congressional campaigns

Anonymous robocall bashes Burchett over reported FBI investigation

A Tuesday night robocall to some Knox County residents slammed Knox County Mayor and Second Congressional candidate Tim Burchett over reports that he faces an FBI investigation, reports the News Sentinel. The automated call came from a number used by the Farragut Press, though Publisher Tony Cox says the publication had nothing to do with the call.

Continue reading

Roe still remains undecided about reelection run

U.S. Rep. Phil Roe says he still hasn’t decided whether to seek reelection to another term in Tennessee’s 1st Congressional District and that pending medical tests will have an impact on his decision along with his work load and a desire to get some things done to help veterans, reports the Kingsport Times News.

When asked by the Times News during a Friday conference call with reporters whether he would run for re-election, Roe responded:

“I have not … from a health standpoint … I’ve had a CT (computer tomography) scan, which was normal. I’m very pleased about that. … In another three to four weeks, I’ll have a blood test to see whether that’s normal and OK. Those things will impact the decision you make. So far, I’ve gotten great results. Physically I’m feeling better. … There are some things I have for the VA (Veterans Administration) that are critical that I’ve got to get done. … All of these are weighing on my decision and it’s going to be coming rather quickly. … I have a national platform now. … a chairmanship has added a lot of extra work.”

Note: In a post dated Jan. 3, Roe was quoted as saying he would decide “in the next week to 10 days.”

Matlock push to ‘defund’ Planned Parenthood bashed by Democrats

State Rep. Jimmy Matlock, a candidate for the Republican nomination to the 2nd Congressional District seat, has announced a push for passage of legislation to totally “defund” Planned Parenthood in Tennessee, contending there is currently a “false narrative” that no taxpayer dollars support the organization.

Legislative Democrats held a news conference Wednesday to denounce the bill, reports the News Sentinel (with Tennessean input), and a Planned Parenthood spokesperson said the proposal would have a “devastating impact” on preventive care services for women such as birth control and cancer screenings.

Continue reading

Corker, Duncan quoted in report on ‘bumper crop’ of retiring congressmen

In an article on the two dozen members of Congress who are retiring this year, Politico suggests that unhappiness with the current political environment is a factor – and quotes two departing Tennessee politicians in the process.

People retire every cycle. But this year’s group is a bumper crop of members wondering whether Congress is broken forever—even as they insist they love their own jobs.

Continue reading

Roe still pondering whether to seek reelection; to decide in week or so

U.S. Rep. Phil Roe told the Kingsport Times News  Tuesday that he still hasn’t decided whether to seek reelection to a sixth term representing Northeast Tennessee in Congress but will do so “in the next week to 10 days.”

Continue reading

Songwriter abandons bid for 7th Congressional District seat

Just a month after announcing he would seek the Republican nomination in the 7th Congressional District, country music songwriter Lee Thomas Miller has changed his mind.

Continue reading

Second Democrat enters 7th Congressional District race

Matt Reel, a Hickman County native and longtime staffer for Democrats in Congress also currently serving in the U.S. Army, has announced a run for the Congressional seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, reports the Nashville Post.

Continue reading

FBI agents asking questions about Knox County Mayor Burchett

FBI agents have interviewed at least four people, asking questions about Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, who is running for the 2nd Congressional District seat, according to the News Sentinel. The people interviewed said FBI agents asked about issues ranging from possible tax evasion to potential bribery and a county contract.

When reached Thursday, Burchett said, “No truth to any of it.”

The USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee obtained a copy of a document drafted by an attorney that states Burchett’s ex-wife, Allison, was a confidential informant for the FBI, with the code name “Carbon,” since 2012.

Allison Burchett said she began working with the FBI in 2012 but declined further comment.

“I’m sorry I cannot comment on an ongoing FBI investigation,” she said.

The three other sources requested anonymity for fear of reprisals.

Federal investigators conducted several interviews this year, including as recently as October, sources said. The interviews were conducted in various locations, including the FBI’s Knoxville headquarters.

One source said an IRS agent also has been involved in the inquiry.

… “I’m not sure what they’re charging, but it’s coming pretty soon,” one source said. “This is very, very serious. It’ll blow Knoxville wide open.”

UPDATE: Burchett responded “defiantly” to the article a day later, reported the News Sentinel and other Gannet newspapers. Excerpted quote:

“I’ve never been contacted by the FBI concerning any of this stuff. I really don’t think there’s any such inquiry… To have a major news story based upon my convicted ex-wife and unnamed sources and for this to be treated as legitimate news, to me is beyond belief,”

Pence PAC donates to six TN U.S. Reps — including Black, Blackburn and Duncan

Politico has a list of Vice President Mike Pence’s “first round of political contributions” through a political action committee he has established —  including donations of $5,400 each to six Tennessee members of the U.S. House – Reps. Marsha Blackburn, Diane Black, John J. “Jimmy” Duncan Jr., Scott DesJarlais, Chuck Fleischmann and Phil Roe.

Blackburn is running for the Senate instead of reelection to the House, but money donated to her House campaign can be switched into the Senate race. Black is running for governor and, under applicable rules, she cannot shift money from her congressional campaign account into her run for a state office.

Duncan, of course, is retiring and not running for reelection in the 2nd Congressional District.

The only Tennessee Republican congressman not on the list is freshman Rep. David Kustoff of the 8th Congressional District.

Continue reading

Burchett offered check (declined) and apology (accepted) after Saudi teen’s attack

Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, a candidate for the 2nd Congressional seat being vacated by Rep. John J. “Jimmy” Duncan, was one of several motorists who came under attack from a Saudi Arabian citizen who recently enrolled at the University of Tennessee to study nursing, reports the News Sentinel. The youth’s lawyer says he suffered “an unexpected mental breakdown” in the episode, which warrants say involved pounding on cars and grabbing at the drivers as they passed him on a street near the UT Knoxville campus.

“Did they screen this guy at all for mental health issues?” Burchett said Friday of 19-year-old Nofl Hassan Alatyah. “I’m not getting any answers, and I’m very frustrated.”

Continue reading