Stand for Children PAC dumps $700K into TN campaigns

Stand for Children, a political action committee focused on promotion on charter schools, sent more than $700,000 from its Portland, Ore., headquarters and then spent it attacking or supporting Tennessee candidates from July 1 through July 25, according to the group’s new disclosure statement.

The Tennessean has a report on the disclosure, focusing on $200,000 spent in Metro Nashville School Board races. But it also notes:

The organization also spent big in Republican primaries at the statehouse level.

Having already spent more than $65,000 on advertising and mailers in June in support of Sam Whitson — who’s running against embattled Rep. Jeremy Durham for a seat representing parts of Williamson County — the group spent another roughly $15,000 on fliers in July for Whitson. It also spent roughly $9,000 on ads and mailers attacking Durham.

They spent similar amounts either attacking Reps. Courtney L. Rogers and Judd Matheny or supporting their GOP primary opponents, Beth Cox and Will Lockhart.

Some further notes: It appears the biggest beneficiary is Christy Sigler, seeking the House District 34 seat vacated by Rep. Rick Womick, R-Rockvale. She’s listed as supported in independent expenditures totaling more than $120,000.

The blog Rocky Top Politics, published anonymously with a strong Republican right-wing inclination, had a recent post — before the new disclosure — declaring Stand for Children the “new Advance Tennessee.” Advance Tennessee got widespread conservative criticism in 2014 after six-figure spending in legislative races — the money coming mostly from supporters of Gov. Bill Haslam. Advance Tennessee dissolved in January of this year, according to the Registry of Election Finance.