Tag Archives: presidential campai

TN lottery jackpot winner donates to Democrats, picked as elector

Knoxvillian Roy Cockrum, recently designated as one of Tennessee’s 11 presidential electors by the state Democratic Party, has become a major donor to Democratic political causes since winning a Powerball lottery jackpot in 2014, a review of financial disclosure records indicates.

“He’s a big Hillary (Clinton) supporter,” said Tennessee Democratic Chair Mary Mancini in a telephone interview.

When he won the Powerball jackpot in June of 2014, Cockrum opted to collect the lump sum payout of $153.5 million rather than the $259.8 million payout that would have applied if spread out in annuitized payments.

In a news conference at the time, Cockrum, a 58-year-old bachelor, said he left his native Knoxville for college and after graduation spent 20 years as an actor and stage manager before taking a vow of poverty to serve in a religious order, the Society of Saint John the Evangelist, an Episcopal religious community in Massachusetts. He left the order and returned to Knoxville in 2009 to care for his aging and ill parents.
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Day 3 notes on TN delegates at GOP convention

Excerpts from today’s edition of former Knoxville Mayor Victor Ashe’s “Delegate Diary” at the Republican National Convention:

(Donald) Trump Jr.’s appearance and presentation is very different from his father as was demonstrated in his speech Tuesday night to the convention. In fact, if he were the candidate I suspect 65 percent of the misgivings and doubts many have about his father would vanish. He is that good.

The father of five and articulate, Trump Jr. talked about ‘streamlining the system and getting rid of the hangers-on and nonsense.” He said his father is “the most famous man in the world who so few know.”

… Knoxvillians Jimmy and Dee Haslam hosted a luncheon Wednesday for the nation’s Republican governors and large donors to the Republican Governors Association at their large home on Lake Erie east of Cleveland. Twenty governors attended, including Gov. Haslam and Pence, who pledged that “federalism” would be a hallmark of a Trump administration, according to sources.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich was not present, although Jimmy Haslam had been a donor to his presidential campaign.

Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd of Knoxville, who is being mentioned as a possible 2018 candidate for governor, attended the luncheon as well as a delegation breakfast at the Radission. Boyd, who is sponsoring a luncheon for the delegates on Thursday, said he backs Trump for president.

Meanwhile, the Tennessee delegation and alternates attended a luncheon at Cleveland’s Museum of Contemporary Art, which featured speeches by Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and four members of the state’s congressional members — Phil Roe, Marsha Blackburn, Chuck Fleishmann and Scott DesJarlais. Continue reading

Blackburn pushes corruption investigation of Clinton Foundation

Rep. Marsha Blackburn is asking the FBI and other federal agencies to open a “public corruption” investigation into the activities of the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, reports Michael Collins.

In a letter she is circulating to other House members, the Brentwood Republican says media reports have raised significant questions about the foundation’s practices and their intersection with American foreign policy.

“These reports, along with recently discovered information about the foundation’s initial tax exempt filings, portray a lawless ‘Pay to Play’ enterprise that has been operating under a cloak of philanthropy for years and should be investigated,” the letter says.

The letter will be sent Friday to FBI Director James Comey, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen and Edith Ramirez, chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission. Blackburn asks all three agencies to investigate the foundation’s practices.

A spokesman for the Clinton Foundation did not respond to a request for comment.

In the letter, Blackburn suggests the foundation’s international activities are illegal. In its initial filings with the IRS, the foundation said its activities would involve constructing a presidential library, maintaining a historical site with records and engaging in study and research.

“No mention is made of conducting activities outside of the United States, which is one of the codes included in the IRS ‘Application for Recognition of Exemption’ in effect at that time,” the letter says.