Top Republican accuses conservative group of 'dishonest scare tactics' in attack

Tennessee State Rep. Kevin Brooks (R-Cleveland) participates in a Chattanooga Times Free Press legislative roundtable in this file photo.

NASHVILLE - A top House Republican conservative, who opposes Gov. Bill Haslam's Insure Tennessee proposal, is lashing out at Americans for Prosperity which this week began running ads attacking Rep. Kevin Brooks, R-Cleveland, on the issue.

House Republican Caucus Chairman Glen Casada said that "while I wholeheartedly agree with American for Prosperity's core principles and am an opponent of expanding Medicaid in Tennessee, the attack ads in districts across the state paid for by AFP are inaccurate, ineffective, and only hurts their reputation within the Tennessee General Assembly."

In his statement, Casada said that AFP's Tennessee chapter "should be spending their time opposing liberal lawmakers who advocate for the tax-and-spend policies of Barack Obama, not dedicated individuals like Representative Kevin Brooks and the other conservative members of our Republican Caucus who have chosen to seek additional input before making a decision on behalf of their constituents."

The new 60-second radio ad, paid for by AFP, singles out state Rep. Kevin Brooks, R-Cleveland, and accuses the House assistant state majority leader of "betraying" a promise to oppose "Obamacare."

Brooks said he has not made up his mind on Haslam's plan to use federal Medicaid dollars to extend health insurance coverage to an estimated 200,000 low-income Tennesseans.

Casada said that "by jumping the gun and needlessly going after members of the Republican Caucus, AFP does more harm than good in promoting their cause."

Moreover, Casada said, "it saddens me to see AFP hiding behind the curtain and destroying their own credentials through dishonest scare tactics instead of accepting a seat at the table and discussing this important issue face-to-face."