Tag Archives: congressional

Chip Saltsman Joins Joe Carr Congresssional Campaign

News release from Joe Carr campaign:
Lascassas, TN- Rep. Joe Carr announced today that veteran GOP strategist Chip Saltsman has joined his team in his bid to win the GOP primary in Tennessee’s 4th Congressional district. The announcement follows Carr’s recent entrance into the race earlier this month and a highly successful fundraising period.
In just 6 weeks, Carr’s exploratory committee raised over $205,000 (nearly double the amount raised by incumbent Rep. Scott Desjarlais during the most recent filing period).
“We are excited that Chip will lead our team,” Carr stated. “Chip brings significant firepower and experience to our campaign. His excellent track record of managing both statewide and national campaigns is invaluable. Chip is a leader and proven winner in the conservative movement. I’m thankful for his friendship and for the opportunity to serve with him to advance the conservative principles of individual liberty, personal responsibility and state sovereignty that are among the pillars of American exceptionalism.”

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Joe Carr Declares Candidacy for 4th Congressional District

By Erik Schelzig, Associated Press
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — State Rep. Joe Carr on Thursday joined state Sen. Jim Tracy in the race to oust embattled U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais in next year’s Republican primary.
Carr, a Murfreesboro business consultant, made his announcement from a balcony overlooking the Middle Tennessee Medical Center, which he said “represents some of the paralysis that has engulfed this county.”
“We’ve got a state of the art medial community over here, and it’s in peril because one thing, and one thing only: and that’s the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare,” he said.
Carr said beyond his opposition to the federal health care law, his campaign would focus on supporting gun rights and tighter enforcement of immigration laws.
“At the very least the immigration reform that is being touted by some of my colleagues in the Republican Party are premature,” he said.
Carr’s exploratory committee raised about $205,000 in the first quarter of the year. Meanwhile, Tracy’s campaign reported last month that he had raised more than $436,000 in the first quarter, while DesJarlais raised $105,000.
DesJarlais, a Jasper physician, has struggled to raise money since winning re-election last year amid revelations that a phone call was recorded with him urging a patient with whom he was having an affair to seek an abortion.
The congressman denied during the campaign that he had recorded the call, but in his 2001 testimony he acknowledged that he did. DesJarlais said he was only trying to get her to admit she wasn’t pregnant.
Carr cast himself as the outsider willing to take on the entrenched interests.
“Don’t misunderstand me: This is going be difficult,” he said. “Because who we’re standing against … is some of our Republican colleagues. We’re standing against, in some respects, the establishment.”
Carr acknowledged that more than one candidate in the primary could improve DesJarlais’s chances, but predicted that conservative voters would come to embrace his positions.
Carr also said he was undaunted by Tracy’s long list of endorsements and financial backers.
“I think what the voters are looking for is more than the same good old boy politics that we’ve become accustomed to,” Carr said.
Tracy, a Shelbyville insurance agent and former college basketball referee, previously ran for Congress in 2010 before his county was moved from the 6th District as part of redistricting.

Note: The Carr campaign announcement news release is below.

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Tracy Raises $4 to $1 for DesJarlais in 1st Quarter

By Erik Schelzig, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — State Sen. Jim Tracy has raised more than four times as much as the embattled congressional incumbent he is challenging in the Republican primary next year.
According to campaign disclosures filed with the Federal Election Commission on Monday, Tracy raised more than $436,485 in the first quarter, compared with U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais’ net of $104,532.
DesJarlais, a Jasper physician, won a second term in November despite revelations that he once urged a patient with whom he was having an affair to get an abortion.
Transcripts released after the election revealed that DesJarlais made a mutual decision with his first wife to have two abortions.

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Cohen Leads in TN Congressional Traveling

Since 2008, outside parties and private interest groups have spent $402,436 on travel for Tennessee’s nine U.S. House members and their staffs, according to a Chattanooga Times Free Press analysis of 106 trips.
While the total averages to about $45,000 per member and $3,800 per trip, some lawmakers fly more than others on someone else’s dime. U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., leads the pack with $96,606 in privately funded travel.
U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, a Jasper Republican elected in 2010, brings up the rear with $21,563.
Here’s the list with number of trips and cost:
• // Steve Cohen: // 21 // $96,607
• // Jim /Cooper: // 25 // $86,429
• // Marsha Blackburn: // 25 // $50,663
• // Diane Black*: // 5 // $42,120
• // Phil Roe: // 12 // $32,322
• // Stephen Fincher*: // 4 // $24,939
• // Chuck Fleischmann*: // 3 // $25,574
• // John // Duncan: 7 // $22,219
• // Scott DesJarlais* // 4 // $21,563
Total: // 106, // $402,436
* Elected in 2010

