Front group — run by Obama operatives and directed by Haslam & Co. — has spent over $233,000 in handful of legislative races against conservative Republicans.
It appears Haslam and his cronies have made good on his promise to punish Republicans who do not get in line with the governor’s liberal agenda. That they are doing it through an Obama front group shows you just how slimy they truly are.
Rocky Top previously exposed the Portland, OR-based Stand for Children (SFC) independent expenditure committee as being a front group for Haslam, Harwell and other establishment types to funnel money into races against conservative Republicans they don’t like. After their debacle LINK of the AdvanceTN PAC back in the 2014 primary, you would think they would have learned their lesson. And you would be wrong.
This time around Haslam & Co. have merely readjusted their fig leaf and are using the Stand for Children PAC to do what they do not have the courage to do up front. They also have a regular PAC that has added cold hard cash to their effort. But further research by RTP reveals that their choices in front groups are particularly outrageous, considering who runs the Stand for Children. Just how many Obama-crazies work for Stand for Children? Below is a list of Obama connections by the senior staff of SFC, gleaned from their resumes posted on their website. This removes all doubt about whether this is an Obama group that is being used by Haslam and his allies.
The Obama Connection at Stand for Children (from their websites):
- Obama campaign aide, 2007-2008
- Obama White House liaison 2009-2013
- Memphis community organizers who worked for Obama election and re-election.
- Camp Obama 2007-2012
- Field Director for Obama 2012
- Organizing for America 2013
- Rock the Vote 2012
- Common Cause field staff
- Aide to Sen. John Kerry
- Obama campaign staff 2012
Stand for Children is so in the tank for liberals and Obama that some of them probably have “Hope & Change” tattooed on their butts.
There is one, lonely Republican listed as working for Stand for Children and guess who his immediate past employer was: Bill Haslam.
So that is why we present to you today the three candidates who have welcomed the hundreds of thousands of dollars from a liberal Obama PAC deigned to defeat their conservative Republican opponents in next week’s primary. Not a single one of these faux Republicans have uttered a single word against the Obama PAC helping in their race. Not one. Silence is confirmation, eh?
William “Willie” Lockhart.
Lockhart has been the recipient of over $29,500 from the Obama/Haslam, SFC PACs. Willie was recruited by his old boss Joe McCord, the clerk of the House and a Beth Harwell toady. Lockhart appears to be using the Grant Starrett tactic of moving into a district then running for office just months later. The Obama PAC has paid for eleven mailers in the district (including 9 pieces that attack Rep. Judd Matheny). Willie is being actively promoted by local Nissan/Toyota dealer, John Roberts, a reliable establishment political donor who has his nose so far up the governor’s bum it will have to be surgically removed when Haslam leaves office.
The Obama PAC is doing mailings for Cox, attacking Rep. Courtney Rogers, spending $54,600 to date. Rarely has there been a more shining example of an establishment suck- up than Beth Cox. Cox farmed out her campaign to defeated/disgraced Rep. Debra “Mad Dog” Maggart, LINK who now works for a Democrat lobbying firm. Her brain trust also includes Melissa Gay, a state executive committee member who attended last week’s convention as a Trump delegate, even though she openly opposed Trump in the primary. LINK
Stand for Children has spent and astonishing $85,600 trying to win the open seat formerly held by Rep. Rick Womick. That amount is more than triple the amount raised by Sigler, their favored candidate. Sigler is the daughter of establishment SEC member and Haslam ally Hobart Rice of Morristown. At a Christmas party for the state executive committee last year, Hobart was heard to brag that Haslam told him he would spend $100,000 to get Sigler elected.
The Obama PAC reportedly placed over $47,000 in television and radio advertising alone in addition to mailings to promote Sigler and attack her opponent, Tim Rudd, who is a longtime ally of the retiring Rep. Rick Womick.
In addition to the above, The Haslam.Obama.SFC PAC has spent over $80,000 in polling, much of which is suspected to be notorious push polling meant to smear conservative Republicans. RTP has also learned that there are several other races where the Obama/Haslam PAC effort is trying to defeat conservative Republicans, although the pre-primary report has only some of the expenditures:
- Charles Sargent vs. Steve Gawrys – mailings. Amount unknown.
- Steve Dickerson vs. – $16,168 in mailings and cash contributions for Dickerson.
- Ron Gant (Rep. Lee Wilburn’s old seat) — $8,138.
- Sam Whitson vs. Jeremy Durham – even though Durham suspended/ended his campaign, that hasn’t kept Haslam/Obama PAC from continuing to spend over $25,700 in the race so far. Talk about beating a dead horse.
- $18,497 to Chad Keen, running in Jon Lundberg’s open seat.
This astonishing display of Haslam, Harwell, et al trying to bully conservatives into silence through a huge expenditure of money may indeed defeat some of these candidates. But if it ends up like the butt-whippin’ the establishment received in the 2014 primary – where they ended up with a net loss of one seat for the hundreds of thousands they spent attacking conservatives — it could cost Harwell her job and Haslam his agenda.