Phil Bredesen

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Posted by motoman 04/05/2009 @ 11:07

Tags : phil bredesen, tennessee, states, us

News headlines
Bredesen proposes solar institute for UT - WBIR-TV
Phil Bredesen is proposing a Volunteer State Solar Initiative using stimulus funds, including a Tennessee Solar Institute at the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Pending approval by the Department of Energy and the Tennessee...
Bredesen warns Georgia Democrats of the 'Republican disease' - Southern Political Report
Phil Bredesen, a Democrat whose successes through two terms in the Volunteer State have been shaded by the Republicans' successful takeover of both the state Senate and House last year. His message was that Democrats have been given “a try-out with the...
Bredesen Says Layoffs Could Happen Sooner - NewsChannel5.com
Governor Phil Bredesen said job cuts that were supposed to come over the next two years, could be coming sooner, than later. Bredesen at first thought he could avoid layoffs until sometime next year, but he had learned the budget situation was $250...
Volkswagen Expands Plans for Tennessee Car Factory - Bloomberg
The factory's wall-raising today will feature Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, as well as Stefan Jacoby, Volkswagen's US chief. The German company approved an investment of as much as $1 billion when it chose the Chattanooga site last year....
Tennessee: Bredesen budget cuts to hit mentally ill, Erlanger - Chattanooga Times Free Press
Phil Bredesen's proposed budget cuts, mentally ill Tennesseans experiencing psychotic episodes may wind up in local jails because of planned bed cuts at mental health institutes, advocates warned today. Local governments, meanwhile, would be on the...
State funds effort to save farms from development - WZTV
Phil Bredesen announced Wednesday the state is moving $166000 from a fund to help farmers into The Land Trust for Tennessee. Pat Sanders of Murfreesboro applauds the move because it will help her protect land that her husband's family has farmed for...
Bredesen shines light on state finances - Weakley County Press
Phil Bredesen has announced a new TN.gov Web site where citizens can see how tax revenues are spent. The new site is www.tn.gov/opengov. “This makes it easier for taxpayers to access information by aggregating data in a centralized place on the state's...
Bredesen says budget troubles may require layoffs - Elizabethton Star
Phil Bredesen said Thursday. The Democratic governor said it's not yet certain how many state workers could be affected in a work force reduction. "Certainly layoffs or furloughs or something like that would have to be on the table at this point to try...
VW-Porsche merger talks change Winterkorn's US travel plans - Automotive News
Phil Bredesen and VW production chief Jochem Heizmann attended a wall-building ceremony at the plant. The plant's CEO, Frank Fischer, said a planned merger between VW and Porsche would not affect building plans, adding: "After everything has been...

Phil Bredesen

Phil Bredesen

Phil Bredesen (born Philip Norman Bredesen, Jr. on November 21, 1943) is the 48th Governor of Tennessee, having served since 2003. He previously served as the fourth mayor of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County from 1991 to 1999.

Bredesen was born in Oceanport, New Jersey. His parents were (née Norma Lucille Walborn) and Philip Norman Bredesen. His father, a captain in the U.S. Army Signal Corps, was stationed at Fort Monmouth in New Jersey at the time of Bredesen's birth. The family lived in various locations during Bredesen's early childhood, including Canandaigua, New York and Arlington, Massachusetts.

When his parents separated in 1951, Norma moved with her two sons, Phil and his younger brother Dean (1947-2006), to her family home in Shortsville, New York, where they lived with Bredesen's maternal grandmother, a widow. Shortsville is the community Bredesen considers to be his hometown, and he lived there until he left for college. He attended the Red Jacket Central Elementary and Secondary School, located in the adjoining village of Manchester.

In 1961, Bredesen entered Harvard College, where he concentrated in physics and lived in Quincy House. He received his A.B. degree in 1967.

Bredesen married Susan Cleaves in 1968, but they divorced in 1974 and had no children. In 1974, Bredesen married Andrea Conte in Wheatley, Oxfordshire, England, and the two have one son, Ben. In 1975, the family moved to Nashville, Tennessee. There Bredesen founded HealthAmerica Corp., a healthcare management company that eventually grew to more than 6,000 employees and was publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. He sold his controlling interest in HealthAmerica in 1986, and because of the wealth he earned from his work with the company, he does not accept his gubernatorial salary.

Bredesen ran his first political campaign in 1969 when he ran for the Massachusets State Senate seat as a necomer from Lexingtn. He was defeated by a popular incmbant Republican. In 1987 he ran for mayor of Nashville. He finished second to 5th District Congressman Bill Boner, but since Boner only won 42% of the vote, he and Bredesen faced each other in a runoff. Boner won the runoff, largely by emphasizing that he was a Nashville native while Bredesen was a Northerner.

In 1988, he ran in the Democratic primary for the congressional seat left open by Boner's victory – the real contest in a district that had been in Democratic hands since 1875. However, he finished a distant second behind Bob Clement, son of former governor Frank G. Clement. Bredesen ran for mayor again in 1991 and won by a comfortable majority. He was reelected almost as easily in 1995.

