Tag Archives: diane black

Black blasts Carr in 6th District

U.S. Rep. Diane Black trounced challenger Joe Carr in the Republican primary of Tennessee’s 6th congressional district, overcoming a barrage of attacks from her opponent that sought to tap into a national wave of anti-establishment GOP politics.

From The Tennessean’s report:

Black, a three-term congressman, beat Carr, a former tea party-aligned state representative from Rutherford County, by a nearly 2 to 1 margin Thursday. Republican primary candidates Tommy Hay and Donald Strong each have below 3 percent of the vote.

Black, a 65-year-old former nurse and ex state lawmaker from Gallatin, will now be a heavy favorite as the Republican nominee in the November general election against Democrat David Kent, who defeated Flo Matheson for the Democratic nomination Thursday.

For Black — despite outspending Carr 10 to 1 in campaign spending — the race presented an important political test as she considers a Republican run for governor in 2018. Losing her congressional primary would have derailed any statewide ambitions.

Note: Returns available on Division of Elections website, HERE.

Black, a three-term congressman, beat Carr, a former tea party-aligned state representative from Rutherford County, by a nearly 2 to 1 margin Thursday. Republican primary candidates Tommy Hay and Donald Strong each have below 3 percent of the vote.

Black, a 65-year-old former nurse and ex state lawmaker from Gallatin, will now be a heavy favorite as the Republican nominee in the November general election against Democrat David Kent, who defeated Flo Matheson for the Democratic nomination Thursday.

Black backer files complaint against attack ad sponsor

A supporter of U.S. Rep. Diane Black has filed a federal complaint against an organization led by conservative activist Steve Gill that has bankrolled a series of negative ads targeting Black in her 6th Congressional District race against challenger Joe Carr, reports the Tennessean. The group has also been running radio ads attacking candidates in the 8th Congressional District GOP primary.

In a complaint filed last week with the Federal Election Commission, Michael Zinser, an attorney from Gallatin, alleged that the 501(c)(4) organization Power of Liberty – whose donors remain secret – has produced ads that constitute “electioneering communications” because they fell within one-month of the Aug. 4. None of that activity, however, has been disclosed with the FEC, according to the complaint.

Gill, a former conservative radio talk show host and Power of Liberty’s registered agent, has said the group is an “issue advocacy” nonprofit organization and therefore does not have to disclose its donors and expenditures with the FEC. Instead, Gill has said Power of Liberty would be filing how much it raised with the IRS next year but that it won’t include a list of donors.

But the complaint details more than $67,000 in radio advertising that Zinser says Power of Liberty has purchased through Aug. 3, this Wednesday, that mention Black by name.

Election Day is Thursday. Under federal law, radio or TV communications that clearly identify a federal candidate are considered electioneering. Sources of funding of this type of communications must be disclosed within 24 hours, according to federal law, when it exceeds $10,000 and occurs within 30 days of a primary.

The group’s ads in Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District race, both on radio and via mail, have criticized Black as being part of the “Washington establishment,” among other charges, but they don’t say to vote for Carr or against Black.

Zinser, who told The Tennessean that he supports Black in her Republican primary race against Carr, has asked the FEC to investigate the allegation and impose all appropriate penalties.

In addition to advertising that has targeted Black, Power of Liberty has also paid for ads that have attacked Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell, state Sen. Brian Kelsey, R-Germantown and businessman Brad Greer. All three are candidates in West Tennessee’s crowded 8th Congressional District Republican primary to replace departing U.S. Rep. Steve Fincher.

Gill, reached by The Tennessean, said he wasn’t surprised by the FEC complaint, calling it a “desperate” response from a candidate in a tough political race.

“We’ve seen them file frivolous lawsuits in the Diane Black versus Lou Ann Zelenik races,” Gill said, referring to Black’s first congressional race six years ago and reelection two years later. “At the end of a campaign, the Blacks tend to go to litigation and filing complaints. That’s unfortunately what they do in close races rather than taking their case to the voters.”

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.”

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

Democrats question Haslam fundraiser at governor’s residence

News release from Rep. John Ray Clemmons, D-Nashville
NASHVILLE – Senate Minority Leader Lee Harris and State Rep. John Ray Clemmons sent a letter to Attorney General Herbert Slatery today formally requesting his legal opinion on several issues surrounding the Governor’s planned fundraiser for Rep. Diane Black at the Executive Residence.

