Americans for Prosperity-Tennessee (AFP-TN) on Wednesday announced a new seven-figure investment in television and digital advertisements highlighting Phil Bredesen’s record as a big spender and supporter of higher taxes.
Americans for Prosperity is spending $2 million on the new ad that is hitting the airwaves statewide today. The ad is available to view here.
The ad exposes the Democrat’s support of higher taxes and out-of-control spending while governor.
Bredesen is running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Bob Corker, who is retiring.
AFP-TN announced it has mobilized its activists and launched grassroots activities in support of U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who is running for the Senate seat on the Republican ticket.
AFP-Tennessee State Director Tori Venable said, “Phil Bredesen’s rhetoric of fiscal responsibility won’t fool Tennesseans; his record speaks for itself. During his time in office, Bredesen supported tax and fee increases that hurt Tennesseans while times were tough and our economy was in a tailspin. And despite Bredesen’s claims to be fiscally responsible, there’s nothing responsible about lavishing nearly $9 million taxpayer dollars on a renovation to the governor’s mansion. Tennesseans don’t want a senator who says one thing and then does another, but that is what they’ll get with Phil Bredesen.”
The ad says, “And while we struggled through a recession, Bredesen wasted nine million taxpayer dollars upgrading his Governor’s mansion. Four million on a party cave, gilded bathrooms and a kitchen worth two Tennessee homes. Phil Bredesen lived the life. We paid the bill.”
Perhaps Bredesen feels like sophisticated digs are his due. While he recently said other Democrats are “too elitist,” he owns five homes and is part-owner of a jet, and would become one of the richest members of Congress.
Bredesen also told the Times Free Press earlier this month that he is more sophisticated than rural citizens.
Bredesen has tried to cast himself as moderate.
“I think for this campaign Bredesen has taken a more moderate stance, but I think at the end of the day he identifies with the more liberal stances,” supporter Rachel Trammell told The Tennessee Star.
Meanwhile, Blackburn said Bredesen has a powerful backer who is not moderate — U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
“Chuck Schumer has said Phil Bredesen is his number one recruit,” Blackburn told the crowd of about 200 people.
AFP-Tennessee made these additional statements about Bredesen’s record as governor:
- While Bredesen Was governor, taxes and fees grew by almost $1 billion. The organization quoted a Times Free Press story from 2010.
- In 2003, Bredesen said the gas tax may increase “a couple of pennies.”
- In 2009, Bredesen increased employer taxes by $245 million for the unemployment trust fund program.
- Taxpayers covered much of a $9 million party bunker at the governor’s mansion, The Associated Press said. “The facility was derided by some as the ‘Bredesen Bunker,’ because of the scope, cost and noise of the project under the front lawn of the mansion. Private donors accounted for about $5 million of the $9 million project officially dubbed Conservation Hall. The complex can seat up to 160 dining guests — big enough for all 132 lawmakers and the governor’s cabinet — or about double that capacity for standing receptions. It has its own kitchen and entrance from the compound’s driveway.”