Press Releases

TFA Praises Ramsey on New Guns-in-Cars Bill Despite ‘Potential Omissions’

Press release from the Tennessee Firearms Association; February 1, 2013:

The Tennessee Firearms Association is pleased to see that Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey is a Senate Sponsor of at least part of the Safe Commute law in 2013 with the introduction of SB0142. The bill is scheduled to be heard in Senate Judiciary on February 5, 2013.

The bill as written would allow permit holders to store their firearms in their own cars even if parked on the parking lot of another, with minor exception, but it has some potential omissions that should be addressed. It is clear, however, that this bill addresses some of the issues that the Lt. Gov. personally promised TFA that he would see passed in 2011 and 2012. Unfortunately, none of those bills came to the Senate floor in 2011 or 2012.

The Tennessee Firearms Association is interested to see what develops with the bill and what type of amendments Lt. Gov. Ramsey tolerates this year. For example, in 2012 he, Haslam and Harwell openly opposed any bill such as this that did not include exceptions for large employers, state colleges and presumptively other government agencies. See, Indeed, there are news clips where he expressed similar concerns about his hesitations to the legislation in 2012 because of the desires of big business interests, the Chamber of Commerce and large schools to either opt-out or have some other means to avoiding such a law.

This year, TFA will oppose any amendments that would create exceptions to the concept embodied in the Safe Commute proposal that an individual should be allowed to keep in his or her car any items that the person legally owns and possesses.

As for concerns about the bill itself, there are some that will need to be addressed only to the sponsor but he has not responded to repeated requests to discuss the bill. Setting those topics aside, there are other concerns with the bill that are clearly apparent to anyone reading the proposed bill. For example:

– the bill is limited to a “permit holder’s privately-owned motor vehicle.” We are not aware of any reason to exclude permit holders who are relying on a borrowed car, a family owned car, a leased car or even a temporary rental from protection under this bill.

– the bill uses the qualifier “Notwithstanding §§ 39-17-1309, 39-17-1311, or § 39-17-1359, . . .” We are concerned that this language may be intended to avoid prohibitions under other statutes or that it would not address grand fathered local government restrictions under 39-17-1314 such as apply in Knoxville and Davidson Counties relative to government parking areas and/or locally managed parks.

– the bill does not address “incidental exposure” that could occur while the permit holder is storing the weapon in the car if that occurs on the property. Thus, a security camera or another employee that sees a permit holder placing the weapon in the glove compartment once on the property might not be protected by the legislation as presently written.

– the bill does not preclude an employer from having a “no weapons” policy and firing, terminating or refusing to hire individuals with carry permits or who store their weapons in the parking areas (and consequently denying them both safe commute as well as unemployment benefits or any remedy for wrongful termination.)

– the bill would criminalize under state law possession on any federal property that might be restricted. We would prefer that Tennessee not bootstrap federal infringements of 2nd Amendment rights and leave the enforcement of any such restrictions to be the burden of the federal government.

We would be glad to work with the Lt. Gov. and the bill co-sponsors to address these issues and have offered to do so. We are waiting on a response.

Press Releases

TFA: Kingsport Officials Flirting with Flouting Constitution

Press release from the Tennessee Firearms Association; October 3, 2012: 

Local Government Officials still working to infringe 2nd Amendment Rights of Tennesseans and the capacity of citizens to provide their own self defense.

The news report starts:

“KINGSPORT — The Kingsport Board of Mayor and Aldermen was expected to consider a change to city code tonight that would have prohibited residents with handgun carry permits from carrying their firearms in city parks, including Bays Mountain and along the Greenbelt.”

A few years ago, the Tennessee General Assembly passed a law which removed all restrictions on citizens carrying in state and federal parks (to the extent state law prohibited federal park carry). However, bowing to pressure from local government officials (who were probably lobbying on your tax dollars to defeat your rights) the legislature agreed to an “opt out” provision which allows local city and county governments to vote to close local parks to permit holders. It appears from this story that elected officials in Kingsport are seriously contemplating ignoring the constitution and the rights of citizens – sort of like Obama does.

They appear to believe it is their duty and option to close publicly owned land to all citizens of the state and visitors to this state who choose to provide for their own self-defense. It appears that they are believers in the “lies of the left” that banning citizens from carrying firearms will make the parks safe by discouraging criminals, robbers and rapists from going armed into those seldom patrolled areas. They have set upon a path and now shown that they, like Rep. Debra Maggart, perhaps do not abide by their oaths to uphold the constitution and therefore do not deserve to hold public trust or office.

While some might think that this is a local issue, it is not. This type of decision impacts anyone who might vacation or travel in the area. It sets a pattern which if not opposed might encourage other city and county officials in other areas to stomp on your rights.

