Tag Archives: diane black

Black buying $500K in TV campaign ads

U.S. Rep. Diane Black, facing a challenge in the 6th Congressional District Republican primary, is preparing to spend nearly a half million dollars on TV ads, reports The Tennessean.

Black — who is among the richest members of Congress — is prepared to spend $493,000 on three or four advertisements that will run on broadcast and cable television stations between June 29 and the August 4 primary election, according to her campaign.

Although the content of the first ad remains unknown, according to the latest documents filed with the Federal Communications Commission, Black is planning to run as many as 400 ads on various programs on WTVF, WSMV, WZTV and WUXP. Those documents show reserved ad slots already totaling $386,615.

“Diane has a strong conservative record and we will be communicating that to Middle Tennessee with an aggressive advertising campaign on radio, TV, digital and through our grassroots door-knocking campaign,” said Brad Todd, a campaign spokesman. “She has always run innovative campaigns that blend multiple media — she was one of the state’s earliest campaign adopters of digital advertising in 2010. There’s a reason she has never lost an election — she runs hard.”

Black, who has represented the 6th Congressional District since 2011, is being challenged in the Republican primary by former state Rep. Joe Carr, Tommy Hay and Donald Strong.

…Jeremy Hayes, a spokesman for Carr, said he was not surprised at the amount of money Black is spending on ads.

“Seventy percent of broadcast TV viewership is outside the 6th District and this type of inefficient spending illustrates the same spending habits she had when she voted to raise the debt limit four out of the last five years,” Hayes said.

Vanderbilt transgender surgery coverage berated by Black

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Vanderbilt University officials say the school’s student insurance will start covering transgender-related surgeries in order to make the campus a more inclusive environment for students who previously had gone without necessary care.

Vanderbilt Vice Provost for Learning and Residential Affairs Cynthia Cyrus tells The Tennessean (http://tnne.ws/1XEOLNvA ) that the change was made after a routine annual review of the university’s health care plan for students.

Vanderbilt’s plan has covered hormone therapy for transgender students for several years.

Nonprofit advocacy group Campus Pride says 71 universities across the country already offer the coverage.

The University of Tennessee at Knoxville’s insurance policy covers neither transgender-related surgeries nor hormone therapy.

Press release from U.S. Rep. Diane Black:

Washington, D.C. – Today Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) responded to Vanderbilt University’s decision to add hormone therapy and gender reassignment surgery to its student insurance policy. Black released the following statement:

“Let’s be honest, this decision is not about the health and wellbeing of Vanderbilt University students, it is about the political agenda of liberal university administrators,” said Congressman Diane Black. “Our institutions of higher learning exist to graduate students who are career ready and are prepared to compete in the global economy, not to play politics by providing insurance coverage of medically unnecessary procedures while raking in federal grants. With this stunt, Vanderbilt University has shown itself to be completely out of touch with the values of most Tennesseans and has surely alienated more than a few students, parents, and donors. I’m especially concerned that, by the university’s own admission, this decision was ‘not deeply debated in any way’ – showing just how little thought went in to such a far-reaching policy. For all the advanced degrees that exist among Vanderbilt University’s senior administration, there is a painfully obvious lack of commonsense.”

TN Republicans join in bashing Obama bathroom directive

Some Tennessee Republican politicians have joined other members of the party in bashing a directive from the Obama administration that calls on schools to allow use of bathrooms based on an individual’s “gender identity.”

Republican state Rep. Susan Lynn of Wilson County, who unsuccessfully sponsored a bill in the legislature this year mandating use of school bathrooms based on the gender designated on birth certificates, was focus of a Tennessean story after a Facebook post on the subject. Excerpt:

“Transgenderism is a mental disorder called gender identity disorder — no one should be forced to entertain another’s mental disorder and it is not healthy for the individual with the disorder,” Lynn said in a list of responses to the federal directive.

“We can and we will legistativly (sic) protect children from hormone abuse — a directive has no impact on that issue only the Orwellian redefinition of sex would do that.”

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander news release:
WASHINGTON, May 13 – Senate education committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement on the Department of Education’s guidance to local school districts regarding transgender student’s use of public bathrooms:

“This is the kind of issue that parents, school boards, communities, students and teachers should be allowed to work out in a practical way with a maximum amount of respect for the individual rights of all students. Insofar as the federal government goes, it’s up to Congress to write the law, not the executive departments. And guidance issued by the departments does not amount to federal law and should not be treated as such.” Continue reading

Black-Green-Carr spat cancels county GOP fundraiser

By Eric Schelzig, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Reagan Day fundraisers have been a staple of GOP politics ever since the Great Communicator made a point of promoting the 11th Commandment — thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican. But in the conservative suburbs east of Nashville, the event has become too poisonous to be held this year.

