Rep. Ragan changes campaign website after Hackworth questions legality

John Ragan

John Ragan

Tennessee Rep. John Ragan has removed his official office phone number and state e-mail address from his campaign website after his opponent, Jim Hackworth, said that including the information violated state law.

On Monday, Hackworth, a former state representative trying to take back his old House seat in November, said Ragan’s website violated state ethics and finance laws because it directs voters to contact Ragan at his official office phone number and state e-mail address.

“It’s a violation of the law,” Hackworth said.

On Tuesday morning, Ragan, an Oak Ridge Republican, said he disagreed but had removed the contact information as a courtesy to Hackworth, a constituent.

Ragan said providing constituents who visit his campaign website a way to contact him about constituent issues is not illegal, but he has asked the Tennessee Secretary of State for an opinion.

A Republican Caucus field staff member helping Ragan’s campaign said the website, which was revised Friday, was put together by a volunteer and is a work in progress. Any non-compliance with state law was simply an oversight, said the campaign aide, Holt Whitt.

“It’s not finished,” Whitt said. “If we’re not in compliance, then (any required changes) will be addressed immediately.”

Ragan said he found it interesting that Hackworth raised questions about the website’s legality through the media and not speaking directly to Ragan.


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  • T J

    Hell, everything we do is a violation of some law. This is why any new businesses are going offshore.

    • James

      So you’re ok with the fact that Rep. Ragan was using services paid for by taxpayers (office phone and email) to operate his campaign?

      • MW224

        Hmmm, politicians using services paid for by taxpayers to operate a campaign….quote from ABC news today: “President Obama has spent more time raising money than any of his predecessors in recent history, crisscrossing the country on Air Force One to 175 re-election fundraisers so far in his first term.” I doubt that he paid for the fuel and crew out of his pocket.

  • Mare Martell

    “Ragan said he found it interesting that Hackworth raised questions about the website’s legality through the media and not speaking directly to Ragan.”

    I find this more interesting than all of it. No, I’m not okay with him using the phone or email but at the same time, it wasn’t necessary to go public with it like that. No honor in Hackworth. That’s not how I do business. If I have an issue with someone I address them directly as should he have to Ragan.

    • Ashley

      I agree. That’s how everyone should do business…However, Mr. Hackworth and Ragan are engaged in a campaign. Can’t fault politicians for acting like politicians.

  • amberg

    Think you might get bullied if you approach Ragan about anything? Remember Rule of Law is for EVERYONE. I know this is true cause John says so.

    • Hank

      Oh you’ll absolutely get bullied. Ragan helped dismantle the anti-bullying bill. He loves bullies.

  • amberg

    Underground Rumor mill says, Hurley and Ragan met last night to make up some story for Hurley to dump on Hackworth in retaliation for Ragan.

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