Congressman Cohen Commemorates Veterans Day

November 10th, 2011 by TNDP

Congressman Steve Cohen issued today the following statement commemorating Veterans Day, which is celebrated tomorrow, November 11:

“Since the Armistice at the end of World War I, November 11th has been set aside as a day to commemorate those men and women, both living and dead, whose service in uniform has given irrefutable testimony to their loyalty, [...]

Congressman DesJarlais Can’t Be Trusted to Protect Rural Development Programs

November 9th, 2011 by TNDP

Congressman Scott DesJarlais (TN-04) voted to cut rural development programs yet accepted federal funds through the USDA Rural Development office for improvements to a building in the Giles County Industrial Park.
Congressman DesJarlais had no problem showing two faces, one voting to cut rural programs, which help improve business infrastructure and encourage job [...]

Haslam’s Policy Suppresses the Rights of All Tennesseans to Peacefully Assemble

October 30th, 2011 by TNDP

by Rep. Mike Stewart

There is no more fundamental American freedom than the freedom of speech.   The right of the people to exchange ideas and to protest government actions they find unwise is enshrined in the both the United States and Tennessee Constitutions.  Defending such essential American rights should be the very first job of [...]

New voter law will suppress legitimate voting | timesfreepress.com

October 26th, 2011 by TNDP

The following column appeared in the Sunday, October 23, 2011 edition of The Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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Sen. Ketron, meet Virginia

October 21st, 2011 by TNDP

Add Mrs. Virginia Lasater, a 91-year-old woman in Rutherford County, to the list of known Tennessee seniors who are struggling to comply with state Sen. Bill Ketron’s new Republican voter ID law.

Mrs. Lasater went to a driver testing center in Mufreesboro to get a state-issued photo ID so she could vote, but ran into a problem. From The Daily News Journal1:

Aided by a walking cane to get around, she quickly decided she couldn’t stand up long enough to wait and her son could find no chairs available for her to sit. (Her son) Richard estimated at least 100 people were in the building, and workers were “way overworked and way understaffed.” He was told at the help desk there was nothing they could do but wait.

They left, upset about the law and the long lines.

“I’m just afraid people will say it’s too much trouble,” said Mrs. Lasater.

With Republican plans on the table to gut Medicare and privatize Social Security, it’s not a wonder why Republicans are making it harder for senior citizens to be voters.

This past legislative session, Tennessee Republicans passed a voter ID law—written by big, corporate specials interests—that requires all voters to have a government-issued photo ID at the polls.

The law sounds reasonable on its face. But there’s a huge problem: 675,000 Tennesseans, who, like Mrs. Lasater, are law-abiding citizens and eligible to vote—have no state-issued photo ID.

This law was passed in a hasty manner with insufficient funding and absolutely no mechanism in place to efficiently educate voters and distribute hundreds of thousands of state-issued photo IDs.

With only 19 weeks until the Primary Election, we’re running out of time. Since July, according to the article, the state has only issued 561 new voter IDs.

It’s almost guaranteed that some citizens who have voted for years without a problem will be turned away in next year’s elections when the discriminatory law goes into effect.

Would it bother Sen. Ketron if the votes of law-abiding citizens like 91-year-old Mrs. Virginia Lasater were not counted because they couldn’t wait in an hours-long line for a state-issued picture ID?

Ketron said, “NO… I’m not that concerned about it.”2

This is the difference.

The Tennessee Democratic Party won’t stop fighting until every law-abiding Tennessean can be a voter and participate in this democracy. Republicans like Bill Ketron, well, they just aren’t that concerned about it.

If you have a problem getting a state-issued photo ID, we want to help. Click here to share your Voter ID Story.

Your fellow Democrat,

Chip Forrester
Chairman
on behalf of YOUR Tennessee Democratic Party

1. “After long wait, no seat , voter, 91, quits on ID,” The Daily News Journal.

