House bill would do away with pre-election disclosures

Rep. Tim Rudd (R-Murfreesboro), right, attends a House GOP caucus meeting on July 24, 2019, in Nashville. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Voters would know a lot less about candidates’ fundraising activity under bill up for consideration on the House floor Monday. The measure sponsored by Rep. Tim Rudd (R-Murfreesboro) would do away with the pre-primary and pre-general reports candidates must currently file to cover the period ending 10 days before the vote.

[UPDATE: The House voted 87-5 to pass the bill.]

The bill would instead require only quarterly reports. Using this year’s election as a guide, candidates wouldn’t have to disclose how much money they had raised — or from whom — for more than five weeks between the end of the most recent full quarter and the primary or general election.

The Tennessee Registry of Election Finance says doing away with the pre-election reports would not significantly reduce the agency’s workload.

 

The measure would also do away with unitimized disclosures for contributions under $100.

The companion bill has yet to be head in the Senate, which has declared it will only focus on coronavirus-related or time-sensitive legislation in its return into session.

10 Responses to House bill would do away with pre-election disclosures

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    Reta Adams says:

    I thought they wanted transparency!

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    James White says:

    Politics may not be the oldest profession, but there are many similarities between the two.

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    Beatrice Shaw says:

    Not Republicans. Hide all the money you can and give all the money to big executives and corporations

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    steve cates says:

    Doing Rutherford Co proud, Rudd!!

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    Stuart I. Anderson says:

    No, that’s going in the wrong direction. I believe we need maximum disclosure of campaign finances. If they want to do something constructive, how about raising the maximum amount that can be contributed so candidates don’t have to work so hard getting so many comparatively small contributions. For example, $1,600 max per election for the General Assembly and $2,800 max for Congress is simply too little vis a vis the cost of campaigns today. All these low maximum limitations do is give a further advantage to wealthy candidates who simply reach for their checkbook and finance their own campaigns. Elimination of maximum contribution with the fullest of disclosures would be best.

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    John W Niven Jr says:

    Who is backing who is a critical component of deciding who to vote for. This is a bad bill. I could support raising the max contribution but eliminating transparency is not good for anybody and is certainly not the Republican way to do things.

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    Cannoneer2 says:

    If they do away with pre-election disclosures, I’d say to go ahead and do away with the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance as well.

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    Teddy says:

    Bad bill. I thought were are for disclosure. Rep. Rudd. what are you trying to hide?

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    Norma Shirk says:

    They don’t want people to see who has bought them body & soul and their votes in the Legislature. They don’t want more people to vote by actually making mail-in voting widely available. What are these guys so scared of?

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