Campaign Finance Reform Bill Fails

Tuesday, May 03, 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.


Additions And Improvements At Camp Jordan Arena Coming Soon

Additions and improvements are coming to Camp Jordan Arena in the near future. At the Thursday night meeting of the East Ridge city council, approval was given for buying new playground equipment. It will come from Gametime, a locally-based company. The VP of Marketing lives in East Ridge and made a proposal to set up the playground at Camp Jordan so his company could use it for ... (click for more)

First Protected Bicycle Lanes In Chattanooga To Be On Broad Street

Construction of the first protected bicycles lanes in Chattanooga will begin in Spring 2015 according to the Chattanooga Department of Transportation. The lanes will be downtown, going from Martin Luther King Boulevard to Aquarium Way on approximately .6 miles of Broad Street.   The street's current six through lanes will be reduced to four to make room for the bike ... (click for more)

Chairs Cost How Much?

Many times while growing up, I would go to the store with my parents. More often than not, I would see something I wanted, and ask my parents to buy it for me. More often than not, they said no. “Why?” I asked. “Son, money doesn’t grow on trees.” That’s a phrase I’m sure many of us have heard more than once over the course of our lives. However, I have since learned that they were ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Pete Carroll’s Philosophy

Pete Carroll, the head football coach of the Seattle Seahawks, has a deep belief that he can change people by simply listening to them and then making suggestions on how they can get what they really want. If the people Carroll who can influence win, Carroll wins, and remember his team won last year’s Super Bowl with his methods.   When asked for example, here is what ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Claims Region 4A/AA Soccer Title

Junior Sofia Olenchek scored twice, including the winning goal in the second overtime (95th minute) period as host Notre Dame defeated crosstown rival Chattanooga Christian 2-1, for the Region 4 A-AA championship Thursday night. In a well-played, physical match, CCS led at halftime, 1-0,  after senior Hannah Henry scored in the 14th minute, but Olenchek's first goal ... (click for more)

Baylor Beats Briarcrest For Shot At Father Ryan, DII-AA State Volleyball Title

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – OK, Father Ryan.  Baylor’s still hanging around. The Lady Red Raiders stormed past Briarcrest, 3-1, Thursday in the loser’s bracket final at Siegel Middle School and advanced to Friday’s Division II-AA volleyball tournament championship match. The set scores were 26-24, 25-15, 24-26, 25-15. The Lady Red Raiders lost to Father Ryan, ... (click for more)