Tag Archives: tea party

After 5 vetting events, tea party coalition officially endorses Carr

News release from ‘Beat Lamar’ organization:
Spring Hill, TN—Michael Patrick Leahy, co-founder of BEAT LAMAR, today announced that BEAT LAMAR, a project of the conservative ground game SuperPac the Real Conservatives National Committee, and a coalition of local Tea Party groups across Tennessee have endorsed State Representative Joe Carr for the Republican nomination in the 2014 United Senate race.

“Over the past month Joe Carr has been vetted in five BEAT LAMAR Town Halls across the state of Tennessee—in Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga, Maryville, and this Saturday in Johnson City,” Leahy said. “Joe Carr has emerged as the unanimous choice among the Tea Party co-sponsors of each of these events—the Nashville Tea Party, the Mid-South Tea Party, the Chattanooga Tea Party, the Blount County Tea Party, the Roane County Tea Party, and the Tri-Cities—as the constitutional conservative candidate we enthusiastically endorse to stand with Ted Cruz and beat Lamar.”

“I am also delighted to note that the Coalition for a Constitutional Senate, an informal coalition of 63 Tea Party and Liberty groups throughout Tennessee, is also issuing a statement of support for Joe Carr today,” Leahy said.

Leahy added that the BEAT LAMAR Town Halls have been so popular that BEAT LAMAR will continue to hold them in cooperation with local Tea Party groups around the state. “Several local Tea Party groups have asked us to continue the BEAT LAMAR Town Halls, and we’ve decided to do that. Our purpose now will be to sign up additional door-to-door volunteers in every one of Tennessee’s 95 counties.”Leahy said.”
Continue reading

Corker criticizes Cruz ‘show’ on Senate floor

From Politico:
The GOP’s anger at Sen. Ted Cruz — expressed mostly in private meetings this week — burst onto the usually collegial Senate floor on Thursday, with Sen. Bob Corker excoriating his Texas Republican colleague for blocking a quick vote to avert a government shutdown next week.

In a highly unusual Republican v. Republican exchange, Corker accused Cruz of delaying a Thursday vote simply to create a “show” to cater to his conservative activist supporters at the expense of making good policy.

“You want the American people and the outside groups that you’ve been in contact with to be able to watch us tomorrow,” a perplexed Corker charged on the floor. “The reason we’re waiting is that y’all have sent out releases and emails and you want everybody to be able to watch. And it just doesn’t seem to me that that’s in our nation’s interest.”

And Corker ridiculed Cruz’s 21-hour floor speech earlier this week, saying never before in the “the history of the country” has a senator delivered such a marathon speech before casting a vote in favor of debating the measure he or she has sought to block.
Cruz shot back.

“Why is Majority Leader Harry Reid going to vote the same way you’re proposing to vote? Why is every Democrat in this chamber going to vote the way you’re proposing to vote,” said Cruz. “When we told our constituents we oppose Obamacare, we meant it. So we are not going to be complicit in giving Harry Reid the ability to fund Obamacare.”

The bitter exchange on the Senate floor between two fellow Republicans is just the latest iteration of the ongoing fight Cruz is waging with his party over whether to use the threat of a government shutdown as leverage to defund Obamacare. While they oppose the president’s health care law, most Senate Republicans refuse to back the Cruz tactic, arguing it would prompt a politically damaging government shutdown and will fail to convince Democrats to gut the president’s signature legislative achievement.

Note: The C-SPAN video is HERE.

Anti-Alexander group plans anti-Devaney talkathon with GOP SEC members

News release from “Beat Lamar:”
Spring Hill, TN—Michael Patrick Leahy, co-founder of BEAT LAMAR, today announced a series of BEAT LAMAR Conversations with Tennessee Republican Party State Executive Committee members that will be held in each of Tennessee’s  33 State Senate Districts.

“We will invite the state committeeman and committeewoman elected from each State Senate District to the same BEAT LAMAR Conversation in their district,” said Leahy. “These will be informal events held at local restaurants where BEAT LAMAR volunteers will have an opportunity to share their views about the proper role the Tennessee Republican Party should play in the upcoming August Republican Senate primary.”

