Putting the ‘J’ in Jefferson

Jean Howard-Hill, a Republican candidate running against incumbent U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann in next year’s Third District primary, has kicked-off a tour of all eleven counties in the district.*

A press release provided by the campaign included the following:

“After putting in a full day’s work, it was well worth the trip to get there”, says Lady “J”. “I remembered just how nice and embracing the good folks were in Jefferson County and I wanted to begin my ‘Getting to Know Me, and Me Getting to Know You’ Campaign from one of the farthest points in the third district.”

During the evening Dr. Howard-Hill fielded a wide range of questions about her candidacy and the role she plays as the national chair for the National African American Caucus, and was met with a warm, welcoming and attentive audience.

“From the quesitons and discussion, I am convinced Jefferson County GOP sincerely wants to see more African Americans become a part of their local Republican Party at all levels.”

“I am also convinced that I can do well here. I just have to get out and get to know the people of Jefferson County, and they get to know me.”

It’s hard to argue against using such a slogan to convince Republican primary voters that she is precisely their cup of “tea.”

*Redistricting could slightly change which counties are in the Third District. The General Assembly will act on a set of new maps in January.

Massey nominated by GOP in Senate District 6

Becky Duncan Massey bested two Republican rivals for the nomination in the special election to replace former Sen. Jamie Woodson in the Sixth Senate District. Knoxville City Councilwoman Marilyn Roddy received 39 percent of the vote to Massey’s 49 percent, according to unofficial results published in the Knoxville News Sentinel. Victoria DeFreese ended up with the remaining 12 percent.

Massey will face Democratic Party nominee Gloria Johnson in the November 8 general election. The district is currently drawn to favor Republican candidates, so Johnson will have to meet an uphill challenge.

Massey is from a well-known political family. Her father, former Congressman John J. Duncan Sr., was also a former mayor of Knoxville. Massey’s brother, U.S. Rep. John J. (“Jimmy”) Duncan Jr., currently represents the Second District. And her nephew, John Duncan III, is Trustee of Knox County. It is therefore almost excusable that the newspaper led its “subhed” with Massey’s maiden name, as pictured below:

In case there's any doubt, Massey is of the Duncan family.

As is so often the case, turnout was critical in this special election. When so few citizens bother to show up, a campaign with a solid get-out-the-vote apparatus can wield significant leverage.

The City of Knoxville also held elections on Tuesday. The top two vote-getters in the mayoral race, Madeline Rogero and Mark Padgett, will face each other in a runoff election on November 8.

‘Chuck on the job’ postponed

From the inbox:

Due to the scheduling uncertainty surrounding the possibility of Congress being called back into session this week, we had to postpone the Chuck on the Job shift scheduled for this afternoon at Omnicare of Tennessee in Cleveland.

Congressman Fleischmann looks forward to rescheduling his shift so he can get a closer look at the challenges facing the health care industry and the patients they serve.

Which one tastes great?

U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann on Monday unveiled his jobs plan, titled “Less Government, More Jobs.” In a press release, Fleischmann said “The free-market based solutions in my jobs plan are what this country needs right now. The same ‘tax, borrow, spend’ policies from this Administration are not the solutions. The Republican-led House has already been working to put some of these measures in place, but unfortunately the Democratic Senate and White House have said, ‘No.’ They need to listen to the American people and realize their ideas have failed. I am proud to introduce solutions I believe will result in real job growth, not government growth.”

The plan consists of seven proposals:

1. 0% Capital Gains Tax
2. Rein in Regulatory Agencies
3. Stability in the Marketplace
4. Exploration-Based Energy Policy
5. Tort Reform
6. Tax Reform
7. Free Trade

The full 33-page plan may be found at the congressman’s house.gov site.

The plan was not amiably received by all. Chattanooga Organized for Action sent this retort following Fleischmann’s announcement:

  • A zero percent capital gains tax: We’re already cutting taxes for the wealthiest Americans, slashing capital gains taxes, and shifting the burden onto working families. Chuck Fleischmann wants to adopt a regressive tax policy that would add to our nation’s deficit while giving Wall Street a free pass. He’s calling for a “temporary” two year tax cut, but we see how that worked out when President Bush called for a “temporary” tax cut for the wealthy — a tax cut we still have. Absolutely not.
  • Violently shoving aside regulatory agencies in order to gain “cred” with the fringe-right voters that threaten to kick Rep. Fleischmann out of office is political showmanship. These agencies keep the consumer safe, the worker safe, and make the U.S. a competitive market by ensuring we’re manufacturing the best products while keeping our citizens safe.
  • Chuck calls for an “Exploration-Based Energy Policy” but what he means is an Exploitation-Based Energy Policy. He wants to allow multi-national corporations, corporations that are reaping in the most profits in the history of the world, to have free-reign over the natural beauty that exists in our country and around the world, letting them instead replace them with gaping strip mines and devastating oil derricks. Instead of thinking about the wallets of his corporate donors, Chuck needs to be thinking about the future of our kids.
  • Our Congressman is also advocating a regressive tax policy that his predecessors have advocated for decades. He wants to lower the tax rates for big business and the wealthiest one percent of Americans. We know that doesn’t work, because it hasn’t for the past three decades. Increased revenues are necessary to provide this nation’s essential services and to solve the debt problems we face right now, this has been reiterated by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the credit rating agency that downgraded the U.S. credit rating this year.
  • “Free Trade” isn’t free at all. What the Congressman is advocating is a policy that ships American jobs overseas for the benefit of a few wealthy CEOs. While we’re shipping American jobs to other parts of the world, we’re allowing American companies to unjustly take advantage of poor and undeveloped nations by pillaging their resources and paying pitifully low wages to malnourished kids in order to keep costs low.

The Fleischmann prescription

U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann will work a shift this coming Tuesday at Omnicare in Cleveland, Tennessee as part of an ongoing series featuring the congressman doing the job of someone in the Third District.

What will Chuck be doing this time? The company is a pharmacy, so it’s likely he’ll be involved in some retail capacity in the business of filling prescriptions and purveying other healthcare-related products. (I’ve sought assurance that he won’t be answering questions on behalf of the pharmacist.)

This will not be Fleischmann’s first stint at an apothecary. His first event was at Hoskins Drug Store in Clinton, Tennessee. In addition, he has mopped floors, pressure-washed a bridge, and worked at a Howard Johnson hotel.

Fleischmann drew some criticism in June after a Chattanooga gas station employee publicly complained about losing his shift to the initiative. The station manager later told reporters that he had changed the employee’s schedule so that he himself could work while Fleischmann was there, and that the congressman did not bear blame for the employee’s loss.

According to a press release, Fleischmann plans to continue “Chuck on the job” “regularly when he returns home throughout the 112th Congress.”