Press Releases

TFA: Maggart Motivated By Money, Power

Press release from the Tennessee Firearms Association; July 23, 2012: 

Maggart – does she have the capacity for truth?

Debra Maggart’s campaign is running an advertisement in which she questions the truthfulness and ethics of Lt. Col. Courtney Rogers.

Its a futile but intentional misrepresentation by Maggart. The facts are pretty simple. Candidates for office must fill out a disclosure form (the state SS-8004). One question on the form asks:

Bankruptcy – List any adjudication of bankruptcy or discharge received in any United States district court within five (5) years of the date of this report.

Lt. Col. Rogers answered none. That was truthful and accurate. Although she and her husband were discharged from a bankruptcy 6 years prior to the completion of that form, the state did not consider bankruptcies older than 5 years to be relevant. It is also true that once the Rogers were discharged, the bankruptcy trustee and creditors continued to collect their assets (the bankruptcy estate) and distribute it until 2008 when the bankruptcy was “closed” but that did not involve the Rogers and it is not part of the question. The question clearly requires the disclosure of any “discharge” which is a specific legal status under federal law.

Maggart has tried to make a big issue out of this. Perhaps that is because running on the truth of her record or the real sources of her financial support would spell certain defeat.

In response, the Rogers campaign has asked all elected members of the General Assembly to “sanction their own”. It is interesting that apparently they have refused to do so at this point. Consider the facts in the communication from Jeff Hartline, who works on her campaign and who has been friends with many of these Republican legislators, to the other legislators calling on them to step in and put a stop to the intentional misrepresentations of Maggart:

Members of the General Assembly:

Below is the text of a radio ad that has been aired in Nashville this week by the House Caucus Chairman, Debra Maggart against her opponent, Lt. Col. Courtney Rogers (Ret.), a Republican. It is important that you read this ad so that you can see for yourself the blatant misrepresentation of the truth that your Caucus Chair exhibits in this ad. Maggart’s challenger is a 28 year Air Force/Air National Guard veteran distinguished during the Cold War and in combat in multiple theatres of operation. Many of you heard Ms. Maggart during the last session brag that she would “destroy” Courtney Rogers with her bankruptcy. I know this because several of you have told me. When I heard this, I thought it was bluster. I was wrong.

Here is the ad:

“What kind of judgment? What kind of priorities? Serious questions Tennesseans are asking about Courtney Rogers. Courtney Rogers (1)failed to disclose that she filed for bankruptcy with the State Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance, even though it was required by law. Worse, Rogers tried to use a (2)loophole in the Law in an effort to try and (3)hide her past. Explains why Courtney Rogers is running a false and negative campaign, (4)attacking the true conservative, Republican, Debra Maggart. Failing to disclose that she filed for bankruptcy in her ethics disclosure forms, Using a loophole in the law in an effort to try and hide her past. (5)Running a false and negative campaign to cover it up. If we can’t trust Rogers to tell the truth now, we definitely can’t trust Courtney Rogers in the Legislature. Courtney Rogers, (6)just another politician Tennessee families can’t trust.”

Here are the misrepresentations:

(1) Courtney Rogers did NOT fail to disclose a bankruptcy. She was not required to disclose that she had ever filed for bankruptcy. The ethics form asked whether she has been “discharged” from a bankruptcy within the past five years. Her husband’s business failed in the year after September 11, 2001. (He had purchased an oil distributorship). After sinking $55,000 of their savings into the business to save it, they filed for bankruptcy in March 2005 and the bankruptcy was “discharged” in June 2005. The Bankruptcy Trustee “terminated” the bankruptcy in 2008. The Rogers had no say-so in when the creditors were paid nor were they ever notified as to this “termination.” Prior to completing the ethics disclosure form, their attorney told them that the question on the form was specific to their part of the proceedings. Independent attorneys also verify that Courtney answered the question correctly. Maggart shopped this story to the Tennessean and the TV networks. They concluded there was no “there” there and dropped it. She was finally successful in getting TNReport to run the story. Even they concluded there was no violation. But Maggart achieved her objective, getting a “reputable” media outlet to disclose the information so she could then come in behind it and run her malicious, false ads. Maggart knows the truth but has decided to proceed with her lies.

