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PAC donations top incumbents' financial disclosurs

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Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of stories looking at the financial disclosure reports for candidates seeking office in the Aug. 7 Local General/State Primary Election.

First quarter financial disclosures were due April 10 and for candidates seeking state offices, as well as judicial candidates seeking district wide seats on the bench, fundraising appears to be strong.

State Senate District 17

Incumbent Sen. Mae Beavers, R-Mt. Juliet, submitted her report on April 8 with a beginning balance of $59,333.91. Beavers has served as senator since 2003 and before that served in the House of Representatives from 1995-2002.

According to the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance, all state and local candidates may transfer unexpended campaign funds to a future campaign for the same office by that candidate.

However, state law prohibits sitting state legislators from fundraising while the General Assembly is in session, which ended April 17, so her report showed no contributions during the first quarter reporting period of Jan. 1-March 31.

But according to her Amended 2014 Early Year End Supplemental Report filed on March 14, Beavers had an active fundraising campaign in the fall before the session began.

According to the Supplemental Report, she had $14,873.01 as a beginning balance. From July 25, 2013 through Jan. 11, three days before the session began on Jan. 14, Beavers raised $49,570, of which $80 came from unitemized monetary contributions.

In addition, $14,500 came from 21 separate Political Action Committees or PACS, while $1,750 came three colleagues in the legislature and $3,000 was given for the General Election in November, not the Primary Election in August.

The largest PAC donations were in the amount of $1,000 each from the following: Concerned Automotive Retailers PAC, Outdoor PAC of TN, Tennessee Action Committee for Rural Electrification, Tennessee Dental PAC, Tennessee Firearms Association Legislative Action Committee, Tennessee Hospitality PAC, Tennessee Volunteer PAC and TRA PAC.

She had no outstanding loans or obligations, but did list $250 worth of in-kind contributions from Rick Bell, a professor at Cumberland University. She had eight individuals or businesses who gave $1,000 each, and seven who gave $1,500 each – the maximum allowed from individuals or businesses.

Beavers did have expenditures totally $3,792.77 during the first quarter, leaving her with a balance of $55,541.64.

Her Republican challenger for the Aug. 7 Primary Election, Clark Boyd of Lebanon, filed his report also on April 8. Boyd, who served as chair of the Wilson County Republican Party, is seeking his first elected office.

During the first quarter, Boyd raised $67,600, of which $3,300 were unitemized monetary contributions, meaning they were less than $100 each.

Of the 124 contributions listed, almost two-thirds were from within Wilson County. Senate District 17 consists of Canon, Clay, DeKalb, Macon, Smith and Wilson counties.

While Boyd received no contributions from PACS, he did have 17 contributions of $1,000 from individuals or businesses and five of $1,500 each– the maximum allowed from individuals or businesses.

He had expenditures of $1,774.77, leaving his ending balance at $65,825.23. Boyd listed five in-kind contributions, four of which were from himself in the total amount of $574.99, and one in the amount of $1,500 from JM Design in Nashville.

He had two outstanding obligations listed totaling $2,000. One was for $275 to An Extraordinary Experience Nashville for food and beverages, while the other was for $1,725 for printing to Majority Strategies Inc. in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., although it was listed as being in Tennessee.

There is no Democrat candidate seeking the state senate seat, so the winner of the Aug. 7 Primary Election will run opposed in the Nov. 7 General Election.

State House of Representatives District 46

Incumbent Mark Pody, R-Lebanon, had a beginning balance of $23,769.88, according to his Amended 2014 Early Year End Supplemental Report filed on Jan. 31.

Pody, who is seeking his third term in office, was also not allowed to fundraise during the 2014 legislative session. However, he did raise $17,675 from Aug. 5, 2013 through Jan. 13, 2014 – the majority of which came from 26 different PACS, in the amount of $14,350.

Only $2,750 came from individuals and $575 were listed as unitemized monetary contributions.

The largest PAC contributors were the Tennessee Federation for Children PAC located in Washington, D.C. in the amount of $2,000; Tennessee Parents/Teachers Putting Students First located in Nashville for $1,000, and the Capella Healthcare Government Affairs Committee in Franklin, also for $1,000.

His expenditures for the same period, according to his Supplemental Report, totaled $5,389.32, leaving him with a starting balance of $36,055.56 on his 2014 First Quarter Financial Disclosure Report that he filed April 1.

He had expenditures during the first quarter of $2,728.80, leaving him with a balance of $33,326.76 as of March 31.

Pody’s district includes all of Cannon and Wilson counties, as well as part of DeKalb County.

Democrat candidate Candace Reed of Lebanon for House District 46 filed her 2014 First Quarter Financial Disclosure Report on April 4. Reed, who is seeking her first elected office, showed unitemized monetary contributions in the amount $5.

Her report also showed two outstanding obligations in the total amount of $489.33. Both were to A-Plus Print and Design in Lebanon for printing dated March 27 for $333.21 and March 29 for $156.12.

Neither Pody nor Reed have opposition in the Aug. 7 Primary Election and will face one another in the Nov. 4 General Election.

State House of Representatives District 57

Incumbent Susan Lynn, R-Mt. Juliet, filed her 2014 First Quarter Financial Disclosure Report on March 31, 2014 and had a beginning balance of $30,989.79.

Lynn, who was elected back to House two years ago after mounting an unsuccessful run for Beaver’s senate seat in 2010, was also not allowed to fundraise during the session.

However, she did raise $18,250 from July 18, 2013 through Jan. 13, 2014, of which $16,250 came from 31 separate PACs, according to her Amended 2014 Early Year End Supplemental Report filed on March 15.

Only $2,000 came from individuals, with one being a single contribution of $1,500.

The largest PAC contributors were Tennessee Federation for Children PAC located in Washington, D.C. for $2,000; JMS PAC in Cleveland, Tenn., for $1,000; Tennessee Parents/Teachers Putting Students First located in Nashville for $1,000; Tennessee Volunteer PAC for $1,000, and Tennessee Wine & Spirits Retailers Good Government Fund for $1,000.

During the same period, she had total expenditures of $2,927.99, leaving her ending balance at $30,989.79.

Both Lynn’s Supplemental Report and First Quarter Report showed one outstanding loan, self-endorsed, in the amount of $2,020.26, as well as one outstanding obligation to the Holiday Inn Express for rent dated Aug. 5, 2010 in the amount of $163.88.

Her first quarter report showed no monetary contributions and a total of $400.03 expenditures, leaving her ending balance at $30,589.76.

No financial disclosures were found for first-time Democrat candidate Jesse McLevain of Mt. Juliet on the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance website, from which all of the information in this article was pulled.

To see each candidate’s financial reports in detail, go to https://apps.tn.gov/tncamp-app/public/cpsearch.htm or scan the QRC at right with your mobile device.

Amelia Morrison Hipps is a correspondent for The Wilson Post. She may be reached at amhipps@downhomepolitics.com.

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