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More on Tennessee Turnoff of Tancredo

Here’s a follow-up on a previous story about a GOP controversy: When Rep. Tom Tancredo (R.-Colo.) was left off the ballot of the Southern Republican Leadership Conference’s straw vote for President in ’08 at the March 10-12 Memphis, Tenn., meeting, more than some conservatives were left scratching their heads. Tancredo has, after all, been much in the news lately, espousing serious border control reform in an unapologetic manner.

The Tennessee Republican Party, which organized the SRLC, told us that Tancredo was not invited to the Memphis session because he didn’t meet the criteria of a serious presidential contender. When HUMAN EVENTS correspondent Patrick Casey contacted state party headquarters and noted that Tennessee Republican Representatives Marsha Blackburn and Zach Wamp were invited to the SRLC and neither is considered a presidential contender, party spokesman Chris DeVaney replied that Tancredo ‘does not merit special preference either — not being from the South." But Gov. Bill Owens is from Colorado, the same state as Tancredo, and he was invited. "But he [Tancredo] never called and had no one contact the SRLC," the spokesman told Casey.

Casey thereupon phoned Dave Pierson, a political consultant who works for Tancredo. Pierson insisted that he called State Party Chairman Bob Davis, Jr., in Tennessee specifically to ask him to invite Tancredo to speak at the conference (the prerequisite for getting on the straw poll ballot). Unfortunately, Pierson told Casey, Davis would not take his call and decided not to call him back.

Spokesman DeVaney told us that party staffer Anne Locke, the organizer of the SRLC, did talk to Pierson "but we never heard form Congressman Tancredo himself." DeVaney insisted that "we respect Congressman Tancredo and his stand on the issue of illegal immigration," that the party website highlighted an earlier visit to Tennessee by Tancredo, but felt "he didn’t fit into the program" in Memphis.

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John Gizzi has come to be known as ???the man who knows everyone in Washington??? and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on what???s going on in the nation???s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as ???Gizzi on Politics??? and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of ???Gizzi???s America,??? video interviews that appear on Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. John???s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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