Thursday, May 22, 2008

An Event to Dismember

Posted By on Thu, May 22, 2008 at 10:53 AM

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This would be the perfect opportunity to see who's more chicken: Bob Tuke or Mike Padgett.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tale of Treachery

Posted By on Wed, May 21, 2008 at 3:12 PM

Anybody up for a juicy story of betrayal from the Capitol? A top aide to the governor squares off against lobbyists in a tussle over rich people's money. This story's got it all—alleged blackmail, artful subterfuge, general chicanery and, as the lobbyists themselves often call it, "sport fucking." As an added bonus, here's a contender for our coveted Whopper of the Month award from Waller Lansden's Tom Lee:
That’s preposterous. Words fail. That never happened. I do not have a tape of anybody leaving a voice message with anybody. I have never said to anybody that I have a voice message from anyone, and I certainly would never because I have too much respect for the office of the governor and for this governor and would never use any kind of threat because I know it wouldn’t work. It would be unethical. It would be illegal. That would be about the dumbest thing someone could do. I can’t think of a single good reason why anyone would do it.

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The Pedro Principle

Posted By on Wed, May 21, 2008 at 1:11 PM

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We're hearing that former Nashville schools director Pedro Garcia, who resigned under pressure in January after a two-year stretch where it seemed like “embattled” had become his permanent decriptor, has accepted a teaching position at his home away from home, the University of Southern California, where he often spent his weekends cheering on the Trojan football team. We tried to confirm that with Mr. Embattled himself and gather more details, and this is what he had to say: “I'm not talking about anything right now.” “I really don't want to talk to anybody right now, especially the Scene.” "I'm not a public figure anymore.” So we don't know what the truth is.

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Alan Coverstone Redux

Posted By on Wed, May 21, 2008 at 10:14 AM

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We had an interesting Pith post last week about the District 9 school board candidacy of Alan Coverstone, an MBA teacher and administrator, a public school parent and someone whose oldest son will be attending the private University School of Nashville next fall. The Scene talked with Coverstone more in depth this week to get his thoughts on both the dreaded private school dilemma—a litmus test of sorts for some voters—and a host of other issues about the Nashville public school system. After the jump is a partial transcript of that interview. (We will update this post later in the day with the entire transcript, which will also be cross-posted at nashvillescene.com.) UPDATE: Extended version here.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Shake-Up: Gordon Out at Nashville Film Festival

Posted By on Tue, May 20, 2008 at 10:56 PM

The surprise resignation of Brian Gordon Tuesday as artistic director of the Nashville Film Festival has the city's film community—and even some festival volunteers—scratching their heads. It was just last month that the city's 39-year-old film fest smashed its old attendance records, posted an unusually high number of advance sell-outs, and got high marks from visiting filmmakers and audiences alike—which has been practically a yearly occurrence since Gordon came to the festival in 2001. So what's going on? No one we reached last night either seems to know or wants to talk—except to say it involved a "salary restructuring" that evidently restructured Gordon away from the job. But it came as a shock even to some close NaFF associates. "That doesn't make any sense," says one NaFF board member, who said the matter of Gordon's possible departure didn't come up at a NaFF board meeting last week. "That's really bad news." This statement just arrived from Sallie Mayne, NaFF executive director: "As artistic director of the Nashville Film Festival, Brian Gordon contributed a wealth of knowledge about film history and the film industry. In addition, he provided a successful program of great films for the annual festival during his tenure. At this time, however, Brian has chosen to resign his position with the Nashville Film Festival. We wish him the best in all his future endeavors."

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Briley Says Goodbye

Posted By on Tue, May 20, 2008 at 2:22 PM

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The City Paper's John Rodgers has an account of Rep. Rob Briley's farewell address in which the outgoing lawmaker takes a shot at the local media for not ignoring his issues with alcoholism and adultery. “The right to a free and open press, though, comes with a responsibility, and from my experience over the past year, that responsibility is not being lived up to, “Briley said from the House podium. Yup, that's just what we need. A lecture on responsibility from this guy. Listen, the media didn't have anything to do with Briley's personal destruction; he did it all to himself. The drunken, pathetic outbursts, the extramarital affair with a lobbyist, the flight from a rehab center to the warm, welcoming confines of a casino in Tunica—we couldn't have made that up if we wanted to. That was all Briley. We, and particularly our own Jeff Woods, just covered his fall from grace, and we didn't even include everything we knew to be true. If anything, he should be grateful for our discretion. Despite plenty of evidence to the contrary, we at the Scene are not experts on alcoholism. But it doesn't seem like the road to recovery should include blaming everyone else for the miserable turn your life has taken. So here's our farewell message to Briley: Go away. And stay off the road. Update: We take it all back. Rob Briley is a uniter, not a divider. He somehow managed to get both Bill Hobbs and Sean Braisted to agree on the lameness of his farewell address.

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Don't Call It a Comeback

Posted By on Tue, May 20, 2008 at 9:25 AM

The fun-loving boys at Red State Update have been in a little slump of late, with their jokes ringing a little forced and clumsy, kind of like the second-to-last year of Seinfeld. But with their recent commentary on the unlikely spat between Barack Obama and the Tennessee GOP, our favorite rednecks are as hilarious as ever. Check it out:

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Kim: Phil's BFF?

Posted By on Tue, May 20, 2008 at 9:04 AM

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Kim McMillan, the former state House majority leader exploring a gubernatorial bid in 2010, showed her sycophantic side in an interview Monday with our friends at WRVU’s Liberadio. After 12 years in the legislature, McMillan spent most of 2007 as a senior advisor in the Bredesen administration before taking her current gig as an Austin Peay State University administrator. So perhaps it’s no surprise that when Liberadio co-host Freddie O’Connell invited McMillan to say how she’d be different from Bredesen, she had nothing to offer. Phil, it seems, is the best. Governor. Ever. Let’s jump to the transcript.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

The Week in Karl Dean

Posted By on Mon, May 19, 2008 at 4:16 PM

So why are we publishing Mayor Karl Dean's weekly schedule again? We don't know. As it turns out, there's not much to share, and I'm kind of running out of jokes here. MAYOR DEAN - PUBLIC SCHEDULE - WEEK OF MAY 19-25 Monday, May 19 6 p.m. - Stratford High School Commencement Ceremony - TSU Gentry Center Tuesday, May 20 8 a.m. - David Lipscomb Elementary School "Book Day" and tour of Butterfly Garden 10 a.m. - Heart Ready Community Award Presentation - Mayor's Media Conference Room, Metro Courthouse 6 p.m. - Maplewood High School Commencement Ceremony - TSU Gentry Center Wednesday, May 21 -- Thursday, May 22 -- Friday, May 23 -- Saturday, May 24 -- Sunday, May 25

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Barbarian Inside the Gates

Posted By on Mon, May 19, 2008 at 11:14 AM

On Friday, former CCA inmate Alex Friedmann, who so far has stymied the judicial ambitions of embattled CCA general counsel Gus Puryear, attended the private prison company's annual shareholder meeting. It must have been an awkward affair. Considering that Friedmann has rallied nationwide opposition to Puryear's confirmation to a federal judgeship in Tennessee's Middle District, infuriating the nominee's powerful supporters, I figured he'd have an interesting story to share. Here's his written account of what went down:

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