Mayor Barry as a model for other Southern mayors

The Economist covered Nashville this week.  More specifically, they covered Mayor Barry’s first year in office and how the city’s and state’s left and right political cohorts clash:

Her experiences suggest a possible strategy for Democrats elsewhere, as well as the frictions they may experience.  One has been with the Republican supermajorities in the Tennessee capitol, around the corner from her office—part of a widening stand-off between left-leaning southern mayors and conservative legislatures. In 2011 Nashville was involved in an early tussle over protections for gay and transgender people; this year a state bathroom bill like the one that ignited controversy in North Carolina failed, but a measure letting counsellors turn away patients on the grounds of “sincerely held principles” was passed. That cost Nashville at least three convention bookings, Mayor Barry laments, gently noting that the state relies on the city’s success, too. There have been disagreements over guns in parks (which the city was forced to allow last year), a putative rise in the minimum wage (nixed) and a plan to reserve 40% of work on big public projects for locals (ditto).

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Republican state senator accused of ushering in ISIS with absurd illustrations

State Senator Steve Dickerson was accused by his rival’s mailer of welcoming terrorists to Tennessee.  And it’s complete with some quite entertaining illustrations.

The incumbent state senator for Nashville’s state district 20 (gerrymander much?) didn’t think it was prudent to sue the federal government over its Syrian refugee resettlement program, so he voted against the plan.  His opponent in the August 4 primary, Ron McDow, somehow extrapolated from that action the idea that Dickerson supports terrorism.

This tweeter, however, pointed out the absurdity of the illustrations on the mailer sent out by McDow:

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Nashville pops the cork over grocery store wine sales

Nashvillians seem to be excited about the newly-legal sales of wine in Tennessee grocery stores:

Almost as soon as it’s legal, though, there will be two blackout dates: July 3, because it’s a Sunday, and July 4 … because, I don’t know, we’re not supposed to drink wine on America’s birthday?

Cece points out that wine has already been sold in Nashville’s liquor stores for quite some time:

Earlier: Nashville-area supermarkets stocking the wine section

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Nashville, the TV show, has been resurrected

The fifth season of Nashville (the TV show) will move from ABC to cable channel CMT, it was announced last night:

Earlier: Nashville, the TV show, is no more

While The Tennessean is reporting that the full cast will return for this next season, Nashville Business Journal says that there were rumors flying around that some of the lead actors would be absent in a fifth season of Nashville.

The deal was helped along by incentives given to the producers by the local and state governments.  Metro will fork over $1 million, if the Metro Council approves it, while the state has promised $8.5 million.  They justify these expenditures by citing the jobs and other economic boost given by keeping the show filmed in Nashville.

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Predictable: Counseling group may nix Nashville conference over discriminatory law

The American Counseling Association is considering moving its April 2017 conference to another city outside of Tennessee over the legislation Governor Haslam signed into law yesterday.  The law allows counselors and therapists to discriminate against LGBT people based on personal beliefs.

The association said, “IMPORTANT: In light of recent legislative actions in Tennessee, ACA is currently weighting options regarding the location of the 2017 Conference & Expo. More information coming soon.”

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Legislature really hates relieving traffic congestion

Nashville’s Amp bus project died at the ballot box in 2014.  It was also brutally beaten by the state legislature just to make sure it would never be resurrected again: they banned transit projects that use a dedicated center lane.  But even after doing all that to make sure Nashville’s traffic would just get worse and worse, they are still feeling a little vengeful.

In “Amp haunting Nashville from the grave,” Andrea Zelinski of the Nashville Post writes about the legislature’s current efforts to strip funding from the Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, one of the governmental organizations that approved the Amp on its way to a referendum.  That wouldn’t sit too well with the feds, though, who would likely yank some of the transit funding currently given to Tennessee.

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Once again, State Legislature refuses to honor Nashville

A few weeks ago, the State Senate struck down a resolution to honor Renata Soto, a Nashville immigrant rights activist.

Now, Nashville-area State Representative John Ray Clemmons has withdrawn a resolution to honor the Bingham Cup, which is an international gay rugby tournament being held in Nashville this May.

He said that Republican opposition to the resolution prompted him to withdraw it for fear of creating a political firestorm over a simple resolution that was meant to honor a big event happening in his city.

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