Friday, August 02, 2019

Election results for the August 1 election. Some wins, some losses, and some to be decided in a runoff.

by Rod Williams -  Below I have listed the outcomes of each of the races on the August 1 ballot and have provided some commentary. Where you see links, if you will follow that link your will get more detailed election data on that race and more commentary.

The election was a mixed result. It was not a disaster. I am very pleased that John Cooper came out on top in the race for mayor and will go into the runoff with momentum. I am pleased that Steve Glover made the runoff. He faced some talented and popular competition. Now, if conservatives will give him the money to compete and if they will vote and will "one-shot" vote for Glover, he can win this thing.  I was worried about Robert Swope.When I saw he won, I let out a whoop of joy. He is one of the very best councilmen serving and was being targeted for defeat.  Some other good councilmen were also elected.

I was disappointed that Tony Tenpenny did not win outright and defeat the very liberal Ginny Welsch, but that race is not over. He can beat her in a runoff. I was disappointed that Tim Garrett did not win. Overall however, if we can win the Tony Tenpenny race and the Thom Druffell race and if Steve Glove can win at-large we will have a better council than we now have.  Most importantly, is the mayor's race. With the structure of Metro government, big decisions come from the top. If Cooper can win, Metro's direction can be changed, a financial disaster avoided and services can improve. I am hopeful and encouraged. Here is the run down on each of the races:

Mayor: Cooper comes out on top! 35% of the vote. Will face Briley, who got 25%, in a runoff.

Council at-large: Steve Glover makes the at-large runoff! Bob Mendes only at-large candidate to win outright.

District 1: Jonathan B. Hall easily beat back his challengers taking 83% of the vote. I was supporting Hall.

District 2: DeCosta Hastings and challenger Kyonzté Toombs will be in a runoff.

District 3: Jennifer Gamble wins without a runoff, beating two other candidates.

District 4: Robert Swope wins! Wins big!  Beating back a concerted effort by the Davidson County Democrat Party and the liberal establishment to defeat him,  Robert Swope won an overwhelming victory for reelectiion against a better funded opponent.

District 5: Sean Parker squeaks out a win without a runoff beating Pam Murray, the former council member seeking to regain a seat and Charles Flowers who had the endorsement of the liberal Nashville Business Alliance. I did not have a favorite in this race and don't know Mr. Parker, but  am pleased Pam Murray was not elected. Based on limited knowledge, the best person may have won this seat.

District 6: Brett A. Withers wins reelection running unopposed.

District 7:  Emily Benedict wins in a crowed field with 40.28% of the vote. She will face a runoff. Her closest rival is Clint Camp with 11.99% of the vote. This is only three votes more than third place winner Cole D. Rogers. My favorite in this race was Daniel Fitzpatrick who came in, in fourth place with 10.84% of the vote. With this kind of lead, Benedict would be hard to beat in the runoff. Unfortunately, it looks like the worst candidate won. She had the endorsement of the LGBTQ Victory Fund and WTF (Women for Tennessee's Future.)

District 8: Nancy VanReece easily won election with 73% of the vote beating challenger Danny Williams.

District 9:  Tonya Hancock avoided a runoff wining 59% of the vote. I don't have any insight into this race, nor a favorite.

District 10: Zack Young beat Tim Garrett with 54% of the vote to 46%. This was a surprise and disappointment. I do not know much about Zach Young but was pulling for Tim Garrett because I know Tim.  I served with him in the Council in the late 80's and I followed his career when he went on to become a state legislator. He was a fiscally conservative, pragmatic councilman and state legislator and one of the nicest people you would ever want to meet. He is part of that fading breed of conservative Democrats. He may have been the last. Tim also has deep, deep roots in the Goodlettsville community. I don't know what was taking place on the ground in the tenth district but just assumed that Tim could easily be reelected to public office. Zach Young's website does not take any particularly liberal issues but he did receive contributions from labor and "Friends of Bo Mitchell" and the endorsement of the liberal Nashville Business Alliance.

