PAC Founded by Jim DeMint Wants to Oust Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander

Tuesday, 13 Aug 2013 02:09 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Sen. Lamar Alexander is under fire from a conservative PAC group following a report that his re-election campaign worked with the Tennessee State Museum to create a traveling exhibit about him, according to The Tennessean.

Alexander, a Tennessee Republican who took over the seat vacated by Fred Thompson in 2003, is guilty of “political favor swapping,” Matt Hoskins, executive director of the Senate Conservatives Fund, told the newspaper.

The Senate Conservatives Fund is a PAC founded by former South Carolina GOP Sen. Jim DeMint, now the president of the conservative Heritage Foundation. The PAC helped tea party favorites Rand Paul and Ted Cruz capture their U.S. Senate seats, and now wants to find a challenger to defeat Alexander in next year’s primary.

“We think he is out of step with the state. We want to make sure that voters in Tennessee have an opportunity to vote for somebody who represents their values,” Hoskins told the Tennessean.

The PAC raised the alarm after it emerged that Alexander’s campaign manager “was involved in discussing plans for the traveling exhibit even as the senator was gearing up his re-election effort, and also that Alexander successfully pushed through $400,000 in federal funding for the museum in 2009,” the newspaper reported.

When the news became public, the exhibit was postponed until after 2015.
Museum officials have denied any connection between the exhibition and the 2009 appropriation.

Jim Jeffries, a spokesman for Alexander, told the Tennessean, “Somebody is making a silly political stretch. The truth is, the federal funding secured in 2009 was for the preservation of permanent museum artifacts. If and when this exhibit occurs, it will be funded with private money, just like all of the museum’s traveling exhibits.”

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