Archive for the ‘Phil Bredesen’ Category

Haslam’s move on economic development abandons past success

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

By State Sen. Lowe Finney

State Sen. Finney

State Sen. Lowe Finney

Gov. Bill Haslam’s announcement concerning the restructuring of the Department of Economic and Community Development came as a surprise to both of us, as well as to our constituents. The department is generally recognized as one of the best in the country, and Tennessee has repeatedly been named one of the top places in the nation for businesses, entrepreneurs and relocations. Now, Gov. Haslam indicates that his changes will make Tennessee the best place in the Southeast for jobs. We fear he is lowering the bar to claim success.

When Governor Phil Bredesen took office in 2003, one of the biggest criticisms of the previous administration was its inability to attract jobs from outside the state. So Gov. Bredesen focused on leveling the playing field for businesses to invest in Tennessee, no matter where they were from. As a result, the department brought in 200,000 jobs and more than $34 billion in economic investment. It is directly responsible for luring Volkswagen, Hemlock, Nissan, Wacker Chemie, Electrolux, Bridgestone and numerous other businesses to Tennessee. In a recession, Tennessee was creating jobs and attracting companies. As the national economy recovers, one would expect such efforts to reap even greater rewards.

But Gov. Haslam says that he can do better at growing jobs by cutting positions and focusing on in-state businesses, rather than attracting businesses from across the country to Tennessee. He has every right to do so, and we are cautiously optimistic that his plan will create jobs across the state. To be fair, however, we must note that Gov. Haslam is talking about focusing on the very companies that Gov. Bredesen attracted. Now, the governor is saying that if such opportunities present themselves in the future, he will not make it a priority to attract them to Tennessee. It’s the wrong message to send.

Our unemployment rate remains stagnant while the national rate declines. The administration just celebrated its first 100 days in office — yet if you lost your job on the day Gov. Haslam won his election, your unemployment benefits expired this week. There is no time for celebration. We should be doing everything we can to grow jobs in Tennessee, through a combination of working with established companies while continuing to convince new businesses to relocate here. Instead, the governor is cutting 71 positions, more than half of whom are community planners who typically assist communities in developing long-term economic plans. These services are invaluable in rural areas we serve, many of which have double-digit unemployment rates.

Gov. Haslam has not indicated how he will administer these services under his plan, and there has been no mention of whether cutting staff equates to cutting expenses. The governor has already given huge pay raises to many of his cabinet members, and he insists that it is the right thing to give these increases to them instead of veteran jobs-growth officials. We hope that he will at least save Tennessee taxpayers some money in the process.

When it comes down to it, the governor’s announcement is not a jobs plan. Instead, it amounts to chair shuffling in an attempt to refocus the state on job creation, while drawing attention away from bills that propose a state currency for Tennessee, attack teachers and disenfranchise voters. There is no doubt that such a move is needed during a legislative session that has been about anything but jobs. But never forget that when watching a magician perform, it’s not the hand he is waving so dramatically that is performing the trick. It is his other hand that is creating the illusion. In the case of the governor’s proposals, the hand he is not waving is in your pocket.

Al Gore to Host Unity Breakfast for TNDP

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

You are cordially invited to a

UNITY BREAKFAST

Democratic Leaders Uniting to Support the Tennessee Democratic Party

 

With The Honorable Al Gore

Friday, April 29, 7:30 a.m. – 9 a.m.
CABANA Restaurant
1910 Belcourt Ave., Nashville, TN

Admission:  $250 per person

Purchase tickets: Unity.tndp.org

Co-CHAIRS:

Rep. Jim Cooper,
Rep. Steve Cohen,
Gov. Phil Bredesen,
Rep. Lincoln Davis,
Rep. Bart Gordon,
Rep. John Tanner,
Mayor Karl Dean,
Mayor AC Wharton,
Mayor Daniel Brown,
Vice-Mayor Diane Neighbors,
Metro Nashville Council Members: Megan Barry, Tim Garrett, Jerry Maynard & Ronnie Steine,
Mike McWherter,
TNDP Chairs: Randy Button, Will Cheek, Jane Eskind, Houston Gordon, Doug Horne, George “Buck” Lewis, Dick Lodge, Gray Sasser, Bobby Thomas & Bob Tuke,
TNDP Vice Chair Elisa Parker, TNDP Treasurer David Garrison and members of the TNDP Finance Council

 

PARTY SUSTAINERS: Bill Freeman & Olan Mills II

 

FREE for Finance CouncilGovernors Roundtable members plus guest. Finance Council members give $1,000 a year to the TNDP. Payment plans of $250/quarter or $85/month are available.

 

For more information or to RSVP, please contact Lee Levine by email at lee@tndp.org or call (615) 327-9779.


State Democratic Party Chair Condemns High-Dollar ‘Pay-to-Play’ Republican Fundraiser

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Big Money Bash During Legislative Session Likely Breaks Election Finance Laws

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Democratic Party Chair Chip Forrester issued the following statement today condemning the state G.O.P.’s high-dollar fundraiser being hosted by Gov. Bill Haslam at the Governor’s mansion tonight:

We’re now 77 days into Gov. Bill Haslam’s first term. In that time, we have not seen any inkling whatsoever that Republicans have a jobs plan — or even any ideas to put struggling Tennesseans back to work.

