published Friday, October 28th, 2011

Protesters gather as U.S. House Speaker John Boehner visit raises $200,000


by Chris Carroll
Protesters, who said they are part of Occupy Chattanooga, carry signs outside the Bank of America on Chestnut Street on Thursday in Chattanooga. The group protested a fundraiser at the Walden Club for U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn., who was accompanied by U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.
Protesters, who said they are part of Occupy Chattanooga, carry signs outside the Bank of America on Chestnut Street on Thursday in Chattanooga. The group protested a fundraiser at the Walden Club for U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn., who was accompanied by U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.
Photo by Alex Washburn.

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner helped U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann raise more than $200,000 Thursday evening, exceeding campaign expectations and eclipsing what Fleischmann collected between July and September.

"I'm very, very thankful," Fleischmann said after the event. "It was a tremendous outpouring of support."

A source close to the campaign confirmed the $200,000 figure, saying the final tally likely will fall between $215,000 and $225,000. In a previous interview, Fleischmann spokesman Jordan Powell said the campaign hoped to raise $125,000 at the two-hour event, which included talks from Boehner and Fleischmann, both Republicans.

All the money will go toward Fleischmann's re-election efforts, including consulting, direct mail, polling and radio and television advertisements in Knoxville and Chattanooga, the congressman said.

"Some folks I serve with have a four-media market," he said. "It's not uncommon for some of them sometimes to pay $1 million for media in a week."

Paul Smith, chairman of the Hamilton County Democratic Party, said the fundraiser proves "big money is buying America today."

"Corporate America is now running America," he said.

Fleischmann's staff did not allow reporters into the Walden Club fundraising event, and Boehner declined an interview request through a spokesman. But Fleischmann and two donors described the scene after festivities ended at 8 p.m.

"When [Boehner] came in, people stood up, but he said, 'Please, I'm a common man in a big job,'" said accountant Tom DeCosimo. "Mainly he said the Congress has got to come together and move forward on a lot of tough issues."

The fundraiser concluded a busy month for Fleischmann. It came two weeks after the campaign said it raised more than $135,000 in the last quarter and four weeks after Weston Wamp, the 24-year-old son of one of Boehner's longtime colleagues, Zach Wamp, announced he'd challenge Fleischmann for his father's old seat next year.

"The speaker has an immense amount of respect for Zach -- he said that," Decosimo said. "But he said he was here to support Chuck."

About 125 people attended the dinner, including at least one elected official -- state Sen. Bo Watson, R-Chattanooga.

The day included dissent. A few dozen protesters from Occupy Chattanooga stood near the Bank of America building throughout the day, holding posters bearing funny (Shave Off Your Apathy), political (Banks Got Bailed Out, We Got Sold Out) and threatening (Beat Bankers Into Plowshares) messages.

Most drivers passed the protesters without a reaction, but Saturns and Lexuses alike honked in support every few minutes. Sometimes hand gestures emerged from the driver's side window.

Neither Boehner nor Fleischmann appeared near the protesters.

The campaign required invited couples to pay $1,000 at the door. An extra $1,500 bought a photo opportunity with Boehner, and $10,000 garnered admission, photos and seats near Fleischmann and the speaker. When a few donors stepped out of a car, Hixson resident Victoria Flores hoisted megaphone to mouth.

"I can't afford my politicians," she yelled across Chestnut Street. "Did you pay $1,000 or $10,000?"

Fleischmann said "some folks, like those folks, want solutions that I disagree with," adding that Boehner endorsed him because he believes in "private sector solutions."

"It's just that I come to the process with a different set of solutions than those who were protesting," Fleischmann said.

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Emersization said...

The United Kingdom has a fairly good model for campaigning. It is too bad our government leaders have turned into harlots for the highest bidders, and it is a shame that just about everything has a price-tag on it, including the immoral damning behaviors.

October 28, 2011 at 4:43 a.m.
joneses said...

These protesters across the country are nothing but hypcrits. I have heard them say the are not republicans or democrats. They will protest this dinner with Congressman Boener but not a word is being said about the $38,000.00 per plate dinner Obama is hosting with the very wealthy capitalist Hollywood elites. These protesters are nothing but hypocritical looters.

October 28, 2011 at 6:55 a.m.
chatoccupied said...

The CBO released a report this week showing that income for the top 1% increased 275% in the past 30 years, while the middle increase 40% and the bottom increase 18%. When all that extra money can be used to buy our politicians, something is wrong with the system. This is not an issue many of us are rich enough to ignore. To those with open minds, to those struggling to make ends meet, to those who realize the American dream has been sold to the highest bidder, to those who want the America back that respected and rewarded its work force instead of giving coporations tax breaks and subsidies while they outsource jobs and profits overseas, to you I say, we are the same. You, I, we all are the 99%.

October 28, 2011 at 8:19 a.m.
riverman said...

Well let's see approximately 50 protestors out of a Metro area of 500,000. So one person out of every 10,000 in the area is an Occutard? That's really news.

October 28, 2011 at 8:23 a.m.
sage1 said...

