NYT: Hagerty didn’t disclose Romney donation before returning it

Bill Hagerty attends the Tennessee Republican Party’s Statesmen’s Dinner in Nashville on June 15, 2019. At right is U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Brentwood). (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

A New York Times setup piece on the U.S. Senate primary election in Tennessee includes an interesting tidbit about how Republican Bill Hagerty’s campaign quietly returned a $5,600 donation from former political mentor Mitt Romney after first depositing it. The Hagerty camp didn’t include the deposit or the refund in its disclosures, a possible violation of campaign finance rules.

According to the Times:

The day after Mr. Hagerty announced his candidacy in September, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission, Mr. Romney’s Believe in America PAC contributed the maximum allowed amount to Mr. Hagerty’s campaign — $5,600. Bank records indicate that Mr. Hagerty’s campaign deposited the check. But in October, Mr. Hagerty surprised Mr. Romney by quietly returning the donation in full.

(Neither the PAC’s contribution nor Mr. Hagerty’s disbursement of the refund appears in the Hagerty campaign’s filings, a potential violation of campaign finance law. A spokesman for the Hagerty campaign said, “Once we realized it was deposited, we alerted the bank and we reversed the transaction, because we do not share Senator Romney’s liberal, anti-Trump political positions.”)

Rival Republican candidate Manny Sethi, of course, has been hammering Hagerty for his past association with Romney, who is seen as a pariah to many Republicans now for voting to convict President Donald Trump for abuse of power during last year’s impeachment.

Here’s the NYT’s main takeaway from the race:

Thursday’s election stands to lay bare whether Mr. Sethi’s attempts to cast Mr. Hagerty as a pawn of the establishment are enough to outweigh Mr. Trump’s endorsement; it will also indicate whether a Senate campaign, absent any other message, can succeed on that endorsement alone.

44 Responses to NYT: Hagerty didn’t disclose Romney donation before returning it

  • Avatar
    James White says:

    What a sneaky guy. Deep State Hagerty.

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      T West says:

      Not sneaky. Standing by his principles and not taking the money

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        Paulina A. Madaris says:

        He TOOK the money… it was deposited. Once he understood the optics of what he had done, he returned it. Principles? I don’t think so. PR management? Exactly. I’ve worked in campaigns as a fundraiser and know the difference.

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      Nancy B Perkins says:

      Exactly. Hagerty is never dependable. He failed to show up for several townhall meetings and didn’t bother responding. He’s flip flopped on abortion and immigration issues in the past. He’s had many strings attached to other RINOs and owes many favors to Lamar Alexander, Bob Corker, and Bill Haslam to whom he worked and made Tennessee the Number one State in the nation dependent on Chins. He was on the Bd.Of directors for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt book company and made Millions while giving us Common Core. He donated $100,000 to Al Gore his bff. He put into an important job in Tennessee a Muslim women who’s father is a terrorist and later said he didn’t know. He’s hired one of the meanest political hatchet man who has been spinning huge lies about Dr. Manny. He’s a millionaire making money for himself and would be at have time to represent us in the Senate.

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    Beatrice Shaw says:

    He has a pretty wife. She just adores him in the picture, Cute. I bet she is tired of all the campaigning.

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      Carole says:

      That’s not his wife, that’s Sen Marsha Blackburn.

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      James White says:

      I think that picture on this blog entry is Senator Blackburn, and she is looking at Hagerty thinking: “This guy is going to spoil the whole Money flow to all of us if he gets elected. The voters will find out we are in it for the Money and the One World Government power we each have”.
      on the other hand, Hagerty is probably thinking: ” I wonder what is on TV tonite”

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        Jean Peavler says:

        Senator Blackburn has also endorsed Hagerty. She has risen up through the establishment; I don’t think she wants to go against it. Ron Paul, Ted Cruz, and Mark Levine have all endorsed Sethi; surely those three have done their homework!

