The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that the Weston Wamp campaign was asked to take down a campaign ad by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs because it contained unauthorized footage of the Chattanooga National Cemetery.
The same ad, titled “Congratulations Congress,” features music by a local band, and some have asked (either directly or through internet search engines) whether the campaign received permission to use the song “All This Just for a Melody.”
While members of Land Camera declined to go on the record regarding the song’s placement in the ad, I have learned that Fancy Rhino did, in fact, appropriately license the music.
What is not clear now is how much the ad’s removal due to the cemetery footage mistake will impact future royalties that would have been due the musicians.
Weston Wamp, one of 3 Republicans challenging U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann in the August 2 primary for the Third House District, today released his third campaign ad.
In it, he congratulates Congress for record-setting national debt. The candidate does his own voiceover, with a bed of folk-inspired indie rock featuring a mandolin and strummed guitars and…wait. I recognize that Fender guitar tone. Yes, the music is from none other than Chattanooga’s own Land Camera. Listen to this track, then come back and watch the ad.
We will review the entire Supreme Court’s opinion to fully understand its impact on the State of Tennessee. From initial reports, it appears the individual mandate has been ruled Constitutional and has been upheld. My primary issues with ObamaCare are that it takes away the flexibility for states to encourage healthy behavior, will cost Tennessee hundreds of millions of dollars, and does nothing to solve the crisis of the cost of health care in America. What was unanticipated is the section of the opinion that says states cannot be forced to expand their Medicaid program. This particular portion of the ruling is significant, but it is premature to know the exact ramifications. Now it is up to Tennesseans and Americans to turn their attention to the November election. By electing Mitt Romney, we can be sure that the entire law will be repealed.
Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey:
It is intensely disappointing that this court failed to recognize what constitutionalists and conservatives know deep in their hearts: A federal government which can coerce its people to buy a product is a government unrestrained and out of control. Democrat Governor Phil Bredesen called Obamacare the ‘mother of all unfunded mandates’ and stated it will cost Tennesseans 1.1 billion dollars in the next few years. However, the fight does not end here. The court may have made its decision today but the people have yet to speak. When they do, Mitt Romney will be elected president and I will do all I can to aid him as he fulfills his solemn promise to repeal this insidious law.
U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann:
The Supreme Court made the wrong decision today. The Constitution places specific limits on the government, and the court unfortunately did not recognize those limits in allowing Obamacare to stand. While the Supreme Court may consider the individual mandate a tax, the Obama administration repeatedly claimed that this was not a tax when they tried to pass Obamacare. Like many conservatives, I believe the individual mandate cannot be justified as a tax. Not only does Obamacare force Americans to buy insurance whether they want it or not, but it also forces Americans to subsidize birth control even if it violates their faith. Additionally, the law creates IPAB, the Independent Payment Advisory Board. This board is anything but advisory. It has the power to control Medicare payments, and its decisions carry the full force of law. The results of Obamacare are clear: Higher healthcare costs, hundreds of billions in tax increases, top down government control of healthcare, and a continuation of our massive deficits. Now, it is time for Congressional Republicans to demonstrate our commitment to smaller government, and continue the fight to repeal Obamacare. Our healthcare, our nation’s finances, and our national character demand nothing less.
U.S. House 3rd District candidate Bill Taylor (D):
That the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act this morning is “a victory for the common man,” said Bill Taylor, Democratic candidate for Congress in the 3rd District. “The ACA was created to stop the unfair advantage that insurance companies have gained over people’s ability to afford healthcare. “Our country currently ranks 37th in the world in terms of quality of healthcare. This decision will help us move forward in creating a system of affordable, quality care that is available to everyone.” Taylor noted that there is “still work to be done to make the healthcare system more efficient and workable. As an expert in healthcare, I can help to move this process forward in Congress in a leadership way.”
