Tag Archives: lamar. alexander

Tea party letter urges Alexander retirement

Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander is not conservative enough for some Tennessee conservatives, the Chattanooga TFP notes, and some those conservatives wrote him a letter in an unconservative manner.

Matt Collins, who describes himself as a Republican activist, authored an open letter to Alexander that was released Wednesday.

The letter is signed by 20 political groups throughout the state. Most of them are tea parties. Others include Gibson County Patriots, Volunteers for Freedom and We the People, which consists of the people of Tipton County.

“Our great nation can no longer afford compromise and bipartisanship, two traits for which you have become famous,” Collins wrote to Alexander.

…When reached for comment Wednesday, an Alexander spokesman merely said, “Senator Alexander is focused on being the best senator he can be.”

Note: Text of the letter and a list of groups signing it is below.
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PAC Targeting GOP Incumbents Criticizes Alexander on Museum Tour

A political action committee that specializes in taking on incumbent Republicans attacked U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander Monday over reports that his campaign worked with the Tennessee State Museum to organize a traveling exhibit about him, notes the Tennessean.

The head of the Senate Conservatives Fund, a PAC that helped Rand Paul and Ted Cruz win seats in the Senate, accused Alexander of “political favor swapping” and said the organization is working with others in Tennessee to find a challenger to the two-term senator before next summer’s GOP primary.

The group was reacting to news that Alexander’s campaign manager, Alice Rolli, was involved in discussing plans for the traveling exhibit even as the senator was gearing up his re-election effort, and also that Alexander successfully pushed through $400,000 in federal funding for the museum in 2009. (Note: Recent story HERE) The exhibit was postponed until after 2015 — so it won’t be on display until Alexander has stood for re-election — after those discussions became public.

The involvement of the Senate Conservatives Fund increases the chances that he will face a primary challenge. Founded by former Sen. Jim DeMint, a South Carolina Republican who emerged as a leading voice of tea party conservatives, the fund has a history of working aggressively to defeat sitting Republicans senators — often to the chagrin of other party members.

“We think he is out of step with the state,” said Matt Hoskins, the PAC’s executive director. “We want to make sure that voters in Tennessee have an opportunity to vote for somebody who represents their values.”

The Senate Conservatives Fund raised and spent nearly $16 million during the 2012 election cycle and it spent $8 million during the 2010 campaign, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Paul and Cruz were among the winners it backed, as well as Utah’s Mike Lee and Florida’s Marco Rubio.

The group’s goal is to increase conservative representation in the Senate, but it also has supported a host of unsuccessful Senate candidates, including Sharron Angle in Nevada, Christine O’Donnell in Delaware and Todd Akin in Missouri, all ultimately defeated by Democrats. DeMint left the organization when he resigned from the Senate to become president of the Heritage Foundation.

So far, the Senate Conservatives Fund has raised about $1.4 million for the 2014 election. Much of its work has been focused on Sen. Mitch McConnell, but the organization sees Alexander as a potential target.

Note: The Alexander attack news release is below.
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State Museum Shelves Plan for Alexander Exhibit to Coincide With Campaign

The Tennessee State Museum has shelved plans to feature Lamar Alexander in a traveling exhibit that would have toured the state – starting next month in Knoxville – at the same time the former governor campaigns for reelection to the U.S. Senate.

The plans were changed after concerns were raised that the exhibit would be seen as a political promotion of Alexander, though Lois Riggins-Ezzell, executive director of the museum since appointed to the post while Alexander was governor, insists politics never crossed her mind when planning the traveling show. The exhibit is now tentatively scheduled to begin its a statewide tour in 2015, after next year’s elections.

“We never saw it as political. We saw it as contemporary history,” Riggins-Ezzell said Thursday. “It just didn’t smack me over the head. I guess it should have.”

Ben Cunningham, who is founder of the Nashville Tea Party and active in trying to recruit an opponent for Alexander in the 2014 Republican primary, said that failure to see political overtones in the exhibit “strains credulity to the breaking point.”

“Anybody with big road walking sense knows this would be transparently corrupt – to use taxpayer money to promote someone who is running for the Senate,” said Cunningham. “It sounds like they stopped it, but it never should have gotten even to the consideration phase.”

(Note: WTVF-TV reports obtaining emails between a curator at the State Museum and Alice Rolli, Alexander’s campaign manager.

One from the curator to Rolli: “I understand that the Senator would like to have the exhibition open at the Museum of East Tennessee History in Knoxville … If there are some dates in August 2013 that might be more convenient with you, please let me know.”

A month later, the station reports, Rolli wrote to the museum’s curator: “Tom Ingram and I would like to re-connect with you and Lois in the next few weeks with respect to the traveling Come on Along Exhibit.”)
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‘Suspicious Letter’ Shows Up at Alexander’s Nashville Office

Crews responding to a suspicious letter at U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander’s Nashville office decontaminated one person who came in contact with the letter and have sent it to the state lab to be analyzed further, reports The City Paper.
The FBI, along with Metro police and fire crews, responded to a call of a suspicious package around 2 p.m. Thursday at 3322 West End Ave., the building that houses Capitol Records and the local offices of Alexander and U.S. Sen. Bob Corker.
Fire department Deputy Chief Kim Lawson said crews responded to Alexander’s office, isolated the letter and decontaminated a woman who worked in the office. Lawson said there have been no reports of illness associated with the letter so far.
The Associated Press reported Wednesday that several members of Congress had received “threatening letters containing a suspicious powdery substance,” which turned out to be harmless. Reuters, citing an unnamed “U.S. law enforcement official,” also reported Wednesday evening that TV personalities Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert received letters stating that all 100 U.S. senators would receive letters, 10 of which “would contain a deadly pathogen.”