Tag Archives: senate campaign

Green Party candidates plan runs for governor, U.S. Senate again

Three Knoxvillians have taken out qualifying petitions to run for governor, U.S. Senate and the 2nd Congressional District in Tennessee under the Green Party label, reports Georgiana Vines.

It’s up in the air whether the Green Party will formally nominate them through a primary on Aug. 7 along with Democratic and Republican candidates or, as traditional for third parties, through a party convention. Also unclear is whether they’ll be identified as Green candidates on the ballot in November.

The long-range goal of the party is to get enough votes to be on ballots where they might win local elections, said Robert Waltz, Knox County Green Party secretary-treasurer.

Those taking out petitions with the Knox County Election Commission are Isa Infante, governor; Martin Pleasant, U.S. Senate; and Norris Dryer, 2nd Congressional District. All three previously have sought local public offices, with Pleasant and Dryer running for the same positions two years ago.

Lawyer Alan Woodruff said recent action in the federal court suit in Nashville has resulted in the Green Party being allowed on the ballot, although the secretary of state could appeal. At issue is meeting a 2.5 percent vote test on the last gubernatorial vote but that is being disputed. Legislation also is pending that would reduce the number of votes to allow ballot access, Woodruff said.

He said the state Green Party is planning a convention to nominate a slate. If that happens, the Green candidates would not be on the August ballot.

In addition, Libertarian Vinny Vineyard has taken out a petition to seek the 13th District House seat held by state Rep. Gloria Johnson, a Democrat.

Gordon Ball’s first U.S. Senate campaign release (official announcement)

News release from Gordon Ball campaign:
HARTFORD, TN – Gordon Ball, a class action lawyer and former federal prosecutor known nationally for standing up to polluters, price-fixers, insurance companies, and other big corporations to fight for landowners and ordinary people, today announced he is running for the United States Senate from Tennessee, beginning his day on the banks of the Pigeon River in front of his childhood home in the small community of Hartford. It was there, Ball said, that he committed to help his neighbors fight the paper mill that had been polluting the once-pristine river since the early 1900’s.

“My reason for running is straightforward,” Ball said on www.gordonballsenate.com/announcement. “Poor and middle class Tennessee families have been victimized far too long by professional politicians and Washington insiders.” A fundamental problem, Ball believes, is that once elected to Congress, many politicians conveniently forget pledges and promises made to their constituents. For instance, he says, “the current incumbent promised to serve no more than two terms, a total of 12 years, but now he’s running for a third term, which would give him 18 years in the Senate.”

That’s why Ball supports term limits for Congress. “We have real and important problems that must be addressed by Congress. But the ideas coming from Democrats and Republicans alike are nothing more than recycled policies that have never worked in the past, are not working today, and are unlikely to work in the future. If we want fresh ideas in Congress, we’re going to have to send new people to Washington, Ball said.”

“Washington is rigged by professional politicians,” Ball says. “While a big company, like GE or State Farm, pays nothing in taxes, Washington forces college students to borrow more and more to get an education. And Washington tells seniors they may need to learn to live on less. It isn’t right, and it’s one of the main reasons I’m running.”
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Terry Adams’ first Alexander-bashing press release

News release from Terry Adams Senate campaign:
KNOXVILLE – Veterans and US Senate candidate Terry Adams issued the following statement regarding Senator Lamar Alexander’s vote against Tennessee veterans:

“In what can only be called a ‘veteran move’, Senator Lamar Alexander has betrayed Tennessee’s veterans and embarrassed Tennessee once again.

There are 500,000 veterans in Tennessee who have served, fought and bled for our nation, and Lamar Alexander is stabbing these heroes in the back for nothing more than partisan politics.

This vital bill would have expanded access to veterans’ health and education services and provided new incentives for businesses to hire veterans after their service to our country without adding a single cent to the deficit, but Lamar Alexander voted, “NO.”

Lamar Alexander voted against our veterans, against their families and against their future.