As mayor of Nashville, he added more than 440 new teachers, built 32 new schools and renovated 43 others. He also implemented a back-to-basics curriculum to teach students the fundamentals of learning. Additionally, under the Bredesen Administration, the NFL's Houston Oilers (now Tennessee Titans) were brought to Nashville and were furnished with a new stadium; the NHL awarded Nashville its first of four new expansion franchises as the Nashville Predators; a new arena was built; and a new downtown library was built as a cornerstone of major improvements to the entire library system. However, Bredesen's effort to lure the Minnesota Timberwolves NBA franchise to Nashville was not successful.

In 1994, Bredesen won the Democratic nomination for governor and faced Republican 7th District Congressman Don Sundquist in the November general election. The race was initially thought to be one of the hottest races of the cycle, but Sundquist won by a large margin (almost 10 points).

Bredesen did not run for a third term in 1999. The Metro Charter had been amended to limit city council members to two consecutive four-year terms, and was worded in such a way that it appeared to apply to mayors as well. Although mayors had been permitted to serve a maximum of three consecutive terms since the formation of Metro Nashville in 1963, Bredesen did not make an issue of that.

Sundquist was barred by term limits from running for reelection in 2002. Bredesen entered the race and easily won the Democratic nomination. He faced Republican 4th District Congressman Van Hilleary in November. Bredesen promised to manage state government better, improve Tennessee's schools and use his experience as a managed-care executive to fix TennCare. Bredesen's reputation as a moderate Democrat was well-established (he is a member of the "good government" faction of the Nashville Democratic Party), so Hilleary's attempts to brand him as a liberal did not work. This allowed Bredesen to garner far more support in East Tennessee than was usual for a Democrat, especially a Democrat from Nashville. In November, Bredesen narrowly defeated Hilleary with 51 percent of the vote. He did well in several East Tennessee counties where Democrats usually do not fare well except in landslides. He won Knox County, home to Knoxville, by a few hundred votes; by comparison, George W. Bush had won Knox County by over 40,000 votes.

Bresden opened the administrative budget meetings, and established new ethics rules for the executive branch.

He also managed Tennessee through a fiscal crisis without raising taxes or cutting funding for education. By Bredesen’s fourth year in office, Tennessee had passed four balanced budgets, received top rankings from national bond rating agencies and raised its Rainy Day Fund to a record high.

In his second and third years on the job, Bredesen pushed to improve education. He did this by raising teacher pay above average salary in the Southeast and expanding Tennessee’s pre-kindergarten initiative into a program for four-year-olds across Tennessee. He created the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation, a statewide expansion of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library that offers children free books monthly in all 95 counties. In his fourth year, Bredesen worked with the General Assembly to increase funding for education by $366.5 million.

He worked with the General Assembly to reform Tennessee’s worker compensation system and invest in programs to help laid-off employees develop new skills, in order to recruit new industry and jobs to Tennessee. Since he took office, 2,889 companies – including Nissan and International Paper- have expanded in or moved to Tennessee, bringing more than 104,000 jobs and $12.8 billion in new business investment to the state.

Bredesen launched Tennessee’s war on methamphetamine abuse, focusing on treatment, prevention and public awareness with the Governor’s Meth-Free Tennessee initiative. In addition, the criminal penalties and resources for law enforcement were enhanced as part of this program and led to a 50 percent decline in illegal and toxic meth labs.

Bredesen’s founding of the Heritage Conservation Trust fund increased the state’s land-buying power and has worked with public and private partners to preserve nearly 30,000 acres (120 km²) for future generations.

One of the biggest accomplishments of his first four years as governor was Bredesen taking control of TennCare. The program made necessary reductions in adult enrollment while preserving full enrollment for children and disease management initiatives. He continues to build on this foundation with Cover Tennessee, a new initiative to provide access to affordable health care for severely ill Tennesseans who have been denied health insurance, for uninsured children and for uninsured working adults.

In August 2008, Phil Bredesen, in order to cut state budget for TennCare, placed restrictions to services of 10,800 TennCare patients who receive some type of home nursing care. The new limits will affect about 1,000 of those patients forcing more people into crowded nursing homes.

Bredesen is a founding member of Nashville's Table, a non-profit group that collects overstocked and discarded food from local restaurants for the city's homeless population. He served on the board of the Frist Center, a major art gallery that was established to utilize the former downntown main Nashville post office.

Bredesen founded the Land Trust for Tennessee, a non-profit organization which works to preserve open areas and family farms. As Governor, he is member of the National Governors Association, the Southern Governors' Association and the Democratic Governors Association.

In late August 2006, Bredesen experienced a health scare. According to The Tennessean, while hospitalized at Nashville's Centennial Medical Center, he was in intensive care with a fever of 104 degrees. Bredesen was hospitalized for a total of four nights with what was thought to be a tick bite, but testing was inconclusive. The following week he was tested for two more days as an outpatient at Minnesota's Mayo Clinic, but no definitive diagnosis emerged there either. The incident has brought to light that the Tennessee Constitution makes no provision for a disabled governor, although Bredesen was not incapacitated at any point during his illness to an extent that precluded him from fulfilling the duties of his office.