District 11: Larry Hagar won reelection running unopposed.

District 12: Erin Evans with 53% of the vote beating Geric Smith with 43% of the vote. This is a disappointment. I was supporting Smith. Evans received contributions from the California super liberal organization Code Blue PAC, and she received the endorsement of the liberal Nashville Business Alliance.

District 13: Russ Bradford with 44% of the vote will face Andrew Dixon with 41% of the vote in a runoff. I was supporting candidate Dan Meridith who unfortunately only got 15% of the vote. At this point, I know very little about the two leading vote getters except that Brandford has received money from organized labor and Code Blue PAC. The Code Blue support is reason enough to make me support his opponent.

District 14: Kevin Rhoten won reelection unopposed.

District 15: Jeff Syracuse won reelection unopposed.

District 16: Ginny Welsch and former councilman Tony Tenpenny will face each other in a September runoff. Welsch received 41% of the vote to Tenpenny's 37%.  I am supporting Tenpenny. He is a conservative and has been a leader in the effort to save the fairgrounds. Welsch is extremely liberal and if elected will be the most liberal person to ever serve in the Metro Council. She was a founder of the low-power, left-wing radio station, Radio Free Nashville.  She is often seen at left wing protest gatherings advocating the liberal cause of the moment. She has advocated for singled-payer universal health care, a minimum "living wage," and various other liberal causes. Her contributors included LiUNA (Laborers’ International Union of North America) and WTF (Women for Tennessee's Future). She received the endorsement of The Nashville Justice League.

Please support Tony Tenpenny in his runoff election!
District 17: Colby Sledge won reelection unopposed.

District 18: Tom Cash won with 50.62% of the vote to John Green's 49.05%.  I did not follow this race nor have a preferred candidate.

District 19: Freddie O'Connell won reelection running unopposed.

District 20: Mary Carolyn Roberts won reelection winning 73% of the vote to Tori Goddard's 26%.  While I did not pay close attention to this race but I am pleased with the outcome and think the better candidate won.

District 21: Councilman Edward T. Kindall will face Brandon Taylor in a runoff. Kindall got 36% of the vote to Taylor's 32%.

District 22: Gloria Hausser won this seat with 50.56% of the vote.

District 23: Thom Druffel makes the runoff in District 23!  He and incumbent council member Mina Johnson will face off in a September runoff. Johnson won 47% of the vote to Druffel's 43%.
Please support Thom Druffel in the runoff election!
District 24: Kathleen Murphy won reelection unopposed.

District 25: Russ Pulley won reelection unopposed. 

District 27: Robert Nash won this open seat running unopposed. This is a good win. 
District 28:  Tanaka Vercher, incumbent council member, easily was reelected.

District 29: Delishia Porterfield, the current council member was reelected, beating her opponent Constance Smith-Burwell, by winning 76% of the vote compared to 26% of the vote.

District 30: Sandra Sepulveda and former Council member Sherry Jones will face each other in a runoff in the September 12th election.  My preferred candidate in this race was Lydia Hubbell. I knew she had some disadvantages but I thought she was the best candidate running. She had health issues that kept her from doing an adequate amount of door-to-door campaigning and she was hampered by legal problems involving visitation rights with her daughter. It is hard to run a campaign with those kind of distractions and limitation. While I am disappointed that Lydia did not do better, she at least offered conservatives a choice.  I am pleased that Sherry Jones did not win this vote outright. I do not want to see Jones again serve public office. 

Sherry Jones  is a former metro council member (1987 to 1995) and former member of the State Legislature who served 24 years in that post.  She ran and failed in a bid to become Juvenile Court Clerk in 2017. During that campaign it was revealed by The Tennessean that she violated State law by using State funds to promote her candidacy for Juvenile Court. She was notorious as a member of the Council and State legislator for several reasons, one of which was that she was the top spender of per diem. That is money to be paid to travel to Nashville to serve. This is what the Beacon Center wrote about her in their 2008 Pork Report: "Rep. Sherry Jones (D-Nashville), lives only seven miles away, yet Jones had the audacity to claim $22,216 in per diem allowance last year." That was only for one year or her 24 years of service!
With the choice now down to Sepulveda and Jones, I will have to look at this race carefully do see which is the least bad candidate. At this point I am inclined to take a chance on Sepulveda.
The vote shares were Samdra Sepulveda 41%, Sherry Jones 38%, Lydia Hubbell 13% and Rueben Ford 8%. 

