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Campbell says mailer is ‘illegal, immoral … and false’

A recent mailer has been making the rounds through some households in Johnson County regarding Republican state representative candidate Scotty Campbell. It claims to document who he may or may not have worked for, along with his political party allegiances. The mailer, which was sent without a disclaimer, says Campbell worked for and supported Democrats. He is portrayed as a Democratic donkey with a Republican elephant mask covering his face.
“This is illegal, immoral, unethical and false,” said Campbell, “Clearly this should have a disclaimer.” Although the source is not known, Campbell believes that this mailer could have come from any one of his opponents. “This is illegal if this is what took place,” continued Campbell, “They are not being honest with the people of Johnson County. They failed to follow Tennessee campaign laws.” According to laws pertaining to political advertising, any group using print media as a means of communicating a political message about a candidate must contain a disclaimer stating the name of the group and its treasurer. Even as few as two or three individuals constitute a group when resources are pooled for that purpose.
According to staff at the Mountain City post office, there were approximately 200 mailers sent out per route. There are ten routes within the city and Johnson County. It appears that the mailers were processed in Johnson City before arriving locally.
“I’m making every effort to continue with my positive and conservative Republican message,” Campbell added. “I am grateful that Tennessee Right to Life has given me 100 percent approval and I will continue to be pro-life.” He added that the National Rifle Association has rated him as a pro-hunting candidate. “I’m glad they recognize my committement to protect the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms,” he said.
With respect to the claim that Campbell worked for Democrats, the candidate said, “I have never been employed by a Democrat. When I was a teenager, I interned with two members of Congress. I was never a paid intern. However, I did receive a one-time stipend to offset housing, transportation and food expenses.” He continued, “As a young man from Johnson County, I was delighted with the opportunity to intern in the United States Congress.” As an intern, Campbell spent four weeks working in the office of Bob Clement, and three weeks in the office of Harold Ford, Jr. He added that what appears to be a check stub on the mailer is not; that it is apparently a computer generated graphic.
“Whoever attacked me has failed to inform Johnson County that I have worked for one Republican state senator and three Republican state representatives. I am the only candidate that has been employed by the state senate and the state house. I am proud and humbled by my experience, but the wasteful spending and lobbyists are both out of control. This election is about the people of Johnson County and one-third of Sullivan County,” Campbell said.
“As a Johnson Countian, I am very proud to have served as the senior legislative assistant to the Speaker of our House of Representatives,” he said. Campbell believes that he is the first Johnson Countian in over 20 years to run for state representative, with Barton Hawkins from Johnson County being a former representative.
Campbell has been under another attack during his campaign. Brochures that were allegedly from the Nature Conservancy in Shady Valley were distributed that gave their endorsement to Scotty Campbell. Campbell disputes this mailer and the information it provided. “Clearly this is a federal offense. The state director of the Nature Conservancy sent a letter to me telling me that the Nature Conservancy has not endorsed me. It is illegal for them to endorse any candidate. If anyone defeats me, I hope it is of their own accomplishments rather than by negative attacks,” he said.
Opponent Timothy Hill was present at the Sunflower Festival, as was Campbell. Surprised at the recent mailer concerning Campbell, Hill stated, “The mailer was not authorized by my campaign. This is the first I have heard of it,” Hill continued. “I encourage people to look at the facts, no matter the mail piece, the card or the situation.”