David Kustoff

Tennessee delegation comments on Trump acquittal

U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Brentwood) speaks at a Tennessee Titans event in Nashville on Dec. 13, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Here’s what members of the Tennessee congressional delegation had to say about the Senate’s acquittal of President Donald Trump following his impeachment trial:

U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Brentwood):

The impeachment of President Donald J. Trump was not a matter of procedure—it was an attempted coup, brought forth at the expense of the safety and prosperity of the American people. Every member of Congress must now reflect, remember, and take to heart the real legacy of this dark moment in history, when ruthless partisanship undermined due process, trampled the rule of law, and very nearly erased from precedent those rules that underpin our democratic republic.

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Maryville):

The question then is not whether the president did it, but whether the United States Senate or the American people should decide what to do about what he did. I believe that the Constitution clearly provides that the people should make that decision in the presidential election that began on Monday in Iowa.

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Memphis)

I voted for the articles of impeachment in the Judiciary Committee and on the House floor and believe the House managers proved their case in the Senate beyond a reasonable doubt. Because the Senate required a two-thirds vote to remove the President from office, he will remain. But his ignominious impeachment will always be the legacy of his reckless and lawless presidency. A bipartisan majority of Congress has voted to impeach or convict him, and that’s a blemish on his record that the American public should consider in evaluating his remaining time in office.

U.S. Rep. John Rose (R-Cookeville):

Just as we knew from the beginning, House Democrats’ impeachment process was purely partisan and an embarrassment to our country. More importantly, their focus on this process served as a distraction from the work the American people sent us to Washington, D.C., to accomplish.

U.S. Rep. David Kustoff (R-Memphis):

I commend the Senate for acquitting the President today and putting an end to this partisan endeavor. The fact is, President Trump did nothing wrong, and today’s acquittal proves just that. Now that this impeachment is behind us, I look forward to working closely with President Trump to pass real legislation that would improve our infrastructure, secure our border, and continue to boost our already thriving economy.

 

He’s back! Flinn announces latest campaign for U.S. Senate

George Flinn, the Shelby County radiologist and broadcast company owner, has dropped $12.5 million of his own money on five unsuccessful congressional bids since 2010. He’s now announcing his latest Republican bid for the U.S. Senate.

Flinn ran against U.S. Rep. David Kustoff (R-Memphis) in the last two cycles, dropping $6.1 million of his own money on those bids. It’s his second bid for the U.S. Senate, having spent $1.2 million in a 2014 bid. He finished that race in distant third behind incumbent Sen. Lamar Alexander and former state Rep. Joe Carr (R-Lascassas).

Here’s the release from the Flinn campaign:

BRENTWOOD, TN- Today, George Flinn announces his candidacy for U.S. Senate. As a tenured businessman, Flinn brings extensive experience to this race. For too many years politicians have avoided the hard work of problem-solving and instead focused on distracting the American people with soundbites and spin. Elected officials are more interested in being idols, celebrities, and stars. George Flinn is appalled by this trend and knows it is hindering America’s progress.  

Flinn is committed to providing real solutions, rather than being focused on distracting the voters. He knows government is about policies, passing bills, and being a servant to our country by implementing real solutions, not by sounding good and accomplishing nothing. George Flinn will bring back the true conservatism that this country was founded on,

Time and time again politicians provide soundbites over a working plan. That’s why I feel I had to throw my hat in the race this year, for a chance to really work, to get things done for Tennesseans. A political campaign is not about just getting elected, it is about creating an opportunity to reach a large group of people with a powerful message that will create major improvements in their lives. I feel the majority of political candidates have lost sight of that. I refuse to give up on the opportunity to improve the quality of so many lives across Tennessee. 

Innovative solutions require crucial work that is at times boring, but always vital. It is critical to invest time to consider all of the possibilities to address our complex problems. This is the type of work and commitment you can expect from George Flinn as a U.S. Senator. 

I have developed real solutions for the complex problems facing Tennesseans and am sharing them with everyone, through my website. I am so committed to implementing solutions that I invite other candidates to embrace these solutions also. What is really important is that these solutions that benefit Tennesseans, are implemented. As one of my favorite Ronald Reagan quotes states, “There is no limit to the amount good you can do when you don’t care who gets the credit.”

George Flinn is a double-boarded certified M.D. in radiology and nuclear medicine, electrical engineer,  author of multiple books, and U.S. Senate candidate, who truly believes we can improve the future of Tennessee.   

For more information visit his website at www.realsolutionsfortn.com.

Kustoff won’t run for Senate

U.S. Rep. David Kustoff (R-Memphis) has decided against running for the Senate next year. President Donald Trump has tweeted that U.S. Ambassador Bill Hagerty will seek the seat being vacated by Lamar Alexander (R-Maryville). Vanderbilt surgeon Manny Sethi joined the race before former Gov. Bill Halsam announced he wouldn’t run.

