Tag Archives: chip Saltsman

On the ‘small cadre of Tennesseans’ working in presidential campaigns

Michael Collins has a story on the “small cadre of Tennesseans who are immersed in presidential politics, either as staff members, consultants or advisers to the Republicans and Democrats battling for the White House.”

It includes comments from Chip Saltsman, senior campaign adviser for Mike Huckabee; Tom Ingram, consultant to Jeb Bush; Linda Sherrell, state director for Hillary Clinton; former Congressman Zach Wamp, co-chair of Marco Rubio’s campaign in the state; and Jill Bader, who is doing TV ads for John Kasich.

Naturally, all are full of praise for their candidates. A sampler of quotes:

“This is much more than a job for me,” Saltsman said. “It’s a passion. This is somebody I truly believe in.”

..”She was out there doing things and really fighting battles, particularly for women and children and families, when it was really hard to do,” said Sherrell, who lives in Monteagle, just northeast of Chattanooga, and leads Clinton’s grassroots engagement effort in Tennessee. “She has always sort of been a hero and a role model for me.”

…”I will do anything I can to help him be successful,” (Ingram) said, arguing Bush is the best-qualified candidate for the presidency. “He has the record and the work experience and the demeanor to be a really good president.”

…”I just totally believe Marco Rubio has the best chance of winning in November 2016 of any of the Republican candidates,” Wamp said…. “I share his world view,” Wamp said. “I trust in him and believe in him.”

…”At a time when there is so much uncertainty, both at home and abroad, you need an adult at the table,” said Bader, who previously worked on political campaigns in Tennessee, Florida and Wisconsin. “That is 100 percent John Kasich.”

Lawsuit against Fleishmann, Saltsman dismissed

The state Court of Appeals has upheld the dismissal of a defamation lawsuit filed by former state GOP Executive Director Mark Winslow against U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn., and his 2010 campaign manager, John “Chip” Saltsman.

From the Times-Free Press:

The suit grew out of the 3rd Congressional District’s bitter 2010 GOP primary, a multicandidate slugfest in which Winslow managed the campaign of former Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Robin Smith.

Fleischmann eked out a victory over Smith. In January 2011, Winslow filed suit against Saltsman and the state Republican Party. He charged he had been defamed in Fleischmann campaign ads and by Saltsman’s public comments.

Winslow also charged the state Republican Party violated confidential agreements on a buyout. Fleischmann was added later to the lawsuit. The state GOP settled out of court in 2013.

In dismissing the case, Appellate Judge David Dinkins wrote that “because Mr. Fleischman and Mr. Saltsman demonstrated that the undisputed facts negate the element of actual malice which is essential to the defamation and false light claims, we affirm the trial court’s grant of summary judgment.”

…Winslow alleged Saltsman obtained a confidential agreement regarding his severance pay from the state GOP, where Winslow had worked for Smith prior to her congressional bid, and used the information to pummel Smith in an avalanche of television attack ads.

Fleischmann and Saltsman, then the congressman’s chief of staff, were deposed under oath. Fleischmann paid Saltsman’s legal bills.

Winslow asked for $750,000 in damages, claiming he couldn’t find a job with other Republican groups or candidates.

Saltsman said in his deposition that the employment documents were left in an envelope in his garage.

Davidson County Circuit Court Judge Joe Binkley Jr. dismissed the remaining case against Fleischmann and Saltsman in 2014. Binkley said Winslow was a public figure and that he failed to show that Fleischmann and Saltsman showed actual malice in the ads, which were mainly aimed at discrediting Smith.

Note: The full opinion is HERE.

Fleischmann, Saltsman part ways

After an uncomfortably tight primary victory, U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann has severed ties with longtime political adviser and ally Chip Saltsman, according to the Chattanooga TFP.

And the Tennessee Republican faces another round of questions from the Federal Election Commission over finance reporting.

Saltsman has been with Fleischmann since his 2010 congressional bid, in which he edged out former Republican Party Chairwoman Robin Smith in an aggressive primary campaign and later won the general election. Saltsman also served as Fleischmann’s chief of staff during much of the Ooltewah Republican’s first two terms and ran his 2012 re-election bid. After leaving Fleischmann’s congressional staff last year, Fleischmann’s campaign has paid Saltsman’s consulting firm, S & S Strategies, $25,000, according to campaign finance filings.

But now, the Fleischmann campaign says Saltsman is completely out.

“He’s been a valued member since Chuck first started running, and we recognize that. But the short answer is: No, he is no longer involved in the campaign,” campaign adviser Brian O’Shaughnessy said Thursday.

