Manny Sethi’s Cast of Characters

On Thursday, Republican U.S. Senate Candidate Dr. Manny Sethi released a list of 174 “grassroots” activists supporting his campaign. Spoiler alert: We’re betting his opponent, former Trump ambassador to Japan Bill Hagerty, didn’t lose any sleep last night.

For instance, the most prominent official on Sethi’s list is State Rep. Bruce Griffey (District 75, Paris) and his wife, Rebecca. The Griffeys recently made statewide news for breaking state Republican Party bylaws in an attempt to intimidate a chancery court judge and ensure Rebecca Griffey’s appointment to the bench. The judge submitted her resignation to Governor Bill Lee after nine days, citing intimidation by the Griffeys.

Rep. Bruce Griffey and his wife, Rebecca, with disgraced former Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada.

Elected officials also include State Rep. Kelly Keisling (District 38, Byrdstown.) In 2012, Keisling used his official state email address to share the rumor with constituents that then-President Barack Obama was planning to stage a fake assassination attempt in order to stop the 2012 election.

In a press release,  Forrest Barnwell-Hagemeyer, Sethi’s campaign manager, said, “It’s clear that Dr. Manny is the choice of Tennessee conservatives.”

In addition to the Griffeys and Keisling, those conservatives include:

  • State Rep. Dan Howell, (D22-Cleveland,) whose legislative accomplishments have included voting for Governor Lee’s education voucher scheme, voting to authorize adoption agencies to deny adoption to parents who don’t comply with the agency’s religious beliefs, and voting to allow Gov. Lee to submit a waiver of Medicaid in favor of block grants to “cover” healthcare.
  • Former (Nashville) Metro Council Member Duane Dominy, currently a plaintiff in a lawsuit alleging Metro violated its own laws in the pending deal to place a Major League Soccer stadium at Fairgrounds Nashville.
  • Former Metro Council Member and current TNGOP Executive Committee Member Robert Duvall, who supported the legalization of gun carry in Metro Parks during his time on the council.
  • Dr. Ming Wang of Nashville, lasik eye surgeon.
  • Rick Williams, Nashville, former 5th Congressional District chair of 2016 Trump for President campaign.
  • Helen “Tootie” Haskins, longtime Tennessee legislative aide.
  • Fred Decosimo, Chattanooga, board member of the Beacon Center of Tennessee and treasurer of Lee’s gubernatorial campaign.
  • Marshall County Trustee Scottie Poarch, who in 2017 was nominated by Congressman Scott DesJarlais as the 4th Congressional District’s Statesman of the Year.
  • Dr. Omar Hamada, former chair of the Williamson County Republican Party.
  • Cyndi Miller, state GOP Executive Committee member (D23-Williamson County), who has advocated for the sale of the public Williamson County Medical Center.

For a full list of Sethi’s grassroots cast of characters, go to the Tennessee Journal.

Illuminating TWITTER THREAD: Biden Vs. Trump – by Susan Hennessey

We wanted to share this TWITTER THREAD by @Susan_Hennessey with you that sheds some light on the basic points about Trump’s hypocritical, baseless, destructive, impeachable mission to pressure foreign governments to go after his political opponent.

Hunter Biden profiting off of the Biden name is not something anyone should be happy about, but it’s also not illegal, and it doesn’t excuse Trump manipulating the entire apparatus of the American government to do his political bidding, Also, the Trump family is the last family in the world that should be attacking him for it considering how the Trump kids have been doing the same and worse – and Trump has been profiteering off the Oval Office since the beginning.

Meanwhile another whistleblower tells us Trump is meddling with the IRS to keep us from seeing his taxes. What a mess.

Here’s SUSAN’S THREAD on why Biden actually followed the rules and norms that Trump has not.

All presidents and vice presidents and cabinet members have family and friends whose jobs might be impacted by policy. That’s why we ask them to observe transparent ethics processes and norms. That is what Biden did. That is what Trump doesn’t do.

To begin with, we ask that presidents and vice presidents divest from personal business holdings. That is what Biden did. That is what Trump didn’t do.

Then we ask that presidents and vice presidents disclose tax returns and financial records to ensure transparency. That is what Biden did. That is what Trump refuses to do.

Then we ask presidents and vice presidents to observe the laws and norms against nepotism in government, by not hiring their family members. Biden observed those norms and laws. Trump refuses to do so.