The full story is here.

You can contact Kingsport officials at these addresses

Mayor Dennis
Vice Mayor Tom
Alderman Valerie
Alderman Jantry
Alderman Mike
Alderman Tom
Alderman John

You can also contact City Manager John G. Campbell at 423 229-9400 or at this Contacts page

Press Releases

TFA: TWRA Bow Hunting Policy for Handgun Permit Holders Needs Clarification

Press release from the Tennessee Firearms Association; September 20, 2012: 

TWRA issues “clarification” or policy change on permit holders during bow season

TFA has received and confirmed reports that TWRA was advising its officers that a bow hunter (or muzzleloader hunter) who does not have a handgun permit could be charged with criminal hunting violations if they were hunting with another hunter who did have a handgun permit and a handgun while hunting. This is the essential body of an email from a TWRA official that was provided to TFA (emphasis added):

“It is illegal for any person, without a carry permit, to carry a firearm or to be accompanied by a person who is in possession of a firearm while archery or muzzleloader hunting. The carry permit supersedes 70-4-123 so that a person with a valid carry permit can be in possession of a firearm while archery hunting.

The answer to the question would be that you cannot be with your friends while hunting if they have a firearm in their possession.”

TFA looked into this issue and confirmed that this was the TWRA’s policy on this matter. TFA contacted Senator Mike Faulk, known to be an avid hunter himself, for further confirmation. Senator Faulk did look into this matter and provided to TFA a copy of a memorandum issued by TWRA on September 17, 2012 reversing this policy. The TWRA memorandum now states:

For purposes of enforcing T.C.A. 70-1-123, a person who is accompanied by someone authorized to carry a handgun pursuant to T.C.A. 39-17-1351 shall not be considered to be in violation of this statute.

While this is a victory for hunters in Tennessee, the policy requires further clarification. Note that the policy is expressly limited to armed companions who are carrying firearms pursuant to the civilian handgun permit statute 39-17-1351. There may be many loopholes:

  • What if the person is carrying based on reciprocity? Since Tennessee’s reciprocity statute is under 39-17-1351(r), that should be ok.
  • What if the person is legally carrying other than pursuant to this specific statute? TWRA’s policy is not clear. The policy, as written, might not apply if the armed companion is any of those several groups of individuals who in the wisdom of the Tennessee or Federal governments are allowed to carry firearms without a civilian handgun carry permit. Thus, if your companion is carrying pursuant to the federal statutes, as current or retired officers, if they are a current federal officer, by a current officer from “out of state” (39-17-1308(a)(10), if they are carrying as law enforcement in an “off duty” capacity (see 39-17-1315 or 39-17-1350), if they are a local, state or federal judge or magistrate (39-17-1308(a)(7)), etc.
Press Releases

TFA Concerned TN is ‘For Sale’ by GOP Leadership, Elites

Press release from the Tennessee Firearms Association; August 29, 2012: 

TFA has had an increasing concern over the last four years that the state of Tennessee is “for sale” by Republican party leadership and elite.

Perhaps the concern started with Bill Haslam’s essential purchase of the office of governor by self-investing over $3.5 million in his race for governor in 2010. Haslam “self-investment” of $3.5 million was more than the totals reportedly spent by either the McWherter or Ramsey campaigns in total on those races. In total, Haslam spent just under $18 million to purchase the Tennessee’s governor’s office.

But it may well be that the Haslam “bid” for the auction of the governor’s office was not the start but just a high water mark on the sale of state government power and influence to the marionettes of Big Business interests. We increasingly see evidence that Republican incumbents, elites and party leaders rely primarily on Big Business to promote and sustain their addiction to power. They appear to rely on “grassroots” and the voters as mere serfs to carry the water and knock on the doors.

One example was the Debra Maggart primary. As TFA reported previously, Debra Maggart was proudly advertising a campaign fund raiser that involved $2500 per entity “hosts” and her proudly published host list was truly a Who is Who of those interests which seek to purchase power and legislation through incumbent legislators. (Interestingly, we anticipate some of those same Maggart supporters, many of who previously supported Democrats when they were the majority, will now be running in the next 2 years to Courtney Rogers with checks assuming she is elected in November – let’s hope she says politely “no” to their figurative bribes and attempts to purchase friendship and influence).

This week we see more evidence of the pandering of incumbents to Big Business rather than the interests and needs of the citizens. Take for example, the fact that defeated incumbent Debra Maggart is making friends and probably looking for a job at the RNC convention in Tampa this week. Indeed, Maggart tells her followers on Twitter that she is

Waiting by the pool in Tampa for all my
Republican friends to show up to nominate
the next President of the USA
@MittRomney #RNC2012

Makes you wonder who is paying for that trip perhaps.

