Tag Archives: conversation

Fitzhugh ‘Making Conversation’ About Haslam, Sundquist and a Website

House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh, D-Ripley, says he was surprised to find a bumper sticker promoting his candidacy for governor on his desk at the Legislative Plaza last week.
The bumper sticker says, “Run Craig Run” and gives a website address — http://www.fitz14.com — that invites people to sign an online petition urging Fitzhugh to enter the 2014 race.
Fitzhugh, who held a news conference last week devoted mostly to legislative issues, said he knew nothing of the effort until finding the bumper sticker on his desk. The website has a disclaimer saying it is sponsored by Democratic Policy Council, a PAC with Regina Morrison Newman, a Memphis Democratic activist, listed as treasurer and very little activity reported in recent filings with the Registry of Election Finance. On it’s last filed report, the PAC listed a cash balance of $448.86.
Fitzhugh said he hasn’t decided on running, but probably will soon after the 2013 legislative session ends. Legislative leaders are predicting that will be by late April.
The lawmaker has often said he likes and respects Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, who is already planning fundraisers for his re-election effort.
The closest he came to criticizing the incumbent during the news conference was to remark that Haslam has “failed to be decisive”as might be expected from a politician with a high approval rating — especially those issues pushed by the Republican Party’s “right wing.”
Asked to elaborate, Fitzhugh recalled former Gov. Don Sundquist once saying he was “irrelevant to the process” — a remark made after Sundquist was criticized for failing to sign bills passed by the Legislature allowing local governments to raise local taxes.
“I would hope that the governor (Haslam) is relevant to the process,” Fitzhugh said.
Does that mean he is comparing Haslam to Sundquist?
“No,” he replied after a long pause. “I’m just making conversation.”