New PAC backs Lee in Republican gubernatorial race with radio ad

A new Super PAC supporting Tennessee Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee says it began airing radio ads today touting the Williamson County businessman as the “conservative outsider we need,” reports the Times Free Press.

Tenn Values PAC spokesman Chris Butler said the 60-second spot is airing in East Tennessee in the Chattanooga, Knoxville and Tri-Cities markets. He declined to say how much the PAC is spending.

The ad describes Lee as a “conservative businessman, not a politician” and touts leadership as the head of Lee Company, which provides services ranging from construction to plumbing and HVAC services to homes, facilities and businesses.

“Bill Lee knows how to create jobs and solve problems, and its starts by making state government more accountable,” the announcer says, later adding “Bill Lee will fight for term limits for the state legislature and he’ll pass a five-year lobbying ban for former lawmakers to stop the influence peddling in Nashville.”

A recent Vanderbilt University poll shows Lee was the least known among the four major Republican gubernatorial hopefuls with U.S. Rep. Diane Black of Gallatin, Knoxville businessman and former state economic commissioner Randy Boyd Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell all ahead.

Press release from Tenn Values PAC

BRENTWOOD – A Tennessee-based organization named TENN Values PAC will support conservative businessman Bill Lee to become the state’s next governor.  The group launched Thursday with a targeted radio and digital advertising campaign aimed at likely Republican primary voters.

“TENN Values PAC is an independent political organization that supports conservative businessman Bill Lee to be the next governor of Tennessee because he understands hardworking families want a high-quality education for their kids, good-paying jobs in their communities and safe neighborhoods,” reads the description of the organization on its website,

The organization will begin airing its first radio ad, “Conservative Outsider,” in the Knoxville media market this week.  The 60-second ad highlights Bill Lee’s outsider status as a “successful businessman and seventh-generation Tennessean,” and calls attention to several of the GOP gubernatorial hopeful’s positions, including “term limits and a lobbying ban for politicians” and “new work requirements for TennCare recipients.”

“Conservative Outsider” Transcript:

Bill Lee is a conservative businessman, not a politician.

Lee has created over 1,000 good-paying jobs for electricians, pipe fitters and plumbers.

Now, this successful businessman and seventh-generation Tennessean is running for governor.

Bill Lee knows how to create jobs and solve problems, and its starts by making state government more accountable. 

Bill Lee will fight for term limits for the state legislature and he’ll pass a five-year lobbying ban for former lawmakers to stop the influence peddling in Nashville.

And Bill Lee knows the importance of hard-work and personal responsibility.

As our next governor, Lee will require able-bodied TennCare recipients to work for their benefits.

Term limits and lobbying ban for politicians.

New work requirements for TennCare recipients.

Better paying jobs and opportunities for all Tennesseans.

Bill Lee is the successful businessman and conservative outsider we need.

TENN Values PAC paid for and is responsible for the content of this advertising.  Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

Note: The PAC only recently filed its initial paperwork with the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance and has not filed any disclosure report. The PAC’s home address is Alexandria, Va., and its treasurer is listed as David Satterfield, identified in a 2015 Center for Political Integrity article as “a campaign finance compliance professional at the Alexandria, Va.-based firm Huckaby Davis Lisker.” At the time, the article dealt with a Super PAC called “We The People, Not Washington.”  Satterfield is also currently listed as treasurer for a PAC called Term Limits Now, which the Center for Responsive Politics says was set up last year and has reported spending about $300,000 so far.

Update: More from Nashville Post

But one person who seems to certainly be involved in TENN Values is Stuart Southard, the CEO and founder of Care Supply Company, a distributor of construction tools and equipment. A phone number listed on the PAC’s state filing appears to be Southard’s cell number; he did not return a message left at that number and was unavailable when the Post called his office.

Southard and Lee are both former board members of the anti-abortion Hope Clinic for Women, and both serve on an advisory council for the New Hope Academy in Franklin. Southard and his wife Lisa (who was the former personal assistant of singer Michael McDonald and is now a bestselling novelist) both donated the maximum $8,000 apiece to Lee’s campaign in May 2017, a week after Lee announced his gubernatorial bid.

According to campaign finance records, Southard is only a semi-regular political donor. And he often is not so generous as he was to Lee. Prior to 2017, Southard’s most recent donation was $500 to U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s 2015 reelection campaign, and his only contribution to a state race during the past 18 years was $1,000 to Haslam’s first race in 2009. Since the 1990s, Southard’s federal campaign contributions include values ranging between $500 and $1,500 to the failed congressional bids of Jeff Hartline, Cecilia Noland-Heil, Walt Massey, Van Hilleary and Steve Gill, along with one $500 donation in 2010 to the successful campaign of now-U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais. Before the Lee contribution, Southard’s largest campaign donation was $2,250 in 2006 to the failed GOP Senate bid of Ed Bryant.


4 Responses to New PAC backs Lee in Republican gubernatorial race with radio ad

  • Avatar
    Molly Mann says:

    Thanks for the great info. I love hearing about these PACS and who is on their staff.

  • Avatar
    Lance Persson says:

    Sounds great to me. After learning where BILL LEE stands on the issues, why would anyone consider voting for anyone else?

  • Avatar
    James White says:

    No term limits. No Lee.

  • Avatar
    Stuart I. Anderson says:

    I’ll tell you why Lance. Bill Lee is a No Record candidate; no record in public office, no record of being a long-time consistent conservative advocate despite being many years passed puberty, and no record of having contributed to conservative causes or to conservative candidates despite being a very, very wealthy man for a very, very long time. What candidates or their supportive PACS say at election time based on what their media people tell them to say based on what their pollsters say the voters want to hear should be heavily discounted.

    BUT MOST OF ALL it is becoming more and more apparent that Lee is not the most likely to beat Randy! Boyd which, for conservatives, is JOB ONE. If the polls before election time show him in fact to be the most likely then he will get my vote because in the gubernatorial race it’s ANBODY BUT BOYD!

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