Bradley attorney Austin McMullen was quoted in the Tennessean on a political ad promoting Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell. The 30-second spot wasn’t technically funded by Harwell’s gubernatorial campaign, but was paid for by a political action committee, Tennesseans for Good State Government, which Harwell is associated with. The ad never explicitly says Harwell is running for governor, and state law permits coordination between candidates and PACs.
"State law allows for the PAC to be used for the work of the speaker, including communication with the citizens of Tennessee," explained McMullen, legal adviser to the PAC. He noted that state law prohibits ads from expressly advocating for or against an individual candidate.
"Since this ad does not expressly advocate the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate, it is within the law and not subject to the additional restrictions," McMullen said.
"Much of her work is done in the House chamber, which is open to the public as the People’s House," McMullen said. "Naturally it made sense to include Speaker Harwell in this setting, since so much of what she has done for Tennesseans occurred on the floor of the Tennessee House of Representatives.
The complete article, “Ad touting Beth Harwell’s accomplishments hits airwaves, but purchase not from her campaign,” appeared in the Tennessean on February 20, 2018.