Silent About Anti-Semitic Facebook Posting

Tennessee Republicans are scrambling to save face with Rutherford County state House candidate Mike Sparks who posted an anti-Semitic statement on his campaign Facebook page and fabricated a college degree.

“GOP Chairman Chris Devaney is desperately trying to deflect criticism of a candidate who has no business running for the state Legislature,” Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester said. “Mr. Devaney needs to cut his losses now and denounce Mr. Sparks for being a bigot and a liar.

“The state GOP is defending Sparks for falsifying his resume with a fake degree, which is a ludicrous defense, but I haven’t heard anything from the Republicans for that anti-Semitic posting,” Forrester said. “Someone who shows this kind of judgment has no business running for an elected office in this state or this country. The Tennessee Republican Party should immediately remove Mr. Sparks from the ballot.”

A few weeks ago Mr. Sparks posted anti-Semitic material written by a Nazi sympathizer on his campaign Facebook page and provided a link to other bigoted YouTube videos. Sparks also implied he was a 1997 graduate of Middle Tennessee State University on his Facebook page. Forrester pointed out that Sparks used a similar posting reflecting his high school graduation information, which reads “Smyrna High School ’85.”

“The logic they are using to defend Mr. Sparks for lying about his college degree would mean that he is lying about graduating from Smyrna High School in 1985, too,” Forrester said. “Regardless, I’d like to hear their logic on the anti-Semitic posting.”

Sparks, a Rutherford County commissioner, is seeking the House seat currently occupied by state Rep. Kent Coleman of Murfreesboro.

Forrester also pointed out that Sparks had to amend a filing with the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance revealing that he has made expenditures during his campaign. His first two filings with the state agency claimed no expenditures had been made. Sparks’ campaign website also fails to list an appropriate authorization line as required by state law.

“Mr. Sparks is not at all ready to represent the people of Rutherford County in the General Assembly,” Forrester said. “Rutherford County citizens deserve a lawmaker who understands that we need good jobs for our families, good schools for our children and safe, desirable communities in which to live.

“They don’t need someone who reflects intolerance and dishonesty,” he added.



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