District 31: John Rutherford won this open seat without opposition. I don't know anything about this person. 

District 32:  Joy Styles with 53% of the vote beat Cheryl D. Mayes with 46% of the vote.  I did not have a preference in this race but I think the better candidate won. 

District 33: Antoinette W. Lee, the incumbent, won with 64% of the vote, beating her challenger
Martez Coleman who got 35% of the vote. 

District  34: Council member Angie Henderson  got 66% of the vote and her challenger, Terry Jo Bichell, got 34%. Congratulations Angie Henderson! She beats back Democrat Party attempt to defeat her. 

District 35: Councilman Dave Rosenberg wins over challenger  Michelle Foreman with 61% to
39% of the vote. This is disappointing. I was supporting Michelle Foreman. I hope she stays engaged and tries again in four years when the seat will  be an open seat.

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Congratulations Angie Henderson! She beats back Democrat Party attempt to defeat her.

Angie Henderson
by Rod Williams - I am pleased to see than Angie Henderson beat her challenger!  In my view, Angie Henderson is one of the best four or five members of the Council. She does not identify herself as a Republican or a conservative but she almost always votes the right way. On tax increases, on the fairgrounds, on the transit plan, and various other issues, she voted the way I would have voted. Not only does she vote the right way but watching her you can see that she has a firm grasp of the issues.  I watch most of the Council meetings and some of the Council committee meetings. When she ask questions or makes arguments, she says the things I am hoping someone will say. She always does her homework and she is smart and it shows.

When examining campaign finance reports, I was surprised to see that the Davidson County Democrat Party made a contribution to Angie's opponent. The only other candidate the DCDP donated to was the opponent of Robert Swope.  Swope is an avowed Republican and headed the Tennessee Trump campaign. I can understand why the local Democrat Party wanted to see him defeated.  The Council is a non-partisan body of course and  rarely is there a vote cast that one could call a Republican or Democrat vote.  Some candidates are more fiscally responsible than others, but that is hardly an exclusive "Republican" of "Democrat" position.  One's political identity or allegiance has very little to do with serving in the Metro Council. Still, I can see why Democrats targeted Robert Swope for defeat since he was the leader of the effort to get Trump elected in Tennessee.  I cannot understand, however, why the local Democrats targeted Angie Henderson for defeat.

Angie's opponent not only got funding from The Davidson County Democratic Party but from the super liberal Women for Tennessee's Future.  She also got funding from the Nashville Business Coalition and she got funding from the Amazon-funded political action committee,  A Better Nashville PAC. 

Angie Henderson  got 66% of the vote and her challenger, Terry Jo Bichell, got 34%. Congratulations Angie Henderson!

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Courtney Johnston beats Councilman Jeremy Elrod! Will face off in Sept. 12th runoff

Courtney Johnston
Congratulation to Courtney Johnston! She got more votes in the August 1st election than incumbent
Councilman Jeremy Elrod. Courtney is smart and articulate and is a fiscal conservative. She and Elrod will face off in the runoff election September 12th.

In my view, Jeremy Elrod is one of the members of Council who needs to be replaced. On the vote of the Council regarding the mayor's transit plan, he voted against transparency that would reveal the true cost of the plan and he voted to advance the transit plan (link). Elrod is one of those who voted to destroy the Fairgronds and give away ten acres of fairground property. 

You can tell a lot about a person by who is funding his campaign. Elrod has received donations from Councilman Freddie O'Connell's PAC, the liberal Nashville Business Coalition., and directly from  Amazon, and from the Amazon funded political action committee, A Better Nashville PAC.

