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Press Releases

Elam Campaign Gets No Response from Lynn on Debate Invite

Press release from State Rep. Linda Elam, R-Mt. Juliet; July 23, 2012: 

Poor Voting Record Probably the Reason

State Representative Linda Elam issued a debate challenge last week to her opponent, Susan Lynn, in hopes to provide the voters of Wilson County an opportunity to hear from the candidates on the issues. The challenge was sent by certified mail to Lynn’s home in District 46 and to the email address on file with the Registry of Election Finance. The email bounced back. Lynn doesn’t appear to have a current email on file so the invitation was then sent to two email addresses found on her web site.

Representative Elam asked for a reply from Lynn by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 19. Included with the challenge were several ways she could reach Elam. So far no there has been no response from Lynn.

“I want to know what Susan Lynn has to hide and why won’t she make herself available for a face-to-face debate in front of the voters of Wilson County,” asked Elam. “I guess she’s afraid to address why she supports toll roads in Tennessee, illegals obtaining drivers certificates and why she ran up the state budget by 10 billion dollars when she was in the state house.”

“Originally my opponent and her small team of supporters called everything I said a “lie.” When they realized that telling the truth about her record was getting people’s attention, she went on-line and issued extremely lengthy “explanations” in which she admitted to voting the way I had said she did but tried to minimize their impact. When she discovered that the voters were not buying her self-serving “explanations” for her votes, she went back to calling everything I say a “lie,” said Elam. “How can what I say be a lie if she’s already admitted to voting the way I said she did?”

“Lynn is depriving the people of Wilson County an opportunity to see both candidates face-to-face in a debate of the issues,” said Elam. “District 57 deserves a representative who will put herself out there and allow the voters to make their own judgment. The only candidate in this race who will do so is LINDA ELAM.”

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Press Releases

NRA Rates Elam A+, Endorses for Re-Election

Press release from State Rep. Linda Elam, R-Mt Juliet; July 19, 2012: 

(Mt Juliet, TN) – State Representative Linda Elam announced today that the NRA has endorsed her candidacy for re-election to the Tennessee State House in House District 57. This endorsement is accompanied by an A+ rating from the NRA, the highest rating possible.

Elam (R, Mt. Juliet) is a strong conservative who dedicates herself to defending the Second Amendment rights of all Tennesseans. Her voting record proves her support of these rights, which has resulted in this NRA endorsement.

“I am very pleased to have the endorsement of the NRA. I believe it is my duty to defend our sacred Second Amendment rights whenever they are threatened. I have had a carry permit myself for many years. I will continue to work so that all Tennesseans retain the right to own, keep and use guns – whether for hunting, self-protection, target practice, or defense of our State and Country,” Elam said.

Elam has previously received the endorsement of the Tennessee Right to Life, has a 100% voting record with the Eagle Forum, and has received endorsements from 58 of her state house colleagues.

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Health Care Liberty and Justice Press Releases

Wilson County Legislators Scoff at Supreme Court Health Care Ruling

Statement from Senator Mae Beavers, R-Mt. Juliet; Rep. Linda Elam, R-Mt. Juliet; and Rep. Mark Pody, R-Lebanon; June 28, 2012: 

( WILSON COUNTY, TN) June 28, 2012 – Three Tennessee lawmakers who have fought tirelessly over the past two years to thwart the implementation of “Obamacare” in the state of Tennessee were disappointed by the United States Supreme Court’s decision today which declared the massive and unprecedented law passed by Congress in 2010 as constitutional.

“I am disappointed in the Court’s ruling today,” said Sen. Mae Beavers, Chairman of Senate Judiciary Committee and sponsor of the Tennessee Health Freedom Act (SB 79) which became law in 2011. “I still believe that punishing a Tennessean for failing to purchase a particular product that the federal government believes they must purchase simply for being a citizen is an action that would make our forefathers turn over in their graves. Thankfully, the Court seemed to agree with me and Rep. Elam and Rep. Pody on the Commerce Clause issue, which should prove helpful in future policy debates, even if they found the health care act constitutional on tax grounds.”

Rep. Linda Elam expressed similar concerns this past year, and sponsored and passed HJR 614, a resolution calling for a return to the original meaning of the Constitution’s Commerce Clause. Rep. Elam also fought tirelessly against bills which sought to expand federal power and limit the freedoms of Tennesseans.

