Tennessee Jobs Now, a SuperPAC that supports Randy Boyd in the Tennessee Governor’s race, began airing a television commercial two weeks ago that continues on the theme of their recent statewide radio buy. The television ad hits Black for a 2001 vote during her time in the State Legislature that provided driver’s licenses to illegal aliens and also hits Black for her March 22, 2018 vote against the Omnibus Spending Bill (HR 1625) that funded a small portion of the border wall embraced by President Donald Trump.
The television ad features pictures of a tattooed MS-13 gang member, a “Muslim terrorist” wearing a keffiyah, and a black clad man with a stocking cap identified as a “sex trafficker” on Tennessee driver’s licenses while the announcer says:
“MS-13 gang member? Driver’s license. Terrorist? Driver’s license. Human trafficker? Driver’s license. In the legislature, Diane Black voted to give Tennessee driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. Then in Washington, Black voted against funding president Trump’s border wall. Diane Black is making it easier for criminals, even terrorists, to come here illegally and stay. Dishonest Diane Black. Good for illegal immigrants, bad for Tennessee.”
The Diane Black campaign responded to the ads by demanding that television stations block them from airing, claiming the ads are inaccurate.
Rocklan W. King III, an attorney with Adams and Reese LLP who represents the Black campaign, argued that the driver’s license legislation Black voted for did not actually allow illegal immigrants to obtain them. “This bill permitted a person without a social security number to receive a driver’s license if the person submitted an affidavit affirming that such person has never been issued a social security number,” King wrote in his letter demanding the stations pull the ads. Nevertheless, driver’s licenses were issued to illegal aliens which, as King acknowledges in his letter, led to Black and other legislators later seeking to repeal the legislation.
Similar legislation in other states, including New Jersey, Florida, and Virginia, helped enable the 9-11 terrorists to obtain driver’s licenses that they used to board planes that were used to kill three thousand people on 9-11.
Despite the Black campaign’s repeated attempts to intimidate stations into removing the advertisements, no station has pulled the ad and they have continued to run.
According to Tennessee Jobs Now Attorney, Gardner Pate, “While Congresswoman Black may not be proud of her voting record, it is her record. Despite her efforts to get the advertisement pulled, she can’t run from the truth. The fact remains that she voted for a bill in the Tennessee legislature that allowed illegal immigrants to obtain a Tennessee driver’s license and she voted against a bill that provided funding for President Trump’s border wall.”
Pate points out that Black’s use of intimidation tactics to try and silence the opposition is nothing new. In 2010, when her opponent aired an advertisement critical of Black’s record in the Tennessee legislature, the company Black’s husband David Black owned sued to try and stop the advertisement from running. In deciding against the company and in favor of Black’s opponent’s campaign, the judge held the ad in question was “not factually false, or was at least substantially true.”
“Clearly, Diane Black doesn’t want the voters of Tennessee to know what she is up to in the swamp. She talks a good game back home; but, like most career politicians, the rhetoric doesn’t match up with her voting record,” added Dave Carney, General Consultant to Tennessee Jobs Now. “With her history of frivolous lawsuit and legal maneuvering, I expect her to keep fighting to hide her real record from the voters of Tennessee.”
The Tennessee Jobs Now television ad is somewhat reminiscent of an ad that then State Senator Jim Tracy ran during his 2010 campaign against Black. That ad, and radio and mail pieces in subsequent campaigns, have raised the same issue regarding Diane Black’s 2001 vote.
Embedded below is the rebuttal letter sent by Tennessee Jobs Now to stations in response to the Black campaign efforts to force television stations to pull the commercials.