U.S. House 3rd District candidate Weston Wamp (R):
@Public_Interest Busy going door to door. The ruling is disappointing, but shows the need for people in Congress who understand Constitution
Here are some additional thoughts, beyond the Nooga.com story, on Saturday’s Tea Party debate among three of the GOP candidates running for the U.S. House 3rd District seat.
Who won the debate?
Like the last one, it was pretty much a draw between U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann and Weston Wamp. Each was able to articulate a rhetorical starting point and defend it, even if each was light on real substance. Ron Bhalla gets points for earnestness and civic responsibility, but struggles to broaden the scope of his narrative much beyond his idea to have every one of his constituents vote on every bill that comes before the House.
The most “TV friendly” exchange came after Wamp reminded the audience of Fleischmann’s seeming waffle on last year’s debt ceiling debate, and his private meeting with Speaker John Boehner followed by a public change of heart. “I’m sorry, Weston, I didn’t know you were in that room,” Fleischmann retorted, and then went on to describe the content of the meeting, including the fact that cigarettes were smoked (by Boehner, not by himself).
Wamp used that tidbit to levy the old “smoke-filled room” cliché later in the discussion, as he sought to portray Fleischmann as servile to the party establishment’s Washington-insider mechanisms.
A weaker attack came when Wamp used his submitted question to ask Fleischmann to confirm that he stood by sworn deposition in the Winslow v. Saltsman/Fleischmann lawsuit, namely, that he had not fully previewed all campaign ads in the 2010 cycle. Fleischmann essentially responded [paraphrased], “Of course I stand by sworn statements; that’s why they are made under oath. Moving on, then?”
The legal battle stemming from a bitter primary election two years ago makes a great workout gym for strengthening journalism skills, but Wamp risks throwing away valuable voter engagement if he pursues this line further. Reporters and politics junkies eat it up, but the average person “jes’ don’t care.”
Who won the poll?
A poll was handed out after the debate, and the slips of paper were collected along with donations to defray event expenses. Actual vote counts were not provided, but the Tea Party group published percentages on its Facebook page. These numbers demonstrate Wamp’s ability to draw a friendly crowd, at the very least:
Weston Wamp: 57%
Chuck Fleischmann: 26%
Other / Undecided: 13%
Ron Bhalla: 4%
Who asked the best question?
It wasn’t clear whether all of the questions were submitted by Tea Party members (except those submitted by candidates), or if the moderators brought some of their own, but Brian Joyce’s question to Wamp about why he criticized Fleischmann a month ago for not securing funding for the Chickamauga Dam lock infrastructure project, and then this past week criticized him for not holding the line tight enough on spending, was the best one.
Honorable mention goes to Gregg Juster for the question addressed to the milk jug.
Who will win the primary?
Congressional incumbents are very difficult to defeat. That said, perhaps the best chance one would have is during an incumbent’s freshman term, and in a party primary (unless the district is more evenly balanced).
It is no secret that many Republicans in Hamilton County were displeased with Fleischmann’s win over Robin Smith in 2010. What has never been clear, ever since Smith herself declined a rematch, is how many of the formerly disgruntled have patched things over and are willing to at least tepidly support Fleischmann.
Obviously Wamp has tapped into some new money as well as drawn a lot of his father’s friends to his side; but how much of that will translate to actual votes on primary day is not easy to predict. Turnout among Wamp’s younger admirers may be key here.
The Mayfield candidacy is the most interesting. He and his team seem to be betting on pure name recognition, although one suspects that broadcast advertising will show up at some point. You may be thinking that name recognition is a bad strategy for a primary, when only activists show up, and you’d be mostly right.
What you may not have considered is a quiet insurgency among said activists to support Mayfield as the anti-incumbent who has life experience (Wamp’s deficit), even if he’s light on policy specifics. There’s no evidence that such a thing exists; but it could really change the game.
How this vote will split, and who will benefit from that, is not something that can be determined with much certainty right now. Even Bhalla’s weaker effort gets to be a factor with this many variables in play.
Expect another update around the time early voting begins, unless something major happens before then.