Mailer backing Warner uses image linked to Phoenix Solutions

House Majority Leader William Lamberth’s political action committee is sending out mailers supporting embattled Rep. Todd Warner’s re-election campaign in House District 92. The piece presumably inadvertently uses a photo of Warner that has been linked to Phoenix Solutions, the political vendor that operated in the shadows and caused ex-Rep. Robin Smith (R-Hixson) to plead guilty to a federal public corruption charge earlier this year.

According to a February 2021 report by the Chattanooga Times Free Press, the same photo was used among a portfolio presented to a potential client by Phoenix Solutions. Warner, whose home and offices were searched by the FBI the previous month alongside those of Smith and former Senate Speaker Glen Casada, denied he had engaged Phoenix Solutions to do work for his primary campaign against then-Rep. Rick Tillis (R-Lewisburg).

The mailer was prepared by an outside vendor unrelated to Warner’s re-election campaign.

Here’s the way the photo played in the newspaper account last year:

Warner has upset his colleagues by attending a campaign rally for Gary Humble (who is challenging state Senate Republican leader Jack Johnson in Williamson County) and for his ongoing use of a vendor, Dixieland Strategies, that is suspected of having ties for former Casada aide Cade Cothren.

Warner faces two Williamson County challengers in next week’s Republican primary, former County Commissioner Jeff Ford and Spring Hill Alderman Matt Fitterer.