Emails Show DA's Office Working Hard for Rob McGuire



Would it shock you to know that most of the assistant district attorneys in the Nashville office are supporting former ADA Rob McGuire? Probably not. Some have even been using Channel 4's Dennis Ferrier to plug their friend.

Now, Glenn Funk's staff is likely voting for him, and Diane Lance probably has a sizable portion of the mayor's office behind her. These are not surprising things.

The difference, however, is that ADAs are not supposed to be campaigning on company (read: taxpayer) time. It's in the Little Hatch Act, and even in the district attorney's office's internal rules.

Sources tell Pith that there has been a fair amount of campaigning within the DA's office by McGuire supporters, even drawing reminders from the office that campaigning during office hours and using office resources is not permitted.

Emails given to Pith (reproduced below) show ADAs reminding colleagues of phone banks, poll watching and even asking them to donate. Since there are prohibitions on sending political email from government accounts, the notes were all sent from personal Gmail and MSN accounts. But the targets of the emails were all government employees, and the authors used government email address books (kept on either on servers or locally on their computers) in order to reach them, in this case a list titled "DA_Everyone."

If it's not a violation of internal or external rules, it certainly walks up to the line. By using the in-house mail lists, it also spams government employees who may not want to be pressed on their choice for the next DA.

Sources also said that District Attorney Torry Johnson, who has endorsed McGuire, has brought up his protege's candidacy at staff meetings.

Imagine if you were electing your next boss. At a meeting, your current boss, who has staked his reputation by endorsing a candidate, says something along the lines of, "I'm going to talk about the race for your next boss, but you don't have to stay." By not staying, you implicitly or explicitly announce to a room of co-workers that you don't support a well-liked former co-worker — who, just for fun, might be your new boss. Do you get up, and by leaving risk any of a roomful of people telling your new boss that you didn't support his election?

It's a little uncomfortable, huh.

Johnson spokesperson Susan Niland responded by email.

"At the conclusion of a meeting with attorneys two weeks ago, after employees were released at the end of the day, Torry said he was going to stick around and answer questions about the election," she writes. "He wanted to respond to questions he's gotten from people in the office about the upcoming election, and at the end of the day when people were finished with their work seemed to be the best time to do that. He said people were free to leave, or stay; it was their choice. This was not a conscripted meeting. People were told they could stay if they wished, or could leave as it was the end of the work day."

The emails in question:

From: kristen_menke [] 

Sent: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 7:44 AM

To: DA_Everyone; Hennig, Alyssa;

Subject: FW:

———— Original message ————

From: Kristen Menke 
Date:03/25/2014 7:41 AM (GMT-06:00) 

To: Kristen Menke 


The campaign is going great. Rob is out there doing everything he can with his heart fully in winning this election. He is making great connections, he has great community support, and there are lots of people lined up to volunteer as things progress in the coming weeks.

So many of us have already shown great support for Rob in donating and volunteering for his campaign. Over a 1/3 of the office has already donated to the campaign to further demonstrate their support. That is amazing and I know humbling for Rob, but we all know that the more people in the office who support him the bigger a statement it makes to the public. 

As we near the end of quarterly reporting (March 31st), we - the people who know this office best and know Rob the best - have a great opportunity to make a statement to the public about who we want to be the next District Attorney. We can do that by everyone in the office making a donation—no matter how small.  Voters will take notice when the quarter deadline arrives (March 31st) and they can see for themselves that the people who know the office the best are supporting Rob to be the next district attorney. 

I am personally asking you to please make a donation to Rob's campaign.  You can do this at  I am also asking you to please reach out to your family, friends, community neighbors, churches, everyone in your email address book to donate to the campaign if they so choose but most importantly to VOTE. Please ask your communities to extend this same invitation to friends and family and colleagues of their own.  Encourage everyone to VOTE. If you personally don't feel comfortable asking people to invest in Rob but know people you think should be asked just let me know and Rob's campaign can take it from there.  The same is true for those individuals you reach out to, if they aren't comfortable they can pass that burden to the campaign. It goes without saying that if you choose to do this it must be done on your personal time and of your own free will. 

If you think that Rob is the right person to be the District Attorney then the next several weeks are crucial to get involved. Everything we do will count. I know we are all busy, but this election is about more than what is on our desk at this second. It is about what we want the future of this office to be and what legacy we want for those young folks who follow us. It is about what we want our leadership to look like and the experience and dedication it takes to inspire an office full of prosecutors called to serve. You all have that experience and dedication and I know you all want that for the future. VOTE. Early voting starts April 16th, the election is May 6th. 

