Tag Archives: fincher

Fincher Raises $2 Million; Democratic Opponent $15,602

A good bit of the Tennessean setup story on the 8th District Congressional race concerns incumbent Rep. Stephen Fincher’s sponsorship of a bill that eases regulations for IPO offerings by some businesses — a move praised by President Obama and business, but criticized by consumer advocates. There’s also a rundown on Fincher’s opponents.
Fincher, meanwhile, has shown himself to be one of the House’s most prolific fundraisers as well, having raised $2.03 million for his re-election and his personal political action committee combined through June 30.
…His Democratic opponent is Timothy Dixon, 53, of Germantown, who has 25 years’ experience in various aspects of the automotive industry, including work with both Chrysler and Cummins, the engine manufacturer.
Dixon decries the gridlock that has engulfed Congress on most matters over the past two years and says he wants “work on the problem rather than working on being a partisan.” He added: “It’s time for serious discussions and collaboration.
“Republicans,” he said, “have gone so far to the right they have become obstructionist in the House and in the Senate.”
Dixon also vowed to work on the economic potential of West Tennessee, saying its prime location in the middle of the country continues to make it a potential hot spot for businesses if Congress provides more certainty about budget and tax decisions. Dixon has raised $15,602 through June 30.
Fincher also faces two independent candidates, Mark Rawles of Jackson and James Hart of Buchanan.
Rawles, 53, a business communications consultant and sales manager, said Republicans have spent the last generation selling out the nation to “economic globalism” through unfair trade agreements, while Democrats have become advocates for “social globalism” that calls for surrendering American sovereignty to the United Nations.
“This country is in crisis,” he said, adding Fincher lacks “the strength of consciousness” to judge the long-term effects of congressional actions.
Hart, 68 and retired, says he wants a congressional seat so he can “bury the counter culture” and liberal ideas such as gay marriage, especially in the nation’s schools. He said he wants to restore the nation to “a traditional moral compass.”

DesJarlais, Fleischmann: Went on the Trip, But Didn’t Skinny Dip

U.S. Reps. Scott DesJarlais and Chuck Fleischmann said today they did not participate in or witness a late-night swim in Israel last year in which one lawmaker disrobed and jumped into the Sea of Galilee and others shed some of their clothing to go frolicking in the water.
Ditto with Rep. Stephen Fincher: “It was unfortunate that the behavior of some folks was not acceptable,” Fincher said Monday. “While this was going on, I was doing one of my favorite things — having dinner with my wife. More HERE.
Further on the DesJarlais/Fleischmann fromt from Michael Collins.
Both East Tennessee lawmakers were on the fact-finding trip to Israel with other freshman members of Congress and their families. But they said they did not participate in the questionable swim, which, according to a published report, may have been fueled by alcohol consumption and led to an FBI inquiry.
“While the congressman was on the trip to Israel reinforcing our nation’s relationship with this important ally, he was not involved in the incident in question,” said DesJarlais’ spokesman, Robert Jameson.
Asked if the Jasper Republican had witnessed the activity, Jameson said, “The congressman did not see the incident.”

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Duncan, Fincher, DesJarlais, Cohen Win Primaries

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Four congressional incumbents have defeated their challengers in Tennessee’s primary election.
The winners were Republican Reps. Jimmy Duncan in the 2nd District, Stephen Fincher in the 8th District and Scott DesJarlais in the 4th District. Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen prevailed in the 9th District.
Republican Reps. Chuck Fleischmann and Diane Black posted strong leads in early returns following some of the state’s toughest campaigns.
Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Corker also easily won nomination.
Seven little-known Democrats were vying for the Senate nomination to face Corker in the general election.
Republican Reps. Phil Roe and Marsha Blackburn and Democratic Rep. Jim Cooper had no primary opposition.

