Friday, August 1, 2014

An Update on Political Donors of Ill-Repute

Posted By on Fri, Aug 1, 2014 at 2:36 PM

To go along with our election guide this week, I looked into the political spending of payday lenders.

It turns out they spend quite a bit, and with pre-primary financial disclosures starting to go online, we have some more figures on their most recent contributions to democracy.

Take Advance PAC, the political action committee of homegrown Advance Financial, which has 56 locations around Tennessee and more than a dozen in Nashville. They handed out $31,000 in June and new disclosures show they contributed another $22,000 to candidates and PACs in July. The new round of generosity includes $5,000 to RAAMPAC — the committee that was founded by Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and is currently bankrolling the effort to oust three Tennessee Supreme Court justices — and $2,500 to House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick's McCormick PAC.

Since we're on the subject of political contributions from companies that make money from bad things, the latest filings show some new spending from Corrections Corporation of America too. In recent weeks, the private, for-profit, prison giant gave $10,000 to RAAMPAC, $2,500 to McCormick, $1,000 to Republican state Rep. Charles Sargent, and $500 to Republican state Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver (sponsor of last year's first-in-the-nation bill allowing women to be criminally charged and possibly sent to prison for drug use during pregnancy.)

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