Miscellaneous Guber Notes: More Haslam Bashing, Etc.

Zach Wamp’s campaign rolled out an email news release Friday declaring that it joins WATE-TV’s Gene Patterson in viewing Bill Haslam’s inaugural TV ad as misleading.
The release focuses mostly on a statement in the ad that Haslam “helped create more than 11,000 jobs” while working with family-owned Pilot Corp. An excerpt:
“The 11,000 job creation claim being made by Mayor Haslam appears to be bogus and just plain made up because the facts don’t support it. Perhaps his father or brother could make that claim, but not Mayor Haslam,” said Sam Edelen with the Wamp campaign.
“Surely the Mayor isn’t giving himself credit for Pilot jobs created before he joined his Dad’s business in the mid-1980’s, or any of the jobs created when he left the family business to pursue his own interests from 1999 to 2001, and most certainly not any of the Pilot jobs created by way of company mergers and acquisitions or new hires since he left the company in 2003 to become mayor.”
“But no one knows, since Mayor Haslam refuses to document his ad claim,” Edelen said.

David Smith, a Haslam spokesman, was sent a copy of the release and invited to comment. His emailed reply:
“The Mayor’s record of creating jobs in the public and private sector speaks for itself. All this silly stuff from the Congressman is an attempt to get attention and is straight out of his Washington playbook.”
The Wamp camp also rehashed criticism of the Haslam ad stating that Knoxville, with Haslam as mayor, has the lowest tax rate in 50 years. Haslam has previously defended that claim. On Friday, Smith sent along a table of Knoxville tax rates going back to 1958. It can be seen by clicking on this link: Property_Tax_Rate_History.xls
Haslam was also asked Thursday whether the ad could be seen a misleading because only a portion of the 11,000 jobs were in Tennessee, where he is running for governor. No, replied the mayor, the ad wasn’t misleading because it doesn’t say the jobs were in Tennessee. He said more than 1,000 were Tennessee jobs. Smith says the actual figure is about 1,700.
Is Haslam Clueless?
Writing for the Nashville Scene, Jeff Woods grumbles about media attention to the Haslam wealth and the red umbrella in TV commercials while giving examples of Haslam apparently being unsure of state issues. But he still says Haslam is the guy to beat.
Everyone loves a winner. But aside from his money and his red umbrella, what makes Haslam so hot? For a front-runner, he sometimes displays a disappointing cluelessness on the issues.
McWherter Does Lewisburg
Mike McWherter campaigned in Lewisburg, visiting with local officials and Walter Bussart, a lawyer who made an unsuccessful run for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 1994 (losing to Phil Bredesen, who went on to lose to Republican Don Sundquist in the general election). Going by the Marshal County Tribune report, the McWherter rhetoric on the visit wasn’t exactly raging.
“I’ve known Walter since he first came to the legislature,” McWherter said. “We talked more about old times and old friendships.”

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