On the other hand, we have seen plenty of proposals that: grow the size of government, attack teachers, attack science, restrict religion, blow the tops off our Smoky Mountains, build a state mint, turn away affordable health care, disenfranchise voters, micromanage local school districts from Nashville, make government less transparent, waste millions of tax dollars, stifle economic growth BUT most of all — protect the financial interests of their big dollar campaign donors.

Tonight, those titans of industry are coming to the governor’s mansion to pay the piper.

“Shakedown” Bill Haslam is hosting a fundraiser for the Tennessee Republican Party at $3,000 to $25,000 a ticket — all this smack dab in the middle of legislative session.

What kind of message does this send to the everyday man who can’t afford to spend a year’s salary on Shakedown Bill’s one night soiree?

This event likely shatters the ethics laws designed to keep special interest money out of government, and it surely doesn’t pass muster in the eyes of working Tennesseans.

This governor and the Republican Party are running a pay-to-play scheme on Capitol Hill. Government for sale! All expenses paid for by taxpaying Tennesseans.

In his eight years in office, Gov. Phil Bredesen never held a fundraiser during session. He also mandated that he and his cabinet members would fully disclose their incomes and income sources.

That’s the way it should be.

In contrast, Bill Haslam’s first directive as governor was to repeal Bredesen’s executive order that made financial disclosure for the governor and his cabinet the law of the land.

Hard-working Tennesseans don’t want government business done behind locked doors anymore than they want big money, special interest groups influencing the legislative process.

But that doesn’t seem to bother “Shakedown” Bill and other Republicans, who are standing at the door of their fundraiser with hat in hand

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FACTS:

1. Tennessee law puts major restrictions on fundraising during the legislative session for the governor, state senators, state representatives and state parties.

2010 Tennessee Code?Title 2 – Elections
Chapter 10 – Campaign Finances
Part 3 – Campaign Contributions Limits
2-10-310 – Fund raising during general assembly session.

(a) (1) Except as provided in subdivisions (a)(2) and (a)(3), from the convening of the general assembly in organizational session through the earlier of the last day of regular session or June 1 in odd years, and from the convening of the general assembly in regular session to the earlier of May 15 or the conclusion of the annual session in even years, and from the convening of the general assembly in any extraordinary session through the conclusion of such extraordinary session, no member of the general assembly or a member’s campaign committee or the governor or the governor’s campaign committee shall conduct a fundraiser or solicit or accept contributions for the benefit of the caucus, any caucus member or member or candidate of the general assembly or governor.
(2) During such period, a member of the general assembly who is a candidate for a local public office shall be permitted to conduct fundraising events and solicit or accept contributions for such campaign for local public office only under the following conditions:
(A) Such fundraising events may be held only in the county in which such member is a candidate for local public office;
(B) Solicitations and acceptance of contributions for such purposes may only be made from individuals residing in such county;
(C) Such fundraising events shall not be held, nor contributions be solicited nor accepted, on state property;
(D) The member shall not be permitted to solicit or accept, directly or indirectly, any actual or in-kind contribution during such period from a lobbyist or employer of a lobbyist; and
(E) No other member of the general assembly or the campaign committee of such other member shall be permitted to solicit or accept contributions during such period for the member campaigning for local public office. It shall be unlawful for any lobbyist or employer of a lobbyist to make any contribution to such member’s campaign committee during such period for any purpose.
(3) All contributions raised as a result of fundraising or a fundraising event authorized and held in accordance with subdivision (a)(2) shall be reported on a form prescribed and provided by the registry of election finance for such purposes. Such form shall be filed with and attached to the applicable campaign finance disclosure report. The following disclosures shall be made on such form:
(A) The amount of contributions collected as a result of such fundraising event;
(B) The date and place such fundraising event was held;
(C) The dates on which such contributions were accepted; and
(D) All other information required by law to be reported on a campaign financial disclosure report.
(b) From the convening of the general assembly in organizational session through the earlier of the last day of regular session or June 1 in odd years, and from the convening of the general assembly in regular session to the earlier of May 15 or the conclusion of the annual session in even years, and from the convening of the general assembly in any extraordinary session through the conclusion of such extraordinary session, a political campaign committee controlled by a political party on the national, state, or local level, or by a caucus of such political party established by members of either house of the general assembly, that makes contributions to a candidate for the general assembly or governor for election or to defray the expenses of such person’s office shall not conduct a fundraiser, solicit or accept contributions for the benefit of the caucus, any caucus member or candidate for the general assembly or governor.
(c) Excess funds for election to a local public office are not eligible for transfer under § 2-10-114 to a campaign account for election to the general assembly or governor.

[Acts 1995, ch. 531, § 1; 1998, ch. 1062, § 7; 2002, ch. 470, § 1; 2006 (1st Ex. Sess.), ch. 1, §§ 17, 18.]

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