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The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –
Recently, the Tennessee Conservatives PAC (Political Action Committee) launched attack ads against Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles, who is running for the Tennessee District 5 Congressional seat and Gary Humble who is running against incumbent Jack Johnson for the District 27 Tennessee Senate seat.
Digging into the PAC’s finance disclosures on the Federal Election Commission’s website reveals that some of Tennessee’s most prominent citizens have aided in their funding, including James W. Granberry of H.G. Hill Realty Company, John R. Ingram of Ingram Industries Inc, Robert S. Lipman of Lipman Brothers, Frank Rudy of Rudy Winstead Turner PLCC, James Seabury III of Enterprise Solutions, William Glusac of Aligned Equity Partners LLC, and Chip Crunk of RJ Young / Crunk Connected Products LLC, among others.
Further, the filings reveal that the PAC was given its start with a $1 Million dollar contribution from California billionaire Larry Ellison, who is the Executive Chairman and CTO of Oracle Corporation. Incidentally, Oracle was given a $65 million dollar taxpayer-funded grant by the state of Tennessee in September of last year to open a new campus in Nashville.
These facts may raise some eyebrows among Tennessee voters. Read on for all the details and more connections that may surprise you.
Recently, the Tennessee Conservatives PAC spent nearly $131 thousand dollars recently on attack ads launched at Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles, who is running for the Tennessee District 5 Congressional seat.
According to finance disclosures, filed with the Federal Election Commission, the Super PAC spent $130,683.25 to fund TV ads to oppose Andy Ogle’s election bid.
The Super PAC also sent out an attack mailer to Williamson County voters recently alleging that District 27 Conservative candidate Gary Humble is a “grifter” and that he has a long history of “selling out conservatives.”
The mailer claimed that Humble, who is currently running against Republican Senate leader incumbent Jack Johnson for the District 27 Senate seat, is “not a conservative” and that he has “actively worked against Tennessee Conservatives and Republican Governor Bill Lee to prevent his conservative Republican agenda.”
The Federal Election Commission states that Tennessee Conservatives PAC is an “unauthorized Super PAC” and in its Statement of Organization (dated 2/21/22), lists Charles Gantt as Custodian of Records and as Treasurer.
Gantt is a campaign finance accountant based in Beverly, Massachusetts and serves as vice president of Red Curve Solutions, also located in Massachusetts.
The PAC’s bank is located in McLean, Virginia.
As reported by Main Street Nashville, Red Curve Solutions founder and CEO is Bradley Crate, who was the treasurer for the Trump campaign.
According to filings with the Massachusetts Secretary of State, Red Curve handles “comprehensive treasury, budgeting and FEC compliance services for political campaigns, party organizations and PACs.”
According to federal disclosures, Red Curve has netted millions in the last several years by handling compliance consulting for former President Trump’s network of political action committees including the Make America Great Again PAC, Save America Joint Fundraising Committee, Save America PAC, Trump Make America Great Again Committee and Trump Victory.
The PAC’s July Quarterly 2022 filing reveals that $101,869.25 was spent in support of the now disqualified candidate for the District 5 Congressional seat, Morgan Ortagus (who was reportedly Trump’s pic for the office) in the form of radio ads.
Of note, Tennessee Conservatives PAC threatened a lawsuit following the Tennessee House siding with the Senate in requiring a three-year residency to run for U.S. House or Senate.
According to Punchbowl News article, the PAC, at that time, had $1 million dollars at its disposal to back the lawsuit.
Since its founding in February of this year, the Tennessee Conservatives PAC has raised $1,073,500 but only a fraction of that money has come from contributions in Tennessee.
The FEC report shows that $1 Million dollars came from California from a contributor by the name of Larry Ellison, who is the Executive Chairman and CTO of the Oracle Corporation, who bankrolled the Super PAC, giving it the capital to begin operations.
Of note, in September of last year (2021) the Tennessee Comptroller State Funding Board approved $65 million in FastTrack grants for a new campus for Oracle in Nashville.
The incentive was said to have been offered to offset expenses in land acquisition and new construction for the technology company’s new campus.
FastTrack grants are taxpayer-funded state grants sent to local governments for specific infrastructure improvements or to companies to help offset the costs of expanding or moving into the state with the goal of increasing the number of full-time jobs and the average wages of jobs available in an area.
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FEC’s reports show that the PAC received money from several individuals / companies in Tennessee in the time period (April 1 – June 30, 2022):
• James W. Granberry of H.G. Hill Realty Company in Nashville donated $10,000 on 6.16.22
• John R. Ingram of Ingram Industries Inc. in Nashville donated $10,000 on 6.30.22
• Robert S. Lipman of Lipman Brothers in Nashville donated $5,000 on 6.30.22
• Frank Rudy of Rudy Winstead Turner, PLCC in Hendersonville donated $10,000 on 6.21.22 (District 5 congressional candidate Kurt Winstead’s law partner)
• James Seabury III of Enterprise Solutions in Nashville donated $5,000 on 6.7.22
• South Development Corporation of Knoxville donated $10,000 on 6.28.22
Out-of-state donors for this time period ( April 1,2022 – June 20, 2022 ) included:
• National Credit Alliance of Columbus, Ohio who donated $5,000 on 6.30.22
• Fund for America’s Future of Columbia, South Carolina who donated $5,000 on 6.28.22 (Senator Lindsey Graham’s PAC)
From July 1, 2022 to July 15, 2022, the PAC again received additional funding from individuals /companies in Tennessee.
• Aligned Equity Partners LLC of Franklin, TN donated $500 on 7.15.22
• William Glusac of Aligned Equity Partners LLC of Franklin, TN donated $500 on 7.15.22
• Chip Crunk of RJ Young in Nashville donated $10,000 on 7.11.22
• Crunk Connected Products LLC donated $10,000 on 7.11.22
• Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of Tennessee PAC donated $3,000 on July 15, 2022
No out-of-state donors were reported during this time period.
Of note, the Tennessee Conservatives PAC spent $50,000 in total over the last few months for legal consulting with Dhillon Law Group Inc, located in San Francisco, California.
The law group was founded by Harmeet Dhillon, who serves as Republican National Committeewoman for California, served as co-chair for Women for Trump in 2020 and served as legal adviser for Trump’s reelection campaign.
After Morgan Ortagus was kicked off the ballot by the Tennessee GOP, Dhillon endorsed District 5 congressional candidate Kurt Winstead and also joined the advisory committee for his campaign.
Election campaign reports show that four of the Tennessee donors to the Tennessee Conservatives PAC also have given financial support to Winstead’s campaign.
These contributors, as noted in more detail above, were Jim Seabury, Frank Rudy, Robert Lipman and John Ingram. These four individuals also donated to Beth Harwell’s campaign.
However, Winstead’s spokesman has denied that his campaign has any connection to the Super PAC.
The California-founded Super PAC, that is run completely outside of the Tennessee states on their website, “Tennessee Conservatives PAC is dedicated to sending strong conservatives from our great state to the U.S. Congress.”
The PAC does not have a physical address in the Volunteer state but they do have a Post Office box at:
Tennessee Conservatives PAC
PO BOX 41274
Nashville, TN 37204
***Note from The Tennessee Conservative – The Tennessee Conservative news publication is in no way affiliated with Tennessee Conservatives PAC.***
About the Author: Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative ~ Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career. Most recently, he served as Deputy Director for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others. He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History. Contact Jason at news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com