On Monday, September 23, BEAT LAMAR and Tea Party groups from around the state of Tennessee sent a letter to Chris Devaney calling for his resignation as Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party for his repeated violation of the party’s by-laws . These violations included his signature on an August 31 fundraising appeal that amounted, in effect, to an endorsement of Lamar Alexander.  In the BEAT LAMAR letter, the group gave Chairman Devaney until 5 pm Tuesday to resign, or it would take its case directly to the State Executive Committee.

“As of Wednesday morning, Chairman Devaney has not resigned, nor has he responded in any way to our letter,” said Leahy. “Therefore, BEAT LAMAR has chosen to initiate these BEAT LAMAR Conversations with every member of the Tennessee Republican Party’s State Executive Committee. “
Continue reading

Alexander raises money without protesters

Chas Sisk showed up for a planned protest by tea party activists at a Lamar Alexander fundraiser on Sunday. But no protesters did.

The lead organizer himself, Matt Collins of the Tennessee Campaign for Liberty, wasn’t even present.

Responding to The Tennessean in an email on Monday, Collins said his group decided to “scrap the event at the 11th hour.”

“I didn’t get any press feedback / RSVP so I didn’t think to send out an advisory about it.”

Logistically, it might have been difficult to pull off. Protesting on private property isn’t exactly an option and Trinity Road lacks ample shoulder space to handle too many people.

Alexander supporters took note of the absence, including several of the more than 350 people at Lankford’s home on Sunday.

“What if they gave a protest and nobody came?” said Tim Skow, organizer of the “First Tuesday” monthly Republican breakfast in Nashville who attended Sunday’s event.
In recent months, Alexander’s backers have groaned about the media’s willingness to give headlines to a tea party crowd they say is a lot louder than their actual numbers.
Sunday, they said, proves that point.

“There are some people out there who are unhappy with Lamar, but the reality of it is most of them know each other,” Skow said. “It’s just not that big of group.”

Commentary: TN Tea party going the way of Occupy Wall Street

Excerpt from a George Korda commentary:

(T)he Tea Party is in the process of self-immolating. It has taken its eyes off the target and instead of tea wants to throw into the harbor Republicans who lack what some Tea Party members believe is the necessary conservative ideological purity.

The open letter to Alexander suggesting he retire rather than run for reelection included this: “Unfortunately, our great nation can no longer afford compromise and bipartisanship…”

The problem with such an absolutist position – don’t talk, work, or deal with anyone with whom we disagree – is that it drives away the people in the center. Many might agree with some of the Tea Party’s positions. However, the notion that elected officials must be with the Tea Party 100 percent of the time or they are the enemy will send centrist voters and many Republicans in a direction the Tea Party doesn’t want them to go.

The Occupy Wall Street movement two years ago was initially seen as the counter-Tea Party. But it’s clear the Tea Party had, and has, far more staying power and influence.

The fizzled Occupy Wall Street movement (that began two years ago on Sept. 17) about which we haven’t heard much lately presents a parallel leftward pathway to the direction the Tea Party is headed on the right.

Kookegey to skip remaining anti-Alexander tea party forums

Kevin Kookogey, a former Williamson County Republican chairman who is describing himself as an unnanounced candidate against U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, informed tea party organizers Sunday that he will no longer be taking part in a series of forums designed to identify a consensus challenger, reports The Tennessean.

The first “Beat Lamar” candidate vetting session took place Saturday in Nashville. Kookogey attended it but won’t be going to others. (Note: Previous post HERE.)

An email from Kookogey, posted by Michael Patrick Leahy, co-founder of the political action committee Beat Lamar, suggests he is already considering himself a candidate who hasn’t announced yet.

“Thank you for inviting and allowing me to participate in the Beat Lamar forum yesterday in Nashville,” Kookogey wrote Leahy, adding that he enjoyed the event.

“As an unannounced candidate, however, I have decided to withdraw from the remainder of the scheduled events, lest my attendance confuse your process.”

…Republican state Rep. Joe Carr of Lascassas has already ditched a primary run against embattled U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais to instead challenge Alexander, a two-term senator who has faced a tide of resistance from the right.

Carr, Kookogey pledge united front to ‘Beat Lamar’

Two would-be challengers to U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander told tea party activists Saturday they each would step aside for the other if he proved to be the GOP right’s stronger candidate in Republicans’ 2014 Senate primary, according to Andy Sher.