According to party emails obtained by The Associated Press, three leading Tennessee Republicans refused to speak at the June fundraiser if their rivals were given the same opportunity, forcing the Wilson County Republicans to call off the event altogether.

The flap suggests just how fractured the GOP has become this election year, as Donald Trump and tea party supporters continue shaking up what’s left of the Republican establishment. It also suggests what hardball tactics may come in the race to succeed term-limited Republican Gov. Bill Haslam in 2018.

The head of the county party has no comment on why the party canceled the event. But a flurry of correspondence obtained by the AP suggests that organizers couldn’t get the three candidates to share a stage.

The event was to be held on June 7 in the district of U.S. Rep. Diane Black, who faces a tea-party rival, former state Rep. Joe Carr, in Tennessee’s congressional primary this August. Black also is a top contender for governor, and will likely face state Sen. Mark Green, an Army veteran who has been speaking at other Reagan Day events around the state.
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More TN GOP congressmen climb aboard Trump train

U.S. Reps. Scott DesJarlais was the first Tennessee congressman to endorse Donald Trump for president, followed more recently by Rep. John J. “Jimmy” Duncan Jr. After Trump’s win in Indiana Tuesday, other Republican congressmen are pledging their support.

From a Michael Collins report:

“It looks like the presumptive nominee of the party is going to be Donald Trump, and I think Republicans need to unify and get behind the Republican nominee,” said U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann of Ooltewah.

Fleischmann, who initially backed former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, had declined to endorse another candidate after Huckabee dropped out of the race.

…”I will back the Republican nominee for president 100 percent,” Fleischmann said. “If that is going to be Donald Trump, I will certainly get out and campaign for him and support him 100 percent.”

U.S. Reps. Phil Roe of Johnson City and Diane Black of Gallatin also pledged to support Trump.

“As I’ve said from the beginning, I will support our nominee,” Roe said. “It’s time for the Republicans to unite, and I am enthusiastically supporting Donald Trump. I look forward to helping him in any way that I can to take back the White House in November.”

Black said “the three scariest words in the English language today are ‘President Hillary Clinton.'”

“I will support our presumptive nominee, Donald J. Trump, in the general election and call on Republicans across Tennessee to do the same,” she said. “After eight years of failed liberal policies, this is a time for our party to unite and put a conservative in the White House.”

U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Brentwood didn’t mention Trump by name, but said, “I will support the Republican nominee, and I look forward to seeing a Republican in the White House.”

Sen. Lamar Alexander, as quoted in the Kingsport Times-News: . “Donald Trump wasn’t my first choice, but the people have a right to their choice, and I will support the Republican nominee when we have one.”

Some back-and-forth between Carr and the Black camp

Former state Rep. Joe Carr of Rutherford County, who came within nine percentage points of U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander in the 2014 GOP primary, has now set his sights on U.S. Rep. Diane Blaker of the 6th Congressional District — and the rhetoric has begun.

From a Tennessean report:

Framing himself as an anti-establishment outsider, Carr accused Black of being “more interested in securing her place within the status quo” of the Republican Party and not taking on issues such as fighting Planned Parenthood, lowering the deficit and defunding the Affordable Care Act.

He singled out those issues even though Black has been a vocal critic of Obamacare and Planned Parenthood, including last year introducing the Defund Planned Parenthood Act.

“Since she’s been in Congress, Barack Obama’s agenda has basically gone unchecked,” Carr said. “She’s been vocal sometimes, but she’s never stood up to the establishment in the Republican Party and the establishment in Washington.

“She’s never pushed the agenda that she promised she would fight for.”

In a statement, Black campaign spokesman Matt Coker pushed back against Carr’s arguments, characterizing him as a politician constantly looking to run for higher office. Besides elected office, Carr’s bid in 2014 to be Tennessee Republican Party chairman also fell short.

“Carr is only able to call himself an outsider because he lost most all of the races he has sought,” Coker said in an emailed statement. “By our count, this is the fifth different office he has sought in the last eight years.

