NASHVILLE – Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester is calling on Rep. Kelly Keisling to take responsibility for using taxpayer resources to send out unfounded and disgusting conspiracy theories about our President.
“Republicans in the legislature are bound and determined to turn Tennessee into a laughing stock with their ridiculous antics,” said Forrester. “For Kelly Keisling to use state resources to send out a rumor-filled and dangerous email is an egregious abuse of power and tax payer dollars. The people of his district and of Tennessee deserve to have a representative who is focused on their well-being, not in spreading fear and inducing panic. “
In a statement released to media by the House Republican Caucus Press Secretary Brent Leatherwood, Rep. Keisling was vague about who was responsible for this email being sent out on the taxpayer funded email account. The original email, sent by Legislative Assistant Holt Whit, claims that Keisling himself requested the email be sent to constituents.
“If you promote this kind of a foolish and malicious rumor, you should take ownership of it,” said David Harper, Democratic candidate running to replace Keisling. “It is totally inappropriate for my opponent to use taxpayer funds on an effort to distract voters from his failure to deliver on his campaign promises. I chose to run because I could no longer tolerate these crackpot conspiracy theories and side-issues taking priority over local needs such as jobs, education, roads, and infrastructure.”
Tennessee Lawmaker Says Obama May Stage Fake Assassination. Keisling “sent an email from his state email account to constituents containing a rumor that Obama and the Department of Homeland Security are planning a series of events that could lead to the imposition of ‘martial law’ and delay the election [Political Wire, 7/31/12]
Kelly Keisling, Tennessee Legislator, Mass Emailed Obama ‘Staged Assassination’ Rumor. A Republican member of the Tennessee state legislature emailed constituents Tuesday morning with a rumor circulating in conservative circles that President Barack Obama is planning to stage a fake assassination attempt in an effort to stop the 2012 election from happening. Keisling’s assistant, Frankie Anderson, confirmed that the email was sent “at Keisling’s request” from a state account under the name of Holt Whitt, who is identified in the email as Keisling’s assistant. Anderson said he is filling in for Whitt. [Huffington Post, 8/1/12]
Tinfoil Hat Society: State Legislator Warns of Obama’s Fake Assassination Plot [Updated]. Keisling has released a statement: “Earlier this week, I forwarded an email from my legislative office that should not have been sent out. The message was inappropriate for distribution. I regret the error and pledge to be more cautious regarding the information distributed from my office in the future.” [Nashville Scene, 8/1/12]