Phil Bredesen

Bredesen calls for four Senate debates

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Phil Bredesen speaks to reporters after a Farm Bureau speech in Franklin on Aug. 9, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Democrat Phil Bredesen is calling for four U.S. Senate debates around the state. No word yet from Republican Marsha Blackburn whether she’s interested in joining him.

The four debates that Bredesen has approved of are at Rhodes College in Memphis, Cumberland University in Lebanon, the Tivoli Theater in Chattanooga, and the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

The first debate would occur on Sept. 13, while the final one would take place Oct. 10.

“I want this campaign to be about ideas because that’s what  Tennesseans expect from their leaders,” Bredesen said in a release.

Continue reading

Jason Isbell, Ben Folds to headline Bredesen event

Jason Isbell plays in Nashville on Sept. 25, 2015. (Metro Nashville image)

Jason Isbell and Ben Folds are headlining an event to promote former Gov. Phil Bredesen’s Democratic bid for the U.S. Senate.

The event is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 20 at the Marathon Music Works in Nashville. Entry and a commemorative poster will cost $25.

Isbell wrote a song titled “TVA” for the his previous band, the Drive-by Truckers. It might make a fitting tune to play at the event, as Bredesen has proposed using the TVA to help bring high-speed internet to rural areas in the Tennessee Valley.

Continue reading

Dueling editorials on kick-off of Senate general election race

The dueling editorial pages at the Times Free Press have competing takes on the kick-of of the general election phase of the U.S. Senate race between Republican Marsha Blackburn and Democrat Phil Bredesen.

On the right side of the paper’s editorial pages, Clint Cooper writes that “Phil Bredesen’s Democratic campaign for U.S. Senate showed it was not above such deceptive advertising,” in which Republicans who don’t support him say nice things about the former governor.

Former state Rep. Debra Maggart, one of those quoted quoted in the ad, says her comments were spliced to sound more supportive of Bredesen than she was).

The spot has her saying “he did a of good things in our state … like fix TennCare.” Maggart’s full remarks on the news show were: “He did a lot of good things in our state, but he had a lot of Republican support. I was there. We helped him do things that the Democrats absolutely refused to do like fix TennCare.”

“Until now, Bredesen had intoned themes of working with President Trump where they found common ground, of the parties working alongside each other and of ending the rancor in Washington, D.C.,” Cooper writes. “This ad, and so soon out of the gate, shows the campaign has no such motives.”

“Everybody says they want unity,” writes Pam Sohn from the left of the paper’s editorial pages. “Quite a number Republicans have praised Bredesen for unity. But when Bredesen puts that unity on display, they get all huffy, talk out of the other sides of their mouths, and accuse him of not modeling unity.

“There those Pachyderms go again, helping the president with his agenda — the agenda of demonization and discord.”

From ‘Philbert’ to ‘Phony Phil?’

President Donald Trump’s “Philbert” nickname for Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Phil Bredesen didn’t exactly stick. Republicans are now rallying around a new one: “Phony Phil.” Will it do any better? Only the phuture can tell.

The state Republican Party sent out a release this afternoon calling Bredesen an elitist, essentially because he’s rich. (Here’s hoping nobody over there looks up Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s net worth.)

Continue reading

Bredesen camp: ‘Status-quo is panicking’

A memo from Phil Bredesen’s campaign manager Bob Corney warns of impending attacks from out-of-state dark money groups which he calls a sign that the “Washington status-quo is panicking” about the Democrat’s prospects in the U.S. Senate race.

“While our opponent and her backers aim to divide and scare Tennesseans with half-truths and misinformation, Governor Bredesen is committed to bringing people together and putting Tennessee first,” Corney said in the memo.

Continue reading

Bredesen digital ad features praise from Republicans

A new digital ad from Democrat Phil Bredesen’s Senate campaign features soundbites from Republicans heaping praise on the former governor.

The commentary comes from commentator Scottie Nell Hughes, U.S. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Chattanooga), U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-Chattanooga), former state Rep. Debra Maggart (R-Hendersonville), and former Reagan and Bush aide Bill Phillips.

Continue reading

U.S. Senate debate set – UPDATE: Not so fast

A televised U.S. Senate debate has been scheduled at Cumberland University in Lebanon on Sept. 25. It is billed as featuring the nominees of both parties — presumptively Democrat Phil Bredesen and Republican Marsha Blackburn. But the Blackburn campaign tells On the Hill that they don’t know anything about it. And we’re hearing Bredesen hadn’t confirmed yet either.

The debate partners include the Gannett newspapers in Tennessee, Nashville Public Television, and the Tennessee League of Women Voters. The event will be broadcast statewide on public television and streamed by the USA Today Network-Tennessee.

Cumberland said it sent out letters to the candidates on June 29 to invite the in the event they win their primaries.

“We are pleased to invite you to participate in the 2018 U.S. Senate Debate for Middle Tennessee on Tuesday, September 25, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. at historic Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee,” the letter to Blackburn reads. “The partner organizations sponsoring and supporting the debate are inviting the nominees from Tennessee’s two major political parties to participate. We extend this invitation to you in the event you secure the Republican nomination on August 2, 2018.”

Rhodes College announced that it is also holding a Senate debate in Memphis on Sept. 13.

Continue reading

New Bredesen ad touts track record as governor

A new TV ad from Democratic Senate candidate Phil Bredesen touts his record of tackling tough problems as governor: Arresting spiraling costs at TennCare, managing a budget crisis without a sales tax hike or an income tax, and growing Tennessee’s rainy day fund.

Bredesen raises $2.4M, loans Senate bid another $2M

Democrat Phil Bredesen raised $2.43 million for his Senate bid the second quarter, while the former governor also donated another $2 million to his campaign.

That places Bredesen’s total collections at $8.2 million since joining the race (including loans from the candidate, which the campaign said are aimed at TV ads and digital efforts).

Republican Marsha Blackburn’s campaign announced that it brought in $2.6 million in the quarter and had $7.3 million on hand moving forward.

Continue reading

Blackburn raises $2.6M for Senate bid in second quarter

Republican U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn raised $2.6 million for her Senate bid in the second quarter, the Chattanooga Time Free Press‘ Andy Sher reports.

The quarterly haul includes $2.2 million in direct contributions plus nearly $400,000 in transfers from joint fundraising committees. That leaves Blackburn with $7.3 million on hand as the campaign heads toward the general election phase.

“Tennesseans across the state have generously donated to our campaign as I work to take our shared values to the United States Senate,” Blackburn said. “I am so grateful for their support, because these resources are vital as we work to keep Tennessee red and defeat Hillary Clinton’s ally Phil Bredesen in November.”

Continue reading