Black Campaign Hits Lee in a Pair of New Attack Ads

Diane Black political ad feat Bill Lee

In yet another indication that the Republican Primary for Governor has tightened, with a surge by Bill Lee in Middle Tennessee threatening Diane Black in her own 6th Congressional District, the Black campaign has begun airing two new attack ads targeting Lee in the last 24 hours.

Black aired an ad targeting both Lee and Randy Boyd as “Two Moderates” just last week. She added a second ad that focused solely on Boyd as being “anti-hunter” while touting Black’s endorsement by the NRA. In fact, the ad is titled “Anti-hunter” to make the point clear.

Now Black has launched two new ads that hit Lee hard. The first is similar to the “Two Moderates” ad but focuses more on Lee than Boyd.

The second “Two Moderates” Black ad transcript reads as follows:

Steve Schmidt, former Republican campaign manager: [Trump is] An imbecilic former reality tv show host and con man.

George Will, columnist:
“He [Trump] would flunk a sixth grade civics exam.

Announcer: Don’t you hate it when Republicans undermine President Trump? Randy Boyd disavowed Trump, and Bill Lee’s the kind of Republican who helps Democrats get elected. Bill Lee pushed for liberal Mayor Megan Barry. Bill Lee’s candidate pushed gun control and sanctuary city policies to protect illegal immigrants from prosecution. The race for Governor is simple. Moderate Bill Lee, moderate Randy Boyd, or conservative Diane Black.

Schmidt and Will are both prominent Never-Trumpers, and the implication of the ad is to claim that Bill Lee is the same. Interestingly, Mae Beavers and others have pointed out that Black herself attended and was a speaker at a Never-Trump meeting in Sea Island, Georgia in 2016.

As The Tennessee Star has noted previously, President Trump’s extraordinarily high approval ratings among Tennessee GOP primary voters has candidates at every level clamoring to out-Trump their opponents in the August 2 primary.

The second new Black ad, “Burn,” specifically targets Lee for his donations to Democrats like Phil Bredesen and Megan Barry.

Tennessee Star Political Editor Steve Gill points out that Black has clearly realized she has a Bill Lee problem, primarily in Middle Tennessee and within her own congressional district. “Lee is taking voters away from Black and she has to bring them back into her column to move ahead of Boyd,” Gill says. “The challenge is that she has a two-front war right now, needing to hit both Boyd and Lee, while Boyd actually benefits from the votes that Lee, and to some extent Harwell, pulls from her in Middle Tennessee.”

“Lee is taking voters away from Black and she has to bring them back into her column to move ahead of Boyd,” Gill says. “The challenge is that she has a two-front war right now, needing to hit both Boyd AND Lee, while Boyd actually benefits from the votes that Lee, and to some extent Harwell, pulls from her in Middle Tennessee.”

“Boyd may actually benefit some from Black’s attacks on Lee if it makes Lee spend time and money defending his own voters in Middle Tennessee and keeps him from expanding his numbers, and ad buys, in more Boyd-friendly East and West Tennessee,” Gill adds. “Boyd may want to consider hitting Harwell, since The Tennessee Star and Data Orbital polls in the past week both show her getting few votes but that the ones she is getting come from the more moderate to liberal and anti-Trump portion of Tennessee Republican voters who would gravitate to Boyd rather than Lee or Black if they leave her. It might only move a few points for Boyd, but in a tightening three-person race a few points could matter.”

The biggest question in the short term, Gill notes, is whether and how Bill Lee responds to Diane Black’s attacks. “If he hesitates to hit back, or misses with his counter-punch, that could stall his momentum and collapse his support. Boyd responded within 24 hours when Black hit him; the clock is ticking for Lee to respond or slip back down.”









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5 Thoughts to “Black Campaign Hits Lee in a Pair of New Attack Ads”

  1. Kevin

    Wow, it must be nice to be able to have an entire quiver of political arrows available with which to attack a challenger. We’ll see if they hit the mark with the voters in Tennessee!

    Anybody ever wonder how much money a TV campaign ad costs? Well, it’s hundreds of thousands of dollars! We’ll talk more about who really pays the cost, a little later, but did anybody ever wonder who specifically benefits from those ads and the expenditure of all that money?

