The Tennessean and others have finally decided to report on the slimy goings on in the GOP’s recent election of State Executive Committee members. RTP reported on this back in July (hat-tip to the Jackson Press for being the first to report on the controversy). This is the second “Hit & Run” by the GOP establishment to squelch the conservatives within the party. The first was the Advance Tennessee PAC that targeted incumbent Republicans in the legislature.
Now comes something called the “Strong & Free” PAC. What makes this latest attack interesting is the incompetent manner in which the perpetrators conducted business. They filed late, then they forgot to pay their $100 filing fee, then they made secret contributions from an incorporated organization before the organization was incorporated. We don’t know the name of the incompetent lawyer who got them into this mess, but we know who Strong & Free hired to try to get them out of it (could be the same person, for all we know).
The fly-by-night PAC hired favored establishment consigliere, Gif Thornton. RTP readers will remember Gif Thornton as the “Republican” lobbyist who celebrated the GOP’s super-majority takeover of the legislature by hiring a bunch Democrat lobbyists from the Naifeh era. Go figure. Gif airily dismissed the glaring insufficiencies of the PACs reporting violations as just”bookkeeping” mistakes (that’s the same excuse Tom Ingram gave when he got caught red-handed for lobbying without registering).
All of these incidents add up to an increasingly corrupt state GOP establishment. Instead of facing conservatives head-on, they surreptitiously try to slime them with secret PACs, then hire hack lawyers to cover their bumbling tracks.
Add this to secret under-the-table payments from the governor to Ingram, 7-figure payoffs to companies whose contracts they took away so that the administration’s friends could profit, to an Obama-voting education commissioner who handed out multimillion dollar no-bid sweetheart contracts to his old (and future?) employer.
These people are sleazebags.