The Tennessean reported Friday that a complaint alleges that gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee is using a tax-sheltered trust to illegally donate money to his own campaign.
The complaint, filed by Joe Darke of Dover, Tennessee, also alleges that the Republican candidate has accepted illegal contributions from some individuals and businesses while raising questions about Lee’s frequent use of television ads for his company.
The complaint was filed with Tennessee’s Registry of Election Finance, WKRN said, and claims Lee uses his businesses to supplement his campaign without disclosure and beyond limits. More specifically, the complaint says Lee Company commercials featured Lee, while campaign ads have touted Lee’s company experience. It speculates Lee is running company ads for a business expense deduction to avoid more income taxes.
Campaign spokesman Chris Walker called the complaint “nonsense,” WKRN said.
The complaint contains at least two errors, which could lead campaign finance officials to dismiss it, The Tennessean said. A campaign spokesman said the complaint was evidence he was gaining momentum.