campaign finance

In 6th Congressional District, Rose takes big money lead over Matheny with $250K loan and Haslam help

Former state Agriculture Commissioner Charles Rose has loaned his campaign for the 6th Congressional District Republican nomination $250,000, giving him a strong financial advantage over state Rep. Judd Matheny in the race to succeed U.S. Rep. Diane Black, according to disclosures filed with the Federal Election Commission this week.

The reports show Rose, who owns a farm and runs a small business in DeKalb County, raised $292,450 in contributions and, with the $250,000 loan, his campaign had $542,450 in receipts. He reported $74,421 in expenditures, leaving a cash-on-hand balance of $468,038 on Oct. 1.

Matheny reported $166,544 in donations to his campaign and $62,458 in expenditures, leaving a cash balance of $104,086. He reported no loans.

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In 2nd Congressional District, Matlock leads Burchett in cash on hand

Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett led candidates to succeed U.S. Rep. John J. “Jimmy” Duncan Jr. in collecting donations but state Rep. Jimmy Matlock has more cash on hand for his campaign, according to financial disclosures filed with the Federal Election Commission this week.

Duncan, who announced his retirement on July 31, still has far more campaign money than all his would-be successors combined with a reported balance of $917,303. The veteran congressman reported $52,500 in contributions received during the past quarter and continued using campaign funds to pay family members — a practice that inspired some controversy earlier this year.

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Democrat raises $100K for run against Blackburn (or?)

Reality television star Justin Kanew says he has raised more than $100,000 as a Democratic candidate for the 7th Congressional District seat currently held by Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn, reports the Nashville Post.

“As Marsha decides which office best suits her, we’ll be over here running hard for the opportunity to truly represent the people of the 7th district,” Kanew said in a press release. “We’ll likely never match the millions Marsha has sitting in her war chest, but over the course of the next year we look forward to continuing to raise enough money to get our message out through grassroots efforts, adding more volunteers and voters to our team who are excited about bringing something new to TN7. This is a campaign by the people and for the people, and that won’t change no matter who the GOP nominates.”

…The son of a Hollywood director, Kanew has been endorsed by celebrities like Adam Brody, Mindy Kaling and Martina Navratilova, but he said that 84 percent of his donations were under $200. 

As of June 30, Blackburn has $3.12 million on hand in federal campaign funds — all of which she could use for a Senate run, which she is strongly considering. 

Super PAC goal: $4M to help Ogles Senate campaign

News release from Andy Ogles campaign

FRANKLIN, TENN. (Sept. 19, 2017) — Conservative Republican businessman and fundraiser Lee Beaman announced today that he is in the process of forming a federal SuperPAC that will focus on electing Andy Ogles to the U.S. Senate.

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Legislator uses campaign money for machine gun ammo

State Rep. Judd Matheny, currently running for the Republican nomination to the 6th Congressional District seat, used $1,600 from his legislative campaign funds to pay for ammunition fired during target shooting for lawmakers with machine guns in April, reports The Tennessean.

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Registry memo: Legislators should not double dip on expense payments

Back in June, House Speaker Beth Harwell and Senate Speaker Randy McNally asked the Registry of Election Finance to produce a memo on the legality of legislators using campaign money to pay for meals and motels on days when they’re also getting “per diem” expense money from the state — $220 per day for those living more than 50 miles from Nashville.

After discussion of the matter at a Registry board meeting earlier this month, the Registry staff has produced the requested a short memo this week and sent it to the speakers. Not surprisingly, the brief memo says legislators shouldn’t be reimbursed twice for the same expenses.

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Joe Carr launches federal PAC

Former state Rep. Joe Carr, who ran unsuccessfully against U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander in 2014 and against U.S. Rep. Diane Black in 2016, has launched a political action committee for 2018, reports Nashville Post Politics.

Carr is the designated agent of Stand Firm America, the paperwork for which was filed with the Federal Election Commission late Thursday. Carr’s daughter, Maddie, is the PAC’s treasurer. The PAC’s website was registered Thursday through a proxy.

“We’re in the formative stages of this whole thing. We’re putting this together, and once everything is put together — what we’re trying to do, what the mission statement is, what the purpose is and what it’s directly going to address — we’ll have a press release on that,” Joe Carr said Friday. “We’re not ready to make any announcements on the purposes of the PAC just yet.”

…The former state representative’s annual conservative gathering and fundraiser, T-Bones and Politics, will be held Sept. 14 in Lascassas, featuring Fox News host Jeanine Pirro. Carr said he won’t announce his own plans for a possible 2018 campaign until after the event.