But Debra Maggart is now just an example of how money and arrogance corrupt and what it costs to remove such blights from government.

What we have on the horizon is more evidence that the Republican elites and leadership are still busy at work peddling temporary positional power and influence. This week TFA received a copy of an invitation to an event called “The Taste of Tennessee”. It is a fundraiser for the Republican caucus (read that the Republican incumbent caucus). The invitation is made by the current “leadership” of the Senate and House:

Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey
Speaker of the House Beth Harwell
Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris
House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick
Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Bill Ketron
House Republican Caucus Chairman Debra Maggart

This event is to “honor” unnamed “Tennessee Republican Legislators” although we are told some incumbents did not get “free” passes and others who are candidates but not yet legislators did.

The event is being held by these leadership Republicans at a very large venue – the War Memorial Building – a state owned structure. A later dinner is being held by these leadership Republicans at a somewhat smaller location – the Hermitage Hotel – a facility well known for its use by legislators for a wide variety of events and activities.

The intent and motive of this event is most clearly defined by the amount of “tribute” that these Republican leaders are requesting. One might want to know whether this event was set up to promote the relationship and access of the citizens, voters and grassroots organizations. The answer is easily no.

What this event seems to indicate more clearly is that these leaders are interested primarily in selling the access and “friendship” of their positions of perceived power to those who have the largest checkbooks – not those who voted them into office. For example, these leaders have required that an “event sponsor” spend a minimum of $25,000 for which the sponsor gets 2 dinner tickets and a few more passes for a pre-dinner reception. An “event host” is required to spend $10,000 and for that they do not get to eat dinner at all. It sounds more of “let them eat cake” than stewardship and public service.

Another quite notable aspect of this event invitation is the reminder on the second page that businesses are now eligible to “invest” their corporate funds to pad the pockets of the caucus bank account(s) that these leaders control. It would be interesting to know how many business do so and perhaps classify these “investments” as part of their advertising or promotional budgets so that they can expense off these payoffs.

TFA will not be padding the bank accounts of these leadership self-classified power-brokers by wasting $25,000 of membership dues on a handshake. It is doubtful that any other truly grassroots or constitutionally conservative organizations will. No, this is a time for the proverbial “fat-cats” and elitist to gather together to divide the spoils of the government that was created by “the people” for the service and protection of “the people”. As noted in Article 1, Section 1, of the Tennessee Constitution, “… all power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their peace, safety, and happiness; ….”

Notice that no where in any constitution of any state is it said that government was created by businesses (or for that matter unions) to promote the interests of businesses, unions, corporations, or any entity of any nature. The secular creator of government was in all instances “the people” and the duty of official stewardship runs solely to “the people.” Promoting an environment that is “business friendly” is subordinate to the mandate that the government act foremost to create a state, tax burden and government structure that primarily promotes the people’s “peace, safety and happiness.” That, unfortunately, seems to be a premise of government that is too inconvenient for those who see of their immediate objective as amassing vast funds for personal positions and power.

Press Releases

TFA’s Tips for Getting Politically Active

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

“What Can I do?”

We frequently receive the question from people who want to get involved in protecting their rights “What can I do?”

There is much everyone can do – even if you have limits or are even restricted to home. For example, TFA has a group on Facebook. It has over 1000 people in that group and that group has an active discussion almost constantly discussing issues and news reports. This group was extremely active during the primary races and we expect it to be very active as well as the November elections. Even if you are not “on Facebook” consider setting up an account to participate on this resource.

TFA also has an online forum that is open to the public. It is It has a number of sections to discuss and explore issues related to a wide variety of topics. Common topics there include legislative and legal issues. It is also the primary source to keep up with announcements regarding the TFA chapter meetings across the state.

Please consider joining both. We use them to push and distribute information. More importantly these online venues are an area for you to get involved and to introduce yourself and others to grow this network and information ring. Its a place to share and congregate information. For example, one thing that is always helpful is to have people in all parts of the state watching constantly for news articles, TV stories and other reports that can be linked to the Facebook page and the TFA online forum to share with others and as a point of discussion.

Another thing that can be done is to make sure you have the personal and/or office numbers of all candidates for office and also those who are selected as your personal House and Senate members. Keep those telephone numbers and email addresses handy. Stay in touch with them – at least once or twice a month. Let them know you are interested in issues such as the Safe Commute Act, open parks and even the selection of legislative leadership. Often, you do not have to even tell them what you want – often it is enough to ask them questions about where they are on these issues. If you watch the TFA FB group and forum, the issues that you can ask them about will come up there as a matter of course.

