Tag Archives: DCCC

Sherrell congratulates DesJarlais; DCCC bashes him on abortion

News release from Lenda Sherrell campaign:
(Murfreesboro, Tenn., August 25, 2014) – Lenda Sherrell, the Democratic nominee for Tennessee’s 4th Congressional District, released the following statement after election results or Republican primary were certified by the Secretary of State more than 3 weeks after August 7.

“I wish to congratulate Scott DesJarlais and look forward to a robust general election season where my opponent and I can share our competing views with voters and the solutions needed to improve their lives,” said Sherrell, a certified public accountant who has been on a listening tour of the district, traveling from Lewisburg to Dunlap to South Pittsburg, from Smyrna to Shelbyville to Winchester.

“I also want to thank the election volunteers, workers and officials who work tirelessly to make sure every eligible vote is properly counted. Their dedication and commitment to the citizens of all 16 counties is to be commended. I am grateful to be living in a democracy where each vote is sacred and therefore protected,” added Sherrell., who has worked as an auditor and controller managing million-dollar budgets for education and non-profit health care institutions.

Sherrell continues her listening tour this week with tour stops in Fayetteville, Murfreesboro and Cleveland.

News release from Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee:
On the eve of Women’s Equality Day, troubled Congressman Scott DesJarlais advanced to the general election in Tennessee’s 4th Congressional District. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee issued the following statement about Congressman DesJarlais’s primary victory:

From Emily Bittner of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee: “Here’s the enduring face of the Republican Party: a congressman who opposes a woman’s right to make her own healthcare choices, but who faced professional sanctions after he encouraged his mistress get an abortion. Republicans like Congressman DesJarlais are a key reason why women are motivated to vote for Democrats in 2014.”

BACKGROUND:
Congressman DesJarlais Had Sex with Patients, Encouraged Patient to Get an Abortion, and Prescribed Medication to Patient During an Affair. “A family practice doctor, DesJarlais was forced to empty his war chest when court records revealed a checkered past days before the election. Interviews and documents showed he had sex with two female patients and tried to persuade one to get an abortion. Court documents obtained by the Chattanooga Times Free Press confirmed that the anti-abortion politician supported his ex-wife’s abortions in the 1990s; slept with patients and co-workers while chief of staff at a Jasper hospital, bought expensive gifts for his patient-lovers; and prescribed one pain medication during their affair.” [Chattanooga Times Free Press, 2/24/13]

In May, Congressman DesJarlais was Reprimanded and Fined for Having Sex with Patients. “Rep. Scott DesJarlais, a licensed physician, was reprimanded and fined by the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners for having sex with patients before he was elected to Congress, according to documents released Tuesday […] He was fined $500 for two counts of unprofessional conduct, and is responsible for up to $1,000 in costs for the panel’s investigation. He did not contest the findings.” [Associated Press, 5/23/13]

National Democrats Boost TV Buy Against DesJarlais; TNDP Chief Beraes ‘Conspiracy of Silence’

Reports on Republican U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais’ sexual relationship with a second patient he met as a physician have brought a new round of criticism from supporters of Eric Stewart, the Democratic nominee in the 4th Congressional District.
House Majority PAC, a group with ties to Democratic congressional leaders, announced it had purchased another $180,000 worth of television time for a new commercial criticizing the embattled congressman. That makes a total of about $280,000 spent by the group.
State Democratic Chairman Chip Forrester, meanwhile, called a news conference to declare that DesJarlais “ran his medical practice like a Craigslist cathouse” and berate the state’s Republican leaders “standing in support of Scott DesJarlais and his unethical behavior” though a “conspiracy of silence” on the controversy.
The Chattanooga Times-Free Press on Sunday quoted a woman, who was granted anonymity, as saying she had the Marion County physician had a sexual relationship 12 years ago while his divorce was pending, that they shared marijuana and that he wrote prescriptions for drugs to her at her home. An earlier report quoted a transcript of DesJarlais urging another woman, also met as a patient, to get an abortion.
DesJarlais has said that, in the first case, he believed the woman was not really pregnant and used “strong language” with the aim of having her admit it. She turned out not to be pregnant, the doctor-congressman said.
DesJarlais had no direct comment on the second report. His campaign manager sent media this email:
“The woman mentioned in this article has reached out to both the congressman’s wife and the paper to express concerns about her statements being taken out of context and factual inaccuracies contained in this article. … Rather than focusing solely on a 14-year-old divorce, why don’t they talk to the congressman’s wife, Amy, who he has been married to for more than 10 years?
“It speaks volumes that even Lincoln Davis recently said that he regretted his actions and that these types of personal smear campaigns that hurt families have no place in politics.”
Davis, the Democratic congressman DesJarlais defeated in 2010, ran ads pointing to other allegations in DesJarlais’ divorce, including his ex-wife’s claim that he threatened her and once put a pistol in his mouth. Davis, who is backing Stewart this year, has said he regrets the ads.
Meanwhile, Forrester has called on the Republican Party and elected officials to seek DesJarlais’ resignation and to condemn his actions.
“Their approval and support of DesJarlais’ unethical behavior and hypocrisy makes it painfully clear that the Tennessee Republican Party is only concerned with one thing — holding on to power,” said Forrester.
Asked for comment on the Democrat’s call, state Republican Chairman Chris Devaney sent this via email:
“We’re not going to comment further on hearsay, anonymous charges that are being leveled by a desperate candidate. Folks in the 4th District are focused on jobs and the economy, and not on stories being ginned up for political purposes by a desperate Democrat Party.”

