Monday, May 4, 2015

Which candidates for Metro Council have the $ and Who is contributing to the Council District races (District 24-35)

I have reviewed the campaign financial disclosure reports of candidates for Metro Council for districts one through 35. I previously reported on what I found of interest in districts 1-12 and districts 13-23 and you can find those report at this link and this link.

One thing I found that is very interesting in reviewing reports is that there are a lot of progressives are running for Metro Council.  Nashville has always been a Democrat town.  Years ago, when I served on the Council, I had to keep my Republican identity a secret. So, on the one hand, things are better than then; a few Republicans can get elected.  On the other hand, some of the Democrat's of that day were conservative Democrats. Most people may have been Democrats but they were not very ideological. The Council is a non-partisan body and  although almost all members of the Council may have identified themselves as Democrats, they were not very partisan. Now, I see lots of people running for office who are being supported, not by friends and neighbors, but by individuals and organizations with a very progressive agenda.  Several of the candidates are supported by the GLBT (gay) movement.  Several of the candidates are having lots of money funneled into their campaign by state-wide Democrat PAC's.  Apparently the State Democrat establishment is determined to keep their stronghold of Nashville. 

We are on the verge of having the most progressive, ideologically liberal council in our city's history. It is not too late for people to still get in the race. In fact, the race has hardly begun. There are lots of State Republican senators and State Representatives with their own PAC's. Republican activist and the Party needs to quickly recruit some good candidates and those with money, need to fund those candidates. I feel that Nashville is destined to become the "San Francisco of the South" unless Republicans get in the game.

Another interesting thing is that there are lots of real estate agents, developers, lobbyist and attorney's contributing to candidates.  I don't know that that is new, but it is very obvious.  What are the contributors expecting to get for their money?

I am also amazed how much money is being raised. This is still relatively early in the campaign and some candidates have already raised almost $50,000.  I am not sure however that more money will necessarily give a candidate a much greater advantage.  You must have some money, maybe $5,000 but not more than $10,000, to run a good campaign. Hard work, working smart and knocking a lot of doors can overcome a lot of money. Coucilmanic districts are small enough so that one can knock every door with a registered voter and knock some of them more than once. Actually looking people in the eye and asking for their vote, I think, is more important that billboards or cable TV advertising or multiple mailings. Spending $3,600 for a website seems like a waste of money when one can create a website for almost nothing using off the shelf free templates. Also, spending $900 for photography seems wasteful.  One can get a friend to make photos that will be good enough. 

What I found that is of interest to me in districts 24-35 is reported below. Please know that I do not know everyone who is significant and do not know all of the political connections. I encourage you to review the reports for yourself if you are interested. You can find the reports at this link. If you find a connection that you think is noteworthy, please leave a comment.

Also, some people share the same name. If I listed a John Doe as contributing to a candidate and assumed it was a particular John Doe but got it wrong, please correct me.

The "initial" report is for the period prior to January 16 and that report was to be filed by February 10.  If a candidate had raised any money prior to January 16th they were supposed to file an initial report. No candidate was permitted to raise money prior to the appointment of a campaign treasurer. The "First quarter" is the period January 16th through March 31st and that report was to be filed by April 10th.

Please check back. I previously reported on the money raised at the end of the initial period for candidates for Mayor, Vice Mayor and candidates at-large. I will be updating those reports including 1st quarter fund raising shortly.

