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Saltsman Joins Carr Congressional Campaign

Press release from Jobless Consultants for Joe Carr; May 21, 2013:

LASCASSAS, TENN. – Jobless Consultants for Joe Carr today announced that infamous campaign consultant John “Chip” Saltsman, Jr. has joined the Carr for Congress team as general consultant. Saltsman will be involved in “strategic” decisions as well as day-to-day operations of the campaign.

Starting as a driver for Tennessee’s most forgettable tax-loving governor, Saltsman’s career highlights include creating a racially-charged national media firestorm and getting sued by members of his own political party.

“I’m pleased as punch to join this effort. As you may know, I’ve been struggling since I ‘left’ the office of Congressman Fleischmann. There are only so many daytime soaps and cartoons I can watch in a day,” explained Saltsman. “I’m a newlywed and my wife’s tastes in clothes and food are not, shall we say, pedestrian. I mean I got a bill from Jimmy Choo the other day that would make your head spin. I need work.”

“Long story short, I saw Congressman Desjarlais’s difficulties as an opportunity to make some bank,” Saltsman continued. “After Jim Tracy refused to call me back and the myriad of potential candidates I attempted to recruit elected not to run, I was left with the choice between Joe Carr and bankruptcy and eventual divorce. I chose the money. I mean, I chose Joe. Rep. Carr is without a doubt the best candidate in the race that will pay me. Without a doubt.”

Rep.Joe Carr explained the decision to employ the frequent television talking head as his consultant.

“Chip sat me down and explained that fundraising was overrated and what my fledgling campaign really needed was a highly-paid general consultant who would come up with various strategies to overcome the limitations of an increasingly small budget,” said Carr. “I know the logic seems circular but when Chip explains it it makes total sense.”

Chip Saltsman began his career in politics as a driver for former Governor Don Sundquist. Sundquist is recognized for his failed attempt to give Tennessee a state income tax and thus delaying Republican ascendancy in Tennessee for more than a decade. Sundquist would eventually install his driver Saltsman as chairman of the Republican Party in Tennessee.

“I remember getting the call that they needed someone over at the party to oversee things for us,” said Sundquist. “Of course, since we had the governor’s mansion every Republican worth a damn already had a government job. So, we let Chip be chair. He was very excited.”

After his stint as chairman, Saltsman started a longtime association with Senator Bill Frist. Saltsman served as campaign manager in Frist’s aborted run for President in 2008.

“I was majority leader of the Senate and on track to make a formidable presidential run. Then Chip came on board and, well, I never ran,” remembered Frist. “Of course, it wasn’t all Chip’s fault. He tried real hard. He means well. He really does.”

After Frist faltered, Saltsman deftly positioned himself as a campaign manager to Governor Mike Huckabee. The charismatic former governor who had already secured a strong grassroots following among the religious conservative community was excited to have Saltsman join his campaign..

“When I started my campaign, a lot of bigwigs and reporters would ask who my campaign manager was. I didn’t have an answer,” recollected Huckabee. “After Chip joined the team, I had an answer. From that point on, whenever ever anybody asked if I had a campaign manager I would say, ‘Yes. Yes, I do. His name is Chip Saltsman and he is standing right over there.’”

Fresh from presiding over the Huckabee campaign, Saltsman next made a run for Republican National Committee chair. Acting as his own political consultant, Saltsman mailed out a Christmas CD containing the song “Barack, the Magic Negro” to fellow RNC members. Saltsman’s campaign quickly imploded under the weight of the resulting media firestorm.

Saltsman made news most recently as the pivotal figure in an ongoing intra-party dispute that represents one of the most odious examples of Republican-on-Republican violence in recent Tennessee history.

In 2010, while serving as a campaign consultant to congressional candidate Chuck Fleischmann, Saltsman obtained confidential information stolen from Tennessee Republican Party headquarters to defame the campaign of former TNGOP chairwoman Robin Smith. When confronted with the theft and the use of illegal materials in a sworn deposition, Saltsman denied wrongdoing. He subsequently billed the Fleischmann campaign for thousands of dollars of legal expenses related to the suit. The suit is still pending.

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Press Releases

Carr Announces Congressional Candidacy

Press release from the Joe Carr campaign for Congress; April 26, 2013:

Lascassas, TN– Rep. Joe Carr announced today his candidacy for the 4th Congressional district. The decision follows a successful exploratory phase chaired by prominent business leaders, Lee Beaman and Dr. Nate Schott. In just 6 weeks, Carr’s exploratory committee raised over $205,000 (nearly double the amount raised by incumbent Rep. Scott DesJarlais during the most recent filing period).

“Ginny and I are humbled by the outpouring of encouragement and financial support over the past several weeks. We are grateful for those who served on our exploratory committee and for so many friends who have demonstrated their confidence in me,” Carr stated.

“I am running for Congress because our country is in crisis and Tennesseans are hungry for strong, principled, conservative leadership. Our families face chronic unemployment and our leaders in Washington are taking us down a path of decay and financial ruin. Washington is paralyzed because our representatives are more interested in themselves than the people they represent. The Obama administration and their liberal allies in Washington continually assault our rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution. The only way to change the culture in Washington, is to change the men and women we send there,” Carr added.

Carr’s Exploratory Committee Chairman, Lee Beaman, praised the decision and pointed to Carr’s proven record in the state house as indicative of the strong, principled leadership he will bring to Washington. “Rep. Carr led the fight to curb illegal immigration, abolish the death tax, protect the 2nd amendment and secure funding for the desperately needed MTSU science building,” Beaman stated. “Joe’s outstanding leadership in introducing and fighting for economic reforms in the General Assembly has helped Tennessee become the 4th most business friendly state in the nation. If there’s one thing I know about Joe Carr, it’s that he’s a proven conservative leader and fighter,” Beaman added. “He will shake up Washington, DC.”

