Sumner County was included in the 22 plus counties who received these mailers. The local mailers support candidates Baker Ring and Melissa Gay.
At the time the mailers were sent, several media outlets performed searches with their County Election Commissions attempting to find the registration of the PAC at the county level. No such records existed as, at the time, the PAC had failed to register with the counties in which they were campaigning by using these mailers.
The PAC was not officially registered with the State at the time the mailers were sent out to citizens.
The issue quickly became a hot button topic on social media and exploded following the Jackson Press issuing an article stating the mailers were potentially illegal and did not follow the regulations established in State and Federal election laws.
The Jacksons press stated "1- A PAC participating in an SEC race is required to file an Appointment of Treasurer statement with the County Election Commission and then file periodic campaign financial disclosure reports with the County Election Commission."
"2-A PAC participating in an SEC race is also required to register and file disclosure reports in each county the SEC candidate is on the ballot."
Following the arrival of the mailers, several candidates, citizens, and media outlets contacted their County District Attorneys requesting an official investigation into the matter.
In Sumner County, Candidate Ruth Fennell made an official request to the Sumner County District Attorney General Ray Whitley requesting he perform an investigation into the matter.
Following several requests filed for investigations by counties across state, the State of Tennessee Election Commission stated that the PAC had attempted to register with the State but had failed to pay the $100 registration fee required and thus, had not been officially registered with the State and were not entered into the system.
The PAC then submitted their registration to each of the counties by asking the State Election Commission to forward their registration to each of the counties.
The registration submitted with Sumner County states that David Lay of Lawrenceburg, TN was the PAC's treasure and John Roberts of Murfreesboro, TN was the PAC's Secretary.
The PAC registration provided no financial data on contributions received or expenditures as, due to the timing of the PAC registration, these financial disclosures will not have to be filed until the State Republican SEC races have already been decided.
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