District 24

  • Allen Grant: His initial report shows receipts of $25,052 and his 1st quarter report shows receipts of $15,8378 ending the period with a balance on hand of $31,191! He loaned his own campaign $3,000. He paid people with SBA Strategies over $6,000 for campaign management and campaign operations services. Mary Thorsberg, Assistant District Attorney with the Shelby Count District Attorney’s Office contributed $1500 and Bill Thorsberg of the same address contributed $1500. Mary Thorsberg is the candidates mother and Bill Thorsberg is his step father. Sean McGuire, Vice President of Investment with Freeman-Webb Investments, Inc, contributed $250; Mary Dean Eberlling, $100; Nicholas Balley, attourney, $500; William Harrison Frist (son of former Senator Bill Frist), $750; H. G. Hill Realty PAC, $500; Jenni Smith, Assistant District Attorney, Davidson County District Attorney’s Office, $1,000; Carolyn Akins, real estate agent with Neal Clayton Realtors, $$1,500; Christie Bradley, real estate agent with The Wilson Group Real Estate Service, $500; Katie Dean, owner of McCabe Pub donated $500 and Josephine Dean of the same address also listed as an owner of McCabe Pub donated $1,000 and Stephanie Dean Brown of the same address and also an owner of McCabe Pub donated $500. Jeff Estepp listed as owner/builder with Jeff Estepp, LLC, who has also contributed to other campaigns, donated $1,000. In addition, there were a whole bunch of attorneys, people in the health care industry and people in the real estate industry, who I do not know who contributed to his campaign.
  • Nicholas McGregor: He had no initial report. The 1st quarter report showed receipts of $2,374 ending the period with a balance on hand of $605. Several attorneys contributed to his campaign but they are not names I recognize.
  • Kathleen Murphy: In the initial period she had receipts of $10,975 and in the 1st quarter period she had receipts of $4,585. She contributed $1,000 to her own campaign. Bob Tuke, an attorney with Trauger and Tuke, who has contributed to several campaigns, contributed $150. Waller Lansden PAC contributed $150; Dana Moor, Director of Community Relations with Education Network of America contributed $150. Anne Carr, an attorney who has contributed to other campaigns and who I assume is the same as the lobbyist Anne Carr with Smith Harris & Carr, contributed $250. Prominent Nashville Attorney Dewey Branstetter contributed $250, Lobbyist Katy Varney with McNeely Pigott & Fox, who has contributed to other campaigns contributed $200; Nashville Fire Fighters (IAFFI #40), $500; Suanne Bone, Executive Director of the Tennessee Criminal Defense Lawyers, contributed $200.
District 25
  • Russ Pulley: In the initial period he showed receipts of $24,473 including a loan from himself of $20,000. In the 1st quarter he showed receipts of $11,540, ending the period with a balance on hand of $28,352. His expenditures included $3,960 to Cronin Creative for a website and logo design. Reece Smith, whose profession is real estate, contributed $1,500 and Stephen Smith, of the same address contributed $1500; Glenn Farmer, Labour Rep with Southeast Labor District Council gave $150; Richard Rooker, Circuit Court Clerk, $100. Stephen Horrel whose occupation is commercial real estate contributed $1,500; Ethan Link, organizer with Southeast Laborers, $100; Ragan Smith & Associates PAC, $250, and TN Labourers PAC, $500. There were also several attorneys, unemployed housewives, and people in the real estate profession who contributed to his campaign whose names I do not recognize.
  • Jeremy Elrod: He had no initial report. In the 1st quarter he showed receipts of $2,100 with $1,100 being a loan to the campaign from himself and a single contribution of $1,000 from Friends of Bill Harmon. Bill Harmon is a former Democrat State Representative from Dunlap, TN who served ten years in the State House of Representatives.
District 27
  • Davette Blalock (incumbent): Her initial report shows $2.21 on hand at the beginning of the period and no funds raised or expended. In the 1st quarter she raised $1,850 for an ending balance of hand of $563. Wash N Roll Car Wash donated $1500. Rod Williams (that’s me) donated $100 to her campaign but since only contributions of more than $100 have to be itemized, my name does not appear on her disclosure.
  • Gary Clement Ledbetter, Jr: His initial reports shows no receipts or expenditures. The 1st quarter report shows receipts of $13,100 with an ending balance on hand of $12,752. Mayor of Chattanooga Andrew Berke contributed $250; Kim Adkins, an attorney who is a founding principal of The Capitol Strategy Group lobbying firm, $200; Randall Burton of The Capitol Strategy Group, $250; Lincoln Davis, a Democrat who was the former U. S. Representative representing Tennessee’s 4th Congressional district who is now a lobbyist, $250; Joyce McDaniel a lobbyist with Ferrel McDaniel, $250; Former State Representative, Democrat Janis Sontany who now works in the County Clerk’s office, $125. “Best Effort” is what one put on the campaign disclosure when one cannot determine the employer of the contributor. Larry Williams, contributed $250, Abigail Spencer contributed $500, and Kristine Mains contributed $500 and the employer of all is listed as “Best Effort.” The Bart Gordon Committee contributed $250; The Committee to re-Elect Craig Fitzhugh,$500; Democrat Representative Jason Powell’s “Powell for Tennessee,” $500; Roger Bedford Senate Campaign of Russellville, AL, $500; lobbying firm The windrow Group, $250; and a whole lot of people who live in Columbia, Tennessee donated to the campaign.
District 28
  • Melissa Smithson: She had receipts of $8,300 in the initial reporting period which included a loan of $8,000 from herself to the campaign and a contribution from herself to her campaign of $300. In the 1st quarter she had receipts of $5,190 with an ending balance on hand of $11,372. Edward Smith a retired consultant contributed $1,500. Her unitemized contributions, meaning they were contribution that did not exceed $100 from any one donor totalled $1,790.
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  • Tanaka Vercher: Her initial report shows receipts of $5,295.08, all $5,295.08 being a contribution, not a loan- a contribution, from herself. Win or lose a candidate can raise money to repay a loan, but not a contribution. Why such an odd amount, I have no idea. In the first quarter she had contributions of $5,230, for an ending balance on hand of $8,849. Attorney Robert Tuke who has contributed to other campaigns contributed $250; Stephen and Smith of Haury and Smith Contractors contributed $300; Harmony Construction contributed $250; Kenyatta Lovett with the TN Board of Regents, $250; Mark Deutschman, CEO of Village Real Estate, who has contributed to numerous campaigns, $250; John Beasley, Director of Correction Corp. Of American, $250; and Waller Lansden PAC, $150.

