Tag Archives: weston wamp

Fleischmann edges Wamp in 3rd District primary

By only about 1,000 votes, U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann won his nomination to a new term in Tennessee’s 3rd District Thursday over Republican challenger Weston Wamp.

Unofficial numbers late Thursday showed Fleischmann had 43,830 votes over Wamp’s 42,386, with 94 percent of precincts reporting.

To a room full of supporters chanting “Chuck, Chuck, Chuck,” Fleischmann acknowledged the close numbers, and appealed to Wamp and his supporters forces.

“I want to congratulate Weston on a well-run race. It was a close race, and I hope the Wamps will join me to continue to make the 3rd District better,” Fleischmann said.

Vowing to continue his conservative effort to change the tone in Washington D.C., Fleischmann Republicans need to come together.

“We have got to come together as Americans. There is no doubt in my mind that hte United States has been and will continue to the be the greatest nation the world has ever seen,” he said.

Fleischmann relies on 280 out-of-district donors; Wamp has more in-district donors

While incumbent U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann has raised more money than challenger Weston Wamp in the 3rd District Republican primary, many of the incumbent’s donors can’t vote to re-elect him, reports the Chattanooga TFP after some number-crunching.

Most of Fleischmann’s donors are doctors, lawyers, bankers and political operatives — traditional Republican campaign contributors — but the majority come from outside the state’s 3rd Congressional District or are political action committees, considered people for the purposes of campaign funding, but not for voting.

The 11-county district comprises Anderson, Bradley, Campbell, Hamilton, McMinn, Monroe, Morgan, Polk, Roane, Scott and Union counties.

The Ooltewah Republican’s first- and second quarter and pre-primary campaign finance reports show that 206 of his contributors lived in the district. The remaining 280 donors were people who lived in or around Washington D.C.; Texas; New York and other areas outside the 3rd District or were PACs.

Those donors have given Fleischmann $1.2 million since Jan. 1, 2013 — $699,952 from people, and $529,183 from political action committees.

He has spent $902,000 battling Wamp this cycle.

Wamp, on the other hand, has raised his money almost entirely in the 3rd District. The son of former U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp hit the campaign trail hard, spending three nights a week on the road.

Wamp’s campaign finance reports show that 388 contributors were district residents and 34 lived outside the district. Wamp also received money from two Republican leadership PACs.

From a pool of tow-truck operators, entrepreneurs and diner owners — and a handful of politically connected family friends — Wamp was able to garner $584,860. Of that, $4,000 was PAC money.

Wamp has spent $501,699 ahead of the primary, according to reports.

Vanderbilt public policy professor Bruce Oppenheimer says Fleischmann has a lot of money, and Wamp may have some grassroots support, but neither candidate can rest easy until Aug. 7.

Typically, he said, the candidate with the most money wins the primary. But this race may not go that way, Oppenheimer said.

Wamp’s cadre of in-district individual donors don’t necessarily mean the majority of residents will vote for him. And members of PACs who supported Fleischmann may live in the district, Oppenheimer said.

But Wamp has pulled more than $500,000 from supporters — and his campaign has been helped by a $300,000 independent PAC contribution made by his boss, Lamp Post Group founder Allan Davis. Also, Fleischmann has been filling the airwaves with attack ads, a negative with many voters. Oppenheimer said all those elements give Wamp more of a chance than he normally would have against a two-term incumbent.

Fleischmann bashes Wamp; Wamp bashes Fleischmann

U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann’s campaign is launching its fourth television attack ad in about two weeks against Republican challenger Weston Wamp today, reports the Chattanooga TFP.

The ad, set to run in the Chattanooga and Knoxville markets, criticizes Wamp’s involvement in an insurance brokerage company launched by Wamp’s employer that connects clients with Affordable Care Act health plans.

“Weston is founding director of a company invested in Obamacare. Why would he criticize the president when Obama is making him money?” the Fleischmann ad asks.

Meanwhile, Wamp has a new TV spot, too. It bashes Fleischmann for flooding the airwaves with political attacks.

“So Chuck Fleischmann’s running negative TV ads … again. But we’re not slowing down. There’s too much to get done, and right now, nobody’s doing it,” the Wamp ad script says.

Wamp works for Lamp Post Group, a startup incubator in Chattanooga that has helped fund and launch dozens of companies. He consults with startup companies on marketing and press strategies.

The new Fleischmann ad seeks to convince conservative voters that Wamp would not oppose President Barack Obama or the ACA because one of those companies is American Exchange. The Chattanooga-based insurance brokerage group makes its money by connecting people with subsidized health insurance made possible by the health care law.

