Tag Archives: fundraising

Black, Blackburn, Fincher tie fundraisers to Taylor Swift concert

Three Tennesseans are among 19 members of Congress holding political fundraisers at a Taylor Swift concert in Washington, D.C., according to a posting on the Sunlight Foundation’s Political Party Time blog.

The Tennessean has an article focused on U.S. Reps. Marsha Blackburn of Brentwood and Diane Black of Gallatin. Fellow Republican U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher of Frog Jump has a similar gathering.

It cost $1,500 for a ticket, or $5,000 for a group of four, to watch the Swift concert at Black’s gathering. It is slightly more expensive to attend the event in Blackburn’s box with a price tag of $2,000 for one ticket or $3,000 for two.

(Note: The price for a single ticket to the Fincher event is $2,500 or you can get two for $4,000, according to the blog post.)

…Swift has not made her own political affiliation public, and members of both political parties are hosting events.

…Swift, who is signed to Nashville’s Big Machine Label Group, is headlining a concert at Nationals Park in Washington. On StubHub.com, tickets to the show ranged from $194 to $1,116.

Haslam to lead $40M museum fundraising effort

The campaign to raise $40 million in private funds for construction of a new Tennessee State Museum will be led by Gov. Bill Haslam and will spend an estimated $1.75 million on the fundraising effort, reports The Tennessean. That will be in addition to the target $40 million in private funds that will be coupled with $120 million allocated in Haslam’s state budget plan

“It will highlight the story and the legends and the glory of what Tennessee has been, as well as our mistakes and the complications of becoming what we are today,” said museum executive director Lois Riggins-Ezzell.

“And it will represent, I believe, through a great deal of effort, every area of Tennessee’s population.”

Mark Cate, chief of staff for Haslam, outlined the process for raising the money and constructing the museum Monday morning during a meeting of the Douglas Henry State Museum Commission.

Haslam will appoint a steering committee to oversee the project; the state Department of General Services will work with a private contractor to handle the day-to-day operations of the project.

Although specific details about the museum aren’t finalized, the museum is expected to continue operating from its current location in the basement of the Tennessee Performing Arts Center for approximately three more years. In the meantime, Haslam proposes creating a New State Museum Campaign Cabinet to raise the $40 million needed to meet the expected $160 million project budget.

The Cabinet will hire a fundraising firm to lead the fundraising efforts. The information provided to the museum commission anticipated total fundraising efforts would cost $1.75 million. The team will need to raise that money in addition to the $40 million, said Haslam spokesman David Smith.

“Raising $40 million is never going to be easy, but I am confident that the governor’s putting together a committee of people who will have the ability to raise $40 million,” said state House Deputy Speaker Steve McDaniel, R-Parkers Crossroads, who also is chairman of the museum commission.

Further, from the Times-Free Press
Continue reading

TNDP, TNGOP clash over South Carolina slayings

State Democratic Chair Mary Mancini has sent an email to party supporters comparing the murder of nine church members in South Carolina last week to the 1940 murder of an early NAACP leader in Brownsville, TN. She had attended a memorial service marking the 75th anniversary of his death. At the bottom of the party email is a link inviting readers to donate to TNDP.

State Republican Chairman Ryan Haynes responded with a press release denouncing Democrats for using the “horrific tragedy” as a fundraising device. The Democrat, replying to an emailed invitation to respond, said the Haynes release is “fake outrage.”

Below are 1) the Mancini missive; 2) the TNGOP’s news release and 3) TNDP’s emailed response to it.
Continue reading

TNGOP Statesmen’s Dinner brings in $600K

News release from Tennessee Republican Party:
NASHVILLE, Tenn.—The Tennessee Republican Party’s success isn’t limited to the ballot box. Its dominance over state Democrats extends to finances, as well.

The 2015 Statesmen’s Dinner brought in over $600,000 to the Party that, based on the messaging from the event, is already primed to continue its winning streak in 2016.

Jeb Bush, the former Governor of Florida, highlights the annual event that both celebrates the TNGOP’s wins in the last election and features unmistakable undertones pointing ahead to November 2016. A crowd of nearly 1,500 Republican attendees are ready to greet the potential Republican candidate for president who will be introduced by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam. U.S. Representative Diane Black is serving as the honorary event chairman, ensuring the dinner will be another successful one for the TNGOP.

Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Ryan Haynes, spearheading his first Statesmen’s Dinner, said, “Tonight is just as much a celebration of our great state as it is of our great Party and I am so thankful to our donors, Governor Haslam, Congressman Black, and Governor Bush for making it happen.”