      • Avatar
        Nancy B Perkins says:

        He’s probably wondering when he can get another martini lunch

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        Paulina A. Madaris says:

        Having worked for a Member of Congress, I watched Senator Blackburn (then Rep. Blackburn) do whatever it took to “get in” with House leadership. She worked the Establishment ladder to get where she is today. She’s probably wondering why she had to sniff crack while Hagerty just waltzed in to the party… just guessing, of course.

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      Bob says:

      Not his wife!?

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    MARLE says:

    Hope you read the Bee today, Stuart. See, I told you.

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    Mark Rogers says:

    I hope their loved ones have Stuart and Lee Ann C. on suicide watch. The truth can be hard to swallow.

    • Avatar
      Missy S says:

      Don’t count those chickens before they are hatched.

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        Mark Rogers says:

        Missy, win… lose… or draw, the fact that it took Team Hagerty time to decide to return the donation shows that he was still close to Mitt and that his team disregarded the law. The Ambassador has not been honest with the voters from the start.

        • Avatar
          Missy S says:

          Neither has been honest. What makes you think you ever had a choice between two opposites?

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            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            In more ways than one Missy. If heaven forbid both these blokes were our U.S. Senators I bet there wouldn’t be five Heritage percent difference in their voting records. I say Heritage 70%-75% from either. It’s simply that the Chairman Mannys of the world are so much more harmful to the conservative movement than the vanilla Establishment Republicans like Hagerty. NEITHER IS DESIRABLE!!!

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          Nancy B Perkins says:

          Absolutely correct. He wanted that money

    • Avatar
      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Once again, for me Hagerty is a man I wouldn’t dream of supporting if he were not running against Dr. “CONSERVATIVE-OUTSIDER” whose campaign is a fraudulent enterprise because he is neither a conservative nor an outsider. I called Hagerty “the candidate from Republican Establishment’s Central Casting” months ago when I decided to support him when it became obvious that Chairman Manny was going to slap conservative in the face by running as a Rambo Conservative while having a background as a Republican Establishment hanger-on.

      I want The Chairman to be decisively defeated after spending about $2 million to fool Tennessee voters. It doesn’t look like that’s going to happen so if I do not survive this election it will be do to terminal indifference rather than suicide no matter who wins.

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    Charles says:

    Maybe Dr. Quinn should be the candidate. He looks mean enough.

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    Donna Locke says:

    I don’t know what they are doing, but The Tennessee Star removed my comment under their August 5 post about Joe Carr’s explaining why he did not endorse Bill Hagerty. Maybe it will show up later. I point out that Joe Carr has done nothing but lie about the farce of a hiring bill he got passed in the legislature. It was not a mandatory E-Verify bill or a true verification bill of any kind. He changed the original bill to please the business lobby and the governor’s adminstration, including Hagerty. Under Carr’s bill that became law, employers did not have to verify any documents of any new hire. Business as usual continued, and Tennessee remains a magnet to illegal aliens because of it.

    Jim Tracy, Carr’s co-sponsor, had the intelligence and conscience to be ashamed and came back in a later session and got a real mandatory E-Verify bill passed, but it applies only to employers of more than 25 employees. Not good enough! This is the state law on the books now.

    We need mandatory E-Verify on all employers, private and state. The federal government already E-Verifies its own employees.

    I have posted these facts at The Star before. They are allergic to facts over there, and they are ignorant, willfully so. And they push nonconservatives, such as Carr.

    • Avatar
      TR says:

      Donna, The Tennessee Star is a pay to play “news” site. They’re on Hagerty’s pay roll, so don’t expect your comments in favor of Sethi to be left up.

    • Avatar
      MARLE says:

      They are a propaganda rag. That is all they are. They do political “advertising” not just in their ads but in their so-called news stories. They have been doing that for years and years. Like Talk radio, they have a base audience to satisfy and deliver to advertisers. And they have a base audience to Serve up an echo chamber.