As noted above, one big issue for all constitutionalists and conservatives in Tennessee is the issue of government leadership. While Republicans “candidates” and state party leaders have claimed for years while the Republicans were the minority party that they were the true conservatives, what we have seen over the last 4 years bears out little of that. Look specifically at leadership. Consider specifically Haslam, Ramsey and Harwell and the “fruits” of their dispositions over the last 2 years.

For example, many anticipate – or fear – that Haslam, with his vast personal and family fortune, will re-purchase his office in 2014. Can we afford another four years of a Governor that places a higher value on pleasing corporations than standing up for the 2nd Amendment rights of the citizens of this state? Can we afford another four years of a Governor that has promoted Sharia, while demonizing those of us who are concerned about the danger posed by that socio-political system? Can we afford another four years of a Governor that has either left liberals in charge at all levels of our state government or has actively appointed them? Can we afford another four years of his corrosive influence on the legislature and the promotion of left of center values?

Ron Ramsey campaigned with his famous cowboy boots to cleanup state government. Well, he may not be the governor but he is the highest ranking senator. As we saw with the Safe Commute Act he knows how to block legislation from coming to the floor for consideration and a vote by all elected senators. He knows how to deprive all citizens of having their voices heard through their own senators. So, what evidence is there that he has done anything to stop or resist Haslam? Is the evidence more likely to establish the inference that his campaign against Haslam for governor turned to one of “whatever Haslam wants is fine.” Has Ramsey traded those cowboy boots for flip flops is a question we have heard more than once.

Then we have Beth Harwell. Look at her miserable voting record where she often puts other issues – any other issues – as a higher priority than her sworn oath to uphold the Constitution. Look at who she selected as her 2nd lieutenants – Debra Maggart and Gerald McCormick. Enough said.

There is much to be done. At a minimum, every conservative who believes that the priorities of state government come from mandates of God, from the principles underlying the Constitution and then from the people must be ever engaged with their voices and presence to impress on those who seek and hold office that they are stewards vested with temporary authority not rulers serving by divine right. We must know which of those seeking public office have the right priorities and which, like too many in leadership now, have inverted their priorities so that the most important thing to them is the perpetuation of their own positional power to rule over us. Knowing who has the right mind and spirit of a steward, we must work to prune the tree of liberty of those who do not work first to restore and protect the liberties on which this state and country were founded.

Debra Maggart was not the goal – she was merely the long hanging fruit in this specific election.

Recall the words of Samuel Adams —

“It does not take a majority to prevail,
but rather an irate, tireless minority
keen on setting brush fires of freedom
in the minds of men.”

Press Releases

TFA: Demand General Assembly Take Accountability for Maggart ‘Lies, Bullying’

Press release from the Tennessee Firearms Association; July 27, 2012: 

This is the entire body of message that went to all legislators in Tennessee this morning. Call your legislators now and reinforce this message. Demand that they speak out publicly against Maggart’s lies and bullying. DO NOT let them tell you that they want to “stay out of it” – they are elected officials and sometimes that means demanding publicly ethical conduct of their peers.

The Tennessee Firearms Association has taken a position on Debra Maggart and focused our attention and resources on her as an example of what is wrong with the General Assembly.

All legislators have some, and in some instances for those who have publicly endorsed her a significant degree of, accountability for the actions of Debra Maggart. She is a selected leader of the Republican caucus. She is a legislator and is subject to ethics charges. She is causing great concern to arise regarding whether the entire legislature is nothing but a cesspool of people more concerned about being re-elected than representing the people with the honor and truthfulness of a steward. It is your opportunity and obligation to demonstrate to the people of this state that you do not stand with or condone lying and unethical legislators and that you will speak the truth to condemn misconduct of those in public office.

TFA is demanding that each legislator take action to stop Debra Maggart. She is engaged in inappropriate and unethical conduct in her campaign. She needs to be told to immediately stop and apologize. That demand needs to be made public so that there is no question who stood for truth and who stands with or even silently tolerates a liar. There is no setting on the sidelines as a spectator for an elected official who lies and abuses her position of power. You either condemn this action or your inaction signals your willing acceptance of it.

Each legislator has the ability to bring ethics charges against Debra Maggart.

Each legislator has the ability to stand up and publicly renounce the intentional lies and misrepresentations of Debra Maggart.

Each legislator has the ability to tell the lobbyists that they do not have to submit to Debra Maggart’s demands for support in her campaign or risk retaliation.

Each legislator’s actions or inactions will be measured in the public dialogue.

So, what are the problems that demand your involvement – NOW?

