Politics

Tennessee Senator Bob Corker is the ranking Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee. Credit: Office of Sen. Bob Corker via Facebook

Budget Vote Splits Tennessee Senators

December 15, 2014 at 5:40 am

Tennessee’s two Republican senators came down on opposing sides of the $1.1 trillion spending bill that passed over the weekend.

GOP Chairman Chris Devaney says the issue of closing primaries is a divisive issue for Republicans. Credit: TNGOP

Some Tennessee Republicans Renew Push To Close Primary Elections

December 15, 2014 at 4:45 am

Despite Republicans’ overwhelming majority in the state legislature, Rep. Sheila Butt feels like her party could be vulnerable

Rep. Diane Black (R-Gallatin) says she preferred not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good, and voted for a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government for the next two years. Credit: TN Photo Services

Here’s How Middle Tennessee Congressmen Voted On Last-Minute Spending Bill

December 12, 2014 at 5:23 am

Congresswoman Diane Black was the Nashville area’s only representative to vote for the $1.1 trillion spending bill that passed the House Thursday night.

Interview: Haslam On ‘Threading The Needle’ With Medicaid Expansion

Interview: Haslam On ‘Threading The Needle’ With Medicaid Expansion

December 3, 2014 at 4:53 am

Tennessee has one of the few Republican governors still actively looking for a way to expand Medicaid to cover the working poor. Governor Bill Haslam compares his effort to “threading a needle.”

Interview: Governor Haslam Justifies Corporate Subsidies Even When Money Is Tight

Interview: Governor Haslam Justifies Corporate Subsidies Even When Money Is Tight

December 2, 2014 at 4:50 am

Tennessee’s multi-million dollar corporate subsidies don’t get quite the same public scrutiny that the state budget is getting this week in live-streamed hearings with Governor Bill Haslam. So in an interview with WPLN, we press Haslam to justify his recent spending on economic development incentives, especially since he’s been asking for much of state government to do more with less.

House Speaker Beth Harwell is being challenged by the conservative wing of the legislature for being too close to Governor Bill Haslam, pictured together here at an education summit. Credit: TN Photo Services

Are Legislative Leaders Too Cozy With Haslam? Governor Defends Ties

November 26, 2014 at 4:00 am

The conservative wing of the Tennessee legislature has accused House leadership of being too cozy with the governor’s office. Bill Haslam is defending his ties, suggesting coziness is preferred over conflict.

TV networks opted not to air President Obama's speech, so immigrants gathered to watch the announcement together. Credit: David Wright Smith

Nashville Immigrants Cheer Executive Action, Legislators Prep Legal Action

November 21, 2014 at 8:15 am

While they hoped for more, Nashville immigrants cheered President Obama’s announcement to focus deportation efforts on criminals. Legislators want Governor Bill Haslam to file suit.

U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez (right) toured LetterLogic, a Nashville invoice processor, which pays employees a starting wage of $12 an hour. Credit: Blake Farmer / WPLN

Labor Secretary Beats The Drum On Minimum Wage In Nashville

November 19, 2014 at 2:41 pm

Governor Bill Haslam said this week that raising Tennessee’s minimum wage would be a non-starter in the legislature. But the U.S. Secretary of Labor believes a majority of Tennesseans would welcome such a pay hike.

Rep. Gloria Johnson of Knoxville is a teacher by trade and led some of the resistance to Gov. Bill Haslam's reforms and became a lead spokesperson for the Tennessee Education Association. Credit: Gloria Johnson via Facebook

Tennessee’s Republican Supermajority Gets Even Bigger

November 5, 2014 at 10:46 am

Republicans picked up a few more seats in the state legislature. Knoxville teacher and Democratic state Rep. Gloria Johnson fell to challenger Eddie Smith, who got big help from the state’s Republican Party.

After months of campaigning and millions of dollars spent, voters will decide Tuesday whether or not the Tennessee Legislature should have more ability to regulate abortion. Credit: Blake Farmer / WPLN

Here’s Everything We Know About Tennessee’s Amendment 1

November 3, 2014 at 3:00 pm

The number of statistics, court cases and changes in law regarding abortion in Tennessee can be overwhelming for voters going to the polls tomorrow. To help you navigate the slew of information, we did a little work for you.

