Tag Archives: congressional campaigns

Starrett bumps self-funding up to $900K

Challenger Grant Starrett this week personally loaned his campaign another $200,000 as his 4th Congressional District Republican primary with U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais heads into its final stretch, reports the Times-Free Press.

The $200,001.10 loan, made Tuesday and reported to the Federal Election Commission on Thursday, brings the total amount of personal loans the wealthy 28-year-old attorney has made to his nearly two-year effort now to $876,562.10.

Combined with $23,400 Starrett gave his campaign last year as an in-kind contribution, his total personal stake in the contest now at nearly $900,000 or $899,962.10 to be precise.

It accounts for over half of the $1.69 million he’s taken in.

DesJarlais has bashed Starrett repeatedly, charging he is an opportunistic “trust fund millionaire” seeking to “buy” a Tennessee congressional seat. Starrett, meanwhile, has charged the three-term congressman has “betrayed” the largely rural district’s residents on a number of votes.

Roe’s GOP challenger ‘unsuspends’ campaign

Clint Tribble, who declared July 1 that he was suspending his campaign against incumbent U.S. Rep. Phil Roe in the 1irst Congressional District Republican primary, has now decided to “unsuspend” it, reports WJHL-TV.

Tribble said he’s not backing down from the threats he said he’s received.

“They’ve got a choice this time around,” Tribble said.

Tribble feels that his non-political background will help bring something different to the First District. He felt that Roe sides with the establishment.

Born in Arizona, Tribble worked a variety of jobs, including as a professional poker player in Las Vegas. He moved to Tennessee last year and became interested in politics.

If elected, Clint says he will focus on veterans right away.

“I won’t take no for an answer from the Veterans Affairs Administration when they come to me and they say well we can’t fix that for 20 years,” Tribble said.

Clint gained national attention in 2013 after creating a controversial website claiming Houston based Pastor Joel Osteen profits off the word of god.

…Tribble told News Channel 11’s Justin Soto that he’s already spent nearly $30,000 on his campaign and he plans to campaign hard until the upcoming primary on Aug. 4.

Note: Tribble’s July 15 report to the FEC shows a candidate loan to the campaign of $30,000 with spending of $27,236 and a cash-on-hand balance of $4,449. Roe’s July 15 report shows spending of $210,372 and a balance of $512,220.

Huckabee campaigns for Kustoff in 8th District

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is campaigning for David Kustoff in the 8th Congressional District’s crowded Republican primary, reports the Jackson Sun.

Huckabee first appeared on television ads supporting Kustoff a couple of weeks ago, and Wednesday he took the opportunity to encourage voters to support the former U.S. Attorney out of Shelby County. He said Kustoff is someone who won’t change once he gets to Washington, D.C.

“I’m absolutely convinced that David Kustoff is the kind of person who when you send [them] to Congress you’re never going to pick up the paper in the morning and be surprised at how he voted,” Huckabee said. “He’s never going to embarrass you. He’s not going to make you mad.

“You’re going to pick up the paper and see, ‘that’s exactly what we sent him there to do,’” he said.

…Also present was current U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher, R-Frog Jump, who caused the 8th congressional shakeup, which has seen 20 candidates run for the vacated seat, when he announced he would not be seeking re-election earlier this year. He made a brief appearance Wednesday, but didn’t endorse Kustoff.

“It matters who governs. It matters who serves. It matters who votes in our district in Washington,” Fincher said. “It’s been an honor to serve and we love all of you to death and it’s been unreal the last six years.”

Black camp: Carr reaches ‘lows never before seen in TN politics’

As part of a story on apparent inaccuracies in U.S. Rep. Diane Black’s radio ad touting her endorsement by the National Rifle Association, WSMV TV says the NRA is sticking with its move and Black’s campaign is denouncing challenger Joe Carr as sleazy.

The Black ad says the lawmaker got her handgun carry permit after becoming the victim of a violent criminal assault. But other reports indicate she didn’t get the permit until 14 years after the robbery and some other details of Black’s comments in the ad have been questioned based on a police report at the time. (Note: Carr’s press release on the matter previously posted HERE.)

Black declined an on-camera interview, but her press secretary Jonathan Frank sent the following statement:

“This is not going to be Joe Carr’s first losing campaign, but it certainly is his sleaziest. In what is likely the end of his political career, he and his allies have sunk to lows never before seen in Tennessee politics. They’ve exploited the addiction problems faced by Diane’s in-laws. They pretend that she never was violently assaulted when a police report documents it all. They even attacked her life as a single mother before she met Dave.

