Around the South for Feb. 5: TN, OK & TX


Tennessee: Mayor acknowledges an affair. No, it’s not another man behaving badly. This time, it’s Mayor Megan Barry, the CEO of Nashville, who admitted to having sexual relations with the head of her security detail, Police Sgt. Robert Forrest Jr. Although it was consensual and not harassment, the affair got little sympathy from The Tennessean, which editorialized, “In pursuing this affair, she had no empathy for her family or that of Forrest.” The paper also noted with apparent irony that she was a “former corporate ethics and compliance executive” and that she “imperiled her ambitious agenda.” What’s sauce for the gander is sauce for the goose ……. Oklahoma: Lamb, Stitt lead in gubernatorial fundraising. In the Republican contest for governor, Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb began 2018 with $2.6 million on hand, followed by Tulsa businessman Kevin Stitt, with $1.6 million. Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett had $660,000, reports The Oklahoman. On the Democratic side, former state Attorney General Drew Edmondson had $311,000 ……. Texas: Will tax reform act turn TX, FL & NC blue? According to an opinion piece in the New York Times, the GOP-enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act could drive a lot of young – and mostly Democratic – voters from high real estate tax states like New York, New Jersey and California into Southern states where real property taxes are much lower. The column pointed out that from 2012 to 2016, Texas gained 230,000 new residents, Florida gained 214,000 and North Carolina 102,000, even without the new law. Word to Republicans who passed the law: Be careful what you wish for! …….