Tag Archives: joe Carr

Joe Carr starts radio talk show

News release from Joe Carr:
Nashville, TN – Former TN State Representative and Senate Candidate Joe Carr announces that he will be hosting a new 1-hour radio show on 1510 WLAC in Nashville every weekday morning from 6-7am. The new show, starting January 12, will focus on Tennessee and National politics as well as all things Tennessee. Carr will leverage his three terms as a State Rep and state-wide campaign to unseat an entrenched party boss to provide insight into the political process, the complicated relationships between politicians and special interests and how regular citizens can participate in the process.

Joe Carr said, “This peek-behind-the-curtain radio show will give listeners an unprecedented view on their lawmakers as well as political happenings throughout Tennessee. There aren’t many who know more about how the average Tennessean is affected by politics than I do—and I plan to pull the curtain back and shed a little light on the process.”

Carr is well known for crafting and passing some of the toughest immigration legislation in the nation as well as introducing multiple, much-needed reforms on Capitol Hill. Additionally, Carr has hosted the second most attended Conservative political fundraiser, T-Bones & Politics, for several years and will bring that same aggressive, insightful and entertaining format to middle Tennessee’s airwaves.

While a life-long Republican, Carr is a committed Constitutional Conservative that doesn’t mind taking on his own party when they stray from the Constitution and those conservative principles. “If you mess with the bull that is Joe Carr, you will get the horns.” Those words were written about Joe by Nashville Scene political writer Steve Cavendish.

Carr added, “I’m living the American dream and I will not stand by quietly while politicians, political parties and special interests destroy the idea that is America. Over the years of partnering with my fellow Tennesseans to bring sanity back to Capitol Hill, I’ve been blessed to meet with thousands of people across the state. That’s why I believe I have a unique perspective on how people want to be a part of the process.”

Founding sponsors of the show are The Beaman Automotive Group, HealthMark Ventures, Quality Tire and Navigation Advertising.

Joe Carr challenges Chris Devaney for TN GOP chair

Former state Rep. Joe Carr has announced he will seek to unseat Chris Devaney as Tennessee Republican party chair.

From The Tennessean’s report:
“I’m running not to be chairman and a dictator. I’m running to be chairman and a facilitator for the state executive committee,” said Carr, R-Lascassas, in a phone interview Tuesday.

While Carr said “the state executive committee is nothing more than a rubber stamp for the wishes or agenda of a handful of people in the Republican party,” he added that he believes his leadership could help give the committee more power and represent the entire state GOP.

Carr turned heads earlier this year with his aggressive campaign to oust fellow Republican and U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander.

After receiving 41 percent of the vote in the GOP primary, Carr said several people asked him to consider running for the chairmanship. At the time, he said he “wasn’t in the mood” to consider another election. But he said people have continued to call, and that helped convince him to seek the leadership position.

He mentioned several ideas that he thinks need to dictate any TNGOP platform: the sanctity of life, free and fair markets, an emphasis on personal freedoms and state sovereignty. Not only is that not clear now, he believes the state GOP lacks any platform at all.

“As Republicans, our devotion is to principles, not personalities. It’s not the men and women we elect to office that define our party, it’s the principles and values that we have as a party that define who we are,” Carr said.

Current state Republican Chairman Chris Devaney recently announced he would seek his fourth term as state party chairman. While Carr acknowledged there is a divide in the party, he thinks he can unite Republicans around his push for a clear platform.

Devaney thinks it’s disingenuous for Carr to run against Alexander, not endorse him in the general, then say he wants to unite the Republican party.

“Let me be very clear about this: The only person that’s being divisive is the person who’s running for state chair, Joe Carr,” Devaney said Tuesday afternoon, saying the move is a “disqualifier” for Carr.

In an emailed statement, Alexander voiced support for Devaney’s re-election effort.

Devaney argued the state GOP follows the Republican National Committee platform, which includes all of the components Carr listed. He pointed to the GOP’s continued success in local and state elections — they have supermajorities in the state House and Senate, both U.S. Senate seats, seven of nine U.S. House seats and the governor — arguing it shows some of his success as party chairman.

