Mark Green

106 TN ‘conservative leaders’ call for Green to resume run for GOP gubernatorial nomination

A group of 106 people, describing themselves as Tennessee conservative leaders and operating under the title “Coalition 2018,” have signed a letter calling for state Sen. Mark Green of Clarksville to resume his campaign for the Republican gubernatorial nomination after withdrawing from consideration as President Trump’s nominee to become U.S. secretary of the Army.

The group includes tea party activists – including, for example, Nashville Tea Party President Ben Cunningham, Chattanooga Tea Party President Mark West and Judson Phillips, founder of Tea Party Nation – along with at least three current members of the state Republican Party Executive Committee and Joe Carr, a former state representative who unsuccessfully challenged Lamar Alexander in the 2014 U.S. Senate primary and Diane Black in the 2016 6th Congressional District Republican primary.

Green, who filed the paperwork for gubernatorial campaign early this year, decided against seeking U.S. Senate confirmation of his Army secretary nomination after a national criticism from some groups for remarks they interpreted as hostile toward LGBT persons and the Muslim religion – remarks notably including a taped appearance before the Chattanooga Tea Party.

Says the letter: “Throughout the nomination process, Senator Green was attacked by the likes of Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, and Elizabeth Warren. Tennesseans disagree, because we know and share Mark’s values. We write today to urge Mark Green to resume his campaign for Governor.”
Green has so far been non-committal about resuming the race, saying only that he’s thinking about it.

(Three other legislators considering a run for governor and widely expected to announce decisions shortly after the legislative session ended — House Speaker Beth Harwell and Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris on the GOP side and House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh on the Democratic side — have also maintained silence. )

Text of the letter with a list of those signing is HERE.

Green withdraws as Trump’s nominee for U.S. Army secretary

Tennessee state Sen. Mark Green has announced he is withdrawing President Donald Trump’s nominee to become Secretary of the Army, blaming the “distraction” caused by “false” attacks on his religious beliefs.

Green, a physician and former Army flight surgeon who lives in Clarksville, had declared himself a candidate for the Republican governor’s nomination in 2018, but put campaigning on hold after Trump nominated him to succeed Eric Fanning as Army secretary. Fanning, serving under President Barack Obama, was the first openly gay military service secretary.

From the Times-Free Press report:

“Tragically, my life of public service and my Christian beliefs have been mischaracterized and attacked by a few on the other side of the aisle for political gain,” Green said in a statement.

“While these false attacks have no bearing on the needs of the Army or my qualifications to serve, I believe it is critical to give the President the ability to move forward with his vision to restore our military to its rightful place in the world.”

…He noted he and his wife, Camie, “look forward to finding other opportunities to use our gifts to serve others and help Make America Great Again.”

There was no specific comment as to whether he would restart his gubernatorial campaign.

From the Washington Post report:

Green pulled out after a month of calls for the Trump administration to choose someone else. Advocacy groups for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people immediately launched an effort on Capitol Hill to block his nomination after it was announced April 7, saying his history of antagonism toward them made him an unacceptable choice.

… Among the comments that drew concern were Green saying last fall that if psychiatrists were polled, they would say that “transgender is a disease.” He added that while most millennials accept transgender people, he wanted to be a “light” that set the record straight.

“If you really want to bring this back to who’s at fault, I mean we’ve got to look a little bit inwardly,” he said. “I mean, we’ve tolerated immorality and we’re not reflecting light.”

The Council on American-Islamic Relations also opposed Green’s nomination, citing an appearance before the Chattanooga Tea Party last fall in which Green said that “we will not tolerate” teaching the “pillars of Islam” in textbooks. At that same event, Green responded to a man who said he was concerned about an armed insurrection by people who “don’t belong here, like Muslims in the United States” by saying he’d asked a “great question.”

… Green’s withdrawal marks the latest chapter in the White House’s ongoing turmoil as it tries to fill senior civilian positions at the Pentagon. He was selected after President Trump’s first Army secretary nominee, Vincent Viola, withdrew from consideration in February. Viola, a former Army officer who went on to become a billionaire on Wall Street, cited the complications of getting through the Pentagon’s conflict-of-interest rules.

A nominee for Navy secretary, Philip M. Bilden, also withdrew from consideration in February, facing difficulties similar to Viola’s. No replacement has been named.

…Several U.S. senators this week signaled opposition to Green becoming Army secretary, including Sens. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Charles E. Schumer (D.-N.Y.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.).