Latest campaign finance figures in 3rd, 4th Congressional District races

The latest reports filed with the Federal Election Commission in congressional races cover the “pre-primary” period, July 1 through July 18. Here are the figures in Tennessee’s two most hotly contested U.S. House primaries, the 3rd District, pitting U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann against Weston Wamp, and the 4th District, pitting U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais against state Sen. Jim Tracy:

3rd District

Fleischman: Raised $62,627; spent $416,861, balance $343,266.

Wamp: Raised $20,317; spent $362,945; balance $83,161

Chattanooga TFP’s write-up on the figures is HERE.

4th District

DesJarlais: Raised $41,880; spent $113,492; balance $112,892

Tracy: Raised $21,312; spent $422,744; balance $353,682. (Note: Tracy loaned his campaign $50,000)

A Chattanooga TFP write-up on the figures is HERE.

A review of the Fleischmann-Wamp squabbe in 3rd Congressional District

Excerpt from a Michael Collins sizeup of the Republican primary battle between U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann and Weston Wamp for the 3rd Congressional District seat:

In debates, campaign commercials and news interviews, Fleischmann and his aides have sought to portray Wamp as a Democrat masquerading as a Republican, someone who advocates an immigration policy to the left of Nancy Pelosi and who will spend his time in Washington kissing up to President Barack Obama.

In turn, Wamp has tried to paint Fleischmann as Exhibit A in his indictment of what’s wrong with Washington, someone who cares primarily about protecting his own self-interests, has accomplished nothing and refuses to acknowledge that government functions only when Republicans and Democrats work together.

“He’s trying to cling to power, and frankly, it’s very desperate and sad to watch,” said Wamp, the son of former U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp, who held the seat before Fleischmann.

The candidates continue to pummel each other as the campaign heads into the final two weeks.

Fleischmann, 51, began airing a TV spot this week in Knoxville and Chattanooga in which former dairy magnate Scottie Mayfield accuses Wamp of lacking “East Tennessee values” and of surreptitiously tape-recording what Mayfield thought was a private conversation with Wamp in his home. Mayfield himself ran for the congressional seat two years ago and placed second — behind Fleischmann, but just ahead of Wamp. He has endorsed Fleischmann this time around.

On Friday, Wamp’s campaign rolled out its own endorsement from former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, a Pennsylvania conservative who called Wamp “exactly the kind of person we desperately need in Washington right now.” Wamp also is running TV ads in Knoxville and Chattanooga and said he plans to return to all 11 counties in the district before Election Day.

…As for Wamp’s portrayal of him as angry, “there’s no anger,” Fleischmann said. What Wamp is misconstruing as anger is “a sincere passion and love for this country,” Fleischmann said. “That is what drives me every day.”

Whoever wins will face Democrat Mary Headrick in November’s general election. Given that the district leans heavily Republican, the GOP primary winner will almost certainly win this fall.

Fleischmann attack mailer draws complaint from public TV station

U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann has come under fire from Chattanooga’s public television station for using its logo on a mailer titled “Weston Wamp Supports Amnesty for Illegal Immigration.”

Further from the Chattanooga TFP:

“We are disappointed that the Fleischmann campaign has used our logo on a mailer,” WTCI President and CEO Paul Grove said.

The mailer, paid for by the Chuck Fleischmann for Congress Committee, has an apparently Photoshopped image of a smiling Wamp setting a passport afire with a lighter.

“We need to find a pathway for them (illegal immigrants) to be legal,” is the quote attributed to Wamp on the mailer that was made during a July 2 WTCI/Times Free Press debate. The WTCI logo is next to the quote.

“Chuck Fleischmann for Congress Committee did not seek permission to use WTCI’s logo and it was not granted,” WTCI said in a statement posted Friday on its website. “We’ve asked the organization to withdraw the mailer from circulation and cease to distribute it immediately.”

Conner Ingram, with the Fleischmann campaign, defended the mailer.

“Those are his exact words, and we thought it only appropriate to cite where they came from,” Ingram said. “[The photo of Wamp] is obviously a symbolic caricature to grab the attention of voters about this very important issue.”

Wamp’s campaign manager, Marshall Brock, said the mailer was “so disappointing.”

Rick Santorum endorses Weston Wamp for Congress

Conservative former Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Rick Santorum today announced his endorsement of Weston Wamp in his race for the Republican nomination for Congress from Tennessee’s Third District, reports the Chattanooga TFP.

“Weston is exactly the kind of person we desperately need in Washington right now,” the former senator and presidential candidate said in a statement endorsing Wamp, who is challenging incumbent Chuck Fleischmann for the Republican nomination on Aug. 7.

