Tag Archives: Scott Desjarlais

Grant Starrett’s second TV commercial

From the Times-Free Press:
“It’s shocking, but true,” a female announcer says in the 30-second spot, which began airing this week. “Scott DesJarlais voted for $700 billion in Obama’s food stamps. And DesJarlais supported Obama’s military cuts. DesJarlais even failed to hold America’s largest abortion provider accountable.”

Featuring images including armed, masked men in green uniforms marching on a beach and, later, what appears to be a sonogram of a fetus, the announcer goes on to say, “You’re paying for welfare and abortions all while we’re under attack by radical Muslims. You’ve been betrayed by DesJarlais.”

DesJarlais spokesman Robert Jameson charged that the ad, now running in the Chattanooga and Nashville areas, is packed with distortions.

“Grant’s latest ad simply confirms what most voters already know: he is an out-of-touch, establishment politician from California who couldn’t possibly represent conservatives in Tennessee,” Jameson said.

Starrett campaign manager Tommy Schultz said the ad is factual and on target.

DesJarlais launches direct mail attack on ‘trust fund millionaire’

Tennessee’s 4th Congressional District Rep, Scott DesJarlais is making a direct mail attack on his primary challenger, Grant Starrett, as a young West Coast “trust fund millionaire” trying to “buy his way into Congress.”

Further from the Times-Free Press:

The DesJarlais mailer, the first publicly funded piece by the three-term South Pittsburg physician in the Aug. 4 primary campaign, labels Starrett as “Mr. California.”

“Grant Starrett should be running for Congress in California, not Tennessee,” the mailer says. It further charges Starrett, 28, with “moving to Tennessee to buy his way into Congress,” that he “only moved into our district a year ago” and he “doesn’t represent us or our small town values.”

The mailer says Starrett “grew up in a ten million dollar home overlooking the Pacific Ocean in California” and notes his campaign is funded “with out-of-state money, including a half million-dollar loan from himself.”

Tommy Schultz, Starrett’s campaign manager, retorted that “apparently Grant Starrett is getting to Scott DesJarlais.”

Schultz blasted the congressman for spending $67,000 of public money on communications with constituents from Jan. 1 to March 31.

“It’s not surprising DesJarlais spent more than all eight other Tennessee Congressmen combined with taxpayer-funded ‘Mass Communications’ and then is blasting out false attack mailers from his campaign,” Schultz said in an email to the Times Free Press on Sunday.

…Robert Jameson, DesJarlais’ spokesman, charged Starrett “is someone who has absolutely no ties to the community and whose establishment views are out of touch with the majority of folks in the Fourth District. California does not need another congressman.”

Starrett radio ad bashes DesJarlais for bashing talk radio host

Republican congressional candidate Grant Starrett has begun airing a radio ad that says his opponent, incumbent U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, recently insulted nationally syndicated conservative talk radio host Mark Levin, reports the Times-Free Press.

The campaign’s 60-second ad began running Wednesday evening on Chattanooga’s WGOW and Nashville’s WWTN, according to Starrett’s campaign. Starrett, an attorney, is challenging three-term incumbent DesJarlais, a South Pittsburg physician, in the 4th Congressional District’s Aug. 4 Republican primary.

His ad features a recording of DesJarlais criticizing both Levin and talk show radio host and blogger Erik Erikson at what the campaign says was a Lincoln County GOP meeting earlier this month. Levin has been critical of DesJarlais in the past while Erikson, former editor-in-chief of the Red State blog, has endorsed Starrett in his challenge to the congressman.

“You listen to conservative Mark Levin every day,” says a female announcer in the spot. “Would Mark Levin betray your principles at any price? Here’s what Scott DesJarlais thinks about about Mark Levin.”

The ad switches to a recording of DesJarlais saying “there’s bought and paid for political conservatives as well, Mark Levin apparently is one, I think Erick Erikson is another, and so I think they can be sold to the highest bidder.”

The female announcer’s voice resumes, asking, “Mark Levin, bought and paid for?” The announcer later goes on to ask “Who is Scott DesJarlais to question Mark Levin’s conservative principles?”

The ad then charges DesJarlais “voted for $700 billion in Obama’s food stamps, failed to hold abortion providers accountable and voted with Obama to cut our military.

“You’ve been betrayed by Scott DesJarlais,” the announcer charges.

