Tag Archives: Mike Turner

Rep. Mike Turner, His Relationship With Bloggers And The Long Goodbye

I once wrote at Newscoma that my dream job would be just to follow Rep. Mike Turner around and writing down all the things he says on a daily basis.

For the press corp, you know that Rep. Turner was a box of candy everyday, but on another note he was always good to bloggers too. He understood that we could all help each other and he was always available for a conversation, no matter who you were.

This is important.

He would comment on our blogs, sit down with us and mentor. See, that’s the thing,he didn’t break people down even if he disagreed with you,

So he has decided to step down, and the speculation will run to who will run for leadership in the House next time. I guess the writing was on the wall for awhile.

Anyway, I know that Rep. Turner was that dude who was always going to say that “thing” that someone else wasn’t going to say and bully for him. It was a lot of fun to watch, but he never walked away from a fight which was kinda gratifying when this state got so bogged down with democrats trying to be civil. Look where that got us, campers.

We will miss you Mike, and thanks for being good to all of us. Hate to hear you are leaving the legislature but I know you had a good run.

So I will leave you with this:


No Bills Allowed

As Steve wrote about yesterday, we have a busy week going on. He’s back in school in a new semester and I’m helping out Michael Silence at No Silence Here as well as doing the day job as well as several freelance projects. The collision of virtual and real worlds are never fun, but they are what they are. I’m also commuting 60 miles a day which is uber fun. I never lie about commuting except on Tuesdays.

What’s today?

George Steinbrenner is gone. Love him or hate him, he was one of the largest presences in baseball in the last 50 years.

On to the linktacular linkiness:

Zach Wamp and Ron Ramsey had a lovers’ quarrel today that had nothing to do with Bill Haslam. The love for the governor’s mansion that is. I find the exchange to be quite amusing.

Energy efficiency grants awarded to 12 West Tenn. communities

Civil rights activist Dorothy Cotton, Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai, and actress Eva Longoria Parker have been named winners of this year’s Freedom Awards. They are getting their awards in Memphis.

Mack isn’t happy with Mike Turner anymore than we were.

Defining our terms is a great post from DanceDivam

Here’s your gubernatorial fund raising numbers.

Mike Matthews makes a funny on Twitter about Steve Cohen and Willie Herenton. Actually he makes about a bakers dozen but who’s counting.

Facebook makes me look at people that I went to high school with to see if I can recognize them. It makes me do this much like that dog talked to Son of Sam as I am apparently compelled to do it from magic. I would have never guessed this was Rachel Maddow in a million years.

The Budget Punt

It’s been 18 days since Republicans in the State Senate finally got around to introducing an alternative to the budget proposed by Governor Bredesen in February. The original Republican plan offered draconian cuts to just about everything from economic development funding to infant mortality prevention.

Since then, negotiations seem to have narrowed the differences down to about $26m in appropriations and $20m in tax breaks for Tennessee flood victims, or .9% of appropriations, and .7% of revenue.

The differences have been characterized as “quibbling” by Speaker Ramsey, though in that same report he expressed that he’s willing to continue to “quibble” for “as long as it takes”.

Let’s hear it for good faith negotiations! /snark

According to Tom Humphrey the main sticking points are $16.1m for a fish hatchery, $5m for the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, and $4.5m to reduce infant mortality in the state.

So lets see, Senate Republicans are against Economic Development, Civil Rights, and saving babies. Good luck running on those issues guys.

In reality, there are a lot more differences than just these three issues that are snarling the negotiations. One of the biggest issues is the way the Senate Republican proposal seeks to fund things.

In their initial proposal Senate Republicans sought to achieve cuts by using “non-recurring funds”. By using this tactic, the plan gives the impression of reducing cost, but the long-term consequences are dire. Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Mike McWherter warned us of these consequences two weeks ago.

I’m sure that Senate Republicans, particularly Speaker Ramsey, like the idea of running on what looks like slim and trim budget that doesn’t dip too deeply into the rainy day fund for reasons that Speaker Williams believes are purely political, but their short-term solutions for long-term problems illustrate just how brazenly they’re playing politics with the future of the state of Tennessee.

So now, with only one day of per-diem left, it appears that the State Senate will have to continue to negotiate the budget without it. House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner says they could be there well into June.

While most Tennesseans may not be paying close attention to what’s going on in Nashville, they’ll be facing a harsh reality in the very near future if the Senate Republican proposal passes. Unfortunately, Senate Republicans have bought just enough time in their “budget” that most Tennesseans will not actually feel the pain they would inflict upon the state until after the November elections. By then, it may be too late to reverse the damage quickly.

