Rep. Curry Todd Named Tennessee’s Worst Legislator!

One could argue that Curry Todd’s core political strategy is “what happens in Nashville stays in Nashville.” Limited space prohibits an in-depth analysis of Todd’s many paradoxes so we will try to hit a few high points.  The man who represents one of the largest religious communities in the nation is considered the “go-to-guy” for the liquor industry. In the last three legislative sessions, Todd has carried 16 pro-liquor bills for his most significant political

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Rep. Mike Carter Named Tennessee’s Best Legislator!

In its 15+ year life, the Tennessee Forum has found few bureaucracies more hostile to the beliefs of the state’s citizens than the Tennessee Municipal League (“TML”).  From its ardent support of a state income tax25 to the Soviet modeled forced annexation program, for decades the TML has shamelessly used taxpayer money to support policies that abrogate Tennesseans’ most basic rights.  That is, until Mike Carter showed up on Capitol Hill. Carter campaigned on overturning

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Rep. Jim Coley Named One Of Tennessee’s Worst Legislators In 2016

Jim Coley is a lifelong government union stalwart trying to represent a conservative district.  Almost by definition, his political survival is dependent on his ability to camouflage his voting record from his constituents.  For example, consider two 2nd Amendment votes by Coley in March 2015. In both instances, archived footage of the hearings shows the subcommittee’s chairman, Coley, voting “no.”  But later, Coley changed the official records from “no” to “abstain.”23  When challenged on the

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Rep. Gerald McCormick Named One Of 2016′s Best Legislators

Gerald McCormick does not fit in a politically correct world. The Forum suspects Hans Christian Andersen’s child character, who announced the Emperor had no clothes, was patterned after a young Gerald who would indeed have called the Emperor naked.  The hallmark of McCormick’s leadership has been his fearless challenge to entrenched bureaucracies and powerful fiefdoms created by decades of single party rule.  The following is a sample of those challenges.   In 2014 McCormick was

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Rep. Jimmy Eldridge Named Worst Chairman In General Assembly

Some disclosure might be helpful here.  The Tennessee Forum supported Jimmy Eldridge when he first ran for the State House because we thought he would make a good legislator.  We were wrong. Republicans on Capitol Hill generally fall into two categories: conservative or moderate.  Jimmy is different.   He can be conservative, moderate or liberal depending on who he is talking to.  Jimmy’s shallowness has not escaped detection by his colleagues.  Consider the following comments:

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Rep. John Forgety Named Best Chairman Of The Year

This was a hard decision as the House of Representatives is blessed with several good chairmen.  Charles Sargent, Jimmy Matlock, Steve McManus, Harry Brooks, Bill Dunn, and Jeremy Faison all come to mind.  But this year we chose John Forgety; former school superintendent, principal, coach and 1st “Top” Sargent.  Thought to be the oldest Tennessean to serve in combat in the Iraq war, Chairman Forgety’s no-nonsense attitude toward legislation and debate has been a breath

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Sen. Paul Bailey Is 2016′s Worst Senator

Freshman Senator Paul Bailey represents the very conservative Upper Cumberland area and campaigned as a social conservative.  Imagine the shock to legislative insiders when Bailey told The Tennessee Journal that he “aligned on more issues than not” with one of the nation’s most radical, left winged government unions; a group that openly supports abortion, gay marriage and gun control. But read further in the article and Bailey explains his affinity for the union.  He “welcomed

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Sen. Delores Gresham Named 2016′s Legislator Of The Year

While many people share that passion, few have had the impact Senate Education Committee Chairman Gresham has had as the legislative “tip of the spear” in Tennessee’s very successful education reform movement. A retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel, the hallmark of the important Senate Education Committee under her leadership is that it is always pressing forward.  Reforms focused on entrenched bureaucracies are often politically risky.  The special interests benefiting from said bureaucracies frequently come out in

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Rep. Eddie Smith Named Worst Freshman Legislator

In 2014 Eddie Smith campaigned as a principled conservative dedicated to the precepts of the conservative cause.1  It now seems as if those “principles” have taken a back seat to his almost manic focus on re-election.   Consider Smith’s actions on two conservative hot button bills this year:  a bill that would have prevented males from using girls’ showers and locker rooms in public schools (HB2414)2 and a bill that would have stopped the taxpayer

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