PACs

Complaint accuses Harwell of violating campaign finance laws with TV ad and loan

On the heels of a new television advertisement sponsored by her PAC, House Speaker Beth Harwell has been hit with two ethics complaints filed with the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance regarding her campaign for governor, reports Cari Wade Gervin. One alleges illegal coordination with the PAC in violation of state campaign finance law.

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New PAC’s radio ad bashes ‘Dishonest Diane Black’

A political action committee recently registered in Tennessee is running radio ads attacking “dishonest Diane Black” as a gubernatorial candidate, contending she “steered millions of dollars in no bid, state contracts to her husband’s company.”

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Club for Growth ad bashes ‘the Fincher who taxed Christmas’

Club for Growth, which is backing U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn for the Republican nomination to a U.S. Senate seat, bashed her primary opponent, former U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher, as “the Fincher who taxed Christmas” in this digital ad. It’s produced by CFG Tennessee, a PAC recently set up as a Club affiliate to support Tennessee candidates for federal office.

Text of the ad’s narrator:

The Christmas Tree! The symbol of the Season! The target of the taxman?

Yes, boys and girls, in 2013 President Obama proposed a tax on Christmas trees.

And do you know who backed the Obama Christmas tree tax?

Congressman Stephen Fincher, that’s who.

True!  Your old Congressman is . . . the Fincher Who Taxed Christmas.

Tell Stephen Fincher higher taxes are naughty, not nice.

TN conservatives send money to Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore

Tennessee conservatives have been providing financial support to Republican Roy Moore in his campaign against Democrat Doug Jones, reports the Nashville Post after a review of Federal Election Commission filings. That includes a political action committee calling itself “Drain the DC Swamp,” which last week spent $10,000 on direct mail advertising.

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Pence PAC donates to six TN U.S. Reps — including Black, Blackburn and Duncan

Politico has a list of Vice President Mike Pence’s “first round of political contributions” through a political action committee he has established —  including donations of $5,400 each to six Tennessee members of the U.S. House – Reps. Marsha Blackburn, Diane Black, John J. “Jimmy” Duncan Jr., Scott DesJarlais, Chuck Fleischmann and Phil Roe.

Blackburn is running for the Senate instead of reelection to the House, but money donated to her House campaign can be switched into the Senate race. Black is running for governor and, under applicable rules, she cannot shift money from her congressional campaign account into her run for a state office.

Duncan, of course, is retiring and not running for reelection in the 2nd Congressional District.

The only Tennessee Republican congressman not on the list is freshman Rep. David Kustoff of the 8th Congressional District.

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Pro-Trump super PAC and Club for Growth backing Blackburn

U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn of has been endorsed by two more big conservative political organizations in her run for the U.S. Senate, reports the Nashville Post.

The pro-Trump super PAC Great America Alliance endorsed Blackburn, saying, “The best way to advance the ‘America First’ movement is to hold elected leaders accountable — get on board and get the job done or be replaced by someone who will.”

And the anti-tax, free market 501(c)(4) Club for Growth has also endorsed Blackburn, along with state Sen. Mark Green (R-Ashland City), who officially filed with the FEC on Friday to raise money for a run for Blackburn’s current 7th District Congressional seat.

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Super PAC goal: $4M to help Ogles Senate campaign

News release from Andy Ogles campaign

FRANKLIN, TENN. (Sept. 19, 2017) — Conservative Republican businessman and fundraiser Lee Beaman announced today that he is in the process of forming a federal SuperPAC that will focus on electing Andy Ogles to the U.S. Senate.

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Joe Carr launches federal PAC

Former state Rep. Joe Carr, who ran unsuccessfully against U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander in 2014 and against U.S. Rep. Diane Black in 2016, has launched a political action committee for 2018, reports Nashville Post Politics.

Carr is the designated agent of Stand Firm America, the paperwork for which was filed with the Federal Election Commission late Thursday. Carr’s daughter, Maddie, is the PAC’s treasurer. The PAC’s website was registered Thursday through a proxy.

“We’re in the formative stages of this whole thing. We’re putting this together, and once everything is put together — what we’re trying to do, what the mission statement is, what the purpose is and what it’s directly going to address — we’ll have a press release on that,” Joe Carr said Friday. “We’re not ready to make any announcements on the purposes of the PAC just yet.”

…The former state representative’s annual conservative gathering and fundraiser, T-Bones and Politics, will be held Sept. 14 in Lascassas, featuring Fox News host Jeanine Pirro. Carr said he won’t announce his own plans for a possible 2018 campaign until after the event.

New Rural TN PAC holds first event, gives Beavers an edge over Lee in gubernatorial straw poll

State Sen. Mae Beavers edged Williamson County businessman Bill Lee in a Republican gubernatorial election straw poll held Saturday night by Rural Tennessee Speaks, a group recently established with state Rep. Jay Reedy, R-Erin, as president.

Beavers and Lee were the only two candidates to address the gathering in Dover, attended by about 200 people, according to media reports. Reedy tells Tennessee Star the straw poll results were 66 for Beavers, 62 for Lee, 10 for U.S. Rep. Diane Black (who hasn’t announced as a candidate), seven for House Speaker Beth Harwell and two for Randy Boyd.

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Harwell appoints PAC treasurer to TN State Museum governing board

House Speaker Beth Harwell has reappointed Deputy Speaker Steve McDaniel to the governing board of the Tennessee State Museum, but is giving her own seat on the panel to Tina Hodges, CEO of Nashville-based Advance Financial.

Harwell had previously appointed herself to a four-year term on the Douglas Henry State Museum Commission that officially expired June 30, but she continued to serve through the panel’s July 3 meeting, as allowed under relevant rules allowing an appointee to stay aboard until a successor is appointed, said Kara Owen, spokeswoman to the speaker in response to email inquiries.

Subsequently, Owen said, Harwell appointed Hodges, who already serves – by appointment of Gov. Bill Haslam – on the board of directors for Volunteer Tennessee, a group that has the declared mission of promoting “volunteerism and community service” by Tennesseans. She is currently listed as vice chairman.

Hodges also serves as treasurer of Advance PAC, a political action committee operated by Advance Financial. A check of the Registry of Campaign Finance website for 2015 and 2016 shows Advance PAC giving Harwell’s reelection campaign for her state House seat $10,000 and it also donated $8,000 to the leadership PAC operated by Harwell.

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