State Targets Republican Facebook Ad Spending

Posted at 10:00 AM, May 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-04 11:00:14-04

The state's economic development agency has spent more than $18,000 on Facebook ads aimed at supporters of Tennessee's top Republican officials, and none on Democrats.

An analysis unearthed the disparity in three years' worth of Facebook ads bought by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development as part of its efforts to lure business to the state.

The targeted interest that appeared most was "Bill Haslam," followed by "Bob Corker, economic development, Bill Haslam or Lamar Alexander," and "Bob Corker or Bill Haslam," combinations of the state's Republican governor and two U.S. senators.

Current and former officials in the department said the program was set up to reach as many people as possible and not to advance a political cause.