Schumer said in a statement that Green’s decision to withdraw is good news for all Americans, “especially those who were personally vilified by his disparaging comments toward the LGBTQ community, Muslim community, Latino community and more.” The senator credited advocacy groups with prompting Green to withdraw and said that he hopes Trump will select someone who can represent everyone in the Army.

From The Tennessean’s report:

Congressional Republicans from Green’s home state focused on praising their fellow Tennessean for his service, rather than directly acknowledging any controversy related to his nomination.

“Mark Green has served his country with distinction,” Rep. Marsha Blackburn said in a statement. “He has served his state with honor. I respect his decision to withdraw his nomination and look forward to his continued service in our community.”

Sen. Lamar Alexander also said he respected the decision, but expressed some disappointment that Green didn’t get the nomination.

“This would have been an opportunity for the Army to benefit from his leadership skills, military experience and dedication to service members,” his statement said.

Sen. Bob Corker said he spoke with Green on Friday afternoon to thank him for his willingness to serve and for his commitment to public service.

“Although he has withdrawn from the process, I have no doubt that he will continue to find ways to serve our country and state,” Corker’s statement read.

CNN says Green nomination may be withdrawn; 11 U.S. House Republicans back him

With growing opposition to state Sen. Mark Green’s nomination as U.S. Army secretary and CNN reporting it might be withdrawn, Tennessee’s Republican U.S. House members have come to his support.

From CNN:

Mark Green, Trump’s second pick to be Army secretary, is facing what the sources described as a difficult — if not insurmountable — path to confirmation amid a backlash over his controversial statements on LGBT issues, Islam and evolution.

The sources said that Green’s withdrawal is not finalized, but it’s unlikely he would go forward because “there are questions whether he has enough support from either side of the aisle” to get confirmed, according to one source.

Darren Morris, a political adviser to Green, said the notion he was withdrawing was “completely, absolutely untrue,” and that he’s prepping for the confirmation hearing this week in Washington.

One source said that Green’s politics were “good for the state Senate in Tennessee, not so much to follow a gay Secretary of the Army that Obama had,” a reference to former President Barack Obama’s last Army Secretary, Eric Fanning, the first openly gay person to serve in that role.

From Michael Collins:

“It is our firm belief that confirmation of Mark E. Green to serve as secretary of the Army will only enhance America’s warfighting capability and build on the mutual trust that exists between soldiers and their leaders,” the group (of 11 House Republicans) wrote in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Continue reading

Some DC Democrats criticize Green; some TN Democrats join in praising him

In Washington, 31 Democratic U.S. House members have called for the rejection of Tennessee state Sen. Mark Green as U.S. Army Secretary. But in Nashville, all five Democratic members of the state Senate joined their Republican colleagues in voting for a resolution praising the Clarksville Republican.

Continue reading

Sen. Green: I only labeled ‘murderous terrorists” evil (but urged doctor ‘cherry picking’ of patients?)

In apparently his first response to criticism from LGBT and Muslim groups on his nomination by President Trump as U.S. Army secretary, state Sen. Mark Green declares on Facebook that “the liberal left has cut and spliced my words about terrorism and ISIS blatantly falsifying what I’ve said. “

“The only people I have ever called evil are murderous terrorists trying to kill Americans,” he writes. “The only people I have ever suggested be crushed are the terrorist enemies of our nation.”

Continue reading

Muslim group opposes Green as Army secretary

News release from Council on American-Islamic Relations

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/12/17) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslims civil rights and advocacy organization, today announced its opposition to the confirmation of Mark E. Green as President Trump’s new Army secretary because of his past Islamophobic statements.

Continue reading

Green’s Army secretary nomination draws national LGBT activist criticism

State Sen. Mark Green’s selection by President Trump as U.S Secretary of the Army, formally announced Friday, is drawing criticism from LGBT activists in national media reporting. If confirmed, the Clarksville Republican will succeed Eric Fanning, a 2016 Obama appointee who became the first openly gay person to be named as head of any branch of the U.S. military services.

A sampler from reports over the weekend:

Continue reading

Trump announces Sen. Mark Green as Army Secretary

President Donald Trump formally announced his intention to nominate state Sen. Mark Green as U.S. Secretary of the Army on Friday in a White House news release that also covered nominations to five other federal government positions.

Green is expected to resign from the Senate when the nomination is confirmed and the new job will also end his planned run for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, announced in January. The pending presidential nomination had been widely but unofficially reported earlier.

Here’s the portion of the White House release dealing with Green: Continue reading

Sen. Mark Green dropping run for governor to become Army secretary?