Politicians have been for sale in this country for many years. They will continue to be available for sale until campaign contributions and lobbying are eliminated from our political system.

October 28, 2011 at 8:24 a.m.
EaTn said...

joneses..these occupy protesters are by nature leftists and are protesting those in power who by nature support the wealth that has bought and corrupted our country. It's true that Obama needs the big money as much as anyone--that's the system we have now to win. The right-wing believes the 1% wealth control is ok while keeping their share of the 99% under control with propaganda that the gullible believe. The left-wing believe in the 99% and think they should close the 200X factor separating them and the 1%.

October 28, 2011 at 8:29 a.m.
ChattanoogaVol said...

Still waiting on these leftist deadbeat protesters to camp out in front of the White House. Their guy had free reign with a democratic controlled Congress for 2 years. How about a statement from Democratic Chairman Paul Smith about THAT.

October 28, 2011 at 8:32 a.m.
Gator said...

It's amazing to me that the "sheeple" liberals who are protesting don't realize they are being "played" by Obama's re-election campaign. This is all part of his strategy to divide us while he feeds the PR process to repair his image and make it appear that he is on the side of the working class. Laughable.

October 28, 2011 at 8:51 a.m.
NGAdad said...

Actually, I've been involved in pro-middle class, pro-peace, and pro-domestic welfare (a Constitutional mandate) rallies for decades... there are now many new faces in this Occupy movement. As pointed out, a midday rally is smaller as, yes, we do work. We pay more percentage in taxes than those wealthy contributors. We are not happy when they have all the influence. We think the pirate rich should walk the plank, or back off with the unbridled greed.

October 28, 2011 at 9:12 a.m.
nurseinparis said...

It is obvious that the Republican leadership in Washington has a tremendous amount of respect for Chuck Fleischmann. This was a unique visit by a very important national figure.

October 28, 2011 at 9:17 a.m.
acerigger said...

They're complaining about the fact the Wall Street wrecked the economy three years ago and nobody's held responsible for that. Not a single person has been indicted or convicted for destroying twenty percent of our national net worth accumulated over two centuries. They're upset about the fact that wall street have iron control over economic policies of this country and that one party is a wholly owned subsidiary of wall street and the other party caters to them as well, that's the truth of the matter

These are the people who think we should not have twenty four million people in this country who can't find a full time job. That we should not have fifty million people who can't see a doctor when they're sick. That we shouldn't have forty seven million people of this country who need government help to feed themselves. And we shouldn't have fifteen million families who owe more on their mortgage than the value of home,

October 28, 2011 at 9:34 a.m.
librul said...

Jim Hightower quoting a Texas waitress on Rick Perry's claim that he had created two million jobs in Texas: "Yeah, and I have three of 'em."

Well, she has three times as many as Fleishmann and BooHoo Boehner have created for America.

October 28, 2011 at 9:44 a.m.
NGAdad said...

answer to Chattvol: when you cheer for the Tide, stupid. Whereas Obama has cozied up to policies that we in the base disapprove of, he has no support in governing from the DO NOTHING wing of our politics. Even with a majority there were 'sold out' centrist Dems that are traitors to the common man, frankly. Many of us think he is weak for even trying to work with them, but under our system he must. So, cry and moan when we don't lynch our President... Over many years D.C. made the mess, the megarich still feed on our bones, while you blame the poor. Sad little world vision you have...

October 28, 2011 at 10:08 a.m.
CarolinaGal said...

A few questions: 1. What would have happened to the people who deposited their money in these banks? 2. If you hate bailouts that much, please don't put your savings in an institution that has that little FDIC sticker in the window. Do you know what that means and what people expect when they see it? 3. Why did the banks need a bailout? Could it be the government forced them to lend money to people who wouldn't pay back their loans? And how does being a student who doesn't want to pay back his education loan contribute to the problem? 4. Is having a country run by the Soros crowd and its peers in the unions better? Aren't you using arguments that resemble those the communists have used time and again? 5. Isn't it a certain arrogance that tells you to presume you speak for 99% of the country?

October 28, 2011 at 10:22 a.m.
NGAdad said...

SCgirl... Aren't you folks the ones who, along with Palin(Alaska) and Perry(Texas),are wanting to break off from the Union? Please, please go right ahead. Set up your religious Kingdoms and expel everyone who does not look and bow just the way you want them to. No unions, no food stamps, no birth control and no freedom... NO THANKS is what the rest of us say!!

October 28, 2011 at 10:37 a.m.
nucanuck said...

These comments reflect the fact that most Americans have only a superficial concept of the political and economic shifts over the past thirty years that have shifted wealth, added massive debt, and drained our hopes for our country and ourselves.

Today we have peaceful protests, if ignored, tomorrow we will have pitchforks.

October 28, 2011 at 10:44 a.m.
acerigger said...

House Republicans took the government to the brink of shutdown last spring by demanding across-the-board budget cuts to many vital programs. Instead of focusing on job creation, as Americans wanted them to, the GOP turned its attention to slashing funds for programs that funded assistance for women and children, local law enforcement, the social safety net, environmental protections, and many other programs they deemed as either too expensive or unnecessary. Worse, when challenged on why they hadn’t made the effort to tackle high unemployment, Republicans insisted that their slash-and-burn budget cuts were meant to create jobs.