District 29
  • Karen Johnson (incumbent): She filed no initial report. The 1st quarter report shows receipts of $6,130 for an ending balance on hand of $5,420. Mark Deutshman of Village Real Estate contributed $250; David Cooley, with no employer listed but who I assume is Dave Cooley of the lobbying firm Cooley Public Strategies who was the Chief of Staff of Mayor Phil Bredesen and Depty Govenor under Governor Phil Bredesen, contributed $250; Amanda McClendon with no occupation listed but who I assume is former Metro Councilman and Judge Amanda McClendon, $100; Bob Mendes who has no occupation or employer listed but who I assume is attorney Bob Mendes who is running for Metro Council at-large, $250; Harold Love, who has no employer or occupation listed but who I assume is Representative Harold Love, $125; Megan Barry, again no occupation or employer listed by whom I assume is Council member and mayoral candidate Megan Barry, $150; Charlie Cardwell with no occupation or employer listed but who I assume is Metro Trustee Charlie Cardwell, $100; Robert Tuke, who I assume is attorney Robert Tuke who contributes to many campaigns, $100; Howard Gentry, with no occupation or employer listed who I assume is Metro Appraiser of Property who is a candidate for Mayor, $100; William Pinkston who I assume is school board member Will Pinkson, $350; Charles Robert Bone, who I assume is the candidate for mayor with that name, $250; David Briley, who I assume is the candidate for Vice Mayor, $250; Tim Garret who I assume is the Tim Garrett who is Council Member at-large and who is the other candidate for Vice Mayor ,$100; Scott Davis who has no occupation or employer listed but who I assume is district councilman Scott Davis, $100; Carter Todd who has no occupation or employer listed but who I assume is Councilman Carter Todd, $100; Richard Rooker, who I assume is Circuit Court Clerk Richard Rooker, $100; and Greg Ramos, who I assume is Greg Ramos who is the attorney and advocate of the interest of undocumented immigrants, $100.
District 31
  • Bedne Fabian (incumbent): His initial disclosure shows receipts of $2,699 and his 1st quarter report shows receipts of $11,825 for an ending balance on hand of $11,825. Councilman Bedne’s political treasure is Robert Turk. His contributors include Rajesh Aggarwal, (link) a business owner who owns The Global Mall and who is an MTSU professor contributed $1,000; George Rooker, Davidson County Assessor of Property, $700; State Senator Jeff Yarbro, $500; David Esquivel, an attorney with Bass, Berry & Simms, $500; and William T. Cheek III, $250. David Smith, Juvenile Court Clerk contributed $250; Mayoral candidate Bill Freeman, $250; The SEIU labor union, $500; Waller Lansden PAC, $200; Robert Tuke, $500; Janus Sontany, former State Representatvie and current employee of the County Clerk’s office, $250; Brenda Wynn for County Clerk, $100; Judge Daniel Eisenstein, $100; Gregory Rama, immigration attorney, $100; Venick for Council Campaign, $250; attorney Bob Mendes, $500; Campaign Committee for Charlie Cardwell, $250; Metro Council member and candidate for Mayor Megan Barry, $250; Jose Conzales with Conxion Americas, $250; Tennessee Laboraerls PAC of 401 Commerce St, which I assume is the same Laborers International Union Of North America, Southeast District Council $500; School board member Will Pinkston, $250; Mark Deutschmann of Village Real Estate, who has contributed to a lot of campaigns, $250; Friends of Daron Hall, $250; Candidate for Mayor Charles Robert Bone, $500; State Representative Darren Jernigan, $250; and Circuit Court Clerk Richard Rooker, $150.
District 32
  • Jacobia Dowell (incumbent): she filed no initial report. The 1st quarter report shows receipts of $4,656 with an ending balance on hand of $3,656. Contributors include John E. Dowell, $1,500; Rickie Barlow an elected official with the City of Las Vegas; $1,500; Good Health Associates, $1,000; David Cooley, a lobbyist with Cooley Public Strategies, $250.
  • William Kizzie: His initial disclosure shows no receipts or expenditures. The 1st quarter report shows receipts of $2,640 with a loan of $719.50 from himself and a balance on hand of $2,640. He has no contributions of over $270 and none of the contributors are the usual suspects or are names I recognize or people of interest.
  • Troy Moody: There is no initial report, the form is incorrectly completed and the ending balance on hand is $25.56.

