TENNESSEE | TN-gov

Radio Stations Pull Anti-Black Spot

A spokesman for Tennessee Jobs Now PAC said they plan to re-air the ads.

Zach C. Cohen
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Zach C. Cohen
Jan. 22, 2018, 10:56 a.m.

Three radio stations—WWTN-FM, WGFX-FM, and WLAC-AM—have pulled an ad sponsored by Nashville-based Tennessee Jobs Now PAC attacking Rep. Diane Black (R), according to emails from two radio management representatives obtained by Hotline. The spot accused Black as a state senator of steering “millions of dollars in no-bid, state contracts to her husband’s company.”

Black spokesman Chris Hartline: “Our campaign made the case that these ads were false. The radio stations agreed.”

Republican consultant James McKay of Norway Hill, who registered the website for the group, said the PAC plans to reair the ads on the same stations once changes are made to the ad.

McKay: “We stand by the message in our ad and will be working to get the ads and their message back on the air. Diane Black is trying to hide behind legal technicalities, but the facts are clear. The company her husband owned was making millions from state contracts while she served in the Tennessee Senate.”

McKay also represented the similarly-named Indiana Jobs Now, a super PAC funded by Clinton-based real estate executive Joe Hollingsworth to support his son, Rep. Trey Hollingsworth’s (R-IN) successful 2016 bid. Joe Hollingsworth gave $8,000—the maximum contribution—to former state economic commissioner Randy Boyd (R), according to Tennessee Registry of Election Finance records.

McKay: “We will release our donors when we are required to file under [state] law.” (Hotline reporting)

“Tennessee Jobs Now … was created by filing paperwork with the Registry of Election Finance on Dec. 15, according to the Registry website. It has not yet filed an initial disclosure statement and need not do so until later this month. The treasurer is listed as Maria Wojciechowski of Herndon, Va. Maria Wojciechowski is also is also registered with the Federal Election Commission as treasurer of the Future45 Super PAC, which the Center for Responsive Politics says spent more than $24 million on ads attacking Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential campaign. Media reports indicate the Future45 PAC … is substantially funded by billionaire TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts and Las Vegas casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson.”

“In the 2010 Republican primary for the 6th Congressional District seat, won by Black, one of her opponents, Lou Ann Zelenik, ran an ad attacking Black over state contracts with Aegis Sciences, a drug testing company founded by her husband, David. Aegis filed a lawsuit against Zelenick over the claim, contending it was false and defamatory. That lawsuit was dismissed … and Zelenick subsequently filed a counter lawsuit … apparently still pending.” (Humphrey on the Hill)

SHARING THE STAGE. “A health care forum Friday illustrated the partisan split in the Tennessee governor’s race over Medicaid expansion, with Democrats ranking it their top priority and Republicans opposing it or espousing other priorities.” (AP)

“Speaking at a forum centered on health care, the majority of Tennessee’s top-tier gubernatorial candidates stressed the need to tackle the ongoing opioid crisis and the importance of getting the state’s residents to live healthier lifestyles.” (Nashville Tennessean)

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