We want to inform you of a series of events that has occurred this evening (June 20) involving an unknown entity using the Tennessee Chamber name and identity to misrepresent chamber policies and endorsements.
Around 5:00 PM, staff received phone calls and emails inquiring why the Tennessee Chamber was running a political poll in the Metro Nashville Board of Education District 8 race between Mary Pierce and Becky Sharpe.
For those who are unaware, this has been a very heated race. The Nashville Chamber has endorsed Mary Pierce and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has indicated that they will endorse Becky Sharpe. An unknown entity identifying themselves as the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry called a large number of registered voters in the area regarding the district 8 school board race. To quote an email from a concerned citizen “I am concerned because of the many, many gross mischaracterizations that were made during the call, all of which did not appear to mesh with your members interests, particularly around support for organized labor. There were a couple of questions in particular that seems to circle around support for the Service Employees International Union and the MNEA.”
The Tennessee Chamber is taking a number of steps to combat this and to clear the record.
· We will post a message on our website notifying the public about the misrepresentation and unauthorized use of the Tennessee Chamber name;
· We will issue a press release making it clear that the District 8 school board voter poll did not initiate from the Tennessee Chamber; and
· We will be considering our legislative/legal rights and remedies to combat this type of fraudulent activity
Official Tennessee Chamber Statement: “The Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry does not get involved in local school board races. We learned this evening that an unknown entity has shamelessly used the name of the Tennessee Chamber to initiate a push poll to voters that misrepresents our support of labor unions and a particular candidate for Metro Davidson County School Board in District 8. We encourage the group who has done this to come forward and admit their fraudulent and misleading actions to the voters of district 8 in Davidson County.”