On Wednesday, I wrote about getting engaged. If ever there was a time to do so, that time is now. If we want to positively transform Tennessee, and ensure a bright future for ourselves, our children and grandchildren, we have to take an active role in defining that future.

Our hands off approach is what helped bring us to this ridiculous Republican proposed budget. It will take a lot of hands and voices to make sure that it doesn’t see the light of day.

It’s time to saddle up folks.

Turner Resolution Calls for Investigation

Mike Turner (D) Old Hickory

House Democratic Caucus Chair, Mike Turner has sponsored a resolution urging the state’s congressional delegation to “initiate investigative hearings on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers relative to water releases from dams serving Middle Tennessee during recent flooding and maintenance of dams and levees.

The resolution passed unanimously in Committee, and will be on the floor of the House next week.

Here’s more coverage from the Tennessean.

Dams all around Middle Tennessee took on large amounts of water during the record rainfall the weekend of May 1-2. Nashville received 13.5 inches over two days, causing lakes and rivers to swell with runoff.

Turner said he has talked with counterparts in Kentucky who said the Corps “had to release water on us that they wouldn’t normally have had to release” because of maintenance problems with some of the dams in Kentucky.

“If they did release that water on us because of their failure to maintain their dams, I think they owe us more compensation down here,” he said. “So part of the damage here could be a manmade disaster, as opposed to a natural disaster.”

— Snip

Earlier this month, The Associated Press reported that the release of water from a dam upstream of Nashville during the flooding prompted a U.S. Senate inquiry into whether the public was adequately warned about rising waters downstream.

The Corps said the controlled release of water from Old Hickory Dam that weekend prevented the lake from spilling over the dam and flooding Nashville with an additional 4 feet of water.

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., has asked for a hearing on how well the corps and other state and federal agencies delivered information to businesses and individuals in the midst of the flooding that killed nine in Nashville alone.

The US Army Corps of Engineers says that they are “open and transparent about our water management practices.”

That’s good.

Whether they did something to make the situation in Nashville worse or not, investigating their actions in this crisis is something that needs to happen, to either affirm that their actions were appropriate, or to help them learn from their mistakes and hopefully ensure that such mistakes don’t happen again.

Nashville’s Homeless Are Forgotten

Jeff Woods reports that the homeless population and residents of Tent City in Nashville appear to be safe although it is still early. The recent flooding had Rep. Mike Turner worried.

I am concerned,” says Mike Turner, a Nashville fire captain and state representative. “What happened to them? Where did they go? All their tents and their encampments are gone. We may see some bodies floating up. Who knows?”

Turner himself plucked one homeless man from the treetops just above the engorged river. He says the man, who was saved by firefighters using a camping air mattress as a flotation device, might have been trying to rescue his dog when he became trapped himself.

There’s good news from the city’s homeless coordinator, Clifton Harris. He says he believes all the tent city residents are safe. “I’ve just been with quite a few of them, and no one’s reported to me that anyone’s missing,” he says. Charles Strobel, who runs the city’s Room in the Inn shelter program, says he hopes they all “saw the water coming up and just ran as fast as they could.”

There is still much to do in finding the homeless a place to live. Read the whole story at Pith.

Be sure to read Woods’ lede. It’s important.

Survivor’s Guilt

Aunt B. talks of the Flood.

I’m having a hard time tonight, I’ll just say. I want everything back, shiny and clean. I want little old couples trying to get to church to not end up dead behind the grocery store. You know, just small things.

The hardest part is that some places are fine. You’re driving along and everything looks like it normally does and then you turn a corner or come over a hill or cross a bridge and there is all the terribleness. And for some people it’s over. And for some people it’s ongoing.

And I feel so bad. I guess it’s survivor’s guilt.

Rep. Mike Turner gives an update in her comments on his district.

Drove around my District today, the northeast of the County was hit harder than most people think. Hadley, Neely’s, and Pennington bends all hit hard with the water still rising. The river was supposed to crest at 8 P.M., lets hope it did. Our People seem upbeat and resilient. I got to fly on a Black Hawk Helicopter with the FEMA regional Director, Gov. Bredesen and Mayor Dean. The devastation would bring tears to your eyes, we will have alot of work ahead of us to clean up this mess. Gov. Bredesen has been the phone with President Obama and the FEMA director is in town. I expect a quick response from the Feds and the Obama Administration. We have major help on the way, our People are great, we will be okay.

Morning Coffee – March Madness Edition

Don't mistake this image to mean anything other than I needed a basketball image...Got it?