“While Congressman Black has pushed leadership in Congress for votes on important issues like defunding Planned Parenthood, freezing the refugee program, and budgets that balance, Carr has been looking for his next opportunity to get another taxpayer funded job.”

Carr’s decision to run comes even though his Rutherford County home address is not in the 6th Congressional District, nor is any part of Rutherford County in that district.

Instead, Carr, a former Tennessee state representative, lives four miles away from the 6th District in Congressional District 4, which is held by Republican Rep. Scott DesJarlais. Carr briefly mounted a challenge against DesJarlais two years ago before pulling out.

Carr said Tennessee law requires only residency in the state — not the actual congressional district — to run for Congress.

…As to the reasons why he thinks he can win, Carr pointed to his performance in the 2014 Republican Senate primary against Alexander in which Carr won 12 of 19 Middle Tennessee counties that include portions of Congressional District 6. He lost the overall race against Alexander by a margin of 49.7 percent to 40.5 percent.

All TN GOP congressmen outraged with UT diversity guidelines

All nine of the Tennessee’s Republicans in Congress have denounced UT Office of Diversity guidelines that suggested holiday parties should not be “a Christmas party in disguise,” reports Michael Collins.

Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey said UT Chancellor Jimmy Cheek should resign if he had anything to do with the guidelines, which are posted on the website of UT’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion. Ramsey also hinted that the university could be stripped of its state funding.

“If the University of Tennessee cannot keep its house in order the General Assembly must shift funding to the University of Memphis, ETSU or other institutions of higher learning that don’t embarrass us nationally on a regular basis,” Ramsey wrote on Facebook.

U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, a South Pittsburg Republican, slammed the holiday party directive as “nonsense” and said he would encourage the Tennessee General Assembly to investigate and, where necessary, “ensure that tax dollars are not being expended on this kind of frivolity.”

“Much like the federal government, which has strayed into far too many areas, universities should spend their time and resources on their primary goal – preparing graduates for the real world,” DesJarlais said. “When offices are wasting time and energy on drafting memos like what we have seen from this particular department, taxpayers in our state are rightfully outraged at the silliness of it all.”

U.S. Rep. Diane Black, a Gallatin Republican, said the guidelines — which suggested faculty and staff holiday parties should not be “a Christmas party in disguise” — would be laughable “if only the implications for students were not so serious.”

“With these rules, the UT Office of Diversity and Inclusion is not promoting diversity — it is stifling it,” Black said. “This kind of hyper-political correctness is not representative of the UT Volunteer spirit that our state has come to know and love, and it has no place on the university’s campus. Between these offensive, Scrooge-like guidelines, and the school’s much-maligned attempt at regulating gender-neutral pronouns, it is past time for Chancellor (Jimmy) Cheek to get a handle on the university’s affairs or make way for someone who can.”

U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, a Johnson City Republican, said the Constitution “guarantees our freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.”

“Christmas is a holiday to celebrate the birth of Christ, and it’s ridiculous that a public institution would issue guidance limiting religious freedoms,” he said. “It seems to me a better path to inclusive holiday celebrations would be to encourage every member of the UT community to take pride in and celebrate their own faith as well as the different faiths of their colleagues.”
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On Rep. Diane Black and the Colorado Springs shootings

U.S. Rep. Diane Black, arguably the leader in criticism of Planned Parenthood within Tennessee’s congressional delegation and member of a House committee set up to investigate sale of fetal tissue, is also the first in the delegation to offer commentary on the murders last week at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood facility.

Blogger Jeff Woods, meanwhile, quotes a Tennessee Planned Parenthood leader, Jeff Teague, as questioning whether rhetoric from Republican lawmakers — specifically including Black and U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, who chairs the congressional investigating committee — inspires such things.

“They are continuing to repeat these lies and false accusations against Planned Parenthood and it’s completely irresponsible,” he said.

The Black commentary:
Last Friday, a deranged man opened fire at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, killing three and injuring nine. While the killer reportedly spoke of opposition to abortion at the time of his arrest, his actions are antithetical to the heart of the pro-life movement. They enrage all of us who believe in the sanctity of life at every stage, born and unborn – including the lives of those with whom we may disagree – and they have no place in our country.