Below is the vote totals for the District 26:

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Thom Druffel makes the runoff in District 23!

From Thom Druffel:
Neighbors and friends,
Thank you for showing up to vote through early voting and Election Day today! In 75% of elections, the incumbent wins, but today we showed that our district wants change. Between my 44.8% of the vote and Rob McKinney’s 9.0%, the results show that the people of District 23 clearly want new leadership. Only 100 votes separated us. It shows that every vote counts. We are very excited to make this runoff and are so grateful for all who came out to support us.
Let’s go runoff! Thom Druffel

Learn more about Thom. Visit

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Robert Swope wins! Wins big!

Robert Swope
Robert Swope wins!

Beating back a concerted effort by the Davidson County Democrat Party and the liberal establishment to defeat him,  Robert Swope won an overwhelming victory for reelectiion against a better funded opponent. Below are the vote totals:

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Thursday, August 01, 2019

Steve Glover makes the at-large runoff! Bob Mendes only at-large candidate to win outright.

Steve Glover
Bob Mendes was the only candidate running for an at-large seat who won outright and will not face a runoff. The next eight highest vote getters will compete for the four remaining seats. The candidates making the runoff and their vote percentages are below:

Zulfat Suara  9.3%
Sharon W. Hurt 9.24%
Sheir Weiner 9.19%
Burkley Allen 8.95%
Fabian Bedne 7.28%
Howard Jones 7.24%
Steve Glover 6.96%
Gary W. Moor 6.07%

Below is the vote totals for all candidates running at-large.  These vote totals are not get certified, so there could be an adjustment or a recount, but that rarely happens. Below are the totals for those running at-large.

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Cooper comes out on top! 35% of the vote. Will face Briley, who got 25%, in a runoff.

John Cooper was the top vote getter in the mayor's race withe 35% of the vote, followed by Mayor Briley who got 25%. Since no one got more than 50% of the vote, they will face each other in a runoff. Carol Swain came in, in third place with 22%, followed by John Clemmons with 25%.

Below is the vote tally for all of the mayoral candidates.

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Wednesday, July 31, 2019

My endorsements in the August 1 election.

John Cooper
for Mayor 
Mayor:  John Cooper
Robert Swope
District 4

Steve Glover
Councilman at-large
Council at-large: Steve Glover

District 1: Johnathan Hall

District 2: No recommendation

District 3: No recommendation

District 4: Robert Swope

Dan Fitzpatrick
District 7
District 5: No recommendation but please do not vote for Pam Murray. Vote for the best of the candidates between Charles Flowers or Sean Parker.
Image result for tim garrett nashville tn
Tim Garrett
District 10

District 6: Write in your own name.

District 7: Dan Fitzpatrick

District 8:  No recommendation

District 9:  No recommendation

District 10:  Tim Garrett

District 11:  Larry Hager

District 12: Geric Smith

District 13:  Dan Meridith
Dan Meridith
District 13

Geric Smith
District 12

District 14:  No recommendation. The incumbent is running unopposed.

District 15:  Skip voting or write in your own name. The incumbent is running unopposed

District 16:  Tony  Tenpenny

District 17: Skip voting in this race or write in your own name.

District 18:  No recommendation

District 19: Skip voting in this race or write in your own name.
Thom Druffel
District 23

Tony Tenpenny
District 16
District 20: No recommendation. If I had nothing to go on except what I know now, I would probably
vote for Mary Carolyn Roberts, the incumbent.

District 21: No recommendation.

District 22:  No recommendation.

District 23: Thom Druffel

District 24: Skip voting in this district or write in your own name.

Courtney Johnson
District 26
District 25: The incumbent is running unopposed. No recommendation.
Michelle Foreman
District 35

District 26: Courtney Johnson  

District 27: Robert Nash 

District 28: No recommendation

District 29: No recommendation

District 30: Lydia Hubbell

District 31: No recommendation

District 32: No recommendation
Aangive Henderson, District 34

Lydia Hubbell
District 30
District 33: No recommendation
District 34: Angie Henderson

District 35: Michelle Foreman

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Please don't vote!

