Political Notebook: Smith misses history question

Political Notebook: Smith misses history question

July 25th, 2009 by Adam Crisp and Matt Wilson in News

Robin Smith, the former head of the Tennessee Republican Party who is running for Congress, may know a thing or two about politics, but her U.S. history knowledge could be called into question.

"I'm not an attorney, and I really don't want to be one," Mrs. Smith said during a question-and-answer period at last week's Hamilton County Pachyderm Club meeting. "Guess what? There weren't any attorneys that wrote the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution either."

She was wrong.

Fifteen signers of the U.S. Constitution were lawyers, and 30 of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence were attorneys. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were lawyers.

Mrs. Smith is hoping to nab the 3rd District congressional seat being vacated by Rep. Wamp. Running against her in the GOP race are Bradley County Sheriff Tim Gobble; Chattanooga attorney Chuck Fleischmann; Chattanooga engineer Tommy Crangle; Mark Devol, of Andersonville; Knoxville-area engineer Greg Goodwin; and Cleveland businessman Art Rhodes.

On the Democratic side, former state Commerce and Insurance Commissioner Paula Flowers and Chattanooga systems analyst Brent Benedict are seeking the seat.

campaign teams

Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam and U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn., both candidates for Tennessee governor in next year's election, announced this week that they're adding to their campaign staffs.

In a news release, Mr. Haslam's campaign said they were adding Maryville, Tenn., native Mark Cate as campaign manager. Jeremy Harrell, who had been serving as campaign coordinator, will become deputy campaign manager and political coordinator.

Meanwhile, Rep. Wamp announced that Mandy Runnels, former finance director for the Tennessee Republican Party, will be his campaign's finance director.

His campaign also announced the membership of his statewide finance team. Among the names listed in the announcement were Chattanooga's Corky Coker, Tom Decosimo and Zan Guerry.

Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville, and Shelby County District Attorney Bill Gibbons also are seeking the GOP nomination in the governor's race.

On the Democratic side, former state Rep. Kim McMillan, D-Clarksville; Nashville businessman Ward Cammack; state Sen. Roy Herron, D-Dresden, and Mike McWherter are seeking the nomination.

georgia SENATORS speak out on f-22

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., made their feelings known this week about the Senate's vote Tuesday to cease funding for production of the F-22 fighter jet.

"I'm extremely disappointed the Senate did not recognize how essential the continued production of this aircraft is to our national security as well as to the many local economies and thousands of workers that will be devastated as a result of these cuts," Sen. Isakson said in a statement.

The F-22 jets are assembled in Marietta, Ga.

Sen. Chambliss said, "We will continue to pursue the potential for foreign military sales of a scaled-down version of the F-22 if interest persists from our strong allies."

tennessee web site No. 1

The Tennessee General Assembly's Web site was ranked No. 1 in the country this week by the National Conference of State Legislatures, a news release from the conference announced.

The release states that the site "stood out for its ease of navigation, depth of content and openness, and availability of information to the public."

The legislative Web site is available at www.capitol.tn.gov.

twitter updates

Twitter is a social network many politicians use to send updates to supporters. Here's what some local and state officials and candidates were saying this week.

* Mrs. Smith, Monday: "Thanks to all @ Pachyderm, follow up email mgs. Fear of the unchecked elitism & shift to socialism is very consistent. #tcot I hear you."

* State Sen. Andy Berke, D-Chattanooga, Tuesday: "listened to the president talk about health care reform and then went to see the doctor."

* U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal, R-Ga., GOP candidate for governor, Tuesday: "The doctor-patient relationship should be protected from government bureaucrats. Unfortunately, congressional Democrats think otherwise."

* Chip Forrester, Tennessee Democratic Party chairman, Wednesday: "Just thrilled that President Bill Clinton is keynoting Jackson Day Aug 29. What a coup for the Party. Lot's to do to make it a success."