Bredesen is a supporter of capital punishment, presiding over four executions. But he commuted the death sentence for one inmate to life without parole, citing "ineffective legal counsel at his sentencing and procedural limitations on his appeals".

For much of 2005, Bredesen was considered a heavy favorite for reelection in 2006. While his poll numbers slipped for a time in mid-2005, they rebounded by early 2006. The state Republican Party concentrated its efforts on keeping the Senate seat of retiring Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist in the Republican fold. Most potential top-tier challengers to Bredesen shied away from the race.

On November 7, 2006, Bredesen won re-election with 68.6% of the vote over State Senator Jim Bryson—the most lopsided victory in a gubernatorial race in Tennessee history. He also garnered more votes than any statewide candidate in Tennessee history while sweeping all 95 counties.

Viewed by many as a centrist Democrat based in the South, Bredesen was touted as a potential presidential candidate in 2008. Bredesen, however, stated no interest in joining the wide field of Democrats that sought the Democratic nomination. He did not comment on joining a Democratic ticket as Vice-President. On June 4, 2008, Governor Bredesen endorsed Barack Obama for president.

Following the withdrawal of former Senator Tom Daschle as nominee for United States Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Obama administration, The Atlantic correspondent Marc Ambinder claimed that Bredesen was being vetted as a possible replacement.

Bredesen is a licensed pilot as well as a hunter and outdoorsman. He also paints as a hobby, and the annual family Christmas card features his artwork.

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Tennessee gubernatorial election, 2010

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The 2010 Tennessee gubernatorial election will take place on November 2, 2010. Democratic Governor Phil Bredesen is term limited and unable to seek re-election.

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East Tennessee

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East Tennessee is a name given to approximately the eastern third of the state of Tennessee, one of the three Grand Divisions of Tennessee defined in state law. East Tennessee is the portion of the state located within the Eastern Time Zone and four counties in the Central Time Zone, namely Bledsoe, Cumberland, Marion, and Sequatchie Counties (however, the current legal definition of the Grand Divisions places Sequatchie County in Middle Tennessee). East Tennessee is noted for its mountains, particularly the Great Smoky Mountains portion of the Appalachian Mountains, but in fact has many and varied landforms. East Tennessee is also known for being the birthplace of country music.

The major cities of East Tennessee are Knoxville and Chattanooga. Other important cities include Morristown and the "Tri-Cities" of Bristol, Johnson City, and Kingsport located in the extreme northeastern most part of the state, an area previously and traditionally referred to by residents as Upper East Tennessee, although today the term Northeast Tennessee is preferred by people who do not live there.

East Tennessee is noted for the presence of many institutions of higher learning. The region's major public universities are the Knoxville and Chattanooga campuses of the University of Tennessee and East Tennessee State University in Johnson City. Private four-year institutions include Bryan College, Carson-Newman College, King College, Lee University, Lincoln Memorial University, Maryville College, Milligan College, Johnson Bible College, Tennessee Wesleyan College, and Tusculum College. Several public community colleges and vocational/technical schools also are located in the region.

Knoxville and Chattanooga also contain major operations of the Tennessee Valley Authority. The U.S. nuclear weapons program known as the Manhattan Project was largely developed during World War II at Oak Ridge. Kingsport is the home of Tennessee's largest single industrial employer, Eastman Chemical Company (approximately 7,500 employees in 2006, 14,000 in the 1960's). Eastman was formerly the chemical division of Kodak. East Tennessee is also home to the Aluminum Company of America, now Alcoa. Initially attracted to the area by its potential for low-cost hydroelectric development, Alcoa still maintains a major operation in its namesake town of Alcoa, just south of Knoxville.

East Tennessee is the only part of the state, and one of the few in the South, which has consistently voted Republican since Reconstruction. The region was the only area of the state that did not practice slavery on a wide scale. It was the only region to oppose secession before the Civil War, with the exception of Sullivan County, and as a result became an early base for the Republican Party. This allegiance has continued to this day.

The state's 1st and 2nd Congressional Districts, based in the Tri-Cities and Knoxville respectively, are considered to be so heavily Republican that Republican nomination is tantamount to a general election victory. When Tennessee seceded from the Union in 1861, the 1st and 2nd Districts' congressmen were the only ones not to resign from the U.S. House of Representatives. Similarly the only U.S. Senator from a seceding state who did not resign was Democrat, and later, National Union Party member Andrew Johnson, who was from Greeneville.

The 2nd District has been held by Republicans or their antecedents continuously since 1859; the 1st has been held by Republicans or their antecedents for all but four years since 1859. Democrats do slightly better in the 3rd District, based in Chattanooga, but that district has not supported a Democrat for President since 1956. Part of the region is in the more evenly split 4th District, which was created after the 1980 Census.

