The Locker file:
Richard Locker

Nashville Bureau Chief, The Commercial Appeal in Memphis

Richard Locker has worked in The Commercial Appeal's Nashville bureau since 1983, covering Tennessee government, politics and general news, after a year in the newspaper's Memphis headquarters.  He previously worked for daily newspapers in Knoxville and Nashville. A Fayetteville, Tenn., native and University of Tennessee graduate, he has worked in The Commercial Appeal's Nashville bureau since 1983, covering Tennessee government, politics and general news. He has covered the administrations of five governors, 30 years of the state legislature, political scandals, prison riots, floods, tornadoes and droughts. Locker is a native of Fayetteville, Tenn. -- home of the poolroom slawburger -- and a graduate of the University of Tennessee.

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The latest Truth-O-Meter items from Richard Locker

Says Tennessee’s higher education funding model "is 100 percent outcomes-based" and "we are already seeing this model changing the way our postsecondary institutions do business."

"Tennessee students now cover about 67 percent of the cost of their education at public universities, and some 60 percent at community colleges."

Says that "you can’t destroy the guns purchased in a (gun) buyback program as the city (of Memphis) wants to do."

Defends his vote to push "retirement age to 70" by saying he is for "a process" that would not be fully implemented until "around the turn of the century."

Says a federal judge "sanctions Tennessee ‘birther’ lawyer … for bringing a frivolous lawsuit."

Says that Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam "has made it clear by his repeated actions that he will pursue a policy that promotes the interest of Islamist (sic) and their radical ideology as long as he is governor."

"I didn’t try to push" a bill to reduce lottery scholarship proceeds for students.

Gov. Bill Haslam is "making our Economic Development department Sharia compliant" by hiring a woman "who specializes in Sharia compliance. That’s what her job is."

Claims credit for food tax reductions that "previous Democrat regimes refused to make."

On allowing Shelby County's schools merger commission to finish work before allowing any new merger legislation.

Recent stories from Richard Locker
Haslam cut taxes, raised surplus -- but Cato gives him a 'D'

With a Republican governor presiding over a Repuplican-dominated legislature, it would seem to follow that Tennessee would be earning high marks from organizations like the Cato Institute.

But Cato recently gave Gov. Bill Haslam a 'D' and assigned him a number grade putting him among the lowest-ranking governors in the country. This, despite Haslam cutting taxes significantly and raising the state's rainy-day fund.

What gives?

On Tennessee Lottery revenues, reserve funds and Gresham’s False ruling

When the Tennessee Lottery on Monday reported another record year of revenues, everyone from all parties said they were pleased.

But as our ruling from March points out, there is a definite difference in opinion on whether the lottery should be considered in good financial health and how much of the proceeds and massive reserve fund should go toward helping students fund college tuition.

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