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AFP-TN Television Ad: Bredesen lived the life, Tennesseans paid the bill 

Aug 29, 2018 by AFP

Seven-figure television buy highlights Bredesen’s support for higher taxes, frivolous spending as governor

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Americans for Prosperity-Tennessee (AFP-TN) today announced a new seven-figure investment in television and digital advertisements highlighting Phil Bredesen’s record as a big spender and supporter of higher taxes. Americans for Prosperity is spending $2 million on the new ad that is hitting the airwaves statewide this Thursday.

The ad exposes Phil Bredesen’s support of higher taxes and out-of-control spending while governor.

Phil Bredesen Ad.png

View the TV ad here.

AFP-Tennessee State Director Tori Venable issued the following statement:

“Phil Bredesen’s rhetoric of fiscal responsibility won’t fool Tennesseans; his record speaks for itself. During his time in office, Bredesen supported tax and fee increases that hurt Tennesseans while times were tough and our economy was in a tailspin. And despite Bredesen’s claims to be fiscally responsible, there’s nothing responsible about lavishing nearly $9 million taxpayer dollars on a renovation to the governor’s mansion. Tennesseans don’t want a senator who says one thing and then does another, but that is what they’ll get with Phil Bredesen.”

Read ad script here:

When times are tough, we budget for our families.

But when our states budget was in crisis, Phil Bredesen supported higher taxes on us.

Higher gas taxes, sales taxes, and more.

And while we struggled through a recession,

Bredesen wasted nine million taxpayer dollars upgrading his Governor’s mansion.

Four million on a party cave, gilded bathrooms and a kitchen worth two Tennessee homes.

Phil Bredesen lived the life. We paid the bill.


AFP-TN recently announced it has mobilized its activists and launched grassroots activities in support of Marsha Blackburn.

Bredesen pushed for higher taxes

  • While Bredesen Was Governor, Taxes And Fees Grew By Almost $1 Billion. “Departing Gov. Phil Bredesen says his successor can run state government without a sales tax hike, but the record shows that, while Bredesen didn’t raise the sales levy, other taxes and fees soared close to $1 billion on his watch. … A list of tax and fee measures compiled by the General Assembly’s Fiscal Review Committee staff, combined with Revenue Department figures and news accounts, shows total increases in Bredesen’s tenure exceeded $900 million, although some tax and fee hikes are, theoretically, only temporary.” (Andy Sher, “Bredesen Tax Legacy May Be Tough Act To Follow,” Times Free Press, 12/28/10)
  • In 2003, Bredesen Said The Gas Tax May Increase “A Couple Of Pennies” Arguing That The State Needed The Increase For Matching Federal Funds. “In the next two to three years, the tax paid on every gallon of gasoline in Tennessee may have to go up ‘a couple of pennies,’ Gov. Phil Bredesen said yesterday. Without the additional money, he said, the state stands to lose millions of dollars in matching federal funds to build roads and fund other programs in the state Department of Transportation. ‘It would be crazy for us to leave that money on the table,’ Bredesen said. While he pledged not to support a state income tax during his first term in office, he said he did not make such a commitment regarding other taxes. ‘I talked about the gas tax at various times in the campaign,’ he said. ‘It has always been on the horizon.’” (Bonna De La Cruz, “Bredesen Says Gas Tax Hike Needed To Get Federal Road Funds,” The Tennessean, 3/12/03)
  • In 2009, Bredesen Signed A Bill Increasing Employer Taxes By $245 Million To Shore Up The State’s Unemployment Trust Fund Program. “The same year, Bredesen persuaded lawmakers to boost employer taxes by an estimated $245 million a year to prevent the state’s Unemployment Trust Fund from going broke. The tax is slated to go away when the fund hits $650 million in reserves.” (Andy Sher, “Bredesen Tax Legacy May Be Tough Act To Follow,” Times Free Press, 12/28/10)

As governor, Bredesen spent taxpayer money lavishly on upgrading the governor’s mansion

  • Bredesen Spent More Than $9 Million In Taxpayer Funds To Renovate The Governor’s Mansion. “Residents of the Oak Hill neighborhood that surrounds the mansion – as well as many Tennesseans outside the area – are still divided over the project, which is on track to cost about $18 million, according to state officials. … Conte and her husband, Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen, will mark the project’s completion Thursday with a luncheon on the grounds that will serve as a final private fundraiser and as a coming-out party for the updated mansion. The effort, which Conte launched in 2003, will cost about $1.2 million less than estimates released early last year, mainly because a plan to build new security facilities was dropped from the project, Conte’s office said. Meanwhile, the state’s share of the cost has fallen to between $9 million and $10 million, down from an estimated $12.8 million.” (“Governor’s Mansion Work Nears End But Resentments Remain,” The Tennessean, 9/27/09)
  • Taxpayers Covered $4 Million Of The $9 Million Cost Of The Party Bunker. “Gov. Phil Bredesen and other elected officials are dedicating a new underground meeting hall at the governor’s mansion in Nashville. … The facility was derided by some as the ‘Bredesen Bunker,’ because of the scope, cost and noise of the project under the front lawn of the mansion. Private donors accounted for about $5 million of the $9 million project officially dubbed Conservation Hall. The complex can seat up to 160 dining guests – big enough for all 132 lawmakers and the governor’s cabinet – or about double that capacity for standing receptions. It has its own kitchen and entrance from the compound’s driveway.” (“Underground Hall Dedicated At Tennessee Governor’s Mansion,” Associated Press, 11/12/09)