New Senate Leadership Fund Ad Exposes Phil Bredesen’s Self-Dealing Solar Investments as Governor

Senate Leadership Fund on Tuesday launched a new advertising campaign slamming Phil Bredesen for his conflicts of interest as governor, costing Tennessee taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars while Bredesen made a fortune, the group says.

The $1.6 million buy will run statewide on a combination of broadcast and cable television, radio and digital.

The ad is available here.

Bredesen is running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Senator Bob Corker (R-TN). U.S. Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-07) is his opponent.

Senate Leadership Fund Spokesman Chris Pack said, “Call it what you want, but look at what Phil Bredesen made Tennessee do: pour hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars into solar investments that went belly-up while he made a fortune. We knew he was trouble, but Phil Bredesen’s cashing in on the very subsidies he got passed goes beyond our wildest dreams.”

Solar power companies, including Bredesen’s Silicon Ranch, wouldn’t make much of a mark without officials giving them taxpayer money, government incentives and other generous benefits, Nick Loris of the Heritage Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, told The Tennessee Star in August.

That’s because less than 2 percent of America’s electricity comes from solar power, Loris said.

“Without these government benefits, you would see a lot less because anytime you subsidize something you’re going to get more of it,” Loris told The Star.

This summer a company with direct ties to Bredesen reportedly launched a new solar initiative in northeast Tennessee, The Star said. Bredesen did this through Silicon Ranch. As reported, Bredesen benefitted from solar energy policies he enacted while Tennessee’s governor.

As The Star reported, Bredesen rakes in millions of dollars off deals involving Silicon Ranch Corp. by pitching solar projects that appear on paper to offer a cheaper alternative to coal.

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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.







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