Metro candidates raise big cash; Dean still with $362K to spend

Thursday, July 28, 2011 at 7:17pm

Metro candidates are spending tens of thousands of dollars on television commercials, campaign mail-pieces and staffers — and raising thousands more — as early voting nears its conclusion and Election Day on Aug. 4 draws closer.

In his march toward presumed victory against three unknown challengers, Mayor Karl Dean raised nearly $55,000 between July 1 and July 25, a period of fundraising totals candidates were required to release to the Davidson County Election Commission by Thursday.

During those same three-plus weeks, Dean’s re-election campaign spent $166,000, which included $135,000 to purchase television time to air three different commercials. Heading into Election Day, Dean has a campaign war chest of $361,694 on hand.

“Mayor Dean is appreciative of the broad support he continues to receive,” Dean’s re-election spokesman Tom Hayden said, adding that the mayor is “focused on driving turnout.”

To no surprise, the council’s at-large race — which includes several high-profile names — is generating much of the cash flow. At-large Councilwoman Megan Barry’s campaign spent more than $68,000 after July 1, which included a major television ad buy. Barry raised $21,180 during the disclosure period and has $12,076 on hand.

At-large Councilman Ronnie Steine’s campaign, which has also released a TV ad, spent nearly $50,000 in July, while raising $21,800 for the month. Steine still has more than $11,000 to spend yet.

“It’s always a sign of the strength of a campaign when you’ve got lots of people investing in your effort,” Steine said. “I’m very pleased and cautiously optimistic.”

Councilman Tim Garrett, the only at-large member who emerged victorious without a September runoff four years ago, spent $44,478 this month, which included a commercial in which he touts his support for the Metro-owned fairgrounds. He has only $1,683 on hand despite raising $21,150 in July. 

Councilman Charlie Tygard spent $21,339 during the 25-day stretch, putting him with $20,891 on hand at the moment. Tygard raised $12,845 between July 1 and July 25. Meanwhile, Councilman Jerry Maynard said he has $4,320 on hand after spending more than $30,000 between July 11 and July 25. (Before the previous fundraising deadline, Maynard disclosed totals for more days than required.)

Attorney Renard Francois, who has released a commercial, has $25,881 on hand following a $16,060 fundraising effort this month. Francois’ campaign spent more than $25,000 for the month.

Other cash-on-hand totals for at-large candidates are as follows: Councilwoman Vivian Wilhoite with $17,339;  Councilman Sam Coleman with $2,229; Councilman Eric Crafton with $5,420; and Joelton businessman Ken Jakes with $6,592.

Outside the crowded field of at-large contenders, a few district races are generating major campaign dollars, including the much-discussed District 24 race between Councilman Jason Holleman and attorney Sarah Lodge Tally, supported by Dean and several of his most prominent backers. Collectively, the two have raised more than $125,000 over the course of the election season.

Between July 1 and July 25, Tally raised $16,685 additional funds and spent $37,064, which included two separate mail-pieces featuring Dean and former Gov. Phil Bredesen. Tally has $9,213 on hand.

Holleman raised $8,460 this month, but spent far less than Tally, only spending $13,716 this period. The Sylvan Park-area councilman still has a hefty $39,779 on hand.

In politically active, Hillsboro-Belmont-area District 18, the money game is also fierce. David Glasgow has $22,826 on hand after raising $20,980 for the period. He spent $6,539.

His opponent, Burkley Allen, has $10,896 on hand after raising $8,329 for the period. Allen spent $20,423 during the period, including a $5,162 TV-commercial buy. Television commercials are typically unheard of in district races.

19 Comments on this post:

By: titansjoe on 7/28/11 at 9:04

It would be nice if one of these fine news agencies would make all the campaign disclosures available online. They certainly have the disclosures already and they obviously have the web site. I have seen most of them and out of the disclosures I've seen all of the incumbent candidates except one have taken PAC money and cash from special interest groups as well as people and companies doing business with Metro. I personaly would like the news agencies to question Ronnie Stiene about the many checks his campaign has written directly to himself. If they are reimbursements for out of pocket expenses for his campaign then produce the proof. I think with his past a question along those lines would be in order since he has more and larger checks written directly to him from his campaign than the other candidates.

The one candidate mentioned that hasn't taken and has refused thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from PAC groups is Ken Jakes. He says he does not want to owe anyone anything except the citizens of Davidson County which might elect him.

Another thing to note is all of the candidates with the exception of Ken Jakes and Eric Crafton voted for the convention center debt. Almost all of the incumbent council members listed above also voted to put off the fairgrounds issue for two years. The obvious reason behind that move was to postpone selling the fairgrounds until after the election. Most of those fok have voted for everything Dean and Riebling put in front of them and there is no doubt that they will continue the same if re-elected regardless of the outcome of the fairgrounds referendum that is on the ballot.

If we don't vote these self serving politicians out we will leave many other counties snickering and shaking their heads. Surely there aren't enough people willing to vote for these crooks just because they have raised so much money from special interest groups. Out of the people mentioned above I would not vote for anyone else other than Ken Jakes, Eric Crafton (because he tried to get the council to let the people choose if we had the convention center debt and did the same for the fairgrounds.) Holleman is not in my district but he would get my vote over the Dean endorsed Tally. My biggest hope and wish would be that with all the cash given to Dean, that James Keeton would beat him by a landslide. And you know what? If Dean wasn't concerned about that happenning he wouldnt have three commercials costing $135,000.00 to defend his throne against three unheard of candidates with Keeton being his only real opposition. Vote! Vote! Vote!

