The week in politics: Everytown for Gun Safety to launch ad campaign ahead of special session

Everytown for Gun Safety, a national nonprofit that advocates for gun control, will spend $100,000 in digital ads across Tennessee to call for lawmakers to pass an extreme risk protection order law like one Gov. Bill Lee has proposed during the upcoming special session. Video ads will hit Aug. 1 on Hulu and NBC Peacock.

“An extreme risk law could have prevented the Covenant tragedy,” one static ad reads. “Tennessee police agree we need one now.”

Republicans in the state legislature have voiced significant opposition to Lee’s proposal, but the governor has said he intends to press forward with it when lawmakers return on Aug. 21.

“Following the shooting at the Covenant School, Tennesseans from all walks of life called for common-sense gun safety laws,” Everytown president John Feinblatt said in a statement. “Parents, students, faith leaders and community safety advocates will be there every step of the way during the upcoming special session to fight for an Extreme Risk law – a life-saving measure that could have prevented the tragedy at the Covenant School.”

“It’s long past time Tennessee lawmakers prioritize the safety of our kids over party politics and power grabs,” Feinblatt said.

Ads are aimed at getting constituents to contact their state lawmakers to ask them to support an extreme risk protection order policy – sometimes dubbed a “red flag” law. Twenty-one other states, including Florida and Indiana, already have such a law.

“This special session lawmakers cannot afford to look away as our communities continue to be torn apart by the gun violence crisis,” said Leeann Hewlett, a volunteer with the Tennessee chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Lawmakers must come together to take comprehensive action to protect Tennessee families from the vicious cycle of gun violence. Passing an Extreme Risk law could save lives and we are ready to get to work with our leaders to make it happen.”

Casada, Cothren want cases dismissed
Former House Speaker Glen Casada, R-Franklin, and his one-time aide Cade Cothren asked a federal judge to dismiss all charges against them as their cases move closer to an October trial date.

The pair have been accused of propping up a shady political services firm, concealing Cothren’s identity to tap into into taxpayer-funded mailer services available to lawmakers, as well as the lucrative political campaign mailer business. The two were charged with fraudulently profiting from the company because Cothren operated under a pseudonym.

Cothren went as far to sign an IRS form as “Matthew Phoenix” so the company would be approved as a vendor, prosecutors have alleged.

Casada first filed his motion to dismiss on Monday, arguing in part that prosecutors haven’t supported their allegation that Casada “aided and abetted” Cothren in concealing his identity.

The duo’s separate, but quite similar, motions to dismiss also point to a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Ciminelli v. United States, which they argue rejected a legal theory underpinning their wire fraud charges.

In a motion to dismiss filed Tuesday, Cothren’s legal team calls the prosecution’s case “fatally flawed,” arguing the political firm, Phoenix Solutions, delivered on the work it was hired to do and any compensation the duo received was for “bona fide” services rendered and shouldn’t constitution kickbacks.

Cothren’s motion also argues the prosecution has overreached with its charges, pointing to a “theft or bribery of programs receiving federal funds” charge. The General Assembly is not funded by federal dollars, Cothren’s team argues, and the charge is inflated.

State GOP

Leave a Comment