“Now that the Carr campaign has been confronted with the truth about Congressman Black’s attacking, they continue to dismiss this violent crime as a ‘purse snatching’ and are effectively telling their supporters that the attack described in the police report wasn’t bad enough. Efforts by the Carr campaign to minimize this assault are offensive to victims and their families. It is pathetic attacks like this that have caused Joe Carr to rack up three failed campaigns in a row. On Aug.4, Tennesseans will reject Joe Carr’s sleaze and relegate him to an even less reputable line of work.”

Political analyst and former campaign manager Kent Syler said it’s extremely important to get all the facts in a campaign ad right.

“The facts in this police report are certainly traumatic enough to cover the points of this ad without vacillating from it whatsoever,” Syler said.

Syler said whether the inconsistencies were intentional or not, it’s a good lesson in campaign advertising.

“Having that paper to back it up is important. Many times you’ll even see the police report in the ad as evidence,” he said.

The National Rifles Association has endorsed Black. Spokeswoman Jennifer Baker sent the following statement:

Diane Black is a strong advocate for the 2nd Amendment and an inspiration to women determined to avoid being victimized by exercising their constitutional right to self-protection. It is ludicrous that her political opponents are twisting the facts of experience as a victim of a violent crime.”

Starrett now has $700K in self-financing

In the first two weeks of July, Republican challenger Grant Starrett expanded mail and media assault on U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais in the state’s 4th Congressional District primary.

Further from the Times-Free Press:

A pre-primary disclosure form Starrett filed Saturday with the Federal Election Commission for July 1-15 showed he spent $190,000 on a TV and radio ad blitz and direct mail, and has spent $918,591 overall to date in the 16-county race.

…Meanwhile, a separate 48-hour disclosure Starrett filed last week showed the the 28-year-old attorney from Murfreesboro loaned his campaign another $200,000.

To date, Starrett has loaned his campaign $676,561. Combined with $23,400 Starrett gave his campaign as an in-kind contribution, his total personal stake in the contest is now $699,961. It accounts for almost half of the $1.49 million he’s taken in.

As of July 15, Starrett had $377,124.48 in cash on hand, according to the pre-primary disclosure. But that doesn’t include the $200,000 loan of July 18.

In his pre-primary disclosure, Starrett reported $584 in contributions.

DesJarlais’pre-primary report shows just $100 in contributions during the period and $73,472 in spending (including about $41,000 in direct mail and $15,520 on TV) His cash-on-hand balance was $249,627.

DesJarlais: ‘Dead baby parts’ mailer ‘reprehensible’

Challenger Grant Starrett’s latest political mail attack on U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais has the congressman crying foul about “morally reprehensible” tactics, reports the Times-Free Press.

The mailer, which began hitting voters’ mailboxes earlier this week, accuses the congressman of having been “silent on life” and features a picture of DesJarlais with tape over his mouth beside a doctored “Planned Parenthood” cooler marked “Dead Baby Parts $500.”

It’s an intended hit on DesJarlais for not having joined in with GOP House committee colleagues’ questioning of Planned Parenthood’s chief last year over allegations the nonprofit abortion provider “sold” abortion fetus parts to medical companies.

“Even liberals in his home state of California, would be repulsed by Grant’s morally reprehensible campaign tactics,” DesJarlais campaign spokesman Robert Jameson said of the mailer, one of four that Starrett has sent out in recent days.

Jameson said “Grant should apologize to voters in the Fourth District for subjecting them to this trash, pack his bags and head back to his parents’ mansion in Beverly Hills. Clearly, politics is not his calling in life.”

But Tommy Schultz, Starrett’s campaign manager, said the mailer is fair and accurate and that the congressman should be the one apologizing.

Black vs. Carr: Back-and-forth bashing (guns and Cruz)

News release from the Diane Black campaign
GALLATIN, TN – The Diane Black for Congress campaign is calling on Joe Carr, a delegate for Ted Cruz’s Presidential campaign, to repudiate the Texas Senator’s refusal to endorse Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump last night at the Republican National Convention. Diane Black released the following statement:

“Americans face a binary choice this November: Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Tennesseans know that Hillary Clinton lacks the integrity and judgment to hold any elected office, let alone President of the United States. That is why, back in May, I endorsed Donald Trump’s campaign and encouraged others to do the same so that we could unify our party and ensure a Republican victory this November,” said Diane Black. “Last night, Ted Cruz set us back in those efforts and handed a gift to the Clinton campaign by refusing to endorse Donald Trump. As a delegate for Ted Cruz, it is deeply concerning that Joe Carr has so far been silent on this selfish power play. Tennesseans deserve to know where Joe stands. I call on him to immediately denounce Ted Cruz’s refusal to endorse the Republican nominee and make clear his own support for Donald Trump.”

