According to the Tennessean, Lovell quickly gained a reputation as a party boy in Nashville. At a legislative reception, "he was seen visibly intoxicated…dropping cash on the floor as he spoke with the women tending bar." Another night, Lovell attended several legislative functions and was "visibly drunk" by 8:00 p.m. Sometime thereafter, Lovell allegedly grabbed a woman by her breasts and buttocks then attempted to restrain her from walking away. According to reports, he also touched another woman inappropriately that night. The whole thing was observed by witnesses who reported his behavior. One woman filed formal charges which eventually led to his resignation.
But there is much more to this story than just another state legislator gone wild in Nashville
According to Sen. Brian Kelsey in his op-ed for The Tennessean, the American Federation for Children was founded by Betsy DeVos in 2010. For those who have been living under a rock, Betsy DeVos was Trump's controversial pick for Secretary of Education. She narrowly made it through the nomination process, claiming among other things that guns were needed in schools in the event of a grizzly bear attack. She was approved after Vice President Pence broke the Senate tie with two Republicans voting against her. And for the past seven years, DeVos has provided Kelsey and other Tennessee lawmakers with "the policy expertise necessary to design successful school choice legislation." Only it hasn't been that successful. Every year, Tennesseans have rejected voucher legislation. So, the American Federation for children must have thought it was a good idea to get some new politicians in office.
And Mark Lovell was just the guy for the job. Before he took his campaign website down (you can still see a cached copy here), he was clear on the issues of vouchers: he liked them big time. And the American Federation for Children liked him too, calling him a pro-school choice candidate.
Q: What kind of politician does Federation for Children money get you?
A: Ones who lie about hurting children
But before buying a new lawmaker, the Federation for Children had to get rid of the old one
But those good deeds fell by the wayside when the American Federation for Children began its slick smear campaign against him. Mailboxes in the suburbs of Memphis were soon filled with glossy brochures trashing Todd.
Any guesses who paid for them?
The Knoxville News Sentinel reports, "In state legislative primaries, the standout spending was by Tennessee Federation for Children in advertising attacking state Rep. Curry Todd, R-Collierville, who lost on Aug. 4. The group had earlier reported spending $109,363 in opposing Todd and disclosed last week another $23,714 in the new report for a total of about $133,000 – an apparent record for a single PAC against a single legislator."
Maybe, Sen. Alexander should have asked the incoming Secretary of Education, what she had against Curry Todd?
But we all know the answer to that—he opposed vouchers.
Here's Your Sign...
Next thing you know, the local news is running footage of Curry Todd pulling up one of Mark Lovell's signs.
Was he removing it from the public right of way, did he have permission from the landowner to take it down, or was he stealing the two dollar sign???? Well, there is a criminal case about that going on right now. Yep, you read that right— a criminal case so cue the Law & Order music.
Two days before the primary election, Curry Todd was arrested and charged with theft under $500 for removing/taking Lovell's yard signs. Not only was that story on the local news in Memphis, but it was all over the national press. The story appeared on NPR, The Washington Post, Fox News, New York Daily News, MTV News, USA Today, Daily Mail (UK), and others.
Who would have thought a misdemeanor involving political signs in a small Tennessee town would have made the news around the country and over in Britain???? Seriously? Doesn't that kind of stuff happen in every election in every town. Another candidate in the race even came forward claiming she was also missing yard signs so Todd must have stolen those too. But her claim never made news around the world so, it must be a rule in politics that only candidates with ties to really rich, powerful people get national press coverage.
But That's Not the End of the Story
Todd was arrested 48 hours before the primary elections and was taken to the county jail. Then, guess who showed up to bail him out???? Well, none other than his opponent, Mark Lovell. We have to admit this political stunt seems to have been choreographed like a crooked midway game at the carnival.
That happened six months ago and Todd's legal case still has not been resolved. It has lasted longer than Lovell's tenure in the legislature. In fact, word has it that the case has to be continually re-set due to unavailability of a witness. That witness spends a lot of time out of town. Hmmm, we are wondering if that witness recently grabbed his hot Nashville chicken to go so he could make his court date. Bet there won't be any national coverage when the case against Todd is finally resolved.
Good Job, Betsy!!!
It's going to cost the taxpayers $120,000 to $140,000 for a special election to replace Lovell. Not only did you waste your money, but you wasted our money too.
Thanks a lot!!
Etsy Betsy, Bottle of Ink
My gosh you stink.