Top TN donor to Trump inauguration a longtime Democrat?

President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee reports raising more than $107 million for January swearing-in events, more than double the amount raised for any previous president’s inauguration. Prior presidents put limits on inaugural donations. Trump did not.

Nationally, the top donor was casino magnate and philanthropist Sheldon G. Adelson with a $5 million contribution, reports the New York Times. The biggest donation from Tennessee was $1 million sent by a Chattanooga company linked to veteran Democratic donor Franklin Haney.

Excerpt from the Center for Public Integrity’s review of the disclosure:

A few of the big-dollar donors listed were obscure limited liability companies, the leaders of which weren’t easily deciphered.

One such Trump inauguration donor, HFNWA LLC of Chattanooga, Tennessee, gave $1 million. The Center for Public Integrity previously reported that HFNWA LLC gave Democratic super PAC Senate Majority PAC $1 million in 2014. HFNWA LLC has addresses in Arkansas and Washington, D.C., and is managed, according to Arkansas Secretary of State records, by Franklin L. Haney, a Democratic political patron and real estate mogul.

Memphis-based Federal Express chipped in just over $500,000, according to the disclosure document. If you add things up, as did Nashville Post Politics, there was an overall like donation from the Knoxville-based Haslam family and its business operations.

Combined, Pilot Flying J CEO Jimmy Haslam and his wife, television CEO Dee Haslam, contributed $200,000. Pilot itself donated $300,000 to the effort. Gov. Bill Haslam, brother to Jimmy Haslam and a fellow heir to the Pilot fortune, was notably non-supportive of Trump during the campaign, going so far as to call on Trump to step aside during the last month of the campaign.

CCA of Tennessee gave $250,000.

Note: If you want to wade through the full report, it’s HERE.

One Response to Top TN donor to Trump inauguration a longtime Democrat?

  • Diana Page says:

    What is the source of the money for CCA/CoreCivic’s political contributions? Ultimately, much of it must be taxpayer funds?

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