Tennessee Jobs Now, a SuperPAC that supports Randy Boyd in the Tennessee Governor’s race, began airing a new television commercial last week that continues on the theme of its recent statewide radio buy. The radio spot aired by the group criticized Rep. Diane Black (R-TN-06) for voting to issue Tennessee driver’s licenses to illegals in 2001. The television ad does the same thing but also hits Black for her March 22, 2018 vote against the Omnibus Spending Bill (HR 1625) that funded a small portion of the border wall embraced by President Donald Trump.
The bill passed both the House and the Senate and was signed into law by President Trump, who vowed that he would never again sign such an “ridiculous bill” that consisted of more than 2,000 pages, failed to follow regular order and was jammed through by the Republican House and Senate leadership unto the membership with less than two days to read and review.
Almost every conservative member of the House of Representatives voted against the Omnibus Spending Bill, including Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-07), Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-TN-04), and Rep. Jimmy Duncan (R-TN-02). President Trump was so unhappy with the bill’s failure to fully fund the border wall, he threatened to veto it on the morning of March 23, but finally signed it into law later that day, because he said our military needed the $700 billion defense appropriation within the bill.
The ad buy, amounting to approximately $400,000 over the next several weeks, will have the spot on the air in Knoxville, Memphis and Nashville on both broadcast and cable television stations. Although House Speaker Beth Harwell also voted for the same bill that allowed for driver’s licenses to be issued to illegals in 2001, she has not yet been targeted in any radio or television spots on that issue.
The television ad features pictures of a tattooed MS-13 gang member, a “Muslim terrorist” wearing a keffiyah, and a black clad man with a stocking cap identified as a “sex trafficker” on Tennessee driver’s licenses while the announcer says:
“MS-13 gang member? Driver’s license. Terrorist? Driver’s license. Human trafficker? Driver’s license. In the legislature, Diane Black voted to give Tennessee driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. Then in Washington, Black voted against funding president Trump’s border wall. Diane Black is making it easier for criminals, even terrorists, to come here illegally and stay. Dishonest Diane Black. Good for illegal immigrants, bad for Tennessee.”
The ad disclaimer notes that it is: “Paid for by Tennessee Jobs Now PAC, not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.”
The ad concludes with a Tennessee driver’s license featuring Diane Black’s picture, which is stamped in red: BAD FOR TENNESSEE.
The Tennessee Star noted last week that the illegal immigration issue is moving to center stage in the GOP primary battle between Boyd and Black. This ad by an independent expenditure committee shows that the fight over that hot topic is moving beyond the messaging by the campaigns to outside groups as well.