News from TN legislative campaigns (Coleman-Dickerson; Smith-Johnson, Porch-Reedy)

Democrats accuse GOP of anti-Semitic ad

A Republican Party mail attack on Erin Coleman, the Democratic nominee facing Republican Sen. Steve Dickerson in Senate District 20, is characterized as anti-Semitic by Tennessee Democratic Party Chair Mary Mancini, reports WSMV-TV. State GOP Chairman Ryan Haynes says the contention is ridiculous and Mancini should apologize for making it.

The most recent anti-Coleman mailer accuses her of working for big-time developers and protecting their profits. It also calls her “Crony Cash” Coleman and superimposes her face on a woman’s body holding a bag of money.

Coleman practices Orthodox Judaism and serves on the Akiva School and JCC boards. She was not available for comment Monday because of the Jewish holiday, but the state Democratic Party is slamming the new ad.

“Steve Dickerson says that he’s a different kind of Republican,” said Democratic party Chairman Mary Mancini. “But you look at this piece and the different kind of perceptions that people have of this piece you realize that it’s just like something Donald Trump would do.”

…Haynes denied all accusations of anti-Semitism.

“That’s an absolutely ridiculous assertion and it’s the most ridiculous assertion I’ve heard in my 10 years in politics,” Haynes said… “I applaud her Jewish faith,” he told Channel 4. “As someone who has many Jewish friends, that’s a very offensive statement and I call on her to apologize for it.”

Update/Note: Nashville Scene has more, HERE, including comments from Jews who do see the ad as anti-Semitic.


Durham donations spark squabble in Porch-Reedy race

Democrat Andy Porch is calling on Republican Rep. Jay Reedy to refund $4,500 in donations from ousted Rep. Jeremy Durham in the campaign for the House District 74 seat, reports the Clarksville Leaf Chronicle. Reedy says he donated $3,000 of the Durham money to help abused women and children, but does not plan to return the rest.

“Many of us donate to each other’s campaigns,” he said. “If they want to rag me about that, then so be it.”

Porch suggested Reedy avoided having to vote for Durham’s expulsion when he did not sign a petition for a special session.

Reedy defended himself saying that he was advised not to sign the petition by the Majority Leader and Caucus Chairman because it already lacked enough supporters for the session to be held. They needed 66 but only had about 20 at the time, Reedy said.

Reedy said he has no working relationship with Durham and has no idea of his whereabouts. (He also voted for the motion to expel Durham from the House.)

House District 13 poll gives voters wrong election date

Someone is doing a polling call in the House District 13 race that tells those answering the phone that the election is on Nov. 18 instead of Nov. 8, reports the News Sentinel. A man who got one of the calls says he was immediately disconnected after saying he would vote for Democrat Gloria Johnson over Republican Rep. Eddie Smith.

Both Smith and Johnson say they have no idea who is sponsoring the poll.

Johnson didn’t blame Smith’s campaign. Polls are expensive to conduct, and anybody can issue one if they want. She did say that her campaign had previously held a poll, but it was straightforward and not meant to influence the vote.

“But we just did one poll,” she said.

Smith said his campaign has done no polling by phone, and he also criticized the one this past week with misleading information.

“I don’t know who would have done something that stupid,” Smith said.

He has been the target of a push poll in prior elections, Smith said. One he recalled was a phone poll asking voters who they supported, and if they selected Smith, the poll would say false things about his character, he said.

“Push polls,” he said, “it is all about trying to make up stuff.”

Note: On HD13, see also Sandra Clark’s rundown on Knoxville political people maneuvering in the contest, HERE.


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