PAC targeting Black in radio ads going on TV (Update: Not anymore)

A political action committee that has run radio ads attacking U.S. Rep Diane Black in the Republican gubernatorial race is going on TV. (UPDATE: The reserved ad time appears to have been pulled).

Tennessee Jobs Now had booked $28,000 in ad time in the Knoxville market, $20,100 in Memphis, $27,600 in Nashville. But by Monday afternoon, those reservations appeared to have been cleared from the books.

The PAC has been largely bankrolled by Joe Hollingsworth Jr. of Clinton, who has also given $8,000 to Randy Boyd’s campaign.

Hollingsworth is the father of Trey Hollingsworth, the Tennessee transplant who was elected to Congress in Indiana in 2016. A group called Indiana Jobs Now spent heavily in that race, and the Tennessee group’s website is registered to the same GOP operative, James McKay of New Hampshire.

The PAC previously ran radio ads featuring toilet flushing sounds that rehashed allegations made in a TV spot Lou Ann Zelenik ran against Black during their first congressional primary contest in 2010, implying that Black as a state senator directed state money to Aegis Sciences, the drug testing company run by her husband (which he has since left). The company lost a defamation lawsuit against Zelenik, who in turn sued for malice and willful intent.

A second radio ad claimed “career politician Diane Black actually thought it was a good idea to give illegal immigrants drivers’ licenses in Tennessee.”

Hollingsworth Sr. publicly contemplated a Democratic bid for governor of Tennessee in 1998, but ultimately bowed out.

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