NASHVILLE - Tennessee Conservative Union Chairman Lloyd Daugherty today called on U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., to resign from Congress, saying the physician's past actions reach "a level of hypocrisy that is simply untenable."
"He has repudiated the beliefs of the Fourth Congressional District, rejected the long held core values of the state of Tennessee, shamed the Republican Party and accomplished something incredibly difficult. He has embarrassed the United States Congress," Daugherty said in a statement.
Daugherty listed recent revelations about DesJarlais pressing one patient he'd been involved with romantically to seek an abortion in 2000. Last week, a second patient told the Times Free Press that she dated DesJarlais in 2000 and he prescribed drugs for her and they used marijuana together.
DesJarlais' campaign manager Brandon Lewis charged that Daugherty "is neither genuinely conservative or Republican and routinely supports liberal democrats like Lincoln Davis and Eric Stewart in an effort to drive a wedge among conservative groups for his liberal puppet masters."
Stewart, a Democrat, faces DesJarlais in the 4th Congressional District contest. DesJarlais defeated then-U.S. Rep. Davis two years ago.
Lewis said DesJarlais "has a strong conservative voting record in support of reducing deficits, decreasing taxes, and creating jobs that is undeniable - that's why liberals are trying their best to make this race about a 14 year old divorce."
Daugherty said he is not supporting Stewart and noted a number of conservatives are "angry" at DesJarlais over the incidents, which occurred while he was in the midst of a lengthy, bitterly contested divorce with his then-wife, Susan DesJarlais.
"This would have happened whether it's an election year or not," Daugherty said. "If he [DesJarlais] wins re-election, we're just going to continue working on this. It doesn't go away."