In a statement, DesJarlais spokesman Robert Jameson, who did not address the ad’s citing of the congressman’s criticisms of Levin, called Starrett “a 28-year old trust fund kid from California who just moved to the Fourth District and has absolutely no ties to the community. He has nothing to run on, an inability to tell the truth and establishment views that do not align with the district he just moved into.”

Note: The Starrett campaign news release, including transcript, is below. Continue reading

Grant Starrett’s first TV commercial

News release from Grant Starrett campaign
(MURFREESBORO, Tenn.) – Today, the Grant Starrett for Congress campaign announced they have released their first TV ad in the Republican primary race in the 4th Congressional District.

The ad, titled “Time to Fight”, will run district wide on cable and broadcast.

Statement from Tommy Schultz, Campaign Manager for Grant Starrett, Republican Candidate for Congress in the 4th Congressional District:

“This ad highlights the disaster of the Obama years and the grave circumstances that our country is in. When Scott DesJarlais voted against giving $38 billion to our military to restore Obama’s defense cuts, failed to hold the nation’s largest abortion provider accountable after it was caught in a scandal selling baby body parts, and voted for $700 billion in food stamps, it rang clear that DesJarlais is part of the problem. Grant believes our military should have all the resources they need to fight radical Muslims, that our government should stop funding abortionists and should stop paying people not to work with food stamps. Grant Starrett has fought for conservative causes his entire life, never willing to back down from a tough battle. Grant is just the type of person we need in Congress to fight the crisis that has gripped our nation–someone who is willing to tell the truth about DC’s problems and fight with conservative principles to fix them.”

Note: Schultz tells Nashville Post Politics that cost of the buy was in “six figures.”

DesJarlais outspends all TN congressmen combined in government-funded communications

Facing a re-election battle against a well-financed opponent, U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee’s Fourth District significantly ramped up his spending on taxpayer-funded communications with constituents during the first three months of 2016, reports Michael Collins.

DesJarlais’ congressional office spent nearly $67,000 reaching out to constituents through online ads, surveys and other mass communications, according to House expenditure reports made public last week.

DesJarlais serves a winding district stretching from some of Nashville’s southeastern suburbs south to the Alabama line before wrapping outside Chattanooga and twisting through cities like Dayton and Cleveland.

The three-term congressman spent more on such materials than any other House Republican and all but two House Democrats. The amount also was more than quadruple what the other eight Tennesseans in the House spent combined.

The only House members who outspent DesJarlais were Pedro Pierluisi, a Democrat representing Puerto Rico, and Chaka Fattah, a Pennsylvania Democrat who lost his re-election battle in April and is on trial for federal corruption charges. Pierluisi spent $164,000 and Fattah spent $129,000. Continue reading

DesJarlais envisions Corker as Trump’s secretary of state; Gingrich as veep

Republican Congressman Scott DesJarlais, who early on endorsed Donald Trump for president, says he sees a role for U.S. Sen. Bob Corker in a possible Trump administration but not necessarily as vice president, reports the Times-Free Press.

DesJarlais, who is serving as a liaison to the Trump campaign, said he has “no inside information” on Trump’s thinking but believes another job may be the one for Corker, chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“I’ll put my money on Secretary of State for Corker,” DesJarlais told the Times Free Press on Saturday at the Bradley County Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Day gathering.

“My gut feeling right now — and I usually don’t have a gut feeling with vice presidents because I think it’s one of the hardest things to pick or prognosticate — I’m thinking [Newt] Gingrich” as Trump’s pick for veep.

“He’s someone who knows the system and knows how to work with the House and Senate,” said DesJarlais of Gingrich, a former U.S. House speaker from Georgia who has run for president.

“Just the way it’s teeing up, I’d say it was a 70/30 chance that’s who it is. No inside information, just a hunch.”

Many Republicans see Corker as a contender to be Trump’s running mate. Citing Trump campaign sources, The Washington Post last week reported that Corker is scheduled to meet with the presumptive GOP presidential nominee today at Trump Tower in New York.

DesJarlais poll shows him way ahead challenger; results disputed by Starrett

U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais says a poll he commissioned shows the 4th Congressional District Republican with a huge lead over his most prominent primary challenger, Grant Starrett — 61 percent to 8 percent.

The poll by Market Street Research also shows DesJarlais with a 61 percent favorable rating versus 25 percent negative rating, which a memo distributed to media says is the incumbent’s “highest favorable rating since we started polling for him in the Spring of 2010.”

