Tennessee ( November 4, 2016) – Tennessee Democratic Party Chair Mary Mancini released a statement calling Speaker Beth Harwell’s new political ad dishonest.

“At every step – for more than a year – Speaker Harwell failed the test of leadership. She did nothing proactively. She was forced to take action each and every time because of pressure from the media and from us. Now, she wants to brag in a TV ad and take credit for Jeremy Durham’s removal? She is not being honest with the people.

Here is the truth. When Speaker Harwell found out about Jeremy Durham’s behavior in November of 2015, she sent him to get a “talking to” from Human Resources. Then when media reports surfaced with specific evidence of unwanted disturbing texts that Durham sent to women, she did nothing but punish the interns and move him to another building. After session ended, the Tennessee General Assembly went home and Jeremy Durham remained a member of the House.

Here’s another fact. “Illegal activity” is mentioned in the AG’s report and Speaker Harwell still refuses to get to the bottom of it because she once again hopes that if she ignores it, it will go away.

She has done nothing but perpetuate a culture of corruption, cover up, and political self-preservation.”