Grand Divisions: A Politics Podcast
Grand Divisions: A Politics Podcast
Tennessean politics reporter Joel Ebert and state politics reporter Natalie Allison host this Tennessee politics and policy podcast. Hear from candidates, constituents and other reporters as they dive in and analyze issues voters need to know.
Black lawmakers plead for Forrest bust removal; Senate passes budget ahead of House
Sorry for the delay on this week's episode. With furloughs this week and next, the next episode may be out later than usual.This week on the podcast, we talk about how national questions and conversations about racism have undoubtedly erupted at the Tennessee legislature, and how black legislators say they're feeling about a lack of progress on racism.The episode also includes a brief overview of the Senate's budget, which the House has returned this week to finally put to a vote.
Jun 18, 2020
20 min
Tennessee eyes RNC and the governor releases a new budget proposal
Last week, state Republican lawmakers and party officials quickly seized on reports of Nashville being under consideration to host the upcoming Republican National Convention.Also last week, Gov. Bill Lee's administration presented lawmakers with their latest budget recommendation, which seeks to eliminate pay raises proposed earlier this year while creating a new state employee buyout program.
Jun 9, 2020
14 min
Protests erupt throughout Tennessee ahead of lawmakers' official return
Joel and Natalie discuss the unrest that has ensnared America this week after police killed George Floyd in Minneapolis. Violence erupted in Nashville Saturday after a peaceful rally, leading to businesses being damaged and a small fire being set at city hall. They also discuss the return of Tennessee lawmakers.
Jun 2, 2020
20 min
Lawmakers return and examining a congressman's stock trades
On this episode, you'll hear from Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson, and Rep. Ron Gant, Rossville.In separate interviews, both lawmakers give a preview of the work the legislature will face in the days ahead as Tennessee lawmakers come back in Nashville this week for the first time since March. They'll face decisions on how to make cuts to the state budget while considering a host of different bills.
May 26, 2020
37 min
Coronavirus in Tennessee: An update in uncertain times
Joel and Natalie provide an update to the ever-changing coronavirus pandemic that is sweeping through the country.Due to social distancing protocol at the Tennessean's office, as well as furloughs announced by Gannett, new episodes of the podcast will be sporadic. We will not be able to commit to a once-a-week format as is usual, but we promise to bring you the updates when we can. Thank you for your understanding.
Mar 31, 2020
14 min
Recovery continues after deadly tornadoes and coronavirus comes to Tennessee
On this episode, Anita Wadhwani discusses being out in Putnam County in the days after Middle Tennessee was decimated by tornadoes, and healthcare reporter Brett Kelman provides an update on coronavirus in Tennessee.
Mar 10, 2020
22 min
How race played a role in Tennessee's women's suffrage moment
This week, Tennessean reporter Jessica Bliss joins the podcast to help interview two guests on the racial dynamics going on in the Tennessee suffrage movement.Carole Bucy, Davidson County historian with the Metro Nashville Historical Commission, and Tracy Sharpley-Whiting, a distinguished professor of humanities at Vanderbilt University, both come on this week to talk about that aspect of the suffrage centennial.
Mar 3, 2020
28 min
Talking with candidates and surrogates while looking ahead to Super Tuesday
It's time to preview Super Tuesday!On this episode, you'll hear from former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, businessman Tom Steyer, and actress Ashley Judd, who is supporting U.S. Sen Elizabeth Warren.You'll also hear from volunteers and staffers with the campaigns of Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar.
Feb 25, 2020
36 min
A fiery committee meeting over ESAs and a rash of lawsuits over new laws
This week, we sit down with The Tennessean's education reporter Jason Gonzales as he provides context about the House hearing where members of a committee scrutinized a contract related to Gov. Bill Lee's controversial education savings account program.Later we talk with Adam Tamburin, who recently joined The Tennessean's investigative team, to discuss a story about how the governor and the General Assembly are now facing seven lawsuits over six laws enacted after the 2019 legislative session.
Feb 18, 2020
21 min
Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn on teacher raises, taxing of ESAs
On this episode, we talk to Tennessee Department of Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn.Schwinn spoke at length about the department's plans for the Achievement School District, which has not seen the improvement the state had intended for struggling schools that were brought into it.Schwinn also discusses the need for more training for teachers and how the state plans to keep them from having to spend hours upon hours of extra time each week scouring Pinterest for lesson plans.
Feb 11, 2020
36 min
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