DesJarlais has been in the news lately as one of the first Republican congressmen to get behind Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

Starrett campaign manager Tommy Schultz promptly distributed this response via email:

Coincidentally, Grant Starrett also conducted a poll in the last couple days (by Wilson Perkins Allen, a firm Schultz says also did polling for Ted Cruz). And the results we found weren’t quite as happy for Congressman DesJarlais. Our polling predicts a statistical dead heat between Grant Starrett and Scott DesJarlais in August. 60% of our 401 Republican primary voters are angry about Scott DesJarlais’ vote for $700 billion in food stamps. But Grant Starrett is not just content with an outside firm calling a few hundred people: our campaign talks to a few thousand people every week at their doors. We’ve recently recorded over 13,000 conversations and found Scott DesJarlais enthusiasm to be in the SINGLE DIGITS. In contrast, more people are signing pledges to vote for Grant Starrett every single day and we’re going to keep on fighting to earn every vote until August 4.

The memo distributed to media by the DesJarlais campaign is below. Continue reading

DesJarlais helping Trump outreach to House Freedom Caucus

Start of a Politico report:

The Trump campaign has reached out to the House Freedom Caucus to schedule a meeting with the chamber’s most ardent conservatives — many of whom are also his biggest critics on the Hill.

Rep. Scott DesJarlais — one of the few Freedom Caucus members who has endorsed Trump — pitched the idea to the caucus board Tuesday night on behalf of the Trump campaign. The Tennessee Republican is working behind the scenes to coordinate Trump’s outreach to lawmakers.

The board members, led by Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), agreed to set-up the meeting, though nothing is has been formally scheduled.
Trump comes to Capitol Hill Thursday to meet with Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and the rest of GOP leadership. And while campaign surrogates on the Hill told POLITICO he plans to meet with bigger groups of lawmakers eventually, he doesn’t plan to do so this week.

His meeting with the Freedom Caucus is sure to be a tense one. Conservatives say his tone and comments suggest he doesn’t respect the constitution. They’re wary of his views of executive branch authority, and many have problems with Trump’s views on minimum wage and abortion.

Starrett loans his congressional campaign another $250K

While 4th Congressional District candidate Grant Starrett is touting the $313,000 he’s raised this year for his GOP primary bid to unseat U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, the Times-Free Press notes that his latest finance report shows nearly 80 percent of that sum came from a loan he made to his campaign.

The 28-year-old attorney’s $250,000 loan to the campaign is his second, for a total of $476,561. He also put $23,400 of in-kind support into the campaign last year. All told, of the $1.23 million he says he’s raised for the campaign, 40.6 percent came from his own pocket.

While legal, the loans and in-kind contributions listed on Starrett’s latest Federal Election Commission report drew renewed charges from the DesJarlais camp that Starrett is gaining little traction among district voters and is relying on his wealthy family’s money and ties to “buy” the seat.

Starrett’s campaign, meanwhile, is returning fire, hitting DesJarlais’ political action committee contributions and saying Starrett has gotten far more “grass-roots” contributions — those from donors giving under $200 — than DesJarlais.

The FEC reports showed Starrett had $908,000 in cash and DesJarlais had $346,000 as of March 31.
Continue reading

DesJarlais finds Trump ‘very cordial and friendly’

U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais says the Donald Trump who showed up for a luncheon with a small group of Republican officials on Monday was a lot different from the bombastic and confrontational candidate that voters often see on the campaign trail, reports Michael Collins.

“Sometimes on TV with the media and with a lot of the negative media swirling around the Trump campaign, it’s hard to know what you’re getting,” DesJarlais said. “I found in person he was very cordial and friendly.”

DesJarlais, a South Pittsburg Republican who has endorsed Trump for president, was among a handful of Republicans on Capitol Hill invited to attend the roundtable luncheon with the GOP front-runner.

The purpose of the meeting was to talk about building party unity, DesJarlais said. Trump made a few opening remarks and then went around the room and asked each of the participants to give their feedback.

DesJarlais would not disclose what he told Trump. But he described the meeting as an “open forum” and “very productive.”

“Mr. Trump is realizing that there is certainly an anti-Trump movement within the Washington establishment,” he said. But, “it’s pretty clear he’s the frontrunner. And I think the Washington establishment has got to come to grips with the fact that he’s probably going to be our party’s nominee.”

Monday’s meeting will more than likely be “a stepping stone” for Trump to reach out to other members of Congress and the GOP political establishment, DesJarlais said.