Bill Lee’s Contributions to Bredesen and Barry the Focus of New Billboards in Middle Tennessee

anti-Lee billboard

Diane Black is hitting Bill Lee hard for his financial support for Democrats like Phil Bredesen, Megan Barry and Karl Dean. A new Black ad, “Burn”, specifically targets Lee for his donations to Democrats Phil Bredesen and Megan Barry.

Diane Black “BURN” ad:

You know the old saying, fool me once shame on you; fool me twice shame on me. Will Bill Lee fool you again. The last time Bill Lee got involved in politics he pushed liberal Megan Barry for Mayor. She pushed sanctuary policies and gun control and we got burned. Now we learn Bill Lee gave money to liberal Phil Bredesen, too. Bill Lee’s the kind of Republican who helps Democrats get elected. Don’t let Bill Lee burn you again.

Now, electronic billboards by an independent expenditure group, Jobs4TnNow, have popped up in Middle Tennessee that are hitting Lee on the same theme.

Tennessee Star Political Editor Steve Gill says Black has clearly realized she has a Bill Lee problem. Lee is taking voters away from Black and she has to bring them back. The biggest question, Gill has pointed out, is whether and how Bill Lee would respond to the attacks. “If he hesitates to hit back, or misses with his counterpunch, that could stall his momentum and collapse his support. Boyd responded within 24 hours when Black hit him; the clock is ticking for Lee to respond or slip back down.”

Lee has two new ads that respond to the attacks from Black that simply attempt to answer the attack rather than hitting back. The first commercial is simply an explanation.

Bill Lee “RACE” ad:

This campaign’s starting to feel like a race to the bottom. I’ve got an opponent. who wants you to think I support Democrats. Well, here’s the deal. I’m a conservative businessman. Ninety nine percent of my contributions have been to Republicans, and, yes, of course, I oppose sanctuary cities. But this race should be about leadership, decency, a vision for Tennessee to lead the nation. Never forgetting our values. I’d really appreciate your vote.

As The Tennessee Star reported, 99.3 percent of the $164,540 Bill Lee donated to federal and state candidates over the 19 year period between 1999 and 2017 went to Republicans. $1,200 went to Democrats, including $1,000 that Lee contributed to former Gov. Phil Bredesen in 2004.

As The Star also reported, Bill Lee donated $500 to another prominent Democrat in a local election, former Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, in 2015.

The second new Lee ad is a bit more direct as he stakes out the position that he won’t go negative. “If at some point he ends up going on the attack himself,” Gill says, “he will likely see this ad thrown back at him. It does, however, underscore his assertion that he is not a politician and won’t do what politicians do. Polling in the next week will reveal whether that tactic is working.”

The problem for Lee, Gill adds, is that he actually did give money to Democrats Bredesen, Barry and Dean, so calling the attacks “dishonest” may be a slight stretch.

Bill Lee “ROAD” ad:

All these dishonest attack ads, they’re a great example of what’s wrong with politics. I’m not going down that road. It’s not who I am. It’s not what a leader does. I think those ads reveal a lot more truth about the person running the ad than the person in the ad. A person willing to deceive, say anything, do anything to get elected. Is that who you want as Governor ? If not, I’d sure appreciate your vote.

One of the biggest beneficiaries from the attacks on Lee regarding his donations to “liberal Phil Bredesen” is Marsha Blackburn. “She isn’t branding Bredesen as liberal, but the attack ads against Lee sure are,” Gill points out. “She should send the Black team a thank you note.”







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15 Thoughts to “Bill Lee’s Contributions to Bredesen and Barry the Focus of New Billboards in Middle Tennessee”

  1. JustLearning

    Why is Diane Blacks previous voting record an issue? Bill Clinton easily and obviously had the power to turn a democrat into a republican. He did that to me. I am another example of someone who voted for him and claimed to be a democrat but then “grew up” and realized I wasn’t after that presidency… So I give her the same “pass” on that. I get it. I am not sure why Stuart thinks that BOYD is the one to beat, and why if he wants a conservative he would vote Black. Is Stuart a double agent working on for the dems to position the race and get DC Diane in? Maybe Stuart should run? He has as much political experience as Boyd and Lee combined. He seems to understand the game… Heck, he probably as as much money socked away in a mattress somewhere… so why not?
    Lee feels a bit like Romney in his “wholesomeness” that you just want someone like him in office working for the people with values that aren’t shaped and warped by old school DC politics… he talks smooth, says the right things, and maybe can do the right things…. but you don’t know if that is just his business savvy mixed with ignorance talking…. but its believable nonetheless. Obama got a chance for the similar things and look how that turned out. So I contradict myself here on purpose…
    Last comment, if TN is red, its going to be Black-Boyd-Lee for Gov. period. So why do we care about which one gets in? If we don’t want to put old school warped DC DIANE in office? Why not give Lee a chance? The Rep is going to win anyway, right? Lee seems to share some of the Trump DNA. Not DC Diane. Or am I just all wrong? Who is this BOYD guy anyway… he seems a little dumb, and I just dont get why he would even be considered a threat. Is Nashville THAT dumb too?