News release from Joe Carr campaign
SIXTH DISTRICT, TENN. (JULY 20, 2016) – It was recently discovered that Diane Black intentionally misled voters in a radio commercial about when she obtained her handgun carry permit.

This morning John Harris went back on air with 99.7 WTN talk show host, Michael DelGiorno after having finally obtained the police report of Diane Black’s assault 22 years ago. In the ad, Diane Black makes several allegations (see below) that we now know to have been exaggerated, and in some cases a complete fabrication, according to the police report. Continue reading

Starrett mailer brings protests from Muslims, DesJarlais

A Grant Starrett campaign mailer attacking U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais is offensive to Muslims, said an Islamic Center of Murfreesboro spokesman tells the Daily News Journal.

“It is racist,” said Saleh Sbenaty, the chairman of the ICM’s Outreach Committee. “People do not support racists or candidates who want to drive a wedge in our community. People will support candidates who build bridges and unite communities.”

The mailer in question depicts the Republican congressman holding what appears to be a driver’s license with the words: “Illegal immigrant identification cards funded by taxpayer dollars.” The card includes the name “Yusuf Jalil” and has a picture of a man wearing a keffiyeh (a Middle Eastern-style scarf) covering all but his eyes.

The mailer describes DesJarlais as having “dangerous priorities” because he “supports funding ID cards for illegal immigrants” and “votes against funding for our troops fighting ISIS.”

…Starrett stands by his mailer.

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: we are at war with radical Islam,” Starrett said in a statement emailed to The Daily News Journal. “Only politically correct cowards refuse to say so. We need to name our enemy, and engage them not only in a battle of arms, but a battle of ideas. Plenty of radical Muslims have been homegrown terrorists whether in Chattanooga, Orlando or Boston.

“Scott DesJarlais is the one who needs to respond as to why he proposes giving amnesty ID cards to illegal immigrants who may have ties to radical Muslim terrorism. I want to militarize the border and fully fund our military in this age of terrorism. Congressman DesJarlais should also respond as to why he voted for hundreds of millions of dollars in Obama’s military cuts.”

…DesJarlais campaign spokesman Robert Jameson offered the following response about the mailer from Starrett:

“Tennessee voters know better than to believe anything from Grant Starrett, the lying Californian. When Grant loses in August, I would encourage him to apply for an internship in Congressman DesJarlais’ office. That will give him an opportunity to work for a proven conservative leader.

DesJarlais’ first TV ad bashes ‘California trust fund millionaire’

More than a week after 4th District GOP primary rival Grant Starrett began airing a new television ad assaulting U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais’ record, the Tennessee congressman is returning the favor with his own TV spot slamming Starrett, reports the Times-Free Press.

DesJarlais’ “Mr. California” ad is slated to begin airing in the Chattanooga market on Tuesday. It portrays Starrett, an attorney who lives in Murfreesboro, as a youthful, out-of-state trust-fund millionaire trying to buy a seat in the largely rural 4th Congressional District.

Starrett has been running ads since early June, but this is DesJarlais’ first in the 2016 primary and comes as early voting is under way in the Aug. 4 election.

Running to DesJarlais’ right, Starrett has slammed the three-term incumbent on several votes and repeatedly has skewered him for passing on a 2015 opportunity to grill the head of Planned Parenthood at a congressional hearing.

DesJarlais’ first spot, which borrows heavily from an earlier direct-mail piece, is a take-off on the old TV series “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,” featuring a gushing narrator with a British accent.

“‘Mr. California,’ starring Grant Starrett, the 28-year-old California trust-fund millionaire,” the announcer says. “Starrett grew up in a $10 million ocean-view mansion, moved to the 4th District last year just to run for Congress, using inherited fortune and out of state cash to join the club in Washington.”

Doctored images include a smiling Starrett on a California beach or grabbing his moment on a Hollywood red carpet, and images of $100 bills raining down on the candidate.

The ad shows DesJarlais speaking with a farmer and an elderly couple as the announcer, in an American accent, says, “Dr. DesJarlais fights for us, not the Washington establishment, making Scott DesJarlais the fourth most conservative congressman in the country.”

Tyler Privette, DesJarlais’ campaign coordinator, said the candidate has made a “significant ad buy covering both cable and network in the Chattanooga and Nashville media markets.”

Federal Communication Commission filings by Chattanooga broadcast TV stations on political advertising show an initial purchase of $11,029.

Note: A link to the ad is HERE.