The influence of East Tennessee on statewide Republican politics was felt particularly strongly in the 1986 and 2002 races for governor of Tennessee. In 1986, former Republican Governor Winfield Dunn (1971-75) ran for the office again. However, 1st District Congressman Jimmy Quillen had never forgiven Dunn for his opposition to a medical school at East Tennessee State University. Quillen did not endorse Dunn and encouraged other East Tennessee Republicans not to endorse Dunn either. Although Dunn won the Republican nomination, lack of support in East Tennessee cost him any realistic chance of defeating Democrat Ned McWherter in November.

In 2002, former Nashville Mayor Phil Bredesen garnered more support in East Tennessee than was usually expected for a Democrat. He defeated Republican Van Hilleary (who is from Rhea County, near Chattanooga) largely by holding down his margins of defeat in East Tennessee; he actually carried Knoxville by 400 votes.

Despite the regional Republican majority, there are significant Democratic enclaves in Hamilton, Knox and Washington counties—home to Chattanooga, Knoxville and Johnson City respectively, and also home to the three largest colleges in the region. Democrats also garner support in coal mining areas and in the Oak Ridge area.

Additionally, beginning in January, 2007, The 105th Tennessee State Senate elected Ron Ramsey of Blountville to the position of Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the Senate. Ramsey, a Republican from Sullivan County, replaced Democrat Lt. Governor John Shelton Wilder who had served in the post since 1971. Ramsey's election to Speaker of the Senate has been seen as a growing trend that has shifted the balance of power from Middle and West Tennessee, which is generally Democrat, to East Tennessee, which is traditionally more Republican.

Unlike the geographic designations of regions of most U.S. states, the term East Tennessee has legal as well as socioeconomic meaning. East Tennessee, along with Middle Tennessee and West Tennessee, comprises one of the state's three Grand Divisions. According to the Tennessee State Constitution, no more than two of the state Tennessee Supreme Court's five justices can come from any one Grand Division. A similar rule applies to certain other commissions and boards as well, to prevent them from showing a geographic bias.

East Tennessee is the most populous and most densely populated of the three Grand Divisions. At the 2000 census it had 2,119,505 inhabitants living in its 34 counties, which have a combined land area of 35,115.76 km² (13,558.27 sq mi). Its population was 37.25% of the state's total, and its land area is 32.90% of the state's land area. Its population density was 60.358/km² (156.33/sq mi).

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Bill Frist

Bill Frist

William Harrison "Bill" Frist, Sr., M.D. (born February 22, 1952) is an American physician, businessman, and politician. Frist served two terms as a United States Senator where he became the Republican Majority Leader from 2003 until his retirement in 2007. During the 1994 election, he promised not to serve for more than two terms.

Frist was born in Nashville, Tennessee to Dorothy Cate Frist and Thomas Fearn Frist Sr. He is a fourth-generation Tennessean. His great-great grandfather was one of the founders of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and his father was a doctor.

Frist graduated from Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville, Tennessee and then from Princeton University in 1974, where he specialized in health care policy at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. In 1972 he held a summer internship with Tennessee Congressman Joe Evins, who advised Frist that if he wanted to pursue a political career, he should first have a career outside of politics. Frist proceeded to Harvard Medical School, where he received the degree of Doctor of Medicine with honors in 1978.

Frist joined the lab of W. John Powell Jr., M.D. at Massachusetts General Hospital in 1977, where he continued his training in cardiovascular physiology. He left the lab in 1978 to become a resident in surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital. In 1983, he spent time at Southampton General Hospital, Southampton, England as senior registrar in cardiothoracic surgery. He returned to Massachusetts General in 1984 as chief resident and fellow in cardiothoracic surgery. From 1985 until 1986, Frist was senior fellow and chief resident in cardiac transplant service and cardiothoracic surgery at the Stanford University School of Medicine. After completing his fellowship, he became a faculty member at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he began a heart and lung transplantation program. He also became staff surgeon at the Nashville Veterans Administration Hospital. In 1989, he founded the Vanderbilt Transplant Center. In 1991, Dr. Frist operated on then-Lieutenant Colonel David Petraeus after he'd been shot in a training accident at Fort Campbell.

He is currently licensed as a physician, and is board certified in both general surgery and thoracic surgery. He has performed over 150 heart transplants and lung transplants, including pediatric heart transplants and combined heart and lung transplants.

In spite of his specialization on heart and lung transplants, Frist seemed stumped and declined to answer a question in a December 2004 television interview on This Week with George Stephanopoulos as to whether or not HIV could be transmitted through tears or sweat. Frist has no training in epidemiology, the medical specialization of communicable disease and infection. At the time, a federal sex education program suggested that it was, in fact, possible to transmit HIV this way. After being repeatedly questioned by Stephanopoulos about it, Frist eventually stated that "it would be very hard" for HIV to be transmitted this way.

In 1990, Frist met with former Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker about the possibilities of public office. Baker advised him to pursue the Senate, and in 1992 suggested that Frist begin preparations to run in 1994. Frist began to build support. He served on Tennessee's Governor's Medicaid Task Force from 1992 to 1993, joined the National Steering Committee of the Republican National Committee's Health Care Coalition, and was deputy director of the Tennessee Bush-Quayle '92 campaign. As part of Frist's preparations for political office, in December 1993 he ended his membership in Nashville, Tennessee's racially segregated Belle Meade Country Club, which he had joined in the 1980s, (following a family tradition).