1. Debra Maggart is using her legislative telephone number on her campaign advertising. It can be inferred that by doing so she is using her legislative office phone services, office supplies and state paid staff in her re-election campaign. This may be a criminal violation and if not it should be. This certainly should be an ethics violation and should be prosecuted with an ethics complaint of the most harsh degree. This absolutely is wrong and she should be publicly chastised by her legislative peers for her gross misconduct.

This is what she is using as a campaign footer:
© Debra Young Maggart | State Representative 45th District
112 La Bar Dr. Hendersonville, TN 37075 | 615-741-3893
Paid for by Debra Maggart for State Representative; Debra Maggart, Treasurer
This email was sent to To ensure that you continue receiving our emails, please add us to your address book or safe list.
manage your preferences | opt out using TrueRemove™ Got this as a forward? Sign up to receive our future emails.
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Is Debra also using her legislative budget to pay for this email service? Who knows. However, are you willing as elected officials to be accountable to your constituents for letting another legislator use state paid resources – including staff – in her re-election campaign? Your actions – including your silence – will answer that question in the next few days.

2. Debra Maggart is intentionally lying to the public about the candidate disclosure form. It is an intentional misrepresentation by Maggart and should be condemned.

The facts are 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” to that question. That was truthful and accurate answer.

Rogers and her husband did file bankruptcy following a failed business effort after retiring from the military. The Rogers chapter 7 bankruptcy according to the Court’s records, was opened on 3/2/05. They were discharged on 6/15/05 but the court appointed bankruptcy trustee did not conclude the administration of the estate and close it until 7/28/08. Those are specific and federally defined terms.

Rogers’ discharge is indisputably on March 2, 2005. Roger’s disclosure form is dated 3/19/12. Therefore, the relevant window regarding the bankruptcy question would be 3/19/07. Roger’s discharge was almost 2 years prior and clearly outside the five year window designated on the form so a “none” response was truthful and accurate.

Apparently, the state did not consider bankruptcies older than 5 years to be relevant because it specifically created the five year window . The question clearly requires the disclosure of any “discharge” which is a specific legal event under federal law not the date the estate was “closed”.

The date of a “discharge” is critical under 11 USC Secs 524 and 727 because it is that specific event and date which determines the rights and obligations of future creditors. The termination of prior claims as to the individuals granted the discharge and many other matters. The date a bankruptcy estate is closed has nothing to do with a discharge or even whether a discharge is ever granted.

TFA has the bankruptcy file and will email it to you if necessary to resolve the disagreement on the facts. is one of the few news agencies that has actually reported on this story. Other news agencies have reported that Maggart was “shopping” the story but after looking into it they concluded it was not a factually reliable story. TNReport issued this story on July 9.

In it, they asked a Nashville bankruptcy attorney, Ed Rothschild to review the matter for them. This is the quote from the story:

But a Nashville bankruptcy attorney questioned whether the chain of events in Rogers’ case met the five-year test.
The late closing of the case had nothing to do with the actual ruling and liquidation, which was finished by 2005, says Edgar Rothschild, who was not involved in the case and reviewed the documents at the request of TNReport.
“I see nothing unusual about the fact that it was opened in 2005 and not closed until 2008,” he said. “The fact that the trustee took so long moving his paperwork along and disposing of the assets had nothing to do with the debtors. There is nothing in the report which indicated that the debtors did anything questionable.”

The fact is clear that what Debra Maggart is using as her primary negative attack on Lt. Col. Rogers is intentionally and knowingly false. Perhaps, it is perhaps possible that Maggart is too illiterate to know the difference – but let her make that excuse. In either event, she apparently hopes that the citizens will not learn or know the truth until its too late to make a difference.

Maggart has tried to make a big issue out of this. In response, the Rogers campaign has already asked elected members of the General Assembly to “sanction their own”. It is sad that apparently none of you have publicly done so at this point. That is sad because your silence turns your back on and thereby condones intentional lies by Maggart. Are you willing to tolerate that kind of deceitful and unethical misconduct?

3. Debra Maggart has taken on the NRA and is now lying about her record. Debra Maggart has put out a campaign ad that claims:

– Debra Maggart has consistently been given an A+ rating by the NRA—the highest rating possible on gun rights.

While Debra claims – as do most of you – that the NRA is the leading entity for giving endorsements on 2nd Amendment issues, Debra misleads the public by claiming she has an “A+” rating when in fact she received a “D” from the NRA this year. That is a clear and undeniable lie. Are you willing to tolerate that kind of deceitful and unethical misconduct regarding what is normally a cherished NRA endorsement?

4. Debra Maggart is falsely claiming that Lt. Col. Rogers is running a “negative campaign”. While it is true that the NRA and the TFA are negative on Maggart, Lt. Col. Rogers is not attacking Maggart other than discussing specific votes and specific bills.