“As an attorney and a defender of the Constitution, I am disappointed that the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare, but am grateful that they seemed to interpret the Commerce Clause to more accurately reflect the true intent of our Constitution,” said Rep. Elam. “It was an honor to work on such an important piece of legislation last year; now I hope that Congress will overturn Obamacare, and I look forward to working to lower health care costs in a constitutional and appropriate way for Tennesseans, increasing choice and keeping the quality of our medical care the best in the world.”

Fellow Wilson County lawmaker and and House sponsor of the Health Care Compact (HB 369), Rep. Mark Pody, also expressed disappointment over the Court’s decision, but expressed optimism that the ruling would pave the way for states to work together in offering more affordable health care choices to its citizens, in particular their ruling regarding the Medicaid provision of the act.

“I hope that today’s important ruling lets the federal government know that they still do not have free reign when it comes to their power, and that our great country will not see its health care system fall the way of Europe and other counties who have witnessed the horrors associated with socialist systems,” said Rep. Pody.

Sen. Beavers, who was the Senate sponsor of the Commerce Clause resolution and Health Care Compact bill, which sought to allow member states to work together to lower the costs of health care, expressed appreciation for all of the various states who joined the lawsuit, as well as those legislators who voiced opposition to “Obamacare.”

“I hope we can pass the Health Care Compact next year in Tennessee, and I look forward to working with Rep. Elam, Rep. Pody and other conservative lawmakers who hope to lower health care costs and raise quality in an efficient and constitutional manner,” said Sen. Beavers.

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Featured Health Care Liberty and Justice News Transparency and Elections

One Way or Another, Somebody’s Getting Re-Elected in HD 57

Were it not for the hundreds of lawn signs and bumper stickers collecting dust in her garage, Susan Lynn might have chosen a different slogan to launch her political comeback.

But the outspoken former state rep nevertheless does feel fully entitled to run a “Re-Elect Susan Lynn” campaign, even though she hasn’t been a member of the Tennessee Legislature for the last two years.

“I don’t even have a logo that doesn’t say ‘Re-Elect Susan Lynn,’” said the Mt. Juliet Republican, who served four terms in the state House before launching an unsuccessful run at the Senate in 2010. Lynn says it just makes sense to try and save a few bucks by reusing signs, stickers, T-shirts, hats and other sundry political paraphernalia leftover from her House District 57 campaigns starting in 2002 and ending in 2008.

Lynn faces Linda Elam, a one-time real estate attorney, formerly the mayor of Mt. Juliet mayor and — most notably — the incumbent who enjoys the House GOP Caucus’ support going into the August 2 primary election. The winner will run unopposed in November.

Elam, who is finishing up her first term in state office, kicked off her campaign recently with an event co-sponsored by 58 fellow Republican lawmakers. The GOP establishment’s  endorsement, Elam says, represents a clear and “dramatic” message to voters signaling which candidate has proven she can “work well with their colleagues, get things accomplished and work on behalf of the people rather than their own interest.”

The race is one of several that political insiders are following closely. The race will also test the electoral clout of the business-friendly caucus leaders as they try to protect Tennessee incumbents from constitution-focused Tea Party conservative challengers.

“While Susan Lynn is one of my very best friends I’ve ever had, I know that my job as leader, when I was elected by the caucus, is to help the incumbents. It’s not a comfortable thing for me at all,” said House GOP Caucus Chairwoman Debra Maggart of Hendersonville, who was known to socialize with Lynn when they served as seat-mates in the Legislature together. “I know Susan would understand if she was in the caucus still. She would expect me to support her just as we are doing with Linda Elam.”

Aside from calling themselves Mt. Juliet conservatives seeking “re-election,” Elam and Lynn offer voters significant differences in style and background.

Lynn won her first House election in 2002, in the aftermath of the state income tax battles in the Legislature. She made a name for herself championing limited-government constitutionalism and state sovereignty issues. Some of her most well-known bills sought to restrict the effect of Obamacare on Tennesseans, ban the government from implanting microchips in individuals against a person’s will, and requiring those on public assistance to submit to random drug tests, a measure which won approval in a different fashion this year.

After lots of hand-wringing, she ultimately chose to vacate her House seat in 2010 and run for the state Senate against her ideological analog and political archrival, Republican Sen. Mae Beavers, who decided three weeks before the filing deadline to drop out of the Wilson County mayor’s race and run for re-election. Beavers handily beat Lynn in the primary election 48 percent to 42 percent.

