December 8, 2011

Do you like this?

What’s it like, we wonder, raking in a quarter-million dollars in one night?

Ask Weston Wamp, the Wonderkid Son of Zach, who hauled in more than $250,000 during his first fundraiser on Dec. 5 at the home of Alexis Bogo.

According to the Times Free Press, some 100 supporters arrived at the Bogo Estate to rain down pledges ranging from $500 to $5,000 to Wamp’s campaign, which Young Weston dubbed “the start of a winning congressional campaign.”

Maybe. But expect to see quite a bit of Wamp’s smiling and concerned face next year. That money will go a long way in his quest to UpChuck Fleischmann, the Republican incumbent who has himself amassed almost $500,000 for his re-election campaign.

We’re impressed but not surprised at Wamp’s fundraising success, some of which came at the expense of Chuck. A few of Fleischmann’s early supporters have jumped camp, it seems—perhaps under pressure from Wamp’s Pop, who has been quietly stumping and corraling cash support for his 24-year-old son’s attempt to reclaim his former seat.

Chuck, who Wamp calls a “nice man” representing the status quo in Washington, is so far ignoring Wamp, insisting he’s focusing on his day job. We’re glad to hear that, since we’re told there’s quite a mess to straighten out in the Capitol.

Meanwhile, in other 3rd District news, Robin Smith, who was narrowly defeated by Chuck in the 2010 Republican Primary for the seat he now holds and was widely expected to run again, wasted everyone’s time during an on-air press conference on a local radio station to confirm that she was not.

Other undeclared candidates include attorney J.B. Bennett and perhaps a few others who like seeing their names in print. But Wamp’s Windfall should cure them of any recurring fantasies. It’s obviously going to take a heap of cash to win this race, and the two monied horses most likely to win are way ahead of the pack.

Polls are sort of worthless at this early date, but we’re all about worthless forecasting, so we checked in on recent polls conducted by the TFP and The

 Conducted before Wamp’s fundraiser, the Chattanoogan poll had Wamp outpacing Chuck by five percentage points (32.44 percent to 27.44 percent), with the only other declared candidate, Dark Horse Lady J pulling up the rear with 9.85 percent.

In an earlier TFP poll, voters gave Chuck the clear edge with more than double-digit support (39 percent to Wamp’s 26 percent). Lady J held strong at 10 percent.

Granted, not many people bothered to vote in these web polls, but not many people actually bother to vote anyway, so, while early, these interesting tabulations say something. At least that more Wamp supporters read The Chattanoogan than the TFP.

But seriously, money changes minds, and Weston’s Bogo Bonanza may convince others that if the Boy Wonder can amass that much cash in one night, maybe he’s got what it takes to go the distance, maybe even steal the seat back for the Wamp Clan.

But we also think Wamp’s Big Money Backers are more interested in Zach the Second than Weston’s desire to “break the mold.”

“I have enormous respect for Zach Wamp, and that’s why I’m doing it,” M&M Industries CEO Glenn Morris Jr. told the TFP of his $2,500 pledge to the younger Wamp in a Dec. 5 story headlined, “Like father, like son? Wamp donors ponder.”

Still, not every Friend of Zach is jumping on the Weston Wagon. In a hilarious quote in the same article, Tom Decosimo, a longtime Wamp supporter, responded to the elder Wamp’s plea for support with mock surprise. “He (Wamp) said, ‘T.D., my son’s going to run for Congress.’ And I said, ‘Gosh, that’s too bad.’”

Ha! That’s a good one!


December 8, 2011

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