News release from Capitol Resources:
(Nashville, TN)- Capitol Resources, the South’s leading government relations and lobbying firm, with offices across the region, is pleased to announce Tennessee Republican Party Executive Director Adam Nickas will head the firm’s office in the Volunteer State.
Nickas led the Tennessee Republican Party’s highly successful effort to expand the Republican majority in the Tennessee General Assembly, and he has worked on local, state and federal campaigns throughout the region.
Capitol Resources is one of the largest and most versatile state-based lobbying firms in the country, with offices in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, Tennessee and Washington, D.C.
“Adam is an excellent fit for Capitol Resources,” said Henry Barbour, a partner in the firm. “His leadership is proven and his drive is unquestioned. The GOP gains in the Tennessee statehouse were noticed around the country, and he will be a tremendous asset to our clients.”
“Capitol Resources has an established reputation for excellent service to its clients throughout the South,” said Nickas. “I look forward to helping our clients achieve their objectives and working closely with the leaders and members of the Tennessee General Assembly and the Tennessee Executive Branch.”
By Lucas Johnson, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Republican Party appears to be standing by a freshman congressman seeking re-election despite the revelations of a recorded conversation in which he urged his mistress to get an abortion.
Adam Nickas, the executive director of the state GOP, said in a statement that the transcript is the same type of “smear campaign” tactics used against Rep. Scott DesJarlais when he ran in the 2010 election, “which voters overwhelmingly rejected.”
Meanwhile, Republican Gov. Bill Haslam told reporters after a speech to an automotive conference that he’s not ready weigh in on whether there should be any consequences for DesJarlais.
“I haven’t talked to the congressman, so it’s probably not appropriate for me to speak until I know a little more on that,” Haslam said.
Republican U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander said he won’t get involved in the matter.
“I don’t go around telling people what to do about issues like that,” Alexander said. “That’s between the congressman and the voters in his district and his opponent.
“I know the voters of his district very well, and they’re perfectly capable of making their own minds up.”
Striving to maintain a substantial presence in the Tennessee General Assembly, Democrats appear more aggressive than Republicans do in attacking their opponents in legislative races across the state as campaigns enter the final stage.
“We are holding a lot of incumbents accountable for their reckless actions … and some non-incumbents,” said Brandon Puttbrese, communications director of the Tennessee Democratic Party. He described the state GOP as “a political party that flaunts the law and believes in accountability for everyone but themselves.”
“Our candidates are running on a record of accomplishments, a record to be proud of,” said Adam Nickas, executive director of the Tennessee Republican Party. “Democrats are trying to find sideshows.”
If Republicans can gain just two seats each in the state House and Senate on Nov. 6, they will have two-thirds control of both chambers — enough to meet and conduct business even if all Democrats were to walk out. The “super majority” would also be able to suspend normal parliamentary rules and enact legislation on a moment’s notice, if all Republicans are in agreement
State Sen. Stacey Campfield says a colleague’s reference to a rat’s rump in a rebuke to the Legislature’s Black Caucus has become a “catch phrase” among members of Tennessee’s delegation to the Republican National Convention.
Expanding in a telephone interview on comments made in blog posts from the convention, the Knoxville lawmaker also said Wednesday the Black Caucus is a “segregationist organization” that should be ignored, just as Sen. Jim Summerville, R-Dickson, suggested in a controversial email.
That email, sent to Rep. Barbara Cooper, D-Memphis, with a request that she forward it to other members of the Black Caucus said: “I don’t give a rat’s ass what the Black Caucus thinks.” He was responding to a Black Caucus comments on a Senate subcommittee report.
Rep. Larry Miller, D-Memphis, chairman of the Black Caucus, said Campfield’s remarks were “asinine.” Adam Nickas, executive director of the state Republican party, said in an email that Campfield was wrong about use of the phrase at the convention.
“The only catch phrase I’ve been hearing is, “We built it,” in response to President Obama’s degrading comments to hard working small business owners,” Nickas wrote.
“In regards to Mr. Campfield and Summerville’s comments: We do not endorse their comments and they are not reflective of the view of the state party. Such statements are simply ridiculous.”
Fourth Congressional District Democratic hopeful Eric Stewart was slapped with federal tax liens totaling $24,678.81 in 2002 and 2011 for not paying his federal personal and business taxes on time, reports Andy Sher. Stewart resolved a 2002 IRS lien of $9,541.09 on his 2000 and 2001 personal taxes on March 21, 2003, according to an IRS release filed with the Franklin County Register of Deeds.
