published Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Congressional candidate Weston Wamp points to needed changes in government

Weston Wamp reveals his campaign platform through a roundtable setting to a collection of local business professionals Tuesday at Ambition, located at 800 Market St.
Weston Wamp reveals his campaign platform through a roundtable setting to a collection of local business professionals Tuesday at Ambition, located at 800 Market St.
Photo by Tim Barber.

Weston Wamp says some of the country's biggest problems are its oldest. And Congress needs young, tech-savvy millennials to make government meet private sector standards.

Wamp is seeking to beat incumbent U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann in the August Republican primary for Tennessee's 3rd Congressional District.

The Veterans Affairs hospital system needs an overhaul, Social Security needs a smart phone app and the income tax needs to be replaced, Wamp said Tuesday at a roundtable with 13 Chattanooga allies and entrepreneurs.

Wamp called on the expertise of locals such as Paul Cummings, CEO of online training startup Woople; Travis Truett, CEO of Scenic City-based Ambition; his fellow Lamp Post Group partner, Jack Studer; and others.

"This is the type of group that I'm going to lean on when I come back to Chattanooga and we start making policy," Wamp said.

Not unlike in a typical business meeting, Wamp tossed his "lofty goals" to the group to hear what members thought.

For starters, Wamp said the health care system for America's veterans needs flexibility. Too many Tennessee veterans have to drive for hours to VA hospitals for simple medical treatment.

"There's no reason a veteran from Athens, Tenn., should have to drive through Chattanooga to get to Murfreesboro, when Erlanger wants the business," Wamp said.

Instead, Wamp said veterans should get vouchers or reimbursements for their medical needs, and they should be able to see any doctor they wish.

He also said residents should be able to keep closer track of their Social Security contributions, ideally from a smart phone.

Finally, Wamp says it's high time to ditch the "production tax" and move to a consumption tax. He says the well-known Fair Tax might be the best way to do that -- but he's open to suggestions.

The Fleischmann campaign declined to comment on Wamp's platform announcement.

Democrat Mary M. Headrick, a physician, and independent candidate Cassandra Mitchell are hoping to face the GOP pick in November.

Contact staff writer Louie Brogdon at lbrog or at 423-757-6481.

about Louie Brogdon...

Louie Brogdon began reporting with the Chattanooga Times Free Press in February 2013. Before he came to the Scenic City, Louie lived on St. Simons Island, Ga. and covered crime, courts, environment and government at the Brunswick News, a 17,000-circulation daily on the Georgia coast. While there, he was awarded for investigative reporting on police discipline and other law enforcement issues by the Georgia Press Association. For the Times Free Press, Louie covers Hamilton County ...

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