Tom Leatherwood May Have Had Better Sundays Than This One...

...but, if so, he probably can't remember them right now. Just as early voting for the August 7th primary starts to ramp up, Gannett's man in Washington reveals the lobbying efforts of Rep. Marsha Blackburn's son-in-law, Paul Ketchel:
Ketchel, who earned a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Tennessee, worked for former Tennessee Sen. Bill Frist from 1998-2001 as technology systems administrator. There he met Blackburn's daughter, Mary Morgan. He then worked in government relations for a pharmaceutical company before striking out on his own as a lobbyist. He lobbied under the name Ketchel & Associates before going to work for the firm now known as American Capitol Group. "I don't feel that I should have to give up my career simply because my wife's mother was elected to public office at a later time," Ketchel said. Blackburn was first elected in 2002 and began serving in 2003. The first lobbying reports mentioning Ketchel appear in May 2003.
SEE ALSO: Truman Bean Sharon Cobb Commercial Appeal endorses Leatherwood Leatherwood campaign ads
Jul 20, 2008 11:16 AM

Watchdog Group Files FEC Complaint On Congressman Blackburn

From Katie Allison Granju:
The Federal Election Commission should conduct a thorough investigation of Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s troubled campaign finances, according to a complaint filed Wednesday with the FEC by a watchdog group. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and Germantown, Tenn., resident Barbara Kaye Ginsburg filed the complaint against the committee and the committee’s treasurer, Tea Hoffman.
UPDATE: Blackburn responds:
"Rep. Blackburn, in holding her campaign to a strict ethical standard, self-initiated a reconciliation of her campaign accounts. The reconciliation confirmed that all funds were properly raised and properly spent. She is confident that FEC review of those records will agree with this assessment. In regards to the merit less complaint filed by the liberal partisan group CREW, Rep. Blackburn is not surprised and unimpressed. This is an election year and conservative women are prime targets for Democrat attack."
SEE ALSO: The CREW presser Roll Call City Paper Jackson Sun Southern Beale
Jun 11, 2008 12:30 PM

Post Politics: 16 April 2008

Marsha Blackburn's Republican challenger, Tom Leatherwood, received a gift yesterday in the form of news that incumbent Blackburn will "voluntarily" revise downward her campaign finance statement due to mistakes made back in 2002, when she switched from running for re-election to the state Senate to running for Congress. Among the unreported expenditures were $18,821 to her daughter and son-in-law Paul and Mary Morgan Ketchel and $3,753 to either her husband Chuck, her son Chad or herself. Blogger Sharon Cobb revels in the news and Mike Byrd calls for the reporting of the bigger picture. On the same day this news is released, Politico profiles Blackburn discussing her preference for the term "congressman" despite her obvious femininity. In non-Marsha news, former Fred Thompson internet guru Sean Hackbarth sees a lot of his old boss in John McCain's new economic program. The deal is done: The Preds have a new lease. State Sen. Jim Kyle opposes a bill that has passed committee in both chambers of the state legislature raising fines for the crime of DUI: "I have heard no outcry that DUI fines are too low. I have heard an outcry that we cannot collect the fines now," said Kyle. A congressional agency estimates that an immigration enforcement bill sponsored by Congressmen Zach Wamp, Lincoln Davis, Jimmy Duncan and Sen. Lamar Alexander will increase federal spending by $23.4 billion over 10 years. Sean Braisted reports that a bill, sponsored by state Senator Joe Haynes, that would provide Tennessee workers with paid sick leave failed to pass through the Commerce Committee. Like a dog with a bone: The TNGOP's communications director continues to chronicle his open-records quest to get his hands on a videotape of the renovations going on at the executive residence. Oak Mill Mayor Tommy Alsup warns citizens of a one-man crime spree in that satellite city. Illegal immigrants file tax returns in Nashville. Low-turnout elections in Murfreesboro see some incumbents turned out. The American Courthouse blog cheers developments in Tennessee that may mean an end to the Judicial Selection Commission that chooses Supreme Court and appellate judges. Metro councilman Jerry Maynard withdraws a bill attempting to make a distinction between adult entertainment venues and "beer" cabarets. Professors at MTSU protest the decision by the Tennessee Board of Regents not to grant honorary degrees to students expelled from Tennessee State University during civil-rights era Freedom Rides. Nashville is mentioned in a Los Angeles Times article on basketball great Magic Johnson's redevelopment investments in Nashville and other cities across the country. Despite current overcrowding in all but two Antioch cluster schools a new elementary school in the cluster will probably not be opened until five years from now. The Tennessee Republican Party will once again be forced to spend time and money getting eugenics advocate James Hart off the Republican ballot in Congressional District 8. Deficit hawk Congressman Jim Cooper continues to take on the issue of earmarks on Capitol Hill. A Metro ballistics examiner retires after allegation surface that his reports contained falsified evidence. A bill lifting automatic jury duty exemptions for the disabled and the elderly advances in the state Senate. The Village Voice profiles famous Knoxville-based blogger Glenn Reynolds. Nashville's Metro Council approves a plan to redevelop the blighted Dickerson Road area of the city. A measure sponsored by Knoxville Republican Tim Burchett to raise the required age for exotic dancers was placed in general sub in the Senate Judiciary Committee, likely killing the bill for session. And finally, aides to Al Gore are up in arms over statements by Sen. Hillary Clinton that point to elitism as the reason for his loss in the 2000 presidential election.
Apr 17, 2008 11:41 AM