Tag Archives: fleischman

Saltsman Running Fleischmann Campaign on Volunteer Basis

Despite recent setbacks regarding litigation and his own critical remarks about his job, Chip Saltsman, U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann’s chief of staff, said Tuesday that his indefinite, unpaid leave of absence is “all part of the plan.”
More from Chris Carroll:
Saltsman has been on leave since June 8, but Fleischmann’s office never publicly announced the news.
Interviewed Tuesday, Saltsman, who earned more than $156,000 last year as Fleischmann’s top aide, said he left the government payroll to supervise “all aspects of Chuck’s campaign” on a volunteer basis until at least Aug. 2, when Fleischmann faces three challengers in a hotly contested 3rd Congressional District Republican primary.
Saltsman described the “long-planned leave of absence” as “a pretty common thing for chiefs of staff to do,” but his remarks to a national media outlet two days before he left were anything but ordinary.
On June 6, the website Politico published a story quoting Saltsman as saying, “I didn’t want to take the job as [Fleischmann’s] chief of staff. I said ‘No’ the first three times he asked me.”
Saltsman acknowledged the comments Tuesday.
“I’ve loved working for Chuck, but you know, that was not my first choice,” Saltsman said. “That’s not what I was going to do the first time around.”
Fleischmann’s office did not make the first-term congressman available for an interview Tuesday, but in the June 6 article, Politico quoted him describing Saltsman as “an outstanding individual.”
Not long before Saltsman’s leave of absence became public, the Chattanooga Times Free Press published excerpts of a deposition Saltsman gave in a lawsuit brought against him and Fleischmann by Mark Winslow, a former aide to Fleischmann’s top 2010 opponent, Hamilton County’s Robin Smith.
A 2010 attack ad mentioned in the lawsuit alleged that Smith, a former state GOP chairwoman, paid “lavish bonuses” to a top aide at a time the party was in debt. That claim appeared to be debunked when Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney said he was the one who paid Winslow as part of a severance agreement.
In his own deposition, Fleischmann testified he had no literal grounds to make the “lavish bonuses” charge against Smith.

Club for Growth Faults Fleischmann on Deficit-Cutting Votes

Weston Wamp said a new study validates his charge that U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann hasn’t honored a campaign pledge to save taxpayer cash, reports the Chattanooga Times-Free Press.
“Mr. Fleischmann’s record shows that his walk does not line up with his talk,” Wamp said Thursday in a news release. “When he had a chance to make a difference and cut spending, he couldn’t pull the trigger.”
Wamp, who along with two others is challenging Fleischmann in Tennessee’s 3rd Congressional District Republican primary, was remarking on a study released by the Washington, D.C.-based Club for Growth. The study tracked House votes on this year’s 25 proposed amendments to appropriations bills that would have slashed spending and put the savings toward debt reduction — something Fleischmann claims to attempt every time he visits the House floor.
Not so, according to the study. Fleischmann supported 11 of 25 amendments overall, scoring 44 percent and finishing last among seven House Republicans from Tennessee.
The average Republican scored 59 percent.
Fleischmann defended his voting record.
“Most of these votes would have adversely impacted Oak Ridge [Tenn.], and I have said from day one … that the ongoing national security and nuclear energy work at Oak Ridge is a top priority of mine,” Fleischmann said in a email sent by campaign spokesman Jordan Powell.
In his release, Wamp, the 25-year-old son of former U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp, did not say whether he would have supported all the appropriations amendments, but in the past he has praised his father’s support for Oak Ridge and pledged to continue that tradition.


Note: The Wamp release is below.

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Chip Outshines Chuck in Washington

Former Tennessee Repulbican Chairman Chip Saltsman is profiled today in Politico. The story starts like this:
Capitol Hill staffers live by one commandment above all others: Thou shalt not outshine your boss.
Except, that is, if you’re Chip Saltsman.
A longtime Republican operative and former Tennessee Republican Party chairman, Saltsman took a job in 2011 as chief of staff for freshman Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-Tenn.) after helping to run his campaign. But in an unusual twist, Saltsman has shunned the behind-the-scenes profile nearly all of his fellow Hill worker bees are forced to assume: The manager for Mike Huckabee’s 2008 presidential campaign has appeared on cable nearly two dozen times this year alone.
Fleishmann’s 2012 cable TV count? Zip.
Saltsman, 44, is never identified on TV as a Fleischmann aide; there’s no mention of his government-paid salary. Instead, he’s labeled a “Republican strategist.”
In an interview, Saltsman said he’s in such high demand on cable shows that he can accommodate only a fraction of the requests. He has a website, www.chipsaltsman.com, which includes a “guest speaker request form” and, until January, cataloged his TV appearances.

Fleischmann Lists Campaign Team (No Chip??)

