Republican Governors Association bashes Dean; Dean bashes RGA

The Republican Governors Association, apparently concerned that Democrat Karl Dean might actually have a chance of winning the 2018 gubernatorial election, has already begun attacking the former Nashville mayor for supporting a property tax increase. Dean says it’s a case of “Washington politics trying to interfere in Tennessee.”

Gov. Bill Haslam is a past chairman of the RGA, which has election of Republicans as state chief executives as its primary mission. Haslam, who cannot seek reelection next year, still sits on the RGA’s executive committee.

As noted by The Tennessean, the RGA’s online news release attack includes an eight-second video of Dean speaking before the Society of Professional Journalists’ Middle Tennessee chapter last week. The RGA singled out remarks that Dean made about taxes when he said, “I don’t want to raise taxes on Tennesseans, let me be clear about that, and I would point to my record as mayor.”

The RGA referenced Metro’s 53-cent property tax hike in 2012 that was proposed by Dean and passed by the Metro Council.

…n a statement, Dean said, “This is Washington politics trying to interfere in Tennessee.” He accused the Republican group of being “dishonest about my record.”

“In fact, if the clip hadn’t been cut off after just a few seconds, what you would hear is me explaining that I did not raise property taxes during my first term in office. I kept my promise to voters, even through the Great Recession,” Dean said.

Mary Mancini, the Tennessee Democratic Party chair, also called the criticism of Dean dishonest and slammed Republicans who control states with some of the highest rates of uninsured Americans, high unemployment and low income.

“Tennesseans should expect plenty more of these dishonest attacks because Republicans have no accomplishments to run on,” Mancini said.

The RGA news release begins thusly:

Just weeks into his campaign for Tennessee governor, Democrat Karl Dean is giving voters clear evidence that he can’t be trusted to tell the truth. At a recent event at Vanderbilt University, the former Nashville Mayor claimed he wouldn’t raise taxes if elected, and offered his record as mayor as proof.  But unfortunately for Dean, his record as mayor shows the exact opposite. Despite pledging that he would not raise taxes when he ran for office in 2007, Dean successfully pushed for a 13 percent increase in property taxes once elected.

Karl Dean has shown in the past that he has no problem breaking his word when it comes to standing up for taxpayers, but now he’s repeating the same empty rhetoric he used when he first ran for office. Tennessee voters can’t trust Dean to tell the truth or keep his promises.

Note: The full news release, with video, is HERE.

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