5. Debra Maggart is misusing her campaign funds. In the Summer of 2011, Maggart and 14 other members of the TN General Assembly made a trip to China (

Debra Maggart apparently saw fit to reimburse herself for luggage for that trip from her Campaign Finance Account. If you go to you can enter the last name of a candidate and access the candidate’s campaign finance reports. If you access Rep. Maggart’s “Early Mid Year Supplemental (2011)” report you will find an entry for the reimbursement of a $431.54 “Travel Expense” she paid to Mori Luggage in Nashville. The entry is dated 2/28/2011. Tennessee statutes prohibit the use of campaign funds for the personal use of a candidate.

Also of interest in that same report is an entry for the purchase of $2,084.15 in furniture from C.W. Sanderson, Kenton, TN. The entry indicates the reimbursement to Rep. Maggart is for “Legislative Office Furniture.” Since the State of Tennessee provides furniture for her Nashville office one must assume the purchase was for her “home office.”

That report also includes two entries to Home Depot for “Legislative Office Paint” and several entries for “Office Supplies.” All these entries should be viewed with the understanding that the State of Tennessee provides a $1,000 a month to you as members of the General Assembly to offset expenses involved in maintaining an office in their home district.

Debra Maggart is trying to twist the arms of legislators to support her campaign. Do not fall for it. Debra Maggart and perhaps others have made their bed by selling out constitutional rights and getting in bed with Federal Express and its conspirators. When her campaign reports are filed, those who support her with money will be on public record.

TFA is asking you now to stand up and be good stewards. Do not allow your inaction on these issues to signal to the public that you condone Debra Maggart’s conduct. Hold her accountable for her actions. Hold her accountable openly and in the public square and discourse.

Press Releases

TFA Questions Maggart’s Truthfulness

Press release from the Tennessee Firearms Association; July 25, 2012: 

Debra Maggart has been running a radio ad claiming that Courtney Rogers has used a “loophole” to avoid disclosing on her campaign disclosures whether she had a bankruptcy discharge within 5 years of the disclosure report. The fact is that Courtney Rogers had a business related bankruptcy 6 years prior to the time that she filed the report. The fact is that many of a military veterans and small business owners after September 11 2001 found themselves having to file bankruptcy. The fact is – even for most of those in pre-K – that 6 is a number that is not equal to or less than 5.

Debra Maggart is lying about those facts. Perhaps “lying” is too strong for some people. Perhaps she is just too stupid to understand the instructions on the form. Perhaps she thinks she will not get caught by the voters for misleading them. Perhaps, and this one is scary, she has a delusional mental illness that impairs her ability to understand fact from fiction – something like the “insanity plea” that criminals rely upon when they do really heinous things.

Did you hear Steve Gill this morning? He absolutely ripped Maggart for most of his “bonus hour” on his radio show and broke down each of Maggart’s false statements in her ad against Rogers.

From this link, pick the Steve Gill Bonus Hour from July 25 and prepare to get angry with the lies and deception of Debra Maggart.

Listen to the entire clip. If you need some landmarks to replay, click in at about the 14 minute mark. Gill breaks down the Maggart lies in her advertisement by taking statement by statement and phrase by phrase and discussing Maggart’s lies. There is no doubt that Maggart is an unrepentant liar who believes that she can lie to the public and get away with it. Interestingly, Pastor Maury Davis from Cornerstone Church calls in at about this time to comment as well and he is clearly not defending Debra Maggart.

Steve Gill also broke the story this morning that Maggart and House Leadership are pressuring other House Caucus members – all of whom have their own races to run – to “max out” on contributions to Maggart’s campaign so that Maggart can apparently make some very large media purchases. (click at the 20 minute mark). The indicator is that she is trying to raise another $80,000 or more for TV spots.

Steve Gill also raises a very serious question about the rest of the House Republican caucus, Republican leadership – even the Governor. It is important to note that the House Republican caucus SELECTED Maggart as their caucus chair. Certainly, we are not to believe that none of those caucus members knew the truth that is Debra Maggart and her incapacity for truth. So, with the clear evidence that Maggart is lying, how many of these Republican caucus members are coming out and condemning the liar? How many are pledging that they will not support Debra Maggart even if she somehow returns to office? How many are pledging to support Courtney Rogers as the better and more ethical candidate for that office? It appears that NONE of them are doing so. What does that say about those elected officials?

Others in Republican leadership – notably Haslam, Ramsey, Harwell and McCormick have all publicly proclaimed their unwavering support for Debra Maggart’s re-election. Have any of them recanted or demanded that Maggart withdraw the lies and tell the truth – NO, none of them have done so. We did not expect Haslam to do so but what about Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey? Is he so awash in political power that he will side with a known liar rather than stand for the truth? That may sadly be the case. By their knowing association and failure to condemn heinous campaign dishonesty, all of them are co-conspirators in the lies and deception that is Debra Maggart.