Note: The Carr announcement press release is below.
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Joe Carr eyes run for TNGOP chair

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Former state Rep. Joe Carr, who in August won 41 percent of the vote in his primary challenge of U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, says he is mulling a bid for chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press (http://bit.ly/1xDCJDo ) first reported that Carr was considering running against current Chairman Chris Devaney for the job because of what he called a “growing and unsettling division within the Republican Party.”

Devaney told the paper that he considers it a “disqualifier” for Carr to have refused to endorse Alexander in the general election.

Meanwhile, former congressional candidate Lenda Sherell said Monday she is considering a bid for Democratic Party chairwoman. Other candidates include former state Senate candidate May Mancini of Nashville and former state Rep. Gloria Johnson of Knoxville.

On the race in House District 48, Terry vs. Campbell

Excerpt from a Daily News Journal story on the race for House District 48, a Rutherford County seat vacated by Rep. Joe Carr, R-Lascassas.

Bryan Terry, an anesthesiologist at Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital who narrowly won his three-way Republican primary in August, said he would actively reach out to voters in a way that would promote what he called “self-governance” among them.

William “Bill” Campbell, the Democratic nominee and a retired campus minister for the Wesley Foundation at Middle Tennessee State University, emphasized his pragmatic approach to issues that would directly affect the residents of eastern Rutherford County he wants to serve.

…If elected, (Terry) said he would be the only physician in the state House and have a unique perspective on healthcare issues in Tennessee as both a doctor and patient.

“For me, having that experience gives me a perspective which I can discuss in committees or with the governor,” he said.

Terry slammed the Affordable Care Act as costly, problem-producing legislation, but wanted to learn additional details before taking a position on Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposed plan to use federal dollars to expand health care coverage in the state.

He also called for lawmakers to find new education standards that public schools could use instead of the Common Core standards the state had previously approved. State legislators delayed the standards’ implementation date last spring.

…Campbell, the retired Methodist minister and Democratic nominee, said he hopes to gain the support of that same swath of voters with what he called commonsense politics while campaigning outside the Rutherford County Courthouse on Monday.

He said he would go to Nashville ready to address the issues of his community without a sharply partisan focus if elected — something he accused Tea Party Republicans of only claiming to represent. While Campbell said Terry had allied himself with the Tea Party, the Murfreesboro physician said he has broad GOP support.

“I’m the candidate they pretend to be,” he said. “They’re passing laws and not meeting the needs of everyday people.”

He said he would support the state’s proposed Medicaid expansion, reigning in the cost of college tuition and promoting a sense of dialogue and civility he said has evaporated from the public and political discourse.

“I’m tired of the politics of fear and anxiety,” the former minister said. “I would like to not be preoccupied with the failure of personal morality of a few people that seems to threaten our citizens. I’m more concerned about the failure of our public morality and not taking care of our most vulnerable people.”

Joe Carr still balks at backing Alexander; Ditto for tea party leader

Joe Carr still won’t endorse Lamar Alexander, who beat him in the Republican U.S. Senate primary, and neither will a Nashville tea party leader, according to The Tennessean.

“I told him I would welcome his endorsement and would like to have it,” Alexander said. “I gave him my personal email and my personal telephone number.”

…“I’m still waiting for Lamar’s senior staff to get back in touch with me so that we can continue that conversation,” Carr said.

Carr said he doesn’t believe his endorsement is as important as some might think. But after months of hammering the senator for being part of the problem in Washington, he’s not quite ready to help send him back.

“We don’t need to be sitting it out, but what I’m hearing from people potentially sitting it out is because of the frustration that the more things change, the more things stay the same.”

For months, Alexander has had to explain his position on Common Core and his vote last year for a comprehensive immigration bill that offered a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Now Ball, in an unlikely move for a Democrat, is trying to exploit both in the general election.

Carr said he wants Alexander to publicly oppose Common Core and to take a stand against allowing the nation’s undocumented immigrants to become citizens.

Alexander has said he wants states to make all decisions regarding Common Core. Alexander has said his approach to citizenship would penalize illegal immigrants and not let them get any benefits.

… Ben Cunningham, president of the Nashville Tea Party, which endorsed Carr, said Alexander’s campaign has reached out to several Tennessee tea party organizations. His declined to meet, he said, and the group has opted not to back Alexander for the general election.