(Note: This updates and replaces previous post.)

DCCC Upgrades Stewart; DesJarlais TV Ad Attacks Him

Republican Rep. Scott DesJarlais is slamming Democratic rival Eric Stewart on “Obamacare” in a new television ad, but the underfunded Stewart’s fortunes may be in for a substantial change, reports Andy Sher.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Thursday switched Tennessee’s 4th Congressional District to its “red to blue” category, a designation indicating Democrats think it’s a winnable seat and intend to devote resources to Stewart’s battle with the Jasper physician.
Stewart announced the move Thursday in an email to supporters, saying he has “more good news” after his campaign on Wednesday released an internal poll that Stewart says shows him in a “dead heat” with DesJarlais.
… DesJarlais enjoys a huge cash-on-hand advantage over Stewart, a state senator from Winchester, and is currently pounding him in television ads over what he says is Stewart’s support of “Obamacare.” (View the ad HERE.)
…(The ad accuses Stewart) of calling the federal Affordable Care Act “great.”
“Great,” a woman announcer says, “a word used to describe a quiet moment of fishing, a [UT] Vols win, a plate of barbecue. But great is how Eric Stewart describes Obamacare. Bureaucrat between patient and doctor — great. $700 billion in Medicare cuts — great. … There are a lot of great things in Tennessee, but Eric Stewart and Obamacare are not one of them.”
The ad cites a Times Free Press article from this summer in which Stewart said repeal of the law would kill popular provisions such as one that fills in a gap in Medicare drug coverage for seniors known as the “doughnut hole.”
Repeal, Stewart said, also would allow insurance companies to continue denying coverage to people with pre-existing medical conditions and parents wouldn’t be allowed to keep their children on their plans until age 26.
“Given all those great things that are in it, no, I wouldn’t vote to repeal it,” Stewart said. “Now, it still needs some work. … What we need are leaders who can go up there and do the job they were sent to do and that’s work together and solve the problems.”

DCCC Deems 4th District an ‘Emerging Race’

News release from the Eric Stewart campaign:
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) announced today that state Sen. Eric Stewart (D-Belvidere) has been placed on the Emerging Races list in his campaign for Tennessee’s 4th Congressional District.
The DCCC recognized Stewart’s campaign for increasingly making this race competitive by meeting infrastructure and organizational goals and beginning to make the case to voters that he is a problem-solver who will protect working families in Tennessee.
“This is another sign of momentum for our campaign that shows we’re competitive and have strong grassroots support,” said Stewart. “We are continuing to build our organization, our fundraising network and communicate our message of taking courage, common sense and cooperation to Washington. Folks are tired of business as usual, and we will change that by aggressively focusing on job creation and standing up for working families.”
Emerging Races highlights Democratic candidates and districts that are making themselves competitive by running smart campaigns which are becoming increasingly competitive.