During his first campaign, Frist repeatedly accused his opponent, incumbent Senator Jim Sasser, of "sending Tennessee money to Washington, DC, to Marion Barry ... While I've been transplanting lungs and hearts to heal Tennesseans, Jim Sasser has been transplanting Tennesseans' wallets to Washington, home of Marion Barry." During that campaign, he also attacked Sasser for his attempt to become Senate Majority Leader, claiming that his opponent would be spending more time taking care of Senate business than Tennessee business. Frist won the election, defeating Sasser by 13 points in the 1994 Republican sweep of both Houses of Congress, thus becoming the first physician in the Senate since June 17, 1938, when Royal S. Copeland died.

In his 2000 reelection campaign, Frist easily won with 66 percent of the vote. He received the largest vote total ever by a statewide candidate in the history of Tennessee, although Al Gore won a higher percentage of the vote (70%) in his 1990 Senate re-election. Frist's 2000 campaign organization was later fined by the Federal Election Commission for failing to disclose a $1.44 million loan taken out jointly with the 1994 campaign organization.

Frist first entered the national spotlight when two Capitol police officers were shot inside the United States Capitol by Russell Eugene Weston Jr. in 1998. Frist, the closest doctor, provided immediate medical attention (he was unable to save the two officers, but was able to save Weston). He also was the Congressional spokesman during the 2001 anthrax attacks.

As the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, he helped Republicans win back the Senate in the 2002 midterm election. His committee collected $66.4 million for 2001–2002, 50% more than the previous year. Shortly afterwards, Sen. Trent Lott made comments at a Strom Thurmond birthday celebration in which he said that if Thurmond's presidential bid of 1948 had succeeded, "we wouldn't have all these problems today". In the aftermath, Lott resigned his position as Senate Majority Leader and Frist was chosen unanimously by Senate Republicans as his replacement. He became the second youngest Senate Majority Leader in US history. In his 2005 book, "Herding Cats, A Lifetime in Politics", Lott accuses William Frist of being "one of the main manipulators" in the debate that ended Senator Lott's leadership in the Republican Senate. Lott wrote that Senator Frist's actions amounted to a "personal betrayal." Frist "... didn't even have the courtesy to call and tell me personally that he was going to run ... If Frist had not announced exactly when he did, as the fire was about to burn out, I would still be majority leader of the Senate today," Lott wrote.

In the 2003 legislative session, Frist enjoyed many successes. He was able to push many initiatives through to fruition, including the Bush administration's third major tax cut and legislation that was against partial-birth abortion. However, the tactics that he used to achieve those victories alienated many Democrats. In 2004, by comparison, he saw no major legislative successes, with the explanations ranging from delay tactics by Democrats to lack of unity within the Republican Party.

In a prominent and nationally broadcast speech to the Republican National Convention in August 2004, Frist highlighted his background as a doctor and focused on several issues related to health care. He spoke in favor of the recently passed Medicare prescription drug benefit and the passage of legislation providing for Health Savings Accounts. He described President Bush's policy regarding stem cell research, limiting embryonic stems cells to certain existing lines, as "ethical." In an impassioned argument for medical malpractice tort reform, Frist called personal injury trial lawyers "predators": "We must stop them from twisting American medicine into a litigation lottery where they hit the jackpot and every patient ends up paying." Frist has been an advocate for imposing caps on the amount of money courts can award plaintiffs for noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases.

During the 2004 election season, Frist employed the unprecedented political tactic of going to the home state (South Dakota) of the opposition party (Democrat)'s minority leader, Democrat Tom Daschle, and actively campaigned against him. Daschle's Republican opponent, John Thune, defeated Daschle. In Daschle's farewell address, Frist arrived late. After the 2004 elections, Frist played a role in the controversy over Arlen Specter's post-election remarks. Frist demanded a public statement from Specter in which Specter would repudiate his earlier remarks and pledge support for Bush's judiciary nominees. Frist rejected an early version of the statement as too weak, and gave his approval to the statement that Specter eventually delivered.

Frist received some criticism within the Republican caucus in the Senate over his handling of the Majority Leader position, and his near invisibility as a spokesman for the Republican caucus, which has damaged his reputation. His supporters within the caucus point to his success in moving tax legislation important to the executive branch as a sign that he is simply filling his place on the team, namely to bring important bills to a vote, and then ensure that gains made on the floor are preserved in the conference committee process.

Many of Frist's opponents have attacked him for what they see as pandering to future Republican primary voters. They claim that he has taken extreme positions on social issues such as the Terri Schiavo case in order to please them. On the other hand, Frist changed his position on stem cell research.

