State Sen. Doug Overbey, who is looking at a 2018 race for governor, says he “has strong reservations” on philosophical grounds over indexing the proposed gas tax increase without legislative action as recommended by Gov. Bill Haslam.
Indexing gas to the Consumer Price Index would place a gas tax increase on automatic pilot. This appears contrary to what most principled conservative lawmakers would favor in terms of voting each time a tax increases. It appears this provision will be dropped if the gas tax has a chance to pass.
Former GOP state chair Ryan Haynes will become head of the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers and will not be a candidate for local office in Knox County anytime soon or ever if this becomes his career path. As such he will replace the fabled Col. Tom Hensley of Jackson, known for years among legislators as “the Golden Goose.” Hensley also worked closely with the Miss Tennessee pageant in Jackson.
Hensley had been a fixture in the Legislature for over 50 years. Whether this turns out to be a 30-year job for Haynes or not remains to be seen, but compensation (while not public) is very comfortable and is in the six-digit range. Haynes served as state representative from Farragut for five years and will maintain a residence in both Knoxville and Nashville. He has a law degree.
Two weeks ago the University of Tennessee made the front page of the Dec. 6 Sunday issue of the New York Times, dateline Knoxville, with a story about UT student Michael Miceli and his 35-mile commute to UTK for classes.
Miceli, 23, is a linguistics major. He is upset because UT has imposed a $300 per semester dining fee on him and 12,000 other undergraduates including commuters who do not purchase other meal plans. He has no need for the meals. He does not use them. However, his photo is on page 18 of that issue of the New York Times.
Mayor Madeline Rogero is moving forward with a plan to drastically alter Cumberland Avenue, even as the project doubled in price and property owners raised objections.
With a compliant City Council, Rogero flipped $10 million from a project to widen a portion of Washington Pike to the Cumberland Avenue project after nobody bid initially and the second bid came in at $25 million.
The controversy over radio purchases for E-911 continues and much of the political fallout for Mayor Rogero was self-inflicted. She was the person who decided not to attend E-911 board meetings and not to instruct her proxy on how to vote. No one made her do it.
In fact, Bill Haslam, as mayor, attended several E-911 board meetings.
John McCain’s bid for president in 2008 was serious business, though in retrospect his choice for a running mate makes the campaign appear more desperate than earnest.
Presumably the smartest guys and gals under the Republicans’ big tent signed off on Sarah Palin. The Wasilla Wonder became the gift that keeps on giving to Democrats, as she demonstrated again with her off-the-charts lunatic speech at Iowa’s recent “Freedom Summit.”