U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, challenger Eric Stewart start attacking each other

U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, challenger Eric Stewart start attacking each other

April 16th, 2012 by Andy Sher in Local - Breaking News

Tennessee Congressman Scott DesJarlais

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

Tennessee state senator Eric Stewart

Photo by Patrick Smith/Times Free Press.

NASHVILLE - Now that their latest financial disclosures are filed, U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., and his Democratic challenger, state Sen. Eric Stewart, are turning their attention to more important things.

Attacking each other.

DesJarlais's campaign today issued a release that charged Stewart "gets 'F' grade in fiscal responsibility." The release cites a 2010 state Registry of Election Finance report that, among other things, took Stewart to task for failing to report $1,562.62 in contributions from individuals or groups as well as $12,330.73 in contributions he made to his 2008 Senate campaign.

"While liberal Democrat Eric Stewart is trying to mislead voters into thinking he is a deficit hawk, reality clearly shows that he is irresponsible and sloppy when he manages even small budgets under his direct control," said DesJarlais campaign manager Brandon Lewis in a news release.

Stewart in a statement acknowledged his 2008 state Senate campaign "made some mistakes. I took responsibility for them," worked with state officials and "made the appropriate corrections."

He then fired back, accusing DesJarlais of being "out of touch with his constituents. I guess you could say it's another day and another hypocrisy from Congressman DesJarlais."

"At a time when folks are still struggling to get back on their feet and small businesses are worried about how they are going to make payroll, DesJarlais is trying to distract voters from recent news that he spent over $250,000 of taxpayer money to help his re-election campaign, that he took political contributions in return for letters of support for federal funding, that he voted to raise taxes on hard working Tennesseans on average of $750 per family and that he voted to end Medicare as we know it."

For complete details, see tomorrow's Times Free Press.