Our veterans need a Senator with the backbone to stand up for our military families and do the right thing. Lamar Alexander failed the test once again. He’s proven he’ll put extremist Washington politics first every time, even at the expense of our nation’s veterans.

Alexander voted against improving VA’s claims system in part by requiring quarterly reports to Congress on efforts to eliminate a backlog of benefits claims by 2015. VA would have to detail both the projected and actual number of claims received, pending, completed and on appeal.
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Joe Carr holding a gun giveaway contest

News release from Joe Carr campaign:
Nashville, TN – The Joe Carr for Senate campaign today invited all 2nd Amendment supporters to celebrate Beretta opening up their new manufacturing facility in Tennessee by entering into a raffle to win a Beretta 92A1.

“With this giveaway, I not only want to celebrate Beretta, but also our sacred 2nd Amendment rights. We’re locked in a struggle with Obama, Reid, Pelosi, and the rest of the liberal elites in Washington for our 2nd Amendment rights. That’s why I decided to take the fight to them by introducing legislation in Tennessee to nullify any of Obama’s unconstitutional gun grabbing laws. I even went on Al Sharpton’s MSNBC show to defend my legislation and stand up for our 2nd Amendment rights.

As a lifetime member of the NRA and Gun Owners of America, I have always promoted, protected, and defended every law-abiding American’s ability to keep and bear arms for personal safety, to defend their property, and to enjoy hunting and sporting. As a Senator, I will continue to fight and defend the 2nd Amendment.”

Supporters of the 2nd Amendment can sign up to be entered into the raffle at www.carrfortn.com.

Note: The Beretta 92A1 is a semi-automatic pistol. According to the Carr contest rules ( HERE) it’s valued at $745 and the winner of the March 15 drawing must pass a criminal background check and comply with all relevant laws.

Carr radio ad bashes ‘career politician Lamar Alexander’ on Obamacare, immigration, etc.

State Rep. Joe Carr says his U.S. Senate campaign has launched a statewide radio ad campaign that attacks “career politician Lamar Alexander” at a cost of $45,000. It has some repetition of what likely is to become a regular theme line: “Vote for conservative Joe Carr, not Lamar.”

The ad starts with a narrator saying this:

“Career politician Lamar Alexander has lost his way.
Thankfully, Tennessee conservatives have a better choice.
Conservative Joe Carr Has a dependable record of standing up for conservative principles.
In the Republican primary, conservatives will vote for Joe Carr, not Lamar.”

Hillary Pate, communications director for the Carr campaign, says the ad will run for three weeks on conservative talk shows at a cost of $45,000 — a figure that may “expand modestly.”

The ad comes after Alexander’s campaign releasing last week excerpts from a poll of 600 likely Tennessee Republican primary voters showing the incumbent favored by 62 percent versus just 17 percent for Carr and 18 percent undecided. (Note: The poll memo is posted HERE.)

In an emailed response to a request for comment on Carr’s radio ad, Alexander Campaign Manager Alice Rolli said:

“Sen. Alexander has a conservative voting record which has earned an A rating from the NRA and 100 percent ratings from the National Right to Life Committee and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Last week he voted against raising the debt ceiling and for four years he has led the fight against Obamacare.”

Here’s the Carr campaign news release:
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Ball’s scenario for a Democratic win in Tennessee’s U.S. Senate race

Frank Cagle talks with Knoxville attorney Gordon Ball – disclosing that the two are friends – about the path to a potential Democratic victory in this year’s U.S. Senate race. An excerpt:

Ball believes that a Democratic primary with him and Knoxville attorney Terry Adams (the other announced candidate) competing will generate some excitement in the party and will help other Democrats on the ballot. A primary might also give Democrats a reason to vote for their party nominees rather than cross over in large numbers to vote for Alexander.