Today, The Tennessean published a signed editorial from David Plaza, "Nashville, it's time to vote; no excuses. Let's get out in force on election day." This editorial is much the same as an editorial that appears in every newspaper in every city prior to every election. In it Plaza says, " Nashville voters, we need to do better on election day Thursday." He gives stats on how Nashville has grown but voter turn out is dropping. He says, "Citizens have a duty to uphold their institutions and participate in the democratic process."

If you are reading this blog post, then I also want you to vote, because if you are reading this, then you are obviously someone who cares about local government. If you are going to vote, and not sure for whom to vote, look at this page for my endorsements if you trust my judgement.  If you do not trust my judgement, nor the judgement of anyone else who has made suggestions, and you have not independently arrived at a decision for whom to vote, then please don't vote.  Please don't vote for someone just because you recognized the name. Please do not vote for someone just because they had a lot of yard signs.

I have never believed that a large voter turnout of uninformed people makes for a stronger democracy. I would prefer fewer people vote who are informed rather than masses of people who are not informed.  Below is a previously published blog post urging people not to vote. I could update it by changing the names of some candidates and some examples, but the message would not change. Don't be shamed into voting! If you don't care about politics don't let someone shame you into voting. You don't have a duty to vote!

Please don't vote!

Tomorrow is election day and probably in tomorrows newspaper there will be an editorial that says you really ought to vote and that shame on you if you don't vote.  While I want to turn out the vote for my candidate David Fox, but if you don't give a damn who is the next mayor, if you don't normally pay attention to politics, then don't vote.

You will be told you have an obligation to vote. You do not. Just ask Barack Obama. Before becoming president, as a U. S. Senator, he abstained from voting on very many occasions and on very important issues. He simply voted “Present” time and time again. So, if Barack Obama did not bother to vote while serving in the US Senate, why should you?

A lot of people - important people, never bother to vote. Do you know who Bill Frist is? He is a famous Tennessean who was former Senate majority leader. Before he was elected to public office he didn't vote for 18 years when he could have voted. John Edwards? He was a former Senator from North Carolina who almost got the Democratic Party nomination for President a few years ago. He has since been disgraced in a sex scandal. Anyway, until he ran for office he hardly ever voted. My point is, that if famous politicians like Senator Bill Frist, and Senator John Edwards did not bother to vote until they decided to run for office, why don't you just wait until you decide to run for office and then start voting.

Remember some years ago when you voted for Obama and the people who wanted you to vote for him told you that if you did not, that any number of bad things might happen: homes would get foreclosed, unemployment would increase, a war would continue, and we would all die from global warming?

Well, you voted for Obama and all of those things happened anyway, except we did not all die from global warming, but his administration did nothing about global warming so you wouldn't have died from global warming anyway.

OK, a few years ago you wanted to vote because that was a historic election and the Nation elected its first Black president. I understand that. You did your part. You were part of history. That is not the case this time. This election is just boring. It is not a historical election. It is just an election for mayor of Nashville. Be honest. How excited can you get about Megan Barry or David Fox?

Some people will tell you that not voting is a sign of a weak democracy and a sign that you just don’t care. Well, I am here to tell you that not voting is not a sign of a weak democracy or not caring. You could interpret not voting as a sign that things must be going so well, that people see no reason to vote. When the actions of government are so unimportant that people don’t feel compelled to vote, that is a sign that people must be pretty content and pretty certain that those who do vote will make the right decision. Not voting is a vote of confidence.

You should not let anyone shame you into voting. You should not vote unless you are real informed and confident in your decision. Don't let anyone tell you it is your patriotic duty to vote. It is unpatriotic to cast an uninformed vote. What if you vote the wrong way and the person you vote for does something to really screw up the world? Do you want that responsibility?