By: JayBee56 on 7/28/11 at 11:10

titansjoe, thanks for your support. Like Ken Jakes, I think we should not be obligated to anyone except the citizens of the county. Too bad that there isn't a law limiting contributions to only people that live in the county who have a stake in how the election goes. This time next week we will know who won and who lost. Either way, someone still needs to stand up for the people that are disenfranchised. Those are the people that have little money, no clout, and have to take what the moneyed elite and their politicians dish out. It isn't supposed to work that way. James Keeton -

By: willtw on 7/29/11 at 1:57

makes one really wonder why someone spends that much money for a $300 a month job!
14 years ago, I went to our Councilperson to help getting a traffic light at a very dangerous intersection near our home....Days went by and that Councilperson came back and said, "it can be done but will cost you $10,000..."That day, I lost all faith and confidence in Nashville government which continues to this day. Yes we got our traffic light but not through Metro government...we got our light thru TDOT on safety issues. Some of the names in this cycle of candidates are very interesting...what makes a lawyer suited to run for Council? His ability to make "more ambulance runs"? A national candidate for President used to chase emergency vehicles in this he's being sued and may even go to jail....we may lose our State Fair grounds BUT we will have a multi million dollar "white elephant" downtown to draw more donkeys and some elephants to's called a convention center....Waaaaaahooooo

By: T-BONE on 7/29/11 at 7:09

If the "bonehead$" try to raise the already too high property taxes..WE THE PEOPLE ARE NOT GOING TO PAY IT! It's just that simple! So don't even think about it! ( You should know that it is coming soon, just wait and see! )

By: racer84 on 7/29/11 at 7:20

Titanjoe you can view campaign info at

By: racer84 on 7/29/11 at 7:28

As much as Karl Dean has used the floods as his superiority as a leader I'm glad to see he's shown what a superior failure in humanity.

We're talking about a politician that has wasted a Million dollars on a campaign with no opposition having raised or spent over 10k....

A good and decent man with a personal fortune that allows him to spend a million dollars to keep a 100k per year entitlement could have donated his campaign funds to rebuild homes and assist those still in campers......

But that's not what Karl Dan does...nope...he dumps hundreds of thousands of dollars to council races in his atttemp to keep any independent thinkers anywhere near the metro council chambers.

By: bfra on 7/29/11 at 7:43

If Karl has his way, he will have the most loyal council, his wife's money can buy! Taxpayers beware!

By: macjedi on 7/29/11 at 8:05

Oh please.

By: bfra on 7/29/11 at 8:18

By: macjedi on 7/29/11 at 9:05

Oh please.

You're gullible!

By: racer84 on 7/29/11 at 8:55

Mac Jedi is the marketing director for macauthority and has a page full of rants full of hate against anyone involved in the music industry and anyone who uses or supports the about 90% of nashvillle and his employers customer base

How much business sense does that make?

Attacking your customers with lies and misinformation .......sounds like a mayors staff member.

By: bfra on 7/29/11 at 9:15

Thanks racer84 - I knew his comments never made any sense, now they make even less. Guess he just doesn't like "people" in general! That's bad for business.

By: Heyman on 7/29/11 at 10:17

How much are the "raised" amounts from PAC's and loans?

By: gohomenow on 7/29/11 at 10:43

I myself am voting for the candidate whose name I haven't heard before. If they've got big business money behing them financing their campaigns, they're not going to have us little guys' interests at heart.

By: MusicCity615 on 7/29/11 at 12:08

I am voting for Karl Dean.

Not part of his campaign, not associated with him at all. I simply respect him and like his visions for Nashville.

By: bfra on 7/29/11 at 1:59

MusicCity615 - The only part I believe is, you are voting for Kart! Some never learn.

By: titansjoe on 7/29/11 at 2:28

Thanks racer84,
I have forked out a few bucks for public records from the election commision. Everyone should look at the campaign contributions and see how they spend the donation money. It gives you a pretty good idea of whom the big bucks candidates will serve when re-elected. for most campaign disclosures.

By: GammaMoses on 7/30/11 at 6:14

Wish monies raised for the campaign of an office would stay with the office, not with the person who is in the office and who will leave in 2 years to run for a different office. Can this be made into a law???

By: Taxedtodeath on 7/31/11 at 6:12

Wonder where this Nut Stands with King Karl

Former Police ? I Think not Never POST certified

Police Communications yep for Mt Juliet Ended up in a lawsuit He lost

Traffic management officer= Directs traffic at construction areas in a look a like cop outfit

Was Kicked out of a Metro Volunteer Rescue Squad for playing cop and carrying a Gun all them time

Even drives a look a like cop car with siren lights Ect.

By: yucchhii on 8/2/11 at 1:12

yucchhii Just think for a moment the REALITY of what that money could REALLY do to help SOLVE the homeless crises! Really! Just think, if there was a PLACE for the homeless and NOT run them all over town because that just becomes a vicious circle. You'd NEVER solve the problem! Get the housing they need and solve it!!! BUT, out FEARLESS LEADERS are WAYYYYYYY to GREEDY to want to do that! What else could it be? Think about this..."THE 'LOVE' OF MONEY, IS THE ROOT OF 'ALL' EVIL!!!