While Beavers and Lynn share a notoriously combative history with one another, Beavers wouldn’t say whether she plans to help Elam defeat Lynn in this year’s primary. “I’m not having to run an election, I’m not going to be drawn into one,” she told TNReport, adding, “I don’t have to discuss this.”

Elam, who has teamed up with Beavers on several issues, says she prefers to work behind the scenes instead of filing “scurrilous bills” or acting like a “media hound.”

It is unusual for Elam to take up the mic and launch into an impassioned speech on the House floor, and she’s rarely seen giving interviews to reporters. She says her proudest moment in the Legislature these past two years was when she delayed a vote on a bill she felt didn’t go far enough in policing judicial ethics, which bought time for Beavers and others to come up with a compromise.

Elam also sponsored a resolution urging Congress to revert to the original interpretation of the Commerce Clause, which Beavers carried in the Senate, and convinced lawmakers to edit a proposed law changing pain care management regulations. The General Assembly passed both measures.

“Some people would prefer to get in front of TV cameras and go wave signs and make wild accusations and things like that rather than the hard work it takes to be a responsible legislator,” Elam said.

Elam points out that she brings a “professional, level-headed, hard-working, sensible, collegial work environment to the Capitol,” painting Lynn as something of a drama queen.

“I think that’s absolutely foolish,” said Lynn.

If anyone has drama, it’s Elam, she says, pointing to the representative’s “tumultuous” tenure as mayor, which included a handful of lawsuits and a fight over whether she should serve as both mayor and state legislator at the same time.

The 57th District now sits on the north and west sides of Wilson County and no longer includes parts of Sumner County since this year’s legislative redistricting. Voter turnout for Lynn was strong in Sumner whereas Elam squeaked by.

In the new area, Lynn garnered 58 percent of the vote against Beavers two years ago. When Elam ran, she won 38 percent of votes in a three-way race for the seat.

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Press Releases

Fundraiser for Rep. Elam Co-hosted by Majority of GOP State House Members

Press release from State Representative Linda Elam; May 30, 2012:

MT. JULIET, TN – An overwhelming majority of Republican Tennessee State House members will be co-hosting a fundraiser for State Representative Linda Elam on June 5th, in Mt. Juliet, with Speaker Beth Harwell as Honorary Co-Chair. The event will take place at the home of Mike and Periann Cantrell, 3004 S. Waterford Court, Mt. Juliet and features Republican house members from across the state.

“I am honored to have 58 state legislators in my corner for our kick-off fundraiser, and I am truly humbled by their support and confidence in my service,” Elam said. “It is exciting to have our great Speaker of the House Beth Harwell, Majority Leader Gerald McCormick, and Republican Caucus Chair Debra Maggart serving as the Honorary Co-Chairs,” Elam said.

Republican Majority Leader Gerald McCormick appreciates Elam’s strong conservative voting record and respects her service in the state house. “The folks who work with Linda Elam know her best, and I can tell you she is one of the finest legislators to serve Wilson County I’ve ever known. We need her back.”

Elam believes that her solid conservative voting record is one of the keys to the reason so many of her colleagues support her efforts in returning to the state house. She also believes that there is still more to be done, but is ready for the challenge.

“Tennessee is on the right track when it comes to job creation, tax cuts, and limiting government. But I believe there is much more positive change we can make,” said Elam. “In my first term, I have helped enact a solid conservative agenda to empower our job creators while helping to change government from a hurdle to a resource for the business community. It’s a record of accomplishment I am proud of.”

Elam is a former Mayor of Mt. Juliet and serving her first term as State Representative. A graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Business and Law School with broad experience in the area of commercial real estate, Elam is able to use her knowledge of real-world business issues to benefit District 57 and the entire state as a member of the House of Representatives. Having served on the Board of Directors of many community and charitable organizations, Elam understands the challenges faced by families across the district. Her fellow members of the House of Representatives greatly respect the knowledgeable, experienced, level-headed and professional manner in which Representative Elam works for the betterment of Tennessee.

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Press Releases

Freshman Rep. Elam Touts Accomplishments of TN’s ‘Historic Conservative Majority’

Press Release from the House GOP Caucus, June 8, 2011:

Mount Juliet Legislator Calls First Session the Most Successful in Tennessee History

(NASHVILLE, June 8, 2011) – After years of near one Party control in Tennessee politics, Republicans won control of the Governor’s mansion, Senate, and House for the first time in the history of the State. Representative Linda Elam (R—Mount Juliet) played a key role in the opening session of the 107th General Assembly and Tennesseans immediately benefitted from the conservative leadership.