District 33
  • Sam Coleman: He filed no initial report. The 1st quarter report shows total receipts of $10000 which is a single contribution of $1,000 from John Floyd of Murfreesboro who is the owner of Ole South Properties. The candidate ends the quarter with a balance on hand of $548.
  • Jimmy Gafford: He filed no initial report. The 1st quarter report shows receipts of $8,500, the source of which is a loan from the candidate to his campaign of $8,500, with an ending balance on hand of $5,174. His expenditures include $2,500 to Kathy Chamers of Antioch for Consulting. I attempted an internet search but did not find a Kathy “Chamers.” That should be Kathy J “Chambers.” The address matches the address listed on his report. She is associated with the TN Democratic Party but could find no website but her twitter page is here.
District 34
  • Steve Butler: His initial report shows he raised $500 and his 1st quarter shows receipts of $48,538! Of that amount, $35,000 was a contribution from the candidate to his campaign. He ends the 1st quarter with a balance on hand of $38.833. Contributors include Dewberry Ventures, LLC, $750; Janie Dewberry, President of ASAC, Inc, $1.500; Bill Dewberry, Partner with ASAC, Inc, $1,500; ASAC. Inc, $250; Harwell PAC, which is the PAC of Republican Speaker Beth Harwell, $250; Bob Freeman, principal with Freeman Applegate and son of mayoral candidate Bill Freeman, $150; Beth Chase with C3 Consulting, $500; Waller Landsen PAC, $250; ICT PAC, the political action committee of I. C. Thomasson Associates, Inc., $500; Jennifer Baker, with the National Rifle Association, $1,000; Ward Baker, Executive Director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, $500. Several other prominent business men in a variety of fields and several attorneys made contributions.
  • Angie Henderson: Her initial report shows receipts of $17,633, including $5,000 she loaned her campaign. The 1st quarter report shows receipts of $22,009 and ending balance on hand of $31,618. Expenditures include $3,668 to the Horton Group for marketing and website and logo design and $1,404 for photography. Contributors include William Henderson who donated $1,500. Stephen Horrell, managing broker with the Horrell Company, $1,500; Sandra Tyrrel listed as a “community Volunteer” donated $1,500 and Jack Tyrrell of the same address, President of Richland Ventrues, donated $1500. John Tyrrell, CEO of rabble.tv donated $1,500 and homemaker Marnee Tyrrell of the same address donated $1,500. William Firzgibbon, and investment banker with Silvermark Partners donated $1,000. Community Volunteer Mary Helfrich, $500; and community volunteers Jessica Viner, $500; Louise Bryan, $500; Nancy Cheadle, $500; Kate Grayken, $400, Katherine Satz, $350; Kate McKee, $250. She received several $500 contributions from people with Healthcare Realty Trust, Inc. Homemaker Glenda Emery donated $1,500; John Noel, Executive Vice President of the Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation, $200; Jane Ferrell, Founding Partner of The Ferrell McDaniel company, $500. Several people with Emdeon, Inc made contributions
District 35
  • Vic Lineweaver: He filed no initial report. His 1st quarter report shows receipts of $4,412, including loans from the candidate of $2,277 and an ending balance on hand of $1,884. None of his contributor are the heavy hitters or people I recognize.
  • Dave Rosenberg: His initial report shows a starting balance on hand of $6,472 which indicates there was a previous report. I do not have copies of reports prior to the “initial” report. The initial report shows contributions of $2,590. The 1st quarter shows receipts of $2,590, however it appears this is an error and the same contributions that were reported in the initial report are listed again in the 1st quarter report. The ending balance on hand is $6,315. Contributors include School Board Member Amy Frogge who contributed $250 and a contribution from attorney Patrick Frogge of the same address who contributed $250; Councilman Bo Mitchell, $250  and The Ragan Smith PAC, $250.
  • Lonnie Spivak: His initial report shows a starting balance on hand of $138.43 and no recipients. His 1st quarter report shows receipts of $6,506, which included a $600 loan from the candidate to his campaign. Contributors include Lea Beaman, CEO of Beaman Automotive, $1500 and from Kelley Beaman of the same address, $700. Rod Williams, that;s me, contributed $500. Bob Ries, former Republican candidate for the 5th Congressional District and current Chairman of the Davidson County Republican Party, $100; Stacy Snyder, daughter of Bob Ries and member of the Davidson County Republican Party Executive Committee, $100; Helen (Tootie) Haskins, $100; Troy Brewer, former Republican candidate for House of Representatives District 50; $110; Margo Chambers, a neighbourhood leader who worked to oppose the AMP, $200; and Kathleen Starnes, former chair of the Davidson County Republican Party, $100.

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