Tea Time in 3rd District
Six Republican candidates for the 3rd District congressional seats participated Saturday in a forum set up by Chattanooga Tea Party and Campaign for Liberty. Matt Wilson has a report on the event with candidate sound bites.
Robin Smith told the tea party crowd, “I’m one of you,” and described herself as “a Christian first and an America second.” Chuck Fleischmann declared himself “fed up” with Washington and “Get the government out of our lives.”
Van Irion told the crowd that he is the real tea party candidate and said, “I am really mad at what the government’s doing to our country.”
Video of the forum available HERE.
New Demo PAC?
Charles Robert Bone, who lost to Chip Forrester in the contest to become state Democratic chairman last year, is talking up the idea of launching a new PAC to party candidates. He tells Nate Rau that it would not siphon off money from the party, just provide another tool for competing with Republicans financially.
Plans call for naming the PAC Forward Tennessee and activating it in April. The Tennessean story raises the possibility that the PAC could collect some of the $2.7 million in campaign cash now collectively held in accounts of retiring Democratic Congressmen Bart Gordon and John Tanner.
Sizing Up Susan
State Rep. Susan Lynn, her states’ rights crusading and other endeavors are the subject of a lengthy piece by Chas Sisk. She’s running for the state Senate seat now held by Sen. Mae Beavers, who once backed Lynn’s opponent in a Republican primary.
Bredesen to Blame for Democratic Downturn?
Gail Kerr opines that a Republican will be the next governor and that the outgoing Democratic governor, Phil Bredesen, has some responsibility for the situation.
Bredesen couldn’t carry the state for Barack Obama. He hasn’t raised diddlysquat financially for Democratic candidates. Control of the General Assembly slipped away from the Democrats on his watch. And he has done nothing to groom a successor
No Bird Watchers for Wamp?
The “normally docile birding community” got its feathers ruffled by some comments from Zach Wamp during a recent forum for Republican gubernatorial candidates, reports Anne Paine. The congressman declared that coal mining is “actually good for the girds and good for the environment.”
” Melinda Welton, a bird specialist, is among those who reacted to the statement with dismay. “I wish that were true, but it is not,” said Welton, of BirdWorks Consulting in Franklin. “There are no current surface coal mining practices that are beneficial to the birds that depend on the forested slopes of the Cumberland Mountains of Tennessee.”
An email statement from Wamp explaining his statement:
“Coal is a vital energy source that is available in only a few counties of our state, and today, 95 percent of all coal mining in Tennessee is taking place in old abandoned mines being reclaimed with new, modern and responsible mining techniques,” Wamp wrote.
“So what I was referencing at the forum in Brentwood when I said ‘it is good for the environment to mine coal in a responsible way’ is the reclamation work being done around those once abandoned mines that is leading to more polluted streams getting cleaned up, more wetlands being restored, and more reforestation and vegetation projects that are improving the habitat of the birds, elk and other wildlife that live around them.”
See also Jeff Woods commentary, which includes a full bloc quote of the Wamp statement.
Thune in Knoxville
U.S. Sen. John Thune delivered the keynote address at the Knox County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day dinner. In his not-exactly-novel speech, he said Republicans need to get back to the basics of Ronald Reagan, reports Matt Lakin.