Tag Archives: independent

Crissy Haslam’s Reading Choice: ‘Independent Dames’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — First lady Crissy Haslam is using her Read20 Family Book Club to commemorate Women’s History Month.
Haslam is scheduled to read to about 60 fourth-grade students in the House chamber of the state Legislature on Thursday.
She will be reading Laurie Halse Anderson’s Independent Dames, a book with stories about women who influenced the Revolutionary War.
Haslam will be joined by House Speaker Beth Harwell, the state’s first female speaker of the House.
As first lady, Haslam is working to promote early literacy. Last summer, she launched the Read20 Family Book Club, challenging Tennessee families to read together for at least 20 minutes each day.

On Political Dogs and the Demise of Independent TN Voters

The November election shows that the once-dominant Tennessee political species known as the “yellow dog Democrat” is not extinct, though confined to isolated areas, while the now-dominant species — let’s call it “yellow cat Republican,” though the phrase is not christened by tradition — is thriving in much broader geographic regions.
Exhibit No. 1 on the Yellow Dog Democrat (YDD) survival front: Mark Clayton, widely condemned and officially disavowed by the remnant state Democratic establishment for “extremist views” contrary to Democratic values. He nonetheless collected more than 30 percent of the vote statewide against Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Corker. He got 704,708 votes and, if you counted only the votes in the Democrat-dominated habitats of Davidson and Shelby counties, would have defeated Corker.
That was roughly equal to the percentage performance of Democrat John Jay Hooker against incumbent Republican Don Sundquist in the 1998 gubernatorial election.
The state Democratic Party had urged the faithful to write in a candidate rather than vote for Clayton. Almost none did so. After the election, Clayton actually declared victory “in the race against the unelected bosses who waged a write-in campaign (against) their own duly nominated leader (Clayton) with unauthorized party resources.”
In short, the YDD faithful ignored the party advice and backed Clayton.
Exhibit No. 1 on the Yellow Cat Republican (YCR) front: U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais was re-elected with almost 56 percent of the vote in the GOP-dominated habitat called the 4th Congressional District, despite the disclosure that he had been a total hypocrite in his private life as compared to his political and public life declaration of opposing abortion. And that, as a physician, he had sex with patients other than his wife at the time. You might say that, in his personal life, he had exhibited extremist views contrary to Republican values.

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Poskevich Endorses Crowell for U.S. Senate

News release from Shaun Crowell campaign:
Paris, Tennessee – September 13, 2012. At the Henry County Tea Party meeting on Thursday, former Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Zach Poskevich endorsed Dr. Shaun Crowell’s bid for the U.S. Senate. Dr. Crowell is running against incumbent Senator Bob Corker as an independent endorsed by the Libertarian Party of Tennessee.
“I am deeply humbled and grateful to Mr. Poskevich for his endorsement,” stated Crowell. “Zach fought the good fight in his race, and his fight will continue on in my race. Our mutual principles of fiscal responsibility, downsizing the federal government, a return to limited government under the U.S. Constitution, and respect for human life are critical to the future of our country and I look forward to working with Zach Poskevich as we continue to fight for these principles.”
Dr. Crowell continued, “Senator Bob Corker has driven this country further down the path to fiscal insolvency and big government. With Zach’s help, we can defeat Senator Corker and begin moving both our country and the Great State of Tennessee into a new era of prosperity and governmental restraint.”
Dr. Shaun Crowell was born in Union City, TN and has lived all over the state in the last 38 years. He is a proud Christian husband and father of three. Dr. Crowell is the founder and owner of Agape Pet Hospital, LLC in Spring Hill, Tennessee. To learn more about Dr. Shaun Crowell and his campaign for the U.S. Senate, visit www.ShaunCrowell.com.

Note: Poskevich was second in the Aug. 2 Republican primary with 28,311 votes. Bob Corker won it with 389,613.

NFIB Endorses 85 Republicans; 4 Democrats

The National Federation of Independent Business has released its list of endorsed candidates in races for state legislative seats — all Republicans with three exceptions.
The exceptions: House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh in House District 82, Rep. Charles Curtiss of Sparta in House District 43; Rep. Joe Pitts of Clarksville in House District 53 and Rep. John DeBerry of Memphis in House District 90. DeBerry and Pitts have no Republican opponents. Curtiss and Fitzhugh do.
Many of the Republicans endorsed also have no opponent in the general election.
The news release follows, with the candidate list below that under ‘continue reading.’
News release from National Federation of Independent Business:
NASHVILLE, Tenn., Sept. 10, 2012 – The National Federation of Independent Business, Tennessee’s leading small business association, released a list of endorsed candidates, including 29 NFIB members.
The endorsements were made by NFIB/Tennessee SAFE (Save America’s Free Enterprise) Trust, which is comprised exclusively of NFIB members. The general election will be held Nov. 6.
“NFIB supports candidates who understand how important it is to reduce burdens on small business,” said Jim Brown, state director of NFIB/Tennessee. “These candidates have consistently supported or pledged to support a lower tax environment and to improve our unemployment and workers’ comp systems.”
Endorsements by Senate and House Districts (NFIB members noted with an asterisk):