Voting casually without being certain of your vote is wrong. Casting your vote should be a sober, thoughtful decision. Casting an unsure vote is sort of like driving drunk. So, if you don’t feel certain that you are qualified to vote or have adequately studied the issues; please don’t vote. If you haven't been paying attention, don't vote. If you get most of your news from Saturday Night Live and The Colbert Report, and don't know about Metro's debt obligation and what the property tax rate is, then please do not vote.

Some people will tell you that if you don’t vote you have no right to complain. I don't know who started that lie. It is just not true. By not voting, you are not giving up the right to complain.

I don’t want you to vote. You see, if you don’t vote, my vote carries more weight. If only 33% of the people vote, it is like I am voting for three people; if 50% of the people vote it is like I am voting for only two people. I don’t want you to dilute my vote. Let me vote for you. I have studied the issues. I am qualified to vote.

Voting is difficult. It is very complicated to figure out how to do it right. The new electronic machines are real difficult to figure out and anyway, with the electronic machines, how do your even know your vote is counted? Also, the lines are often real long and it can take a lot of your time. And, it might rain tomorrow.

You do know that if you vote, you will probably get called to jury duty? Also, I understand that this year immigration officials will be at the voting places looking for illegal immigrants. There are always a lot of police at the voting places too. A lot of outstanding warrants are served on Election Day. Voter registration records are public records so the police know who will be voting so it is easy pickings to serve warrants. I have heard that officials also stake out the voting place to look for people who are behind on their child support.

So, if I were you, I and I didn't feel well-informed on the issues and qualified to make a very important decision that will have an important impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of people,  I just wouldn’t vote.

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Here's how much developers, Amazon gave mayoral, council candidates for Nashville's election

Yesterday The Tennessean published a piece called. "Here's how much developers, Amazon gave mayoral, council candidates for Nashville's election." Much of this I had previous reported on in a blog post called, "How Amazon is buying itself a City."  The Tennessean piece sheds more light on how big developers, especially those associated with the Nashville Yards project, the home of the new Amazon towers, is making major contributions to Mayor Briley's campaign and the campaign of various candidates for metro council. I did not know of some of the connections. The piece is well worth reading in full. Below are important excerpts from The Tennessean article:

  • Mayor David Briley leads the pack by far.... Briley drew $271,775 in 2019 from real estate investors, designers, brokers, property managers and other industry representatives this year. ... Political action committee "A Better Tomorrow," representing the 16-acre Nashville Yards development under construction between the Gulch and downtown, donated $7,500 to Briley. That committee is led by the project's developer, San Diego-based Southwest Value Partners. Company executives also donated $14,650 independently. 
  • Amazon and Nashville Yards received about $30 million in incentives from Metro Nashville government to help defray development costs. 
  • Amazon executives also reported $3,000 in donations to Briley's campaign. Ragan-Smith Associates, which is engineering the Yards development, reported $8,100 in Briley contributions. 
  • Briley was the only mayoral candidate who got donations from Amazon executives and the political action committee "A Better Nashville" that the company financed...
  • ...Freddie O'Connell got $43,325, including $2,000 from Amazon and $12,800 from Miller's Icon Entertainment Group companies. 
  • Russ Pulley, who has no challengers for his seat overseeing parts of Green Hills and Midtown, collected $13,000 from real estate interests.
  • Jeremy Elrod attracted $13,250 from real estate interests.

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Monday, July 29, 2019

TUESDAY: Music City Republican Women Monthly Meeting

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How Amazon is buying itself a City

by Rod Williams- Amazon is going to be the big dog in town, it looks like. Or, to use a different analogy, they may become the tail that wags the dog.

Amazon announced in November 2018 that it would open an "Operations Center of Excellence" in Nashville which would employ 5,000 workers who would be paid an average salary of $150,000. The Amazon workers would work out of  two new towers being build in Nashville Yards which is the new development under construction in the northern end of the gulch at the site of the former Southern Baptist complex. Metro Council appropriated $15.2 million to fund infrastructure in Nashville Yards. This has become not that unusual for downtown development. Normally however, developers in commercial developments or housing developments pays for the infrastructure, including water and sewer, roads, drainage and sidewalks, and utilities and then gives the infrastructure to the city when the project is completed.

