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TN Democrats: Republicans Should Return Brody Contributions

Press Release from the Tennessee Democratic Party, September 28, 2010

Tennessee Republican Campaign Contributor Accused of Massive Fraud

Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester said Republican lawmakers should return any campaign contributions they received from fellow Republican Ira Brody in light of allegations he bilked hundreds of millions of dollars from a former employer.

Brody had been a candidate for state treasurer after Republicans gained control of the General Assembly in November 2008. According to the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance, Brody and his family contributed tens of thousands of dollars to Tennessee Republican candidates over the last few years.

“I don’t see how any lawmaker could keep that cash knowing it may have been stolen,” Forrester said. “Tennesseans deserve to know their elected officials are not using stolen money to finance their campaigns. Any lawmaker who took a campaign contribution from Mr. Brody and his family should give it back immediately.”

Nashville television station WTVF Channel 5 reports that Brody has been accused of a massive fraud that “destroyed” Concord Capital Management by looting the company’s assets of “hundreds of millions of dollars.” The same report indicates Brody and his family appear to have given more than $200,000 to Republican candidates, including the Tennessee Republican Party.

According to state records and the Federal Election Commission, U.S. Sens. Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander received campaign contributions from Brody, as did state Sens. Ron Ramsey, Jim Tracy, Ken Yager and Delores Gresham along with state Reps. Joe Carr and Donna Rowland. Murfreesboro state House candidate Rick Womick also received campaign contribution from Brody and his family.

“Mr. Brody evidently tried to buy the state treasurer’s job with ill-gotten gains,” Forrester said. “We are fortunate he is not in charge of Tennessee’s revenues now.

“Most Tennessee voters cannot afford to make exorbitant campaign contributions like Mr. Brody did. Instead, many of us are struggling to make our mortgages, pay the bills and feed our families.

“It seems the state GOP remains out of touch with ordinary Tennesseans because they are too busy soliciting money from donors with deep pockets and special interests. We need our elected officials to focus on more ways to create better jobs for us and better schools for our kids,” he added.