Without Democratic crossover votes, and with a purely Republican turnout, it helps state Rep. Joe Carr, the conservative candidate opposing Alexander in the primary. Should Carr succeed in knocking Alexander off in the primary, moderate Republicans might be convinced to vote for the Democratic nominee in November.

…Whether such a scenario could play out in Tennessee is an open question, but it is an argument Ball and Adams can make in seeking support and contributions. It’s a long-shot, but it’s a shot. It it also an argument that can help stave off the perception among political reporters and donors that an Alexander win is inevitable.

Ball is a traditional conservative Southern Democrat, slightly right of center, for low taxes, balanced budgets, and that sort of thing. He’s more libertarian on social issues. Pro-choice. He sees gay marriage as a state issue and believes that what people do in their bedrooms isn’t the federal government’s business.

He sees a major issue in the campaign as the reform, or replacement, of Obamacare. He says the Affordable Care Act is needlessly complicated and gives insurance companies too great an influence in health care. He will campaign to keep provisions like covering pre-existing conditions and letting young people stay on their parents’ policies longer. But he advocates repealing the insurance-company exemption from federal anti-trust laws, which enables them to lock up markets within states and leaves customers no place else to go.

Attorney Gordon Ball to seek Democratic nomination to U.S. Senate

Millionaire Knoxville attorney Gordon Ball said Wednesday he will seek the Democratic nomination to the U.S. Senate seat now held by Republican Lamar Alexander, making term limits a central theme of the campaign.

Ball, 64, becomes the second Knoxville lawyer to declare as a U.S. Senate candidate. Attorney Terry Adams, who had announced his candidacy earlier, said he was “a little bit surprised” by Ball’s entry into the race. Larry Crim of Nashville is also running for the nomination.

“The more the merrier,” Adams said, adding Ball’s candidacy will not impact his own plans. “I think the process works best when there are candidates and a campaign. It’s good for the process.”

Alexander, meanwhile, is opposed by state Rep. Joe Carr, R-Lascassas, in the Republican primary.

Ball said in a telephone interview that he picked up a qualifying petition Wednesday and will file it soon, planning to devote full time to the campaign starting in March.
Ball, who has a national reputation for success representing plaintiffs in successful lawsuits with multi-million dollar awards, said he anticipates self-financing his campaign to some extent. He declined to give a figure.

Ball said he had started planning for the race well over a year ago, but shelved his plans last summer after a routine physical checkup indicated possible heart problems related to open-heart surgery undergone in 1995. Recently, however, a new round of tests resulted in doctors giving him “a green light” to proceed with a campaign, Ball said.

Ball said he is running because “this country is broken” and a major reason is that its leaders are “professional politicians” rather than “citizen legislators.”

“The Harry Reeds, the Nancy Pelosis and the Lamar Alexanders need to go home and let other people do this,” he said. “At the end of the day, one thing I’d like to leave the people of Tennessee and of this country would be term limits.”

Alexander, a former governor, is seeking his third six-year term in the Senate.

Ball said he envisions, as a senator, going to each of his colleagues individually with a video camera and asking if they support term limits. Most publicly support the idea, but then never follow through with launching the necessary constitutional amendment, he said, but armed with the video recordings, “then we’d see how they’d vote.”

Ball also said he believes corporations, unions and political action committees should be blocked from contributing to political campaigns with only “real people and I don’t believe corporations are people” making donations.

The attorney said he would characterize himself as a “Blue Dog Democrat,” a term used by more conservative members of the party in Congress. Ball cited former U.S. Rep. John Tanner of Union City as an example.

Ball said he does not know Adams, but “I’m sure he’s a nice gentleman.” He talked with state Democratic leaders early last year, including state party Chairman Roy Herron, about entering the race but has not communicated with them since being sidelined by the potential medical problem, he said.

Two former party chairmen, Bob Tuke and Chip Forrester, have endorsed Adams and Herron has offered supportive comments — interpreted by Crim as an endorsement that Crime says broke party rules. Herron says his remarks should not be interpreted as an endorsement.