Yes, it’s March Madness time, but I’m not really talking about basketball. Sure, the tournament is going on, and lots of people are taking lots of time off work and other responsibilities to load up on college basketball before it goes away until the fall.

Nope, while I love me some basketball, what’s been going on this week in Tennessee politics has completely dominated my attention.

It all started when House Democratic Caucus Chair Mike Turner threw down the gauntlet and the caucus rallied around him. From my perspective, this week has been a good week to be a Democrat in Tennessee.

But, if you’re so glued to the little tournament going on right now, take a moment to read about the pride one team’s alum feels, even in the face of defeat.

Alright, gimmie some Coffee!!

The surprise retirement of House Republican Leader Jason Mumpower had the intertubes abuzz yesterday. It also had potential candidates scrambling to get it together. Tom Humphrey reports that a friend of House Speaker Kent Williams, who defeated Mumpower last year in a bid for the Speakership, is looking at the race, so is Timmothy Hill brother of Rep. Matthew Hill. You can follow all the action at the Sullivan County Election Commission site.

In other news, as Braisted reported yesterday, Republican candidate for Governor, Bill Gibbons has a presser to announce asignificant campaign update today. WREG reports that he’ll drop out of the race. Probably a good thing since he wasn’t even included in a poll by a right leaning polling outfit. ZZ Top was not available for comment.

AC endorses McWherter. Of course, that announcement got lost in the whole Mumpower flap.

Aunt B details the lengths to which a Campbell County GOP official will go to get a date. I’m gonna need an extra shower to was all the creepy off after reading that one.

The TVA is trying to avoid a deposition for their CEO. Can you smell the fear?

Chances are,you’re making less money. Ain’t that the truth!

Speaking of making less money, management at the CA has made their final offer to employees. In case you weren’t sure, that’s what spurred this commentary.

Seperated at birth?

US House Majority Whip Eric Cantor is looking to place blame for all the threats of political violence going on. Verdict, blame the victim. Next up, he reprises his role as Dr. Egon Spengler in the upcoming Ghostbusters III movie. (ht to the twitterverse for that one)

Ok people, it’s the last regular work day of the week. Get through it as fast as you can. That’s my plan, at least.

Morning Coffee – Tennessee House Democrats Come Together

Rep. Mike Turner

Rep. Gary Odom

If you are a democrat and live in this very long, cigar-shaped state where it takes a day to travel that 440 miles from the west side over to the tip of the east to Virginia’s border, we saw our state house caucus show a bit of piss and vinegar in the last two days.

Although denials would come from the powers-that-be in the bubble, which Nashville can be with our legislators at times, what appeared to be disorganization from the outside for quite a long time, what democrats in this state saw yesterday was the first time in what seems like a month of Sundays, that elected officials with (D) behind their names finally join together.

We will get to our dump truck of morning linkage in a moment, but the caucus might want to know that on and offline yesterday the conversation with state bloggers was “About damn time” and with the progressives that STP spoke to and read, the caucus led by Rep. Mike Turner and Rep. Gary Odom finally got a huge thumbs up. Sure, it irritated the right, but you know, that’s okay. House Leadership finally didn’t let the conversation be dominated by the GOP and backed comments Turner up with facts about the dialogue on race that has been set by the right with facts, which Kleinheider exhaustively and accurately listed late yesterday afternoon.

Let’s hit what bloggers had to say last night with a bit of commentary.

From GoldnI:

Here’s what I wonder, and would ask of those who are horribly outraged by the suggestion that some (note: not all) of the people protesting Obama are racist. It’s a question that’s been asked many times before, but bears repeating in light of the latest round of conservative hand-wringing. Let’s say I take y’all at your word, that there’s absolutely no racism whatsoever involved in any of the opposition to Obama, that it’s only because you don’t like a big federal government or government spending. The tea parties are in response to that, not to Obama specifically.

Aunt B. dug it. When the House democrats bury the hatchet, they can be more powerful than they even probably new.

Now, in order to really savor what comes next, you must understand that the rumors about the feud between Gary Odom and Mike Turner have approached legendary status. So, I’m sure that when the Republicans called on Odom to denounce Turner, they thought they were laying too tempting a piece of bait out for Odom to resist.

But what happened?

Odom just f***** rocks it. F*****g rocks it.

I like it. It’s nice to see Democrats with a little swagger and on the offense.

Liberadio takes it a step further and hopes Rep. Turner keeps it up.

If I were Turner, I’d take it all one step further. The rash of states’ rights and state sovereignty bills introduced in Tennessee by Republicans isn’t because we “have a black man elected president.” It’s because some people don’t like a black man telling them what to do. Can’t you just feel them bristle?

