published Thursday, September 1st, 2011

Group presses Chuck Fleischmann on voting record

by Cliff Hightower


U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann will hold four town hall meetings in Hamilton County today. Those meetings will be at:

* 8:30 a.m.: Collegedale City Hall

* 11 a.m.: Heritage House at Heritage Park

* 1:30 p.m.: John A. Patten Recreation Center

* 4 p.m.: Electric Power Board community room

Source: Rep. Chuck Fleischmann

Members of Chattanooga Organized for Action plan to attend three of U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann's town hall meetings today, saying they want answers about the congressman's stance on new jobs.

Chris Brooks, organizer for Chattanooga Organized for Action, the group behind the recall effort on Mayor Ron Littlefield, said four volunteers plan to attend meetings being held at Heritage Park, the John A. Patten Recreation Center and the Electric Power Board community room.

"We're going to be pushing for Chuck to answer his voting record on jobs," Brooks said.

The town hall meetings come a week after Chattanooga Organized for Action held a demonstration in front of the Chattanooga Convention Center, where Fleischmann was attending a speech by Gov. Bill Haslam, then marched to Fleischmann's local office, demanding answers on job creation efforts by the freshman congressman.

Jordan Powell, Fleischmann's spokesman, said Wednesday everyone is welcome to attend the events and having a "productive, respectful conversation about the issues."

But Powell also said he thinks Chattanooga Organized for Action and the Service Employees International Union, which helped facilitate last week's demonstration, are not showing the full story about the congressman's votes.

"This pro-union group simply has their facts wrong about Chuck's voting record," he said.

Brooks and other members of Chattanooga Organized for Action said this week and last that Fleischmann's voting history reflects taking sides with U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., that would have overhauled Medicare. They say such a move could have cost tens of thousands of jobs in Tennessee.

But Powell said the congressman has supported free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama, co-sponsored tort reform and worked for "pro-growth, pro-business policies."

"He will continue to fight for America's small businessmen and women and their right-to-work values by getting the federal government out of the way," Powell said.

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chrisbrooks said...

At a time when Chattanooga’s working families need all the support that genuine political leadership could bring, its becoming increasingly clear that we cannot count on U.S. Representative Chuck Fleischmann to stand up for us and deliver the jobs and relief that our working families so desperately need.

But an even worse nightmare is setting in for the everyday people of Chattanooga who are struggling to just get by. Not only is Chucky refusing to fight for them, he is actively working to destroy their hopes for a better future.

Unlike nightmares, though, there’s no waking up from this dream. This time, it’s real. A careful reading of the facts shows the truth.

Rep. Chuck Fleischmann voted NO when it came time to raise the debt ceiling with a bill that had bi-partisan support. He willingly played a political game of chicken that terrified many Americans, many of whom are working families fearing for their livelihoods and retirements. Chucky had sided with Big Business and Wall Street banksters at the crucial moments and on the votes that matter. Chucky’s voting records has shown him for who he really is: a corporatist on the legislative war path to destroy Tennessee’s working families.

The everyday people of Chattanooga are struggling to make ends meet. While many of us are at risk of being laid off and our homes foreclosed on, Chuck Fleischmann is in Washington, D.C. giving away our jobs and doing his best to make sure that services like Medicare and Medicaid become privatized bags of cash for corporate cronies, passing increased costs to vulnerable seniors and families.

The impact of his irresponsible and reckless decisions in Congress not only will be felt in the downgrade of the S&P’s rating of U.S. credit, but it could also deal a huge blow to Tennesseans to the tune of $4.5 billion of budget cuts to essential services and agencies across the state, including billions of dollars spent right here in Chattanooga.

Chucky’s record could lead to massive cuts in education, at a time when our kids are having to learn in schools that are grossly underfunded. Tennessee’s education spending is amongst the worst in the nation. As a result of Chucky’s failed leadership, over a hundred million dollars could be cut from the Department of Children’s Services, the agency that serves our local communities by providing adoption services and enforcing child safety laws ensuring that children aren’t abused or neglected. 

These devastating cuts are a direct result of Chuck Fleischmann’s vote against the debt ceiling increase. Voters need to be educated about how their some of their elected representatives are destroying their communities. That is why COA is proud to number among a growing chorus of grassroots voices springing up across Tennessee (Sparta, Nashville, Chattanooga) that are standing up and speaking out against the attacks on our communities.