Meanwhile, the Knoxville News Sentinel reports another doctor, Josh Gapp, is running as a Republican.

Former lawmaker, ex-GOP chairman, and current lobbyist Ryan Haynes was surprised to see his name floated among potential Senate candidates. He’s not running.

 

NRA endorses David Kustoff in 8th District

The National Rifle Association is endorsing Republican U.S. Rep. David Kustoff in the 8th Congressional District.

The freshman congressman faces a Republican primary challenge from George Flinn, a deep-pocketed perennial candidate. The endorsement was announced by the NRA’s chief lobbyist Chris Cox, a Jackson native.

“We greatly appreciate your consistent opposition to attempts to ban lawfully-owned firearms, magazines and ammunition, and for standing strong against the gun control agenda,” Cox said.

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Flinn puts $1.4M into rematch with Kustoff

Multimillionaire perennial candidate George Flynn, who lost to Rep. David Kustoff by less than 3,000 votes in the 13-candidate 2016 Republican primary for the 8th Congressional District, has put $1.4 million of personal funds into his 2018 effort to unseat the incumbent, according to a new report filed with the Federal Election Commission.

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Kustoff bill targets financing of illegal opioid trade

Republican U.S. Rep. David Kustoff (R-Memphis) is applauding the passage of his bill targeting the financial networks supporting the illegal drug trade and the opioid epidemic sweeping the country.

The National Strategy for Combating the Financing of Transnational Criminal Organizations Act (H.R. 4768) passed unanimously on Tuesday.

“In order to defeat these criminal organizations, we must track down their financial networks and cut them off at the source,” Kutoff said in a release.

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Fleischmann slightly injured in train wreck; Kustoff and Roe aboard but unharmed

U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann was slightly injured Wednesday when a train carrying Republican congressmen to an event in West Virginia hit a garbage truck. Two other Tennessee Republican congressmen—Reps. David Kustoff and Phil Roe – were aboard but not injured in the mishap.

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Kustoff invited to White House Hanukkah Party; Cohen (and other Jewish Democrats) snubbed

President Donald Trump invited the two Republicans members of Congress who are Jewish – Tennessee’s Rep.  David Kustoff and New York Rep. Lee Zeldin – to the White House Hanukkah Party but excluded Jewish Democrats including Tennessee’s Rep. Steve Cohen, reports the New York Times. That was break with tradition, which under past presidents has made the gathering non-partisan.

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On a rural West TN doctor’s fight with feds, backed by area politicians appealing to Alexander, Kustoff

The federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services has shut off payments to Dr. Bryan Merrick after finding clerical errors in billings through McKenzie Medical Center for a handful of Medicare patients. The move threatens to shut down the center – which serves around 4,000 patients in a rural area with few medical providers — and has brought a bipartisan outpouring of pleas to help Merrick from West Tennessee political leaders to members of the Tennessee congressional delegation, so far without results.

The latest plea was a letter last week from McKenzie Mayor Jill Holland to U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander as chairman of the Senate Health, Education and Labor Committee, asking him to convene a hearing with the goal of “revocation or modification of a particularly egregious Obama-era regulation” that CMS used in stopping Medicare payments to Merrick that is now “jeopardizing health care to hundreds and eventually thousands of citizens” in Carroll, Weakley and Henry counties. As of this weekend, Alexander had not responded to the letter or a reporter’s email inquiry seeking comment.

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Some TN political junkie reading suggestions, 8/7/2017

On members of Congress running for governor

Diane Black is one of nine current members of the U.S. House who have announced as candidates for governor in their home state and a “handful of others” are mulling the possibility, reports Politico.

But most of the aspiring governors are vacating the comfy confines of safe congressional districts for what, historically, has been a bad bet. The last time this many sitting representatives ran for governor, in 2006, twice as many lost as won.

… The aspiring governors in Ohio and Tennessee have slightly better historical records to fall back on. Both states have seen three sitting lawmakers elected governor since the turn of the 20th century. But the most recent in Ohio is Democrat Ted Strickland in 2006 and in Tennessee, and it’s been nearly a quarter-century since Republican Don Sundquist won in Tennessee, Ostermeier said

TN history note: Before Sundquist, the last member of Congress elected as Tennessee governor was Democrat Ray Blanton in 1974. And before that, it was Democrat Gordon Browning in 1936 (after trying an unsuccessful run for the U.S. Senate in 1934).  Browning then lost a bid for reelection, but returned to win the governor’s office again in 1948.

Just a guess, but Black probably will not be emphasizing her historical predecessors in the coming campaign.

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