yesterday as I watched that line move so slowly with people lined up outside into the parking lot and around the building in the warm spring sun. And they waited a long time. Even Naifeh waited patiently for his turn, which sort of shocked me. It was good seeing folks say thanks.
Apr 21, 2008 10:30 AM

Putting Pen To Paper On Odom's Designs

Although you hear rumblings of such things from time to time, this is the first time I've seen anyone write it down. From the Tennessee Journal:
It has long been speculated that if the Democrats maintain control of the House in November, [Rep. Gary] Odom will challenge Naifeh for the speaker’s position. But distribution of the newspaper article, which Odom jokingly described as Frist’s “first mail piece,” likely had nothing directly to do with any such aspirations. Whether he has designs on the speaker’s job or not, Odom clearly wants to play a lead role in defending his party’s majority. He will be somewhat less free to get out to other districts than he had hoped because he faces a challenge of his own. Republican Timothy Lee, a paramedic paramedic, stands little chance against Odom but will force him to campaign some in his own district. Naifeh too has an opponent, Covington Republican Rory Bricco, but is expected to win reelection handily.
Apr 18, 2008 2:38 PM

Harold And Kumari Escape From The Rigidity Of The Traditional News Format

WSMV State House reporter Cara Kumari has started a blog. In one of her first posting she discusses a Capitol Hill Thursday tradition:
On Thursdays, both chambers usually have a morning session.  Afterwards, both Lt. Governor Ramsey and House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh hold news conferences to update the media on the progress each chamber is making through the year.  Speaker Naifeh often invites the majority leader, committee chairs and any other House Democrats who wants to mention something to the media.  With both news conferences, it’s also a good time to ask about anything else you are working on.
Apr 18, 2008 7:20 AM

Post Politics: 14 April 2008

In a restaurant in Chattanooga, Gov. Phil Bredesen is asked point blank by a voter: "[W]ho are you going to vote for? Hillary or Hussein?" Hillary Clinton seems unconcerned with securing the endorsement of Al Gore. What I want is a guarantee: Barack Obama removes any doubt as to whether he will offer Al Gore a place in his administration. The future of how Tennessee selects judges is very much in doubt as the "Tennessee plan" sunsets. John Rodgers reports that VOLPAC's $750,000 worth of contributions to either the Tennessee Republican Party or GOP legislative candidates gives us a pretty good idea about Bill Frist's gubernatorial intentions. Matt Pulle's coverage of the U.S. Senate Democratic Primary leads Nashville Scene readers to pine for Jeff Woods' balanced coverage of the 2007 Mayoral contest. Should Metro be making so many concessions to keep a hockey team that cannot sell out their home game playoff tickets? An Arkansas newspaper urges lawmakers in that state to look to Tennessee before instituting a lottery that doles out scholarship funds. Supporters of a candidate for state House in District 71 are protesting the extension of the filing deadline for candidacy due to the withdrawal of the incumbent in the race. Evangelical Christian leader, McCain supporter and former presidential candidate Gary Bauer floats Fred Thompson's name as a potential VP choice. Councilman Jerry Maynard wants a distinction made between "sexually oriented businesses" and "beer cabarets." Exemptions to the sales tax are projected to cost the state almost $2.7 billion next year. Sometimes who you are is enough, dawg: Mayoral staffers bemoan the end of the HBO series The Wire. Metro Councilwoman Emily Evans cobbles together a second installment of her "Dummies Guide" to the Metro budget. As the economy goes south, Rep. Lincoln Davis looks to protect food stamp funding. A Germantown blogger urges a call to codes concerning semi-demolished, vacant apartments on 6th Avenue. Bredesen makes the case for the stability of the sales tax: "It doesn't grow as much as an income tax does in good years. It doesn't shrink as much as income taxes do in tough years." Rep. Donna Rowland wants a ruling from the Tennessee Attorney General about whether Rutherford County can give tax breaks to a new bible park. Dru Fuller explains why Speaker Jimmy Naifeh has a full jar of blowpops sitting on his desk. The Scotsman reports that plans are in the works for Al Gore and former President Jimmy Carter to encourage Hillary Clinton to withdraw from the Democratic race for President. Nashville-area lawmakers Sen. Doug Jackson and Rep. Sherry Jones were among legislators receiving the highest per -diem disbursements from the state. New Fair Board chief Buck Dozier discusses the future of the current site of the State Fairgrounds. Blogger Joe Lance points to some bills before the legislature he calls "undesirable." Republicans had long thought that the seat of former Lt. Gov. John Wilder would be a slam-dunk pickup for Republicans once he left office . But Democratic advantages this election cycle may put a crimp in those plans. Tom Humphrey reports on the newly assertive House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh's role in shaping policy in the legislature. A Pennsylvania native, Tennessee Republican Party Spokesman Bill Hobbs discusses the lay of the political landscape and what kind of Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are trying to sway in the upcoming primary in that state. One of Barack Obama's economic advisers proposes the IRS use electronic data it collects from W-2s and 1099s to send a suggested tax bill to taxpayers. Taxpayers could then elect to pay the suggested amount or calculate their own taxes. One blogger wonders why a recent Al Gore speech was banned to the working press when the speech was made available online and speech attendees were allowed to blog about the speech. And finally, Vic Lineweaver's Juvenile Court Clerk shop is again in the news.
Apr 17, 2008 11:34 AM

Post Politics: 9 April 2008

Independent candidate for Congress in District 9, Jake Ford, accuses the Commercial Appeal of "journalistic terrorism" in its reporting on statements he made about who is racially qualified to represent the district. Much has been made of a Sen. Roy Herron bill which would give a state board the power to determine how the Bible is to be taught in public school. Catherine McTamaney argues that it is not the biblical aspect that is new here, but the level at which the state gets involved. The LA Times reports on how those snappy little political YouTube ads are produced for the Web. The Politico argues that Hillary Clinton's management of her campaign may reflect badly on her ability to run a government. Rules have been adopted in Metro which allow city workers to continue to spray for mosquitoes in an area even if property owners object or pedestrians are present. Democratic Leadership Council founder Al From wonders whether Barack Obama can change the electoral map with his refreshing new appeals to voters across traditional divides. Ilissa Gold reports that plans to move the Bellevue library to a new site at an improved Bellevue Mall are well underway. Andy Sher reports that revenue shortfalls have put state worker pay raises in jeopardy.