  2. Kevin

    I forgot to mention, you know how Diane Black touts how she’s so strong on “healthcare”. Well, do any of you know who on 3/14/2018 contributed $7,500 to her State of Tennessee gubernatorial campaign? Pfizer Incorporated PAC, out of New York City. Now why would one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world get involved in the Tennessee governors race? Hmmm!

    To all the “Never _ _ _ _ _- ers”, or the “Anybody but _ _ _ _ – er”, I suggest you change your rhetoric to, “I pick the best of the available candidates.” And if you continually adopt this philosophy, you end up with less egg on your face. So, as of today, Bill Lee will get my vote!

    1. Stuart I. Anderson

      Something very clean cut and American about that, “I pick the best of the available candidates,” but also very foolish in certain circumstances if you enter the fray with an ideology. We are faced with two candidates who can best be described as having a long tepid conservative record, one candidate (your favorite) with absolutely no political record whatsoever, and one establishment centrist. As a conservative, “winning” was out of the question the minute Mae Beavers dropped out of the race. The best we can hope for is kinda, sorta (“k.s.”) winning if our next governor isn’t named Randy! because he is the establishment centrist. That k. s. winning can only be brought about by conservatives unifying to as great an extent as possible and voting for the candidate most likely to defeat Randy!. hence the ANYBODY BUT BOYD strategy.

      Ah, you might say, how do you KNOW who has the best chance of defeating Randy!. Well, you don’t for sure, but thanks to modern day polling, as imperfect as it is, you have a better handle on that then you do “the best of the available candidates” especially when faced with two known tepid conservatives and your favorite, the No Record Candidate.

      Kevin, stick with me and forget your No Record Candidate unless the polls show him to have the best chance to defeat Randy!. As conservatives we can only k. s. win, so lets relax and let the low information voters who dominate the voting, and hence the polls, tell us how to vote. As conservatives, that’s simply the best we can do.

  3. Silence Dogood

    How many of you “Never Vote for Diane Black” folks will be Bredesen protest voters? II do not place any confidence in Lee or Boyd. Let either one of them get Trumps support and I will vote for them. Period. Otherwise it is Black. She has a great Heritage Score of voting Conservative. They have none. She has both the NRA and the Tennessee Right to Life endorsements. They do not. And it appears she is Trumps pick, too. Big Deal to me.

  4. jon

    I would like to see Mr. Lee and Mr. Boyd run ads on how they will help Tennessee and how their business leadership will translate into running the State more efficiently and attracting major corporations to Tennessee without giving too many perks for coming. I want to know their plan for repairing our infrastructure, roads and highways. How will education get better at the local level. How will they manage state pensions. How will they contend with the flow of illegals coming to our state. Answer the questions on contributions to Democrats, conservative views and abortion. Diane Black will probably defeat herself if that happens.

    1. Terry

      I agree and, in the absence of any substantial debate, I researched the campaign websites and background material for all three – my conclusion is that Bill Lee offers the plan (and character) that will prove most beneficial for the state. His Roadmap for Rural Tennessee is head and shoulders above the other two in terms of detail. Ten for Tenn is too.

      Where Bill Lee differs most though, is in his commitment to smaller government and one that is more local to the people affected by policies. Neither of the other two even mention that on their campaign website (or at least I couldn’t find it anyway.) No surprise really, Black is a big government Republican, i.e., a RINO, and Boyd is a globalist – that’s what their record reflects, that’s who they are.

      I looked at the backgrounds of all three and if Diane Black had a better voting record I might have been persuaded, but the fact of the matter is that hers is a voting record of establishment Republican, i.e., a RINO. It’s not for nothing that the House Freedom Caucus has never extended an invitation to her. Remember too, that she was a Democrat, voted Democrat, and was a Bill Clinton supporter into her middle 40’s.

      She has definitely proven her credentials as a swamp creature – you don’t get the chairmanship of the House Budget Committee unless you raise a lot of money for the NRCC, continuously, and vote just the way they tell you to vote. Of course, rather than being called out on her voting record, she’s simply not showing up of late and missing a lot of votes. So I guess she’s decided her time would be better spent campaigning for her new job. If you had an employee who didn’t show up half the time and spent that time instead interviewing for her next job, would you continue to employ her? But we are doing just that.

      Giving the devil his due, I give credit to Randy Boyd for starting a business from scratch and making a runaway success with it, without reverting to manipulating legislation to further your business interests. Had his wife voted for legislation that mandated invisible fences for all dog owners in the state, yeah – but that isn’t the case.

