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The governor is about to become the first in 30 years not to raise the sales tax but taxes have gone up at least a half-billion dollars
during his tenure, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press
. Bredesen has raised that amount by increasing cigarette taxes and closing business tax loopholes. ... Political intrigue in Memphis
: Why Willie Herenton is acting like a crazy man. ... Herenton phones
a talk show to berate the host for suggesting he's insane:
"I think you've made references to my state of mind and for the record let me advise you, my state of mind is real good. I know what I'm doing."
finds loopholes and administrative mistakes
have allowed 500 people "with violent pasts" to hold handgun carry permits. So what? asks gun lobbyist John Harris. He envisions a day when the state will abolish the permit system, letting anyone and everyone pack heat: "The permit really is not that effective." ... Freshman Rep. Joe Carr tries to explain
his extravagant use of legislative per diem. It turns out he didn't mean to claim all that money. Oops!
"Because the state finances were in such a mess, after the election and before the session, I took several trips to Nashville. I didn't realize that every time I came to the legislature, they did a per diem."
give $677,000 to his campaign. ... Bredesen insists
solar initiative is on track. ... The state may lay off more workers
in the spring. ... Nine candidates
are running to replace Zach Wamp. ... Pickler won't run
for Stanley's seat. ... Voters try to recall
Metro Council's Pam Murray. ... A.C. Kleinheider wonders
whether all powerful men cheat on their wives. ... George Poague bemoans
the sad state of Tennessee politics:
Folks, we are returning to the benighted condition Erskine Caldwell wrote about in "Tobacco Road" and "God's Little Acre": a land of ignorant yokels who rail against anything that smacks of progress. And we know progress is another word for socialism.
Tennessee health care businesses
spend $2.5 million lobbying in Washington. ... Cooper talks health care
with WPLN. ... They come to cheer, not jeer
Marsha Blackburn. How nice for her.