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Alexander to speak at Town Hall Wednesday

The Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce will host a special session with U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander at 8 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 10, at Town Hall.

Betty Sisco, FWKCC president, said, “[Alexander’s office] contacted us and asked us if he could come and when he could come. ... We are extremely honored, not only is he a senator, but he has been the governor of the State of Tennessee, we are very excited.”

Jill Bader, spokesperson for Alexander’s Washington D.C. office, would not confirm the senator’s itinerary or give a detailed account of the topics on which he would be speaking, but did say he would be speaking on current issues in the


“Whenever we have congressional recess it’s a wonderful opportunity for Sen. Alexander to talk to constituents and to do all sorts of events, whether they are large speeches or sometimes meetings with small groups of people at a coffee. Whenever he gets a chance to travel throughout the state he loves to do that,” Bader said.

“He usually talks about whatever the constituents are interested in. Big topics that are coming up are, of course, the war in Iraq. Sen. Alexander believes that we should embrace the bi-partisan Iraq study-group report and he has been working on that here in the Senate,” Bader added.

“He is a big supporter of the higher education bill that just passed so I am sure he will want to talk about that.

“He worked for the past two years with congressmen and senators to pass the America Competes Act, which is bi-partisan legislation that helps us keep our brainpower here instead of [outsourcing] to India and China, by giving a lot more funding to education for sciences and math and engineering. This was just signed last month by President Bush and is now law and he was one of the people that originally wrote that bill,” Bader said.

She added there would be a question and answer session.

Other residents are not so enthused with the senator’s visit.

Dennis Francis, a local attorney and frequent political analyst for the “Hallerin Hilton Hill Show” on WNOX-FM 100.3 and WBIR-TV’s “Tennessee Today,” said he would not attend the session.

“I am a die-hard Democrat and I am disgusted with [Sens. Bob] Corker and Alexander. I would not [go listen] to Alexander speak if he was in my living room,” he said.

Francis did say that he appreciates Alexander’s support for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Both Alexander and Corker voted in August to re-authorize the program, which was due to expire Monday, Sept. 30, and add $35 billion in funding over the next five years.


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