Who do you love? Top PAC donors of this election cycle

The doors of the state Capitol were closed to the public on March 16, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Political Action Committee giving to legislative candidates may be down in 2020 compared with the previous election cycle, but that doesn’t mean big money isn’t finding its way into the the campaign coffers and leadership committees of Tennessee lawmakers.

Through campaign finance disclosures running through the start of early voting on July 17, here are the top PAC and business recipients among state lawmakers, candidates, and leadership committees.

  1. MCPAC (Randy McNally): $510,380
  2. CAM PAC (Cameron Sexton): $385,287
  3. HOUSE REPUBLICAN CAUCUS: $334,500
  4. SENATE REPUBLICAN CAUCUS: $326,250
  5. TENNESSEE LEGISLATIVE CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE: $259,292
  6. SEXTON, CAMERON: $230,076
  7. ROSE, PAUL: $181,184
  8. JOHNSON, JACK: $147,950
  9. LAMBERTH PAC $138,000
  10. KEYPAC (Ken Yager):  $120,600
  11. REEVES, SHANE: $117,350
  12. LAMBERTH, WILLIAM: $115,750
  13. POWERS, BILL: $111,595
  14. TILLIS, RICK: $99,577
  15. FAISON, JEREMY: $97,750
  16. GARDENHIRE, TODD: $93,617
  17. SMITH, ROBIN: $90,550
  18. HAILE, FERRELL: $88,600
  19. LYNN, SUSAN: $86,550
  20. GANT, RON: $85,550
  21. DICKERSON, STEVEN: $82,150
  22. BELL, MIKE: $78,580
  23. HICKS, GARY: $77,408
  24. YAGER, KEN: $77,065
  25. BAILEY, PAUL: $76,100

The PACs and businesses that have given most generously are:

  1. TENNESSEE REALTORS PAC: $446,700
  2. WINE AND SPIRITS WHOLESALERS OF TENNESSEE PAC: $324,100
  3. TENNESSEE BANKERS ASSN PAC: $189,250
  4. TENNESSEE EDUCATION ASSOCIATION: $164,710
  5. AMAZON.COM SERVICES LLC: $163,000
  6. TENNESSEE HIGHWAY CONTRACTORS PAC: $161,500
  7. JACK DANIEL’S PAC: $154,000
  8. FLEX PAC: $149,500
  9. INDEPENDENT MEDICINE’S PAC-TN: $146,250
  10. TN ADVANCE FINANCIAL PAC: $146,100
  11. BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF TN PAC: $134,600
  12. FEDEX CORPORATION PAC: $133,100
  13. CAM PAC: $129,817
  14. FRIENDS OF THA: $121,250
  15. AT&T TENNESSEE PAC: $117,650
  16. CORECIVIC INC. PAC: $115,750
  17. TENNESSEE HEALTH CARE ASSN PAC: $112,750
  18. TENNESSEE REYNOLDS AMERICAN INC. PAC: $105,750
  19. TENNESSEE EMPLOYEES ACTION MOVEMENT: $102,400
  20. HCA TRISTAR FUND: $101,900

18 Responses to Who do you love? Top PAC donors of this election cycle

  • Avatar
    Molly Mann says:

    Republicans are rich

  • Avatar
    helen lewis says:

    Why have an election? just auction them off….

  • Avatar
    Taxpayer #314 says:

    Hey, let’s buy an election. What a disgrace. We all need to get the big money OUT of politics.

    • Avatar
      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Isn’t that cute! In a state of over 6,600,000 people when day and night pounding of commercials for weeks before an election usually motivates less than 50% of the eligible voters to vote let’s have less money devoted to campaigns which means even fewer commercials and mailers. How about we conduct our elections by word-of-mouth which will cost nothing at all. Of course, less than 25% of eligible voters will even know there is an election taking place but heck, at least we can get “. . .the big money OUT of politics.”

      In another thread Taxpayer suggested that we substitute our present federal government with an ungovernment for vandals and rioters and an ubergovernment for law abiding citizens like the ones they have in Oregon, Washington, and Minnesota. Here we have Taxpayer suggesting some oppression of citizen’s First Amendment rights which will inevitably result in less participation in elections. Wanna bet he’s one of those p-o-g-r-e-s-s-i-v-e-s?

      • Avatar
        Perry Aubric says:

        What are you babbling about, Stuart? You sound unhinged.

        On the serious subject at hand, the best antidote to too much influence by special interests is a better informed, more involved, intellectually curious and civic minded population. Voters who get out of their echo chambers and pay attention to facts and not nonsensical hyperbole. And then vote for good people to represent them. We are ill-represented by the 132 underwhelming and mediocre nonentities in our General Assembly.

        PACs are funded by individuals in some sort of association. For instance, the Realtors, who give the most money on this list, hire someone to look out for their interests in the legislature and give contributions to legislators who support them or who they hope will support them. It is close to bribery, perhaps, but who can tell? Does X support the Realtors’ legislative package because they donate to him or do they donate to him because he supports their legislative package?

        But the Constitution gives all of us the right to “petition the government,” and that includes the Realtors. The influence of big bankrolls and these special interests is unfortunate, but it cannot be outlawed. We just need good people in office and informed voters to elect them. We get the government we deserve. A sleazy General Assembly, an incompetent air conditioner salesman as governor, a corrupt lying buffoon as President can be blamed on no one but our collective selves.

        • Avatar
          Stuart I. Anderson says:

          EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Do nothing “. . .to get the big money OUT of politics” so Perry and I agree.

          • Avatar
            Perry Aubric says:

            I think the difference in us is that I don’t think it’s necessarily a good thing to have special interest “big money” influencing our self-serving legislators, but you seem just fine with the idea.

            But not liking it doesn’t mean we should outlaw it. The First Amendment is pretty clear, at least to me.

  • Avatar
    Eddie White says:

    Executive summary 2: we would have a more competent legislature if we just elected more Democrats. And of course we would have a more competent country if we would just elect Joe Biden.

  • No matter what, it’s over shortly. Thank God. One day we will get some candidates we can get behind

    • Avatar
      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      When it boils down to a few individuals out of a multitude I’m not looking for “perfection” in an imperfect world. All I want is are candidates with some record in lower office/political involvement so they have demonstrated where they stand, “walking-the-walk” so to speak, rather than mega-buck candidates with little or no political record who simply want to buy an office by “talking-the-talk.”

  • Welcome Hagerty, Goodbye Article V Hill

    • Avatar
      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      What is really painful is that No Record Candidate townie Diana Harshbarger is ahead in the 1st Dist and two of my favorites Micah Van Huss and Mathew Hill are behind. Hagerty’s win no-way makes up for those losses unless he beats Sethi decisively.

      • Avatar
        Cannoneer2 says:

        I’m sure that Governor Lee and his “leadership” team will be hard at work first thing tomorrow morning creating cushy six figure positions for both Van Huss and Hill. Don’t worry.

  • Well, Joe Carr has once again proven he is a perennial loser not eligible for rehire

    • Avatar
      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      If Sethi loses, do you think Joe was responsible? I think Joe is a highly competent proven solid conservative who a greatly admire, but can you explain exactly Joe caused Sethi’s loss if it happens?

      • Avatar
        Cannoneer2 says:

        By the way, what does an “Assistant Commissioner for Administrative Services” do all day? Do all of the other departments have one?

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