Two Complaints Filed Against Gary Humble Alleging Failure to Register as Lobbyist and ‘Unlawful Campaign Expenditure’

The Tennessee Star has obtained two separate complaints filed against State Senate District 27 candidate and executive director of the nonprofit Tennessee Stands, Gary Humble.

Humble is running in the August 4 Republican primary against State Senator Majority Leader Jack Johnson.

The first complaint, which was filed with the Tennessee Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance on Monday, alleged that Humble engages in lobbying activities without filing the proper registration forms.

According to the Tennessee Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance Ethics Commission website:

A lobbyist is a person who communicates, directly or indirectly, with state government officials for the purpose of influencing action by the official for compensation. (T.C.A. § 3‐6‐301(15) and (17)) The term lobbyist does not include an employee of a governmental entity. However, a third party contracted to lobby for governmental entity is included in the definition of lobbyist. (T.C.A. § 3‐6‐301(15))

Employer of a lobbyist or employer is any person or entity that employs, retains, or otherwise arranges for a lobbyist to engage in lobbying on behalf of the person or entity for compensation. T.C.A. § 3‐6‐301(8). Entities not included in the definition of “employer” for registration purposes include:

Governmental entities. (T.C.A. §3‐6‐301(15))
A person or entity that utilizes the services of a volunteer lobbyist whose reimbursement for out‐of‐pocket expenditures does not exceed ten (10) days. See Manual for Lobbyists and Employers of Lobbyists for definition of volunteer lobbyist.

The second complaint, filed with the Registry of Election Finance, alleges that Humble made an “unlawful campaign expenditure” by sending out a mail piece without a disclaimer. That complaint is dated July 23, 2022.

See the mail piece front and back:

The Star reached out to Humble for comment, who provided an emailed reply from his Tennessee Stands ( email account.

The Star asked:

1 – Are you aware of these complaints?

2 – Can you confirm/deny that you have not filed as a lobbyist and if you have not filed, why you have not filed as a lobbyist and your reaction to that complaint.

3 – Confirm or deny that your campaign sent out the attached mail piece and your reaction to the complaint filed that alleges the “unlawful campaign expenditure.”

4 – Could you also comment on the inclusion of the Tennessee Stands logo in that mailer and the potential conflict of interest that can occur with cross-promotion between your campaign and the 501c4 that you control? What steps do you personally, as well as the campaign and Tennessee Stands, take to avoid conflicts of interest between the non-profit and the campaign?

Humble noted that he was aware of the complaints and provided a lengthy response to The Star’s inquiry.

On why he has not registered as a lobbyist, Humble said:

I have not registered as a lobbyist because I am not a paid lobbyist. I am not paid to lobby for any special interests. Tennessee Stands is an advocacy group that engages citizens all across the state of Tennessee in grassroots lobbying efforts. I have travelled across the state engaging citizens to work with their legislators, email, and call to support conservative legislation. And yes, as a citizen of the state of Tennessee, I myself have asked our legislators to support conservative legislation. Those are not efforts that require a permission slip from the government to engage in and are constitutionally protected for any citizen.

On the issue of a mailer being sent out without a disclaimer, Humble said:

We did send out a mailer where the “paid for” disclaimer was unintentionally missed in the design. The mailer came directly from my campaign. The mailer contained my branding, my image, and a personal message from me as the candidate and was clearly sent from my campaign. The mailer was invoiced to my campaign and paid for in full by my campaign. Further, that invoice has already been provided to the DA’s office satisfactory to the complaint that was filed. This was a clerical error, nothing more.

On the issue of potential conflicts of interest, Humble said:

No, there is absolutely no conflict of interest with Tennessee Stands. I promoted a podcast for which I host weekly. The Freedom Matters Podcast releases every Wednesday and has since the beginning of the year. The invitation was clear. If you want to know more about me and where I stand on the issues as a candidate, go listen to the podcast. Seems like an incredibly reasonable invitation. Every week, I spend about 45 minutes diving into the 2nd amendment, medical freedom, our constitutional rights, the right to life, legislation, national issues, etc. My beliefs and positions on a host of topics are out there for any voter to hear. I am a candidate for office who also happens to have a podcast. That is about as controversial as it gets.

At this time, it is unclear what repercussions Humble will face, if any, because of these complaints.

– – –

Aaron Gulbransen is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]. Follow Aaron on GETTRTwitterTruth Social, and Parler.
Photo “Gary Humble” by Gary Humble.


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18 Thoughts to “Two Complaints Filed Against Gary Humble Alleging Failure to Register as Lobbyist and ‘Unlawful Campaign Expenditure’”

  1. Gwyn G.

    I agree with everything said here. But until people like myself and all the commenters begin to show up outside the doors of the chambers of these grifters, they won’t quit. The money they get– ALL OF IT — comes from the private sector– and, I might add, most of it without any of us having a say about it. It’s literally the hens paying the foxes to guard their henhouse..
    We need to actually meet with each others face to face,, strategize, make commitments, and Assemble! Brandon Morrison is a great source for ideas. Come on, lets do more than comment here, We need ORGANIZING and STRATEGIES. Gwyn G.

