published Saturday, July 27th, 2013

Rep. Chuck Fleischmann's postcard runs afoul of spelling standards

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The author of a pretend postcard intended as an economics lesson for President Barack Obama could perhaps have benefited from more rigorous study in the fine art of spelling.

Rep. Chuck Fleischmann's welcome message to the leader of the free world took Obama to task for policies that Fleischmann's called "burdensome" to Chattanooga-area businesses.

The congressman praised Tennessee's pro-growth, right-to-work policies and criticized the increasingly unpopular health care reform that Republicans call Obamacare.

His missive also added two new verbs to the English lexicon, while inventing an adjective and misspelling the name of one of the original 13 colonies.

"We appreciate that you are in town celebrting [sic] the businesses that have come to Tennessee thanks to our low regulation, low taxes and right-to-work policies," Fleischmann wrote in his faux postcard. "While here, I invite you to visist [sic] a few historial [sic], natural attractions like Ruby Falls, a true Chattanooga treasure."

The card was addressed to the president at "1600 Pensylvannia [sic] Avenue."

Tennessee has attracted thousands of jobs during the Great Recession through a combination of business-friendly policies and strong tax incentives, but the state's education system consistently ranks near the bottom of the pack.

Fewer than half of Hamilton County students in grades 3 through 8 can read at their grade level, according to standardized test results.

Tyler Threadgill, Fleischmann's communications director, fell on his pencil and assumed blame for the blunder.

"I literally sent out the wrong attachment," Threadgill said.

Threadgill later sent out a corrected version of the faux postcard.

Contact staff writer Ellis Smith at esmith@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6315.

about Ellis Smith...

Ellis Smith joined the Chattanooga Times Free Press in January 2010 as a business reporter. His beat includes the flooring industry, Chattem, Unum, Krystal, the automobile market, real estate and technology. Ellis is from Marietta, Ga., and has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication at the University of West Georgia. He previously worked at UTV-13 News, Carrollton, Ga., as a producer; at the The West Georgian, Carrollton, Ga., as editor; and at the Times-Georgian, Carrollton, ...

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