There has also been controversy regarding the "nuclear option," under which the Republicans would change a rule in the Senate to prevent the filibuster of judicial nominations. Although Frist claimed that "ever before has a minority blocked a judicial nominee that has majority support for an up-or-down vote on the Senate floor," critics pointed to the nearly two century history of the filibuster, including the successful four-day 1968 minority Republican filibuster of Lyndon Johnson's chief justice nominee, Abe Fortas. Also, in 1998 Frist participated in the Republican filibuster to stall the nomination of openly gay James C. Hormel to be ambassador to Luxembourg; Hormel eventually received a recess appointment from President Bill Clinton, bypassing a Senate vote. Frist also helped block the 1996 nomination of Richard Paez to the 3rd Federal Court of Appeals, a four-year filibuster that was defeated in 2000 when 14 Republicans dropped their support for it and allowed Paez to be confirmed by a simple majority.

More criticism of perceived weakness came in the midst of an extended confirmation fight over Bush's pick for US ambassador to the United Nations, John R. Bolton. Twice Frist failed to garner the 60 votes to break cloture, getting fewer votes the second time and even losing the support of one conservative Republican (George Voinovich of Ohio). On June 21, 2005, Frist said the situation had been "exhausted" and there would be no more votes. Only an hour later, after speaking to the White House, Frist said: "The president made it very clear he wants an up-or-down vote." This sudden switch in strategy led to charges of flip-flopping in response to pressure from the Bush administration. Nevertheless, no up-and-down vote was held, and Bush made a recess appointment of Bolton.

In September 2006, working with Arizona Senator Jon Kyl, Frist was a major Senate supporter of H.R. 4411 — the Unlawful Internet Gambling and Enforcement Act. Frist's bill called for the illegalization of online gambling, while Frist has received contributions from land-based casinos. He also allowed horse racing and lotteries to remain legal.

After his Senate career he became a Co-Chair of ONE VOTE '08, an initiative of the ONE campaign, with Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD). According to onevote08.org, "ONE Vote '08 is an unprecedented, non-partisan campaign to make global health and extreme poverty foreign policy priorities in the 2008 presidential election." He traveled to Africa in support of various initiatives for the ONE campaign in July of 2008 and an extensive blog about his trip exists, complete with videos.

Frist pledged to leave the Senate after two terms in 2006, and did not run in the 2006 Republican primary for his Senate seat. He campaigned heavily for Republican nominee Bob Corker, who won by a small margin over Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. in the general election.

Frist had been widely seen as a potential presidential candidate for the Republican party in 2008, much in the same tradition as Bob Dole, a previous holder of the Senate Majority Leader position. On November 28, 2006, however, he announced that he had decided not to run, and would return to the field of medicine.

Frist's name had been frequently mentioned as a possible candidate for Governor of Tennessee in 2010 when incumbent Governor Phil Bredesen will be barred from running again due to term limits. Though no official word has come from Frist on the subject, Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Bob Davis has said that "he'd have a lot of support" if he chose to run. However, Frist announced that he had decided not to seek for that office on January 2009.

In 2008 he became a partner in Chicago-based Cressey & Co. investing in the nation's health care market. In 2009, Frist begin teaching at Vanderbilt’s Owen School of Management and at the Medical School where he taught before his 1994 election, and also will continue to work as chairman of the Nashville-based nonprofit organization Hope Through Healing Hands that centers on health and education around the world. He also indicated plans to launch a statewide education initiative targeting K-12 education.

In 1982, Frist married Karyn McLaughlin, whom he met at a Boston emergency hospital. They have three sons: Harrison, Jonathan, and Bryan. Both Harrison and Jonathan have previously been the subjects of widely reported news items regarding their arrests for alleged alcohol and driving offenses. . The Frist family are members of the National Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C..

Frist has been a pilot since the age of 16. He holds commercial, instrument and multi-engine ratings. He has also run seven marathons and two half-marathons.

With J. H. Helderman, he edited "Grand Rounds in Transplantation" in 1995. In October, 1999, Frist co-authored Tennessee Senators, 1911–2001: Portraits of Leadership in a Century of Change with J. Lee Annis, Jr. In March, 2002, Frist published his third book, When Every Moment Counts: What You Need to Know About Bioterrorism from the Senate's Only Doctor. While generally well received, the book later spurred accusations of hypocrisy regarding his remarks about Richard Clarke. When Clarke published his book Against All Enemies in 2004, Frist stated "I am troubled that someone would sell a book, trading on their service as a government insider with access to our nation's most valuable intelligence, in order to profit from the suffering that this nation endured on September 11, 2001." In December, 2003, Frist and co-author Shirley Wilso released Good People Beget Good People: A Genealogy of the Frist Family.

In 1998 he visited African hospitals and schools with the Christian aid group Samaritan's Purse. Frist has continued to make medical mission trips to Africa every year since 1998. He has also been vocal in speaking out against the genocide occurring in Darfur. He is currently teaching a course on health care policy at Princeton University.

Frist has a fortune in the millions of dollars, most of it the result of his ownership of stock in Hospital Corporation of America, the for-profit hospital chain founded by his brother and father. HCA paid over $1.7-billion in criminal penalties for Medicare fraud. Frist's 2005 financial disclosure form lists blind trusts valued between $15 million and $45 million.