Even when presidents & VPs divest from personal conflicts, disclose finances & avoid nepotism, sometimes questions still arise. Some things they can’t recuse from & will impact their own financial interests or family/friends. Things like tax cuts, foreign policy, military action.

And so we expect them to observe the norms of process in order to bolster legitimacy. By working through places like State Department, relying on interagency recommendations. It creates reassurance that decisions are being made in the national interest and not personal interest.

What Trump has done is refused to divest from his business, refused to disclose tax returns and financial documents, handed his children government jobs, and then circumvented regular process in the face of opposition from the executive branch and Congress.

Because Biden observed all ethics rules and norms, and was acting on behalf of the US with international support—a position reached through robust and transparent process—we can have confidence in his actions, even in situations in which someone identifies a possible conflict.

This is why past presidents and vice presidents have voluntarily observed these rules (at least most of them and usually). Because they know they may need it to preserve political legitimacy. But Trump doesn’t care about legitimacy. He is openly unethical and self-interested.

Here is a piece I wrote on exactly this problem in January 2017 and why ethics rules are essential to national security.

And here is a book I wrote with Benjamin Wittes which has a whole entire chapter devoted to the subject, chock-full of fun historical examples!

 

VIDEO: Trae Crowder Dismantles TN GOP Senate Candidate Bill Hagerty

Some HIGHLIGHTS of the great Trae Crowder’s glorious TAKEDOWN of TN GOP Senate candidate Bill Hagerty’s entirely predictable, disingenuous pandering. His opponent: Iraq War Veteran James Mackler.

 

VIDEO: Mary Gauthier & Emmylou Harris Support James Mackler For Senate in 2020

Grammy-nominated Mary Gauthier & Grammy-winner Emmylou Harris support James Mackler for Senate in 2020.

VIDEO: Tequila Johnson On Sec. Hargett’s Voter Reg Criminalization Bill

Federal court just BLOCKED Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett’s “SCHEME” to criminalize voter registration after the Tennessee Black Voter Project registered 90,000. Tequila Johnson of The Equity Alliance tells us they were told to turn in every form, and she wasn’t allowed to testify.

“This was about holding onto power.”

Check out the full PODCAST INTERVIEW on ITUNES.

Metro Council Sore Loser Tenpenny & Wife Now Threatening Constituents Online

There were some great results in the Metro Council runoff elections last week, but maybe none as welcome a sight as watching Ginny Welsch take down Tony Tenpenny, who had been sending out homophobic and racial fear mongering mail pieces.

Tenpenny got thumped, and thumped good.

Apparently that didn’t sit well with him, so he and his wife have now taken to social media to threaten constituents with voter fraud and call them all sorts of names.

Here he is threatening people with unfounded allegations of  voter fraud:

Here he is calling someone a “PANSY A**” and challenging someone to meet him in person… while his wife calls someone “chicken shit” and a “scared MF”.

Class acts!

Looks like District 16 made the right call. We’re excited for Ginny, and are confident  she will serve Nashville well. Bullet dodged.

 

NEW VIDEO: “FOUR YEARS OF Z!” Nashville Elects First Muslim Zulfat Suara, Makes History

Watch Zulfat Suara react to her history-making win, saying she’s proud of her diverse support-base which she takes as a mandate for the council to help create a “NASHVILLE FOR ALL”.

VIDEO: “HATE WILL NEVER WIN” – TIRRC Votes Day of Action On Immigration

Watch a group of immigrants in Nashville turn out to vote for immigrants running for office in Nashville.

Election Day is September 12th!

Anonymous 16th District Postcard Accuses Candidate of Socialism

(Editor’s note: With the Metro run-off election less than two weeks away and early voting in its second week, The Tennessee Holler will take an in-depth look at several of the hotly contested Metro Council run-off races. In the second of the series, we review the race in District 16, which encompasses the Woodbine and Glencliff neighborhoods and portions of  Nolensville Road.)

Salacious rumors, hardball tactics and outright gossip go with run-off elections like football and fall.

But, based on comments on the Facebook page, “16th District Nashville” page, the postcard that landed in Metro Council District 16 was distasteful beyond the norm to many voters.

“This is shameful and embarrassing for our district, regardless of who paid for it,” said Jamie Hall, in  response to a Facebook post about the mail piece. “I hope both campaigns denounce this for the trash this is.”

The postcard, pictured below, was sent for the apparent benefit of Tony Tenpenny, a former Metro Councilman who faces Ginny Welsch in the run-off election Sept. 12, and mayoral candidate John Cooper.