2. Ketron says he’s not concerned about uncounted votes. The Daily News Journal.

 

Democrats Announce First Phase of Job Creation Legislation

October 6th, 2011 by TNDP


jobs tour

Democrats announce first phase of jobs package to put Tennesseans back to work.

 

Plan includes $15 million investment in state technology centers

NASHVILLE – Tennessee House and Senate Democrats announced the first phase of their job creation plan Thursday, which includes calling for $15 million for new equipment and program expansion at the state’s 27 technology centers.

“We heard about the success of our skills training across the state during our jobs tour, but the one thing we heard again and again was the need for more skilled workers,” said House Democratic Leader Craig Fitzhugh. “This investment would enable our technology centers to train more workers faster and get them a good education with an even better job.”

The state’s technology centers’ average completion rate is 75 percent, and the job placement rate is 85 percent. They have been recognized as a national model, but currently only 4 percent of all higher education students in Tennessee attend a technology center.

“The thousands of manufacturing jobs that have come back to Tennessee need a highly skilled workforce. We have the structure to provide that workforce, but we must provide the resources to meet the capacity needs,” said House Speaker Emeritus Jimmy Naifeh. Now is the time to make this investment, because it will pay dividends for our workers and our state for a generation.”

Other legislation discussed by Democrats Thursday included:

  • The creation of a commercial properties database for prospective employers to quickly identify potential areas for relocation and expansion;
  • Doubling the capacity of the West Tennessee solar farm by 2013 to keep up with national competition;
  • Providing small businesses a sales tax holiday of up to $5,000 for equipment purchases and upgrades;
  • Fully funding the West Tennessee megasite, in order to give the Grand Division the same opportunities afforded Chattanooga with Volkswagen and Clarksville with Hemlock;
  • Providing a New Entrepreneur Tax Credit for new business owners to recover startup and expansion costs; and
  • A program modeled after the Georgia Works initiative that allows employers to train Tennesseans receiving unemployment benefits, with the goal of providing trainees expanded job opportunities and the potential for a full-time job.

Democrats noted that the initiatives discussed Thursday were only the first phase of an ongoing, bipartisan process to identify ways state government can play a role in job creation.

“We are in a jobs crisis right now, and we need all hands on deck to help sail the ship through these choppy waters,” said Senate Democratic Chairman Lowe Finney. “It’s going to take all of us working together to put Tennesseans back to work.”

 

 

Tickets Sales Extended for Jackson Day

September 28th, 2011 by TNDP


jdaylogoThe excitement around Jackson Day is growing so fast, we had to buy a bigger tent.

That means we have 10 open tables and we are extending ticket sales until the seats are filled! So there’s still room for you to join us — under the big tent — on Bicentennial Mall in Nashville for our annual Jackson Day Dinner this Saturday, Oct. 1. Doors open at 6 p.m.

Click here to purchase tickets at JacksonDay.org.

This year we are celebrating who we are as Democrats by paying tribute to the legacy of Governor Ned McWherter.

We’re thrilled to announce Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, House Leader Craig Fitzhugh and former Commissioner of Economic Development Matt Kisber will be joining us for the tribute.

They’ll be sharing the stage with the outstanding John Seigenthaler and our keynote speaker Governor Ted Strickland of Ohio.

With an incredible Drew Westen message workshop during the day and a comedy filled After Party co-hosted by the Tennessee Young Democrats — this will be the big tent party of the year.

Jackson Day is just three days away and our new, bigger tent is filling fast. So don’t wait to get your tickets.

http://JacksonDay.org

See you, October 1st!

Chip Forrester
Chairman

Sign Up for Message Training with Drew Westen on Jackson Day

September 23rd, 2011 by TNDP

Values-based Strategy: Message Training for Tennessee Democrats

By popular demand, Democratic messaging expert Drew Westen is coming back to Tennessee.

If you’re frustrated with the Republican noise machine and want the skills to change the story, then join us next Saturday.

