WKU Public Radio News Staff
Mon October 1, 2012
Tennessee Democrats are Getting Aggressive in Legislative Races
Faced with the possibility of a Republican super majority in both chambers of the Tennessee General Assembly, Democratic candidates are aggressively attacking their opponents in legislative races across the state.
The Knoxville News Sentinel reports in House District 50, state Democratic Chairman Chip Forrester has asked state officials to remove Charles Williamson's name from the ballot after the Republican candidate listed a renovated barn as his address. City codes officials later said the barn has no occupancy permit, and Williamson acknowledged he does not live there.
In Sumner County, Democrat Steven Glaser has criticized the Republican nominee, Assistant District Attorney William Lamberth, after the district attorney's office reduced the charges for a man accused of killing his wife. The plea bargain came after the man's father and lawyer contributed to Lamberth's campaign. Lamberth has said he had nothing to do with the case.
Meanwhile Glaser faces $158,000 in Internal Revenue Service liens for past due taxes. He has said he is working to pay them.
In another case of unpaid taxes, Lauri Day, the Republican challenger to Democratic state Rep. John Tidwell of New Johnsonville, has a $46,000 lien against her McEwen home. Day also says she is working to pay off the taxes, but Tidwell has said the liens should disqualify her from being in charge of the public's money.
Republican Rep. Andy Holt of Dresden was criticized by the Democratic Party for missing the opening days of the 2012 legislative session to attend a Farm Bureau convention in Hawaii.
In West Tennessee, Democrat Brad Thompson is publicizing court documents that show his Republican opponent, John Stevens, ripped up a dying woman's will as she lay unconscious in a hospital room. Stevens, an attorney, says he was following the woman's wishes. A lawsuit over the will was settled out of court.
In Middle Tennessee's District 22, the Democratic Party sent out a mailing stating that a Clarksville medical center was the lowest-ranked hospital in the state under the management of Republican Mark Green, who is challenging Democratic Sen. Tim Barnes.
The party also claims Green directed doctors to "cherry pick" patients to boost profits.
State Republican Chairman Chris Devaney said the statistics were outdated or incorrect.
Meanwhile, in the Crossville area, the Republican Party suggested that Flo Matheson, the Democratic nominee opposing Republican Rep. Cameron Sexton, supports a state income tax. Matheson has said her remarks addressed the federal income tax and an audio recording distributed by the GOP was edited.