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Niceley: Washington-based Independent Expenditures Backfired

While independent expenditures of out-of-state organizations may have achieved their goal in some state legislative races this summer, Frank Niceley says attacks by two Washington-based groups against him backfired and likely helped his state Senate campaign.
Direct mail attacks on Niceley by one group, the Humane Society Legislative Fund (HSLF), may also have run afoul of state law. And a post card from the NRA that accused him of lying, Niceley says, has transformed him from a friend of the gun owners group to an enemy.
Drew Rawlins, executive director of the Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance, said the HSLF political action committee failed to register with the state as required by the law. Dane Waters, a spokesman for the group, says attorneys advised the fund that registration with the Registry of Election Finance was not required.
The mailers attack Niceley for supporting legislation to allow slaughter of horses for food, for opposing legislation to make cockfighting a felony and for supporting “canned hunting” with legislation that would allow whitetail deer farms in Tennessee.

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Legislators Fret About Impact of Independent Expenditures

State lawmakers in both parties are worried about the flood of independent expenditures by outside groups during Tennessee’s Aug. 2 legislative primaries, reports Andy Sher.
They see it as the first wave of a trend that could transform elections in Tennessee.
“It kind of perverts the system,” said state Rep. Frank Niceley, R-Strawberry Plains. He was caught in a crossfire in his Senate primary by PACs run by the National Rifle Association and the Humane Society of the United States.
The two groups, often at each other’s throats, attacked Niceley for different reasons. Niceley survived and won his East Tennessee GOP primary.
But several other incumbents who lost also were hit by independent expenditures, and lawmakers say the groups are having an outsized impact.
Mike Turner, the Nashville Democrat who heads his party’s House caucus, said it is “scary that the average person will not be able to influence the elections as much as they once could because they could be overwhelmed by the super PACs.”
Turner played down the impact on House Democratic incumbents in the general election but fretted the independent expenditures “have the potential to impact some of our challengers.”
Vanderbilt University political science professor John Geer said such spending is common in federal elections since a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision.
In a presidential campaign, the spending may have less impact because voters know the candidates and their positions, he said.
“As you go down the ladder, they’re going to have more and more effect,” he said. “At the state legislative level, you can imagine them having huge effects” because even incumbents are not that well known.
The effect is most strong in party primaries where there is “not a strong anchor,” Geer said.

Anti-Mayfield Ice Cream Ad, Financed by Outside PAC, Stirs Flap

A new independent expenditure ad in the 3rd Congressional District race says Scottie Mayfield is “good at ice cream, not so good on the issues.”
Mayfield campaign consultant Tommy Hopper, a former state Republican chairman, tells Chris Carroll that he thinks the ad sponsors got that line from Chip Saltsman, another former state GOP chief who is running the Chuck Fleischman campaign.
Coordination between the PAC running the ad and the Fleischmann campaign, of course, would violate federal campaign laws. Hopper suspects that’s what happened. Saltsman says not so.
“We simply do not believe that an out-of-state PAC with no known ties to Tennessee has any interest in our primary unless led here by one of our opponents,” Hopper said.
…Bankrolled by the Beaufort, S.C.-based Citizens for a Working America, the $165,000 ad campaign is the second time an independent, out-of-state political committee has spent money on the 3rd District primary.
Airing in Chattanooga and Knoxville broadcast markets, the anti-Mayfield ad includes an instrumental version of “Pop Goes the Weasel” and melting vanilla ice cream — direct hits on the dairy executive’s intelligence and political savvy.
“Scottie Mayfield: Good at ice cream, not so good on the issues,” the ad’s narrator concludes.
Mayfield’s advisers said recent remarks offered by Fleischmann chief of staff Chip Saltsman shed doubt on the campaign’s denials.
According to audio obtained by the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Saltsman, speaking for Fleischmann at a rally last week in Campbell County, said, “good ice cream, bad politics” in a rhetorical swipe against Mayfield.
“Chip’s comments are oddly similar to the overall theme of the ad,” Hopper said in an email, “and it’s a fact that the Fleischmann campaign plays fast and loose with the law and the facts.”
Saltsman laughed when greeted with Hopper’s allegation, adding that he has no ties to Citizens for a Working America.
“Don’t know them. But I’ve heard that comment about Mayfield having good milk or ice cream and bad politics or issues 100 times,” he said. “It’s something a lot of people say. A lot of people talk about it.”
The other independent expenditure came from the American Conservative Union, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that spent at least $30,000 on a July radio buy in support of Fleischmann.
Records show OnMessage Inc., an ad agency in Virginia, produced both ads.
Saltsman and OnMessage Inc. co-founder Brad Todd are Facebook friends, but the connections go beyond that. Saltsman was elected Tennessee Republican Party chairman in 1998, and Todd was the state party’s executive director in 1997-98, according to his LinkedIn page.
Todd did not return phone calls, but Saltsman said the two briefly worked together.
“He was at the party when I was elected, but I replaced him,” Saltsman said. Saltsman denied coordination and said he hasn’t spoken with Todd “since last winter.”
Paul S. Ryan, senior counsel at the Campaign Legal Center in Washington, D.C., said it’s difficult to prove “coordination” even though the Federal Election Commission has subpoena power over such matters.
…A $475,000 ad buy for Mitt Romney in December 2011 is the only other expenditure Citizens for a Working America has ever made, records show. As of Thursday, the organization was listed as based in Dayton, Ohio, but on Friday that was changed to Beaufort, S.C.
Despite requests from the Federal Election Commission to do so, Citizens for a Working America has not disclosed its donors. Norm Cummings, a Virginia-based Republican political consultant whose name is on the organization’s filings, could not be reached for comment.

