The Look in Brief

List of groups spending $1 million or more in Tennessee politics grows to 193

By: - September 28, 2023 6:00 am
Tennessee State Capitol. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Tennessee State Capitol. (Photo: John Partipilo)

This story was last updated on Oct. 26, 2023

Over the past 15 years, 193 companies, associations and other groups have spent at least $1 million trying to influence Tennessee’s politics. 

Earlier this year, the Lookout published the initial parts Cash for Clout series examining money’s influence in Tennessee politics, including a donations database and list of groups who have spent $1 million on lobbying, donations and independent expenditures from 2009 to 2023. 

Cash for Clout is an ongoing series examining the influence of money on Tennessee politics. Other articles in the series include:

Have a tip on how money is influencing decisions at the Tennessee Capitol? Send an email to [email protected]. For encrypting messaging, text 615-249-8509 on Signal, or call the same number.

Then, earlier this month, the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance released its latest lobbying reports covering Jan. 1, 2023 to June 30, 2023.

The database and million-dollar club were updated using this information, with the latter growing by 24 members. New groups include nonprofits like the Vanderbilt Medical Center, corporations like Vulcan Materials and Republic Services and interest groups like the Plumbers and Pipefitters Union.

The list includes some new donations from four state House special elections held this summer and because some members didn’t file their latest campaign finance reports on time.

The Lookout added Nashville Democrat Aftyn Behn’s donations to its current elected officials list after she won on election on Sept. 14. Winners in the other three state House races were already on the list because they held the seats in interim capacities before winning elections.

The next database and million-dollar club update will come in January 2024 after the reporting deadlines.

Tennessee $1 million and up political spending club (updated Sept. 27, 2023)

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Adam Friedman
Adam Friedman

Adam Friedman is a reporter with the Tennessee Lookout. He has a particular love for data and using numbers to explain all kinds of topics. If you have a story idea, he'd love to hear it. Email him at [email protected] or call him at 615-249-8509.