…After receiving several notices from the FEC over inaccurate or inappropriate contributions during the primary, Fleischmann’s camp has been hit again with 10 findings involving $12,300 in excessive or illegal campaign contributions, and $37,056 in incorrectly reported disbursements.

According to FEC filings, some of Fleischmann’s supporters appear to have given more than they are allowed by law, some corporate contributions were illegal, and Fleischmann’s campaign moved money from one election to the other without following election law.

The filings also show Fleischmann’s camp did not provide full information for the payments it made. Many of the $37,056 in distributions were for campaign aides and political strategy groups — $13,000 of which went to Saltsman’s S & S Strategies.

In an email Friday, O’Shaughnessy said the campaign was working through the filings and described them as “routine.”

Judge dismisses lawsuit against Fleischmann, Saltsman

A Nashville judge has thrown out a 3-year-old defamation case filed by a former state GOP staffer against Republican U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann and one of his longtime aides, reports the Chattanooga TFP.

Former Tennessee Republican Party official Mark Winslow filed the suit in January 2011 against the state party, Fleischmann and Chip Saltsman.

The suit claimed Fleischmann obtained confidential documents from the state party related to Winslow’s severance pay and then used the information in television ads aimed at defeating Winslow’s former boss, Robin Smith, who challenged Fleischmann in the 2010 primary. It also claimed the ads showed Winslow in a false light.

In the process, Winslow claims he was defamed. The suit asked for $750,000 in damages. Winslow claimed in his suit that he has not been able to get employment with other Republican groups or candidates.

In November, the state GOP settled with Winslow. The details of that settlement were not disclosed.

But in a summary judgment last week, Davidson County Circuit Court Judge Joe Binkley Jr. said Winslow was a public figure, and that he failed to show that Fleischmann and Saltsman showed actual malice against him in the advertisements, which were mainly aimed at discrediting Smith.

Further, Judge Binkley said that what was said about Winslow were facts.

“To the extent that any of the subject publications/communications pertained to plaintiff Mark A. Winslow, those publications/communications were either true or substantially true and, therefore, not actionable,” Binkley wrote.

Saltsman hired to run Republican state House campaigns

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Republican operative Chip Saltsman has been hired to run GOP campaigns in the Tennessee House.

House Majority Whip Rep. Cameron Sexton of Crossville said Wednesday that Saltsman was hired because he is “one of the best political minds in the state and in the nation.”

Saltsman is a one-time state Republican Party chairman and a recent chief of staff and campaign manager for U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann of Chattanooga. He also ran former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign in 2008.

House Republicans are looking to protect their 71 seats and add to their ranks in the 99-member chamber.

Saltsman follows Josh Thomas, who held the position in the previous two cycles that saw Republicans make major gains in the House. Thomas left for a similar role in North Carolina.

Josh Thomas leaves state House GOP consulting; Chip Saltsman wants the job

Veteran Tennessee GOP political strategist Chip Saltsman is seeking a new gig as state House Republicans’ 2014 campaign consultant, GOP sources tell the Times Free Press.

Saltsman managed Republican Mike Huckabee’s 2008 GOP presidential primary bid. He later went on to run Republican Chuck Fleischmann’s successful 2010 and 2012 3rd Congressional District campaigns.

In addition to managing Fleischmann’s campaigns, Saltsman served as the Chattanooga congressman’s first chief of staff in Washington. He continues to do campaign consulting for Fleischmann, according to the congressman’s Federal Election Commission disclosure.

…State House Republicans are looking for a new director after Josh Thomas, who successfully oversaw their 2010 and 2012 campaigns, recently opted this election cycle to take a job running North Carolina state House races.

During Thomas’ tenure in Tennessee, the number of House Republican representatives soared from 50 members to a 70-member “super majority” in the 99-member chamber.

Chip Saltsman Quits Carr Campaign

News release from Chip Saltsman:
After learning of Joe Carr’s decision to run for the United States Senate, Chip Saltsman has resigned from Carr’s campaign efforts.

In his letter of resignation to Carr, Saltsman said in part, “Having learned of your decision to run for the United States Senate, I must resign from your campaign. I signed up to help you run for Congress, not the Senate.

“I have been a longtime supporter of Senator Alexander for many reasons, and I will continue to be a strong supporter…Due to the hard work of Lamar Alexander, and because he stayed true to his conservative ideals, our state has no income tax, great roads with no debt, and an economy that is the envy of most states.

“It is because of Lamar Alexander that people like you have the honor of serving in the majority of the state legislature…I am honored to support Lamar Alexander for re-election.”

Note: Saltsman is one of 13 former Tennessee Republican chairman who have signed a letter supporting Alexander’s reelection.

The entire letter is below.
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