Politics | Nashville Public Radio


Political news

Chas Sisk / WPLN

Eight years ago, when Republicans were outside the White House, their political advertising in Tennessee largely stuck to a single formula.

"You would take a picture of the Democratic candidate. Put a picture of Barack Obama on one side," says Kent Syler, a professor of political science at Middle Tennessee State University. "You know, throw in some Nancy Pelosi. And link them to that national ticket."

It worked. But Democrats are unlikely use the same playbook to turn Tennessee voters against the GOP.

Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Tennessee lawmakers have rejected a measure that would've required a paper receipt for all ballots cast in the state.

In a meeting Tuesday of the Senate's State and Local Government Committee, legislators voted down a bill intended to create a paper trail for auditors to follow in the event electronic voting machines are hacked.

Lamar Alexander FAFSA
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN (file)

Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander says he's on board with strengthening background checks, as the White House has implicitly endorsed. He also says there's no excuse for inaction after the Parkland school shooting.

Susan Urmy / courtesy VUMC via Flickr

Tennessee Democrats are renewing their push to back up electronic voting machines with paper records, amid warnings that hackers will try to influence this year's elections.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

Last week’s shooting at a high school in Florida has reignited the debate over the nation’s gun policies.

That includes Tennessee, where in a terrible coincidence, a panel of state lawmakers happened to be holding their first hearing on new gun bills while the tragedy in Florida was unfolding.


Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander voted with most in his party on all but one of the immigration proposals put forward this week. 

The bipartisan legislation from the so-called "Common Sense Coalition" was swatted down by most Republicans. But Alexander voted with Democrats in favor of it.

Jeremy Rempel / via Flickr

Congressman Diane Black is facing reports that she helped a truck dealer in her district get around federal pollution and safety rules.

A New York Times investigation published Thursday finds that the Republican lawmaker helped preserve a loophole that let a Crossville dealer put hundreds of diesel trucks on the road with outdated technology.

Ron Cogswell / via Flickr

The City of Memphis got a big boost this week when the state comptroller determined officials did not violate Tennessee law by removing monuments to Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest and President Jefferson Davis.

But Republicans in the state legislature say they're hoping to keep other cities from getting the same idea.

The Tennessean

In recent years, one of the biggest debates in Tennessee has been whether to give families vouchers for their children to attend private schools.

But after state lawmakers' failed attempts to get a plan through, interest in the issue among the candidates for governor seems to be diminishing.

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Vice Mayor David Briley has named the seven council members to serve on its special committee to investigate whether Mayor Megan Barry used money improperly during her affair with the head of her security detail.

The group comprises Erica Gilmore, Bob Mendes, Brenda Haywood, Robert Swope, Burkley Allen, Mina Johnson and Russ Pulley. Briley set the committee's first public meeting for Thursday afternoon.