Haslam says Wamp ‘Trivializing Campaign With Personal Attacks’

by TN Press Release Center on July 17, 2010

Press Release from Haslam for Governor, July 17,2010:

Calls the Congressman’s Attacks “Desperate” and “Misleading”

HUMBOLDT – Republican gubernatorial candidate and Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam today blasted one of his opponents, Washington Congressman Zach Wamp, for his latest round of negative attacks. Yesterday Congressman Wamp released a negative television advertisement focusing on Mayor Haslam, which the Mayor labeled “grossly distorted and misleading.”

“The Congressman knows better,” Haslam said. “He knows I am a staunch supporter of our Second Amendment rights. He knows Knoxville has the lowest property tax rates in 50 years, and he knows and is on record praising my family’s business for its role in this state as a good corporate and community citizen.

“Everything the Congressman did yesterday, while I was traveling all over West Tennessee talking with voters about the economy, jobs and education, smacked of a desperate, failing campaign throwing Hail Marys – resorting to personal attacks and pleading for more free media time, sure signs of a campaign in trouble.”

Haslam met the Congressman’s Friday foibles with a new television advertisement of his own, restating his campaign’s focus on “ideas rather than an exchange of attacks.”

Haslam warned, however, “While I will continue to focus on the issues, I also will do what’s necessary to set the record straight on my experience in business and as Mayor as well as my opponent’s record.

“This election is too important to be trivialized,” Haslam said. “Our state is facing tough times. We need someone with proven experience dealing with tough issues, not someone whose only career has been in Washington voting for bailouts and earmarks.”

The Congressman’s latest television advertisement charges Haslam is a “billionaire oil man” whose business “price-gouged” Tennesseans, that he’s against the Second Amendment, and that he’s trying to “buy the election.”

The facts are, including grossly overstating Haslam’s wealth, that just four of Pilot’s more than 50 Tennessee locations made honest mistakes during a difficult period and were technically cited for minor price posting infractions; Haslam is a staunch defender of the Second Amendment; his campaign has received record-breaking financial support; and “Rusty” is anything but an average Tennessean.

Haslam also released today a glowing personal, unsolicited endorsement from Rev. John Wood, pastor for 20 years at Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church (EPC) in Knoxville, where Haslam has served as an elder for the past 21 years.

“I’ve known Bill well for twenty years and have watched him grow from a young man of unusual maturity and wisdom – thoughtful, hard-working and compassionate – into an outstanding leader, one who truly seeks to live his faith rather than using it for self-promotion,” said Wood. “He is a man of integrity, with a sharp mind, a great heart, a wonderful family, and all the requisite gifts to make as outstanding a governor of Tennessee as he has been as Knoxville’s mayor.”

Today, Haslam is on the second day of his Early Voting bus tour across the state and is making stops in Trenton, Humboldt, Jackson, Murfreesboro and Clarksville.

Bill Haslam is the two-term Mayor of Knoxville, re-elected in 2007 with 87% of the vote. A hardworking, conservative public servant, he led Knoxville to become one of the top ten metropolitan areas for business and expansion, while reducing the city’s debt, tripling the rainy day fund, and bringing property taxes to the lowest rate in 50 years. An executive leader with a proven record of success, he helped grow his family’s small business from 800 employees into one of Tennessee’s largest companies with 14,000 employees. His combination of executive and public service experience makes him uniquely qualified to be Tennessee’s next Governor. Haslam is the right person at the right time to lead Tennessee.

Bill and Crissy Haslam have two daughters, Annie and Leigh, and a son, Will, who resides in Knoxville with his wife, Hannah.

For more information on Bill Haslam, please visit www.BillHaslam.com.

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