    Well, certainly the candidate might (or might not) benefit from the ad, depending on how voters perceive the message. The TV stations benefit as do the producers, technicians, actors/actresses and anybody else involved in the “making” or “airing” of the ad. And then there are the political “handlers/advisers/consultants”. They are the “buyers” and typically they take a percentage of the expenditure. Sometimes, they are even involved in certain production aspects of the ad. So in a sense, they double dip. So a lot of people are benefitting from all of this money being spend on “attacking the opposition”! But all of this is really irrelevant!

    The issue of real importance is, who actually pays for all of this? Well, it’s you and me! Politicians don’t spend millions of dollars just to get a job paying $150K to $200K per year. Big contributors don’t contribute just to flush their money down the proverbial political sewer. Both of these groups expect a return on their investment. Politicians get power; financial, political and influential. Big contributors get their ROI; access, information, and special treatment.

    And you and me, well, we get to pay the bill, through higher taxes, more regulations, and loss of some of our God-given rights. But once in a while we do get to vote a few of the political elite out, like Virginians did with Cantor. Will this be our year in Tennessee?

    1. Terry

      Excellent points but the “special treatment” you note is legislation that favors the financial interests and eliminates any challenge to that hegemony via colluding with government, i.e., fascism. The drug companies, labor unions, and so on realize a very handsome ROI via legislation. That’s why Big AG has such a stranglehold and is thus driving small producers into bankruptcy or even suicide. Moreover, it is Big AG that is the main champion of ethanol subsidies.

      It’s why Big Pharma will not be held to account for its pivotal role in the opioid epidemic, not to mention antidepressants – homicidal (and suicidal) ideation due to antidepressant use, especially in the formative years, is more than a theory – it is also one of the few common themes in all mass shootings of late.

  2. Terry

    Rep. Black is just digging herself deeper in the hole with this. IF she had a genuine plan that would be more beneficial for Tennesseans than what Bill Lee has published and put forward, then she could win on that basis, given her long political history. But she doesn’t and here’s the thing: her long political history, in the state and in DC, has demonstrated that she is a big government RINO and swamp creature of the highest order. In this latest negative campaign, she further demonstrates her long standing, and apparently well-deserved, reputation as a smear merchant. Saul Alinsky would be proud.

    This attack will do nothing, not – one – thing, to dissuade voters who support Bill Lee – we tend to be thinking, rational, moral people and, as such, largely immune from fear mongering – especially that which is rich in hypocrisy, i.e., it was Rep. Black who was a speaker at a “Never Trump” event in 2016 – not Bill Lee.

    Rep. Black has the establishment RINO support, at least in part, due to her ability to raise funds. In the recent released documentary, “The Swamp”, Rep. Massie (R-KY) lays out very clearly how the NRCC exacts a tribute from any member who aspires to be on a committee. If you don’t meet your fundraising “rent” and/or you don’t vote in the way that the NRCC wants you to, then you lose your seat on the committee or the subcommittee will be dissolved and folded into another. Parts 3 and 4 of the documentary lays it all out:

    Mrs. Black was chairman of the Budget Committee, an “A-List” committee of tremendous power and highly coveted – did she get that chairmanship by dint of her budgetary prowess, or did she get it by raising money, i.e, being a swamp creature who will vote the way that the NRCC tells her to? Inquiring minds want to know.

  3. John Bumpus

    Follow the money. When a candidate (an experienced pol like Black) spends ‘big bucks’ to produce and broadcast state-wide an ‘attack ad’ against an opponent, there is a reason for it. The opinion polls (privately available to her) must show ‘something’ that is troubling to Black. And if your only real reason to vote for Black is that you think that she is the only person who can defeat Boyd (and I think that this view is error), then this probable Lee polling upsurge can be ‘the kiss of death’ for the Black candidacy. Black has spent a ‘ton of money’ (a lot of it her own), thus far, trying to win this race. And if she loses it is all just a big waste (to say nothing of forfeiting her safe seat in Congress), and Black just can’t let that happen!

  4. Dave

    Dianne Black has outlived her usefulness for Tennessee and has lost touch with the majority of her constituents. She just needs to quit and go spend time with her Grandkids.