PAC Puts $45K Into Independent Expenditure Against Black

U.S. Rep. Diane Black appears to be targeted by an independent expenditure campaign from a group called Congressional Elections PAC, reports Chas Sisk.
The group has purchased 30-second spots that have been airing during news broadcasts on Nashville TV stations. The unflattering images of Black make it pretty clear that it’s not from one of her supporters.
A Federal Election Commission filing on Thursday put the cost of the ad buy at $45,000. Congressional Elections PAC purchased the ads through Lewis Advertising, a Wetumpka, Ala., firm.
Black is facing former Rutherford County Republican Party Chair Lou Ann Zelenik in a rematch of sorts of the 2010 GOP primary in the 6th Congressional District. Early voting is under way; the election is Aug. 2.

NRA: Maggart ‘No Longer Qualified’

NRA Political Victory Fund memo to media:
As you may know, the National Rifle Association is launching an independent expenditure campaign to defeat Rep. Debra Maggart, Republican Caucus Chair of the Tennessee General Assembly in the upcoming August 2 primary election (http://tinyurl.com/6ou54az). We believe that Rep. Maggart is no longer qualified to represent District 45 and that Lt. Col. Courtney Rogers is the best candidate for this position.
As Tennesseans, we were taught to stand up for what we believe and not say one thing and do another, but unfortunately that is exactly what Deb Maggart has done to the people she represents. She claims to support our gun rights publicly, but behind closed doors she cut backroom political deals to ensure vital self-defense legislation allowing hard-working Tennesseans to protect themselves was never allowed to come to the floor for a debate or vote. I know, because I was there.
Recently, Rep. Maggart sent an email… to the entire GOP caucus criticizing our opposition to her and noted in her opening paragraph what she felt was a lack of political donations from our organization. Rep. Maggart also dismissed the concerns of more than 100,000 dues-paying NRA members who are proud to call Tennessee home, wrongly suggesting that this campaign is driven by Washington, D.C. operatives rather than by the concerns of honest Tennesseans who want to be able to protect themselves.
While Rep. Maggart might only be concerned with campaign contributions and political maneuvering, we remain concerned with policy and protecting our citizens. The people of Tennessee deserve better and this is why we are working to educate them with this campaign.

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NFIB Endorses 24 Republicans (22 incumbents), One Democrat

The National Federation of Independent Business made endorsements in 25 legislative races last week with 22 going to incumbent Republicans, one to an incumbent Democrat and two to Republicans running in open Senate seats.
The sole Democrat winning an endorsement was Rep. John DeBerry of Memphis.
The two open seat endorsements were in Senate District 18 and Senate District 22, both created without an incumbent by redistricting earlier this year. Both endorsements went to Republicans with a history of being legislators – former Sen. Ferrell Haile of Gallatin in District 18 and state Rep. Joey Hensley oh Hohenwald, who is giving up his House seat to run in Senate District 22.
Incumbent Republicans in East Tennessee receiving NFIB’s blessing include Sen. Doug Overbey of Maryville in the Senate and Reps. Tony Shipley of Kingsport, David Hawk of Greeneville, Dale Ford of Jonesborough, Art Swann of Maryville, Don Miller of Morristown, Jefemy Faison of Cosby, Richard Montgomery of Sevierville and Bob Ramsey of Maryville.
News release and full list HERE