“It’s great to be in Nashville tonight to celebrate the Tennessee Republican Party’s successful 2014 cycle and help the Party continue to build for 2016,” remarked Gov. Bush. “Under the leadership of great conservative leaders like Governor Haslam, Senators Alexander and Corker, and the state’s impressive congressional delegation, Tennessee is vibrant, growing, and providing more opportunities for its residents to succeed and prosper. I look forward to sharing my vision for the future of the country with Tennessee Republicans this evening.”

Haslam added, “The more of these events I attend, the easier it is to see we have a really unique formula for success in Tennessee with the partnership that exists between our leaders and the Party. National figures, like Governor Bush, are taking notice and I appreciate his visit with us tonight.”

Congressman Black stated, “Each year, the brightest lights in our Party stop right here at the Statesmen’s Dinner. I agree with Governor Bush that we are a state on the move. And much of that success can be attributed to the fact we have great candidates and a strong Party. I’ve seen firsthand the TNGOP’s impact in our elections and I know that when our Party is strong, Tennesseans are strong too.”

Haynes concluded by echoing the event’s official theme, “I’m not sure many other states can bring together so many talented leaders at one time quite like we can in Tennessee. That is what our supporters are investing in. They expect this level of success to continue—both here and nationally. I firmly believe 2016 will be our time to rise as Tennesseans and do our part to put a dynamic leader into the White House. We’re certainly hearing from one of those tonight.”

Note: A TNGOP official, responding to an email inquiry, says that the $600,000 figure (actually about $605,000) is the gross and expenses were about $100,000.

TNGOP paying tribute to Jim Haslam at fundraising dinner

News release from Tennessee Republican Party
NASHVILLE, Tenn.—A special moment will take place this Saturday during the Tennessee Republican Party’s 2015 Statesmen’s Dinner.

The TNGOP will recognize Mr. Jim Haslam for all of the incredible work and service he has given the Party by presenting him with the Howard H. Baker Award.

The Baker Award is given to individuals who exemplify the personal principles of service, honor, and integrity of the late U.S. Senator from Tennessee. Haslam, the father of Governor Bill Haslam, has been a long-time supporter of the Tennessee Republican Party and countless Republican candidates around the state and nation.

Haslam was nominated for the award by U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker. Sen. Alexander will personally present the award to Mr. Haslam following remarks by both he and Sen. Corker.
Continue reading

Ramsey: ‘I’ve not changed in the slightest bit’

Excerpts from Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey’s commentary (and some others) in a epic political profile piece by Sam Stockard:

“I’m riding down the road in a pickup truck, chewing tobacco with my baseball cap on, getting ready to unload a hay tedder. I’ve not changed the slightest bit,” says Ramsey, his voice rising to make a point in an interview from rural Blountville in Upper East Tennessee.

“I’ve become a little more powerful since I’ve become lieutenant governor. I guess they resent that. But, again, you’re always going to have your detractors in politics.

“So what else are they going to say? He’s a great guy? No. It just doesn’t work that way.”

…“But I’m gonna tell you, I could not have a better relationship with anybody in the world than I do with Bill Haslam.”

Ramsey contends the key is working out legislation before it reaches the point of veto. Gov. Bill Haslam says he and Ramsey “truly are good friends” and agree on issues “the vast majority of the time.”

“And when we’re not, we have the kind of relationship where at the first of this session, he [Ramsey] says, ‘Hey, here’s where I am on some things. It’s not where you are.’ We talked about it. That’s the kind of relationship you want where people are up front with you about where they are and why they’re there,” Haslam says.

Democratic state Rep. Craig Fitzhugh of Ripley, who served with Ramsey in the House during their early years, says he has a good relationship with the lieutenant governor despite their political differences.

Whereas the late Senate Speaker Wilder was known to “let the Senate be the Senate,” Ramsey “has his ship under control,” Fitshugh says.

“Certainly, he has more power in the General Assembly than this governor does,” Fitzhugh adds. “He has a more outward, powerful personality.”

…In a speech this session to a Republican group, Ramsey called himself a “right-wing conservative” but says that was a “tongue-in-cheek comment” made because people “aggravate” him about the characterization.

“But am I very pro-Second Amendment? Am I very anti-abortion? Am I for low taxes and less government and all that? Yes.

“At the same time, I think anybody who knows me would say I’m pretty pragmatic and I try to figure out what the solutions are, too,” Ramsey adds.

“I don’t know how you define a right-wing Republican, but on a scale of 1 to 10, I’m about an 8.5.”

