Kisber, Seigenthaler Among Guests Invited to Speak at McWherter Commemoration

Former legislator and economic development commissioner Matt Kisber and current House Democratic Leader Craig Fitzhugh will be among those speaking in tribute to the late Gov. Ned McWherter at the Tennessee Democrats’ Jackson Day Dinner Saturday.

The event will be at the Bicentennial Capitol Mall in Nashville.

John Seigenthaler, chairman emeritus of The Tennessean, and founder of the Freedom Forum First Amendment Center, will be the keynote speaker for the program called “A Tribute to Governor Ned Ray McWherter.”

McWherter, governor of Tennessee from 1987-1995, and speaker of the House for 14 years before that, died April 4 at age 80.

McWherter’s son, Mike, the Democratic nominee for governor in 2010 in a race won by Republican Bill Haslam, will present the first annual award named in honor of Ned McWherter to a Democrat for leadership.

As previously announced, former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland will be the featured speaker at the event apart from the McWherter tributes.

Kisber is expected to talk about McWherter’s work on jobs, and Fitzhugh is expected to focus on McWherter’s contributions to education. Nashville Mayor Karl Dean is also scheduled to speak.

The recipient of the new honor, known as the Legacy Award, will be selected by Mike McWherter and officers of the Tennessee Democratic Party.

Press Releases

Gubernatorial Candidate Forum Scheduled for Children’s Advocacy Days: March 9-10

Press Release from the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth, 1 March 2010:

Candidates to lead Tennessee will share their plans to care for its future – its children – Wednesday, March 10, in a forum at Children’s Advocacy Days.

The Children’s Advocacy forum is part of a two-day event focusing ?attention on issues affecting children and providing citizens information for policy advocacy for children. Sponsored by the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth and its regional councils, the free ?event will be at War Memorial Auditorium March 9-10.

Nashville journalism legend and founder of the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University John Seigenthaler will moderate the 10 a.m. forum. Shelby County District Attorney General Bill Gibbons, Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam, former state House Democratic Leader Kim ?McMillan, Jackson businessman Mike McWherter, Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey and Congressman Zach Wamp have confirmed participation in the forum. News Channel 5, the Nashville CBS affiliate will broadcast the forum at times to be announced prior to the election and make it available to other CBS affiliates across the state.

Children’s Advocacy Days, in its 22nd year, will also feature presentations on critical services on Tuesday, March 9. The Making KIDS COUNT Media, Youth Excellence and the Jim Pryor Child Advocacy awards will be announced on the event’s first day.

Bill Bentley, president of Voices for America’s Children’s, will kick off Wednesday’s events, which also include a presentation by Education Commissioner Tim Webb on Tennessee’s Race to the Top.

In keeping with the election year activities, the theme of 2010 Children’s Advocacy Days will be a political picnic, with everything but the ants – opportunities for participants to meet their legislative ?representatives, plan to work together and celebrate their hard work and vision for Tennessee’s children.

The Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth is an independent agency created by the Tennessee General Assembly. Its ?primary mission is to advocate for improvements in the quality of life for Tennessee children and families. For more information contact TCCY at (615) 741-2633 or visit the agency website at Online registration (at ends midnight Thursday, March 4. Onsite registration begins at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Additional information on the event is available at