Mar 14 2023
10:15 am

I'm back writing columns. Hope you enjoy this one.

TN Congressional Liars

Sep 2 2022
10:21 am

Knoxville-area congressional candidate Mark Harmon today called on his opponent, Tim Burchett, to remove a factual error in Burchett's online constituent newsletter.

Burchett wrote the Inflation Reduction Act will "increase the United States' deficit by $146 billion."

The Congressional Budget Office calculated that "enacting this legislation would result in a net decrease in the deficit by $102 billion over the 2022-2031 period."

Estimated Budgetary Effects of H.R. 5376, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022

"I'm worried some partisan hack is writing Burchett's material. We constituents at a minimum deserve factual accuracy," said Harmon.

Burchett, a Republican, has yet to respond to the Democratic candidate Harmon's call for televised debates between them.


Aug 10 2022
09:50 am

The FBI search warrant executed against Former President Donald Trump's Florida residence has reverberated in local politics. Congressman Tim Burchett issued a Twitter statement, "I want to know what was the national security risk at Mar-a-Lago that warranted an FBI raid? Why did they decide it needed to happen NOW? FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Merrick Garland need to testify before Congress this week to explain themselves."
Burchett's Democratic opponent, UT journalism professor Mark Harmon, responded, "Let's talk about this in a televised debate, congressman. I'll be the one supporting the judge-approved warrant." Burchett has not agreed to debate his Democratic opponent in either of his past two elections for this office.
Earlier Burchett had put out a glib tweet declaring, "This just in, no pedophiles who were associated with Epstein have been arrested yet Mar-a-lago was raided?" Harmon retorted, "Let's help Tim with his memory problem" and posted this photo of Epstein and Trump.

Jun 29 2022
11:51 am

Tomorrow (June 30th) the difference in our congressional race comes into sharp contrast. Tim Burchett has a high-dollar, corporate-oriented fundraiser courtesy of the owner of the largest house in Knox County (40,000 sq ft). Mark Harmon is having a celebration of his campaign with supporters and friends in a bowling alley, Strike & Spare Fountain Lanes, 3315 N Broadway in Knoxville (behind Senior Taco), 7-9pm. Come by for fun, bowling optional.

Pander Bear

Jun 24 2022
08:47 am

My opponent has joined the upper echelon of GOP crazy; Tim Burchett was one of only 20 voting against a mental health bill, joined by such lesser lights as Louie Gohmert, Matt Gaetz, Lauren Boebert, and Marjorie Taylor Greene.

The Hill

May 4 2022
10:06 am
By: Mark Harmon

It's free, but you must register. Here’s the link:

May 12: UT Knoxville - 6 p.m. EDT

Student Union Auditorium

1502 Cumberland Ave, Knoxville.

Featuring: Republican and Democratic candidates for governor and Congress, Districts 1 and 2 (that's us!)

This is the first of six such forums sponsored by the USA Today Network across Tennessee.

Apr 12 2022
03:48 pm

This NY Times story deserves more attention. An extremist first-term Republican Congressman gets all upset about a 23-year-old court opinion about school prayer at a commencement ceremony.

Suddenly all the extremists in the House GOP turn against a routine bill to name a federal courthouse after a pioneering African American judge.

Congressman Tim Burchett, of course, joined the lemming-like rush to kill the legislation. We really need a better congressman.

Feb 2 2022
11:37 am

Congressman Tim Burchett misled his own fans and followers in his Feb. 1 newsletter. He wrote, “Tennessee requires individual to be at least 18 years old to register to vote. Under the Democrats’ legislation, Tennessee would need to lower the age of eligibility to 16 years old.”

You have to go to FactCheck to discover the sleight-of-hand. The bill would let someone as young as 16 submit an application or pre-registration, but that person still couldn’t vote until age 18. Here’s the link.


Burchett’s stepping so close to a flat-out lie fooled Knoxville Focus Publisher Steve Hunley. Apparently relying on a Burchett tweet, Hunley wrote, “The Democrat bill would have lowered the voting age in Tennessee from 18 to 16.” Nope.

We need a better congressman, markharmonforcongress.com

Jan 7 2022
05:04 pm

On Jan. 6th, here is what our congressman chose to tweet:

Jan 6 Tim Tweet.png

Two matters of ethics:
1) ignoring this important anniversary
2) giving financial advice, considering his pre-pandemic stock dump. From the Tennesseean (May 26, 2020):
Burchett reported just one transaction – selling between $1,000 and $15,000 in stock of Denny’s, the breakfast restaurant, on Feb. 12.

