Tag Archives: sunlight

The Haslams are a giving family, politically speaking

A nationwide analysis of contributions to political causes indicates that the Haslams are the leading family of “elite donors” in Tennessee.
The Sunlight Foundation last week released a list of the “1 percent of 1 percent” — 31,385 people nationwide who represent just .01 percent of the nation’s population but who made 28 percent of all political contributions involving campaigns for president and congressional offices in 2012. (Link HERE)
In Tennessee, 430 individuals made the list, contributing almost $17.3 million as a group.
Eight of the “elite political donors” in Tennessee are members of the Haslam family, including patriarch James “Jim” Haslam II, who founded Pilot Corp. as a young man. He and his son James III, or “Jimmy,” made the top 10 for Tennessee.
Jimmy Haslam was No. 5 with $176,550, his father seventh with $159,450.

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Congressionally Speaking, Dr. Roe Rates Lowest & Farmer Fincher Highest

Congressmen speak at nearly a full grade level lower than they did seven years ago and seven of the 11 members of the Tennessee delegation to Washington are below the national average, according to a new Sunlight Foundation analysis.
“Today’s Congress speaks at about a 10.6 grade level, down from a high of 11.5 in 2005,” said the non-partisan foundation in a news release Monday. “Of course, what some might interpret as a dumbing down of Congress, others will see as more effective communications.
“And lawmakers of both parties still speak above the heads of the average American, who reads at between an 8th and 9th grade level,” the release says.
In the Tennessee delegation, the lowest grade level went to two of the most highly educated members, Resp. Phil Roe, R-Johnson City, at 8.64 and Scott DesJarlais, R-Jasper, at 9.87. Both men are physicians who graduated from medical schools.
The top Tennessee rating went to Republican Rep. Stephen Fincher, a farmer who gives the Crocket County community of Frog Jump as his hometown. He is listed as speaking at a 12.7 grade level in his congressional comments.

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