Dems Want Repubs to Refund Contributor's Money - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

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Dems Want Repubs to Refund Contributor's Money


By Phil Williams
Chief Investigative Reporter

Tennessee's Democratic Party chairman says Republicans should return tens of thousands of dollars they received from a contributor now accused of a massive fraud.

This follows disclosure of a lawsuit first obtained by NewsChannel 5 Investigates. In it, GOP contributor Ira Brody -- a former candidate for state treasurer -- is accused of bilking his former company out of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Brody has not returned NewsChannel 5's call, seeking comment.

Democratic Chairman Chip Forrester made the demand in a news release issued by the party:

"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."

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.

 "Tennesseans deserve to know their elected officials are not using stolen money to finance their campaigns."

A Republican Party spokesperson dismissed Forrester's demands in her own statement:

"This is a lawsuit between business partners.  Democrats are desperate to find an issue to use against Republicans this year because they know they're facing devastating losses this November.  This is political gamesmanship and we have no plans to do anything about contributions that were received and spent during a previous election cycle.  Regarding this election cycle specifically, we have not received any contributions from Ira Brody."


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