Friday, April 23, 2004

Not Important Enough, Apparently

You'd hardly know it if you depended on the Commercial Appeal or the Memphis Flyer for your State political news, but Tennessee has been running a tax revenue surplus. Rather than bank that "extra" money, Governor Bredesen and the General Assembly are already making plans to spend it. No sales tax refunds or reductions for you!

Since the Peck-era took hold at the CA, State-level political news has been deprecated, pushed into the Metro section. They don't even depend on their Nashville "bureau" anymore. You're as likely to see an AP wire report as see Richard Locker's byline. As the Income Tax Wars proved, what Nashville does is vitally important news. Just because it's not "people-focused" or "community building" doesn't mean it's not important. If they don't report it, how else will we know the details?

Well, one way is by Internet. You can start with Bill Hobbs. Bill is an online journalist and blogger who has been covering Nashville for several years now. He's a strong fiscal conservative, skeptical of government intentions, and has a journalism background. His reporting is solid, if biased; but that bias is clear and upfront. Bill never pretends to be other than he is.

You can also turn to websites like Tennessee Tax Revolt and the Nashville Files. Nashville Files pulls stories from that city's papers, but also from around the state; it's a necessary adjunct to the Commercial Appeal for political junkies. TTR was Command Central during the Income Tax Wars. Since that victory, they've shifted to a more general anti-tax increase stand.

Anyway, Hobbs today links to a Jackson Sun editorial asking Bredesen to exercise the fiscal restraint he was elected for. Hobbs then gives you some links to follow to get up to speed on the story, if you've been relying on the local papers to keep you informed.

Speaking of Tennessee Tax Revolt, they have been following the budgets of cities and counties across the State. For example, they link to this Shelby County Commission story. Getting on their email alert is a good idea; I have.

Stay informed. Find the news.

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