On setting a state record for campaign spending and candidate self-financing

Nine months before the April qualifying deadline for gubernatorial candidates, those officially seeking the office have already collected $8.4 for their campaigns — $3.4 million through self-funding.

“If we have tight primary races and a tight competitive general election this one could hit $35 or $40 million,” said Kent Syler, a political science professor at Middle Tennessee State University, tells The Tennessean in a report noting the 2018 gubernatorial campaign is shaping up to set a state spending record.

A new state campaign spending record is possible, even probable. But the current state spending records are arguably somewhat higher than the figures cited elsewhere that include only spending by general election candidates, not losers in the primary. It’s a virtual certainty, on the other hand, that the developing gubernatorial races will set a record for self-financing.

 

The most expensive Tennessee political campaign so far was the U.S. Senate race in 2006, won by Republican Bob Corker over Democrat Harold Ford Jr. in the November general election. Corker and Ford combined spent about $34 million with Corker using $4.1 million of personal funds.  Corker’s two primary opponents, Ed Bryant and Van Hilleary, spent about $2.2 million each, so the campaign total was more than $38 million. (Corker’s total was $18.6M; Ford $15.3M.)

The most expensive Tennessee gubernatorial campaign was in 2010, when Bill Haslam defeated two serious Republican primary opponents, followed by a much easier win over Democrat Mike McWherter in November. Haslam spent $16.7 million with $3.5 million in self-financing and McWherter $3.4 million and the overall campaign cost is often pegged at $20 million. But if you add the two GOP primary candidates Haslam defeated, the total was about $27 million. Ron Ramsey spent $3.1 million and Zach Wamp $4 million.

As for the Tennessee record of self-spending by one individual, it’s Corker’s $4.1 million. That’s roughly the same amount of self-spending for all candidates combined in the 2010 gubernatorial campaign — Haslam’s $3.5 million combined with Ramsey’s $200,000 loan to his campaign and Wamp’s $400,000 loan. (Ramsey and Wamp were able to repay their loans; Haslam’s loan has not been repaid.)

Ergo, Boyd is halfway to a record for self-financing with the filing of his first disclosure and Lee is not far behind. Corker and Haslam both waited until much later in their campaigns to put in significant personal money. And if multimillionaire U.S. Rep. Diane Black gets into the gubernatorial campaign race, she can be expected to quickly put in a substantial amount of personal funding in playing catchup against primary opponents who are already traversing the state and planning big advertising efforts.

Note: The Memphis Flyer today has some further musing from an old guy on the gubernatorial campaign HERE, including the suggestion that Boyd is the frontrunner at this embryonic stage of the proceedings. See also previous post listing basic figures from initial filings of candidate campaign finance reports HERE.

Figures from first gubernatorial campaign disclosures: Boyd, Lee and Dean tops in fundraising

Snapshot of gubernatorial candidate campaign finance disclosures filed Monday with the Registry of Election Finance, starting with Republicans in alphabetical order:

Sen. Mae Beavers – collected $56,721, spent $1,377; balance $55,343. (collection total includes $20,000 transfer from her state Senate campaign fund; does not include $4,760 in-kind contribution.)

Randy Boyd – collected $4,328,468, spent $819,236; balance $3,509,228 (collection total includes direct donations of $2,034,468 by Boyd himself, including in-kind contribution).

Bill Lee – collected $1,391,511, loaned his campaign $1,375,000 and made a $30,000 in-kind contribution to his campaign (renting a bus) for self-funded total of $1,405,000. Spent $223,187; balance $2,527,623.

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Bill Lee’s first campaign disclosure (PR version): $1.375M in donations matched with $1.375M self-financing

News release from the Bill Lee campaign

FRANKLIN, Tenn. – Republican gubernatorial candidate and conservative Williamson County businessman and cattle farmer Bill Lee announced that his campaign for governor has raised over $1.375 million in a little over two months of active campaigning, with over $2.5 million cash on hand to end the report period.  In addition to what was raised, Bill and his wife Maria committed to match in the amount of $1.375 million due to the overwhelming level of enthusiasm and support he has received across the state.

 “Maria and I are truly humbled and honored to see the outpouring of support from across Tennessee with folks wanting to help this campaign,” said Lee.

Lee continued, “Since we announced on April 24th, we have traveled the state meeting everyone we can and sharing my vision for Tennessee. The response has been so overwhelmingly positive, we felt compelled to match the donations in an effort to thank everyone for their support and show our continued commitment to them throughout this campaign.”  Continue reading

ABOUT THIS BLOG

Former Knoxville News Sentinel capitol bureau chief Tom Humphrey writes about Tennessee politics, government, and legislative news.

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