Tag Archives: republican

TN GOP Welcomes President with Obama-bashing ad; Demos Bash GOP

Tennessee Republicans have a greeting for Democratic President Barack Obama’s visit to Chattanooga on Tuesday, reports the Chattanooga TFP — an ad touting what they say are the state’s strides under GOP leadership.

“Welcome to Chattanooga, Mr. President — welcome to America,” says the ad, which the state Republican Party says it plans to run on local television stations starting today. “We’re succeeding in Tennessee, not because of your liberal policies but in spite of them.”

Over images of Tennessee, including an aerial shot of the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, a narrator says the state was fourth in job creation nationwide, in the top five for business and the third “freest,” “thanks to Republican leadership.”

“We’re a right-to-work state relying on the hard work of individuals, not unions,” the narrator continues. “Unlike Washington, we’ve got the lowest debt of any state in the nation.”

Obama is scheduled to speak Tuesday at Amazon’s giant distribution center in the Enterprise South industrial park, near the VW plant.

State Rep. JoAnne Favors, D-Chattanooga, noted the state’s successful recruitment of both Amazon and Volkswagen came from a collaborative effort between then-Gov. Phil Bredesen, a Democrat, and local officials, including then-Hamilton County Mayor Claude Ramsey, a Republican. The state, county and Chattanooga all put up substantial cash and tax incentives.

Favors said she’s “elated” over Obama’s visit and criticized both the state GOP and U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn., who on Friday put out a mock postcard welcoming Obama to Chattanooga and criticizing him.

“The president has a lot of courage to come to this hostile environment,” Favors said. “But the majority of people are pleased about it.”

She said some of the criticism “gives us a reputation for being a racist state and that’s wrong.” The narration concludes over a shot of downtown Chattanooga with Lookout Mountain in the background.
“Maybe you can learn a thing or two while you’re here, Mr. President. This is what America should look like,” the narrator says.

Party Executive Director Brent Leatherwood wouldn’t say how much Republicans plan to spend on running the ad.

Tennessee Democratic Party spokesman Brandon Puttbrese took aim at Republicans Sunday.
“The real record of [Gov.] Bill Haslam and the Republican majority is soaring unemployment, falling workers’ wages and multimillion-dollar state contracts for old business partners and well-connected cronies,” he said. “I doubt the millions of Tennesseans who work multiple jobs and still struggle to get by are impressed by this phony attempt to sell Republicans’ failed top-down agenda.”

TN GOP’s ‘Red to the Roots’ Program Targets Local Offices

With state-level elective offices firmly in its control, the state Republican Party is now ready to move on to local-level offices with a new “Red to the Roots” program, says Tennessee Republican Chairman Chris Devaney.
The idea is to encourage county Republican parties to designate nominees for city and county elective offices where they can. Currently, most cities and counties have nonpartisan elections for local office, though state law generally allows county parties to designate party nominees if they wish — exceptions including cases in which a city or county charter specifies bipartisan elections.
“We’ve had a lot of success with our state-level candidates,” Devaney said, referring to the GOP supermajority in the Legislature and Republicans holding the governor’s office, both U.S. Senate seats and seven of nine U.S. House seats. “Now, we’re ready to look at the local offices — county mayors, sheriffs and maybe a few judgeships.”
“These are places where Democrats still have a hold,” he said. “It’s their bench” for candidates who could in the future seek a state-level office. With local-level partisan campaigns he said, “We can build our bench.”

