Bill Advances to Let Parties, Legislative Caucuses Spend More on Candidates

A bill approved by a House committee on Tuesday will allow political parties and the Legislature’s partisan caucuses to more than double their contributions to state legislator campaigns.
The bill (HB643) by House Republican Caucus Leader Glen Casada would raise the current maximum donation from $40,000 to $150,000 in state Senate campaigns. For House campaigns, the maximum donation would increase from $30,000 to $75,000.
Casada earlier this year had previously planned to push legislation to completely repeal all campaign finance limits this year. But he said his thinking had changed after talking to others – including House Speaker Beth Harwell, who opposed a complete repeal – and the bill presented Tuesday is the replacement plan.
In practical effect, it would substantially increase the clout of the Democratic and Republican caucuses of the General Assembly, along with the state’s two party headquarters in funding legislative races. Current law already allows the caucuses and parties to accept unlimited amounts of cash from corporations, political action committees and individuals. The bill broadens there ability to spend such monies when collected.
The bill contains other provisions as well. One of them repeals an old law that prohibits insurance companies from directly donating to legislators’ political campaigns. Since state law, after a 2011 revision, allows other corporations to donate directly to legislative candidates, Casada said the measure simply puts insurance companies on equal footing with other businesses.

One thought on “Bill Advances to Let Parties, Legislative Caucuses Spend More on Candidates

  1. drawtheline

    Bills like the one under consideration do little but guarantee legislators are “bought” and paid for by special interests. Oh, I forgot, that is already in place isn’t it? Corporate lobbyists regularly squash the rights of individuals under a guise of “job creation” in our TN Legislature while voters ignore their own loss of control. Now deep pocketed insurance companies want a ‘piece’ of the action. Why not? Everyone but the voters already own a piece of the TN Legislature!

Leave a Reply