(2) There is NO loophole in the law. The language of “Discharge” is very specific as has been verified by numerous bankruptcy attorneys. If Maggart thinks this is a loophole, then she should file an ethics complaint. Another untruth.

(3) Courtney has not tried to hide “her past”. Have any of you asked Maggart if she is trying to hide “her past” of being fined $5,000 by TREF in 2003 for elections “ethics” violations? Fortunately for Maggart, she was able to get Mr. Gregory to write the check to get her off the hook. Courtney has had numerous conversations with voters when her bankruptcy has been discussed.

(4) Courtney has not “attacked” Debra Maggart. Quite the contrary. Courtney has spent the entirety of her campaign talking about who she is, what she believes, and the things important to her. Maggart has so much here to “attack”, but Courtney has kept the discussion to Maggart’s record and lack of leadership. Both the NRA and TFA are conducting independent expenditure campaigns against Maggart because they feel she has abandoned the concerns of their four million plus members. This is no different from the $100,000+ Maggart has extracted from Big Business and Lobbyists, not to even mention many of the same entities giving her employer, COMPASS, tens of thousands of dollars, from which she benefits personally. Courtney has no say-so in any of these campaigns. Courtney got into this campaign well before the NRA or TFA got interested in it. She has called Maggart’s unethical acceptance of per diem money into question and will continue to do so. Perhaps Maggart should be asking why all candidates running in Sumner County have said they would not accept it? Another untruth.

(5) Courtney is not running a “false and negative” campaign. I call upon Maggart to point out what part of her campaign is false or negative.

(6) Courtney Rogers is not “another politician”. This is just laughable.

Decide for yourself, Is this what passes for leadership in Tennessee. Looks more like desperation to me and you should be disgusted by it. I am curious how many of you will go “on the record” asking Maggart to cease and desist from this malicious, false, libelous, slander campaign against Courtney Rogers. Our Lt. Gov. is right when he says “It matters who governs.” Who will speak out against this?

Sadly, we see no evidence that any Republican incumbent has spoken out on the intentional misconduct of Maggart making public misrepresentations of fact regarding these issues. One must start to question if other Republican incumbents are interested in preserving the truth and integrity of the General Assembly or are they simply covering for Maggart?

Furthermore, incumbent Maggart wants to make a big deal about ethics, the truth and accountability. Have any of you heard any ad or news report wherein she addresses the fact that the Conservative Forum of Tennessee, a PAC which Maggart ran, was fined $5000 in 2003 for reporting violations? Have you seen any stories on Maggart’s personal business, a carpet store, which she closed and left creditors who later took a judgment against the store?

It is time, past time, to make an example of Debra Maggart. She has lost her way. She has revealed her true convictions – money and power. She has proven she is unfit for public service. Let’s end her career in office, let’s end her tenure in power, and let us work together to send a steward to Nashville – Lt. Col. Courtney Rogers.

8 replies on “TFA: Maggart Motivated By Money, Power”

8-50-502. Disclosure statements — Contents.
…(7) Any adjudication of bankruptcy or discharge received in any United States district court within five (5) years of the date of the disclosure;

Mr. Harris: aka the TFA: Sir, it says ANY adjudication.

What part of ANY don’t you understand?

Well, we all know by now TG that you are a Maggart operative and trying to help Mags in her feeble attempt to grab at straws. Perhaps being tied in with the H-ville cronies has its perks and sure comes in handy when building without a building permit until folks outside the cliche put a stop to it. Does this story sound familiar to you? It’s funny how people with dirty little secrets like to preach about following the laws and throw stones at others while looking for ways to break them. Plain and simple Debra is in this for Debra. She left the citizens behind long ago. I knew this back in 2009 when it came from the horses mouth. Now 8 Tea Party Groups, the NRA, and the good people I have met while going door to door got her number, too. In a biased world, everyone is wrong. I encourage you to come walk with me and listen to the “real people” for a change and perhaps you will see the light. There is still hope.

