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Fred Thompson’s “Marie” Ad

Fred Thomspon debuted an ad today featuring Marie Ragghianti, the former Tennessee state employee and whistleblower who is indirectly responsible for his acting career.

Ragghianti was the Tennessee Parole Board chair who was fired from her post in the 1970s when she refused to release felons whose families had been bribing Gov. Roy Blanton. Thompson represented her in her lawsuit and won, and the case was so celebrated that it was made into the 1985 feature “Marie,” with Sissy Spacek in the title role. Who did director Roger Donaldson get to play Thompson? Thompson himself. In fact, he stole the movie, and launched his side career.

Ragghianti has campaigned for Thompson before — so it is not a huge surprise that she would turn out for him in his presidential bid.

Meanwhile, Jeffrey Ressner at the Politico writes that Thompson’s entertainment industry support has been scant — as many predicted even before he got in the race. It’ll get a bigger test this weekend when Thompson raises money at the Century Plaza Hotel on Saturday.

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