  2. Marlin Jackson

    Jack Johnson has had 16 years to prove that he will fight for true conservative values, instead we get the same old political games of passing Legislation that does nothing . That is why Jack Johnson has to resort to negative campaign ads instead of focusing on the issues that matter most to Williamson County residence. Do you think that registering as a lobbyist and having an oversight on a disclaimer is what is important to the citizens of Williamson County? No it is not. We need a new leader to represent the citizens at the state capital. That leader is Gary Humble.

  3. Trevor

    Jack Johnson is a great example of why we need term limits! Jack Johnson supported RINO Bill Haslum’s gas tax at the approximate time his wife was appointed to a judgeship in Williamson county by Ex Governor Haslum! Not Good Optics….
    Gary Humble is the true Tennessee conservative! Jack Johnson is to Risky……

    Time for a change! Vote Humble!!!!

    1. Stuart I. Anderson

      We have term limits Trevor, Jack Johnson (ACU-88%) is at the end of his term and now the voters get to decide whether they want to send him back to the General Assembly for another term. PERFECT. Very unbecoming for a conservative to say “there outta be a law” prohibiting voters from sending incumbent officeholders back for another term.

  4. Donna Locke

    Almost every current Republican state leigislator should be replaced in this state. Worst bunch ever.

  5. Brady W

    Sooooo according to this complaint, I am now in violation for not registering as a lobbyist for shooting my representative an email? Nice try but Gary Humble is one of the most HONORABLE men I’ve ever met and has violated nothing but the inner circle of the elite RINO’s.

    1. Sheila Donoghue

      Gary Humble:
      Honor God, Speak the Truth, Do the right thing.

      It’s that simple!

    2. Jenni Halterman

      Agreed!!! Gary has simply acted as a responsible and honorable citizen.

  6. mark

    Vote Gary Humble

  7. Thomas Anglin

    Was thinking EXACTLY the same thing! Mr. Humble, you are now entering a target-rich environment. Square your shoulders and proceed – you got this!

  8. CAH

    I agree with the positive about Gary. Jack is a RINO and cares nothing about the voters of Tennessee, only wants to keep his job. There are so many bills that could have REALLY helped our state, but never made it to the floor. We have a “milk toast” spinless bunch of RINO’s in office that care only about status quo. Refuse to stand on voter integrity with paper ballots, our medical freedom or the ULTIMATE which is getting rid of federal handouts making us beholden to DC. I was at Gary’s fundraiser Sunday pm and I stand firmly against the false accusations . Received the lies in the mail paid for by MCPAC. RINO’S running scared. If Lee and the rest would “grow a set” and take even one hint and do what DeSantis does we would be respectable.

    1. Jim Bicknell

      100 percent!!!

  9. Sherri Garrett

    What does desperation look like? It looks like Jack Johnson. The same Jack Johnson who supported giving billions to build a stadium and to Ford to bring their business here. The taxpayers didn’t ask for or want our tax dollars to be given for this. The same Jack Johnson who did not vote to protect our God given individual rights to refuse an experimental vaccine or to refuse to wear masks. I pray Mr Johnson does not win this election. We don’t need his kind of Republican in office. We need good solid conservative, liberty minded people like Gary Humble.

  10. Kevin

    It seems as though the old saying “you know you’re over the target when you start taking flak” applies in politics too!

    The fact is that Jack Johnson didn’t give a rat’s-behind when hundreds of Tennesseans “filed complaints” about the Draconian Covid policies that he supported. He wouldn’t listen to us then, so, he’s gonna have to listen to us at the ballot box.

    Anybody who believes in putting America First or Tennessee First, knows that Jack Johnson is part of the Ruling Elite, that must be replaced!

    1. 83ragtop50

      Agreed. And he has a lot of company in the Tennessee GOP legislators. They sure smell like RINOs.

  11. David Blackwell RN, BSN, CCM

    Our country’s been duped and the longer people continue to act like sheep and follow the FDA’s and CDC’s recommendations without question, the more things will get worse. It’s time for Americans to wake up and realize their government isn’t above sacrificing our children to fill Big Pharma’s coffers.

  12. David Blackwell RN, BSN, CCM

    I do not recall Mr. Humble signing a letter urging people to take an emergency use authorization experimental mRNA gene therapy for a respiratory virus, commonly referred to as a common cold or flu. Who has a Pfizer logo on their flame retardant NASCAR jumpsuit?

    “As the number of new COVID-19 cases continue to rise in both Williamson County and state, Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson, along with the entirety of the Republican Caucus leadership team, has signed onto an open letter urging Tennesseans to get vaccinated.”

    1. Joe P

      ☝️ ☝️ ☝️ ☝️ ☝️ ☝️ ☝️ ☝️ ☝️ ☝️ ☝️ ☝️ ☝️

      Yet more proof of the pettiness of state political peeps who fear Mr. Humble….. they don’t want anyone who does what he says and speaks plainly…..

      He actively stood against masking kids, mandated shut downs and vaccine mandates……. The 3 most important issues he was right and out front along with Robbie Starbuck on all of them