Fincher Re-election Likely Assured (though he must take Hart)

There’s a big difference between the 8th Congressional District race of 2010 and the contest this year, observes Bart Sullivan in a review of campaign now underway.
The winner, incumbent Stephen Fincher, is being challenged by Dyer County juvenile delinquency counselor Annette Justice in the Republican primary Aug. 2.
He’s likely to face Democrats’ Timothy Dixon, Wes Bradley or Christa Stoscheck in November as well as two independents, including James L. Hart of Henry County, who has repeatedly sought the office since 2002. This year, Hart, 68, is parading around courthouse squares with a sandwich board bearing the slogans “Bury the Counter-Culture, Not Our Children,” and “Send the Mexicans back to Mexico.”
He won the Republican primary in 2004 and went on to win 59,853 votes against (former Democratic Rep. John) Tanner but has not done as well since.
This year, none of the challengers has much name recognition, an indication to Union University political science department chairman Sean F. Evans that Democrats have conceded the seat to Fincher.
Redistricting also made the seat more Republican-leaning while placing more of Shelby County in it, opening Fincher, 39, to a possible challenge down the line, Evans suggests. But for the moment, he said, Fincher’s hold seems solid.

On Assets and Travels of Congressmen Cohen, Fincher, Blackburn

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen could have as much as $5.08 million in assets, drew a state pension of $23,128, and traveled to Rwanda, Germany, Israel and Spain at someone else’s expense last year, according to a disclosure that’s the subject of a Commercial Appeal report today.
All members of Congress are required to file an annual description of their assets, liabilities, outside positions on boards, compensated travel and other financial information each May 15. The reports do not include their annual $174,000 salaries as members.
Among Mid-South members, U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher, R-Tenn., whose district will include even more of Shelby County next year, reported $33,943 in income from row crop farming and paid-for trips to Israel and Los Angeles. In addition, he and his wife, Lynn, own farm land worth between $500,000 and $1 million but have outstanding debts from the purchase of equipment of between $795,000 and $1.7 million.
…U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., whose district will no longer encompass parts of Greater Memphis next year because of redistricting, received a $4,202 state pension for service in the legislature and reported she could have as much as $660,000 in assets. She has mortgages on property in Brentwood, Tenn. Blackburn’s travel paid for by others included trips to Vienna, Austria; Palm Beach; Las Vegas; Dallas; and Hilton Head, S.C

Congressional Fundraising: More Fancy, More Expensive

As summer heats up and Election Day draws near, opportunities to hobnob with Tennessee lawmakers won’t be hard to find, observes Elizabeth Bewley.
Supporters can go shooting with Rep. Stephen Fincher, spend a weekend in Nashville with Sen. Lamar Alexander, cheer on the Nashville Sounds with Rep. Jim Cooper, dine at Ruth’s Chris Steak House with Rep. Scott DesJarlais, or head to the Honors Course in Ooltewah for a golf weekend with Sen. Bob Corker.
But the price tag isn’t cheap. In exchange for some time with the lawmakers, individual backers must contribute anywhere from $250 to more than $1,000. Political action committees are asked to hand over at least $1,000.
It’s not cheap for lawmakers, either. Unless such events are hosted by companies, party committees or other sponsors — as many are — the expenses come out of a lawmaker’s campaign coffers. Political experts say the cost of putting on fundraising events has shot up over the last two decades as lawmakers feel pressured to host increasingly glamorous or unusual events.
“Races are more expensive today,” said Steven Livingston, a professor of political science at Middle Tennessee State University. “If you’re going to ask someone for a huge sum of money, you can’t do it over a ham sandwich.”
…Corker, a Republican, has spent at least $190,000 on catering, venue rentals, invitations and other event costs since January 2011, according to campaign finance reports running through March 31.
His campaign spent $4,292 on event rental charges at Pebble Beach Resorts in California in advance of a December golf weekend his campaign hosted there, plus $5,892 for catering and accommodations at the Honors Course in December. Corker’s highest expenses were $14,115 for invitations and envelopes in February 2011, and $8,466 for invitations in October.
…Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Brentwood has spent at least $120,000 on catering, rentals, photography and other event expenses since January 2011, campaign finance reports show. Republican Rep. Scott DesJarlais of Jasper has spent more than $100,000 on catering and other costs labeled “fundraising expenses.”
…Clever campaign managers can bundle certain costs under the label of “consulting fees,” and events hosted by party committees, corporations or lobbyists aren’t listed among a campaign’s expenses, she said.
“This is why there are (campaign) consultants driving around in Mercedes in Washington,” she said. “You get pieces of the puzzle but you really cannot be assured that you have all the pieces.”
For example, Fincher, of Frog Jump, was one of 14 Republicans behind a recent Key Largo getaway with an admission price of at least $10,000, CBS News reported in March.