Crim says Herron broke party rules by endorsing Terry Adams

Larry Crim complains in a news release that state Democratic Chairman Roy Herron is breaking party rules by endorsing Knoxville attorney Terry Adams in the U.S. Senate primary, but Herron says he has made no endorsement.

Adams said in a news conference Friday that Herron has been supportive of his candidacy, along with former Democrtic chairmen Bob Tuke and Chip Forrester. Tuke is serving as Adams’ campaign treasurer.

In a Saturday report on the news conference, the Tennessean had this comment from Herron:

“Terry Adams is a serious, strong candidate,” Herron said. “At this point, I think Democrats from Mountain City to Memphis are supporting him, but if some other strong, serious candidate came forward, I’d support her or him as well.”

Today, following Crim’s Sunday news release, Herron is quoted as saying he hasn’t endorsed Adams.

“It was not an endorsement,” Herron said. “I didn’t and the party doesn’t endorse any candidate until the primary voters speak.”

He said having several strong candidates is good for the process.

“Quite frankly, I did not know that Mr. Crim was still running,” he said. “I hadn’t seen or heard anything from him in some months.

Here’s the Crim nrews release:
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Why Lamar’s ‘bizarre’ behavior? He’s running against himself

Frank Cagle, in his weekly column, notes that polls show Lamar Alexander’s approval rating below 50 percent and offers some observations on his reelection campaign.

Lamar Alexander isn’t a judge, but his re-election campaign is looking more and more like a retention election. Given the underfunded and invisible campaign of his opponent, Joe Carr, the campaign looks like Alexander is running against himself.

…Alexander’s actions of late seem, well, bizarre.

Why would any Republican running in a primary in Tennessee, who claims to be a conservative, co-sponsor a bill with California’s Democratic U.S. Sen. Diane Fienstein? She’s the principal architect of all Senate gun control bills. But Alexander has joined with her to pass a law to forbid cell phone calls on airplanes. In what universe does a conservative decide that the government needs to get between a private business (an airline) and its customers? The airlines will do what their customers want; we don’t need the government to interfere. Even if you don’t want to be bothered on your trips back and forth to Washington.

How many unnecessary laws are there, prompted by the personal pique of a legislator?

Here, locally, we have a situation where retired federal judges are being trucked in to handle case loads because of a vacant judgeship. Knoxville attorney Pam Reeves is closing out her practice and sits waiting to be confirmed. So Alexander puts a hold on confirming federal judge appointments in order to play an inside-the-beltway game with Majority Leader Harry Reid. Any consideration of the situation back home takes a back seat to scoring points in the Senate club.

Alexander can blame Reid, but Reeves was on a consent calendar for automatic appointment and Alexander objected so Republicans could make a point about the changes in the filibuster rule.

It certainly doesn’t do Alexander any good to have his chief of staff arrested for child pornography. One wonders if Alexander’s familiarity with his staff is like his familiarity with the folks back home—sketchy and disconnected.

Mary Mancini announces as candidate in state Senate District 21

Mary Mancini announced today her resignation as executive director of Tennessee Citizen Action and her candidacy for the Democratic nomination in Nashville’s state Senate District 21.

She joins two other Democrats, Jeff Yarbro and Jason Holleman, who have already announced as candidates for the seat being vacated by veteran Sen. Douglas Henry, D-Nashville.

Here’s her announcement news release:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (October 10, 2013) – Mary Mancini, the former executive director of Tennessee Citizen Action, announced today that she will run for the Tennessee State Senate to serve District 21.

“It’s been an incredible experience to lead Citizen Action because it is such a well-respected organization whose mission aligns so completely with my personal values and priorities,” Mancini said, “But the work we did made me realize that Tennesseans need a principled progressive voice to represent them at the legislature.”

She added, “I know that I can be that voice because for almost a decade I have been at the Capitol – shining a bright light onto our elected representatives and holding them accountable for their destructive and divisive lawmaking.”
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