Carr Skips Gun Vote for Congressional Campaign Fundraiser

In the middle of the debate over the hotly contested guns-in-trunks legislation, Rep. Joe Carr was heading to a Franklin fundraiser to boost his congressional campaign, reports The City Paper.
Shortly before the final vote on the bill, Carr was excused for the day and left for a gathering at a country club of what he calls “close personal friends” supporting his bid for Congress.
“I made a calculated decision based on the votes that were necessary for passage,” Carr told The City Paper about his decision to leave before casting his vote on the controversial bill. “I don’t think it was an unreasonable choice that I made. Not unreasonable at all.”
He missed more than half the votes — including the final vote — on the guns-in-trunks bill that makes it legal for handgun carry permit holders to store their gun in their locked car in parking lots, including those of their employer.
…”I did not cast a vote on the final bill because I was not present, because I had left the chamber as a result of this prior commitment,” he said, adding he was confident the legislation would pass without him. “I think I made the right decision.”
Carr would not confirm the event for him on Thursday, Feb. 28, at Old Natchez Country Club in Franklin that morning was a fundraiser or how much money he raised. He said the gathering was “organized by some people who are asking me to take part in a 4th Congressional race.”


Meanwhile, from the Daily News Journal:
State Rep. Joe Carr has filed a statement of organization with the Federal Election Commission to run for Congress in the 4th District, but he is still hedging on official candidacy.
Carr, a Lascassas Republican, filed a Joe Carr for Congress statement Feb. 19, listing Troy Brewer of Nashville as campaign controller and Murfreesboro dentist Nate Schott as treasurer.
In December, Carr formed an exploratory committee and began raising funds. The committee raised more than $5,000 toward a race, Carr said Friday, and he was required to file with the FEC.
“This means we are taking a serious look at it because the exploratory phase headed by Lee Beaman has gone better than expected,” Carr said, adding he expects to make an announcement in April.

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Tracy Holding First Fundraiser for Congressional Campaign

Republican state Sen. Jim Tracy’s first major fundraiser for his 4th Congressional District bid is set for March 14 in Murfreesboro, reports the Chattanooga Times-Free Press.
Former Gov. Winfield Dunn; Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey; Senate Speaker Pro Tempore Bo Watson, R-Hixson; and Rep. Ron Travis, R-Dayton, are among the honorary hosts. The per-person price of a ticket is $250 while tickets for members of the sponsor committee are $2,500 per person or couple and $1,000 for host committee members.
Dr. Warren McPherson and his wife, Beverly, are holding the event in their home.
Tracy, of Shelbyville, is running against U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., a physician whose past personal controversies have made him vulnerable to challenge, Republicans say. State Rep. Joe Carr, R-Lacassas, also is weighing a bid, but Tracy has been the first challenger to announce officially

Alexander Backs Obama More Than Other Southern Senators

Sen. Lamar Alexander supported President Barack Obama’s positions on Senate bills in 2012 more frequently than any other Republican senator from the South, according to an independent voting analysis noted by Gannett newspapers in Tennessee.
A study by Congressional Quarterly shows that on bills where Obama had a clearly stated position, Alexander voted with the president 62 percent of the time. Only Republican senators from Maine, Massachusetts, Alaska and Indiana had higher “presidential support” scores.
Alexander’s presidential support scores in recent years include 63 percent in 2011 and 52 percent in 2010. In both of those years, he also voted with Obama more often than any other southern Republican senator. The study comes at a time when there continues to be grumbling among some Tennessee Republicans — often expressed in blogs and other Internet postings — that Alexander is too moderate.
…Because the Congressional Quarterly study focuses only on votes where the president has a clearly defined position, it covers a minority of Senate roll calls.
In 2012, for instance, the Senate took 251 roll call votes but Congressional Quarterly only found 79 where the president had a clearly stated position. And 40 of those were judicial nominations.
Alexander has a long-stated position that a president of either party should have his appointments barred only in extreme circumstances.
Southern Republican senators close behind in supporting Obama were Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas at 58 percent, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina at 57 percent and fellow Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker at 56 percent.

TN Republicans — and Jim Cooper — Opposed Sandy Relief

All seven Tennessee Republican congressmen voted against the $50 billion Hurricane Sandy relief package approved by the U.S. House on Monday night – along with Democratic Congressman Jim Cooper of Nashville. Cooper was the only Democrat in the nation to vote not.
Stephen Hale asked him about it.
Pith: Why did you vote against the bill?
Cooper: The bill wasn’t paid for. In fact, it wasn’t even partially paid for. Congress really made no effort to pay for even a fracture of it, so it added $50 billion to the deficit. I did support last week $9 billion, free and clear, I did support in this legislation $20-plus billion free and clear, but the extra $30 billion really should have been at least partly paid for. This is consistent with my past votes on deficits and on disaster relief. You should read the Washington Post editorial today. It’s excellent, pointing out how Congress regularly fails to handle our emergency responsibilities.
Another thing is, this isn’t any regular period in American history here. This is a period of budget crisis, literally. Because America’s been officially out of money since the first of the year. So we added to the deficit without even lifting a finger to offset the spending is pretty irresponsible at a time like this. You know, I love New England. My friends up there, if they need help, I voted for tens of billions of help, but to have the full package not even partially offset, it’s a new level of congressional spending.


Note: Cooper sent out a press release statement on his vote. It’s below.

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DesJarlais Donors of 2012 Backing Carr for 2014

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.”

Spending in TN Congressional Campaigns: $15.7 Million

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:

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