Weston Wamp criticizes opponent Chuck Fleischmann on 'special interest contributions'

Weston Wamp criticizes opponent Chuck Fleischmann on 'special interest contributions'

February 18th, 2014 by Louie Brogdon in Local - Breaking News

Weston Wamp and Chuck Fleischmann

The race for Tennessee's 3rd Congressional District seat is heating up early.

Challenger Weston Wamp on Tuesday criticized incumbent Rep. Chuck Fleischmann's campaign saying Fleischmann relied too heavily on money from special interest groups and political allies from outside the district.

In a press release, Wamp called on Fleischmann to cap what the challenger called outside money at 50 percent of his total.

Wamp alleges that of the $196,574 Fleischmann raised in the fourth quarter of 2013, $94,000 of it came from special interest groups and $38,000 came from outside donors.

In fact, in all of 2013, Fleischmann raised $592,606 and $240,375 came from committees.

In response, a Fleischmann spokeman said Wamp is using an old accusation -- and one that he himself doesn't adhere to.

"This comes as no surprise to anyone; it is the same tired attack Weston used in his failed 2012 campaign -- while accepting PAC money himself," the Fleischmann spokesman said in an emailed statement.

Fleischmann called Wamp's attack hypocritical, because Wamp's father, former congressman Zach Wamp, received PAC money during his tenure.

During the 2012 campaign, Weston Wamp raised the same issue, when reports showed 40 percent of Fleischmann's then-$771,119 overall war chest came from PACS. And the Fleischmann camp criticized Weston Wamp for accepting a 5,000 donation from his father's gubernatorial campaign.

Campaign disclosure reports show from October 2011 to December 2012, Weston Wamp raised $667,977 of that $13,500 came from PACs, including Zach Wamp's governor race campaign.

Contact staff writer Louie Brogdon at lbrogdon@timesfreepress.com or at 423-757-6481.