Primaries for state legislative races are less than a year away. And it’s certainly evident from the incumbents’ mailings to their constituents. State Sen. Doug Henry, for example, recently sent a four-page newsletter to voters in his Nashville district, recapping the events of the legislative session. The newsletter, the Henry Report, makes a stark contrast to the normally reserved and modest Doug Henry familiar to most of Nashville. Instead of the drab announcements or newspaper advertisements Henry has used in the past, the publication is full of self-promotion.
“Henry bill has appeal for health care consumers,” one headline reads. And other stories smack of the kind of politicking from which Henry has exempted himself for so long“Sen. Henry keeps close eye on state’s pocketbook,” for example. “Give Sen. Henry your views” accompanies a brief questionnaire to be mailed back to Henry’s legislative office.
Five years ago, a Doug Henry newsletter would have been little more than a list of significant actions taken by the General Assembly, with no emphasis on what Sen. Henry had to say about them or any mention of how he voted. But in 1994 Henry had, for the first time in a long while, some real opposition. He kept his seat despite a challenge from Republican Sharon Bell, but apparently the race was enough to scare the then -68-year-old senator into a new strategy.
Bell or some other challenger could go after Henry again. And this time the opposition would have some ammunition, with the negative publicity the senator suffered during the recent Confederate flag flap. On behalf of a constituent, Henry, who turned 71 this summer, asked the Tennessee Department of Transportation to clear trees around the constituent’s land so that a display of Confederate flags could be seen from the interstate. Black legislators decried the action and took particular issue with the use of black prisoners (along with their white counterparts) to clear the right-of-way.
But it appears that Henry is ready for battle, waving his own kind of flag in the Henry Report. It just goes to show you can teach an old duck new tricks.
A batch of Metro Council freshman will assume leadership roles in the county’s legislative body during the coming weeks. Vice Mayor Jay West has appointed new chairmen for the Council’s standing committees, and he’s making ample use of freshman Council members, the only ones who won’t be affected by new term limits in Metro.
When the Council races roll around in 1999, half of the 40 members won’t be allowed to run again because of the two-term limit. That means freshman members will need all the experience they can get between now and then.
Notable appointments include Eileen Beehan from East Nashville as chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee, which at-large member Ronnie Steine will chair until the end of the month. Council member Ron Turner will take over for Charles French as chairman of the Education Committee. And member-at-large Leo Waters will chair the Public Works Committee.
Tears in my eyes, Donna. Merry Christmas to you, too.
I'm aware it intends to be comprehensive, including food (which is included post-K) and medical/dental…
There are too many pressing problems in this world for me to get upset about…
The hypocrisy on both sides of this kerfuffle is astounding.
fork, you sound as if you don't know what the additional interventions Head Start brings…