Beavers, Pody complain about PAC billboard criticizing them

A recently-formed political action committee has placed a billboard on a Wilson County highway criticizing former state Sen. Mae Beavers and her successor, Sen. Mark Pody, for voting against Gov. Bill Haslam’s 2017 “IMPROVE Act.” The two conservative Republicans, both currently engaged in political campaigns, complain that the billboard unfairly links traffic accidents and fatalities on the highway to their vote, reports The Tennessean.

“I think it’s the lowest of the lows when you use people’s tragedies politically like that,” Beavers said.

Beavers is running for Wilson County mayor after she resigned from her Senate seat last year to enter the race for governor. She later withdrew from the governor’s race and decided to run for county mayor (against incumbent Mayor Randall Hutto).

Pody is the former District 46 state representative who won a special election to replace Beavers and is now running again. (No Republican primary opponent, but in November Pody faces Democrat  Mary Alice Carfi, who he narrowly defeated in the special election.)

(Carol Brown) Andrews is a Smith County resident running unopposed for the District 17 Democratic Executive Committee Woman office. (She’s also a veteran political operative who has worked in many Democratic campaigns.)

The billboard and its statistics are “not a blame for anyone causing those accidents,” Andrews said. “The overall goal is to have a frank and honest discussion with voters. … Simply, we want to educate voters on bread and butter issues.” 

… “I’d rather not fight that way,” Pody said of the PAC. “If they feel they need to do that kind of politics … I’m going to stand for who I am.”

The PAC reported raising just $3,500 in its first financial disclosure, filed in April with the Registry of Election Finance.

Press release from Tennesseans for Common Sense PAC

LEBANON, TN — Votes against critical highway improvements by former State Senator Mae Beavers and Mark Pody, former state representative and current state senator, put Wilson Countians at risk. Beavers is now running for Wilson County Mayor while Pody seeks re-election to the State Senate.

The Beavers-Pody rule has not only attempted to stagnate progress in Wilson County and the state, but the pair has said ‘NO’ the IMPROVE ACT for safety improvements for highways here, like Highway 109, according to Tennesseans for Common Sense PAC.

The PAC was formed earlier this year to tell voters the truth about the record of Mae Beavers and Mark Pody, said spokesperson Carol Brown Andrews.

“That is why Tennesseans for Common Sense just placed a billboard along Highway 109 to remind voters that while they thought their lawmakers were voting in their interest, it was remarkably to the contrary. Both Beavers and Pody voted against the Improve Act,” Andrews. “Fortunately it passed overwhelmingly, but not with the help of Mae Beavers and Mark Pody. They chose to defy the Governor’s common-sense plan for safer roads.”

“Both Beavers and Pody also voted against the budget in 2017, which includes funding for all state services in Wilson County, transportation, schools, public safety and critical programs for families and children. They also staunchly opposed Medicaid expansion, adding to the downfall of 10 rural hospitals in our state.”

Tennesseans for Common Sense PAC’s goal is to educate voters and to encourage them to vote ‘No’ to both Beavers and Pody. The PAC will be active throughout the election season. Radio ads will air on local radio WCOR during the Coleman and Company talk show, as well.

To learn more about Tennesseans for Common Sense PAC, which is not affiliated with nor approved by any candidate or campaign, follow its Twitter feed @TNCommonSense or its Facebook page at Tennesseans for Common Sense. A web site that is capable of accepting contributions to the PAC’s efforts will launch in coming days.

Sources: HB534/SB1221, Tennessee Department of Safety

BEAVERS VOTED AGAINST THE IMPROVE ACT: “Beavers, a hard-right Republican from Mt. Juliet who voted against the IMPROVE Act, last week declared her candidacy and pledged “a full effort to repeal the gas tax increase that the legislature just passed and Gov. Haslam just signed into law.” [Chattanooga Times Free Press, 6/5/17]

BEAVERS VOTED AGAINST THE IMPROVE ACT AND THE BUDGET: “I voted against the gas tax, and I voted against the bloated budget.” [Tennessee Star, 6/9/17]

PODY VOTED AGAINST THE IMPROVE ACT: “I did not support the increase in gas taxes.” [WJLE, 5/9/17]


PODY VOTED AGAINST THE 2017 BUDGET BECAUSE OF THE IMPROVE ACT. BOASTS ABOUT GOOD FOR ROADS, BRIDGES, EDUCATION, TAX CUTS AND NO NEW DEBT, BUT VOTED AGAINST IT ANYWAY: “ On the UP side,  K-12 Education was a winner in funding again this year including: • $200 million to fund the Basic Education Program (BEP), including $100.4 million for teacher salaries; and 15 million for career and technology education equipment Roads and Bridges are funded for the next few years, with $132 million bringing the Rainy Day fund to an all time high of $800 million.

No new debt – the second year in a row. We are one of the lowest taxed States with the lowest debt owed to the government per person.  So we could say, there is a huge surplus at the State.

Taxes have been lowered on food by 20% with a decrease in sales tax.

On the Down side – Taxes will increase 6 cents on Gasoline and 10 cents on Diesel.

More fees were passed for car registration.

Simply there was a lot of pork in this budget.  This budget was the largest in the history of our State.  Our State government is growing faster than our population and faster than our average income in Tennessee.

Even with all the good in this budget, I believe this out of control increase and spending HAS TO STOP!   I felt it was so bad, I did not vote for the budget.” [, 5/18/17]



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