Voters wait in line to cast a ballot early in La Vergne. While there was a surge on the final day of early voting, totals are still well behind 2010 and even further behind 2006. Credit: Blake Farmer / WPLN

Late Surge In Tennessee’s Early Voting, But Totals Are Still Down

October 31, 2014 at 6:32 am

More than 13,000 people voted in Davidson County on the final day of early voting — even though only a few hundred a day were showing up during the first few days.

Early voting runs through Oct. 30. Election Day is Nov. 4. Credit: Bobby Allyn / WPLN

Poll Shows Many Tennesseans Undecided On Abortion Amendment

October 29, 2014 at 2:04 pm

Ads dominating the airwaves for and against Tennessee’s abortion amendment still may find a receptive audience. A sizeable share of voters haven’t made up their minds.

Cesar Bautista and about a dozen others are embarking on a get-out-the-vote effort targeting Nashvillians born in other countries. Credit: Bobby Allyn/WPLN

Undocumented Immigrants In Tennessee Push For Voter Turnout Among Immigrants With Citizenship

October 27, 2014 at 5:05 am

Cesar Bautista, 26, is one of about a dozen canvassers who are planning to knock on the doors of some 4,000 voters before the Nov. 4 election.

Early voting runs through Oct. 30. Election Day is Nov. 4. Credit: Bobby Allyn / WPLN

Tennessee Voter Turnout Light So Far, Particularly In Nashville

October 21, 2014 at 6:45 am

By comparison, more people are voting every day in Knox County than over five days in Davidson County.

A constitutional Amendment can only pass if it has 50-percent-plus-one of the total number of the voted tallied in the governor's race. Credit: Vox Efx via Flickr

Will The Amendments Pass? Depends On How Many Vote For Governor

October 20, 2014 at 5:00 am

Advocates of defeating any of the four constitutional amendments on the November ballot are pushing Tennesseans to also cast a vote for governor – any candidate will do. The motivation springs from a state law linking the fate of the amendments to the total votes for governor.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee) is running for a third term, pictured here at a recent announcement regarding expansion of Volkswagen's Tennessee plant. While he has campaigned in the state, he's almost entirely ignored his competition. Credit: TN Photo Services

Alexander Slams EPA For ‘Regulating Mud Puddles’ While Defending His Own Votes For Coal Regulation

October 20, 2014 at 4:47 am

Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander worked the words “regulating mud puddles” into nearly every answer at a candidate forum hosted by the Farm Bureau. He’s referring to new rules under the Clean Water Act governing navigable waterways. Mud puddles have become one of his most-used jabs at the White House during his reelection campaign.

Gordon Ball is positioning himself as a moderate Democrat, in part to win over right-leaning voters. Credit: Bobby Allyn/WPLN

Both Lamar Alexander and Gordon Ball Try To Woo Tea Party Voters

October 17, 2014 at 4:00 am

Since Alexander’s primary challenger Joe Carr took 41 percent of the Republican vote, Alexander knows that converting his supporters will be important in the election.

Voters in Putnam County were inspired by Amendment 1.

In Putnam County, Amendment 1 Is Bringing Voters To The Polls

October 15, 2014 at 6:32 pm

Several voters in Putnam County said closely-held religion views brought them to the polls.

Congressman Jim Cooper said he's not a "camera hog," but he felt the GAO report on Tennessee's voter ID law should get more attention. Credit: Blake Farmer / WPLN

Tennessee Democrats Latch Onto Report That Voter ID Laws Suppress Turnout

October 15, 2014 at 2:21 pm

Republicans may be discrediting the non-partisan Government Accountability Office findings, but Democrats are holding press conferences to say, essentially, “We told you so.”

Former Governor Phil Bredesen stands with Governor Bill Haslam in an ad in support of passing Amendment 2. Credit: Yes on 2

Governors Haslam And Bredesen Join Forces In TV Ad For Constitutional Amendment

October 10, 2014 at 4:48 am

Right now, the governor has most of the power (through appointment) and Vote Yes on 2 advocates want to keep it that way.