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Black Responds to Zelenik’s Ad

Statement from Diane Black for Congress Campaign, July 14, 2010:

FACT CHECK: Lou Ann Zelenik’s Baseless Attacks

GALLATIN, TN – – Last week, an opponent to State Senator Diane Black, Lou Ann Zelenik, released a misleading advertisement that attacks Senator Black’s clear conservative record. This comes on top of a misleading statement Zelenik released as well. It is time to set the record straight and hold Lou Ann Zelenik and her baseless attacks accountable.

False Lou Ann Zelenik Statement – Taken Directly from Release:

“It is offensive to true pro-life and pro-marriage supporters that Sen. Black as republican caucus leader, refused to vote against or even lead an effort against honoring the Tennessee State Director of the ACLU. I have find it interesting that the ‘closet liberal’ Diane Black is touting her “conservative” credentials yet at the most important time when the people of Tennessee needed someone to fight back, Sen. Diane Black sat down.” (Lou Ann Zelenik Campaign, “Zelenik’s Campaign Blasts Sen. Black as Closet Liberal,” 7/8/10)

The Truth:

Tennessee Journal Refutes Zelenik’s Statement. “Lou Ann Zelenik’s campaign issued a statement Thursday blasting state Sen. Diane Black as a ‘closet liberal.’ The proof? Black ‘refused to vote against or even lead an effort against’ a memorializing resolution honoring ACLU executive director Hedy Weinberg. The Zelenik statement fails to mention that no vote was taken on the resolution. It was withdrawn.” (“Crunch Time Arrives In Republican Congressional Races,” The Tennessee Journal, 7/9/10)

VIDEO – Black Led The Fight To Withdraw Vote. SR 0238, the resolution alluded to by Zelenik, was brought up in the Tennessee General Assembly, and the Republican Caucus led by Senator Black refused to vote on the motion because of the political nature of the vote. The sponsor of the resolution tried several tactics to bring the resolution to a vote and put it on the legislative calendar, but Black fought back and made a motion to remove it. To view a video of Senator Black’s clear actions to remove the vote from consideration, please click on the following link:

http://wapp.capitol.tn.gov/apps/BillInfo/Default.aspx?BillNumber=SR0238

(Click on the video clips icon to watch the video Senator Black bumps the Weinberg resolution from the consent calendar at time 1:45:20.)

Misleading Statements In Recent Zelenik Television Advertisement:

“Diane Black and Jim Tracy Increased Spending $5.1 Billion Over 3 Years.”

“Broke State Budget Spending Cap”

The Truth:

This Year’s Budget Actually DECREASED State Spending. The $29.9 billion state budget, represents an overall decrease of 0.3 percent from FY 2009-2010. In fact, the state budget has decreased in two of the past three fiscal years.

Diane Black Voted To Break The Copeland Cap In 2007 – For Savings Bill, Not Spending Bill. Diane Black has consistently opposed exceeding the Copeland Cap during her legislative career, but voted to exceed the budget cap, also known as the Copeland Cap, in 2007. The Copeland Cap is based on a section of the state Constitution, requiring the General Assembly to pass a separate bill, which acknowledges that proposed spending exceeds a defined level. Senator Black voted for this bill in 2007, because the amount over the cap went into savings, putting $250 million in the state’s savings account, also known as the Rainy Day Fund or more precisely as the Revenue Fluctuation Reserve Fund.

About The Copeland Cap. The Copeland Cap, found in Article II, Section 24 of the State Constitution, states: In no year shall the rate of growth of appropriations from state tax revenues exceed the estimated rate of growth of the state’s economy as determined by law. No appropriation in excess of this limitation shall be made unless the General Assembly shall, by law containing no other subject matter, set forth the dollar amount and the rate by which the limit will be exceeded.”

Rainy Day Fund Helped Middle Tennessee Flood Victims In 2010. In 2007, Diane Black voted to re-stock the state’s rainy day fund, reckoning that it would prevent tax increases in the future, control runaway spending over the long haul, and be accessible in time of need for the state. In fact, in the Spring, Tennessee was able to draw down $245m for flood relief out of the rainy day fund to help Tennesseans in need due to the Middle Tennessee flood. Thanks to Diane Black’s vote to increase the rainy day fund, Tennessee was able to quickly and immediately help those in need suffering from the flood.

Black Co-Sponsored And Voted For Legislation To Strengthen Copeland Cap. Legislation would require a two-thirds vote by the Senate and a two-thirds vote of the House in order to approve legislation that seeks an increase in appropriations in excess of the Copeland spending cap for any fiscal year, rather than the simple majority vote that is the current law. (SJR0682 by Beavers – S. JUD COMM.: Recommended for passage, Senators voting aye were: Beavers, Black, Bunch, Kelsey – 4)

Mike Morrow, Nashville Examiner: “It’s unclear how the Zelenik message will play since Black and Tracy are campaigning on deficit reduction and budget balancing, and both Black and Tracy have had hands in trying to make the Copeland cap more difficult to ignore.” (Mike Morrow, “Zelenik targets Black, Tracy,” Nashville Political Buzz Examiner, 7/7/10)

Diane Black is a fiscal conservative, who strongly believes in saving. She has taken on her own party’s leaders when they wanted to spend too much money, and she will do it again. She has consistently opposed lifting the cap on state spending, and will continue to fight against reckless government spending.

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