NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – More than half of the money a state agency has spent on Facebook ads targets supporters of Tennessee’s top Republican politicians, with none spent on Democrats.
The mission of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development is to attract businesses to the Volunteer State, as well as to let the community know what’s going on.
One of several marketing strategies involves paying for ads on Facebook.
What pops up in a user’s newsfeed may seem random, but Facebook can target users based on interests.
And if you “like” certain officeholders, there’s a good chance you’ll see updates from the TDECD Facebook page.
The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development is a nonpartisan state agency, except they’ve paid more than $18,000 to target people who “like” Gov. Bill Haslam, Sen. Bob Corker or Sen. Lamar Alexander. Not a dime was spent on targeting fans of Democrats.
Well, sure. What have we been saying over here for the past month or so? Tennessee Republicans don’t want any more stinking liberals in this state. They don’t want to recruit those gay-loving, transgender-accepting, abortion-approving liberal businesses. They don’t want to be embarrassed by a scolding from lefty corporations when they try to pass gay-bashing, immigrant-hating, nativist legislation.
They sure don’t want lefty businesses meddling in their right-wing politics. That was obvious when Tennessee Republicans threatened to punish businesses that opposed their idiotic bathroom bill, yanking incentives for those who don’t agree with their paleolithic world view.
The Tennessee Republican Party has become ideologically distilled, “becoming the stereotype more fully and grotesquely” as its only means of empowerment. This is simply another manifestation of that. This is what I’ve been saying for years: Tennessee is where the Republican Party has gone to die. And die they will, because they are out of step with the rest of the culture.
It’s okay, I get it. I really do. I’ve said all along that if liberals really want to change our state, we need to recruit more blue people to move here. Don’t boycott Tennessee, immigrate! I’m only half-joking; it’s not a new idea, and has only been marginally successful when employed elsewhere. But just count me as not surprised that someone in state government cooked up this idea. It makes a lot of sense. It’s obvious the legislature is tired of political meddling by our state’s employers. If only they could recruit ideologically like-minded employers, that would solve everything! I’m sure new Tennessee employer Beretta USA will support a smorgasbord of gun-friendly legislation, right? And then when those candy-assed liberals suggest things like McKayla’s Law or mandatory liability insurance for CCW holders or universal background checks, they can point to opposition from a major employer and slap it with a “job killer” label. Nice.
So yes, I get it. I just didn’t think they’d be so obvious about it:
So why would an agency that’s interested in developing businesses and creating jobs not cast a wide net to garner fans of all political parties?
The I-Team sat down with TDECD Commissioner Randy Boyd.
“Should politics be involved in a department that’s supposed to be apolitical?” asked reporter Alanna Autler.
“Politics is a pretty broad word,” Boyd said. “We have to work with the legislature and the legislature is always creating new legislation affecting things we do, and they are political. So in that sense, the politics of new laws and legislation do affect what our development and any department does.”
See, they’re not even denying it. They’re flat-out admitting it.
I’m dying to know which of our state legislators tasked Boyd with recruiting more conservative-friendly companies to Tennessee, though. You know he didn’t think this up all by himself.
Okay, I-Team. Get to work. I want to know who told Boyd to do this.