Not all of those cuts made it through, but the GOP succeeded in passing massive spending reductions as part of a continuing resolution that kept the government operating. According to a new report from the Center for American Progress’ Scott Lilly, those cuts didn’t result in the job creating boon Republicans insisted would follow. Instead, it has done just the opposite, as those cuts will result in the destruction of roughly 370,000 jobs.

So now,Republicans,we know where the jobs are,down the tubes! Thanx.

October 28, 2011 at 10:48 a.m.
mtngrl said...

There is a big difference between simply accepting donations (which every politician has to do in order to get anywhere nowdays) and engaging in "pay to play" with those donations.

Here is one good example that President Obama is not caving to the wishes of the doners, and against the wishes of republicans to continue their pay to play tactics:

http://www.politicususa.com/en/obama-citizens-united

October 28, 2011 at 11:59 a.m.
hambone said...

How many more $200,000 fund raisers will it take so Chuckie doesn't have to spend his own money to loose his re-election?

October 28, 2011 at 3:47 p.m.
tipper said...

Fleischmann is desparate for campaign funds as are many freshmen House members supported by the tea party. Bring Boehner in for $1500 photo ops with wealthy conservative supporters shows that desparation. I was actually surprised that Chuck didn't get more that $200,000-plus. I think Fleischmann's quirky style of elitist representation and "leasdership" is catching up with him. Not even a special blessing from the Pope will save his political seat.

As for the Occupy protestors, they are only voicing what many of us really believe but are afraid to publically express.

October 28, 2011 at 4:53 p.m.
fedup350 said...

To paying attention, jones, chattanoogavol and carolinagorl: all of you are exacly right in what you say.

To ngdad: your arrogance and blind mindless following to the liberal/socialist/communist cause reminds me of the "re-education" camps in communist countries. You are a closed minded fanatic who will consider no opinion except what he is fed by the unions and liberal elite. Open your eyes and think for yourself and you can see the arrogance,hatred and hypocracy in your posts. You and your kind are rabid and fanactical zombies.

October 29, 2011 at 9 a.m.
lanaland said...

I wish I could have been at the protest. The mind-numbing level of extraction of American wealth that Boehner and Fleishmann are orchestrating for corporations is killing our nation, not just presenting some of you a way to feel superior to liberals, protesters, blacks and other folks, whom are actually in the same boat with you. We're all in the same boat these elected traitors are sinking as they hand out life boats only to the folks in the boys club. Boehner is just another elected poodle of the corporate machine that is set up to extract our wealth through our government. Wake up, people, you're being sold out by your political prostitutes. And if you're defending any of the elected traitors who are selling us out to Wall Street and the corporations, raising our debt, subsidizing cheap food, bailing out thieves, then you, not us, deserve to be to pay taxes for that kind of treachery. I personally want our politicians on both sides of the aisle to stop piling on subsidies, bailouts, tax exemptions and other corporate welfare for their crony companies, and to reset our government back to protecting all of our chances at the American dream. Instead they're rigging our government so that only some people can have the American dream. The political boys club is setting the political playing field up not as forum of information for all Americans, a career ladder, a way to excel, but as a competition, so that we think they'll let one group succeed, if we help them take the wealth from the liberals, blacks, Hispanics, gays and any other labellable folks who question their authority. Yes, they want us to put a snipers symbol on each others' foreheads. Listen closely, they want you to think they'll actually let you in their boys club of wealth and prominence if you just support them and their namecalling and ring of theft. Only think about your motives. Some of you want to support them by taking the wealth from others. You may even think you're already in their exclusive club, throwing your insulting labels around on us. Think again. They boys club is taking all our wealth, shifting the finite resources in our country to the fat cats. Boehner and Fleishmann are cheap labor conservatives making laws that allow big companies to take jobs and wealth overseas, while gouging us here in the states. And if you feel like you're one of the lucky ones, and Boehner is your bud, looking out for you, think again. Consider how he's letting America be treated like a 3rd world nation, with big companies gouging us, spilling oil in our Gulf, taking jobs overseas, offshoring profits, poisoning our water, cheapening our food quality, letting bankers cause the housing bubble then profit from our loss, widening the income gap so that we're just a little more desperate, and will work for less, give up our social security net, and accept their promises over real, observable progress!

October 29, 2011 at 10:14 a.m.
fedup350 said...

To lanaland: no where in your long tirade did you ever critize the ones responsible for the things you are denouncing, namely obana and his party. You have absolutely no credibility at all. The democrats have just as many fund raisers as the republicans. You are not for change. You are only using this to push a liberal agenda. You and ngadad have the arrogance to claim to speak for 'us'. You don't speak for me or for the majority of the posters here from what I read. Then you have the audacity to bring up race and infer that anyone who disagrees with you doesn't like black peple. Nope ypu have no crdinity at all.

October 29, 2011 at 11:21 a.m.
dompenn2010 said...

To fedup350: What?

October 29, 2011 at 4:07 p.m.
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