Wednesday, June 08, 2005


Update on KnoxGOP event

Cindy, a reader (possibly Cindy Buttry of the Knox County Board of Education and one of my favorite campaign co-workers of all-time?), asked in the comments section about whether or not I was able to attend the KnoxGOP Headquarters grand opening on Monday evening. I was, but not in the capacity that I wished. The apocalyptic weather and a longer-than-expected engagement meant that I was only able to catch the final 15 minutes of the festivities, and things were pretty dead at that time. Cindy reports that RINO Tim Burchett was busy acting as Bob Corker's tour guide around the event. If I was Corker, I think I might pick a bit more careful in picking friends if I want to pretend to be a conservative. Picking Burchett as your rep would be like choosing Hannibal as your guide for a tour of Rome. Whomever runs against Burchett in 2006 (and it might just be this man) will be well-funded, as I have heard some rumblings that many wealthy GOP donors will do anything necessary to oust Burchett.

Come to think of it, maybe that's what Burchett and Corker were doing Monday night - making plans for after August, 2006, when they have nothing else to do.

It was pretty entertaining to watch Hilleary at the event. He sat for more than 25 minutes with the same folks, who were Hilleary supporters even before the event.

I think your thoughts about Burchett are way off base. Burchett pissed off many Republicans across the state (and they should be pissed). However, I think he will win in a landslide if he has an opponent at all. If Sacey Campfield is the opponent, he Burchett wins 2 to 1.

First reason, the district is still predomenantly Republican, but not nearly as Republican as the 6th. It is probably near the 50/50 mark now. Therefore, voting for a Dem. in the Senate won't play as well.

Second reason, Joe Schmo voter in the 7th district who has known the Burchett family in West Knox for a long time doesn't give a rats behind who John Wilder is. That won't be everyone, but it will be enough.

Tim's biggest problem, and could prove to be a HUGE problem and change everything I just said is the local firefighters. Tim's campaigns have featured the firefighters VERY prominently and they are all pissed off now for a variety of reasons. DOH! Its hard to piss off your party and your firemen.
Yawn -

You've hit on Burchett's problem. Despite understating his RINO status and his treachery to GOP efforts, Burchett has made a habit of pissing off those who worked for other campaigns (Hilleary/Alexander in 2002, for example) by going off on his own with campaign workers and refusing to share the wealth or be a team player. I'm not sure what has happened with the firefighters, but Burchett's list of friends is dwindling. BEFORE ANY OF THIS WILDER STUFF STARTED, there was talk of an effort to take Burchett out with a grassroots campaign. The only thing that has changed is that it will be a well-funded grassroots campaign.

Also, I would say the 6th is about 60/40 at worst. And keep underestimating Stacey Campfield. If people underestimate him for a few more election cycles, he'll be Governor Campfield.



I agree with most of your assessment. However, the one thing I don't see is talk of an effort to take him out IN THE DISTRICT. There is lots of talk about taking him out OUTSIDE the district. There are people in the 6th who are angry, but its not as big an issue in the district.

I realy, really believe there is going to be a hard time finding a candidate. Campfield won't do it. He is the hardest working elected official in the state of Tennessee. I have no doubt about that. However, he's not likely to make a run at the Senate at the end of term one.

Campfield is a champion for conservative causes, but he can not come home and say one thing that he did. To most of us, that is ok. However, he will have an opponent campaigning that Stacey is ineffective.
Yawn -

I think we are mostly in agreement on this now. I do know of a few individuals in the 6th that would like to see Burchett defeated in 2006, but for the most part 1) they don't see much help coming their way from outside the district, 2) they don't see Campfield rallying that much support, and 3) they think this is an uphill battle.

Not saying that I agree with them on all of those points, but I thought I would pass along their thoughts.


Yawn forgets this isn't a general election. If Burchett receives a primary opponent--who would be well runded as Rob says, that is trouble for him. Primary voters are a far different breed than a general election voter.

Burchett isn't a fundraising machine. He's become quite the snob and quite the loner. His sneakers and dirty jeans routine were cute when he started out--just as was his being single and energetic. But now he's gotten older--not better.

Burchett is no fool though. He knows he's vulnerable and he feels vulnerable. Evidence: he voted against Pre-K and threw out one pretty good remark to the media--but yet he offered no effort to slow it down, to block it, to amend it. He didn't speak out against it on the floor. In other words, he wants something to sell to the conservative voter without having to do any real work.

Again, he knows he's vulnerable so he knows he'll need money. So this guy who claims to be a champion of conservatism, this Senator who stood up against the income tax, is supporting Corker for philosophy or ideology? No, he's supporting Corker because he needs cash--and how better to get it than to prostitute yourself to Corker and therefore the Haslam and groupies money machine.

Burchett is very beatable. I'm sure polling will show it, and the method is called "a campaign." The question is, will anyone have the guts to run one against him.

In my opinion, Campfield should go for it. I don't think he will, and I definitely wouldn't bet on it. But I think it's a golden opportunity for him, or for anyone else who wants a golden chance at knocking off a Senator who thinks more of his own position than advancing the ideals of the Republican Party.
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