DCCC Bashes DesJarlais Again (as part of GOP ‘Congress of chronic chaos’)

News release from Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee:
Today is the one year anniversary of Representative Scott Desjarlais’s (TN-04) Republican Congress of chronic chaos that nearly shutdown the government three times, tried to end Medicare, failed to create jobs, and blindly protected tax breaks for Big Oil and billionaires. With so much work to do to get the economy back on track and Americans back to work, Desjarlais is spending his one year anniversary on vacation — only working 6 days in all of January.
In this first year for Desjarlais’s Republican Congress, their partisan extremism has protected the ultra wealthy at the expense of Medicare for seniors, tax cuts for the middle class, and creating jobs for American workers.
“The first year of Representative Scott Desjarlais’s Republican Congress is marked by extreme partisanship and unbending protection of Big Oil and the ultra wealthy,” said Jesse Ferguson of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Desjarlais and House Republicans have spent this first year in chronic chaos — failing to protect the middle class or create jobs — and are now off on vacation rather than putting Americans back to work. Middle income Tennessee families can’t afford another year of Representative Scott Desjarlais choosing to blindly protect tax breaks for Big Oil instead of protecting Medicare for seniors.”
According to new polling by Pew Research Center, voters blame House Republicans like Desjarlais for Congress’s failures and give the Republican Congress its lowest approval rating in history.

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DCCC: Fincher Helping Tea Party in ‘Mugging the Middle Class’

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is targeting Republican U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher with robo-calls criticizing him for a vote against the Senate-passed bill extending a payroll tax reduction.
Here’s text of the call, as reported by Elizabeth Bewley:
“Something remarkable happened this weekend – Democrats and Republicans in the Senate worked together to stop a $1,000 payroll tax hike on 160 million middle-class families.
“Sounds too good to be true? It is, if Representative Steve Fincher doesn’t do the right thing and support it.
“Thirty-nine Republicans in the Senate voted for a middle-class tax-cut compromise, but Representative Fincher is ready to scrap it and sock the middle class with a tax hike on Jan. 1. That will cost Americans money when they can least afford it.
“The tea party is mugging the middle class with a tax increase because they don’t think millionaires and corporations should pay their fair share. Call (731) 423-4848 and tell Representative Fincher to stand with us, not the Tea Party, and support the $1,000 payroll tax-cut compromise before it’s too late.”

DCCC Joins in Defending Smokey the Bear, Denouncing DesJarlais

News release from Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee:
Despite wildfires in Tennessee that have already burned more than 9,000 acres this year and a 2010 fire that burned nearly 1,000 acres in his own district, Congressman Scott DesJarlais (TN-04) wants to eliminate the Smokey Bear campaign, which could force the government to spend more money fighting fires as the number of human-caused forest fires increase.
“It takes a special kind of politician to attack Smokey Bear,” said Adam Hodge of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Instead of asking billionaires to pay a little bit more or oil companies to give up their subsidies, Congressman DesJarlais wants to eliminate a program that helps reduce the number of forest fires in Tennessee. There are better ways to reduce the deficit than by following Congressman DesJarlais’ extreme ideology and attacking Smokey Bear.”
Background
DesJarlais’ Proposal to Eliminate Smokey the Bear Could Actually Increase Federal Spending to Fight Fires. “Representative Scott DesJarlais wants to eliminate funding for the U.S. Forest Service (USFS)’s conservation education program, a leader in Smokey Bear’s iconic, decades-long campaign to prevent wildfires […] The proposal would likely increase spending to combat wildfires and would hurt communities that rely on the public’s understanding of the value of forest products and ecosystem services […] In 2010, 36,108 human-caused wildfires burned in the southern region of the United States, an area represented in part by Rep. DesJarlais. Seeing as firefighting costs the government about $700 per acre, federal spending would be higher without Smokey Bear’s powerful message.” [Forest Foundation, 12/2/11]
Fire Season Often Brings Devastating Effects to East Tennessee. “November may only be just over a week old, but already the area has been plagued by two small brush fires, warning shots in what Division of Forestry officials hope won’t become a constant salve this fall fire season. That has Forestry officials making a concerted effort to warn local residents about the potential dangers of the stretch from Oct. 15 to Dec. 15 that often brings devastating conflagrations to East Tennessee […] [The] chemistry of risk factors sent Forestry employees scrambling to more than 1,300 blazes that claimed nearly 16,500 acres last year.” [Mountain Press, 11/9/2011]
DesJarlais Voted Against a Bipartisan Fully Offset Amendment to Restore Funding to Firefighters. “Under H.R. 1 — House legislation to continue funding the federal government – the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program would have been completely eliminated, and the Assistance to Firefighters (FIRE Act) grants would have been cut by more than 20 percent. Recognizing the threat to fire fighter safety, Representative Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) offered an amendment to restore funding for the two programs. The amendment passed February 16 with a large bipartisan majority.” [International Association of Fire Fighters Press Release, 2/16/11; Pascrell of New Jersey Amendment #223 to H.R. 1, Vote #60, 2/16/11]
Fires Hit Campbell County Last Year. “Two wildfires in Campbell County consumed 700 acres, half of the reported acreage burned Tuesday across East Tennessee. Eighteen fires burning 1,400 acres were reported as weather conditions continue to be dry with high winds elevating the danger.” [Knoxville News, 4/7/10]
Over 825 Wildfires Have Been Recorded Since January in Tennessee. “Since January, state Forestry Division officials have recorded 825 wildfires in Tennessee that burned more than 9,000 acres of forestland.” According to the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, the Department utilized Smokey Bear to help their fire prevention program. [State of Tennessee Press Release, 9/2/11; Tennessee Department of Agriculture, accessed 12/5/11]
DesJarlais Said Millionaires and Billionaires Already Pay the Lion’s Share of Taxes. In September 2011, DesJarlais said that the millionaires and billionaires already pay enough taxes. “Shouldering the burden on the job creators — the people he refers to as millionaires and billionaires — they’re already paying the lion’s share of taxes, and taxing them more is going to hurt jobs, not help create them.” [WBIR, 9/8/11]

