Bipartisan Haslam Hosts GOP Fundraiser at ‘Bredesen’s Bunker’

Gov. Bill Haslam, who has been calling for more bipartisanship at the state Legislature, is hosting a high-dollar fundraiser for the state Republican party during the legislative session, reports Andy Sher.
The event will be held March 31 at the governor’s official residence in the Conservation Hall, once denounced by some Republicans during former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredeen’s tenure as “Bredesen’s bunker” and “the party room.” Tickets range from $3,000 to $25,000.
The $25,000 gets two participants into a smaller “Governor’s Circle Roundtable” with Haslam and bestows “priority seating and benefits” at the two other events. Roundtable participants get to ask the governor questions.
…State law bans fundraising by legislators while the General Assembly is in session. It was passed years ago to address public perceptions that lawmakers were “shaking down” special interests with business directly before them.
But according to state Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance Executive Director Drew Rawlins, there is a difference between individuals’ campaigns and the state party.
“The party can raise money for the party as long as it’s not going to candidates, to support or oppose candidates,” he said. “They can raise it for getting out the vote … and for just normal party activities.”
Former House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh, D-Covington, said, “I would still think in the spirit of the law that they shouldn’t be doing this during the session — at our residence, being the Tennessee residence.”
He also found it ironic that Haslam, who over the weekend called for more bipartisan cooperation, is hosting the event in a few weeks.
Haslam’s press office referred questions to the state party. State GOP Political Director Adam Nickas said, “Gov. Haslam and the first lady are hosting a fundraiser for the Tennessee Republican Party, which is not unusual. He’s not making the active phone calls. All the money goes to the party.”
…Nickas defended its use for Haslam’s event.
“Well look, it was already paid for,” he said. “It was already built.”

One thought on “Bipartisan Haslam Hosts GOP Fundraiser at ‘Bredesen’s Bunker’

  1. Elmer Gantry

    Looks like our new Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam is embracing socialism by his offering the so-called “Bredesen Bunker” at the Governor’s Mansion for a fundraiser to benefit the Tennessee Republican Party — why doesn’t Commade Haslam merely tell all those red diaper babies in the Tennessee Republican Party to venture out into the competitive market and rent a privately-owned and for-profit convention hall for their fundraiser dinner – I’ll tell you why:
    “Socialist!” by Roy Zimmerman
    BTW, Governor Haslam is violating Tennessee state law by not making these same public and state owned facilities available to the Tennessee Democratic Party, the Tennessee Green Party, etc.:
    Tennessee Code Annotated 2-19-206. Use of state-owned property for campaign advertising or activities. —
    (a) It is unlawful for any elected or appointed official of the state, or any employee of the state or any department, division or agency thereof, to display campaign literature, banners, placards, streamers, stickers, signs or other items of campaign or political advertising on behalf of any party, committee or agency or candidate for political office, on the premises of any building or land owned by the state, or to use any of the facilities of the state, including equipment and vehicles, for such purposes.
    (b)It is unlawful to use public buildings or facilities for meetings or preparation of campaign activity in support of any particular candidate, party or measure unless reasonably equal opportunity is provided for presentation of all sides or views, or reasonably equal access to the buildings or facilities is provided all sides…

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