Diane Black fired the first direct shot, but the Randy Boyd campaign has responded quickly and Black has already followed up with a second attack ad that solely targets Boyd. Bill Lee has not yet aired anything but positive ads at this point in the Tennessee Governor’s GOP primary race that is quickly descending into the bloodbath between Boyd and Black that most expected.
Black aired the first “comparison” campaign ad that tagged two of her primary opponents, Bill Lee and Randy Boyd, as being “two moderates.” The ad focused on Boyd, but the inclusion of Lee underlined his recent surge in the polls.
But Black has followed up almost immediately with a second ad that only hits Boyd as being “anti-hunter” while touting Black’s endorsement by the NRA. In fact, the ad is titled “Anti-hunter” to make the point clear.
Black “Anti-hunter” campaign ad transcript:
Where does Randy Boyd stand on hunting and guns? Randy Boyd hired his lobbyist from an anti hunting organization. Randy Boyd’s firm gave big money to the lobbying group that would make hunting illegal. The NRA called them an anti- hunting, extremist organization. But Randy Boyd called them “partner”. Read about Randy Boyd’s anti-hunting partner on the NRA website and vote for the only candidate for Governor endorsed by the NRA. Diane Black.
The “anti-hunting organization” that is referenced in the Black ad is the Humane Society of the U.S. and the partnership was a deal between Boyd’s company Radio Systems Corp. and its subsidiary PetSafe Training Systems, from 2001 to 2003 when the Humane Society listed Radio Systems Corp. and PetSafe among its “corporate partners” in its annual report. Other corporate partners of the Humane Society at that time included General Mills, Saab, MasterCard, the Franklin Mint, the American Red Cross, Citibank, and Build a Bear Workshop, among others.
The “lobbyist” mentioned in the ad is Dean Vickers, who was hired by Boyd’s company in 2011 after having been a lobbyist for the Humane Society a few years earlier. In May, 2017, the NRA launched a pro-hunting campaign that targeted “anti-hunting extremist groups” that they identified including PETA and the Humane Society.
A Boyd campaign official pointed out that the involvement of PetSafe with the Humane Society was based purely on their business of manufacturing and distributing products for pets and certifying them as safe and humane. And, it was noted, the corporate partnership had absolutely nothing to do with the Humane Society’s activism regarding hunting over a decade later — after the relationship between the Humane Society and PetSafe had ended. In fact, the official pointed out, one of the other Radio Systems Corporation product lines is SportDog, which focuses on hunting dog products and even features a hunter and gun in the logo.
Meanwhile, the Boyd campaign has immediately responded to the first attack ad from Black with their own new ad on Friday. “The Real DC Diane” targets Black for dismissive comments she made about President Trump’s border Wall as well as her votes against border security, for providing drivers licenses to illegal aliens and giving President Barack Obama a “blank check” for amnesty.
Boyd’s “The Real DC Diane” ad transcript:
Katie Couric: “Building a wall on the southern border and getting Mexico to pay for it.”
Diane Black: “First of all you can’t build a wall, that won’t work.”
Couric: So, you’re opposed to building a wall and asking Mexico to pay for it.
Black: “First of all, it can’t be done. So…”
Announcer: DC Diane Black, a typical twenty year career politician who says one thing in Tennessee but does another in DC. The Real DC Diane voted against funding border security, voted to give Tennessee driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, and voted to give Obama a blank check for his amnesty.”
The Boyd ad follows the theme of a SuperPac, Tennessee Jobs Now, that has previously hit Diane Black on both radio and television for voting to support providing drivers licenses for illegal aliens while she served in the Tennessee State Senate. It is an issue that has dogged Black in previous races, including a 2010 congressional race against Jim Tracy and LouAnn Zelenik.
Black is already airing an ad pointing out that she led the effort to repeal the drivers licenses for illegal aliens legislation and that the intent was to make Tennessee roads safer at the request of Tennessee law enforcement officials.