One side of this postcard, apparently supporting Metro Council Candidate Tony Tenpenny, infers his opponent is a Socialist.

Side two of the mail piece, showing the illegal ‘disclaimer’ at bottom left.

Headlined “Progressive Socialism,” one side of the mailer prominently features a rainbow, a symbol of the LGBT community, above icons representing the alleged destruction of Fairgrounds Nashville, Nashville as a sanctuary city, an understaffed police force and proposed small houses for homeless in the community. It further compares Welsch and Mayor Briley to Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York. Ocasio-Cortez has been an outspoken progressive since her election in Nov. 18.

The second side urges voters to go to the polls for Tenpenny and Cooper and does not have legal disclaimer, as political mailers are required to have by Tennessee Code Annotated (TCA Title 2, 2-19-1920.)

Katie Lentile, communications director for the Cooper campaign, said Cooper staff was unaware of the mailer until receiving emails from constituents.

“Our campaign was not aware of this,” Lentile said. “We are not making any endorsements in this district’s race.”

When reached by phone, Tenpenny also denied knowledge of the mailer.

A comment on the “16th District Nashville” Facebook page about the mail piece.

Tenpenny has become something of a perpetual candidate for Metro Council in District 16, first running in 2007 against incumbent Anna Page, to whom he lost. In that campaign, signs with rainbow backgrounds saying “Gays and Lesbians for Anna Page” were placed in District 16 without authorization from the Page campaign and lacking a disclaimer. (Out and About, July 14, 2007)

He ran again in 2011, beating Page and serving one term until Mike Freeman defeated him in 2015.

Welsch placed first of three candidates in the August 1 primary with 41.2 percent and Tenpenny came in second with 37 percent.

In addition to Tenpenny’s campaigns for and service on Metro Council, he has compiled a lengthy record of questionable behavior. In 2014, he was alleged to have interfered in officer elections for the Glencliff Neighborhood Association and in 2007, the Nashville Post reported his history of arrests dating to 1984 and a 2002 assault charge.

The run-off election is Sept. 12.

District 13 Drama, Part II: Voter Registration Changes Raise Questions About Dixon’s Move to District

(Editor’s note: With the Metro run-off election less than two weeks away and early voting in its second week, The Tennessee Holler will take an in-depth look at several of the hotly contested Metro Council run-off races. In the first of the series, we take a look at District 13, which runs from Nashville International Airport south to Antioch.)

Keenan Andrew Dixon, one of two candidates in the run-off for Metro Council District 13, officially moved into the district in which he seeks a council seat on Feb. 5, 2019, according to documents received from the Davidson County Election Commission.

However, the Election Commission requires candidates for district council be residents of the district in which they run for a minimum of six months. Given the general election was August 1, Dixon would have needed to show he lived in the district before February 1 to be eligible for office in District 13.

The Holler called Dixon to ask for comment and left a message. Dixon had not returned the call at the time this story went live.

Dixon originally registered to vote in Davidson County in March 2018 at a residence in Council District 15. In January 2019, he updated his voter registration to reflect a move to a single family property he owns – 214 Emery Drive – also in District 15. Then, less than a month later, he again updated his registration to show a move to the District 13 apartment.

Andrew Dixon’s original voter registration in Davidson County from March 2018.

This isn’t the first time questions have been raised about whether Dixon lives in District 13. As we reported last week, Dixon owns multiple single family properties in District 15 but allegedly moved his family, including his wife and two children, into an apartment in District 13, in February 2019.

Dixon’s change of address to a second District 15 residence on January 11, 2019.

February 5, 2019 change of voter registration showing Dixon now living in District 13.

After we posted that story Friday, we obtained records from the Nashville Electric Service showing rates of usage for the apartment in which Dixon allegedly lives.

NES turned power on in the apartment in Dixon’s name Feb. 6, one day after he switched his voter registration address. The Holler reviewed a history of usage in the apartment and found that bills under the prior resident were $109 in July 2018 and $101 in June 2018 at peak summer usage. By contrast, Dixon’s bill for July 2019 was $33.95  and for June, $33.45.

According to NES records, Dixon also had power turned on for yet another property – 214 Emery Drive – on March 8, 2019. Usage records at that address are consistent with someone living there during a hot summer: $216 for July 2019 and $149 for June.

The Holler has now left several messages for Dixon. Pending explanation, a credible case can made for a challenge should he win on Sept. 12.

Dixon faces off against Russ Bradford.