      But what I don’t like is that very shortly after founding his business, Randy Boyd outsourced manufacturing to China. As the company prospered and grew, he then established a development center – again, in China. China, for those keeping score, is a communist, atheistic dictatorial regime that forces women to have abortions against their will and executes religious dissidents, only to later sell their organs on the world market. Randy Boyd facilitated that through long term financial commitments to the regime. He’s hardly alone in that regard, but those are jobs many Tennesseans (and the state) could have benefited from. Then he has the chutzpah to lead the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development and puts jobs as his #1 issue on his campaign website?? I mean, come on.

      Bill Lee, by contrast, walked into the family business, one his grandfather started in the mid-1940’s, right out of college. He grew the company at a blistering pace, then got jammed up on a big job and had to lay off almost half of his employees. Not good. But he recognized his limits, hired someone to help turn it around, and then proceeded to rebuild the business, and in a more measured and conservative manner. In other words, he learns from his mistakes and is not afraid to ask for help. I also think he has the most integrity of the lot, and his two responses (featured above) to Black’s signature smear tactics was good statesmanship and displayed that integrity.

      For all the fear mongering that the Black proponents are engaging in (even Dr. Swain, which surprised me) the fact is that, yes, Bill Lee is taking votes away from Diane Black, not Randy Boyd. But Randy Boyd is vulnerable on many fronts, so Bill Lee has a good opportunity as long as he can maintain the momentum, and the clock doesn’t run out on him. I suspect that’s why the Black campaign is doing exactly what it has a reputation for doing – mudslinging and fear mongering, rather than engage on substantive issues. Like you said, hers would be a self-defeating campaign with that emphasis.

  5. Dave Vance

    So the only candidate in the race to actually vote to fund Planned Parenthood/Abortion numerous times in the budget wants to talk about donations to pro abortion candidates? Ok just remember that Lamar Alexander voted to confirm pro abortion, anti 2nd Amendment Obama nominee Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court yet Black still supported liberal Lamar in the primary in 2014. Guess abortion is just an election year concern for Black. Never Black, Never Boyd!

  6. Stuart I. Anderson

    The problem with Lee is not the pittance he gave to this or that Democrat. I believe him that these were contributions were made for business purposes because Bill simply never cared that much about politics before deciding that it would be fun to be Governor. This is a Republican state so his contributions for business purposes went mostly to Republicans. Simple as that!

    For conservatives his problem is the fact that this very rich man who has been very rich for a long, long time doesn’t have a record of consistent significant contributions to conservative causes or candidates. He is a political dilettante who his campaign manager and supporters have turned into a serious candidate for governor. You know what they say, money can’t buy happiness, maybe so, but it can buy you a boat AND apparently a political office for which you have no earthly qualifications.

    OK, have it your way. No matter. I can’t wait until the results of those polls that Steve is talking about are revealed. No reason to rush out and vote during this early voting period my fellow conservatives. Election day will be soon enough to spring the ANYBODY BUT BOYD strategy.

  7. It is dishonest…misleading. $500 or $1,000 is nothing compared to what he would donate to someone he really wanted to win. It may be true that he donated the money, but the message they are trying to send is that Bill Lee is pro-abortion. I don’t think this ad will discourage anyone from voting for Bill Lee.

  8. Stephen Thomas

    A classic example of an out of touch politician who thinks she understands what voters care about.

  9. 83ragtop50

    I have nothing against Mr. Lee. I just believe that he will not be able to do the job as well as Mrs. Black. Her attack ads are ill conceived. I live in her district and certainly have disagreed with her on several points. She can be attacked for certain of her votes but Mr. Lee having no record does not mean that he is the best candidate. I consider his touchy feely ads of no value.

  10. Jose Reva

    He still has my vote.

  11. Kevin

    Well, we shall see. Something tells me that the attack ads are doing nothing to enhance Congresswoman Black. In fact they are reinforcing what many of our already knew! And just like with President Trump’s election, Tennesseans are sick and tired of politicians who say one thing to our faces and then go to Washington or Nashville and do something different.

    Of course, the political saprophytes that spin things and make big bucks off of both sides, will claim no matter what, that they predicted the outcome. Just take a look at the campaign disclosures to see how much money is being spent on “consultants and operatives”. Imagine if that money were spent of tangible things that benefit the people!

  12. John Bumpus

    I just saw Diane Black on FOX & FRIENDS this morning (7-11-18) talking about her new proposed legislation to further criminalize and enhance the penalties for illegal immigration activity. Let’s see, early voting in her gubernatorial race begins in two days and Black is just now coming out with this new legislative proposal about a problem that has been festering for years while she has been a member of Congress. Does Black really think that the voters are this naïve and gullible about such an obvious publicity ‘stunt’ by her? If Black becomes Tennessee’s next Governor, this is the kind of shameless fakery that the people of Tennessee can expect from her during her tenure in office. Just like the subject of the TENNESSEE STAR article above, merely more Diane Black ‘disinformation’ tactics. Enough already.

    1. Betty

      You are so correct she is a liar and a politician first can’t trust her at all!!! No vote from me and my family & friends!!!