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Statesman’s Dinner Raises $470K, Hears ‘Revival-style’ Speech

More than 1,000 turned out for the Tennessee Republican Party’s annual Statesman’s Dinner fundraiser Friday night, according to GOP officials, and about $470,000 was collected for party coffers.
The keynote speech was delivered by freshman U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, who called on Tennessee Republicans to help their party capture both chambers of Congress next year in a revival-style stump speech, according to the Tennessean.
Scott, the South Carolina lawmaker who earlier this year became the first African-American senator from the South since Reconstruction, said in the keynote address to the Tennessee Republican Party’s annual Statesmen’s Dinner that the GOP can win back the Senate next year and the White House in 2016.
But doing so will require reconnecting with the American people.
“America, they want to know how much we know, but they want to know it after they understand how much we care,” Scott said. “Our ability to achieve success in the Senate, to maintain the House, will be our ability to communicate our message effectively. … This will lead us to the promised land.”
…Tennessee Republicans were urged to set aside differences and campaign for Sen. Lamar Alexander, who is seeking a third term. They also were asked to open their wallets for Scott, who hopes to win statewide in South Carolina for the first time next year after being appointed in January to a vacant seat.
Ranging back and forth on the stage for about 15 minutes, Scott attempted to rouse the crowd with a delivery like a gospel preacher. Much of his address centered on his maturation from a teenager who struggled in school to a business owner — a message that tacitly referenced his historic status without overtly calling attention to his race.
Scott also hit on touchstone Republican positions, calling for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and the expansion of school vouchers.
….”We think that Senator Scott kind of embodies the principles of the Republican Party, which include bringing opportunity to everyone,” said (state Republican Chairman Chris) Devaney.

Duncan Breaks Ranks with TN GOP on Farm Bill

A scaled-down version of the Farm Bill passed the US House Thursday, and Tennessee’s Congressional delegation voted along strict party lines today–with one exception. So reports WPLN.
Knoxville Representative John Duncan is one of only 12 Republicans voting no.
The bill strips out any language governing food stamps, and that’s a big reason why Democrats don’t like it.
Duncan takes issue with a measure that would expand crop insurance for farmers.
 “You start a small business you have to pay 100% of your insurance, and then on top of that you

From a Wasnington Post blog, here’s a list:
The dozen GOP lawmakers who bucked the party were Reps. Justin Amash (Mich.), Paul Cook (Calif.), Ron DeSantis (Fla.), John Duncan (Tenn.), Trent Franks (Ariz.), Phil Gingrey (Ga.), Tim Huelskamp (Kan.), Walter Jones (N.C.), Frank LoBiondo (N.J.), Tom McClintock (Calif.), Matt Salmon (Ariz.) and Mark Sanford (S.C.).

Common Core Contentiousness in Store?

The debate over Common Core standards could become quite controversial in next year’s legislative session, says Andrea Zelinski in a political weather report on the growing storm.
Critics on the conservative right have begun assembling, lobbying lawmakers, drafting legislation, even setting up booths at county fairs to hand out information.
If the fight comes to blows, Common Core could pin conservative Republicans against the legislative leadership that aligns itself closely with the governor and his administration, who is holding firm on the standards.Co
Two-thirds of the legislature is made up of Republicans, many of them swept into their seats by grassroots tea party support, all too aware the 2014 election is right around the corner.
“We are developing an army, and we have over 700 people on it now who can mobilize when we need to put pressure on our legislators,” said Katherine Hudgins, a chief organizer for Tennessee Against Common Core and a political activist for the 9/12 Project and an officer with the Rutherford County Tea Party. “We will join forces with anybody of any stripe that has the same political concern.”
That’s where the plot thickens, according to (Rep. Mike) Stewart, a Democrat with serious concerns over Common Core. The topic can drive people of various political persuasions together and give political heft to an effort challenging any aspect of the new standards instead of making it an intra-party squabble.
Stewart has different reasons for picking a fight with Common Core, though.
“I worry that Common Core is yet the latest untested program forced upon the state from the Department of Education,” he said.
“We should be very skeptical of education ‘reforms’ put forward by this commissioner,” he added, capitalizing on discord among teachers frustrated with Huffman’s move to restructure minimum teacher pay scales.
Stewart is also concerned there’s already too many standardized tests for students to take, a topic that parents and school board members echo.