TG, why are you focusing on the word “any”. You need to look at the remainder of the sentence: any adjudication OF BANKRUPTCY, not IN BANKRUPTCY. Courtney was adjudicated bankrupt in June of 2005 and thereupone was discharged from the bankruptcy!

Well Mr. Gottlieb herein lies the problem. You have a law degree and having spent thousands of hours studying you understand the legal term “adjudication” to a greater extent than most all of the population. Mrs. Rogers has spent her years doing intelligence work in the US Air Force, raising several children, etc.

Nothing at all against you, I read your posts and they are always informative and I even agree with your post above. However, when laws are so numerous and the language so nuanced, exactly how is the average person supposed to abide by them all? Many words used in law have very different meanings than the commonly understood usage, so knowing the law requires a special dictionary. You have focused on the word “any” but the problem is the following word. Ask the next 10 smart looking people you meet on the sidewalk what adjudication means.

Should all legislators be lawyers so they have all this under their belt? I hardly think that would be good, we are better served to have people from all walks of life in public office. Even though this means sometimes poorly written laws leave the chambers and must be revisited down the road.

Now Mrs. Rogers might have sought advice from a lawyer when filling out those forms. But even then we see that the State’s office has said her filing is not a problem and an independent attorney has also said this was answered correctly. Here we see where some attorneys, yourself included, disagree with other attorneys! So even if Mrs. Rogers did pay for legal advice – she STILL is caught in limbo.

I pose that the complicated nature of the form using legalese is at fault here. Maybe they should ask if one as EVER been in bankruptcy and for the beginning and end dates. We know vagueness = unconstitutional. Here the words aren’t really vague yet trained legal professionals seem to be in disagreement!

How is the normal person supposed to follow all the regulations and laws?

ATTN moderator, please skip the first post above, there were a couple of typos which I corrected in the latter post.
Thank you

I am not an attorney. I am a concerned citizen. I can read. The people who havce advised Lt. Col. Rogers on her disclosure did a lousy job. She should preserve her good name and revise her disclosure.

I don’t like what is going on. I believe that her friends John Harris, Jeff Hartline, Kerry Roberts and Steve Gill are all involved in divisive and destructive behavior.

Lt Col. Rodgers may well be a wonderful person, I don’t know. But she’s surrounded herself with some very unwholesome people.

TFA’s John Harris suggests that Ms. Maggart needs to be crucified. Crucified?
What is this? Some kind of Taliban edict?

Kerry Roberts would have a seat next session in the State Senate if he hadn’t decided as a freshman he needs to take over the entire leadership. Who is this guy? Who hits on all the pretty girls there. I’d like to be able to send my daughter into that scene, without having some lecherous power hungry asshat decide it’s OK to dishonor his marriage. That isn’t a leader.

Jeff Hartline needs to get himself a job and run against Mike Turner.

Steve Gill should be ashamed of himself. He is an unprincipled media whore of the lowest order. Selling his support to who ever buys the most airtime on his shows. Have you no shame?

These guys think that bullying people, who are working their butts off to improve this State, is leadership. They are wrong and by bringing in the NRA to waste resources on a lie will backfire on them. They have lost their way.

I am concerned about politics and concerned about 2nd Amendment rights, and I never heard a word about these guy’s safe commute bill until it was time to seize some power. Great job! I might have even been supportive of it and I suspect that most Republicans are supportive of it but I think there needs to be a public discussion. I don’t accept their version it. And I definitely don’t after seeing this nonsense.

But this isn’t about the 2nd Amendment, this is about a few short in stature little bullies thinking they can push this woman around.

Debra Maggart is amongst the hardest working of all the State Legislators she deserves to be in Leadership and I am proud to support her.