Fincher, Fleischmann Seek Tariff Earmarks

Rep. Stephen Fincher and other freshman Republicans have touted the ban on congressional earmarks that passed after they took office last year as a step toward reducing wasteful government spending, reports the Gannett Washington bureau.
But Fincher, Tennessee Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, and 63 other first-term Republican lawmakers now stand accused of betraying that spirit of fiscal restraint by pushing for consideration of a tariff measure loaded with breaks for specific imports. Critics say such breaks qualify as earmarks.
The lawmakers signed an April 20 letter asking House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio to consider a measure that would suspend duties on certain imports unavailable in the U.S. in an effort to lower costs for domestic manufacturers.
“It is already 20 percent more expensive to manufacture in America relative to our major competitors,” the lawmakers wrote. “The way to build manufacturing in America and create high-paying jobs is to reduce those costs – not to raise them.”
Lawmakers must propose lowering tariffs on a specific import before April 30 for the proposal to be included in the overall tariff measure. Typically, lawmakers rely on recommendations from companies in their districts to decide which imports to favor – similar to how lawmakers chose local pet projects to fund before Congress banned earmarks last year.
House rules say a tariff suspension qualifies as an earmark if it benefits no more than 10 companies.
The freshmen who signed the letter said they don’t think such tariff breaks are earmarks because they benefit more than just one congressional district.
…Although more than two-thirds of Republican freshmen signed the letter, Tennessee Republican Reps. Diane Black and Scott DesJarlais didn’t.

FROG Jump PAC Leaps Ahead of Other TN Freshman PACs

Tennessee’s first-term House members are donating thousands of dollars to other freshmen lawmakers, a move political experts say may help them advance up the rungs of party leadership, reports The Tennessean.
Republican Rep. Stephen Fincher of Frog Jump has donated more to his fellow freshmen than all but two other first-term lawmakers, according to data published Thursday by the Capitol Hill newspaper Politico. Fincher’s political action committee, called Funding Republicans Supporting Opportunity and Growth (FROG) Jump PAC, has given $22,500 to freshmen since December, campaign finance records show.
Fincher’s campaign committee contributed an additional $6,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee last year to help fund other Republicans’ races. Republican Rep. Scott DesJarlais of Jasper ranked sixth in contributions to his fellow freshmen, according to Politico. His recently launched PAC, called TN4U PAC for the 4th District DesJarlais represents, donated $11,000 to first-term Republicans in March.
Rep. Diane Black, R-Gallatin, hasn’t used her PAC to donate to individual candidates, but she donated $50,000 to the NRCC through her campaign committee. Federal election rules don’t limit how much candidates can contribute to party committees.

Fincher Passes a Bill in Congress

Rep. Stephen Fincher’s bill aimed at making it easier for small- and medium-sized businesses to go public passed the House on Thursday, marking the first major legislative victory for the first-term Republican from Frog Jump, according to Gannet Tennessee.
Fincher’s bill formed a key piece of a larger jobs package designed to spur the growth of start-ups and help small businesses raise capital. The group of bills passed the House 390-23 in a rare moment of bipartisan agreement. All of Tennessee’s House members voted for it except Republican Rep. John J. Duncan, Jr. of Knoxville, who did not vote
. “This was a good day, hopefully, for the workers in America, the job creators who can do some positive things for people who are hurting and unemployed,” Fincher said after the vote.
His measure would reduce regulatory costs for an initial public offering by creating an IPO “on-ramp” for companies with less than $1 billion in annual revenue, phasing in certain requirements over five years. Those requirements now take effect as soon as – or in some cases before – a company goes public.

Fincher Challenger Speculation in the 8th

As the redistricting dust settles, Jackson Baker looks at the possibility of U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher drawing an opponent from the Shelby County section of the new 8th Congressional District…. and other political race possibilities.
Memphis city councilman Kemp Conrad acknowledged to the Flyer that he’s had encouragement to run and is considering a bid.
Others whose names have figured in speculation include former 8th District candidate and ex-Shelby County Commissioner George Flinn; former U.S. Attorney David Kustoff, who ran for Congress in the7th District in 2002; state Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris; and state Senator Brian Kelsey.