“Welcome to SophisticatedPhil.com, where you’ll see exactly what Phil thinks of himself!” proclaims a new website launched by the Tennessee Republican Party.
“Phil Bredesen has been desperately trying to convince Tennesseans that he’s one of them, but he keeps getting in his own way,” the organization’s press secretary, Gillum Ferguson, said in a press release.
Bredesen, a former Democratic governor, is running for the seat being vacated by U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), who is retiring.
The website mentions his statements like being more “sophisticated” than rural voters. He made the remarks in an interview with the Times Free Press.
Around the same time, Bredesen also released a campaign ad that was filmed outside his grandmother’s American flag-clad house touting his humble roots growing up among “secretaries, nurses, factory workers, and small business owners,” The Tennessee Star reported.
Bredesen has reported assets between $88.9 million and $358 million, The Washington Free Beacon said. Bredesen would also become one of the richest members of Congress, The Star said. Public records show he is the owner of five homes—two homes in Nashville, two lakefront properties in upstate New York, and a five-bedroom home in Jackson, Wyoming.
And, he is one of the registered owners of an Embraer Phenom 300 private jet, according to Federal Aviation Association records.
“And there are his policy positions that Tennesseans overwhelmingly reject,” Ferguson said, referring to Bredesen as governor supporting illegal aliens receiving Tennessee driving certificates.
While Tennessee’s driving certificates for illegal immigrants are not valid for ID, people paid hundreds of dollars on the black market for them and traveled hundreds of miles for one, according to a January 2006 Associated Press story on Fox News. Two major federal arrests exposed shuttles bringing South and Central American immigrants from as far away as New Jersey to state licensing centers in Knoxville, the AP said.
“We have seen individuals coming to Tennessee to take advantage of the driver’s certificate program because they are easy to obtain,” acting U.S. Attorney Russ Dedrick said in the story.
Ferguson said, “It’s often hard to keep up. So the Tennessee Republican Party invites you to SophisticatedPhil.com, where we’ll be keeping Tennesseans up-to-date on just how sophisticated Phil thinks he is.”
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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.