Press Release from the Tennessee Democratic Party; Aug. 24, 2010:
NASHVILLE – Rutherford County Republican state House candidate Mike Sparks has once again gotten himself into trouble over a Facebook posting that implies he is a 1997 graduate of Middle Tennessee State University.
According to MTSU officials, Sparks has never received a degree from the university. Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester is asking Sparks to apologize to Rutherford County voters for “falsifying his resume.”
“People are routinely fired from their jobs for a lie like that,” Forrester said. “Mr. Sparks is guilty of falsifying his resume. He should explain to the citizens of Rutherford County why he decided to pass himself off as an MTSU graduate.
“This is just one more in a list of blunders Mr. Sparks has made during his campaign for the state House. The people of Rutherford County deserve a representative in the General Assembly who is honest, hardworking and beyond reproach. Mr. Sparks is not that leader.
“Just a few weeks ago Mr. Sparks posted anti-Semitic material written by a Nazi sympathizer (PDF) on his campaign Facebook page and provided a link to other bigoted YouTube videos. Someone who shows this kind of judgment has no business running for an elected office in this state or this country. The Tennessee Republican Party should immediately remove Mr. Sparks from the ballot,” he said.
Sparks, a Rutherford County commissioner, is seeking the House seat currently occupied by state Rep. Kent Coleman of Murfreesboro.
Forrester also pointed out that Sparks had to amend a filing with the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance revealing that he has made expenditures during his campaign. His first two filings with the state agency claimed no expenditures had been made. Sparks’ campaign website also fails to list an appropriate authorization line as required by state law.
“Mr. Sparks is not at all ready for prime time,” Forrester said. “We need lawmakers who understand that we need good jobs for our families, good schools for our children and safe, desirable communities in which to live.”