Far-right Tennessee state senator indicted for alleged 'campaign finance violations'

Far-right Tennessee state senator indicted for alleged 'campaign finance violations'
Tennessee State Sen. Brian Kelsey, BrianKelsey.org

In the Tennessee State Legislature, Sen. Brian Kelsey has been a far-right culture warrior who is never shy about playing the family values card. But Kelsey, according to the Nashville Tennessean, now finds himself facing a campaign finance violation along with an indictment.

On October 25 in the Tennessean, journalists Brinley Hineman and Rachel Wegner reported that a federal grand jury had "returned a five-count indictment charging Kelsey, 43, and club owner Joshua Smith, 44, with violating multiple campaign finance laws as part of a conspiracy to benefit Kelsey's 2016 campaign for U.S. Congress."

"Smith owns The Standard, an elite Nashville club that also operates its own state political action committee," Hineman and Wegner explained. "There, the investigators allege, they illegally funneled money into Kelsey's campaign on one occasion at a private dinner on July 11, 2016 through the club's PAC."

Sounding very Trumpian, Kelsey tweeted:

Hineman and Wegner noted that The Tennessean "first reported on the questionable campaign finance donations in 2017."

According to the reporters, "After The Tennessean's 2017 report, a watchdog group filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission and sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice saying Kelsey and others may have been involved in illegal straw donations, inappropriate coordination and other possible wrongdoing. Kelsey, R-Germantown, and Smith are accused of secretly and illegally shuffling 'soft money' from Kelsey's Tennessee state Senate campaign committee to his authorized federal campaign committee."

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