campaign ads

Hagerty’s latest ad remarkable for what it doesn’t include (hint: it’s that guy who endorsed him)

Former U.S. Ambassador Bill Hagerty has spent much of his Senate bid hammering home the point that he has been endorsed by President Donald Trump —  a fact that’s been featured prominently on campaign signs and in TV and radio ads. But not in his latest one-minute spot, titled “What Makes America Exceptional.”

The ad features Hagerty talking to the camera about growing up raising livestock and working on road crews when he was in college. He then discusses his time as state economic and community development commissioner and as U.S. ambassador to Japan.

“No one loves this nation more than I do,” Hagerty concludes. “I want that same opportunity for your children and grandchildren, just like I want them for mine. That’s why I’m running for United States Senate.”

On the face of it, it’s a fairly run-of-the-mill biographical ad, the sort one might expect to run early in a campaign to introduce a candidate to the voters. But this ad comes with just three days remaining before the primary election after weeks of attack ads slamming his main rival for the nomination, Vanderbilt surgeon Manny Sethi.

The last advertising push comes as Hagerty has tapped his line of credit by another $800,000 in recent days to bring his total debt to $3.3 million. Sethi has also gone back to his own checkbook, adding $300,000 to the $1.93 million he had previously loaned his campaign.

The transcript of Hagerty’s latest spot follows:

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Sethi spot features wife blasting Hagerty for attack over $50 donation

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Manny Sethi’s latest ad features his wife, Maya, criticizing rival candidate Bill Hagerty for attacking a $50 donation made to a Democratic congressional candidate a dozen years ago.

“Yep, 50 bucks,” she says in the spot. “Now, Bill Hagerty is attacking me to hurt my husband. But Hagerty gave Mitt Romney and Al Gore over $100,000.”

The donation has featured heavily in attacks by the Hagerty campaign and an independent PAC supporting the former ambassador’s bid. The money was given in Manny Sethi’s name through the online fundraising portal ActBlue.

Here’s a transcript of the new ad:

Twelve years ago, some friends called me for political donations. I sent $50. Yep, 50 bucks.

Now, Bill Hagerty is attacking me to hurt my husband. But Hagerty gave Mitt Romney and Al Gore over $100,000.

If you want a politician who will say and do anything to win, vote Bill Hagerty. For a conservative with integrity, please, vote for Manny.

I’m Manny Sethi, and I approve this message.

Hagerty-supporting PAC pushes back against Sethi’s effort to block ad

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Manny Sethi speaks at a campaign event in Clarksville on Feb. 4, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

An outside PAC supporting Bill Hagerty’s bid for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination is pushing back against rival Manny Sethi’s efforts to get TV stations to drop its ad.

Sethis’s lawyers this week called the ad by the Standing with Conservatives PAC “knowingly dishonest” for suggesting a $50 donation to Democratic congressional candidate in 2008 was linked to  online contribution processor ActBlue’s later support for Bernie Sanders’ presidential bid.

“The ability to criticize a public figure’s actions, and to discuss matters of public importance, lies at the heart of the First Amendment, as courts have repeatedly recognized,” Karen Blackistonea lawyer for Standing with Conservatives, wrote to station managers.

“The Candidate denies supporting ActBlue and asserts that ActBlue does not conduct any advocacy. Per ActBlue’s website, ActBlue is more than just a credit card processor. It is dedicated to empowering democratic and progressive liberal campaigns build their movements,” Blackistone wrote “ActBlue exclusively permits certain groups to use its services that shares similar liberal, progressive values.”

The ads were still on the air of as late this week.

The full letter from Standing with Conservatives follows.

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Sethi says voters have choice: ‘Me or Mitt Romney’s guy’

U.S. Senate candidate Manny Sethi is out with a new ad responding to a barrage from rival Republican Bill Hagerty. While the spot seeks to paint Sethi as the victim of “all these crazy attacks,” the Vanderbilt surgeon also gets in his own barb at Hagerty.

“End of the day, it’s about who you believe: Me or Mitt Romney’s guy,” Sethi says in the ad. Here’s the whole thing:

Transcript:

All these crazy attack ads. Bill Hagerty can do that if he wants; that’s not me. You know why Hagerty’s doing this, right? Because we’re winning.

The truth: I hate Obamacare. Testified against it in front of the Senate. I’m a Christian–which is why I’m pro-life. And as a doctor, I know those are babies.

End of the day, it’s about who you believe: Me or Mitt Romney’s guy. I’d sure appreciate your vote.

I’m Manny Sethi, and I approve this message.

Hagerty launches next round of attack ads on Sethi

U.S. Senate candidate Bill Hagerty has another attack ad out on TV this week attacking rival Manny Sethi.

The narrator points out that Sethi, who is now a Vanderbilt surgeon, once served on the b0ard of the Massachusetts Medical Society, a group that later went on to support President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act (thought the ad doesn’t take that time element into account). It also blasts Sethi for once applying for a prestigious White House Fellowship while Obama was president. (Hagerty was a White House fellow in 1991-1992 when George H. W. Bush was president.)

