Nothing to See Here, Totally Legal

Five lawmakers take a vacation at the beachside condo of a major donor to a lobbying group and then go on to sponsor legislation supported by that group.

Campaign finance violation? No.

Violation of lobbying rules? Nope.

Ethics violation? Not in Tennessee.

Because the host of the event was not a registered lobbyist — just a major donor to a group that hires lobbyists — it was totally legal for him to host five lawmakers at his condo. The story offers conflicting reports as to whether legislation was discussed, but coincidentally, all five lawmakers at the event ultimately co-sponsored legislation supported by the donor’s lobbying group.

Loopholes like this one must be closed.

Tennesseans deserve transparent government.

We’re pleased to hear that finally, there is some discussion about closing campaign finance and lobbying loopholes — but discussion is not enough.

Take a moment and email Speaker Beth Harwell — tell her you want to see the loophole that allows these types of trips closed. Email her:

And remember, your support keeps us working for you!

For more on open government, follow @TNCitizenAction




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