OFF THE RECORD: In Case You Missed This From the GOP Primaries . . .

Barry Doss, Randy Boyd, Clay Doggett, Beth Harwell

What do you get when horse-race gambling meets legal weed?

Beth Harwell for governor!

There was an “interesting” welcome line-up for Harwell’s June meet and greet in Jefferson City putting Harwell and company only about 20 miles northeast of GOP challenger mega-millionaire Randy Boyd’s home of Knoxville.

Four state legislators from the counties surrounding Jefferson City showed up to show their support for Harwell’s campaign – House members Dale Carr and Andrew Farmer from Sevier County, Jeremy Faison from Cocke County and Sen. Frank Nicely who represents Jefferson and Grainger Counties.

Carr and Farmer are supporters of in-state tuition for illegal alien students and voted to pass that bill in 2015 – except it failed by a single vote in the House. When that bill came up, Beth walked out of the House chamber so she wouldn’t have to vote on it and could wait to take a position once she knew whether her colleagues had managed to give a state benefit to illegal aliens.

Faison owes his rise in committee leadership to Beth although his “skunks for sale” bill and let’s-make-marijuana-legal bill-because-God-gave-us-this-plant-for-a-reason, really should be enough to distinguish him from his peers all on his own.

And then there’s Frank Nicely who has repeatedly tried to legalize bettin’ on the ponies.

Faison eventually got Beth’s support to legalize medical marijuana because she agrees that God may just have something to do with pot, and we’re betting that Nicely turned out to demonstrate how to bet on the dark horse.

Rumor has it that “Boss Doss” and “La Raza” Randy have been talking…

As August 2nd gets closer and closer, the swirl of rumors gets bigger and bigger. The latest and most interesting on oh soooooo many levels is that La Raza Randy’s campaign is talking with Boss Doss and begging Haslam’s gas tax bag boy to endorse Haslam’s Establishment bag boy for governor.

It’s unlikely that without Beth Harwell figuring out that Barry “Boss” Doss would carry whatever political baggage he was told to in exchange for a committee chair.

So once the rube was ID’ed, Harwell did that vengeance thing and stripped Rep. Jimmy Matlock of his Chairmanship of the House Transportation Committee because he dared to challenge her for the Speaker’s position. Never mind that Matlock held that position since the Repubs became the majority party.

Then Harwell appointed the otherwise unremarkable Barry Doss to chair the House Transportation Committee. Doss earned his “Boss” creds after he twisted committee procedure into something unrecognizable and shoved Haslam’s gas increasing “IMPROVE” tax through.

Never mind Doss’ conflict of interests with the state TDOT contracts. Never mind that amid the knowing laughter, he desperately, and with a straight face renamed the gas tax that has Tennesseans paying MORE at the pump,”The Tax Cut Act of 2017.”

Now “Boss” Doss has a primary challenger because he forgot that it was his constituents who sent him to Nashville and they didn’t send him there to be Harwell or Haslam’s bag boy.

Even if Clay Doggett doesn’t beat the Boss in the primary, Doss won’t have Beth there to help him anymore. Given where Harwell stands in the polls – like, is she really running for governor? – Doss may be figuring he’d better start cozying up to someone else.

Sort of makes the “rumor” that “Boss” Doss and “La Raza” Randy are talking seem much more plausible.

Who says that West Tennessee races are boring? 

Has Benton County mayoral candidate Brett Lashlee been caught with his hand in the cookie jar?

According to the Paris Post-Intelligencer, notarized affidavits have been deposited with the county’s District Attorney “alleging that Lashlee violated state campaign financial disclosure laws by not disclosing political donations of money, items for silent auctions and in-kind gifts.”

You know, that cold cash that gets dropped in the fishbowl sitting next to the sign-in sheet at the bar-b-que? Or that friend that sees the candidate having a cup of coffee and slips him a Ulysses S. Grant because the friend is just glad the guy’s running for mayor?

Well, all that untrackable moolah is supposed to be reported and former supporters of Lashlee who claim to have made these kinds of donations, have now said in sworn affidavits, that the money wasn’t reported.

There was also back room talk that plenty of arm-twisting went on to get the Benton County GOP to put its money into Lashlee’s campaign.

And the DA has recused himself because he donated money to Lashlee although the DA is not one of the former supporters, who now are at odds with Lashlee.

Lashlee claims that these former supporters are now “political opponents” including someone who had been Lashlee’s campaign coordinator. Well that’s usually someone that knows what’s going on behind the scenes. Hmmm.

The Paris-Post saved us the grunt work and got Lashlee’s Campaign Finance Reports and lo and behold – the alleged donations were not listed in the reports. Hmmm.

Lashlee was the only candidate in the Republican primary for mayor so what happens after August 2nd and a full investigation by an independent prosecutor is anyone’s best guess.

It’s never good when a candidate gets at cross-hairs with their party. Look what happened to Gibson County’s Democrat mayor “Welcoming Witherspoon” – was gonna run again as a Dem but decided to publicly endorse Republican “La Raza” Randy and now WW is running as an Independent.



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