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Our worst enemies are not each other

Keel Hunt, Columnist for The Tennessean
Published 12:00 p.m. CT Nov. 16, 2018

The rest of us don’t have to like any aspect of what happened here on Nov. 6. But our duty as citizens is to accept it for now.

A good election can teach us a lot — and by “good,” I mean an election with a decent voter turnout as we saw across America on Nov. 6.

This time voters nationally said we need better balance than a monolithic supermajority in Washington, where a president proclaims and a quiescent Congress bows in reverence.

This new House majority is not overwhelming but sets up a disruption that is welcome. American voters said power should be shared now, that checks and balances are good for everybody. [READ MORE]

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Amid pessimism from some voters, big turnout emerges

Keel Hunt, Columnist for The Tennessean
Published 12:00 p.m. CT Oct. 19, 2018

Two news items caught my eye this week, — each independently on its own but also for the special light the one seemed to cast upon the other.

Item 1: Reporters for The Washington Post wrote about their findings in Clarksville, Tennessee, quoting many voters they interviewed there who say they refrain from participating on elections.

Excuses ranged from disgust with how some campaigns are run these days to deep frustration with how Washington seems broken. Other interviewees voiced some form of “My vote doesn’t matter.” Ouch.

Item 2: In the news that same evening, I read how in Nashville and Knoxville, for instance, the voter turnout on Wednesday — the first day of early voting — was historically huge for a midterm election. [READ MORE]

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Keel Hunt is a regular columnist for The Tennessean and the USA Today Network, avid photographer, and now the author of his second book "Crossing the Aisle: How Bipartisanship Brought Tennessee to the 21st Century and Could Save America," debuting in October.

 
 

How Tennessee chooses its senators has a colorful history

Keel Hunt, Columnist for The Tennessean
Published 12:00 p.m. CT Oct. 5, 2018

Sixty-seven senators have represented Tennessee — all men. Democrat Jane Eskind was her party’s nominee in 1978, but she lost the general election to the Republican incumbent, Howard Baker Jr.

If Bredesen should defeat Blackburn this November, he will join Sen. Lamar Alexander as one of only two Tennesseans in 222 years to be popularly elected both governor and U.S. senator.  [READ MORE]


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Tennessee State Election: Calling out lies and where they come from

Keel Hunt, Columnist for The Tennessean
Published 12:00 p.m. CT Sept. 7, 2018

The slimy depths to which our national politics has sunk became grossly clear this past week, right here in Tennessee. The latest episode came from Americans for Prosperity, the Koch funded political action committee legally separate from the U.S. Senate campaign of Republican Marsha Blackburn, though she benefits from it. [READ MORE]


A tight senate race is Upon Us: MarshA Blackburn (R) vs. Phil Bredesen (D)

A tight senate race is Upon Us: MarshA Blackburn (R) vs. Phil Bredesen (D)

Red state, blue state: Consider the 'crossover effect' — it happens

Keel Hunt, Columnist for The Tennessean
Published 12:00 p.m. CT Aug. 24, 2018 | Updated 9:09 a.m. CT Aug. 25, 2018

If you are keeping score at home, here’s the key political question in Tennessee’s nationally watched U.S. Senate race, which will end just 10 weeks from Tuesday:

Will enough Republican voters “cross over” this fall and help elect the Democrat, former Gov. Phil Bredesen?

The very idea of this scenario must be Republican Marsha Blackburn’s worst nightmare. But just as this longtime Democratic state turned red over the past half-century, there is in fact much Tennessee tradition for crossover voting. [READ MORE]



How to agree on what a modern city like Nashville costs

Keel Hunt, Columnist for The Tennessean

Published 12:00 p.m. CT June 29, 2018

So we won’t be paying higher property taxes starting this weekend after all. 

Turns out, it was a real possibility and closer than anyone thought. Councilman Bob Mendes gave it his best effort, arguing that a 50-cent increase was the right thing to do — in a highly unusual budget crunch — to be fair to police officers, firefighters, teachers and the rest.

He came close to winning, too. After a good debate, Metro Council split right down the middle on the tax question. On June 19, they voted 19-19. (It doesn’t get any closer than that in the third-largest city council in America.) The acting vice mayor, Sheri Weiner, then cast the tiebreaker, voting against.

No tax hike. No raises. No way. Not this year. [READ MORE]

A GrowING MODERN CITY COMES AT A COST

A GrowING MODERN CITY COMES AT A COST


Lewis LAvine was a Champion for Transit, And my Trusted Friend.

Lewis LAvine was a Champion for Transit, And my Trusted Friend.

What Nashville must do about transit now

Keel Hunt, Columnist for The Tennessean
Published 12:00 p.m. CT May 11, 2018 | Updated 3:51 p.m. CT May 14, 2018

One of my best friends in the world died last week. Lewis Lavine had been my bud, colleague and confessor since the fall of 1977.

As much as I grieve for him now, I am certain the last thing he would want is for any of us to spend one more minute mourning him when there is important civic work to be done.

For Lewis, in his later years, that work was about modern transit.

It was the last civic project that Lewis poured his skills and talent into, dating from the time he was chairman of Nashville’s Metropolitan Transit Authority. [READ MORE]