Wamp’s campaign was enthusiastic about receiving the endorsement from Santorum, who came in second in the 2012 Republican Presidential primary, outpacing the eventual Republican nominee Mitt Romney in all 11 counties of the district.

Mayfield attacks Wamp in TV ad for Fleischmann

Republican U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann is aiming his third straight televised punch at GOP challenger Weston Wamp with a new ad, reports the Chattanooga TFP. In it, both men’s 2012 rival, Scottie Mayfield, directly takes Wamp to task over secretly recording him last spring.

In the 30-second spot, airing in the Chattanooga and Knoxville media markets, Mayfield faces the camera, discusses the controversy that publicly erupted last spring and seeks to raise questions about Wamp’s character, trust and “Tennessee values.”

“While I was at home playing with my grandson, Weston Wamp showed up at my doorstep, uninvited, to argue politics and secretly recorded our conversation,” Mayfield says in the ad.

“Now he’s asking for your trust to represent us in Washington?” Mayfield continues. “Those aren’t East Tennessee values. We have a congressman we can trust, who’s pro-life, endorsed by the NRA and not afraid to stand up to Obama.”

Wamp charged in a statement that Fleischmann “has been in office for four years and all he can do is run negative, desperate television ads because he doesn’t have a record to stand on.”

He also said the ads demonstrate Fleischmann “has fallen behind and these negative ads are a desperate attempt to get re-elected.”

Dr. John Geer, a Vanderbilt University political science professor and expert on negative ads, says the Fleischmann’s use of the spots “usually … is a sign that Wamp is somebody he’s worried about.” In 2012, it was a three-man race, Geer noted, and this time it is one on one.

Democrat Headrick joins Fleischmann, Wamp at forum

For the first time this election cycle, 3rd District Congressional candidate Mary Headrick shared a stage with the Republican she will face in November — although voters will decide in about two weeks whether that will be incumbent U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann or challenger Weston Wamp.

Further from the Chattanooga TFP:

The three met Monday for a candidate forum hosted by the Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Headrick could have taken the opportunity to pile on to the Republican she least wanted to face come November, but she took a different tact. She instead urged Democrats in the crowd not to crossover next month.

“Both of these men are formidable opponents, no matter which one we go up against, it’s going to be a handful,” Headrick said.

…All candidates agreed on one issue — Washington, D.C., is broken. But that was where the consensus halted.

Answering previously supplied questions with prepared answers, the candidates reiterated their sharpest campaign messages.

…In tearful closing remarks, Fleischmann said despite gridlock on Capitol Hill and a looming national debt, he was hopeful.

“I fervently believe that our greatest days are ahead of us,” Fleischmann said. “You go see second-graders stand up and say the pledge to our flag, or ask a veteran if they would do it again and serve our country. … We are the greatest nation that’s ever been.”

Meanwhile, Wamp took the opportunity to tout a recent endorsement from U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and criticize Fleischmann for taking the campaign negative weeks before the election with recently aired television ads.

“Our country deserves a whole lot better than continued negative politics from Washington,” Wamp said. “My generation does not have the option of being cynical and giving up and playing partisan games … so I’m going to work on solutions.”

Complaint filed over Wamp’s FEC report; Fleischman’s report gets FEC questions

A Signal Mountain businessman says he filed a Federal Election Commission complaint on Thursday over pay 3rd District Congressional candidate Weston Wamp has received from his employer during the campaign, according to the Chattanooga TFP.

Wamp, 27, is challenging two-term incumbent U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann in the Republican primary. The winner will face Democrat Mary Headrick in November.

Citing figures from Wamp’s personal financial disclosure, businessman Ralph Mann said Thursday he questioned Wamp’s employment status on the campaign trail.

The Times Free Press reported this week that if Wamp has been campaigning on paid leave from his employer, the Lamp Post Group — as the company’s founder said he has early this month — his salary could be considered a campaign contribution.

“My concern is that Weston Wamp is being paid to run for Congress and that he is receiving political contributions that are not reported as such,” Mann wrote in his complaint.

Wamp, and another Lamp Post partner, Jack Studer, repeated Thursday that Wamp has been working full-time through the campaign and is not on paid leave.

… Meanwhile, the FEC has notified Fleischmann’s campaign — for the second time — that it needs to correct his April campaign report.

… The FEC letter indicated that 12 values on one column of the report “appear to be incorrect.” It said Fleischmann needed to correct the issue by Wednesday or face a possible audit.

No correction was filed by Thursday, but Jordan Powell, a spokesman for the campaign, said late Thursday that the error was caused by an incorrect date range, and it has been fixed.