Weston Wamp’s recent surreptitious antics of taping a private conversation in an attempt to accumulate political blackmail information violates decency, professionalism and all generally recognized codes of ethics. He has done a grave disservice to his party and to any future political ambitions that he might have.
This recent elementary and careless exploit vividly points out to the public that he needs to grow up before he seeks to grow out. At 26 years of age he is not mature enough nor prepared for congressional responsibilities.
Moreover, it could just be stated that his only experience is merely that of a student. His curriculum vita is empty. The last thing we need is an inexperienced student politician in Washington attempting to gain congressional leadership knowledge at the citizens’ expense. This recent unpardonable action demonstrates that he is not the answer- but rather if elected he would be a substantial political liability to the citizens of the Third District.
Mr. Wamp's clandestine actions present a clear picture of what his service in Washington might look like. Advice……. do the citizens a real service and drop out now. The last thing we need is more deceitfulness in Washington. We need to clean out Washington only as appropriately prepared candidates surface.
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From the day I announced my candidacy for Congress more than two years ago, I have always told the truth and set a high standard of transparency as a candidate. While our current Congressman always speaks through political operatives, I communicate openly and honestly with the media and the people I want to represent. Just this week I spent five consecutive nights in the back of an RV, a process I will repeat many times this summer, in an effort to be fully accessible to the people of this district.
So let me set the record straight about my visit with Scottie Mayfield a few weeks ago.
The recent drama caused by the Fleischmann campaign started because, as Scottie Mayfield has admitted to the media, he was not honest with me regarding his commitment to stay neutral in this race. On two separate occasions he told me to my face that he would not make an endorsement.
Two days prior to the announcement that he would endorse Chuck Fleischmann, I visited Scottie at his home only because he had not answered or returned my phone calls. I was raised to look a man in the eye and after Scottie told me he would not get involved in this race, I wanted him to look me in the eye and tell me he was going back on his word. Knowing that I was dealing with a dishonest man who was about to endorse another dishonest man, our Congressman who has already been sued for defamation of character, I knew I should protect myself. If I had not protected myself, Scottie and the Fleischmann campaign could have said anything they wanted about my visit to Scottie’s home.
As is customary in 21st century politics, I used an iPhone to keep a record of our conversation in which Scottie and his wife Lisa repeatedly criticized my younger sister and challenged my family’s character. He had not a single positive word to say about Chuck Fleischmann, but unfortunately expressed plenty of lingering hostility toward my 25-year old sister. Instead of keeping our conversation private, as I intended and still intend to do, Scottie Mayfield used it against me. Of course, the only reason he was able to use it against me is because I was forthright and told him I had kept a record of our conversation. If I had intended to use the conversation against Scottie, obviously I would have used it two weeks ago to undermine his endorsement of Chuck Fleischmann.
In the coming days and weeks, more light will be shed on the unethical and illegal tactics being used by Congressman Chuck Fleischmann and his operatives to hold power. By intimidating donors to my campaign and threatening not to work in his official capacity on behalf of those who do not support him, we believe the Congressman has repeatedly violated federal law in a serious manner. Given the underhanded tactics being used against me, I think every voter in the Third District can understand why I would protect myself by recording any serious conversation I have with Congressman Chuck Fleischmann’s operatives.
As the only member of our community to stand up to challenge our corrupt Congressman, I will use this despicable political ploy to further energize our positive campaign. It is no coincidence that these attacks came while I was on the road in Scott County and within days of our campaign’s upcoming announcement that we have raised as much money from individuals in the first quarter as any Congressional campaign in America. We’ve been able to build the support we have because we focus on issues that matter rather than political games, which have consumed our Congressman during his four years in office.
Let’s move on and have a fair race about which candidate can work to fix Washington, fund the Chickamauga Lock and give our district honest representation.
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Mr Jones, in your world of rotary phones, 78 rpm records and Fox News, Mr. Wamp may have crossed the line, but as a life-long, left-leaning voter, I have on many occasions crossed the line myself to vote GOP and may now do it again. Good grief, it's long past time for some young ideas and a few less bow-tie photo ops. I'm sure I'll disagree with him on many issues, but our country should be built on compromise, not greed and hate.
I see no problem in taping a conversation, especially at that level of political discourse, if for no other reason than taking the "he said/she said" aspect out of the equation. Mr. Wamp said yes, he did it, and that tells me that he's not going to be pushed around by innuendo and rumor. Will he turn into a "Fleischmann Lite" after a few years in Washington? We can only hope not, but power can be intoxicating and John Boehner can be persuasive.
The times I've heard Weston interviewed I've been shocked at his honesty in answering questions and offering opinions. I've also been shocked at his accessibility, something that was sadly lacking in Scottie Mayfield's "vote for my milk" campaign. Chuck? Well, he's obviously been under a multi-year gag order when it comes to communications with his constituents or the media.
Anyway, we should let the campaigns unfold, consider the issues, consider past accomplishments (or lack of them) then make an informed decision on Election Day. Don't vote for who you are manipulated into hating, vote for who can potentially do some good.
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Mr. Wamp states in his response, "Just this week I spent five consecutive nights in the back of an RV, a process I will repeat many times this summer, in an effort to be fully accessible to the people of this district."
Really sacrificing isn't he, considering a U.S. Congress person's salary is: "The current salary (2014) for rank-and-file members of the House and Senate is $174,000 per year."
Consider all of the folks that live in all kinds of horrendous accommodations, as in the military, compared to what Mr. Wamp trumpets so he can try to hit the $174,000 lottery. Some people are leaders, naturally, and some people just think they are and never will be.
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"From the day I announced my candidacy for Congress more than two years ago, I have always told the truth and set a high standard of transparency as a candidate. While our current Congressman always speaks through political operatives, I communicate openly and honestly with the media and the people I want to represent.”—Weston Wamp
Weston, if you are truthful and transparent, as you claim in your recent press release, you should have no problem answering the following question: Was your sister Coty Wamp responsible (in any capacity) for secretly filming Scotty Mayfield at UTK in 2012 and posting the YouTube video “Scottie Mayfield Struggles to Answer Basic Questions.”
I can’t wait to hear the truthful answer. This should shed some light on the recent back-and-forth between Wamp, Mayfield, and Chuck Fleischmann.