Debra Maggart is the target in 2012 but the fact is that the landscape for 2014’s races is not looking a lot like a “whack-a-mole” of liars and those tolerant of liars. The hard part for the next election cycle is going to be selecting the most egregious ones to target in that election cycle and raising once again the grassroots frustration to get it done.

Right now, however, the task is clear. If you have not donated time and money to the battle to elect Lt. Col. Courtney Rogers and to defeat a willing liar like Debra Maggart – you need to do so.

We must demand the capacity of truthfulness from our elected officials. We must remove those who have a proven record of lying to the public. We must demand constitutional leadership from all elected officials including those in state and local leadership.

Many TFA members have already driven from as far as Memphis to come work “on the ground” to knock doors and speak with local voters. Saturday July 28 is the last Saturday before the primary. This is a call to action for all TFA members and supporters to come and spend a day, even a few hours if that is all you have, to help this citizen patriot veteran candidate prevail in this battle to defeat Debra Maggart.

Plan to meet in Goodlettsville on Saturday July 28th for a pre-election sign waving day. Wear your TFA shirts and hats. If you do not have them, we should have some available that morning. Bring water and other items for a few hours as a volunteer.

There will be a group, probably being directed by Mike Rogers, in the parking lot at “Big K” at 230 Long Hollow Pike, Goodlettsville, Tennessee that will be organizing the volunteers that morning. Arrive as early as possible but any time between 9:00am and 1:00pm to get location assignments, signs and push cards. You will be assigned to an intersection or other location from that point. You may be assigned to work by knocking doors and bring the good news that there is a strong alternative to the liar known as Maggart. People is Sumner County want and need an alternative and all that needs to be done is to make that introduction in many instances.

Please RSVP to johnharris AT so that we can advise the campaign how many 2nd Amendment supporters to expect this Saturday.

Press Releases

TFA: Maggart a Business-Interest Favorite

Press release from the Tennessee Firearms Association; July 26, 2012: 

Debra Maggart is lacking endorsements of those who perhaps know her best — except for those who know that she is “for sale” to the highest bidders

With about a week to go before the August 2 primary, incumbent Debra Maggart appears to be losing it. She has resorted to clear and intentional lies about her opponent (See the Steve Gill show bonus hour from July 25). She has reportedly also started to request that other Republican caucus members give her their money so that she can spend more in her effort to mislead the public into voting for her.

Let’s take a quick look at who the money sources are behind the effort to re-elect Debra Maggart. Its primarily business interests – interests that, unlike the TFA and the NRA, are not comprised of citizens nor represent the interests of voters.

Indeed, as of July 25, Maggart lists a very small number of endorsements on her web site:

Maggart’s May fund raiser proudly proclaimed these $2500 sponsors:

  • Adams & Reese LLP
  • AT&T
  • Bivens & Associates
  • FedEx
  • Farrar & Bates LLP
  • Lyell Law Firm
  • Farris Mathews Branan Bobango, PLC
  • Johnson Poss Government Relations
  • Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP
  • McMahan Winstead
  • RobinsonGreen LLC
  • Students First
  • TN Bankers Association
  • TN Business Roundtable
  • TN Medical Association
  • TN Chamber of Commerce
  • Comcast
  • TN Health Care Association
  • TN Hospital Association
  • TN Retail Association
  • Smith Harris & Carr

But let’s look at those who would potentially know her best, other government officials. Maggart lists endorsements, not surprisingly of only 5. Two of those are her peers in the House Republican caucus and the other 3 also had their hands all over the efforts to deny Tennesseans the capacity to commute safely to and from work.

  • Gov. Bill Haslam
  • Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey
  • House Speaker Beth Harwell
  • Republican Majority Leader Gerald Mccormick
  • Senate Caucus Chairman Bill Ketron

It is an amazingly short and suspicious list. Each of those endorsements by these 5 individuals carry with them the inference that they also are seeking cover for the fact that they collectively conspired to not just kill the Safe Commute legislation but that they also denied substantially all Tennesseans the right to have their voices heard on this legislation by having full floor debates on this legislation in both houses.

That fact cannot be disregarded – the fact that these “rulers” by abuse of their “positional powers” have denied most in this state of the right to have their own elected officials, in the House and the Senate, involved in a public debate and vote on whether their rights of self-defense would be protected or impaired by the legislature. The citizen’s right of a representative government is one of the foundations on which this Country went to war with England but yet these six individuals (and probably others) are perfectly comfortable in denying each of us that foundational civil right.