September 1, 2011 at 1:01 a.m.
chrisbrooks said...

Unfortunately, the nightmare gets worse.

The Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration has released a budget on Wednesday that could be implemented if the State of Tennessee’s credit rating is downgraded due to the downgrading of the United States’ rating. This is a direct results of Chucky’s votes on the debt ceiling.

Here’s the breakdown:

Tennessee is currently receiving around 40 percent of its funding from the U.S. Government, if that funding is reduced 10 percent to 30 percent total, the state would be forced to undergo $4.5 billion in budget cuts and would have to eliminate 5,132 jobs.  If this happens, TennCare would be hit with cuts of up to $2.2 billion, and would be forced to eliminate a number of jobs, the scope of which is currently unknown. TennCare provides Medicaid to the citizens of Tennessee and provides affordable health care to previously uninsured individuals.  The Department of Health and Human Services gets $860 million in reductions, and would lose 1,595 jobs. They provide a broad scope of services, including disability services, child care services, and adult protective services, among many other things.  The Department of Education would lose $276 million in funding, making it difficult for them to provide new textbooks or the quality teachers that our kids need.   Add on the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, which would take a blow of about $229 million in budget cuts. They provide family support and support agencies and organizations that help those living with developmental disabilities and their families.  Finishing the cuts, the Department of Children’s Services; the agency would lose over $112 million. They provide foster care and ensure child safety. Sources: Chattanooga Times Free Press Debt-deal cutbacks could force 5,000 more layoffs in Tennessee Tennessee releases “purely hypothetical” budget plan to prepare for cuts in federal funding

The nightmare of our dying economy has gone on long enough and with Chucky as our US Representative, it doesn’t look like that nightmare will end. Chucky’s voting record certainly isn’t child’s play and with his recklessness our state could lose over 5,000 jobs and billions of dollars in cuts to services that help Chattanooga’s working families make ends meet.

Its time for the nightmare to end. If you’d like to let Chucky know what you think, here’s how to do it! Below is the contact information for his office and the dates for the town hall meetings he’s holding in Chattanooga. Chucky’s Chattanooga town hall meetings will take place Thursday, September 1st. 

Chattanooga Office

900 Georgia Avenue, Suite 126 Chattanooga, TN 37402 Phone: (423) 756-2342 Fax: (423) 756-6613

September 1, 2011 at 1:02 a.m.
328Kwebsite said...

Representative Fleischmann is a Representative because he is rich. He doesn't have an opinion on public policy or large issues. By his own account, he didn't know how to vote on the debt ceiling.

This is what we get when we don't put intelligent people in office.

September 1, 2011 at 5 a.m.
Facts said...

As a very embarrassed individual who voted for Chuck Flieschmann, I can promise you he'll be very carefullly handled and the real Congressman Chip Saltsman will be in complete control. I'd love to see some of the folks I saw at Chuck's events defend this guy now. He should've never been elected.

September 1, 2011 at 10:14 a.m.
noapathy said...

He is also pro-patriot act and will not respond to my emails asking him why. He's more of the same as I thought he would be.

September 1, 2011 at 1:29 p.m.
harrystatel said...

I was invited to attend a local Chuck Town Hall meeting. I told the person I was for repealing the Patriot Act, stopping the War on Drugs, bringing home the military from all foreign wars, and eliminating all corporate welfare, he suddenly didn't seem that interested in my attendance.

Go figure.

September 1, 2011 at 3:39 p.m.
codymaxwell said...

he has a funny haircut, too

September 1, 2011 at 10:59 p.m.
backtime said...

Certainly "forward" looking isn't it?

September 1, 2011 at 11:13 p.m.
frequency13 said...

It's amazing how closely Hightower resembles a ventriloquist doll, giving Fleischmann's spokesman nearly half of his copy space.

September 2, 2011 at 5:20 p.m.
ejohnson017 said...

Saltsman is in charge it appears

September 4, 2011 at 6:43 p.m.
nurseinparis said...

Wamp is not the answer. I will take Saltsman over Wamp.

October 25, 2011 at 1:45 p.m.
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