If Weston Wamp is on paid leave — as one of the principals at his employer says — it could be a campaign contribution and probably a heap of trouble. If he is working remotely — as he himself and another partner claim — then he's golden.
On July 3, after announcing a $300,000 personal contribution to the Character Counts PAC to help Wamp's campaign, Lamp Post founder Allan Davis said Wamp had been on paid leave since he hit the campaign trail in January. And when asked Tuesday, Davis again said Wamp was on paid leave.
But Jack Studer, also a Lamp Post partner, said Davis was mistaken.
"We don't have a paid leave status -- he's not in it. If there is one, I want to get in. It sounds like a pretty sweet deal," Studer said. "Allan is obviously one of our founders and does great work here, but he's not a detail guy."
Over at the Scene, there's an explanation for that $9,500 receipt in Carr's last filing: It was interest.
A company owned by right-wing millionaire Andy Miller received a $200,000 loan from Joe Carr's Senate campaign. The company, Life Watch Pharmacy, in turn paid the campaign $9,564.54 in interest on the loan.
Since Miller has already reached the maximum for how much he can give personally, the question is whether this amounts to and end-run around campaign finance limits. Loans from campaigns to corporations are "rare," an election law specialist told the Scene.
There are no prohibitions against campaigns making loans to companies, but according to federal campaign finance regulations, the interest paid by a single-member LLC like Life Watch may be attributed to that member as a contribution.
The LLC is also required to provide documentation that it is eligible to make the contribution. There is none in either the amended filing or in a response from the campaign to the FEC.
Chuck Fleischmann is engaging Weston Wamp in debates, and the two are having lots of fights about the nature of Washington and the utility of gridlock and whether partisanship is harmful and so forth.
Joe Carr's folks want to make sure the state's media read this story from Breitbart that touts a poll showing Joe Carr closing the gap on Lamar Alexander. The poll — it should be noted in the first paragraph and not the seventh — was sponsored by Tea Party Nation.
TennCare's director says the state isn't as non-compliant on ACA as CMS claims. And if it is, it's partially the feds' fault:
"We must respectfully disagree," Gordon wrote in his letter to Mann.
In addition to his alternately defiant and defensive tone, Gordon submitted the updated plan but sought permission to work with federal officials in resolving several issues.
Earlier, Gordon outlined what he called "five misstatements or mischaracterizations" in Mann's letter.
For example, he noted that Tennessee does indeed have counselors at Department of Human Services offices in all 95 counties to help would-be enrollees steer through paperwork and get enrolled on the federal government's Healthcare.gov website.
As he did in an interview with reporters on Saturday, Gordon blamed federal officials for Tennessee's main problem -- its failure to get a new $35 million computer system designed to process TennCare applications according to new federal rules.
Because of the delay, Tennessee has sent nearly all TennCare applicants to Healthcare.gov.
Federal officials had said Tennessee "repeatedly expressed reluctance" to enact fixes required by the law and demanded officials submit the plan for corrective action by Monday.
But Gordon told reporters over the weekend that the department would rather be late in getting its computer system to go live than to have a system that doesn't work, as other states have done.
And he noted the federal government's own troubled rollout of its Healthcare.gov website and what he complained were evolving standards for the state's website.