Roll Call has an interesting piece on U.S. House Republicans planning their politicking for the upcoming August piece. And, not surprisingly, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has localized it – for Tennessee purposes, an attack on U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais.
Here’s an excerpt from the Roll Call blog article: The August House Republican Conference planning kit, titled “Fighting Washington for All Americans,” offers a rare glimpse into the constituent outreach efforts of the GOP. Those efforts, it turns out, are highly calculated, hashtag-heavy and rife with references to the video app Vine.
The best way to stay in Washington appears to be to deride Washington, and Republican leadership isn’t going to deviate from that familiar formula.
Of the many topics Republicans could delve into — the impending debt ceiling debate, immigration or, perhaps, the sequester — the 31-page GOP packet focuses on safer ground: Obamacare, jobs and the fierce hatred of all things Washington.
It includes a cookbook of events largely aimed at whacking the Obama administration and highlighting House Republicans’ efforts to fight it — while using social media every step of the way.
There’s an “Emergency Health Care Town Hall,” for starters, with detailed recipes on where to hold the event, how to promote it — tweet it, Vine it, Instagram it, Facebook it — and how to hold an “impromptu” media availability to “frame the key takeaways.”
Riva Litman, the spokeswoman for Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, said it is the job of the House Republican Conference to equip members with “the tools and resources they need to take our message to all corners of this country.”
And here’s the DCCC DesJarlais-bashing press release:
By Lucas Johnson, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Longtime Sen. Douglas Henry said Wednesday that his health and the high cost of campaigning were factors in his decision not to seek re-election next year, even though he believes he could win if he did run.
The 86-year-old Nashville Democrat officially met with reporters about a week after his campaign manager sent an email to Henry’s supporters last week announcing his decision.
Henry, who turns 87 this month, said he had been disregarding his doctor’s request that he not run again but finally decided to heed his advice. He also said the amount of money he spent on his 2010 election was “obscene.”
“If I told y’all how much money it cost to get elected last time, you’d never believe it,” he said. (Note: His campaign expenditures for the 2010 cycle were about $582,000.)
State Sen. Douglas Henry’s announcement that he will retire from the Legislature this week has already led two men to say they will run for the Democratic nominationn to succeed him.
They are, says the City Paper, Nashville attorney Jeff Yarbro, who nearly defeated Henry in a 2010 primary challenge, and Metro Councilman Jason Holleman, who is term-limited at the courthouse and whose ambition is well known in Nashville’s political circles. Holleman, who has called Henry a hero of his, confirmed his plans to The City Paper.
“I intend to run for the state Senate next year, because I think it’s the place where I can do the largest good,” he said, noting that he has lived in District 21 his entire life.
With the caveat that formal announcements and campaign organizations are still a ways off, Holleman said education is a top-of-mind issue for him at the state level, where policy decisions “have a tremendous impact on the classrooms in our local school system.”
“Beyond that, we’re in a time when there is a lot of discussion about the interplay between state and local government,” he said. “I think that there is a need to be sure that our local government interests are represented. And with the background in local government, both as an elected official and an attorney, I think I can contribute in a meaningful way to that discussion.”
If he were elected, Holleman would join, at least for a bit, the ranks of council members who have held seats at the state and local level simultaneously. While his first state Senate term would begin in January 2015, his final council term would end in August.
Yarbro also confirmed that he intends to run, but said he will make a formal announcement later.
“I’m looking forward to a conversation about Tennessee’s future and this Senate seat, but there’s plenty of time for the next campaign. I’ll make an announcement when the time’s right.”
He declined to comment further, saying he’d “love for this week to be about Sen. Henry,” and his “faithfulness to the state over the years and his service.
From The Tennessean: Democratic Reps. Mike Stewart and Sherry Jones and former Metro Councilman David Briley each told The Tennessean on Wednesday that they wouldn’t be running in the District 21 Democratic primary in 2014, which is still 15 months away.
Some of those signed on as supporters of state Rep. Joe Carr’s “exploratory campaign” for the 4th Congressional District seat made political donations to U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais in this year’s campaign, reports Chris Carroll. Records show at least four of Carr’s early boosters — including a powerful auto dealer, a physician and a former Rutherford County GOP chairman — gave DesJarlais a combined $12,900 during his 2010 and 2012 campaigns for Congress.
Carr’s exploratory committee is headed by auto dealer Lee Beaman, a big fish in Middle Tennessee Republican circles who has given $7,400 to DesJarlais.
Asked about his $2,000 DesJarlais contribution this year, Murfreesboro dentist Dr. Nate Schott said he cut a check “long before I found out what happened.”
…DesJarlais spent $1.26 million on his re-election, depleting his current campaign balance to $16,000, records show.
Campaign manager Brandon Lewis has said: “We are confident that we will continue to receive support from like-minded conservatives and small-business organizations.”
But Dr. Ron McDow, a retired family medicine physician and owner of a medical device company, said he regrets the $1,000 he contributed in 2010. He’s in Carr’s camp now.
“I haven’t read everything that’s been published, and these things all occurred well before Dr. DesJarlais ran for Congress,” McDow said. “But Joe Carr doesn’t have the baggage hanging over him.”
Gov. Bill Haslam says he’ll get his 2014 reelection campaign underway with at least two fundraisers – one in Knoxville and one in Nashville – before the legislative session begins in January.
The governor was asked Monday about House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh’s statement that he is considering a run for governor in 2014. He said “Craig has every right” to make the campaign, but it doesn’t alter his own plans.
