Marsha Blackburn

Blackburn agrees to second debate

A release from Republican Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn’s campaign:

Brentwood, TN –  Today, Marsha Blackburn announced she will participate in the October 10th debate hosted by the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy and Nexstar Media Group, including WKRN (Nashville), WATE (Knoxville), WATN (Memphis), WJHL (Tri Cities), and WJKT (Jackson) as part of the campaign’s debate schedule.

“From immigration to taxes, Phil Bredesen and I have serious policy differences that will drastically affect how Tennesseans are represented in the United States Senate,” said Marsha Blackburn. “I look forward to highlighting our significant policy differences at this debate, and I am grateful for the event’s organizers and volunteers, who have worked to put it together.”

On Monday, Blackburn announced she will participate in the September 25th debate hosted by the Tennessean, the League of Women Voters of Tennessee, News Channel 5 (WTVF), Nashville Public Television, and Cumberland University as part of the campaign’s debate schedule.

UPDATE: Reaction from Democrat Phil Bredesen spokeswoman Alyssa Hansen:

“The contrast between the candidates will be on display — Tennesseans have a choice between an 8-term Congresswoman who’s part of the Washington way or a Governor with a proven track-record of getting things done for Tennessee. Memphis is just as important as the rest of the state, and we hope that Congressman Blackburn feels the same way and reconsiders.”

Koch network launches ad targeting Bredesen

The Americans for Prosperity, the political arm of the conservative Koch network, has launched its first attack on Democratic Senate candidate Phil Bredesen, taking him to task for supporting various tax increases and for the gall to have once spearheaded renovations and upgrades at the governor’s mansion. See the ad here.

The ad says Bredesen “wasted $9 million” on the mansion while the economy was in a tailspin and rehashes an old refrain against what the spot dubs a “party cave.” Contemporary attacks on the underground entertainment complex decried it as the “Bredesen Bunker,” but they never resonated much beyond conservative neighbors like Lee Beaman. It remains to be seen whether bringing the issue up again nearly a decade later will have more success.

The Bredesen campaign has responded with a video of its own in which the candidate says: “Well, the attacks have started and now you have to make sense of it all.”

The Bredesen campaign noted that Bredesen balanced eight budgets without an income tax when he was governor. “He also worked diligently with the legislature to raise the tobacco tax to fund education and to close corporate tax loopholes that were siphoning resources away from public safety, health care, education, and other priorities,” the campaign said in a release.

Blackburn takes aim at Bredesen over immigration

Republican Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn speaks at a business forum in Nashville on Aug. 15, 2018 (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Republican Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn is taking aim at Democratic opponent Phil Bredesen in an an opinion piece published on the website of The Hill newspaper in Washington.

“As governor, Phil Bredesen adopted policies that encouraged illegal immigration,” Blackburn writes in the piece, citing his support for a driver certificate program for people in the country illegally in 2004. What she doesn’t mention is that Bredesen introduced the measure to dial back a full driver’s license program that had been championed by his Republican predecessor, Don Sundquist, who is now a Blackburn supporter. Blackburn herself had voted against the driver’s licenses bill, but had left for Congress by the time certificate measure was introduced.

The bill creating the certificates (which carried prominent markings that they were meant only for driving and “not valid for identification”) passed the Senate on a 32-0 vote and the House 96-2, meaning it had nearly full GOP support (including from Senate Speaker Randy McNally, former Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey, Knox County mayor and GOP congressional nominee Tim Burchett, former state Sen. Mae Beavers, state House Majority Leader Glen Casada, House Speaker Beth Harwell, Secretary of State Tre Hargett, and Family Action Council of Tennessee President David Fowler.)

The driver certificate program was abandoned two years later after federal investigators uncovered a burgeoning black market for them.

Blackburn wrote in the opinion piece that she opposed the measures because they “openly rewarded illegal immigration and undermined the hard work of those who entered our country lawfully. Moreover, it made Tennessee a magnet for illegal immigrants.”

