published Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

Rep. Chuck Fleischmann targets regulations in "Facebook town hall" online

by Chris Carroll
U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn.
U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn.
Photo by Alex Washburn /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann used an eight-minute "Facebook town hall" video to rail against regulations and President Barack Obama, reinforcing Republican talking points along the way.

"Unfortunately, the president's policies have been a failure. ... He believes in the public sector; I believe in the private sector," Fleischmann said as a link to his oil-and-gas industry-backed jobs plan, "Less Government, More Jobs," scrolled across the screen.

Last week, Fleischmann's 1,642 Facebook friends were asked to submit policy queries online. Leslie Bell, whose online profile says she's from Signal Mountain, posed one of about 10 questions the Chattanooga congressman received: "What regulations should we cut?"

After reading her question off a laptop, Fleischmann looked into the camera and began talking about a past repeal of a particular section of Obama's health care reform bill.

He did not explain the section to viewers, only calling it the "1099 repeal, which was successful." Under the section, which was included as a revenue-boosting measure within the health care reform bill, companies would have had to report more transactions to the Internal Revenue Service.

"It was an undue burden on small businesses," Fleischmann said. "We got rid of that. It was going to make businesses have to comply with huge, huge costs. Small businesses and midsize businesses. We got rid of that, and that was a bad regulation, and it's gone."

Fleischmann did not propose any new regulations he would like to abolish, instead listing other past efforts at deregulation.

Should Chuck Fleischmann ever run for president?

Several questions were left unanswered:

• Will you endorse Herman Cain?

• Where do you stand on the legalization and regulation of online poker?

• Will you run for president?

• Now that [Osama] Bin Laden has been killed, what do you see as our military goals in Afghanistan and how do they benefit the U.S.?

A number of Fleischmann's Facebook friends thanked the congressman for connecting with them online.

"Chuck, thank you for sharing and standing with conservative values while seeking improved solutions," wrote Ralph Dudley.

Others weren't so pleased.

"Sounds like another staged event," wrote George Cudabac.

Contact staff writer Chris Carroll at or 423-757-6610.

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stuartfjames said...

“Unfortunately, the president's policies have been a failure… He believes in the public sector: I believe the private sector.” Representative Chuck Fleischmann, Republican Tennessee.

Unfortunately for Mr. Fleischmann he is off the mark again. Here are five reasons why:

  1. This is the same broken republican message we have heard since Reagan. Considering the republican record voters cannot take heart in the political statement that any elected official believes in the private sector. Actions speak louder than words.

  2. Some of our greatest moments as a republic have been when the private sector cooperates with the public sector to do great things. Government serves a valuable service when limited, controlled, and properly managed. Take for example our highway system; it is one of the greatest in the world. We employ private contractors to build public roads.

  3. Fleischmann is towing the party line, doing what the Speaker wants him to do. He has to thank the speaker for the $200,000 the Speaker raised for his campaign. Fleischmann needs to step away from the shadow of the speaker and start coming up with his own, original, ideas.

  4. The issue is not the public sector; the issue is not the President. The President’s policies are not the true failure; the Congress’s policies are a true failure due to gridlock and partisan divide. Congress is at its lowest approval in American history. What is Fleischmann going to do about it? Mr. Fleischmann, just take a look at the abject failure of the "Super Committee."

  5. Therefore, nothing is getting done because Congress will not act in a meaningful manner due to the “its my way or the highway mentality.” The greatest moments in politics are when conservatives, liberals and moderates join together to reach common ground for the public good. It is the responsibility of every elected official to know when to stand your ground and to know when to compromise. Washington lacks this judgment, from both sides of the aisle.

November 22, 2011 at 8:48 a.m.
Facts said...

Eight minutes of scripted puppetry. Yeah. We have ourselves one doozy of a Congressman with an arrogant kid in the3rd District race claiming he's the next-best-thing to sliced bread. Truly embarrassing.

November 22, 2011 at 11:23 a.m.
tipper said...

Of course Fleischmann believes in the private sector, except when the public sector bails out the private sector--capitalism for the public, socialism for corporations, insurance companies, financial firms and the auto industry. The private sector is what keeps Fleischmann and others in Congress in business with campaign funds and influence. The private sector supports Fleischmann, but after the "Super Committee" debacle, it will be the public sector that will turn Fleischmann out.

November 22, 2011 at 5:25 p.m.
congressman said...
November 22, 2011 at 7:59 p.m.
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