“We’ve always intended to have a vigorous campaign,” he said, declaring plans for the two fundraisers. He gave no details of the events.
“I’ve always intends to do this regardless of the circumstances,” Haslam said.
Under state law, the governor and state legislators are prohibited from political fundraising while the General Assembly is in session. The session starts on Jan. 8.
The Republican governor’s plans for an early start contrast with Ripley Democrat Fitzhugh’s vow to put off launch as campaign as long as he can in the belief “the shorter the better.” Fitzhugh also said he recognizes Haslam has high popularity ratings and “deep pockets” to run a campaign, but believes Democrats need a candidate to “rally around” at the top of the ticket in 2014.
— Note: Previous post HERE.
Post-election disclosures filed with the Federal Election Commission have pushed total spending in campaigns for Tennessee’s nine U.S. House elections — all won by incumbents — to about $15.3 million, though the congressmen collectively still have more than $6.8 million cash on hand.
Embattled 4th Congressional District Rep. Scott DesJarlais, a doctor who has dealt with controversy during and after the election over his involvement in abortions and sexual relations with patients, had the lowest cash-on-hand balance of any incumbent: $15,661.
DesJarlais spent $1,257,651 during the campaign, including $439,369 disclosed on his final report covering the last days of his race against Democrat Eric Stewart, who spent a total of $700,575.
Here’s a list by district of total expenditures and remaining balance for the other incumbent Tennessee congressmen as reported on the FEC website:
Republicans gained six seats each in the state House and Senate Tuesday, giving the party more than the “super majority” they sought in both chambers, according to complete but unofficial election returns.
By controlling two-thirds of the seats in both chambers for the first time since the Reconstruction era, Republicans will have a quorum and could continue in session even if all Democrats walk out. The two-thirds “super majority” also allows united Republicans to suspend normal rules and instantly pass legislation.
Going into the election, Republicans held a 64-34 majority in the state House with one independent and a 20-13 majority in the state Senate. They needed a net gain of two seats in each chamber to have a two-thirds majority – 66 in the 99-member House and 22 in the 33-member Senate.
Instead, they gained six seats – in part because of Republican-controlled redistricting earlier this year that put six Democratic incumbents into three districts.
In the Senate, Republicans also won six seats seats held by Democrats in the 107th General Assembly including defeat of Sen. Tim Barnes, D-Clarksville.
The GOP Senate majority will thus swell to 26 seats in the 108th General Assembly, which convenes in January, The Republicans will hold 70 seats in the House, assuming unofficial returns stand. There were at least three House races decided by fewer than 100 votes.
By Eric Schelzig, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A Tennessee Republican congressman won re-election on Tuesday overcoming revelations that he once had an affair with a patient and urged her to get an abortion.
Rep. Scott DesJarlais, a Jasper physician before going to Congress, beat Democratic challenger Eric Stewart on Tuesday. With 76 percent of precincts reporting, DesJarlais had 111,988 votes, or 57 percent, compared with Stewart’s 83,835 votes, or 43 percent.
DesJarlais, who opposes abortion rights, largely withdrew from public sight a month ago after news accounts based on his 2001 divorce emerged. His campaign used a heavy rotation of TV ads to link Stewart to President Barack Obama, an unpopular figure in the conservative 4th District.
It’s the second time DesJarlais has overcome explosive allegations stemming from his divorce. During his first campaign in 2010, the Democratic incumbent ran ads based on court records that said DesJarlais repeatedly pulled the trigger of an unloaded gun outside his first wife’s bedroom door and another time held a gun in his mouth for three hours.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Voters who cast ballots Tuesday or during Tennessee’s 14-day early voting period talk about their selections and the general election.
The top race on the ticket, the contest for president between President Barack Obama, the Democrat, and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, helped send Tennessee voters to the polls even though the race wasn’t close in this state.
— Collierville financial adviser Kevin Baltier cast his ballot Tuesday for Romney, saying Obama’s strategy to levy more taxes on high-income people would stifle job creation. Baltier said Romney’s economic plan would create an environment where people “would not be looked down upon for their success.”
— University of Tennessee English professor Nancy Henry, 47, said in Knoxville that the issues that drove her vote for Obama weren’t economic. “Environmental policy is very important to me. Education is really important to me,” Henry said. “Yes, the economy, but frankly, I live in a pretty prosperous town in a pretty prosperous part of town, so I don’t feel like I have been worse off than I was four years ago.”
By Erik Schelzig, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Buoyed by overflowing campaign accounts, redrawn legislative districts and an unpopular Democratic president at the top of the ticket, Tennessee Republicans are expecting to add to their already considerable advantage in the state House on Tuesday.
While seven Republican incumbents were defeated in the August primaries, there is little reason to expect any spillover into the general election. Gov. Bill Haslam on Friday predicted “a good night for Republicans,” with the GOP picking up supermajorities in both chambers.
The two-thirds majority would give Republicans the ability to overcome any procedural challenges by Democrats, and prevent the minority from being able to halt legislative proceedings by walking out.
“We’ve worked hard to get there both in terms of getting the right people to run, and getting financing set up,” Haslam said.
Republican candidates are unopposed in two newly-drawn districts in Williamson, Hamilton and Knox counties, and the GOP is confident of easily winning the West Tennessee seat held by Rep. Jimmy Naifeh, the Covington Democrat who was House speaker for a record 18 years.