Candidate Says Campaign Facebook Posts Were 'Mistakes' - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

NewsChannel 5 Investigates:

Candidate Says Campaign Facebook Posts Were 'Mistakes'

Posted:

By Phil Williams
Chief Investigative Reporter

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Goodlettsville's David Hall surprised the political establishment when he defeated two better-known Republican candidates for his party's nomination for Congress.

Hall now faces 5th District Congressman Jim Cooper in the November election.

But NewsChannel 5 Investigates discovered that there are a lot of questions about how Hall's campaign was financed.

On his Facebook page back in May, Hall thanked his supporters: "We had targeted a goal of $200,000 in contributions before the primary. To date we are well beyond that."

So who gave him that $200,000?

"It came from mostly myself, the biggest part of it," Hall told NewsChannel 5 Investigates. "Not from other people, contributions from myself."

In fact, the biggest contribution that Hall's campaign reported was a donation of what's claimed to be $200,000 of polling services by a mysterious company called AHC Group. In reality, Hall says it was his own family-owned business.

"My campaign was funded by myself," the candidate added. "There's no question about that. We haven't tried to hide that fact."

Hall's most recent report also lists personal contributions of $4,700, along with another $68,000 in loans to his own campaign.

At the same time, another report claims his family income was just $18,000 for all of last year.

So how can a man who only made $18,000 last year contribute $72,000 to his own campaign?

"Well, that is part of being conservative," said Hall, who is a building contractor by trade. "When times are good, you make money and hold back for the bad times -- and that's all that is."

Even more puzzling is how the Halls appeared to set up a sort of political-church camp -- supposedly run by the candidate's children -- to provide teenagers to work on their father's campaign.

Do The Hard Things 2010 was supposedly set up as a political action committee to run something called Camp Nashville. Families would pay to send their kids to a camp whose sessions just happened to kick off during early voting.

Among the camp's schedule:

6 a.m. -- Mandatory Breakfast.
6:15 a.m. -- Mandatory Devotional.
6:30 a.m. -- Depart, in teams, for sign-waving activities.

So how many teens participated?

"None participated -- it never did happen," Hall insisted.

"Are you sure about that?" NewsChannel 5 Investigates asked.

"Positive."

But Hall's own Facebook page declared back in July, "Do Hard Things 2010 is on the move, thanks guys (and gals)!"

And the next day, "Five more Do Hard Things 2010 campaigners arrive in Nashville this afternoon."

"It was just mistaken information put on by a volunteer," Hall explained.

NewsChannel 5 Investigates asked, "So you're saying believe you now, don't believe what was on your Facebook page?"

"All I'm saying," he answered, "there was a mistake."

Then, we discovered a Facebook page that the kids' organization had apparently tried to delete.

One posting read, "We didn't know there were any Conservative's (sic) in former Senator Hillary Clinton's district. We were wrong, there are two and they're both coming to Do Hard Things 2010!"

That appeared to march with a "TN Trip" photo album from two New York sisters, showing them campaigning for David Hall.

NewsChannel 5 Investigates wanted to know, "If 'Do Hard Things' posted on its Facebook page that all of this stuff was happening, that's a lie?"

"It's not a lie," Hall said. "It was a mistake."

And even though 17-year-old Zach Hall supposedly heads the PAC, Hall didn't want us to talk to him about other posts, like these:

"Received more registrants in the mail for DHT 2010, Praise the Lord."
"Thanks to those who have already joined us here in Nashville."

"You're interviewing me, not my child," Hall said.

In the end, NewsChannel 5 Investigates asked Hall, "If people cannot trust exactly what's coming out of your campaign, why should they trust you in the Congress."

Still, he insisted, "I think they can trust what is coming out of my campaign."

Some Republican activists that they've never heard of anyone ever trying to set up a summer camp to help a candidate for office. 

E-mail: pwilliams@newschannel5.com

On Facebook:
Become a NC5 Investigates fan: facebook.com/nc5investigates
Become a Phil Williams fan: facebook.com/nc5philwilliams

On Twitter:
@NC5Investigates
@NC5PhilWilliams

Back to NewsChannel 5 Investigates

Powered by WorldNow
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 NewsChannel 5 (WTVF-TV) and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.