Tag Archives: Crossville

Democrat Says GOP Helped Her Campaign With Attempted ‘Smear’

State House candidate Flo Matheson says she “almost fainted” when first hearing that the Tennessee Republican Party had accused her of supporting a state income tax, but now she believes the GOP news release — though wrong — is helping her campaign.
The state GOP earlier this week sent media a news release on Democrat Matheson’s remarks at a candidate forum with her opponent, state Rep. Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville.
It quotes state Republican Chairman Chris Devaney as saying the comments left him wondering whether the state Democratic Party has encouraged its candidates to “adopt this extremist, big government agenda which would amount to some of the largest tax increases in our state’s history.”
The release was accompanied by an audio recording that, as first reported by The City Paper, stops just after Matheson says she supports “a progressive income tax.”
Matheson said her next words were to say she was referring to the federal income tax and made the point that, though state legislators have no impact on federal taxes, voters should be wary of candidates who want to favor the “extremely wealthy” in tax policy.

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Fire Marshall’s Office Closes Minister’s Treehouse

CROSSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The State Fire Marshal’s office has declared a huge treehouse built by a Crossville minister to be an imminent safety hazard and ordered it to close.
The popular attraction was built by Horace Burgess of Crossville over 11 years as a ministry. He said about 1,000 people per week visited his 100-foot-tall Minister’s Treehouse.
Burgess told The Knoxville News Sentinel (http://bit.ly/OSyKf7) that he received a certified letter last week ordering him to close the treehouse.
A copy of the letter released by the state Wednesday said the treehouse is 60 feet too tall, doesn’t appear to have proper structural support, contains several falling hazards and lacks a fire safety plan. It said the structure was so tall, local fire department equipment likely couldn’t reach the top levels.

Note: A copy of the letter from a state Department of Commerce and Insurance official is HERE.

This post updates and replaces previous post

On DesJarlais and a Check from ‘Obamacare’

U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais blasted President Barack Obama’s health-care reforms as “socialized medicine” all during last year’s campaign and later made good on a promise that he would vote to repeal the law once he got into office.
But last week, one of the freshman congressman’s staff members showed up for a check presentation ceremony in Crossville, where local officials accepted $4.5 million in federal grant money that will come through the Affordable Care Act – the very law that DesJarlais ridiculed and voted to repeal.
More from Michael Collins’ story:
The staffer, Gregg Ridley, even stood with local officials beside a giant ceremonial check and posed for a photo that ended up in the local newspaper.
When the photo hit the Internet, DesJarlais’ critics accused the Jasper Republican of being politically dishonest – voting to repeal health-care reform on one hand, while at the same time taking credit for a health-reform grant that will benefit his district.
DesJarlais spokesman Robert Jameson said Friday that simply isn’t true.
Ridley was asked to attend the ceremony by local officials, but he didn’t realize at the time that the grant was made available through the health reform law, Jameson said.
“Our field staff attend grant presentations all of the time,” Jameson said. “The staffer went to the presentation. They took the photo. He was in the photo. End of story.”
Jameson said the $4.5 million grant, which will be used to build a new health department and clinic in Cumberland County, was approved last October before the congressman was even in office. DesJarlais never helped secure the grant, nor has he ever claimed that he did, Jameson said.
Asked if Ridley’s appearance at the event might give the impression the congressman helped secure the grant, Jameson repeated that no one on the congressman’s staff was trying to take credit for the check.