Super PAC's pro-Weston Wamp ads exceed $300,000

Super PAC's pro-Weston Wamp ads exceed $300,000

July 30th, 2014 by Louie Brogdon in Local Regional News

Weston Wamp

Weston Wamp

Photo by Erin O. Smith /Times Free Press.

After a super PAC supporting Tennessee 3rd Congressional District candidate Weston Wamp dropped an additional $193,000 on a campaign ad this week, his rival's camp is again calling on Wamp to denounce the political action committee.

The Character Counts PAC, a Fairfax, Va.-based group, on Monday reported spending $171,967 with Herd Media for commercials in the Chattanooga and Knoxville television markets.

It also paid Washington D.C.-based JDA Frontline $20,825 for producing the ad. JDA's principals include Kevin Madden, a senior adviser to Republican Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign.

That brings the PAC's spending up to $304,000 this election cycle -- all focused on the 3rd District race. Earlier this month, Character Counts spent $93,252 on a television buy and another $18,325 for ad production.

All that money came from an independent expenditure made to the political committee by Wamp's boss in Chattanooga, Lamp Post Group founder Allan Davis.

Davis said Tuesday he did not want to comment on the ad, because he had no input in its production.

U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann's campaign called Wamp a hypocrite over the PAC spending.

Wamp has long criticized Fleischmann for accepting PAC money as campaign contributions. Nearly half of the Ooltewah Republican's money comes from political action committees.

Conner Ingram, a spokesman for Fleischmann's campaign, said Tuesday that Wamp should denounce the Character Counts ads.

"It's typical Weston hypocrisy. He has time and time again complained that super PACs are a danger to our democracy, but he's perfectly OK with his business partner spending $300,000 trying to buy the election," Ingram said.

But Marshall Brock, Wamp's campaign manager, said Fleischmann's camp is using smoke and mirrors.

The Fleischmann camp drew criticism last week over negative campaign ads and a flier bearing a digitally altered photo showing Wamp burning a passport. The mailer included a partial quote from Wamp attempting to show he was in favor of amnesty for undocumented immigrants.

Brock said Tuesday the ads were misleading.

"Hypocrisy is the incumbent congressman claiming that he cares about the constituents of this district while intentionally deceiving them with his incredibly negative campaign," Brock said.

Staff writer Andy Sher contributed to this report.

Contact staff writer Louie Brogdon at or at 423-757-6481.