He said tea party backers who do vote for Alexander will do so reluctantly.

“Realistically, Lamar Alexander is going to win. He’s going to come out ahead, and we’ll have six more years of what we’ve had for the last 12 years.”

On Alexander’s dance around Common Core as Ball agrees with Joe Carr

Excerpt from a WPLN report:

Senator Lamar Alexander is again having to defend his ambiguous position on Common Core, an issue that has morphed into a political landmine and a symbol of federal overreach, despite how the reading and math standards were developed by a bipartisan coalition of governors.

During the Republican primary, Tea Party candidate Joe Carr continually blasted Alexander for not coming out against Common Core.

…Alexander has stood next to Governor Bill Haslam, a supporter of Common Core, as a show of solidarity for Tennessee’s use of the standards. Yet when former U.S. Secretary of Education is asked to describe his position on Common Core, he carefully dances around giving a straight response.

This is where Alexander’s general election opponent, Gordon Ball, the trial lawyer from east Tennessee, steps in. Ball’s bid at Alexander’s Senate seat faces serious headwinds, from his little-known name recognition to his Democratic party affiliation in a decidedly red state. But one way Ball is attempting to broaden his statewide appeal is adopting at least a few positions shared by Joe Carr, whose grassroots campaign put him within 9 points of the well-financed Alexander in the primary.

And Common Core is one of those issues. Ball says Carr’s strong revolt against the standards connected with voters, and he hopes the same voters turn out for him in November.

“Joe Carr and I do share some issues,” Ball said, citing his opposition to Common Core and his stance against granting amnesty to the millions of migrants who’ve entered the country illegally. “Those issues are going to resonate against him in the general election.”

Alexander said in a recent interview with WPLN that a vote for Ball is a vote for President Barack Obama’s agenda, pointing to the 11 state lawmakers who once backed Carr and are now throwing their support behind Alexander.

On Common Core, Alexander said if Tennesseans want to keep the standards, he’ll get also get behind them.

“My opponent wants to tell Tennessee what to do about Common Core and academic standards. I want to make sure Tennessee has 100 percent of the opportunity to make its own decision about its academic standards,” Alexander said. “If Tennessee wants Common Core, fine, if Tennessee doesn’t, they ought to be absolutely free to get rid of it.”

Joe Carr still balking at backing Lamar

Sen. Lamar Alexander may have won the endorsement of 11 Republican state legislators who backed fellow legislator Joe Carr in the primary (Alexander release posted HERE), but Carr himself still isn’t there weeks after a personal conversation with the senator, according to TNReport.

But Alexander has yet to win over his highest-profile critic in the Republican Party. Carr told TNReport last week he’s not ready to endorse Alexander — and likely won’t until the incumbent Republican comes out strongly against Common Core and promises to fight “amnesty” for undocumented immigrants.

“It’s not up to me. It’s up to Sen. Alexander,” Carr said, adding that he’s had no communication with Alexander personally since the two met at a Cracker Barrel restaurant in Rutherford County earlier this month. At that meeting, Carr said they talked about issues and he accepted Alexander’s apology for not taking Carr’s primary election-night phone calls to congratulate him on winning.

“The ball’s in his court,” Carr said.

As for Alexander promising to earn a reputation as an impediment to Obama’s policies and programs going forward, Carr told TNReport last week he has “no idea” what the campaign or the state Republican Party are talking about in that regard.

“I will be as excited and intrigued as every other voter in Tennessee to see this strange turn of events,” said Carr, who’s principle primary campaign theme was that Alexander has been more friend than foe to Obama these last six years.

Note: Alexander asked for Carr’s endorsement early this month at a coffee conversation. That previous post is HERE.

Joe Carr listens to Lamar, but won’t endorse him

State Rep. Joe Carr says he has rejected “scores” of requests that he launch a fall write-in campaign against U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander after losing to him in the August Republican primary, but has also declined – at least for now – the senator’s request for a formal endorsement.

Carr and Alexander met Wednesday for an hour at a restaurant near Carr’s Rutherford County hometown of Lascassas for their first face-to-face meeting and had a “very cordial and respectful conversasion,” Carr said in an interview. Alexander confirmed the meeting through a spokesman, but was not available for an interview on the discussion.