Members of the Frist family have been major donors to Princeton University, pledging a reported $25 million in 1997 for the construction of the Frist Campus Center. Frist has said that, a few years after his 1974 graduation from Princeton, "I made a commitment to myself that if I was ever in a position to help pull together the resources to establish a center where there could be an informal exchange of ideas, and to establish an environment that is conducive to the casual exchange of information, I would do so." Daniel Golden, a Wall Street Journal journalist and author of the book The Price of Admission: How America's Ruling Class Buys Its Way into Elite Colleges — and Who Gets Left Outside the Gates, has suggested that two of Frist's sons (Harrison and Bryan) were admitted to Princeton as recognition of this donation rather than their own academic and extracurricular merit.

Frist and his wife are the sole trustees in charge of a family foundation bearing the senator's name, which had more than $2 million in assets in 2004. Frist and his siblings are vice presidents of another charitable foundation bearing their parents' names. Frist failed to list his positions with the two foundations on his Senate disclosure form. In July 2006, when the matter was raised by the Associated Press, his staff said the form would be amended. Frist has previously disclosed his board position with World of Hope, a charity that gives money to causes associated with AIDS. The charity has come under scrutiny for paying consulting fees to members of Frist's political inner circle.

In the Terri Schiavo case, a brain-damaged woman whose husband wanted to remove her gastric feeding tube, Frist opposed the removal and in a speech delivered on the Senate Floor, challenged the diagnosis of Schiavo's physicians of Schiavo being in a persistent vegetative state (PVS): "I question it based on a review of the video footage which I spent an hour or so looking at last night in my office." Frist was criticized by a medical ethicist at Northwestern University for making a diagnosis without personally examining the patient and for questioning the diagnosis when he was not a neurologist. After her death, the autopsy showed signs of long-term and irreversible damage to a brain consistent with PVS. Frist defended his actions after the autopsy. Various complaints against Frist, a licensed physician, were filed with medical oversight organizations, but no action was taken.

While in medical school, Senator Frist was involved in a lab project which entailed dissecting feline remains. In a 1989 autobiography, Frist described how he "spent days and nights on end in the lab, taking the hearts out of cats, dissecting each heart." After some time, Frist said " lost supply of cats." The project, which needed to be completed as part of the medical school curriculum, could not be finished without another supply of cats. Frist several times obtained cats from animal shelters, falsely suggesting that he wanted to adopt them as pets. In his autobiography, Frist attributed his behavior, which he described as "heinous and dishonest", to the pressures of school.

The Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA) ushered in military commission law for US citizens and non-citizens alike. Text in the MCA allows for the institution of a military alternative to the constitutional justice system for “any person” arbitrarily deemed to be an enemy of the state, regardless of American citizenship. Senator Bill Frist and senator John Warner were the two co-sponsors of the bill.

Frist's primary legislative focus has been on issues of concern to the health care industry and on pro-life issues. The senator also opposes abortion and all federal funding of abortion. In the Senate, he led the fight against partial birth abortion, voted for the Partial-Birth Abortion Act of 2003 and against an amendment to include a woman's health exception (as he considered the procedure to be hazardous to a woman's health).

Frist supported a total ban on human cloning, including for embryonic stem cell research. Since 2001, Frist had stood beside Bush in his insistence that only currently existing lines be used for stem cell research. But in July 2005, after severely criticizing the MLO, Frist reversed course and endorsed a House-passed plan to expand federal funding of the research, saying "it's not just a matter of faith, it's a matter of science." Up to that point the legislation had been considered bottled up in the Senate. The decision quickly drew criticism from some Christian groups such as Dr. James Dobson, but garnered praise from some Democrats and many Republicans, including former First Lady Nancy Reagan.

Frist supports programs to fight AIDS and African poverty. He travels to Africa frequently to provide medical care.

On education, Frist supports the No Child Left Behind Act, which passed in 2001 with bipartisan support. In August 2005 he announced his support for teaching intelligent design in public school science classes.

He opposes same-sex marriage and adoption by homosexual couples. He supports the death penalty.

In November 2005, Frist told reporters that he was less concerned about possible torture at CIA secret prisons than he was about potentially compromising the security of millions of Americans. Flying home after visiting the Guantanamo Bay detention center he said September 10, 2006 he expects bipartisan support for putting top captured al-Qaida figures on trial before military commissions and for guidelines on how they should be treated. Frist visited the detention center in eastern Cuba, which holds some 460 detainees, including 14 top alleged al-Qaida figures recently transferred from CIA custody. Frist said his visit with fellow Republicans Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, was especially poignant coming one day short of the fifth anniversary of the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people. Frist told that to be there with the recognition that 14 individuals were there who in all likelihood contributed to the September 11, 2001 attacks led him to think how critical it is that we do define the appropriate criteria to make sure we get information to prevent such a tragedy from ever occurring again. The senators didn't see the 14 new detainees and instead visited Guantanamo to learn of interrogation techniques he said. In his mind, the detainees are being treated in a safe and humane way.

