Both Republicans and Democrats are trying to raise money with an announcement that U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, a Republican from Colorado who’s regarded as a conservative firebrand and known for her support of former President Donald Trump, will speak in Knoxville on Wednesday, Oct. 19.
The Republicans are selling tickets so people can hear her speak and to help elect Republican candidates.
The Democrats believe her viewpoints are repulsive and are asking supporters to give them money to help elect Democratic candidates.
U.S. Rep. Tim Burchett, a Knoxville Republican, extended the invitation to Boebert on behalf of the Knox County Republican Party, his office confirmed. Members of Congress frequently do this for the local party, but for some reason there’s quite a buzz about this invite.
Boebert, who the Denver Post and other national news organizations say has repeatedly shared baseless conspiracy theories about the 2020 election between Trump and President Joe Biden, will speak at the annual Lincoln Day Dinner at Rothchild Catering, 8807 Kingston Pike. The dinner starts at 6 p.m.
A general admission ticket is $100; a VIP ticket that includes a private reception with Boebert is $250; and a sponsored table costs $1,500, which includes 10 admission tickets and two tickets for the private reception.
Janis Crye, Knox GOP treasurer, said Friday the ticket sales are going “good.” She was asked if she was aware the Democrats are trying to raise money for different reasons than the Republicans for the Boebert appearance and replied, “I don’t pay any attention to Democrats. I’m busy with my own (business).”
For more information, the invitation says to email the Knox County GOP at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Denver Post reported that Boebert is expected to win a second term in November to represent the state’s Western Slope that is east and north of Pueblo. The paper recently talked with a number of voters in the congressional district about her race against Democrat Adam Frisch.
Knox County Democrats sent an email Sept. 23 after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis had a local fundraiser with Republicans that ties him and Boebert to support of Trump’s Make America Great Again campaign.
The Democrats headlined their fundraiser: “Knox Republicans are bringing in the ultra-MAGA … to raise $$."
“We have to be honest with you ... these ultra-MAGA Republicans raise SERIOUS money. The Knox GOP is scared of the gains local Democrats are making and desperately need to bankroll their defense. We have to send them a message that HATE & DIVISION have no home in Knoxville.
“Will you help us respond by raising funds to elect Democrats?”
Boebert, 35, is from Rifle, Colorado. She is co-chair of the Congressional Second Amendment Caucus, on the executive board as the communications chair of the House Freedom Caucus and serves on the Future of American Freedoms Task Force. All the caucuses support conservative causes. She also is vice chair of the Congressional Western Caucus.
∎ HOW THEY VOTED: The Presidential Election Reform Act passed the House in a party-line 229-203 vote, which means without the support of area representatives who are Republicans. U.S. Reps. Tim Burchett of Knoxville, Diana Harshbarger of Kingsport and Chuck Fleischmann of Ooltewah all voted “nay.”
“This ridiculous bill takes away states’ constitutional right to determine their own election laws and limits members of Congress’ ability to object to electoral college results even though Democrats have done this for years,” Burchett said in a statement. “It’s nothing more than an obvious power-grab attempt right before the midterm elections.”
He said the legislation was introduced on Sept. 19 and brought to the floor on Sept. 21 without being debated and amended in committee.
The bill would reform and modernize the 1887 Electoral Count Act to ensure that electoral votes tallied by Congress accurately reflect each state’s popular vote for president.
The Senate hasn’t yet voted. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said last week he supports the election reform bill, which came about as a result of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters seeking to stop the certification of Biden’s win. His support seems to assure the bill’s passage.
∎ TVA GETTING CLOSER TO FULL BOARD: All of President Joe Biden’s nominees for the Tennessee Valley Authority's board of directors except the chief of staff for former Vice President Al Gore cleared the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works by voice vote Thursday.
The nominations of Michelle Moore, Robert Klein, William “Bill” Renick, Adam Wade White and Joe Ritch made it through the committee. They now face full Senate confirmation.
However, the nomination of Beth Prichard Geer of Brentwood did not clear the committee and still faces approval to advance to the full Senate. The committee recessed until November.
At a hearing held April 6 by the committee, Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, said she could not support Geer. This followed an exchange over what Geer meant by a tweet in 2015 posted by Fox News that asked social media users what they thought of Ernst’s response to then-President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address. Geer tweeted “hideous.” Ernst told her at the hearing that she took it personally. Geer apologized and said she was referring to her comments, not the senator herself.
The committee’s hearing on April 6 also was on Klein of Memphis and Moore of Richmond, Va.
Biden's TVA board nominations were languishing until June 3, when he nominated White, Lyon County judge executive in Kentucky, and Renick, a former Ashland, Mississippi, mayor and chairman of the Commission on the Future of Northeast Mississippi.
“As the nation’s largest public power system, TVA should be leading the charge in offering affordable rates and transitioning to cleaner energy generation. I believe that all starts with the right leadership, and fortunately, each of the exemplary nominees we advanced today are proven leaders equipped to successfully serve TVA. I look forward to seeing their swift confirmation,” EPW Chairman Tom Carper, D-Del., said in a statement announcing the advancement of Moore, Klein, Renick, White and Ritch.
The board has nine members. The terms of board members A.D. Frazier of Mineral Bluff, Georgia., and Jeff W. Smith of Knoxville ended in May. They serve until the end of the year if not replaced.
∎ OCHS PLAQUE IS AT A BAR: The local journalism community honored Adolph Ochs, who became owner of the New York Times in 1896 at the age of 38 and turned it into the respected newspaper it is today, by unveiling a plaque in the Market Square area on Thursday.
Ochs’ journalism career began at age 11 in Knoxville when he started working at the Knoxville Chronicle, whose editor and publisher was Capt. William Rule. The paper then was on Market Square near Asylum, now Wall Avenue. Ochs’ father, Julius, was a Knoxville businessman and one of the founders of Temple Beth El.
The present property is Tommy Trent’s Sports Saloon, owned by Scott and Bernadette West, who supported the plaque’s installation.
The marker represents a program recognizing individuals or media for their work in journalism by the national Society of Professional Journalists, with which the East Tennessee Professional Chapter is affiliated. SPJ’s national board approved the nomination for the Knoxville site in 2021.
“It took 50 years,” quipped Jean Ash, former radio broadcast journalist. She and I, along with other local members of SPJ, had earlier attempted to recognize Ochs in Knoxville but were not encouraged since the journalism organization had already placed a historic journalism plaque at the New York Times honoring Ochs.
But the leadership – and attitude – of the SPJ board and executive director has changed since we first started working on this project. The Knoxville History Project is a co-sponsor of the plaque. The University of Tennessee School of Journalism and Electronic Media and the Front Page Foundation assisted with a program on Ochs on Wednesday at the East Tennessee History Center. The program is available on YouTube.
Georgiana Vines is retired News Sentinel associate editor. She may be reached at email@example.com.
This article originally appeared on Knoxville News Sentinel: GOP, Dems both fundraise off Republican Lauren Boebert's appearance