Former Army flight surgeon and Tennessee state Sen. Mark Green (R-Clarksville) is the leading pick to take over as President Donald Trump’s Army Secretary, reports Military Times, quotinq “sources close to the process.”

Green, best known as the special operations soldier who interviewed former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein after his capture by American forces in 2003, would be the second person nominated by Trump for the post. Last month, billionaire veteran Vincent Viola dropped out of the confirmation process citing numerous conflicts of interest with his family businesses.

…If confirmed, the 1986 West Point graduate will make the jump from local politics to the highest levels of military planning, overseeing Trump’s promised build-up of Army end-strength and equipment modernization.

Green was elected to state office in 2012 and for the last seven years has served as founder and CEO of Align MD, an emergency department staffing company. The firm operates in 30 hospitals in six states.

Further from The Tennessean:

The move would abruptly halt the former Army officer’s bid for governor of Tennessee just two months after it launched.

… Green is nearing the nomination and going through background checks, another source close to the search said. Green has been a candidate for weeks, the source said.

All of Green’s bills that had been set for discussion in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday were instead sent back to a subcommittee. That’s generally a sign the legislation is either dead for the year or may be carried by a different lawmaker.

UPDATE from Politico: Green, a Republican state senator from Tennessee and a West Point grad, met with President Donald Trump on Wednesday during his trip to a rally in Nashville where they solidified the deal. 

“We do not have any personnel announcements at this time,” said White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

A source close to Green said that he’s currently filling out intensive background checks that the White House personnel office and FBI will review.

‘Super PAC’ (TN version) to aid Green’s run for governor

A new political action committee has been established to help state Sen. Mark Green’s bid for the 2018 Republican gubernatorial election through independent expenditures. Named Leading the Way, the PAC reported raising $47,500 in its initial financial disclosure filed last week.

Green, R-Clarksville, is the first candidate to file a campaign committee to run for governor in 2018, though multiple politicians have declared an interest in doing so. Green reported raising $193,000 for that account in its initial report, including $23,000 from the PAC he operates himself.

As initially reported by The Tennessee Journal, Leading the Way PAC is spearheaded by Charles Cato, an attorney, former lobbyist and financial advisor who was active in fundraising for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’ unsuccessfully campaign for the Republican presidential nomination last year.

Says Cato in an email:

I did indeed form Leading The Way PAC in early November last year as an uncompensated volunteer working with a group of politically interested Tennesseans who wanted an independent vehicle to support the nomination and election of a limited government Constitutional conservative as Tennessee’s next Governor in the upcoming 2018 election cycle. My associates and I believe very strongly that Senator Mark Green is that candidate and that he stands to be a truly transformational Governor for the people of Tennessee.

Although Tennessee does not officially recognize a class of multi-candidate political committee called a “Super PAC”, Leading The Way was set up to operate in practice as a super pac.  We anticipate making no direct or in-kind candidate contributions. Instead, we’ll make only Independent Expenditures in support of, or possibly in opposition to, various candidates in the Governor’s race as the campaign proceeds between now and the election. We are not affiliated with nor will we coordinate our spending or voter contact plans with any candidate or candidate committee. As a result, we are able to accept contributions without dollar limitation. As a multi-candidate political committee in Tennessee, we are able to be involved in races for other state offices, i.e. the General Assembly. Our total focus for the 2018 cycle, however, will be in the Governor’s race – initially of course in the August 2018 Republican Primary election.

In the few months since our inception I’ve focused on assembling a team of seasoned political campaign professionals to handle the day to day political operations of the pac, We now have under contract, or are in late stage negotiations with, a general political consultant, a polling firm, opposition research vendors, direct mail design and production people, data analytics specialists, media production and placement firms, fundraising consultants, etc. Our focus for much of 2017 will necessarily be on fundraising – as I imagine it will be for the candidates themselves – with possibly some internal polling and research later in the year for purposes of planning, assessment of the overall political landscape in Tennessee, and for future message development. Beyond that, we’ll proceed as seems appropriate based on how the race develops and the availability of funding to support our initiatives.

…My intention is to run a very lean operation with a very high percentage of our donors’ funds going toward direct voter contact efforts, or what I call “putting lead on target.” Unlike some “dark money” political entities, Leading The Way PAC will be financially transparent regarding both the sources and the uses of any funds we’re dealing with. In my role as the unpaid “general contractor” for the group I have no financial interest whatsoever in any of the groups or vendors who we may have under contract.

Continue reading