      Trump is about to give Dreamers citizenship and they are about to start agitating for their relatives to get it as well. Star Loves Trump (in order to be an echo chamber). Trump loves Dreamers & by extension the parents who set them up for their Dream Life in America.

      Of course any comment to the contrary doesn’t suit the Propaganda rag.

      • Avatar
        Stuart I. Anderson says:

        He wouldn’t dare right before an election in which he is behind. (Maybe after the election.)

      • Avatar
        Marisella says:

        What have you been drinking? Trump does NOT love Dreamers, he loves LEGAL immigrants like myself! Remove your head from your backside and get some oxygen to your addled brain!

        • Avatar
          MARLE says:

          Trump is giving Dreamers a path to citizenship and the minute they get the right to vote they will be agitating for their parents to get citizenship as well. You came here legally? 10’s of thousands who didn’t have had their children educated by our public schools just like you have. That represents 100’s of thousands of dollars per family.

          Trump called his Bill to give citizenship to Dreamers a Bill of LOVE. You’re the one with the addled brain.

    • Avatar
      Donna Locke says:

      I have to say I know about Carr’s bill because I talked with him about it at the time. A lot.

      • Avatar
        Donna Locke says:

        “Hey, Joe, where you goin’ with that bill in your hand?” — as I paraphrased Jimi Hendrix at the time.

    • Avatar
      Nancy B Perkins says:

      If it’s a Gannett paper than they’re left-wing-political media anyway and would favor Haverty

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    T West says:

    So when a man stands by his principles and returns money from someone he DOES NOT support now we call that sneaky? Yes he helped Romney against Obama- who SHOULD. have helped? We ALL fought for Romney that time. If you say you didnt, you’re lying.

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    Eddie White says:

    Donald Trump has done more to reduce both illegal and legal immigration of any president in recent history. Travel bans and wall construction to name a couple. The real question is what President Biden and Vice-President Harris’s position will be on immigration. It will mirror Obama’s. There will be a substantial increase in legal immigration, elimination of travel bands, and stopping and maybe tearing down the sections of new wall built. That is where we are currently headed. Who cares what Trump’s position is on dreamers? Get your head out of the sand and look around at the direction the country is headed. As for Joe Carr, who cares what his position is or what he did? When was he last in the legislature? I saw Carr last week. He is busy helping Dr Manny get elected.

    • Avatar
      Donna Locke says:

      Because he goes on the radio and everywhere in public and lies about the bill/law, thus misleading Tennesseans into thinking that thanks to him Tennessee requires employers to E-Verify, which his bill DID NOT do. See above. He contacted NumbersUSA and wanted them to publicize the passage of his so-called E-Verify bill. They did not. They laughed about it when they weren’t crying about it. They told him his bill did not require E-Verify. He could not grasp that, but any lawyer could, and we knew. The business lobby knew all the word tricks. Joe Carr betrayed working-class Tennesseans.

      NumbersUSA has lawyers on staff and has helped write federal bills. They are our main lobbyists in Washington for immigration control.

    • Avatar
      MARLE says:

      How does a wall keep immigrants out when some astronomical number of illegals have overstayed the Once-legal visas and just disappeared into the wind?

  • Avatar
    MARLE says:

    There was no MASSIVE middle class tax cut; the tax code was Not simplified; loopholes like carried interest were not closed; and people like Trump DID benefit in an outsized way as compared to the “not one penny of benefit” Trump lied about.

    And this is just one issue, taxes, about which he has lied repeatedly. Why is it ok for him and not for other politicians? And the ratio of his lies to the lies of any TN politician are off the charts.

  • Avatar
    Happy says:

    All citizens SHOULD realise President Trump is the best protector of our country in many years! Once we are unprotected there is nothing else left to matter. Count on it!

  • Avatar
    Taxpayer #314 says:

    Trump is such a good protector of our country that we now have over 150,000 dead from his great leadership just since February. I am not sure how much more “protection and great leadership” we can take! Wake UP! We can both agree that “once we are unprotected, there is nothing else that matters.”

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