“In the spirit of responsibly representing Tennessee taxpayers, we are seeking answers to some serious concerns that we have about the Governor’s political activities on state property and his consistent refusal to release his schedule,” stated Rep. John Ray Clemmons. “Transparency has been an issue for this administration from day one. From Governor Haslam’s very first Executive Order that eliminated financial disclosure requirements for him and his top aides to his secretive out-sourcing scheme, he has consistently skirted the sunshine.”

“Today, we are posing some legitimate questions, such as, ‘Can the Governor host campaign fundraisers at the Executive Residence?'” stated Sen. Lee Harris. “We don’t think the Executive Residence is a place where campaign events should be held, but that is why we are seeking clarification. If President Obama used the White House to host campaign fundraisers, many on the other side of the aisle probably would be up in arms about it. This is the same thing.”

These questions come on the heels of media reports that the Governor will be hosting a campaign fundraiser at the Executive Residence for Congressman Diane Black’s re-election efforts on July 21, 2016.

A copy of the letter to General Slatery can be found here.

Carr bashes Haslam for hosting Black fundraiser

News release from Joe Carr campaign
SIXTH DISTRICT, TENNESSEE. (JULY 11, 2016)- On Thursday July 21, 2016 at 12 Noon, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam will be hosting a luncheon fundraiser for Congressman Diane Black. The fundraising event is being held at the governor’s mansion, a taxpayer funded residence. The cost to attend the luncheon is $2,700 per couple or $1,000 per individual. As governor, Bill Haslam proposed to expand Medicaid, is attempting to increase Tennessee’s gas tax, and refuses to sue the Obama Administration over the unlawful resettlement of Muslim Syrian Refugees into Tennessee.

“Diane is an 18 year career politician, yet continues to claim that she fights against the establishment. Asking the governor to host a fundraising reception at the official residence that is subsidized by the Tennessee Taxpayer is by definition establishment politics. While we have come to expect this type of conduct from Congressman Black, the taxpayers of Tennessee should be able to expect a higher standard from their governor. Unfortunately, Diane Black is no stranger to crony establishment politics. Since her election in 2010 she has received over $3 million from Washington D.C. PAC’s, voted herself a $1,000 per month car allowance, and filed a bill that directly benefited one of her largest contributors. If that doesn’t define crony establishment politics, I don’t know what does. Diane talks about ‘fighting back with Diane Black’ but what the voters end up with is stabbed in the back” said Joe Carr.

Carr went on to say, “When elected to Congress I will take power away from Washington and give it back to the state of Tennessee. Tennessee does not need more Washington; it needs less Washington, and the 6th District needs somebody who believes that fighting back is more than a campaign slogan.”

Former State Representative Joe Carr is a lifelong resident of Tennessee having served 3 terms in the Tennessee General Assembly (2008-2014). Joe Carr is a congressional candidate in Tennessee’s Sixth District.

Note: Asked for comment, Haslam Press Secretary Jennifer Donnals replies: “The governor appreciates the good work Diane Black is doing representing Tennesseans in Congress and he is glad to support her.”

TN GOP congressional delegation to attend convention, except Black (and maybe Duncan)

U.S. Rep. Diane Black is skipping the Republican National Convention this year to campaign in her home district while U.S. Rep. John J. “Jimmy” Duncan Jr. hasn’t decided if he’ll make the Cleveland scene. Otherwise, reports Michael Collins, all of Tennessee’s Republican senators and representatives plan to be on hand.

“While I enthusiastically support Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and would, of course, appreciate the opportunity to take part in such a historic occasion, I ultimately believed that my time is best spent here in Tennessee,” the Gallatin Republican said.

GOP leaders across the country who can’t stomach the thought of Trump as their party’s standard-bearer are skipping the nominating convention, which opens July 18 in Cleveland. Prominent Republicans taking a pass include more than a dozen U.S. senators.

Black is staying home for a different reason.