“I will lead with integrity and advance the conservative movement in Washington,” Carr promised. “I will continue fighting for the Constitution and the first principles that made our country great: personal responsibility, individual liberty, and limited government. Additionally, I will stand firm in defense of the 2nd amendment against the assault from the Obama administration. We must protect the gun rights of law abiding citizens; otherwise the rest of the Bill of Rights and our status as a free society will be in jeopardy.”

Rep. Carr, a 1981 graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, is a business consultant who helps companies become more energy efficient. Additionally, he and his wife Ginny own and operate Cedar Snag Farms in Lascassas.

He was elected to the Tennessee General Assembly in 2008 and currently serves as Chairman of the Local Government subcommittee. He is a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association and member of the National Federation of Independent Business, Tennessee Right to Life, Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce, Middle Tennessee State University Blue Raider Athletic Association and supporter of Greenhouse Ministries. He is also an accomplished private pilot and member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilot Association.

Rep. Carr has been married to Ginny for 30 years, and they have three children, Erin, Maddie and Joe, Jr. Ginny and Joe also have a grandson, Colby. He has lived in Rutherford County since he was a young boy and his family roots go back five generations in Rutherford County. Joe, Ginny and Joe Jr. are members of Believers Chapel in Murfreesboro.

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Forrester: DesJarlais Should Step Down

Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester on Monday called on embattled US Rep. Scott DesJarlais to resign, saying the Republican Congressman “ran his medical practice like a Craigslist cathouse.”

Forrester’s comments came in the wake of news reports this weekend from the Chattanooga Times Free Press that a second woman has come forward to say that DesJarlais, a physician, had a sexual relationship with her while she was under his medical care.

From the Times Free Press:

The second woman described DesJarlais as “the nicest guy” and said he cooked dinner for her at their first get-together in 2000.

But she also said they smoked marijuana during their relationship and remembered DesJarlais prescribing her pain medication on dates at his home.

Also speaking at the conference was Ronald Wilson, a Brentwood neurologist, who the Tennessee Democratic Party asked to attend.

“Anything that is less than providing good health care to our patients is regrettable,” Wilson said.

Trent Seibert can be reached at trent@TNReport.com on Twitter at @trentseibert or at 615-669-9501.

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Ethics Complaint Filed Against DesJarlais, GOP Weighs Call For Resignation

Embattled U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais is facing a possible state inquiry into whether he violated medical ethics based on revelations that DesJarlais, a doctor, may have had a sexual relationship with a patient.

The left-leaning Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a complaint with the Tennessee Department of Health Monday.

Read the complaint here.

On the heels of that complaint, the Tennessee Conservative Union said it was in talks with GOP groups to decide whether to call on DesJarlais to resign from Congress.

From the Chattanooga Times Free Press:

The chairman of the Tennessee Conservative Union said Monday he’s talking with other Republican-leaning groups and exploring whether to demand U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., resign from Congress.

The move comes as the 4th Congressional District lawmaker and candidate finds himself under growing fire following revelations that as a physician 12 years ago he pressed a former patient with whom he had been involved sexually to get an abortion. 

Tennessee Conservative Union Chairman Lloyd Daugherty in an interview declined to identify the other organizations with which he has been speaking. He said his goal is building a “coalition” in support of the congressman’s ouster.

On Friday DesJarlais’ opponent in the race to capture Tennessee’s 4th District Congressional seat, Democrat Eric Stewart, held a press conference at Legislative Plaza saying that both Republicans and Democrats should condemn DesJarlais’ actions.

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GOP Lawmakers Lament Feds’ Regs

The path to boosting job growth in Tennessee is obstructed by federal regulations, a handful of state and federal GOP lawmakers told members of Congress at a field hearing in Murfreesboro Monday.

State officials are paving the way for job growth at the state level, but there’s nothing more they can do when the federal government issues piles of regulations that discourage economic development, Commissioner Bill Hagerty told the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

“Many companies told us through a regulatory review that the regulations have become so unduly burdensome that they have very great concern about their ability to expand and grow,” Hagerty told the committee at Middle Tennessee State University Monday, adding he has faith that Tennessee’s “great entrepreneurial spirit” could still lead to job expansions.

Last summer, Hagerty and Gov. Bill Haslam toured the state to learn what issues business owners and executives have operating in Tennessee, repeatedly reporting that companies were intimidated by regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Labor Relations Board, the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, and most recently, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The governor and Hagerty were joined by Tennessee’s two U.S. Senators — Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker — and Middle Tennessee Congressman Scott DesJarlais and Congresswomen Diane Black and Marsha Blackburn.

Here is unedited video of the GOP press conference following the hearing:

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Haslam Releases Storm Journal Video

Days before the Mississippi River is expected to crest in Memphis, Gov. Bill Haslam’s office is releasing a “video journal” of him on the ground tromping through the rubble left from last week’s storms.

“This is flooding of historic proportions. Everyone keeps talking about the flood of 1937 and being back to that level,” Haslam said during a stop in Dyersburg May 3. “We are prepared to respond as quickly as possible both in response and in relief after the flood waters recede.”

The YouTube video featured Haslam looking over destruction in Bradley, Hamilton, Greene counties with stops in Memphis and Dyersburg.

The five-minute production included highlights of remarks from federal lawmakers and officials including Sen. Bob Corker, Congressmen Scott DesJarlais and Phil Roe and FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate.

Local area lawmakers also offered remarks, including Bradley County Mayor Gary Davis, Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland, Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger and Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield.