The Harold Ford Jr. Senate campaign defended Rep. Ford's travels, while saying former Mayor Bob Corker has been secretive about his.
The Ford campaign said, "Bob Corker has an obsession with secrecy. He won't disclose his tax returns, saying they'll confuse Tennesseans. The records of his time in Chattanooga's mayor's office and as Don Sundquist's finance commissioner have gone missing. He tried to keep the public from learning the details of his shady land deal. He won't disclose how many people he imported from out of town to pretend they were from Chattanooga in his ads.
"Now, he's wrongly attacking Harold Ford Jr. for doing what a member of Congress should do: encouraging college students to get involved in their communities, speaking to church and non-profit groups on linking faith and public life, and growing Tennessee jobs. Congressman Ford has made information about these matters public for years.
"But Bob Corker, obsessed with secrecy, won't disclose the details of privately funded trips he took as mayor of Chattanooga, including trips to Japan, California, and elsewhere.
"And Bob Corker's attendance record as mayor? In 2005 alone, he was gone from the office 35 days campaigning for the U.S. Senate, instead of tending to public business.
"What's more, barely halfway through his mayoral term, city records confirm he'd already asked the citizens of Chattanooga to fund 18 trips costing nearly $10,000 to such places as Tokyo, New York, Boston, Washington, Chicago, and San Francisco.
Michael Power, senior advisor to Ford for Tennessee, said, "It's the same deceitful double standard voters have witnessed for months: Bob Corker lies about Harold Ford, Jr., and then he won't account for his own conduct. Until Bob Corker begins trusting Tennesseans with the truth, they will never trust him."
The Ford campaign released these "facts" about Ford travel:
Fact: 21 of Rep. Ford's 69 privately funded trips were from to Tennessee.
Fact: 20 of Rep. Ford's trips were to churches, faith-based organizations and non-profit associations, including Warren Memorial United Methodist Church, Atlanta; Fourth Street Missionary Baptist Church, Atlanta; First Baptist Church of Indianapolis; and the Peoples Baptist Church of Boston.
Fact: 17 of Rep. Ford's trips were to colleges and universities, including Austin-East Magnet High School, Knoxville; the University of Tennessee-Knoxville; the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL; the University of Georgia, Athens, GA; Meharry Medical College, Nashville; Harvard University, Boston; the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN; and his alma maters, the University of Michigan and the University of Pennsylvania, Ann Arbor, MI, and Philadelphia, PA;
Fact: 13 of Rep. Ford's trips were speaking engagements before Memphis and Tennessee businesses and associations, including Fed Ex, whose chief executive officer hosted a recent fundraiser for Mayor Corker; Dell Computer Corp.; Sparks Company.
The Ford campaign said Bob Corker "racked up ‘thousands of miles and thousands of dollars in travel expenses’ as mayor of Chattanooga."
The Ford campaign said, "As mayor, Corker traveled a lot more than reported or disclosed."
The Ford campaign listed "some of Corker’s Privately Funded, Non-Disclosed Destinations":
California, Silicon Valley (twice).
NASA's Ames Research Center
The Ford campaign said, "Bob Corker had a dismal 55% job attendance while simultaneously running for office and holding public office. Mayor Ron Littlefield was sworn into office on April 18, 2005. According to the Corker campaign between the dates of 02/01/2005 and 04/18/2005, while still Mayor, Bob Corker had 35 campaign events in cities outside of Hamilton County. So that equates not performing his full-time duties as Mayor for 35 out of 77 days. That's just a 55% attendance rating."