Ogles’ late fundraising report shows less than touted in 5th congressional district race – Tennessee Lookout

Months after announcing he had raised $453,000 in the first 30 days of his campaign for the 5th Congressional District, Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles filed a belated report showing he did not had brought in only $264,400.

Ogles was already beset by a TV ad claiming he failed to pay property taxes when he submitted his filing a week late with numbers that did not match an initial campaign press release in May.

In the latest report, the former Americans for Prosperity Tennessee state director showed $584,000 in total revenue but only $264,402 in total contributions, nearly $200,000 less than he claimed to have. collected two months ago. Contributors included Ben Cunningham, head of Tennessee Tax Revolt, former Nashville car dealer Lee Beaman and conservative economist Arthur Laffer.

With early voting underway and Election Day just a week away from the federal primary, voters are being inundated with campaign ads that, in many cases, have them sifting through the mud to find the truth.

Despite the initial bragging, Ogles’ campaign reported a loan totaling $320,000 to bolster his numbers. He spent $301,063 and had $283,338 in cash as the Aug. 4 Republican primary election approached. Some $53,500 of this amount is reserved for general elections.

Ogles did not respond to text messages and his campaign did not respond to emails seeking comment. But according to the Tennessee Journal, he said he did not count a loan against the May total he placed in his press release.

Ogles eventually filed his campaign finance report around the same time an ad funded by the Tennessee Conservatives Political Action Committee accused him of failing to pay property taxes nine times over while supporting an increase sales tax and not opposing a property tax hike and a wedding tax.

Reports, in fact, show that Ogles paid taxes on a Franklin home between 2005 and 2015. Nonetheless, he was days to a week late on three occasions and between 43 days late and 322 days late. late six times, forcing him to pay interest. from $43 to $279 on late payments.

Ogles responded to the ad’s accusations by filing a libel suit against the Tennessee conservative PAC, claiming his opponents “worked with left-wing special interest groups to spread malicious and blatant lies” about him, according to a report from Main Street Nashville. The lawsuit also sought to prevent the ad from airing.

The uproar over the 5th congressional district began when Republican state lawmakers redrew district maps this year and split Davidson County into three districts, creating a Republican seat and ultimately forcing Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper to step down after holding the seat for years. . Democratic State Senator Heidi Campbell is running in her place.

Wading through mud: Ogles alleges defamation by the Tennessee conservative PAC, which is heavily funded by Oracle founder and billionaire Larry Ellison, while a School Freedom Fund ad accuses Harwell and Winstead of being ‘beholden to liberal Democrats’ .

Two of the frontrunners in the new 5th congressional district, which includes parts of Davidson, Wilson and Williamson and all of Maury, Marshall and Lewis counties, did not pursue him in his late federal campaign filing.

Former Brigadier of the National Guard. General Kurt Winstead chose the strategy of attacking President Joe Biden’s border policy – handing the job over to Vice President Kamala Harris – and saying that as an “old general” he knows how to get the job done.

But former Republican House Speaker Beth Harwell this week began airing a TV ad calling Ogles a “lobbyist” and a “tax collector.”

“The DC special interest group that attacked Donald Trump is now lying about Beth Harwell. They support Andy Ogles because he’s a DC insider. He’s also a tax collector, the narrator says in the ad, saying Ogles supported a sales boost that hurt working families.

The Tennessee Conservatives’ PAC was funded by a $1 million contribution from Larry Ellison, founder of Oracle Corp. and supporter of former President Donald Trump. The PAC made an independent expenditure of $232,552 in the campaign to sue Ogles. According to reports, supporters of former candidate Morgan Ortagus helped form the PAC.

what comes around

In contrast, Ogles benefited from independent spending attacking Harwell and Winstead, a Franklin lawyer, as “too liberal”.

The School Freedom Fund, linked to the Club for Growth, is funded by $15 million from Jeff Yass, founder of Susquehanna International Group and investor in Tik Tok, which spends heavily on elections to cut taxes and support 2020 deniers, according to reports.

The super PAC spent $197,000 each to attack Winstead and Harwell. He also paid $665,000 to go after Republican U.S. Representative Mo Brooks of Huntsville, Alabama, who lost support from former President Trump after he refused to reject the result of the 2020 presidential election.

The School Freedom Fund has sent letters saying Harwell and Winstead are “beholden to Liberal Democrats.” They point to Harwell’s 2017 vote for former Gov. Bill Haslam’s six-cent fuel tax hike to build hundreds of bridge roads, in addition to his endorsement by the Tennessee Education Association during his failed as governor four years ago.

Ogles lobbied against a fuel tax hike five years ago, but couldn’t back down.

Shippers also hit out at Winstead for making contributions of more than $2,500 to Democrats over the years.

Harwell’s campaign declined to answer questions about the attack ads.

But Winstead campaign manager Chris Devaney said the retired National Guardsman supports Republican candidates and has donated more than $30,000 to them over the past decade, including the former state senator. and Congresswoman Diane Black, U.S. Representative Mark Green and U.S. Representative Marsha Blackburn.

“It has nothing to do with all the other contributions of over a decade ago. While he was busy raising a family, serving his country and developing a business law practice, his opponents were calculating their next run for political office. The general didn’t spend his life planning his race, he spent his life serving our country,” Devaney said in response to questions.

USA Freedom Fund, which was backed by nearly $3 million from the Club for Growth, also spent nearly $800,000 to support Ogles.

The group was responsible for advertisements criticizing Harwell for his 2001 vote in favor of legislation allowing illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses. She was one of 19 Republicans who backed the bill as part of an effort to ensure people who were in the country illegally knew the rules of the road.

The TV spot linked Harwell’s vote to the 9/11 attack, saying it allowed terrorists to use state-issued driver’s licenses to board planes. The ad accuses Harwell of being “too risque” and “too liberal”.

Harwell, however, voted to repeal the law in 2004, and in her own announcement in response to the attack, Harwell claimed she had stopped illegal immigrants from obtaining licenses and would thwart policies of President Joe Biden, includingbuilding a wall to “stop the chaos” on the southern border and end the president’s “socialist agenda”.

Beth Harwell, congressional candidate from the 5th District, pictured at the US-Mexico border wall built under former President Donald Trump. (Photo: Beth Harwell for the US Congress)

During the last reporting period, Harwell brought in a total of $986,036 with $836,033 in contributions and a loan of $150,000. She spent $605,7356 and had $380,300 in cash.

Harwell has received strong support from former legislative colleagues, including Republican Representatives Mark White, Dale Carr, Curtis Johnson, David Hawk and Ron Gant, former Representative Rick Tillis, Sens. Art Swann, Shane Reeves and Page Walley, as well as former Governor Bill Haslam, former Senator Jim Tracy, former Comptroller Justin Wilson and lobbyists Mark Cate and Mike Bivens.

Winstead reported receipts of $2,126,315, but that included $985,315 in total contributions and $1.14 million in loans. He ended the reporting period with $407,785 in cash and $696,225 in loans owed by his campaign.

Contributors included State Rep. Gary Hicks, Sen. Ed Jackson, former Wilson County Sheriff Terry Ashe, former Department of Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey and Nashville real estate developer Jimmy Granbery.

Winstead’s inflated total receipts were caused by loans made to the countryside. He withdrew a $460,000 loan from his account because it was unnecessary and was earning interest, according to Devaney, but then made another $200,000 loan to the campaign.

None of the candidates answered the question of whether they thought President Biden or former President Trump had won the 2020 election.

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