Signage promoting the re-election campaign of incumbent State Representative Todd Warner has been targeted for removal by the Thompson’s Station Planning and Zoning Department.
Positioned for high visibility from Columbia Pike just south of Interstate 840 in Thompson’s Station — which is not incorporated in Warner’s District 92 — a semi-truck trailer sits perched on private property, brandished as a billboard promoting the Chapel Hill Republican as state representative.
Both sides of the trailer feature his name in large letters above the words, “State Representative,” with the shape of the state in the middle. Its front end reads, “Tennessee Strong,” facing the street.
The local Zoning and Planning Department determined that the signage was too large and thus violated a local land development ordinance that includes sign regulations allotting no more than 48 square feet for signage of that kind. The department asked the owners of the property to remove the trailer for this reason, yet the trailer still stands unmoved. Earlier this week, the department took official action.
“The town planner sent out a notice of violation [letter] to the property owner,” said Town Attorney Andrew Mills at Dickson-based Reynolds, Potter, Ragan & Vandiport PLC. “My understanding is that the Warner campaign is not the property owner.”
Rep. Warner’s office could not be reached for comment. The department made no attempts to communicate with the campaign but confirmed to Home Page that this was because the agency’s considerations only concerned the legality of the signage, which only related to the property owner.
Warner supporters being slow to move the trailer is only the latest campaign tactic connected to Warner to seemingly take political campaign regulations of various sorts lightly.
This comes as FBI and state investigations still focus on political campaign vendor Dixieland Strategies, an Alabama-based firm with whom Warner continues to do business despite the recent federal investigation into campaign finance corruption among state representatives. Warner’s recent filing with the Registry of Election Finance shows a transaction of about $6,000 for advertising services from the firm.
Warner recently praised Dixieland for the services it rendered when asked why he continued to use those services, and he declined at the same time to confirm whether or not the firm was run by former state House Speaker and District 63 Rep. Glen Casada’s Chief of Staff Cade Cothren.
“They done me a great job (sic),” Warner said when asked why he still retained services from Dixieland according to The Tennessee Lookout.
Casada, Cothren, Warner and former Rep. Robin Smith were all targets of the FBI’s January 2021 raid as part of an investigation not detailed to the public. According to Smith’s testimony and guilty plea in March to a federal wire fraud charge, Cothren established a fake New Mexico-based company called Phoenix Solutions to disguise his control of Dixieland Strategies, which was found to share the same postal code as Phoenix.