Despite his rhetorical claims to be in line with President Donald Trump’s policy agenda, Republican Senatorial candidate Stephen Fincher has immediately aligned himself with the “Queen of the Establishment” and anti-Trump political class in Tennessee.
Political fundraiser Kim Kaegi, who has been a lead fundraiser for Senator Lamar Alexander, Senator Bob Corker, Governor Bill Haslam and gubernatorial candidate Randy Boyd, will serve as Treasurer and Finance Consultant for the Fincher campaign, as she announced in this October 23 email.
Kaegi raised eyebrows in 2016 when the “Republican” fundraiser contracted to raise funds for staunch Democrat Charles R. Bone in the Nashville Mayoral race. After Bone failed to make the runoff, Kaegi shifted her fundraising efforts to Megan Barry as she faced off against the more conservative David Fox. Barry is a liberal democrat married to Bruce Barry, the past President of the Tennessee ACLU and a member of the board of directors of the national ACLU. He has been a frequent critic of Trump’s immigration poicies.
Mayor Barry has supported sanctuary city status for Nashville, is a strong proponent for illegal aliens, and recently proposed a $5.2 billion tax increase for the city. She was a Hillary Clinton delegate to the 2016 Democratic Party Convention in Philadelphia and refused to greet President Trump when he visited Nashville earlier this year.
Kaegi’s client Bill Haslam declared last October that he would not vote for Trump, the Republican nominee, in November.
Her current fundraising client Randy Boyd disavowed Trump, refused to make a contribution to his campaign and declared Trump to be an “anathema” to him.
Kaegi also serves as managing director of LCR Capital Partners, a “private investment and specialty finance firm . . . that sources its capital from global high net-worth investors seeking permanent U.S. residency through the EB-5 Investment Visa program.”
The EB-5 Investment Visa program has been controversial and scandal ridden since its inception.
The EB-5 investment debacle involving Democratic Governor of Virginia Terry McAuliffe and Mississippi-based GreenTech Automotive–in which LCR Capital Partners had no involvement– is just one of many recent examples of failed ventures involving EB-5 Visas. The state of Mississippi recently sued GreenTech for failure to pay $6 million in loans, in addition to its failure to produce any of the promised manufacturing jobs associated with the company.
Until he announced he wasn’t running for reelection, Kaegi was raising funds for Corker. His war of words with Trump has achieved legendary status. Yet, Fincher has embraced the anti-Trump fundraiser as his Treasurer while declaring his own support for the President and his policies.
One conservative Republican activist noted that while Kaegi might be good for Fincher’s campaign coffers, she is a disaster in terms of his appeal to the conservative Republican base. “You can’t drain the swamp when you keep hiring the biggest alligators to keep it stocked,” she declared.
Conservative Republican political strategist Steve Gill pointed out that Fincher’s statements on the campaign trail thus far reveal a strategy to run as a candidate more conservative, more anti-Establishment and more pro-Trump than Marsha Blackburn. “But, it will be hard for Fincher to make a convincing case to conservative Republican primary voters when his first hire is a darling of the Establishment Republicans who also happens to be a willing accomplice to liberal Democrats in Tennessee,” Gill noted. “Kaegi is certainly not a supporter of draining the same swamp that she has helped fund for several decades.”