In addition to the $15.2 million for infrastructure development for Nashville Yards, Council approved paying Amazon $15 million cash to entice the company to move to town. The state provided another $65 million plus $21.7 million in tax breaks.

Amazon is not even here yet and they are making major campaign contributions. Among the mayoral candidates, Amazon is putting their money on David Briley. More than $18,000 of Briley’s campaign donations came from people associated with the Amazon project in Nashville Yards. They are also pouring a lot of money into council races. They are doing this in two ways that we know about; through the "A Better Nashville Political Action Committee" and by direct contributions to candidates. Individuals associated with Amazon may be making contributions but the public would not know of that association.

According to a piece in The Nashville Business Journal,  A Better Nashville is composed of three entities: John Ingram,  Pinnacle Financial Partners, and Inc.. John Ingram is the owner of the new Soccer franchise and is responsible for the deal that put the taxpayers on the hook for the financing of the construction of the soccer stadium and took 10 acres of fairground property and made it available for private development.

As of the end of the Second Quarter reporting period, A Better Nashville has spent more than $48,000 on the city's Aug. 1 election, donating to 11 Metro Council campaigns throughout Nashville. Those campaigns include:
  • DeCosta Hastings (District 2): $5,000
  • Jennifer Gamble (District 3): $7,500
  • Nancy VanReece (District 8): $2,000
  • Colby Sledge (District 17): $2,500
  • John Green (District 18): $3,000
  • Thom Druffel (District 23): $4,000
  • Russ Pulley (District 25): $2,000
  • Jeremy Elrod (District 26): $5,000
  • Robert Nash (District 27): $2,500
  • Cheryl Mayes (District 32): $7,500
  • Terry Bo Bichell (District 34): $7,500
A Better Nashville may have made more contributions since the end of the Second Quarter period.

Amazon has made a number of contributions to council candidates. Some of the contributions from Amazon Incorporated were to the same candidates who received contribution from A Better Nashville PAC.  In some cases the contributions from these two sources make up the bulk of the money a candidate raised. Below is a partial list of the candidates to whom Amazon Inc, made contributions.  I have looked at most first quarter and second quarter campaign finance reports but not all. I just skipped about a quarter of the districts because I did not have a favorite in that race or nothing had happened to spark an interest in the race.  I also may have missed some Amazon contributions when I looked at  financial reports. Also, I have not reviewed the "pre-general" reports that covered the period July 1, through July 31.  So, this list is not a complete list. Also when candidates loan themselves money to finance their campaigns they can then raise money after the election to repay the loan. When candidates lose it is hard to raise the money to repay the loan; when they win, they often can raise the money.  I would bet that council candidates who loaned themselves money and who win will be going to Amazon looking for an after the fact contribution. This is of course all perfectly legal.

Below is the partial list of candidates receiving contributions from Amazon, Inc.
  • Burkley Allen (at-large) $2,000
  • Bob Mendes (at-large) $2,000
  • SheriWeiner (at-large) $2,000
  • DeCosta Hastings, (District 2) $2,000
  • Mina Johnson, (District 23) $1,000
  • Russ Puley, (District 25) $1,000
  • Jeremy Elrod (District 26) $2,000
  • Dave Rosenberg (District 35) $1,000
It is a shame we do not have vibrant press in Nashville than will pour over campaign financial reports and make connections. The above list is very much a partial list.  If anyone else has reviewed campaign finance reports and found names of those receiving Amazon contributions that I missed, please let me know and I will verify and then update.