“It is an honor to be a part of such a historic conservative Majority,” remarked Rep. Elam. “Tennesseans understand we pushed through a conservative, pro-growth agenda that reflects their values. They can take heart that, finally, their Representatives in Nashville are listening to them.”

The first Session was marked by conservative milestones many Tennesseans have worked hard to see come to fruition. Among those items:

  • Tort Reform: This was a key centerpiece for the Governor’s jobs agenda and the General Assembly fashioned a new law that provides certainty in the business environment. With this confidence, more companies are better able to quantify the cost of doing business and can allocate more resources to provide jobs for Tennesseans.
  • Charter Schools: The Republican Majority lifted the cap on charter schools in Tennessee, ensuring that all children across the State will have access to a high quality education. Republican legislators, like Representative Elam, understand the key to long-term job growth in Tennessee is in the training of a strong workforce.
  • Collaborative Conferencing: In a major reform unlike any seen across the country, conservative legislators pushed through a new model for education that allows all teachers to have a voice when it comes to setting education policy and removed the barriers set up by the union so our hard-working teachers can be rewarded at a higher rate.
  • Ban on Income Tax: The process was started for a constitutional amendment in Tennessee that would forever prohibit an income tax from being levied on Tennesseans. The process for an amendment is long, but this Republican Majority is united in ensuring this common sense, pro-jobs measure becomes law.
  • Government Reform: In a move to increase transparency and efficiency for taxpayers, the House eliminated a number of duplicative committees that caused confusion for many citizens trying to follow legislation through the General Assembly. With this reform, bills will travel on a streamlined path that provides Tennesseans a format to voice their concerns on legislation. Additionally, the move saved Tennesseans nearly $1 million.
  • The State Budget: Republicans passed a fiscally conservative budget that reflects the principles of Tennesseans and meets the needs of our State. Overall, the Republican Majority reduced spending by $1.2 billion and rolled back a number of areas of duplicative government programs.

While much focus was given to these high-profile pieces of legislation, there are a number of other new laws that were ushered through to make government more responsive to Tennesseans and limit the influence of government regulation. Rep. Elam helped guide a number of these bills to final passage, a noteworthy achievement for a first-year legislator. Among the legislation she co-sponsored:

  • Voter Photo ID: This bill ensures integrity at the ballot box, something Tennesseans have long asked for. Essentially, voters are asked to present a valid photo ID to obtain a ballot. Parallel legislation passed to ensure citizens who may not have an ID can obtain one for free. These laws will protect Tennessee from having to deal with ballot box abuse and voter fraud.
  • Welfare Reform: This new law will prevent abuse of the Families First benefits program. It places common sense requirements on those utilizing taxpayer-funded benefits such as a prohibition against drug use or enrollment in a drug treatment program.
  • Voting Reform: This new law authorizes the coordinator of elections to compare the statewide voter registration database with the department of safety database, relevant federal and state agencies, and county records to ensure non-United States citizens are not registered to vote in this State.
  • Veterans’ Families: This legislation extends property tax relief to the surviving spouse of a soldier whose death results from being deployed, away from any home base of training and in support of combat operations. This was one way to honor the sacrifice our soldiers make in the line of duty.
  • Wilson County: Representative Elam guided a bill designating the bridge at State Route 109 and U.S. Highway 70 in Wilson County as the “Spc. Michael Lane Stansbery, Jr.” bridge to honor one of Wilson County’s fallen soldiers.

In reflecting on the reforms passed by the House of Representatives in her first term, Rep. Elam stated, “I tailored my personal record—the votes I took, the legislation I carried—to the wishes of my constituents. I heard them loud and clear last fall when they told me they wanted a government that is limited and respects our constitutional rights.” She continued, “Over the summer, I look forward to traveling around the 57th District and listening to the people once again. I am eager to get their feedback, bring it back to the Capitol next year, and work hard to make the Volunteer State an even better place to live, work, and raise a family.”

For a complete listing of Representative Elam’s legislative record, click here.

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NewsTracker

Elam Sues Own Government, Rejects Voters’ Decision

Mt. Juliet Mayor and freshman state Rep. Linda Elam has sued the city in a bid to hang onto her mayoral post, even though the people of Mt. Juliet in November voted overwhelmingly to ban city officeholders from holding other offices.