Some state officials see the federal government’s plan to overhaul the country’s financial regulatory systems as an intrusion on their powers, says Stateline.

Photos of the "Flying Spaghetti Monster" statue outside a Crossville courthouse. The Spaghetti monster is a popular symbol among atheists and agnostics used to illustrate the unlikelihood of the existence of religious truth. Breaking Bad: A new report reveals that homebuyers using mortgage brokers were often directed towards higher-interest loans. A Vanderbilt professor releases a 74-page paper calling for Tennessee to adopt a state income tax. One journalist notes that House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh is engaging in more raw politics as his power is threatened in the legislature. The Amendment makes the bill: Reporter Joe White explains the concept of a "caption bill." Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Mike Padgett asserts that Tennesseans are fed up with the war in Iraq and want their troops home. Monkey Business: A delegate for Barack Obama steps down after racially interpreted remark. Presidential candidate Mike Gravel releases yet another YouTube video where he covers Beatles tunes in a way only he can. The Jackson Sun reports that Tennessee wildlife officers will no longer auction off weapons seized from hunters violating game laws on the courthouse steps. The weapons will instead be shipped to Nashville for sale in licensed gun shops. The issue of trade with Colombia divides the political house of Clinton. Where the white women at? Event coordinators for Michelle Obama make explicit their need for diversity at a campaign event. The failure of a bill in a state house subcommittee means that the judicial selection committee may still meet in private. The Memphis Daily News covers the battle of conservatives in the District 7 congressional primary. A report by the Government Accountability Office in Washington exposed federal employees charging exorbitant amounts of money for Internet dating, tailor-made suits, lingerie, lavish dinners and other questionable expenses to their government credit cards over a 15-month period. Clarksville Online thinks a new strategy is needed to advance environmental legislation through the Tennessee Legislature. Nashville Mayor Karl Dean invites to his home members of WIN, a bipartisan group dedicated to helping recruit, train and elect qualified women to state and local offices in Tennessee. The Wall Street Journal reports that the smart money, at first bearish on John McCain's prospects, is now starting to flow in. And finally, Ken Whitehouse discusses West Tennessee Democrats on the downslope of political prominence.
Apr 11, 2008 2:52 PM

Post Politics: 3 April 2008

Just one week after announcing her intention to seek the 71st District State House seat currently held by the retiring Rep. Randy Rinks, Dwana Pusser-Garrison, daughter of legendary McNairy County lawman Buford Pusser, has withdrawn from the race citing health concerns. Pusser-Garrison has multiple sclerosis. Harold Ford, Jr. schedules his engagement party in Memphis on the anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. Church Hill attorney Mike Faulk celebrates his Scots-Irish heritage and cites a book by a Democratic U.S. Senator in officially announcing his intention to seek the Republican nomination for the Tennessee Senate's Fourth District. The Senate's lone independent, Senator Mike Williams, currently holds the seat. A blog dedicated to bringing retailer Trader Joes to Nashville claims victory. Former Democratic candidate for president turned Libertarian Mike Gravel covers the Beatles' Helter Skelter on YouTube. Jackson Baker reports that a recent poll conducted by Ethridge and Associates shows Congressman Steve Cohen in good position for reelection despite announced opposition from Democrat Nikki Tinker and independent Jake Ford. Terry Heaton links up to panel discussion involving Al Gore, John Siegenthaler and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales. Media Bistro discusses the ideological diversity of the talking heads on the cornucopia of political chat shows on the cable news networks. A magnanimous Barack Obama tells reporters that he would be more than happy to hire revered former Vice President Al Gore for a high level cabinet post. Knoxville TV blogger Katie Granju wonders who exactly is in favor of "mountaintop removal" mining. Both of Tennessee's U.S. Senators praise a tentative bipartisan agreement on a bill to alleviate the mortgage "crisis." A Zip Code breakdown of Mayor Karl Dean's submitted list of Metro Board and Commission appointees shows the mayor following through on his goal of geographical diversity. 61 year-old Ed Lawhorn, a Vietnam veteran and political independent, announces his intention to run for U.S. Senate versus Lamar Alexander. He will join Green Party member Chris Lugo on the general election ballot. Democrats Bob Tuke, a former party chairman, and former Knox County Clerk Mike Padgett are currently vying for the Democratic nomination for the seat. In an increasingly digital world, Ben Cunningham warns that reliance on email rather than face to face meetings make relationships fragile in the face of conflict. Nashville Scene editor Liz Garrigan announces a retooling of the alt-weekly's blog Pith In The Wind and shows off some great artist renderings of political and media reporters Jeff Woods and Matt Pulle. Deft political maneuvering in the state house Criminal Practice Subcommittee yesterday insures that the state's gun permit records shall remain open until at least 2012. The bill created a Class E felony of unauthorized publication of permit information or records. An attorney general's opinion stated that the bill might have been vulnerable on First Amendment grounds. Angelia Gibson-Herrell discusses.
Apr 8, 2008 9:47 AM