Nov 7 2021
05:04 pm

Sent to lots of news organizations earlier today. Let's see who uses it tomorrow. --Mark Harmon

News Release For Release: Nov. 8, 2021, 12:01 a.m.
Mark Harmon for Congress Contact: Mark Harmon
markharmonforcongress.com (phone numbers listed here) mark@markharmonforcongress.com


Exactly one year from today voters will choose a new Congress. In our area that likely means voters will choose between Republican incumbent Tim Burchett and Democratic candidate Mark Harmon.

Today Harmon challenged Burchett to agree to a series of televised debates.

“The voters deserve at least two, preferably three or more, debates. We can have various topics and formats such as town halls, but the key is to trust the voters,” said Harmon. “Let’s see if Tim Burchett has the courage to accept this challenge, or instead will cower behind his party label and his mountain of corporate campaign cash.”

Harmon is a professor of journalism and electronic media at the University of Tennessee, and a former Knox County Commissioner. Burchett previously has been in the state legislature and was a Knox County Mayor.

Burchett refused to debate his previous opponent, Renee Hoyos, in the last two congressional contests for Tennessee’s House District Two.


Jul 29 2021
04:09 pm

My opponent, Tim Burchett, is among 228 Republican legislators who have joined a "friend of the court" brief favoring Mississippi's case asking the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.

My position on abortion rights is clear--trust women, and do not impose any level of government between women and their care givers and their choices. If this anti-woman effort is successful, it will not eliminate abortion. It will just eliminate safe and legal abortion, leaving that option only to the wealthy.

It is time for the pro-choice majority in Tennessee to rally to candidates like me--to defeat threats like Tim Burchett.

Both our US Senators, Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty, also have signed this brief rolling back women's rights--as have US House members Chuck Fleischmann, Mark Green, Diana Harshbarger, and John Rose.

Jul 8 2021
08:10 am
By: Mark Harmon

It appears my little start-up congressional campaign has freaked out Rep. Tim Burchett. He's fundraising from it. Here's part of what Burchett blurted.


It's all boilerplate nonsense. He even alludes to me getting support from Hollywood moguls. That isn't happening, but if you'd like to help, a check would be nice--Mark Harmon for Congress, PO Box 27185, Knoxville TN 37927

Feb 2 2021
05:13 pm
By: Mark Harmon

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow today, forecasting another six weeks of Republican obstruction on Capitol Hill.

Jan 13 2021
11:41 am

Our local congressional representative, Tim Burchett, issued the following about his vote last night regarding the 25th Amendment.

"Congress does not have the constitutional authority to invoke the 25th Amendment, and Vice President Pence said he will not do so."

Not exactly. Section 4 of the 25th Amendment reads, "Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal offices of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office..."

Congress also plays a voting role if the President disputes the conclusion. Further, Congress is quite capable of passing a "sense of the House" resolution about what should happen. Thus, Burchett's statement is incomplete and misleading (and trying to cover his outrageous Trumpism, ignoring Trump's incitement of insurrection).

Dec 16 2020
03:05 pm

In Xanadu did Joe Biden
A statesman pleasure-dome decree:
Potomac, the sacred river, ran
Through Senates measureless to man
Down to a Chesapeake.
So, the Mitch domain’s infertile ground
With filibuster is girdled round;
Yet Rose Gardens are bright with generous plans,
Where blossomed many helpful hands;
And here were forests of Obama success,
Enfolding sunny spots of hopefulness.

Nov 27 2020
10:29 am
By: Mark Harmon

A reminder that today is the annual Buy Nothing Day, a protest against excess consumerism/materialism.

Oct 13 2020
02:50 pm

I think this explains things well.

Hoyos v. Burchett

Oct 9 2020
09:05 am
By: Mark Harmon

Congressman Tim Burchett was a "no show" for last night's League of Women Voters (plus other groups) online debate. Following the group's rules, Burchett's opponent, Democratic nominee Renee Hoyos, was given three minutes to speak and then asked to exit the forum.

The moderator and timekeeper then proceeded with the only other office on the agenda, State Senate District 6. Both candidates did show for that one.

Why is our local congressman ducking debates?

Oct 1 2020
11:37 am

Not only is Donald Trump bungling the national response to COVID, he also seems to be at odds with the Roman poet Ovid. Here are some relevant Ovid quotes/translations:

"Fair peace becomes men; ferocious anger belongs to beasts."

"Thou seest how sloth wastes the sluggish body, as water is corrupted unless it moves."

"If you want to be loved, be lovable."

"No man can purchase his virtue too dear, for it is the only thing whose value must ever increase with the price it has cost us. Our integrity is never worth so much as when we have parted with all to keep it."

Sep 11 2020
12:34 pm

Tiger Tiger, burning bright, 
In forking rivers of the night; 
What mortal call on 9-1-1, 
Could frame thy fearful location?

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