When Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey proclaimed his support for Texas Gov. Rick Perry in the Republican presidential contest Wednesday, the news release announcement was sent through the state government’s email system by a state employee.
Adam Kleinheider, Ramsey’s press secretary, said that he made the mistake of sending the news release on the Senate speaker’s support of Perry to a list of state government contacts, including media.
“That was a disregard of policy on my part and unintentional,” he said when contacted by a reporter. “I’m still semi-new at this.”
Kleinheider said he wrote the news release on his own time, while on a break from his duties in Ramsey’s office. It was intended for distribution to a separate “political list” that Ramsey maintains, he said.
State law prohibits the use of state-owned equipment and state email for political purposes and in general bans state employees from engaging in political activities while at work.
Kleinheider subsequently sent the same news release out — without his name or state phone number — through a separate email service that credited the release to Ramsey’s Senate campaign, giving an address in the lieutenant governor’s hometown of Blountville.
(Note: Below is a cut-and-past of the original email, including headline and contact information.)
Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey
State of Tennessee
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Adam Kleinheider
Phone: (615) 741-4524
August 10, 2011
Lt. Gov. Ramsey encourages Rick Perry to run for President
(Nashville) – Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey (R-Tennessee) today issued a strong statement of support for Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas) after attending a private meeting with the governor in San Antonio. Gov. Perry is widely believed to be exploring a run for President with an announcement likely in the next few weeks.
“With the stakes this high, I don’t think any of us have the luxury of standing on the sidelines in the upcoming election,” said Lt. Gov. Ramsey. “Our country is at the edge of a precipice. We can either allow President Obama to drive us into the abyss or we can stand our ground and take our country back. I believe Gov. Perry to be the man best suited to lead this fight. If the governor sees fit to make the decision many expect him to, I let him know today that I’ll be there to support him in any way I can.”
Lt. Gov. Ramsey cited not only Perry’s strong support for the 10th Amendment but also his stunning record of economic success as the reasons for his early and enthusiastic support.
“Even Gov. Perry’s detractors concede that the economic success of Texas throughout the Obama Recession has been nothing short of miraculous,” stated Ramsey. “Slice the numbers anyway you like, Gov. Perry’s record in Texas doesn’t lie. I’m eager to see Gov Perry’s Texas recipe for economic growth served up to the entire nation.”
“I think Gov. Perry understands the stakes in this election and welcomes the challenge. He has a long and proven track record of winning elections while at the same time sticking to his principles. His leadership in Texas has been the embodiment of constitutional conservative governance in action. I’m proud to stand behind him.”
Lt. Gov. Ramsey was also candid in dismissing criticism, leveled by potential rival campaigns, that Gov. Perry is unfit to carry the conservative banner because of his involvement in the 1988 Presidential campaign of Al Gore.
“That’s just silly. The Al Gore of 1988 wasn’t the Al Gore of today or even the Al Gore of 2000. Al Gore is a political chameleon and back in the eighties he was doing every thing he could to convince conservatives that he was their representative in the Democratic Party.”
“The true conservatives in the Democratic Party were the first to see Al Gore was a fraud and came to terms with the fact that that the Democratic Party of their fathers was no more. Rick Perry was one of those Democrats.”
“Let’s remember, Ronald Reagan was a Democrat once upon a time. Now he’s a conservative hero to millions of Republicans. Look at Gov. Perry’s record since 1990. Is it more Al Gore or more Ronald Reagan? The man’s record speaks for itself.”
Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, the first GOP Senate Speaker in Tennessee in 140 years, has been named “The Best Lawmaker for Business in Tennessee” by Business Tennessee magazine for his success in passing pro-growth policy to improve the state’s business climate.
In the 2008 elections, which saw Republicans suffer major losses across the country, Ramsey led Tennessee’s Republicans to a gain of three Senate seats and a solid five seat majority. Lt. Governor Ramsey became the longest-serving Republican Senate Speaker in Tennessee history in 2009 and was elected to a third term as Speaker in 2011.
ADAM C. KLEINHEIDER | Communications Director
Office of Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey
m:615.696.9225 o:615.741.1100 ext. 45127
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