…“He’s just forgotten where he came from. It’s just party, party, party. If you’re not a Republican, you’re nothing. He forgot about the people,” says John McKamey, a Democrat who ran against Ramsey for state Senate in 2004 and sought the party’s gubernatorial nomination in 2014.

…Ramsey, however, says he doesn’t require Senate committee chair holders to contribute to RAAMPAC. The Republican Caucus needed the money three years ago because the Legislature had six open seats and he asked every member to help raise money for elections.

Those chair holders who do contribute to his PAC do it “purely out of choice,” Ramsey says, “because they understand if it wasn’t for RAAMPAC we may have a majority but we would not have the numbers we have in the state Senate.

“There’s no doubt about that, and they understand that. They understand the only way they can stay chairman is make sure we keep our majority. So, yes, they believe in me. They believe in the cause and give, but there’s no requirement whatsoever. As a matter of fact, I couldn’t tell you who has and who hasn’t.”

Congressional colleagues help Fleischmann collect $370K in one afternoon

Third District Congressman Chuck had his most successful fundraiser ever on Friday, reports the Times-Free Press, with U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and 8th District U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher, R-Tenn., on hand to help out.

When Fleischmann arrived, federal reports show his campaign had nearly $147,000 on hand. By the time he left, he had more than $500,000.

The Ooltewah lawyer raised more than $370,000 Friday afternoon alone.

For perspective, in 2013 and 2014 combined, Fleischmann raised a total of $1.6 million.

The purse was the biggest Fleischmann has ever collected at one time.

“This time, I am making sure we have the financial wherewithal early, so we can defend any primary challenge,” Fleischmann said after the event. “I’d prefer to have no primary challenger, but I’ll be ready.”

Fleischmann has never had an easy primary run in three elections to date.

Fundraiser Kaegi gets new term on ABC

Gov. Bill Haslam has appointed political fundraiser Brian Kaegi to a new term on the state Alcoholic Beverage Commission, a three-member panel that oversees enforcement of state alcohol laws and licensing of establishments. The position carries a state salary of $6,000 per year.

Kaegi, first appointed to the ABC in 2011, represents Middle Tennessee on the panel. The West Tennessee seat is held by Mary McDaniel, a retired Federal Express executive, and the East Tennessee seat by John Jones, a Democrat from Johnson City reappointed to the panel after longer service under Democratic gubernatorial administrations.

Observes Andrea Zelinski:

Kaegi served as principal of the direct mail firm used by the Advance Tennessee political action committee last year. The PAC spent $214,000 to combat select Republicans in the August primary election, according to PAC filings with the Registry of Election Finance. Kaegi has also raised money for Haslam and House Speaker Beth Harwell.

Action Andrea’s post, HERE, also includes the full list of 201 board and commission appointees announced this week by Haslam.

Jeb Bush is TNGOP’s presidential preference (at least for Statesmen’s Dinner speaker)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is headlining the Tennessee Republican Party’s annual fundraiser in May.

Chairman Chris Devaney said Thursday that the Statesmen’s Dinner speech by the likely presidential candidate reflects that Tennessee will play a key role in the 2016 nomination process.

Devaney called Tennessee a “good place to test a message” for presidential candidates because it will be among the early states holding primaries in 2016.

Bush has been aggressively raising money as he weighs a presidential bid. His last visits to Nashville included an appearance at Vanderbilt University in October and an education discussion in March.

Republican U.S. Rep. Diane Black of Tennessee has been named the dinner chair for the May 30 event. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was the speaker last year.

UT Foundation collecting millions more in donations

The University of Tennessee Foundation is taking in a lot more money after a shakeup earlier this year, reports the News Sentinel.

“If you look at the gifts received through Sept. 30 compared to the entire year last year, things are not great — they’re fabulous,” Foundation Treasurer Lisa Taylor said following the board’s meeting at the Brenda Lawson Center on the Knoxville campus.

Systemwide, donors have gifted $164 million to the university since July 1 — up from $32 million through the same time last year. This year’s amount includes large gifts like the $50 million donation from Pilot founder Jim Haslam and his family to the UT business school in Knoxville.

The good news comes on the heels of the foundation’s decision to cut six positions in June after facing a $2.2 million funding gap. Two staffers found jobs elsewhere in the university, one retired and three positions were vacant.

Those original positions were then relocated to the campuses.

“Each unit felt like they could do communications better if they had more customization, more individualization at the campus,” Taylor said. “So while we had the central communications that provided all of that, they felt like they could do a better job if UT (Health Science Center) hired a communications person or use campus resources already there.

“Annual giving is another example. It was all housed centrally, and three of the campuses felt they could do it on their own campuses with their own students with their own area code coming up when you make a call,” she said.