Wow Tony, you certainly opened a can of worms here with your character assassinations of good people who speak the truth about your wayward (and hopefully soon to be on the way out) “political friend”, Debra Maggart, who has proven to be nothing more than a power hungry politician who has fallen from grace. Your “I’m a concerned citizen” statement is quite disingenuous. In fact, it’s a line that I am not buying. I can also debunk every stock Maggart talking point within. Funny, Maggart made sure to overtly display a silver cross against her cobalt blue shirt in an attempt to shout out “you see people, I am a Christian” while delivering a condescending 2-minute video jam packed with shrill little Maggart lies. BTW, no one can leave comments about this video which is a sure sign of someone who is scared of folks calling her out on those shrill, hurt my ears, little Maggart lies. I have to laugh at hypocrites like Mags who claim to be a Christian yet do some very un-Christian things. Let’s begin. Christians typically follow the 10 commandments. In Maggart’s world, Commandment #7, thou shall not commit adultery, doesn’t matter much. After all, it was perfectly okay for her to have an affair with a married man and encourage this man to betray his wife. How can anyone be proud of that? How can anyone see TRUST or INTEGRITY in Maggart with said behavior? Debra also knows that the per diem is for folks who live far away and travel to the capitol and may need to stay over night. But Debra who lives $18K per year of our hard-earned tax payer money for a short commute to the capitol, which aligns with Commandment #8, thou shall not steal. Would a “good Christian” bully people? Well bullying is Maggart’s MO and she thought that she could “push this woman around”. Mags has harassed me numerous times, which is why I have 2 numbers in my phone (207-5424 and 741-3893). She even abused tax-payer funded state representative letter head to demonize me. Is that someone who demonstrates leadership? When Debra came on my property and had the audacity to call me a liar when I was explaining to one of her door knockers why I would not support her, she broke Commandment #9 thou shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. Word on the street is that Debra also violated Commandment #10 thou shall not covet anything that is your neighbor’s when taking over that COMPASS position, which pays her a hefty salary on top of the state rep salary along with cashing in on a sweet per diem. Word on the street is that Debra doesn’t care to do “the work” when asked for assistance by other not-for-profit groups and cares only about capitalizing on the photo opportunities. It’s been quite interesting to listen to regular people in District #45. Some have said “Debra is immoral”, “Debra is a liar”, “Anybody but Debra”. Does this sound like the people here believe Debra is a leader? Hardly. Those glory days are gone. Debra has lost credibility and few can trust her–hence “many enemies”, which Debra brought on herself. TG, please stop painting Debra as a hopeless victim when she has been the viscous one and has victimized people for too long. I cannot see how Debra can recover from this election after being called out about her underhanded ways. You know it’s getting pretty bad when legislators start providing “silent” support and other candidates who are running in this election that initially “bundled” their efforts when going door-to-door and making robo-calls start keeping their distance. TG, if you were truly a “concerned citizen”, you should be very concerned about a habitual liar who fails to follow simple conservative principles sitting in a position of power. Debra will sell out the Constitution to fill her campaign war chest. Mags only cares about people when election times rolls around and rolls out the same old signs and wears the same old saccharin smile. Many folks like me in District #45 are looking forward to new leadership under Lt. Col. Courtney Rogers. I am so very proud to support her!

I looked up COMPASS, it is a charity and seemed to only take in $80K to $90K per year. Do they actually pay Debra Maggart or is this really volunteer work? I can’t see how anyone would get a hefty salary from an operation that seems to only have yearly cash flow under $90,000.

Mr. Gottlieb, my apologies, I thought I had read previously where you were in the legal field and actually an attorney. If not then it’s my mistake, didn’t mean to unfairly equate you with serpents.

We can sort of agree that anyone who advised Rogers on that disclosure did a lousy job. But I restate that even among professionals it seems to be in dispute as to whether it’s correct or not. That said it appears to be a pretty understandable error and not one which will disqualify her.

I’m not following your guilt by association logic though, just because some other louts support Rogers does not mean that she is of bad character.

Sure the NRA and TFA are leaning heavy on Maggart now, and it appears that Rogers’ campaign is just a conduit for them. I’m sure Rogers enjoys having their support but so far it doesn’t appear that she actually sought them out and asked for all of this. I’d like to hear more on that if it is the case.

From what I can tell in following this story the first negative punches came from outside Rogers’ controll. The first candidate punches came from the Maggart side.

It’s a shame that people who want to represent others behave this way.

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