Previous post HERE.

DCCC Attacks DesJarlais Via Robo Calls on ‘Tax Breaks for Billionaires’

News release from Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee:
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee today launched a new paid and grassroots campaign to hold Representative Scott DesJarlais (TN-04) accountable for forcing the Super Committee to fail by demanding more tax breaks for billionaires while insisting the Medicare guarantee be eliminated. The campaign includes robo calls, live phone calls, online advertising and an online action center where voters can write letters to the editor about House Republicans’ priorities. The calls begin in DesJarlais’s district today.
Representative DesJarlais signed conservative lobbyist Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform pledge to protect tax breaks for the ultra wealthy at the expense of the middle class and seniors.
The script of the automated phone call ad to be run in Representative Scott DesJarlais’s district follows:
Hi, this is Mandy Sue calling on behalf of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee calling about Congressman Scott DesJarlais and Republicans forcing the Super Committee to fail.
Americans demanded a bipartisan, big, bold, and balanced plan to reduce the deficit and grow our economy – but that’s not what we got. The Super Committee failed because Republicans insisted on extending the Bush tax breaks for millionaires and refusing to include a jobs proposal – while ending the Medicare guarantee! That’s something that Democrats stand strongly against.
By rejecting a balanced approach, Republicans chose to protect the wealthiest one percent at the expense of seniors and the middle class. Now they’re even talking about raising the payroll tax.
Please call Congressman DesJarlais at 931-381-9920 and tell him it’s time to focus on us.

UPDATE from Action Andy:
DesJarlais spokesman Robert Jameson took issue with Democrats seeking to link the congressman to the supercommittee. He said DesJarlais voted against the Budget Control Act that set up the panel and the congressman believes cuts should have been debated by the entire House and not 12 people behind closed doors.
The bipartisan supercommittee was charged with cutting more than $1 trillion but deadlocked, with Republicans supporting only spending cuts and Democrats backing both cuts and tax increases.
The Democrats’ news release said they intend to hold DesJarlais “accountable for forcing the debt supercommittee to fail by demanding more tax breaks for billionaires while insisting the Medicare guarantee be eliminated.”
Jameson said DesJarlais voted for Republicans’ budget proposal that “closed loopholes for giant corporations while lowering overall tax rates so everybody pays their fair share.”
As for charges that DesJarlais opposes Democratic efforts to raise taxes on the wealthiest, Jameson said “the congressman doesn’t believe we need to raise taxes on anybody right now.”
Democratic Party officials won’t say how much they are spending on this week’s effort.

Cooper, Fincher Top National Partisan Targets in TN

Blast emails sent by political party committees accuse Democratic Rep. Jim Cooper of Nashville of supporting “job-destroying policies” and Republican Rep. Stephen Fincher of Frog Jump of accepting “tainted” campaign cash, reports The Tennessean.
Since mid-September, the National Republican Congressional Committee has sent at least six emails to reporters and fundraisers targeting Cooper, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has sent at least 10 blasting Fincher.
A handful of DCCC emails also target Republican Rep. Scott DesJarlais of Jasper. The emails take aim at lawmakers considered vulnerable in the 2012 election.
“Fincher has always been one of our top targets,” said Adam Hodge, a spokesman for the DCCC. “I think it’s just a race we can win.”
Andrea Bozek, a spokeswoman for the NRCC, said the same of Cooper. He and other fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrats were decimated in last November’s election, and that trend probably will continue in 2012, she said.
“They are out of tricks,” she said.