But the 2011 IRS lien remains on the books, records show. It involves $15,227.72 owed by Stewart and the insurance agency he owned on a matter involving payroll taxes for various quarters in tax years 2001-2003 and 2006.
Stewart, a state senator from Winchester elected in 2008, said in an interview Friday that he reached a settlement with the IRS and is making payments to satisfy his obligations.
“I fell on tough times and I fell behind,” Stewart said when asked what happened. “I pay monthly based on my installment agreement. In accordance with the agreement, we’re working to fully resolve the obligations.”
He said “small businesses all over have their ups and downs and good times and bad times, some better than others.”
Stewart spoke while touring the 4th District. It includes all or parts of 16 counties including Bradley, Rhea, Marion and Sequatchie. No information was available Friday on how much money he still owed.
Larry Eddlemon, a certified public accountant specializing in taxation with Chattanooga-based Hazlett, Lewis & Bieter, said the amounts listed on IRS tax liens can include penalties and interest. That could account for “a lot” of the totals listed in any lien, noted Eddlemon, speaking generally about lien-related issues.
While Stewart considers the liens issue ended, Tennessee Republicans and Stewart’s opponent, Republican U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, don’t.
They point to a 2010 audit of Stewart’s 2008 campaign finances in which state Registry of Election Finance auditors issued nine critical findings. Among them was Stewart’s removal of $21,887.80 from his campaign account without reporting the related disbursements on his campaign financial disclosure statements.
“I think if you’re going to have someone represent you and help offer solutions to the fiscal mismanagement of Washington, D.C., then you need someone who’s not had financial mismanagement of their own,” said Adam Nickas, executive director of the state Republican Party
Tempers flared at a Rutherford County Republican Executive Committee meeting, reports the Murfreesboro Post, after circulation of an email criticizing a Tea Party candidate vetting plan. For state party officials, it seems a case of having friends on both sides of the fight and standing firmly with your friends. After Jake Robinson, a local conservative and husband of Rutherford County Register of Deeds Heather Dawbarn, asked the committee about an e-mail by County Executive Committeeman Tim Rudd, tempers exploded and the meeting nearly turned into a riot, one witness said.
The Rudd-penned e-mail encouraged local Republican candidates in the August Primary to steer clear of activities sponsored by the Rutherford County Tea Party and 9/12 Project.
“Jake said he was disappointed that Rudd would send out an e-mail that was divisive,” Murfreesboro City Councilman Eddie Smotherman said, adding he attended the meeting at the request of fellow Councilman Toby Gilley.
Smotherman said county GOP Chairman Austin Maxwell lost his temper at Robinson’s question and started cussing and banging his gavel.
“As soon as he (Robinson) got started, Austin showed poor anger management skills. … One GD was all it took for me and I left,” Smotherman said.
“I was hoping I would see the Republican Party trying to bring people together … We need to work together to solve our big issues,” Smotherman said, adding he was disappointed in Maxwell’s leadership after witnessing the meeting.
At issue was an e-mail by Rudd, who is also an executive committeeman with the state party, to Republican Primary candidates Richard Garvin, Dawn White and Ryan Harring, along with incumbents state Sen. Jim Tracy, Reps. Joe Carr, Rick Womick and Mike Sparks about events and questionnaires from outside organizations purported to “vet” Republican candidates.
“I urge you not to participate in this unauthorized ‘vetting’ process,” Rudd wrote. “No organization outside the Republican Party has the right or responsibility to vet, interview or determine who the Republican Party’s nominee should be.”
Rudd went on to say the two conservative groups were trying to “interfere with another organization’s process” and implied it was a “power grab.”
Rutherford County Tea Party President Chris Beach said the group wasn’t trying to grab any power from the local GOP, it was only trying to get information out to voters.
…Beach said Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney doesn’t support Rudd’s position, but state party Executive Director Adam Nickas stopped short of criticizing Rudd.
“Tim Rudd is a respected member of the state Republican party …” Nickas said. “Tim expressed his opinion, and he is well within his rights, according to our bylaws, to do that.”
But then Nickas didn’t want to criticize the Tea Party either.
“We have the greatest respect for the Tea Party and share many of their ideals. They played a major role in our success in 2010,” Nickas said.
Hat tip: Pat Nolan.