Rand Paul to Help With State Senator’s Fundraising

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (AP) — A potential Republican presidential candidate is headlining Tennessee state Sen. Jack Johnson’s annual summer barbeque in Franklin.
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, of Bowling Green, Ky., is scheduled to attend the fundraiser at the Factory in Franklin on July 28. Several hundred people have attended the event in years past. Tickets are $50.
Johnson is the chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee and a prominent fundraiser in the Tennessee General Assembly.
Tennessee Republicans have not voted for the eventual presidential nominee in the primary since giving the nod to President George W. Bush in 2004.
In 2008, the Tennessee GOP primary was won by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee over U.S. Sen. John McCain, and in 2012 Republicans voted for former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

AP Story on TN GOP Supermajority’s Troubles

By Eric Schelzig, Associated Press
N ASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam began the year by dismissing what he called misguided predictions that the new Republican supermajority in state government would devolve into infighting.
Haslam went so far as to announce in his annual State of the State address in January that that narrative “makes caricatures out of us and sells all of us short.” But GOP relations soon turned turbulent, and by the end of the session key legislative proposals had gone off the rails.
Haslam had to torpedo his own limited school voucher bill for fear it would be hijacked by fellow Republicans seeking a more expansive program, and the leaders of the state House and Senate were no longer on speaking terms their respective chambers killed off each other’s bills on campaign finance, judicial redistricting and charter schools.
A usually celebratory post-session press conference by the governor wasn’t attended by either speaker, and the GOP caucus soon later announced they severing joint fundraising efforts.

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Tennessee Republican Testified in Congress’ Tea Party Probe

The former chair of the Williamson County Republican Party was one of half a dozen to testify in Washington about the IRS targeting Tea Party groups, reports WPLN.
Kevin Kookogey founded Linchpins of Liberty in 2011. He says wants help children learn about the Founding Fathers and other political philosophers. But the group has been inactive for almost two years.
He says he’s been waiting just as long to receive 501c3 non profit status from the IRS. Like other Tea Party groups, he says he’s been stonewalled. He painted a picture of the invasive questions he’s been asked by the agency. He asked the committee, “can you imagine the reaction the students’ parents were I to turn the names of their children over to the IRS?”
Kookogey says he isn’t mentoring any children right now, because he doesn’t want to run afoul of the federal government.

Roberts to Challenge Summerville in GOP State Senate Primary (along with others?)

Former State Sen. Kerry Roberts of Springfield has announced as a candidate for the District 25 state Senate seat now held by fellow Republican Jim Summerville of Dickson.
The district includes Cheatham, Dickson, Hickman, Humphreys and Robertson counties.
From The Tennessean:
Roberts served as state senator for District 18 from March 2011 until November 2012 after being elected to finish the term vacated by Diane Black, who was elected to Congress in November 2010. Roberts left office on Nov. 6, having been drawn out of the district he represented by the legislature.
Robertson County was separated from Sumner County in District 18 and moved into District 25, which is represented by (Summerville, who was not up for re-election in 2012, but will be in 2014.)
…Roberts’ announcement comes days after State Rep. Joshua Evans, R-District 66, confirmed to the Robertson County Times that he is also considering making a bid for the seat.
The incumbent, Summerville, has already announced his intentions of running for reelection. And Wayne White, a Republican from the city of Slayden in Dickson County, has also announced his candidacy.

Speaker Spat Terminates Joint House-Senate GOP Fundraising?

In the aftermath of House-Senate hostility at an end of the legislative session, the Senate Republican Caucus has decided to terminate a joint fundraising operation with the House Republican Caucus.
For years, the two GOP legislative caucuses have combined for fundraising to form the Tennessee Republican Caucus, which would solicit contributions and host events. The joint caucus then paid the fundraising costs and split the remaining money between the House Republican Caucus and the Senate Republican Caucus.
In the past two years, reports filed with the Registry of Election finance show the House Republican Caucus has received checks totaling $460,465 from the arrangement; the Senate Republican Caucus $425,590.
The Tennessee Republican Caucus still had a balance of $123,000 in the last report it filed, dated Jan. 25. That will now apparently be split between the House and Senate.Republicans as the arrangement ends.

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