News release from Fleischmann Congressional campaign:
CHATTANOOGA, TN – Congressman Chuck Fleischmann announced the team that will lead his re-election campaign this year.
“I am glad to have these folks on board my campaign as we work to let the people of the 3rd District know about my proven conservative voting record and the promises I have kept in Washington. We are not taking anything for granted, and will work harder than any other campaign so I can continue fighting in Congress for less government spending, lower taxes, the right to life, 2nd Amendment rights, and a strong national defense,” Fleischmann said.
Jordan Powell, Senior Advisor – From January 2011 to February 2012, Mr. Powell served as Congressman Fleischmann’s press secretary in his Washington, D.C. office. Prior to that, he served as day-to-day manager and spokesman for Fleischmann’s 2010 come-from-behind victory. He has worked on many other campaigns across the country, including Mike Huckabee’s 2008 presidential campaign.
Tyler Threadgill, Campaign Manager – Mr. Threadgill is an experienced campaigner who most notably served as the Tennessee Republican Party’s Victory Director in 2010. Under his direction, the Victory operation helped lead historic Republican victories in the congressional delegation, state house, and state senate. Mr. Threadgill has also worked on Capitol Hill and at the Tennessee Department of Education.
Axiom Strategies – In the 2010 election cycle, Axiom Strategies was the most critically acclaimed Republican direct mail firm in the country winning twice as many awards as any other Republican firm. Axiom boasts an 81% Congressional win percentage in over 60 Congressional campaigns and has delivered over 25 million pieces of direct mail with 11.4 million pieces delivered in 2010. Axiom is a returning member of Congressman Fleischmann’s 2010 campaign team.
Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research – Founded in 1998, by CEO Chris Wilson, WPA Opinion Research (formerly known as Wilson Research Strategies) has been a leading provider of political polling for campaigns from Mayor and City Council to Governor and U.S. Senate in 47 states and several foreign countries. In 2009-2010 alone, WPA conducted polling in nearly 200 races for campaigns, caucuses and independent expenditures efforts. WPA is a returning member of Congressman Fleischmann’s 2010 campaign team.
The Strategy Group for Media – Founded in 1994, The Strategy Group for Media produces the most creative and compelling political advertising in the United States today. In the 2010 General Election, The Strategy Group for Media posted the best win-record in the nation with major victories in races for Governor, U.S. Senate, U.S. House (14 new members), statewide, legislative caucus, and judicial campaigns. The Strategy Group is a returning member of Congressman Fleischmann’s 2010 campaign team.

Fleischmann Campaigner Suffers Flat Tire; a Mayfield Suspect?

A staffer for U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann ended up with a damaged tire at a recent campaign event for opponent Scottie Mayfield, and officials said video evidence shows the culprit came from Mayfield’s bus, reports the Chattanooga TFP.
Officials said surveillance cameras captured the incident at the Roane County Courthouse, where Mayfield brought his campaign bus tour early Tuesday. A Kingston, Tenn., Police Department report indicates that a man “came from a tour bus,” walked up to Fleischmann campaign manager Tyler Threadgill’s 2005 Audi, knelt down near the left rear wheel and “[appeared] to be fooling with the wheel.”
“It was found that the man did cut the tire stem causing the tire to go flat down the road,” according to the report. “The man is caught on video, and it is being determined who he is. The man left the vehicle and entered the courthouse and was caught on video there as well.”
Kingston Assistant Police Chief Gary Nelson said he saw the video and wrote the police report. He said Mayfield’s bus was the only bus he saw in the courthouse footage.

Fleischmann: I’m Practicing, He’s Preaching

U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann on Thursday said he can’t figure out why dairy magnate Scottie Mayfield is challenging him in the Republican primary in Tennessee’s 3rd Congressional District, reports the Chattanooga TFP.
“I’m already practicing what he’s preaching,” Fleischmann said.
In the first two months of his campaign, Mayfield has emphasized his business experience and downplayed politics, but had little to say about his views. At one point, he responded “Not really” to a question about whether he disagreed with any of Fleischmann’s votes.
On Thursday, Fleischmann reinforced the similarities, a mere 24 hours after the Mayfield campaign promoted the fresh addition of several political positions on its campaign website, whose only previous clue to Mayfield’s platform said, “Republican for Congress.”
The Mayfield campaign website now says the McMinn County resident wants to cut “wasteful Washington spending,” oppose “Obamacare” and “stand up for life and our East Tennessee values,” among other bullet points.
“Just reading this for the first time,” Fleischmann said, “this appears to be the things I’m already doing in Congress with my voting record and legislation.”
…Tommy Hopper, a Mayfield consultant, did not address a specific question on how his candidate differs from Fleischmann on the issues, but in a written statement he said:
“Our campaign isn’t against anyone — it’s about moving our country back in the right direction,” Hopper wrote. “We know Chuck is doing the best he can, but what we need are men with 40 years experience in small business and creating jobs and less Washington political games.

Fleischmann Not Sufficiently ‘Adversarial’ for Chattanooga Tea Party

From the Chattanooga TFP:
U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann votes with House Republican leadership 95 percent of the time. He has introduced a bill that would eliminate capital gains taxes for two years. And at public speeches, he often pulls out a pocket-sized Constitution and pledges undying love for what it says.
But that’s not enough to get a re-election endorsement from the Chattanooga Tea Party,
….”I don’t think we will endorse Chuck Fleischmann,” Chattanooga Tea Party President Mark West said Friday. “We applaud that he’s done some things right — I don’t want to minimize that — but we need a congressman who’s bold.”
West cited presidential candidate and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., as an example of “adversarial” congressional boldness.
He said Fleischmann hasn’t pushed Congress toward true austerity like Bachmann, perhaps the staunchest opponent of raising the debt ceiling last summer.
In a written statement, Fleischmann said less government, lower taxes and fewer regulations “are the values I stood for when I ran for office … and that is how I will continue to vote.”