The murderer behind these vicious attacks, Robert Dear, did not just take innocent life that day. With his words and his actions, he also perverted a cause that is precious to so many of us. The heart of the pro-life movement is a heart of compassion, but on Friday Americans saw hatred and violence which the media and Planned Parenthood have now wrapped under a fraudulent cloak of ‘pro-life’ beliefs.
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Diane Black: Gun permits should be as good as a driver’s license

Tennessee’s U.S. Rep. Diane Black is proposing that handgun carry permits be accepted as an appropriate form of identification for boarding an airplane after her own gun permit was refused as proper ID at the Nashville airport when she had misplaced her driver’s license.

From a Black op-ed piece written for Fox News:

While knives and weapons may make it past airport security all too often, your handgun carry permit – a government-issued form of identification – will not. I speak from personal experience. On a recent flight from Nashville to Washington, I approached the TSA counter only to realize my drivers’ license was tucked away in a pocket of my jeans at home. Unfazed, I pulled out my handgun carry permit to identify myself to the agent. The card bears my picture, my full legal name, my date of birth, and a hologram with the state seal.

Further, as any firearm owner knows, the process of obtaining your handgun license is significantly more involved than obtaining a drivers’ license. It requires completion of a safety course, a fingerprint, and a thorough background check. If that’s good enough to carry a weapon, then surely it is sufficient as a form of identification to board a plane, right?

Wrong. As I handed over my permit, I was met with a look of immediate disapproval. The TSA agent informed me that handgun licenses are banned as a form of identification. After a moment of panic, I showed the agent my Congressional voting card and boarded my flight, but I vowed to do my research on the subject upon returning to Washington.

… One in three Americans own a gun and there is no reason to make them feel like second class citizens when traveling. That is why I introduced the Nondiscriminatory Transportation Screening Act, or the “TSA Act” for short.

This simple, two-page bill would allow Americans to use handgun carry permits bearing a photograph for TSA purposes while maintaining strong protections for gun owners’ privacy rights and prohibiting government tracking of individuals who choose to present this identification at airport screenings.

The legislation is not simply a response to my travel experience; it also reflects the will of the states – such as in Texas, where the state legislature overwhelmingly adopted a bipartisan resolution calling upon Congress to pass a bill such as this.

Note: Hat tip to Jeff Woods, who in a Nashville Scene Pith posting following his recent return to blogging is not supportive of her efforts:

With the threat of terrorism rising, you’d think Black could stop pandering to the NRA for just a little while and focus on larger issues than easing travel headaches for handgun carriers who’ve forgotten their driver’s licenses.

Black goes politicking in Knoxville

Republican U.S. Rep. Diane Black of Gallatin, widely believed to be eyeing a run for governor in 2018, joined a roomful of Knoxville-area politicians to “press the flesh” at Vol Market #3, and would neither confirm or deny such an interest when asked, reports the News Sentinel.

Black said Friday she was only in town to see her grandson play in the University of Tennessee Pride of The Southland Marching Band during the football game against South Carolina on Saturday.

…When asked if her visit might be an early campaign stop with an eye toward the 2018 gubernatorial race, Black said: “I’m just here to see my good friend Tim Burchett right now. He asked some of his friends to come by, and I’m enjoying meeting them.”

The two previously served in the Tennessee General Assembly together… Among some of the gathered were Knox County Commissioners Randy Smith and Jeff Ownby, Trustee Ed Shouse, plenty of people running for local office, and one notable visitor from Nashville — Tom Ingram.

Ingram has been an adviser for Haslam’s campaigns, a former chief of staff for Sen. Lamar Alexander and recently backed Jeb Bush’s effort to win the GOP presidential nomination in Tennessee.

Black, meanwhile, is on the shortlist of Republicans who have been considered in some statewide political circles to be among those seeking the 2018 gubernatorial bid.But on Friday she was just in town to meet some of Burchett’s friends, she maintained, and to watch her grandson play in the band.

Burchett, for his part, addressed the very rally-like lunch at Vol Market #3 more directly.

“We’re political animals here,” he said. “Everybody knows the game.”

…“Anyone can raise a potful of money, but if they want to talk to voters, then that’s my base,” he said, listing off the gathered. “You got preachers and firemen and business people, and even Tom Ingram showed up.”

When asked whether he thought Black was seeking another elected office, Burchett speculated a little.

“She’s made a name for herself,” he said. “She’s fiscally conservative and she’s well-spoken. We could be well-served by some like her, whatever she decides … I don’t know, she’s probably just testing the waters.”

Note: Last month, Black was speaking to Republicans in Sullivan County. Previous post, HERE.