Now, contrast Maggart’s questionable endorsement from her co-conspirators with what is happening in other “hot” races. Take the race between incumbent Linda Elam and former legislator Susan Lynn. Incumbent Elam claims that she has “the support of 58 Republican House members, including the Speaker and Majority Leader and all of the Republican Caucus officers!”

Interesting, Linda Elam advertises that 58 of the Republican House members (there are only 64) are supporting her. Assuming that she is telling the truth, it really raises serious questions about how many of Maggart’s Republican caucus peers are supporting her because she only names 2.

Of course, knowing Maggart, as soon as this alert circulates, she will either lie or twist the arms of at least 59 caucus members to get their “support” or “endorsement”. We have to expect it because if she will intentionally lie about how a simple state form was completed by her opposition, we have to assume she has or will lie about anything else.

Press Releases

TFA: Maggart ‘Like King George’ — Denies TN Citizens Representative Gov’t

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

In her newest (delusional) video, incumbent Debra Maggart claims that her vote to kill the Safe Commute act (HB3560 and HB3559) was note a vote against a 2nd Amendment issue. She takes a shot or two at the NRA as well.

Debra is either intentionally misrepresenting the EFFECT of sending a bill to “summer study” at the end of a 2 year legislative cycle or she is simply lying in hopes that the voters are too stupid to know the truth. Those with experience around the legislature know that “summer study” is a misleading way of killing many bills that the leadership does not want to see debated on the floor. It is a means of defeating a bill without a paper trail that clearly says so. Its not a “no” vote – it is a vote that simply tells the sponsor – “When pigs fly ….” or “When Hell freezes over….” or perhaps in this case “When Debra tells the truth ….” because all three are about the same effect.

If it was in fact set to be heard in “summer study”in 2012 – when was that meeting held or when is it scheduled to be held? At this time, there is no evidence to indicate that the “summer study” vote resulted in any actual summer study or findings. It was not supposed to because legislators and lobbyists know that such things seldom occur.

The fact is that Debra Maggart is lying. She told TFA in 2011 that these bills would not be heard for a floor vote because of her concerns that passing 2nd Amendment legislation would be bad for Republicans in an election year. That means, she places partisan power above the constitution and the lives of hard working Tennesseans.

The fact is that Debra Maggart is lying because she was also concerned that allowing a floor vote would mean that the bill would have passed on the floor and that would have caused her problems with the Big Business interests, like Federal Express, who have donated huge sums of money to the Republican leaders to “purchase” their influence.

The fact is that if Debra Maggart thought there was any 2nd Amendment context – much less self-defense rights – to this legislation, she could have brought it to the floor for a vote. She could have offered amendments. It could have been debated on the floor. The fact is that none of this was done and the effect of that was that most Tennesseans were denied the right to have their voices heard on this legislation by denying their elected representatives and senators the opportunity to vote on this legislation (which had 30 House sponsors) on the floor. The fact is that Debra Maggart – like King George – has denied many citizens in Tennessee the constitutional right to a representative form of government and she has done so for partisan power and campaign money.

Pay close attention when around the 30 second spot, Debra Maggart claims she support the intent of the bill but then at approximately the 50 second spot she claims that the bill is bad because it is a mandate on property owners. What Debra Maggart simplistic mind misses is that this bill is not an either/or on rights of citizens but a balancing of self-defense rights (which have a priority) and property rights (of the car’s owner and the land owner).

The fact is that Debra Maggart has trouble not only with the truth but trouble apparently even with reading comprehension. In a news report in May, Maggart made the following blatantly false statement concerning the effect of the Safe Commute law. This is the link to the news report from May 31, 2012.

“Property rights and gun rights are very important to the Republican party,” she said. “What happened is that some of the gun advocacy groups felt very strongly that we needed to pass a bill that was a very broad bill. The way that gun reads, you could carry a gun right now to the nursery of this hospital and there’s nothing (officials) can do about it to stop you…The last line of the bill says every citizen can carry a gun wherever they want in this state. I don’t know if you want felons to do that, probably not.

Maggart’s claims then that the Safe Commute law would allow carrying guns “to the nursery of [a] hospital” or that it would allow citizens to carry guns “wherever they want in this state” or that it would allow felons to carry guns are all false. The bill was short and simply written. If Maggart was lying about what the bill meant, then she is a bold liar. If Maggart really thought that this is what the bill meant then Tennessean’s cannot afford to have someone so functionally illiterate writing or voting on legislation.

If Debra Maggart cannot be honest with citizens about what the effect of a “summer study” vote means or what the effect of a bill is, she cannot be trusted with being returned to the legislature. We have enough liars in government, we need to be removing them – not rewarding them.

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.