Campaign Finance Reform Bill Fails

Tuesday, May 3, 2005 - by Andy Spears, Senate Democratic Press Secretary

Nashville – Just one week after the Senate passed sweeping ethics reform meant to clean up the influence of money in state government, Senate Republicans voted in the Senate State & Local Government Committee to kill legislation designed to close a loophole in campaign finance law that allows individuals and special interest groups to funnel money to political candidates at levels far exceeding legal limits.

“The Republicans on the committee need to be honest with the people of Tennessee,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jim Kyle of Memphis, who sponsored the bill. “If we’re going to tell people we have campaign finance limits, we ought to really have limits. My bill would have put some controls in the campaign process to prevent hiding the true source of campaign funds by funneling them through numerous political action committees.”

Kyle’s bill was an attempt to enforce the campaign contribution limits currently on the books. Under current law, an individual can contribute $1,000 to a candidate for state office in a primary election and another $1,000 in the general election.

Kyle noted that during the 2004 election cycle, former King Pharmaceutical CEO John Gregory funneled over $1 million to GOP political action committees (PACs) and candidates. In some instances, Gregory money made up the bulk of money given to PACs (97% of the funding of State of Franklin PAC and 96% of Tennessee Conservative PAC).

“John Gregory and the Republicans ran campaigns in 2004 based on circumventing current campaign finance laws,” Kyle said. “I have no problem with John Gregory or other King Pharmaceuticals executives contributing to campaigns. I just think they should follow the law.”

Kyle said that Gregory recently contributed another $50,000 to the Tennessee Conservative PAC.
“Based on today’s vote, it appears the Republicans are planning to employ the same questionable tactics in the next election,” Kyle said. “Meanwhile, Democrats will continue to abide by both the letter and the spirit of the law.”

Because of the Senate Committee’s actions, the bill will not become law this year. The bill failed with all five Republican members voting no. Those members include Senator Tim Burchett, Senator Bill Ketron, Senator David Fowler, Senate Republican Leader Ron Ramsey and Senate Republican Caucus Chair Jeff Miller.


Walker County Arrest Report For Jan. 16-22

Here is the Walker County arrest report for Jan. 16-22: HACKNEY    ALICIA          MARIE           W/F     21        Officer CAMPBELL  WILLFUL OBSTRUCTION OF LAW ENFORCEMNET OFFICER JUV    JUV    ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ARWOOD, THOMAS WILLIAM  4131 JONES COVE ROAD SEVIERVILLE, 378766658  Age at Arrest: 42 years old Arresting Agency: Collegedale Booked for Previous Charges or Other Reason(s) --- ASHBY, BRITTANY LYNN  3644 TANAKA TRAIL CHATT, 37404  Age at Arrest: 22 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga ... (click for more)

Proud Of Chattanooga And The Women's March

I was very happy to participate in the Women’s March on Chattanooga yesterday afternoon. The diversity and the sheer numbers of women, men and children were incredible. One estimate was at least 3,000. Standing together with all of these like-minded souls was overwhelming and humbling.  I have rarely been so happy and so proud of my town.  One question is, why is ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Washington’s Favorite

By the time darkness fell over Washington, D.C., on Sunday, it had clearly been a monumental weekend. On Friday Donald Trump had ben inaugurated as the 45 th President of the United States. On Saturday a fierce crowd of a half-million women who each are entitled to have the identical rights as men in the same United States, marched on The Mall. And then, the Washington Post printed ... (click for more)

Tullahoma Nips East Hamilton For Central Mat Title

The annual Central Invitational wrestling tournament was cancelled two weeks ago by the threat of inclement weather, but they were able to get it in on Saturday and it was a battle to the wire for the team championship. Luke Champion was the individual winner at 285 pounds and it was his victory that lifted the Tullahoma Wildcats to the team title as they finished the day-long ... (click for more)

Father Ryan Rallies To Beat Soddy Daisy

The Soddy Daisy Trojans may have been embarrassed over a lopsided whipping they took at the hands of the Bradley Bears Thursday night in Cleveland, but they came out with fire in their eyes Friday night in a dual meet with Father Ryan. The host Trojans had a seemingly-comfortable 32-22 lead with three matches remaining, but the Purple Irish won all three -- including two with ... (click for more)