Tennessee’s primary will take place Aug. 4, just two weeks after the GOP convention ends. Given that she faces a challenge from three fellow Republicans — state Rep. Joe Carr, Tommy Hay and Donald Strong — Black decided to remain in Tennessee and hold meet-and-greet events across the state’s 6th Congressional District.

Rep. John J. Duncan Jr. of Knoxville hasn’t yet decided whether he’ll attend the convention. But if he stays away, it won’t be because of Trump. Duncan has publicly endorsed the New York real estate mogul and has been vocal about his support for Trump’s campaign.

“At this point, I have not decided (about the convention) because I have some events in my district that I feel I should attend,” Duncan said.

“In our country, we are very fortunate that the people through the democratic process choose the president of the United States, and the conventions are an important part of that,” Alexander said. “So I consider it a privilege to attend the convention and have tried to do so most of the years I have been active in public life.”

Corker, who could end up with a Cabinet post in a Trump administration, has been offered a speaking role at the convention.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Brentwood also has been invited to speak and will serve throughout the week as a Trump “surrogate,” speaking on behalf of the campaign in interviews and at events.

“Our party is seeing record turnout in the primaries, and I think that’s a great indication of the excitement going into the general election,” Blackburn said. “We’re looking forward to an energized convention and a Trump White House.”

Diane Black TV ad focused on protection from immigrants, refugees

From a Tennessean description:

In a 30-second spot, which began airing Thursday, Black tells an audience that she has fought hard to ensure the country’s borders are protected.

“The fact is that people come into this country illegally — we’ve got to hold them accountable and responsible,” she says.

A narrator notes that Black is the “sponsor of the law” which seeks to stop refugees coming from Syria and Iraq. Black has pushed legislation aimed at that goal but it has not received Congressional approval or become law.

“This is an issue that both Democrats and Republicans have failed to address,” Black continues in the ad. “This has got to be something that we do as an American people to say no more.”

The ad is the first of a series of spots that will air on broadcast and cable stations throughout her district. According to Black’s campaign, she is set to spend $493,000 on TV ads in advance of the Aug. 4 primary election.

Black, Carr go for 6th District gun vote with AR-15 giveaway, ad buy

Incumbent U.S. Rep. Diane Black and her chief opponent in the 6th Congressional District Republican primary, Joe Carr, offer competing approaches to solicitation of votes from firearms fans, as illustrated in the following two campaign press releases. Continue reading

Diane Black’s brother-in-law having hard times

Don Black has spent months in a homeless shelter since since a souring of relations year with his brother David, who is the husband of U.S. Rep. Diane Black and once provided him with a regular stipend, according to the Nashville Scene.

David Black… has not been in contact with his younger brother since last summer, when he sent an email to Don severing ties — both familial and financial.

After that, Don lost his apartment in Michigan. He lost all the furniture he worked so hard to acquire, piece by piece from thrift stores over the years. He ended up homeless, living in a shelter for eight months. Meanwhile, David and Diane live in an $11.5 million, 20,000-square-foot-plus mansion on Old Hickory Lake.

“I love my brother, and I’m not going to stop loving him just because he’s trying to kick me when I’m down,” Don says. “But he professes to be such a good Christian, and really, I wonder what Lord he’s serving, because it’s not the same one I know.”

…”I don’t think it’s any of your damn business,” David said during a phone call last weekend. He says he’s not a public figure, that his role as the CEO of Aegis Sciences Corp. and Diane’s husband doesn’t make a personal family matter newsworthy.

However, with Diane currently running for re-election in the House and widely expected to announce a gubernatorial bid after her congressional race is over, Don’s story adds complexity to the picture of a very high-profile couple. Especially since Diane, by one calculation, is the 10th-wealthiest member of Congress as of 2014, the last year for which filings are available, and has a net worth of up to $154 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics — not including that $11.5 million house. Diane runs on a platform of “family values” and lauds her Christian faith and donations to ministries. Her office declined to comment.

Don says he doesn’t want money from David. Not now, not ever. He doesn’t want money from anyone, he says, even though a friend of his set up a GoFundMe page to help him out, just a little bit.

“I don’t care if he has a million, a billion, a trillion dollars, I wouldn’t take a bus token from that man ever again,” Don says of David. “I don’t want his money. But I’m not going to be angry. I’m not going to live like that.”