Press Releases

Dems Say Ramsey Targeting Higher Ed

Press Release from the Tennessee Democratic Party, September 13, 2010:

Republican Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey’s condescending remark about college professors should alarm voters across the state about the Republican commitment to education and job creation, Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester said.

Ramsey told Capitol Hill reporter Tom Humphrey that many in the academic world “step off campus and they’re lost. They like to get up in the morning, comb their beard, put on their wire-rimmed glasses, throw their little tweed vest on and go to school for three hours… and hate Republicans.”

“Mr. Ramsey and the Republican leadership at the General Assembly have shown their true colors with a remark like that,” Forrester said. “It really calls into question their commitment to higher education and even helping our local school systems better educate our children.

“Mr. Ramsey and the state GOP not only want to cut programs intended to reduce infant deaths, they also now want to give the boot to any child who wants to go to college. That boot is going to hamper job creation in this state if it’s not careful.”

Forrester pointed out that a well skilled work force is vital to many businesses and industries.

“How in the world do you recruit top-notch companies and industries into a community if you don’t have the workers with the necessary skills to hire or the educators we need to teach those skills?” Forrester asked. “Our teachers and college professors shape and hone young minds every day.

“If we don’t have the commitment we need in the General Assembly or in the governor’s office to better educate and train our work force, then this entire state is lost. Fortunately we have had that commitment in Gov. Phil Bredesen and Democratic leaders in the Legislature.

“And I know Mike McWherter and the rest of our Democratic candidates across the state have the commitment to create more jobs in our communities by ensuring companies and businesses in Tennessee have the employees they need to compete in an increasingly global and high-skilled economy. I’m not sure that commitment is there with some on the other side of the aisle,” he added.

Press Releases

TN Dems Enjoying Uncontested Gubernatorial Primary

Statement from the Tennessee Democratic Party, July 28, 2010:

Tennessee’s Republican gubernatorial candidates are making a compelling case to elect Democrat Mike McWherter for governor. State Sen. Ron Ramsey, U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp and Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam are viciously attacking one another over perceived shortcomings in their Republican credentials. See an example of their attacks on one another in this short YouTube video clip.

Mike McWherter is the only candidate for governor who understands the real issues and concerns affecting most of us: creating jobs and providing the state with economic security for future generations of Tennesseans.

To get involved with the Mike McWherter for Governor campaign, visit his website at Mike

The Tennessee Democratic Party also needs your help to elect Democrats in the General Assembly and Congress, as well. We can use volunteers and financial support for all aspects of this fall’s campaigns. For more information call us at 615-327-9779 or visit our website at

Press Releases

Democrat Stewart Criticizes AZ-Bound GOP Lawmakers

Press Release from Sen. Eric Stewart, D-Belvidere, July 29, 2010:

Republican Lawmakers Leave Districts in Crisis for Political Pandering Trip to Arizona

Sen. Stewart calls on Republicans to focus on issues in Tennessee, not Arizona

NASHVILLE – Amid soaring unemployment in their districts and pleas from voters to focus on jobs and the economy, Tennessee Republican lawmakers are flying to Arizona on Friday to present a do-nothing resolution to Arizona’s governor.

“Apparently Tennessee Republicans think political junkets to Arizona are more important than unemployment in their own districts,” said state Sen. Eric Stewart of Belvidere. “I get angry when lawmakers take the people they represent for fools and just downright lie to them about the facts.

“Make no mistake: this trip is all about politics and pandering. The resolution commends Arizona’s immigration law, but does absolutely nothing to address Tennessee’s illegal immigration issues.”

Sen. Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro, Rep. Joe Carr of Lascassas and Rep. Tony Shipley of Kingsport will be among Republican lawmakers going to Arizona on Friday to present a nonbinding resolution that cost Tennessee taxpayers $500.

The trip comes a week after the Department of Labor revealed that unemployment rates in 72 Tennessee counties increased in June – including all of the counties that Ketron, Carr and Shipley represent.

Ketron’s district includes Marshall County, which has the state’s second-highest county unemployment rate at 16.7 percent, and the city of Columbia, which has the highest unemployment rate of any Tennessee city at 16.8 percent.

‘Tennessee Republicans like to talk big about illegal immigration, but they always side with their big-business buddies and deep-pocketed donors when Tennessee Democrats propose doing something about it,” Stewart said.

Stewart pointed out that Gov. Phil Bredesen has sent more than 1,000 National Guard troops to assist Border Patrol agents in securing our nation’s borders. Tennessee Democrats in the state legislature also attempted in 2007 to pass a law that would have required government agencies and private employers with public contracts to check employees’ immigration status against a national registry, harshly penalized those employers who still hired illegal immigrants and cut off social service payments to illegal immigrants.

The measure passed the Democrat-controlled House unanimously, but died in a Republican-controlled Senate committee when not a single Republican voted in favor of the bill.

“Tennessee Republicans are more interested in protecting their big-business buddies than they are in protecting our border, our jobs and our economic security,” Stewart said. “Republicans have a choice: Join Democrats in fixing Tennessee’s illegal immigration problem by punishing big businesses that exploit cheap labor at the expense of Tennesseans, or continue to waste taxpayer dollars and pander to people they don’t represent.”

Press Releases

Democrats: GOP Running Scared With Bredesen’s McWherter Endorsement

Statement from the Tennessee Democratic Party, June 23, 2010

Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester said the Republican Party’s three gubernatorial candidates are flawed and they realize that Gov. Phil Bredesen’s recent endorsement of Mike McWherter spells big trouble for them in the fall.

“Gov. Bredesen has an overall approval rating of 75 percent across the state,” Forrester said. “He has done an outstanding job for the state and voters realize that.

“His ringing endorsement of Mike McWherter means something to most Tennesseans. That is why Republicans are frantically trying to dismiss the endorsement. Gov. Bredesen knows more about leading a state than Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney ever will.

“Ron Ramsey’s boot, Zach Wamp’s federal earmarks for his buddies and Bill Haslam’s Big Oil ties are bad news for Republicans in the fall. Regardless of who comes out of that primary, Mike McWherter’s success as a small-business owner and his experience at creating jobs will resonate with voters in November,” he added.

Press Releases

Republican Party: TNDP Turns Own Members Into Collateral Damage

Press Release from the Tennessee Republican Party, April 1, 2010:

NASHVILLE, TN – Just this morning, the Tennessee Democratic Party went on the attack against State House Republican Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver for a bill (HB 3627) she has been working to move through the legislature. Democrats characterized the intent of the legislation as “sheer lunacy.” Interestingly, the bill has already been approved by voice vote at the subcommittee and full committee levels with the support of Democrats. Further, the full committee that approved the legislation two days ago is actually chaired by a Democrat.

“I can’t imagine that the Democrats on these committees are very happy,” said Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney. “Here at the Tennessee Republican Party, our strategy is to protect our incumbent members. This is clearly a far cry from the tactics being employed by our Democrat counterparts.”

The legislation targeted by Tennessee Democrats is HB 3627, which was first passed out of the Subcommittee on Rural Roads by voice vote without any of the four Democrats on the committee being recorded as no. And two days ago it passed out of the full Transportation Committee – a committee chaired by a Democrat – by voice vote without any of the six Democrats on the committee being recorded as no.

To demonstrate the lack of opposition on Rep. Weaver’s legislation, video of the bill’s consideration in the full Transportation Committee two days ago is below.

Click HERE to View

*Discussion of Rep. Weaver’s bill begins at 34:15