Recent events illustrate that Devaney’s shock is disingenuous. Because yes, Tennessee’s Republican delegation may not necessarily be the people who are riled up by Barack Obama’s leadership role, but they most definitely are pandering to the people who are …

Jeff Woods explains that when Rep. Jason Mumpower demanded an apology at a press conference, he didn’t expect questions to be, oh I don’t know, questions, and called the press conference over. We are revisiting that moment this morning because it was the second catalyst that started the on-going battle. If you haven’t read Woods observation, you should.

Mumpower demanded an apology from Turner and he demanded that Democratic Party chairman Chip Forrester denounce Turner, and he demanded that House Democratic leader Gary Odom do it too. State GOP chairman Chris Devaney also made a few demands in a letter to Forrester.

When he was asked about the tea party protesters who heckled and spit at Democratic House members, including various civil rights icons, over the weekend in Washington, Mumpower called an abrupt end to his big media event and walked briskly out of the room.

Finally,  Your Liberal Friends comments about the events and brings up the realities for Rep. Mike Turner and House Majority Leader Gary Odom who are running for re-election this year.

The truth isn’t popular, and neither are running unopposed this fall. They came out swinging anyway.

It’s not enough for me to talk until I’m hoarse about what kind of Democrat I want in office. I have to support them when they’re there.

State law bars legislators from fundraising during the legislative session. It does not bar me from giving to the county party that will be on the ground this fall ensuring that Chairman Turner and Leader Odom are reelected. So that is what I did as I was able, and what I will do as I am able, every time Tennessee Democrats refuse to back down in a tough situation.

Thank you, gentlemen. This blogger has your back.

As Faint Gray Lines said, Odom, Turner and the rest of the leadership named or unnamed came out swinging, which was the shot in the arm that many democrats needed. It reminded me of a basketball game to a large degree because politics is about strategy and knowing what you have to do to get the team invested back in the game. House democrats proved yesterday that although they have had underdog status for quite awhile, they decided to not lie down and the let the other team beat the tar out of them. They came out and put several points on the scoreboard.

It’s not over. Feelings were hurt, eyes were bloodied, and the game is still on.

Let’s hope that the House Leadership keeps hitting those 3-pointers because those watching the game were pleased to see that the recent tactics of the GOP in this state doesn’t go unchecked. Glad to see our guys guarding the goal and chunking in a few points to boot.

A team only works in the players work together.

The Stars Have Aligned – Odom/Turner

House Democratic Leader Gary Odom has come to the defense of his Caucus Chair…and he’s come heavy.

I believe that Chairman Turner’s comments were intentionally taken out of context for the purpose of political grandstanding. Chairman Turner stated his personal belief that there are some who oppose our President because of his race. I find it remarkable that House Republicans would condemn the use of racial overtones in political debate, when you consider recent Republican activities in our state and our country.

The list that follows is pretty brilliant.

Following a House Republican Press conference, Mr. Chris Devaney, Chair of the Tennessee Republican Party said in a letter to Chairman Forrester: “I think that … comments about race have no place in a healthy political debate.”

House Democrats agree.

For those of you that haven’t been following along, this is in reference to a statement by Mike Turner, which was followed up by a rebuttal fromTNGOP Chair Devaney, kicked up a notch by a left hook from the Caucus Chair, and now this.

It’s good to see the gang back together.

Morning Coffee – Basking in the Afterglow Edition

Yes, they've been doing this for nearly 3 years now

Well, not everyone is. I am, and lots of my friends are, but the GOP? Not so much. Check out this little missive from the Shelby County GOP. Cute guys…errr, your creativity has expired.

Word on the street is that President Obama will sign the bill passed by the House on Sunday some time today (Note: I don’t get why people think they can just call him “Obama” and not “President Obama”, but then I also don’t get why these guys think they can quote him without proper attribution. That’s a story for another day.)

There are some immediate benefits that we will see before the entire bill is implemented in 2014.

House Democratic Caucus Chair Mike Turner was all over the news yesterday, but calling BS on the motivation behind this bill has brought him some blogger love. Time to crack the whip!

Conflicting statements?


Ugh again

Could buying into Medicare be the next step?

In other news…

The Tigers apparently didn’t win a single game in 2007-2008. Why isn’t Cal reaping some of these rewards?

Next up – Comprehensive Financial Reform? Boehner is buying more tan in a can in anticipation.

Manufacturing is a bright spot here in Memphis.

Wharton Floats a budget.

Ok, it’s time to head to the workhole then school then back to the workhole. What a life! Have a great day and celebrate the end of your pre-existing conditions screwing up your access to insurance.