“Sen. Alexander asked for the meeting with Rep. Carr, and drove down to the Cracker Barrel in Smyrna, where they had coffee and good conversation for an hour. The senator complimented Rep. Carr on his campaign, and the two discussed issues important to both of them,” said Alexander spokesman Brian Reisinger.

By Carr’s account, the talk began with the senator apologizing for failure to respond to Carr’s “five or six” earlier attempts at contacting him – starting on election night – to offer congratulations on the senator’s primary victory and ended with Alexander asking for Carr’s advice and an endorsement.

Alexander got 329,862 votes, or 49.64 percent, while Carr came in second among the six other candidates with 269,953 votes, or 40.63 percent, according to final results from the state Division of Elections.

Carr said he was much irritated that his attempted concession calls were never returned, but now understands that the fault lay with Alexander’s staff and not the senator himself.

“He apologized and I accepted,” Carr said. “I think the problem was internal to the (Alexander) campaign.”
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TV ad count in TN U.S. Senate race: 8,143 (from Lamar:3,736)

More than 8,100 Senate campaign ads — 6,190 ads by the candidates and parties and 1,953 ads by groups interested in the race — had aired on television stations across Tennessee by August, according to an analysis by the Washington-based Center for Public Integrity.

further from Michael Collins:

The cost: $3.4 million, or 72 cents for every eligible voter in the state.

“That’s a lot of ads,” especially for a seat considered relatively safe for the incumbent, said Anthony Nownes, a political scientist at the University of Tennessee.

Republican incumbent Lamar Alexander, who won the GOP primary on Aug. 7 and will go on to run for a third term in November, outspent all of his rivals on TV commercials. Alexander aired 3,736 campaign spots at a cost of $1.7 million.

The second-place finisher in the GOP race, state Rep. Joe Carr, spent just $413,210 on 950 ads. Memphis radiologist George Flinn, who came in a distant third, paid $81,720 for 129 campaign spots.

Two interest groups allied with Republican candidates also bought campaign ads. Citizens for Ethics in Government, which ran ads attacking Alexander, spent $502,610 on 1,598 commercials, while Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions, which ran ads supporting Alexander, bought 355 spots at a cost of $187,570.

All told, Republican Senate candidates and their allies spent $2.9 million on 6,768 ads.

…In the Senate Democratic primary, Knoxville attorney Gordon Ball was the top spender. Ball, who won the Democratic nomination and will face Alexander in November, paid $484,030 for 1,315 TV spots. Knoxville attorney Terry Adams, who placed second in the primary, spent just $38,130 on 60 TV ads.

Despite the slew of campaign ads in Tennessee, the state didn’t come close to matching the volume of TV ads seen in other states with competitive races. Of the 27 states with Senate races that involved high levels of spending on TV advertising, Tennessee came in 12th.

The state with the most ads and spending was Georgia, where Republican incumbent Saxy Chambliss’ retirement has given Democrats what may be their best shot at capturing a GOP-held seat. Candidates, parties and groups aired at least 36,100 TV ads in the Georgia race. The price tag: $22.5 million, or $3.31 for every eligible voter.

Tea party people take heart in Carr’s showing against Alexander

By Erik Schelzig, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — For U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, the elder statesman of Tennessee politics, a primary challenge by a little-known tea party opponent was supposed to be little more than a glorified victory lap around the state.

Instead, the former governor and two-time presidential candidate had to crank up the campaign machinery in the closing weeks of the Republican primary to fend off state Rep. Joe Carr.

And while Alexander ultimately won, it was by just 9 percentage points — a far smaller margin than his campaign and most political observers had expected. The result is giving hope to tea party supporters they could be poised to break the moderate wing of the state Republican Party’s decades-long grip on statewide races.

“It is another step in the maturation of the tea party movement,” said Ben Cunningham, the president of the Nashville Tea Party. “After the disappointment of losing, I wouldn’t call it a euphoria, but lots of confidence about the possibilities for the future.”

Cunningham said the results reflected greater coordination between disparate tea party groups, giving activists valuable on-the-ground experience in trying to support a statewide effort.

“A lot was learned just in terms of the nuts and bolts of elections,” he said. “That will certainly help going forward.”
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