campaign ads

Billboards used to push Memphis funding for schools

A week after Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland largely dismissed a new coalition’s call for $10 million in city spending on schools, the group is taking its message to billboards, reports Chalkbeat Tennessee.

Fund Students First — comprised of elected officials, education advocates and public school leaders — posted two billboards Friday in high-trafficked streets in downtown and midtown Memphis. The campaign is being underwritten by Stand for Children, a national education advocacy group with offices in Memphis and Nashville.

One billboard says:


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Republican Governors Association bashes Dean; Dean bashes RGA

The Republican Governors Association, apparently concerned that Democrat Karl Dean might actually have a chance of winning the 2018 gubernatorial election, has already begun attacking the former Nashville mayor for supporting a property tax increase. Dean says it’s a case of “Washington politics trying to interfere in Tennessee.”

Gov. Bill Haslam is a past chairman of the RGA, which has election of Republicans as state chief executives as its primary mission. Haslam, who cannot seek reelection next year, still sits on the RGA’s executive committee.

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Randy Boyd running online ad on ‘running all my life’


News release from Randy Boyd campaign

Nashville, TN – Randy Boyd  and his Republican  campaign for Governor today launched the first paid advertisement of the 2018 gubernatorial campaign, with a statewide digital buy designed to introduce the Knoxville businessman and state’s  former  economic and community development commissioner to more   than 500,000 proven Republican primary voters across  the state.

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Gas tax supporters buy $127K in radio ads

A group of associations backing Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposed IMPROVE Act is launching a statewide radio campaign with ads touting the legislation that raises fuel taxes for transportation while also cutting other taxes, reports the Times-Free Press.

With the legislation heading to the state House and Senate floor as early as next week, the Transportation Coalition of Tennessee plans to begin airing the 60-second spots starting Thursday, going through April 21. The $127,000 buy’s hits the Chattanooga, Jackson, Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville and Tri-Cities markets.

Dubbed the “It’s Smart” series, the ads say “it’s smart to support better roads, safe bridges and tax cuts.”

The organization’s news release is below.

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Mailer bashing former Rep. Todd as ‘lobbyist superhero’ wins award


News release from Direct Edge

HUNTINGTON BEACH – Direct Edge Campaigns was awarded two coveted Pollie Awards from the AAPC, the industry’s highest honor bestowed upon political consultants at the national and international level. Direct Edge Campaigns was recognized in the categories of Best Use of Slate Mail – “Morrisey/Mooney 2nd Amendment” (West Virginia Republican Party) and Best Use of Humor – “The Lobbyist Superhero” (Tennessee Federation for Children PAC) in the campaign to defeat (former state Rep.) Curry Todd.

“We are pleased to receive these prestigious awards in two different categories for our work this past election cycle,” said Direct Edge President Gregory Gleaves. “The contest was more competitive than ever this year, so being selected out of the many talented entries is truly an honor.”

The annual Pollie Awards & Conference brings the leading political professionals in the world together to network and hear from top technology innovators, pollsters, pundits and service providers. The bipartisan awards are presented by the AAPC to members of the political advertising and communications industry who have demonstrated superior work on behalf of their candidates and causes.

The AAPC announced this year’s winners at the 2017 Annual Pollie Awards & Conference on March 17 in Huntington Beach, CA. Award winners were selected by a blind jury.

Note: The award-winning mailer was part of about $135,000 in spending by Tennessee Federation for Children’s PAC in attacking Todd, who opposed school vouchers that the federation supports, in last year’s Republican primary. He lost in House District 95 to Mark Lovell, who has since resigned from the Legislature amid sexual harassment allegations.

Harwell TV ad promotes her role in Durham ouster

House Speaker Beth Harwell, who has been criticized in some quarters for her role in the ouster of former Republican Rep. Jeremy Durham, is now promoting her efforts in a reelection campaignn ad. Democrats say the TV ad is dishonest.

Further from The Tennessean:

The 30-second ad, which includes several images used in another ad she’s been running, begins with a narrator saying that Harwell “led the fight to expel Representative Jeremy Durham, who was victimizing women in the workplace.”

The ad then cuts to video of Harwell standing at her podium in the House, declaring Durham expelled from the chamber, moments after lawmakers voted for his removal.

…”As speaker she pushed to make the attorney general’s report on sexual harassment at the legislature open to the public,” the narrator continues in the ad.

The attorney general has not issued a report on sexual harassment at the legislature. Attorney General Herbert Slatery’s office did publish a report on Durham in which the attorney general found the ex-lawmaker had sexually inappropriate conduct with at least 22 women.

Days before the report was released, Durham unsuccessfully sued Harwell and the attorney general to prevent its release….

Harwell has been blasted by other Republicans for the way she handled the situation involving Durham.

…Tennessee Democratic Party Chairwoman Mary Mancini slammed Harwell for the latest ad… “When Speaker Harwell found out about Jeremy Durham’s behavior in November of 2015, she sent him to get a ‘talking to’ from Human Resources,” Mancini said, referring to a meeting between the former lawmaker and Connie Ridley, director of the Office of Legislative Administration.

Note: The TNDP press release is below.

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Former Knoxville News Sentinel capitol bureau chief Tom Humphrey writes about Tennessee politics, government, and legislative news.

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