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Don Sundquist

Don Sundquist

Donald Kenneth Sundquist (born March 15, 1936) is an American politician from Tennessee. A Republican, he served as the 47th Governor of Tennessee from 1995 to 2003. Prior to that, he represented Tennessee's 7th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 1983 to 1995.

Sundquist, who is of Swedish descent, was born in Moline, Illinois, graduated from Moline High School in 1953 and attended Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. In his early career, he sold class rings for Jostens. He served in the United States Navy from 1957 to 1963. Moving to Memphis, Tennessee, he became very active in the Republican Party. He chaired the Young Republican National Federation from 1971 to 1973 .

Sundquist first attracted political attention when he served as chairman of the Shelby County Republican Party (1975–1977) . He was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1976 and 1980. When 6th District Congressman Robin Beard ran for the Senate against incumbent Jim Sasser in 1982, Sundquist ran for the Republican nomination to succeed Beard in the district, which had been renumbered the 7th in redistricting. He succeeded in winning the nomination in August, 1982, and then defeated Democrat Bob Clement, son of former governor Frank G. Clement, in the November, 1982 general election by seven points. It was the first (and as of 2006, only) time a Democrat had come within 10 points in the 7th District since it fell into Republican hands in 1972. (Clement later won election to the Nashville-based 5th District in a 1988 special election and served there until 2003). He was unopposed for reelection in 1984 and was reelected four more times by landslide margins in what had become a solidly Republican district. While in Congress, Sundquist established a very conservative voting record in Congress, and was a darling of conservative-oriented groups such as the National Federation of Independent Businesses and the American Conservative Union.

When popular Democratic governor Ned McWherter was prevented from seeking a third term in 1994 by term limits, Sundquist seemed like the logical choice for the GOP nomination and easily won it in August 1994. He faced Phil Bredesen, the Democratic mayor of Nashville in November, and won by almost 10 points. The margin surprised many pundits who expected this to be one of the more competitive races of the 1994 cycle. It was a big night for Tennessee Republicans, who also captured both Senate seats. They also won a majority of the state's congressional delegation for only the second time since Reconstruction.

Sundquist's first term was highlighted by cleaning up a deficit budget inherited from his predecessor and for implementing one of the nation's first welfare reform efforts, moving tens of thousands of Tennesseans off welfare rolls. He attracted no serious opposition within his party for renomination in 1998. His Democratic opponent, Nashville attorney and entrepreneur John Jay Hooker, was regarded at this stage in his career as a perennial candidate and gadfly rather than a serious contender, and Sundquist won reelection with almost 69% of the vote.

Immediately upon his reinauguration, Sundquist set out to raise more revenue for the state, which had traditionally been one of the lowest-tax jurisdictions in the country. His tax reform plan included a state income tax, previously regarded as political suicide in Tennessee. He quickly offended most of his grassroots base, and his popularity plummeted. Only certain elements in the business community supported him from the Republican Party, and many Tennessee Democrats, especially conservative rural ones, had no interest in either alienating their constituents or helping a Republican. The income tax issue dominated Sundquist's second term, but was never passed. Sundquist became very isolated politically, with many of his Democratic supporters doing so only because they wished to see the income tax implemented in a way in that the Republicans could be blamed for it. Several of his original conservative supporters, such as State Senator Marsha Blackburn, led street demonstrations against him. Many leading figures in his own party publicly disavowed him.

Sundquist's tenure was known for its stellar economic development accomplishments, breaking nearly every economic development record of job creation and new capital investment in the state of Tennessee..

Sundquist, like McWherter before him, was barred from running for a third term in 2002 by the state constitution. Unlike McWherter, however, he was so unpopular at the end of his term that it is highly unlikely he would have even won the Republican nomination, let alone reelection, had it been possible for him to run again. In an interesting twist, many Sundquist allies supported democratic candidate Phil Bredesen and this support is considered a major factor in Congressman Van Hilleary's narrow loss to Bredesen in 2002.

In retirement, rumor and innuendo swirled around his administration for several years. They intensified with the conviction of a former low-level member of his administration in May, 2004 for illegally routing a "no-bid" contract for job training for the unemployed to a close personal friend of his. On November 4, 2004, another friend of his was indicted, charged with false statements allegedly made in conjunction with another no-bid contract. This friend was ultimately sentenced for tax evasion. Another friend was indicted, but after five years of investigation, all charges were ultimately dropped and settled as a misdemeanor. In July 2005 a federal judge said Sundquist was the "impetus" for the investigation, although he was never implicated in any wrong doing nor were any senior members of his administration. It is generally believed that these allegations and innuendos stemmed from political enemies of the governor.

In July 2005 Sundquist was named head of a national panel on improving Medicaid. He was awarded the Grand Cross of the Royal Confraternity of Sao Teotonio.

Sundquist is a lobbyist and works for the firm he co-founded, Sundquist Anthony. He also serves as state co-chair of the John McCain presidential campaign team.

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Source : Wikipedia