The ad also includes a video of Sethi saying it’s a “political statement” to call the Affordable Care Act “Obamacare.”

Sethi has pushed back against the attacks as being deceptive while lobbing his own broadsides against Hagerty for once donating to Al Gore’s presidential campaign and donating more than $100,000 to Utah Sen. Mitt Romney’s presidential campaigns.

Stay tuned for more mud-slinging.

 

Sethi camp warns of legal action for airing attack ads it calls ‘knowingly dishonest’

Republican Senate candidate Manny Sethi’s camp is calling a new attack ad by a super PAC  ‘knowingly dishonest’ and his lawyers are warning TV stations not to air the spot.

Standing with Conservatives is running an ad attacking Sethi for a $50 donation he made through the ActBlue online donation processing site in 2008. The ad calls ActBlue a PAC that later supported Bernie Sanders’ presidential bid.

The Tennessean’s Natalie Allison has a copy of the ad here:

Sethi’s attorneys say the donation was made by the candidate’s wife to a family friend. They argue ActBlue is being mischaracterized as a PAC.

Standing with Conservatives has spent $512,500 on independent expenditures opposing Sethi so far. The PAC was formed on July 3 and there is no public information available about who is behind it.

The full letter from the Sethi campaign follows:

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New Hagerty ad touts business experience (and Trump)

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Bill Hagerty’s latest TV ad touts his business experience. But don’t call it a pivot — the 30-second spot still contains three references to President Donald Trump.

Here’s what the transcript:

Just like President Trump, Bill Hagerty is a can-do  businessman. Hagerty led economic development in Tennessee, making our economy one of the strongest in America. That’s why President Trump put Hagerty on his advisory board to rebuild America’s economy.  Bill Hagerty will fight to bring manufacturing jobs back from China while cutting taxes for small businesses and workers. Endorsed by President Trump, Bill Hagerty is the proven job creator. 

 

Hill launches first TV ad of congressional bid

State Rep. Timothy Hill (R-Blountville) has launched his first TV ad of his bid for the Republican nomination to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Phil Roe.

According to Hill’s campaign, the ad “touts Hill’s record of being a Christian conservative fighter with a pro-life, pro-gun, pro-Trump record, and highlights the fact that Hill was personally invited to the White House by President Trump earlier this year due to his strong support for the Trump agenda.

Sixteen candidates are seeking the GOP nomination in the heavily Republican district. Other candidates include former Kingsport Mayor John Clark, state Sen. Rusty Crowe of Johnson City, former Johnson City Mayor Steve Darden, Kingsport pharmacist Diana Harshbarger, and state Rep. David Hawk of Greeneville.

Harshbarger has been running ads through her self-funded campaign and Clark recently got on the airwaves as well.

Sethi in new TV ad: “Let ’em try to call me racist.”

Republican Senate candidate Manny Sethi has launched his first TV ad. His campaign says the ad will run statewide — and in Washington, D.C.

The spot features Sethi’s mother speaking about the seven-year process she and her husband went through to immigrate to the United States from India.  “Others come here illegally, take all the benefits and then if you dare say that’s wrong – you are called racist?” she says.

The candidate warns about an “illegal immigrant invasion” if Republicans don’t win next year.

“That’s why I’m running,” he says. “Let ‘em try to call me a racist.”

Here’s the script of the ad:

Dr. Chander Sethi: My husband and I were young doctors in India who wanted to come to America. We followed the law and immigrated legally. It took seven years. We were country doctors in Tennessee for twenty-five years. I delivered thousands of babies, worked hard to be a good citizen. So why do others come here illegally, take all the benefits and then if you dare say that’s wrong – you are called racist? My son, Manny, is a Tennessee surgeon, he’s now running for U.S. Senate. And he knows this is wrong.

Dr. Manny Sethi: We’re gonna have an illegal immigrant invasion if Republicans don’t win in 2020. Democrats are going to give this country away. That’s why I’m running. Let ‘em try to call me a racist.

Democrat James Mackler’s campaign quickly seized on the Sethi ad in a fundraising email:

Unbelievable — one of James’ opponents just launched a despicable ad. Here’s what he says:

“We’re going to have an illegal immigrant invasion if Republicans don’t win in 2020… Let ‘em call me a racist.” – Manny Sethi

DENOUNCE THE AD BY CONTRIBUTING TO JAMES’ CAMPAIGN

James’ opponent is a first generation American who wants to shut the door behind him, and he’s fueling his campaign with fear tactics, divisive rhetoric, and extreme views.

A “good to great” flashback for Dean?

When Karl Dean first ran for Nashville mayor in 2007, rival Bob Clement ran TV ads espousing his plan for taking the city “from good to great.” If that sounds familiar, it’s because Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee is making a similar pitch in this year’s governor’s race again Dean.

The idea is pulled from a 2001 management book by Michael C. Collins called Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap … and Other’s Don’t. Lee likes to talk about the concept of taking Tennessee from good to great on the campaign trail (and as he tries to avoid criticizing the achievements of term limited Gov. Bill Haslam, a fellow Republican.

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