From: Kristen Menke []

Sent: Thursday, March 27, 2014 12:24 PM

To: DA_Everyone

Subject: Fwd: ***McGuire Home Phone Bank set up - on site*** Thursday, March 27 - phone bank from home, all postcard info

Just a reminder about the brief (less than 30 min) training on phone banking today. 4pm in WS Building conference room. Please let me know if you plan to attend. Thanks to everyone for all you do.

Hello friends,
We will be doing a 30-minute virtual phone bank account set-up and training tomorrow - 4-4:30pm, Thursday March 27 in the basement hallway of the Washington Square building.

At this training, we will get you set up with a virtual phone bank account and show you how to use the system to phone bank voters from your home. ***Please bring your laptop with you (if you can) to get your account set up. This allows for the response data to be entered directly into our database and helps us win the election!

Please RSVP to Kristen.

Postcards and yard signs will also be available for pick up at this training. Thank you and have a good day.


Thank you so much for agreeing to help us write postcards to voters! This is a big job and personally written postcards can have a large impact.

Below are a few tips & tricks and sample scripts to help you in the event of writer’s block.

Tips & Things to Remember:
• Two options: Either write to your personal friends, address, and return to Kristen for us to apply postage and mail (this is part of the strategy and all cards will go out together). Or write "Dear friend" or "Dear voter" and we will apply address labels from our specific target data list (very helpful either way). Asking directly for the vote is important — see sample scripts below, please.
· Sign personal cards from your full name, sign general cards with just your first name, please.
· Deadline — Please return all cards that need either address or postage (or both) to Kristen by Wednesday, April 9. We will mail all at once right before early voting. Mail your personal cards (if you wish to apply postage) on Monday, April 14. Don’t worry — we’ll remind you of all this as we go along. J

Write slowly & remember to use clear handwriting
• Be personable and authentic
• Be weary of the size of your handwriting, there’s not much room!
• If using labels, be sure to adhere them to the postcard as neatly as possible
• Use a ballpoint pen rather than a fluid ink pen.

Sample 1:
Serving 13 years as a public servant and leader in our community, I believe Rob McGuire is the right choice for District Attorney. Please vote for Rob on Election Day, May 6th.

Sample 2:
Rob has worked hard as an assistant district attorney for the last 13 years, and he knows Nashville. I know as District Attorney General he will continue to serve the citizens of our community to keep us safe. Please vote for Rob on Election Day, May 6th.

Sample 3:
We need a District Attorney who cares about justice and serving everyone in our community. Rob McGuire has the experience and expertise to do just that. Please vote for Rob on Election Day, May 6th.

From: Kristen Menke [] 

Sent: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 10:38 PM

To: DA_Everyone

Subject: Voting Reminders
1.     If you want to vote for Rob McGuire for District Attorney you MUST request a democratic ballot.  
2.     Early voting starts April 16th-at the Howard School Complex. 
3.     Democratic primary is May 6th.  

From: Kristen Menke [] 

Sent: Thursday, April 17, 2014 4:53 PM

To: DA_Everyone

Subject: 19 days. Be a voice.
19 Days.  Excluding Sundays there are 16 campaign days left.  16 days to make a difference.  16 days to be a voice for Rob if you want him as your next District Attorney. 
We have a core group of volunteers that have been fantastic.  Everyone who has written post cards, made phone calls, put out signs, and volunteered your time in a thousand different ways—Thank you! I can't say that enough.  You are much appreciated.
If you haven't been able to volunteer yet, no problem.  It is the next 16 campaign days that will be crucial and make the most difference in this election.  16 days. The volunteers have been wonderful but they can't do it alone. 
• There is a phone bank/canvass this Saturday 4/19, 10-1PM.  You can do whichever you choose.  Either way we are reaching voters. It is really simple and pretty fun. No childcare? Bring your kids to canvass.  Voters love people who love children and children love to be outside.  It is supposed to be a beautiful weekend.  
• After Saturday there are 8 more organized phone bank days. 8 days. Please sign up for even just 1. 8 would be great. 1 will make a difference. The other volunteers are wonderful, but they can't do it alone. Rob can't do alone.  
• Phone bank days: Tuesday. Wednesday. Thursday 6pm-8pm, Saturday 10am-1pm for the next two weeks. That's it.  Please email me to sign up or email  You can just show up too. It is just a few hours of your time and it makes a HUGE difference.  
• ELECTION DAY Poll Workers—We are drafting a sign up sheet over the weekend.  It will break down the polls and the hours we need covered.  There are approximately 30 polls and we need at least 3 people to a poll.  Obviously, the whole office can't go and some of you won't want to do it.  I get that.  Those of you that can be there please sign up. This will be your last day to be a voice in this primary election. 
As always, volunteering is your personal choice and will have to be done on personal time.  If you work a poll you may have to take PTO depending on what hours you work.  
What's it worth to you? What's at stake? As Bret says, "only everything." 
Thanks for all you do. 

