Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 30, 2014

Posts in "Tennessee"

July 2, 2014

Lamar Alexander Argues With Obama Over Obamacare in New Ad (Video)

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn, raised over $900,000 for his re-election bid in the second quarter, his campaign said Wednesday. He also launched a new ad featuring the senator arguing with President Barack Obama.

Alexander now has $3.4 million cash on hand, according to his campaign, with just over a month to go until Tennessee’s Aug. 8 Republican primary.

The new ad shows C-SPAN footage of the White House Healthcare Summit in February of 2010. Alexander was one of several Republicans to attend the bipartisan meeting, and at one point, he engaged with Obama over whether healthcare premiums would rise as a result of Obamacare.

“When you said, ‘premiums go up,’ that’s just not case,” Obama says in the clip, addressing Alexander.

“The Congressional Budget Office report says that premiums will rise,” Alexander responds.

“No, no, no, no, and this is an example of where we’ve got to get our facts straight,” Obama says.

“That’s my point,” says Alexander.

“Lamar was proven right,” a narrator says in the ad.

The ad will begin running statewide on July 6, according to the campaign.

Alexander faces a primary challenge from state Rep. Joe Carr. Carr has drawn significantly more attention in recent weeks since House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., was defeated in a primary by unknown and underfunded college professor Dave Brat. He recently went up with his first ad of the campaign, attacking Alexander for voting for the Senate’s immigration overhaul bill.

The race is rated Safe Republican by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

June 26, 2014

Newt Gingrich Endorses Senator’s Re-Election

Newt Gingrich Endorses Senators Re Election

Newt Gingrich endorsed Alexander in Tennessee. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich endorsed Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., Thursday.

“We need Lamar’s experience and shrewdness to fix Washington,” Gingrich, a Georgia Republican and former presidential candidate, said in a statement released by the Alexander campaign.

Alexander, a second-term senator, is heavily favored to win his Republican primary on Aug. 7. Conservatives initially marked Alexander as a potential primary target in 2014, but top opposition never came close to materializing like some of his colleagues, for example Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss.

Full story

July 16, 2013

DesJarlais’ Paltry Fundraising Raises Doubts About Re-Election #TN04

DesJarlais Paltry Fundraising Raises Doubts About Re Election #TN04

DesJarlais had a tough fundraising quarter, taking in just $39,000. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Tennessee Rep. Scott DesJarlais, the anti-abortion Republican physician accused of encouraging his wife and mistress to have multiple abortions, raised just $39,000 in the second quarter, according to his most recent report to the Federal Election Commission. It’s a paltry sum for an incumbent member and signals more trouble for his re-election prospects in 2014.

DesJarlais’ weak fundraising quarter and measly $88,000 in cash on hand casts doubt on whether he can run a competitive campaign against two well-funded Republican primary challengers. His 4th District is the state’s largest and most expensive congressional district in which to run a television campaign.

DesJarlais’ primary opponents — state Sen. Jim Tracy and state Rep. Joe Carr — raised $303,000 and $100,000, respectively, in the second quarter and count former DesJarlais supporters among their donors, according to sources from both campaigns.

“The question from Republican viewers of the race isn’t just, ‘Where does he go for the money?’ but, ‘Where does he go for the support from voters?’” an unaffiliated Tennessee GOP operative said of DesJarlais. Full story

July 5, 2013

Lamar Alexander Buys Pre-Emptive TV Ad Featuring Rand Paul

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., placed a six-figure television buy more than a year ahead of Tennessee’s primary, enlisting Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul as a guest star, according to an Alexander spokesman.

The reservation will run statewide from July 8-21 and cost about $180,000. It includes broadcast and cable reservations and $24,000 in radio advertising.

The Lamar camp provided the ad for the buy to CQ Roll Call and noted that he had a $2 million second-quarter fundraising haul. The ad is an anti-government, “positive” spot about fishing rights.

A week ago, Senate Conservatives Fund Executive Director Matt Hoskins wrote to group supporters of his interest in supporting a primary challenge against Alexander if “a strong, conservative” candidate emerges.

Tennessee’s GOP primary is scheduled on Aug. 7, 2014.

November 15, 2012

Tennessee: GOP Leaders Silent as Drip of DesJarlais Headlines Continues

Tennessee: GOP Leaders Silent as Drip of DesJarlais Headlines Continues

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican leaders on Capitol Hill were largely silent as new revelations stemming from Rep. Scott DesJarlais’ messy decade-old divorce came to light Thursday.

The office of Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio declined to comment on a report in the Chattanooga Times Free Press that said the Tennessee lawmaker and doctor had “sexual relationships with at least two patients, three coworkers and a drug representative while he was chief of staff at Grandview Medical Center in Jasper, Tenn.” The paper also reported that records showed DesJarlais “supported his ex-wife’s decision to get two abortions before their marriage.”

The revelations came from DesJarlais’ 2001 sworn testimony from his divorce trial. A staunch social conservative, the freshman Congressman has run for office as an anti-abortion candidate.

At votes Thursday afternoon, DesJarlais was seen having an intense conversation with Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan on the House floor. Jordan is the outgoing chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee. Full story

October 10, 2012

Tennessee: Transcript Reveals Scott DesJarlais Urged Mistress to Have Abortion

Tennessee: Transcript Reveals Scott DesJarlais Urged Mistress to Have Abortion

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.) was at work on Capitol Hill today despite the media firestorm that was unfolding around him.

According to parts of a transcript from a more-than-decade-old phone call published by the Huffington Post, DesJarlais, then a doctor, urged a pregnant mistress to get an abortion. The woman was a patient of the conservative anti-abortion doctor-turned-lawmaker.

“You told me you’d have an abortion, and now we’re getting too far along without one,” DesJarlais says at one point. He also suggests heading to Atlanta to “solve” the issue.

“Well, we’ve got to do something soon,” he says. “And you’ve even got to admit that because the clock is ticking right?” Full story

January 26, 2012

New Tennessee Map Cements GOP Dominance

New Tennessee Map Cements GOP Dominance

GOP Rep. Stephen Fincher’s district grows more Republican under Tennessee’s new map, which was signed into law today. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam (R) signed a new Congressional redistricting map into law today, protecting incumbents and shoring up the Republican majority in the Volunteer State. Full story

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