Joe Carr files late financial data in Senate race

Joe Carr files late financial data in Senate race

May 4th, 2014 by Dave Flessner in Local Regional News

Joe Carr

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

Nearly nine months after launching his campaign to try to unseat U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., state Rep. Joe Carr, R-Lascassas, on Friday belatedly filed the personal financial disclosure forms required of all Senate candidates after the Times Free Press asked Carr about the filing.

Carr's campaign manager, Donald Rickard, said the lack of filing "was an oversight on our part and as soon as it was brought to our attention we worked on fixing the error." By not filing the financial disclosure within 30 days of his entry into the Senate campaign last August, Carr could be fined $200 by the secretary of the Senate.

Viveca Novak, communications director for the Center for Responsive Politics, said such filings "are important for voters to see what interests candidates have and where their money comes from" in deciding among those running for Congress.

The U.S. Senate web site shows only a half dozen of the 23 announced candidates for U.S. Senate in Tennessee have yet to file their personal financial disclosure forms, although several still have time to file since they only recently entered the race.

But Carr announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate in August 2013 after he gave up his earlier campaign for the U.S. House seat held by Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn. In that contest last year, Carr also didn't file the required financial disclosure forms.

The disclosure form showed most of Carr's income last year came from his salary and per diem allowances as a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives. Carr listed a salary from the state of $28,321.76.

Carr says in his campaign website that he and his wife, Ginny, own Cedar Snag Farm, a 95-acre farm near Murfreesboro, and he describes himself as a farmer and small businessman.

But the disclosure shows he earned only $2,14.90 last year from cattle sales. In 2013, Carr also worked as a business and marketing consultant for an automotive repair company in Murfreesboro known as TCB, which paid him $19,000 last year.

Carr says he lives on his family farm. But in previous filings with the state Legislature since being elected in 2008, Carr has alternatively said he owns and doesn't own Cedar Snag Farm. Currently, the state Agriculture Department's website listing local farms identifies the owner of Cedar Snag Farm as Bill Jakes, and Carr did not list the farm among his assets.

Rickard said Cedar Snag is the name of his family's farm. Carr could not be reached for comment.

In the disclosure statements that require individuals to list assets within broad ranges, Carr 's assets totaled between $31,000 and $115,000.

Carr's net worth is only a fraction of that held by the man he's trying to defeat. Alexander's 2013 financial disclosure is due to be filed within the next month. But last year, Alexander said his 2012 net worth was between $9.8 million and $15.4 million.

That placed Alexander's wealth right in the middle of the average wealth of the 100 U.S. senators, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Contact Dave Flessner at dflessner@timesfreepress.com or at 757-6340.