From: Kristen Menke [] 

Sent: Wednesday, April 02, 2014 12:14 PM

To: DA_Everyone

Subject: Postcards, phone banks, mailings and more....
Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the campaign whether it be money or volunteer time. You all are amazing and it is such a great thing to see how many of you have to come together with the goal of getting Rob elected.  It makes me proud all over again to be part of this office. 
I have a few notes below as reminders, updates, and general response to many of the questions I've been getting.  If any of this doesn't make sense or you need more information, please feel free to email or call me on your personal time. 
1. Bumper Stickers. They are awesome. They look great. They are good advertising all over town. You and everyone in your family that drives a car can make use of one whether you live in Davidson County or just commute into and out of town.  They are great for visibility and getting Rob's name out there.  And did I mention they look awesome? If you are supporting Rob and would like to have one you can get one from me or Susan Niland. Just let us know.  
2. Postcards. You all have done a fantastic job and turned them around very quickly. Thank you! For those of you that still have them out there to be turned in—we are moving up the return deadline to try and send them out sooner that we first thought.  If you can have them to me by Friday, that would be wonderful, but Monday, April 7th is the new deadline at latest.  Please return what you have completed.  You don't have to turn them all in at once.  That let's us go ahead and start addressing and stamping. If the new deadline is too soon, pass them back to me and I will be happy to help.   
3. Phone banks/post card parties— I know some of you are signed up to phone bank or write post cards this evening. Some of you are having an independent party and that's great just see #2 for what to do with your finished cards.  For those of you signed up for tonight and planning to be [there] Dr. from 6-8, please let me know if you plan to attend or RSVP to  Just trying to get a head count and know who to expect.  Phone banking is a great way to reach voters.  It is really important.  It is very easy and fun.  Please don't worry that it is some terrible cold-calling experience wherein you will get your feelings hurt and/or be cussed out.  It really is great fun and for the most part the recipients like to hear from you.  They are voters.  They want the information that you are ready to give them.   Volunteers are needed to amp up the phone bank process as well as to prepare mailings in the coming weeks.  If you would like to participate and support Rob, please sign up at or email or let me know. 
4.  Poll workers—We also need volunteers to work polls for early voting and most importantly on May 6th.  Use the contact information in # 3 if you would like to volunteer to work a poll.  Also, very fun and important work.   I will reach out to you again on this point later.  
5. Yard signs—more yard signs are available.  Please email me if you need one or know someone who does.  
Thanks again for everything you're doing.  Reminder: any campaigning must be done on your personal time and of your own free will.  

And then, notably, this exchange:

From: Reddick, Sharon (D.A.) 

Sent: Monday, April 21, 2014 12:35 PM

To: DA_Everyone 
Subject: Two Things 

1.  Today and tomorrow I'm going to come around on my lunch hour (which started 10 minutes ago) with a sheet for you to sign up to work a poll for Rob.  Ya'll, this election is so important to us as an office; but it's even more important to our city.  So, if you're supporting Rob, please sign up!!!  If I miss you, the sign up sheet will be on my desk.  Come down during your smoke or coffee break, before or after work, and sign up.
2.  We expect to have more T-shirts by the end of this week.  You'll get one if you're working a poll (a $5.00 donation back to the campaign for it would be helpful and much appreciated but not necessary).  If you want to just buy one, they'll be $5.00.  We'll have some kid sizes too. 
Thanks in advance for all your help!!!  We're down to the wire with this thing.  15 days!!!!  

From: Brook, Michael (D.A.)

Sent: Monday, April 21, 2014 1:05 PM

To: Reddick, Sharon (D.A.)

Subject: Re: Two Things
Campaign business - not using office E-mail. 

I would Send a retraction then resend using a personal account.


Michael E. Brook

D.A. Nashville, TN 

Wireless Communication 

From: Reddick, Sharon (D.A.) 

Sent: Monday, April 21, 2014 1:41 PM

To: Brook, Michael (D.A.)

Cc: DA_Everyone

Subject: RE: Two Things
I don't really have a personal email account.  But, all, consider this a retraction with apologies. 

From: Brook, Michael (D.A.) 

Sent: Monday, April 21, 2014 3:23 PM

To: Reddick, Sharon (D.A.)

Cc: DA_Everyone

Subject: RE: Two Things
Thanks Sharon please remember.................


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