With the outcome decided by an almost 7-to-1 margin, the message seemed clear enough. Apparently not.

In her Jan. 11 court filing, which Radio Free Mt. Juliet has posted, Elam says that she will continue to serve as mayor as late as March 31 because “there are several City issues, particularly fire safety, that she should work to solve for her constituents.” Elam, a Republican, won election to the state House in November, beating Democrat Allen Barry and two independents in the District 57 contest. She replaced Susan Lynn, who lvacated the seat in a failed bid for the state Senate.

Elam’s legal fight has drawn sharp criticism from Mt. Juliet Commissioner Ed Hagerty, who told WSMV Channel 4 that “the proper thing to do would be to take the high road and resign” since holding both jobs creates a conflict of interest and violates city law.

Read more:

New Ethics Committee member knows a thing or two about ethics (Nashville Post)

Mount Juliet Mayor Sues To Keep City Position (WSMV Channel 4)

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Press Releases

TCPR Ranks Cities for Business Friendliness

Press Release from the Tennessee Center for Policy Research, Nov. 22, 2010:

Report scores business climate of Tennessee’s 50 most populous cities

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Center for Policy Research (TCPR) today released its annual rankings detailing the business climate in the state’s 50 most populous cities. The report, How Business-Friendly Are Tennessee’s Cities? (pdf), ranks each city in three categories that reflect a commitment to encouraging business success and fostering an entrepreneurial spirit.

Based on its overall score, Mt. Juliet is Tennessee’s Most Business-Friendly City in 2010. The city’s high ranking results from its significant population growth and low tax burden, including the fact that it lacks a local property tax.

“In recent years, Mt. Juliet has shown an unmatched commitment to creating an economic climate that is both welcoming to new business and nourishing to existing enterprise,” said TCPR president Justin Owen. “The city’s inviting tax and regulatory policy has paid off, leading it to the top of the business-friendly rankings in 2010.”

Farragut, Brentwood, Spring Hill, and Franklin round out the top five. The state’s least business-friendly cities include Memphis, Dyersburg, Tullahoma, Knoxville, and Oak Ridge.

The three main categories for this year’s rankings are: Economic Vitality, Business Tax Burden, and Community Allure. Each category is comprised of a number of factors, including property and sales tax rates, job and population growth, median per capita income, cost of living, crime rates, high school graduation rates, and ACT scores.

TCPR culled data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Tennessee Department of Education, the state Comptroller of the Treasury, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, among other sources. Each city was then ranked on a 100-point scale, indicating its friendliness to business.

“These rankings represent a reflection of certain cities’ commitment to creating a business-friendly climate free of stifling taxes and restrictive regulatory burdens,” Owen said. “We encourage all Tennessee communities to follow the lead of the cities with the most inviting business environment.”

The full report can be viewed online at www.tennesseepolicy.org or downloaded in PDF format by clicking here.

The Tennessee Center for Policy Research is an independent, nonprofit, and nonpartisan research organization committed to achieving a freer, more prosperous Tennessee by advancing free markets, individual liberty, and limited government.

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NewsTracker Transparency and Elections

GOP Advance in State House Races

As results from across the state come in, the GOP appears to be poised for a 63-35-1 majority in the state House, Post Politics says.

One of those GOP seats will be held by Metro Councilman Jim Gotto, of Hermitage, who defeated fellow Councilman Sam Coleman, of Antioch. Gotto won in the 60th District, which opened up after Ben West announced his retirement.

Another goes to Republican Linda Elam, who won the 57th District seat vacated by Rep. Susan Lynn. GOP candidate Sheila Butt will serve in the lower house as well, after ousting incumbent Democratic Rep. Ty Cobb in the 64th District.

See Post Politics’ look at the state Senate makeup here. More race tallies here.

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NewsTracker Transparency and Elections

Mr. Juliet Voters Ban Holding Dual Officeholders; Implications For Linda Elam

Mt. Juliet voters have approved a measure banning city officeholders from holding other offices, 5,212 to 762, with all precincts reporting.

The measure could affect Mt. Juliet Mayor Linda Elam, who has not said whether she would give up the post if she won her race for state House, The Tennessean reported last week. Elam, a Republican, is posting a strong lead in the District 57 race with 14,447 votes to Democrat Allen Barry’s 4,475. Neither of the independents, Luther Lenning and Heather Scott, has amassed 2,000 votes.