Hagerty Ad Focuses on Grant to Dr. Manny Sethi from Foundation That Calls Gun Violence a ‘Public Health Epidemic,’ Sethi Campaign Pushes Back


U.S. Senate candidate Manny Sethi on Thursday denied opponent Bill Hagerty’s accusations that’s Sethi pushed anti-gun propaganda in Tennessee’s public schools.

“Dr. Manny is a permit holder and gun owner himself. He has carried for years. It’s ridiculous to suggest he is anything but pro-gun,” the Sethi campaign told The Tennessee Star in an email.

“Dr. Manny believes blaming gun violence on guns is like blaming the hammer when someone hits their neighbor with a hammer. Protecting yourself and your family is a God-given right. He is opposed to all forms of gun control.”

On Thursday Hagerty’s camp sent out a press release and released a new ad portraying Sethi as unreliable on Second Amendment issues.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, according to Hagerty’s ad, awarded Sethi at least $60,000 in grants between 2011 through 2013, to develop gun control policies. The ad said that at least one of these grants went jointly to Sethi and Alex Jahangir, whom Sethi appointed to the board of Healthy Tennessee.

According to a Tennessean article, the press release went on to say, Sethi taught this program to Tennessee students.

“The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation presents gun violence as a public health epidemic,” according to Hagerty’s press release.

“The NRA has warned its members that this is an opportunity for gun control supporters to define firearms as a disease in order to restrict our Second Amendment rights.

Sethi’s campaign responded.

“Conservatives like Dr. Manny believe that we don’t need government to solve problems, we need private people to come together voluntarily in community with each other to solve problems,” Sethi’s campaign told The Star.

“That’s why his nonprofit never took a dime of government money, and it’s why they took a nonprofit grant here—this grant had nothing to do with gun control, and everything to do with studying how we can get inner city kids, often from violent neighborhoods to learn to solve their problems peacefully, rather than shooting each other.”

The Star on Thursday reported how Sethi used the RWJF money.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Manny Sethi” by Bill Hagerty. 







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2 Thoughts to “Hagerty Ad Focuses on Grant to Dr. Manny Sethi from Foundation That Calls Gun Violence a ‘Public Health Epidemic,’ Sethi Campaign Pushes Back”

  1. Dave

    I’d rather try our luck with an “unknown rich guy” than with another GOP establishment candidate. Tennessee does not have a good record when it comes to electing true conservatives, I for one am ready for a change. And frankly, President Trump has often been wrong when it comes to endorsements/appointments.

  2. Silence Dogood

    Sethi is an unknown rich guy wanting to start politics at the top. We have no way of truly knowing how he believes about the 2A. No matter what he says. President Trump asked for Bill Hagerty in the Senate. Trust the President. Send Trump the reinforcements he is asking for folks. Hagerty 2020.