October 1st —before Jackson Day— the TNDP will host a Drew Westen messaging workshop in Nashville!

A three-hour interactive training for candidates, party leaders and organizers

1 p.m. – 4 p.m., Saturday, October 1st
Martin Luther King Academic Magnet School
613 17th Avenue North
Nashville, TN 37203

APPLY NOW!

Tuition is $50**, and all participants will receive great resource materials to take with them.

Throughout his 20-year career as a political consultant, Drew Westen has trained members of Congress, major progressive organizations and even worked with the president.

This training will offer a unique opportunity to learn basic values-based strategy skills such as framing and effective message development. Westen’s hands on, interactive approach will help you incorporate your values into your organizing and campaign strategy.

This training is guaranteed to fill up fast.

APPLY NOW.

**NOTE: The workshop is FREE to ANY elected Democratic official, County Democratic Party chair or state Executive Committee member. If you are an elected official, county chair or executive committee member, please click here to RSVP online for the FREE training.

For more information, contact Brandon@TNDP.org or by phone at (615) 327-9779.

 

 

More exciting news about our Jackson Day Dinner October 1st

September 21st, 2011 by TNDP

We’re thrilled to announce the addition of former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland to next weekend’s Jackson Day Dinner.

Strickland is a lifelong advocate for working and middle class families. He has recently been at the forefront of the grassroots fight to defeat Ohio’s Senate Bill 5, a measure that — similar to the Republican attacks on Tennessee teachers — would severely limit the collective bargaining rights of schoolteachers, police officers and firefighters.

Governor Strickland’s remarks add to an already great program featuring a salute and celebration of our state’s 46th Governor entitled, “The People’s Governor: A Tribute to Ned McWherter.”

The tribute features an address from the legendary John Seigenthaler.

We’re just days away…If you haven’t already purchased tickets to the Party’s “who’s who” event of the year, now’s the time to do so!

The Jackson Day Dinner will be held Saturday, October 1 at the Bicentennial Mall in Nashville.  Doors open at 6 p.m. with the program starting at 7:30 p.m.

For more information or to RSVP, please contact the Tennessee Democratic Party at (615) 327-9779 or visit www.JacksonDay.org.

John Seigenthaler to Speak at TNDP Jackson Day Dinner

September 20th, 2011 by TNDP

 

John SeigenthalerIt is my privilege to tell you that the legendary John Seigenthaler will be joining us Oct. 1 at our Jackson Day Dinner in Nashville at the Bicentennial Mall.

Click here to get your tickets today to our Jackson Day Dinner on October 1st.

As you may have heard, the Tennessee Democratic Party is paying tribute to Governor Ned Ray McWherter at this year’s Jackson Day Dinner. Gov. McWherter was a determined and dedicated Democratic leader who went to work for Tennesseans, expanding opportunity through investments in schools, health care and jobs.

Seigenthaler was a personal friend of the governor and we are thrilled to have him speak during our Jackson Day tribute to Ned McWherter.

Will you join us at Jackson Day? Click here to get your tickets! The deadline to reserve table seating is NOON, Friday, September 23.

In his lifetime of progressive work, Seigenthaler has served as an assistant to Robert F. Kennedy, aided the Freedom Riders in Montgomery, Ala. and was the longtime editor of The Tennessean until his retirement in 1991. That same year, he founded the First Amendment Center with the mission of creating national discussion, dialogue and debate about First Amendment rights and values.

Like McWherter, John Seigenthaler is a true Tennessee treasure.

Our Jackson Day Dinner is a celebration of who we are as Democrats—especially this year as we salute one of our state’s greatest home-grown Democrats, Ned McWherter. As a valuable part of the Tennessee Democratic Party, we hope you can attend.

Please join us October 1st at Bicentennial Mall for Jackson Day 2011.

Sincerely,

Chip Forrester

Chairman, Tennessee Democratic Party