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Councilman Robert Swope was the victim of a malicious act of vandalism to his Dad's beloved car.

by Rod Williams - Councilman Robert Swope running for reelection in District 4, was the victim of 
a malicious act of vandalism Saturday during the last day of early voting. As an attention-getter, he had an antique car parked at the Edmondson Library early voting locations where he was campaigning.  Some one keyed the car. The car had great sentimental value to Robert.  Below is what he wrote to Facebook explaining what happened. You can feel his disgust about this and feel the love for that car.
I am utterly disgusted with the vitriolic hatred that some people live their lives within. I am running for re-election in a NON PARTISAN race. My personal beliefs have NO BEARING on the service I give to the City of Nashville. BUT... Today, the last day of early voting at Edmondson Library, after 8 days of meeting and greeting constituents from 8am though 7pm, ONE SICK SOB decided that only their viewpoint can be correct. At approximately 1:20 this afternoon, someone decided to KEY THE DOOR of the 1950 Chevy Fleetline Delux that i personally built/restored for my father and gave to him on his 60th birthday. It is the replica of his first car, and has been a pride within the family for over 18 years now. I can never match the paint again, and now have to repaint the entire car. Thank You. You just cost me months worth of grief, sweat and labor... not to mention money.
To whoever did this.... YOU ARE ONE SICK INDIVIDUAL. Please pray that I never find you. I just may do something I know I will regret. The Library is currently pulling up video footage for MNPD.... there WILL be more to this story.....
On June 16th Robert wrote about the car in a Father's Day tribute in an article published in The Tennessean in which several prominent Nashvilliams paid tribute to their fathers:
My father believed that there are only three things a man needs to do in life to succeed: Don’t lie, don’t cheat and don’t steal. He instilled in me if I did my homework, worked harder than those around me, and believed in myself, anything in the world was possible. He also taught me how to build a car.
When my dad turned 60, my family decided that he deserved a present he would never forget. My mother’s eyes teared up talking about his first car, the 1950 Chevy Fleetline that he cherished. He bought it worn out, rebuilt it, painted it his high school colors, courted and married my mother in it.
I found an unrestored, low-mileage, rust-free ‘50 Chevy in New Mexico and drove it back to Nashville. After hundreds of long hours on my part, the car was now completely restored, identical to my father’s original love. When I pulled into my parents’ driveway that August afternoon, surrounded by 200 people there to celebrate my father, he stopped in his tracks and almost fell over.
When I handed him the keys, he cried, I cried, my mother cried, everybody cried! It was one of those moments in life when I could say a real, tangible thanks to the man who raised me to believe that anything in the world was possible.
Twenty years later, my mother and father still regularly drive the Chevy. I love them both. Happy Father’s Day, Pop!
Regina and Robert Swope
Damage to this beloved car is a despicable act.  I hope whoever committed this criminal act is brought to justice.

Robert is facing a serious challenge in his race in District 4. While political parties usually stay out of the non-partisan council races, the Davidson County Democratic Party has targeted Robert for defeat and contributed money to his opponent and local Democrats are working for Robert's opponent.  Robert also, for some unknown reason, has incurred the wraft of a wealthy individual who has poured thousands of dollars into the campaign of Roberts opponent. That man is Emmit Jackson Martin. He contributed in his own name $1600, the maximum an individual can contribute, to Roberts opponent. He owns two pedal tavern companies and a company that provides river rides to tourist. In the name of these three companies he also made maximum contributions to Robert's opponents. Almost half of the money Robert's opponent has raised came from these two sources, The Democratic Party and Emmit Martin. Robert has not been on a campaign to ban pedal taverns and told me he does not know Mr. Martin nor his motivation for trying to defeat him.

Robert has also had a disadvantage this campaign season, in that he is on crutches and cannot campaign door to door.  A few months ago he was hit with a rare life-threatening infection that resulted in operations on his leg and weeks of rehabilitation.  For months he could not drive himself and his wife Regina had to chauffeur him everywhere he went. While he has recovered for the most part, he still has to use crutches.  As you can well imagine, this has hampered his ability to aggressively campaign.

With the election, this coming Thursday, time is short to impact the outcome.  However, last minute door-to-door, phone banking and election day poll workers can tip the balance in a tight race. To reach out to Robert and see it there is any help you could give him, contact him at Swope for Nashville.

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