Lobbyists lead the way at Haslam’s pre-session fundraising breakfast

Gov. Bill Haslam’s re-election campaign is holding a breakfast fundraiser on Tuesday with some of the state’s leading lobbyists – and some former Democratic leaders – listed on an invitation as leading the way in promises to collect contributions.

The breakfast is scheduled for 8:30 am at Nashville’s Omni Hotel – three and a half hours before the 2013 session of the Tennessee General Assembly begins. Once the session is underway, there is a “blackout” on political fundraising by the governor and incumbent legislators under state law that continues until adjournment.

The invitation lists five members of a “chairman’s circle” who have committed to raise $100,000 or more for Haslam’s re-electon campaign. They are lobbyists Dale Allen, Dave Cooley, David McMahan and Gif Thornton along with the lobbying firm of Johnson Poss.

Cooley served as deputy governor under former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen and now works as a consultant and lobbyist.

Those listed as “the board,” which means a commitment to raising at least $50,000 each, include eight lobbyists, lobbying firms or law firms that maintain a lobbying arm. They join Eastman Chemical Company, Intrastructure Corporaton of America, the nursing home chain NHC and the Tennessee Road Builders Association – all employers of lobbyists.

One of the lobbyists is Randy Button, a former chairman of the Tennessee Democratic Party. Another is veteran liquor lobbyist Tom “Golden Goose” Hensley, who in past days was a strong supporter of Democrats – notably including the late former Gov. Ned McWherter.

Those on the list designated as “the council,” pledging to raise $25,000 or more each, also all have lobbying ties – lobbying firms, law firms that retain lobbyists or companies that hire lobbyists. Examples of the latter include StudentsFirst, the education reform organization, along with AT&T, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee,

The price of general admission to the breakfast is $1,000; for “preferred seating,” $2,500.

Text of the invitation is below.

Please Join Us for Governor Haslam’s Pre-Session Re-Election Breakfast – Tuesday, January 14

You are cordially invited to the Pre-Session Re-Election Breakfast in support of
Governor Bill Haslam

Tuesday, January 14, 2013
8:30 am Breakfast
8:00 am Photo Reception for Leadership

The Omni Nashville
250 5th Avenue

$2,500 per person ~ Preferred Seating
$1,000 per person

Chairman’s Circle ~ $100,000 Campaign Commitment

The Board ~ $50,000 Campaign Commitment

The Council ~ $25,000 Campaign Commitment

Event Host ~ $10,000 Breakfast Commitment

Please RSVP to Kim Kaegi, Kim@BillHaslam.com
Abigail Domingue, Abigail@BillHaslam.com 615.298.2910

Chairman’s Circle
Dale Allen
Dave Cooley
David McMahan
Gif Thornton

The Board
Kim Adkins & Randy Button
Baker Donelson
Bivens & Associates
Butler Snow
Eastman Chemical Company
Farris Bobango
Tom Hensley
Infrastructure Corporation of America
Nathan Green
Tennessee Road Builders Association
Windrow Phillips Group

The Council
Adams and Reese
Advance Financial
AT&T Tennessee
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee
Community Health Systems
Hall Strategies
Nissan North America, Inc.
Noranda Aluminum
Rocky McElhaney Law Firm
Smith, Harris & Carr
Students First
Tennessee Trucking Association
Event Hosts
Energy Solutions
Tennessee Healthcare Association

(listing as of January 2, 2014)

Kim Kaegi
Bill Haslam for Governor
1910 21st Ave S
Nashville, TN 37212
o) 615-298-2910