State Rep. Joe Carr, R-Lascassas, and former Williamson County GOP chairman Kevin Kookogey made the comments as tea party groups kicked off a series of forums aimed at generating a credible challenger to Alexander.

“It’s absolutely critical and crucial, if we’re going to remove Lamar Alexander as the liberal senator from Tennessee, that we all have to coalesce around some candidate,” Carr, an announced candidate, told the crowd of at least 250 activists meeting in a hotel. “I think I’ve already told you I’ve committed to that. It’s that important.”

Kookogey, who hasn’t officially announced he’s a candidate, told the group, “The target is Lamar. The target is not Kevin Kookogey.”

Kookogey said if he gets in the race and Carr takes the lead in polls and fundraising before next year’s August primary, “then absolutely I would step aside.”

Both men also said that if they dropped out, they would be willing to use money they’d raised to help another challenger — Carr adding that he’d have to make sure it was OK with his donors first. Carr had raised about $300,000 to run in the state’s 4th Congressional District but declared for the Senate two weeks ago.

Tea party activists say they are on a hunt for a “Ted Cruz of Tennessee” to take on Alexander, a former governor and one-time U.S. Education secretary who is seeking a third Senate term with backing from Gov. Bill Haslam and most of the GOP’s top political establishment.

Saturday’s event was the first of five planned across the state. It was sponsored by the Nashville Tea Party, a group known as Beat Lamar and a coalition of some 60 other conservative groups.

Note: See also Jeff Woods, who has this observation:
This is bad news for Alexander, who hopes his opponents within the Republican Party will divide their votes in the primary. Splitting the conservative vote arguably is the only reason Bob Corker is a U.S. senator today. He won his primary in 2006 with fewer votes than the combined total of his two more conservative opponents. Bill Haslam did the same thing in his 2010 primary for governor.

And Chris Bundgaard reports there was some “Beat Bob” sentiment, too.

Alexander, Corker Bashed by Tea Party Express

Leaders of the Tea Party Express took shots at Tennessee’s Sen. Lamar Alexander Wednesday, reports WPLN.

During an appearance in Nashville, the group said it’s willing to help fund a primary challenger to Lamar Alexander. Tea Party Express is one of the heavyweights of the Tea Party movement. Last year, it gave more than $5.5 million to candidates like Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

“We will be some spending time here in the state of Tennessee, leading up to the primary,” said Tea Party Express director Amy Kremer. “And we look forward to that, because it’s time Tennessee had a true conservative to represent the people instead of a moderate RINO [Republican in Name Only] squish that has no spine.”

So far, Senator Alexander’s only primary opponent is State Representative Joe Carr. Carr calls himself a Tea Party supporter, but says he doesn’t want to be labeled as the Tea Party candidate.

Tea Party Express stopped in Nashville today, as part of a nationwide tour asking Congress to defund Obamacare. Heritage Action, the group headed by former South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, will host a similar event in Nashville tomorrow night.

Also, see the Tennessean, which says Sen. Bob Corker came in for some “blistering” criticism, too.

A procession of tea party leaders accused Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker of “caving and surrendering,” called them “spineless, gutless cowards” and asked if they would have the “moral courage” to stand up to the Democratic “tyrant” in the White House.

“Do they want to put an army of government bureaucrats in charge of our lives, or do they want to secure freedom and put us in charge of our health care and our lives?” said Ben Cunningham, Nashville tea party President. “That’s the decision that Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander have to make.”

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.
Continue reading

Democrats Say Maybe Somebody Will Run Against Corker

Sen. Bob Corker appears positioned to coast to re-election next year, though some Democrats are at least raising the possibility of an opponent, according to Michael Collins.
Some snippets from his story:
In the first three months of this year alone he raised $1.9 million. The inflow of new cash means Corker already has $2.9 million in his campaign account. Another fundraiser is planned for this Friday in Knoxville.
…(Chief of Staff Todd) Womack said Corker’s strong fundraising is “a vote of confidence” from people across Tennessee who have “recognized and appreciated the work Sen. Corker is doing to solve complex problems that our country faces.”–
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee recently listed six seats it will be targeting in 2012, but Corker’s wasn’t among them. That doesn’t mean Democrats are writing off Tennessee, said the committee’s spokesman, Matt Canter.

Continue reading