It’s not surprising that Phil Bredesen also opposes securing the southern border. He’s spoken out against the wall, saying that it’s just political theater. He says he’s tired of ‘nibbling around the edges’ and wants to get back to big projects. What better way to start than by building the wall. Securing our border isn’t political theater; it’s enforcing the laws of a sovereign nation, and it’s a vital step to keep Americans safe. — Blackburn in The Hill

 

George Will on TN Senate race: ‘Pistol-packing Republican vs. oatmeal Democrat’

U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn speaks at a forum on business issues in Nashville on Aug. 15, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Washington Post columnist George Will was in Nashville last week to take in a Senate forum hosted by the Tennessee Business Roundtable, NFIB, and state Chamber of Commerce. His assessment of the race featuring Marsha Blackburn and Phil Bredesen is summed up as “Pistol-packing Republican vs. oatmeal Democrat.”

Here are some of his observations about Blackburn:

Pistol-packing Blackburn — a Smith & Wesson .38 is her preferred accoutrement — in 2009 co-sponsored a bill that would have required presidential candidates to prove they are “natural born” citizens, a propitiation of “birthers.” She promises to be a Trump stalwart, which is dandy if you think that congressional Republicans are insufficiently servile.

And this is what Will has to say about Bredesen:

If you asked central casting to find a Democrat with a contrasting political temperament, you would get Phil Bredesen. He is as exciting as oatmeal, which is said to be better for us than bacon. … A former two-term mayor of this city and former two-term governor, he is experienced in politics as well as governance, so he stresses local worries (e.g., protecting Tennessee waters from Asian carp) more than national Democrats’ current ideological flights of fancy (e.g., rehabilitating socialism’s reputation).

Former Gov. Phil Bredesen speaks at a forum on business issues in Nashville on Aug. 15, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Read the full column here: http://www.dailyindependent.com/opinion/pistol-packing-republican-vs-oatmeal-democrat/article_c627529a-a57c-11e8-afa7-9310a927479f.html

New Blackburn ad touts role in fighting prostitution website

Republican Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn’s latest ad touts her role in fighting the thinly-veiled prostitution website Backpage.com.

“Backpage.com operated in over 97 countries. Billions of dollars, trafficking human beings, even our children,” Blackburn says in the ad, her third of the Senate race so far. “It’s sick, it’s immoral, and it’s why I fought to shut them down. Human trafficking is a tragedy that must be stopped.” 

Backpage.com’s website was seized by the FBI in April and its CEO pleaded guilty and agreed to testify against other website officials charged with facilitating prostitution and money laundering. a 93-count indictment alleges that teenage girls were sold for sex on the site. President Donald Trump in this year signed a bill dubbed “FOTSA,” or the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act. The bill passed the House 388-25 (Blackburn was one of 174 co-sponsors).

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U.S. Chamber endorses Blackburn

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn speaks at a forum hosted by the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce at Lipscomb University in Nashville on Aug. 15, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn has received the endorsement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“Marsha has a strong record of supporting pro-business policies that help create jobs and grow our economy,” Rob Engstrom, senior vice president and national political director at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said in a release. “In Congress, she has worked to cut unnecessary regulations and create an economic climate that allows businesses to thrive.”

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PAC running ads promoting Blackburn

The Senate Leadership Fund is now running television ads in support of Republican Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn. The ad features footage of President Donald Trump endorsing Blackburn at a rally in Nashville in May.

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.”

Latest Blackburn ad features Trump rally highlights

Marsha Blackburn’s latest TV ad highlights the Republican Senate candidate by President Donald Trump’s side at a recent Nashville rally.

Here’s a transcript of the ad:

President Trump: We need Marsha Blackburn. We need Marsha in the Senate to continue the progress and work that we’ve done over the last year and a half. 

Blackburn: Tennessee needs a Senator who is going to support President Donald Trump. I am going to be there to stand with President Donald Trump and take your Tennessee values to Washington, D.C. to fight with him to get the job done. I am Marsha Blackburn, and I approve this message. 

Blackburn touts role in fighting state income tax

Marsha Blackburn in her latest 15-second digital ad touts her rule in fighting a state income tax proposal made by then-Gov. Don Sundquist, a fellow Republican.

“Here in Tennessee I fought my own party to stop a massive, job-killing state income tax,” Blackburn says in the ad. “And we stopped it. We won.”