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Elam raises nearly $20K from PACs
Jul 18, 2006 12:00 am
After a late start, county mayoral candidate Linda Elam's fundraising machine has roared to life, taking in more than $51,000 between March 1 and June 30 – much of it coming from political action committees and out-of-county sources.
Meanwhile, after coming into the quarter with $8,328, incumbent Robert Dedman reported taking in $30,879 on his campaign financial disclosure statement.
Both his and Elam's reports were filed Monday with the Wilson County Election Commission.
Reports show Elam as raising more than four times as much as Dedman from out-of-county individual contributions of $100 or more. The incumbent raised only $3,900 from out-of-county sources, while Elam raised $17,175.
However, Dedman obliterated Elam in in-county contributions, receiving $14,850 in itemized in-county contributions as compared to Elam, who raised $6,300.
And while most of Dedman's itemized contributions came from individual in-county sources, Elam has received almost $20,000 from political action committees, three of which are based in Mt. Juliet.
The fourth is called Mid South PAC, which lists Jeff Browning as its treasurer. Elam said Tuesday Browning is associated with the Mt. Juliet Crossings development in the West Wilson city, where she has served as mayor since 2004.
Six companies which reside at 2603 and 2605 Elm Hill Pike in Nashville gave $1,000 each to Elam's campaign. The address listed for Browning's employer – CRS Construction – is 2605 Elm Hill Pike. A PAC with Browning serving as treasurer in the same location donated $4,990, and he was the sole donor to a Mt. Juliet PAC which also gave $4,990.
Including his $1,000 individual contribution, Browning or CRS Construction can be tied to $16,980 in Elam contributions – almost a third of her entire campaign war chest.
Elam explained Browning "likes my honesty, fairness and openness in dealing with us."
The second Mt. Juliet-based PAC is the Committee to Elect Effective Leaders, which lists Peterbilt employee Michael Maiorino of Watertown as its sole contributor. He gave the PAC $5,000.
The Committee to Elect Effective Leaders PAC then gave $4,990 to Elam's campaign and $10 to Robert "Bobby" Franklin, the Mt. Juliet city planner who is running for the District 10 County Commission seat against Bill Patton.
In addition, its treasurer is listed as Sharon Lister, the Mt. Juliet resident who protested a home in the Magnolia Estates subdivision violates the county's setback rules.
The final PAC giving money to Elam is Taxpayers for Fiscally Responsible Government. Elam's campaign treasurer Steven Ford is listed as president. Mirroring the other three PACs, it has one $5,000 contributor – Angela Severs of Old Hickory. The PAC also gave Elam $4,990 and Franklin $10.
While Dedman did not receive any PAC money, he raised nearly three times the amount of unitemized contributions than Elam. The county mayor raised $12,129 from donations of $100 or less.
But the Mt. Juliet mayor nearly doubled Dedman in contributions from persons listed with a Mt. Juliet address, raising $4,300 in non-PAC money in her city. Dedman, on the other hand, raised only $2,400 there.
Dedman drastically outraised Elam with individuals listed as having a Lebanon address. He reported $12,450 in contributions from these addresses, with Elam raising a mere $2,000 from two individual donors.
Despite the numbers, Elam said her support from the central and eastern portions of the county is largely reflected in her unitemized contributions.
"If you asked me five months ago, I would not have expected large contributions from that area, but I have received many non-itemized contributions (from that area)," Elam said. "This is a race that is being run from Statesville to the Glade to Laguardo to Norene and all places in between."
Notable contributions to Dedman's campaign came from his secretary, Charles and Rachel Warren, Wilson Emergency Management Agency Director Jerry McFarland and Lebanon attorney Jere McCullough, who is frequently associated with local real estate developments. Each gave the county mayor $1,000.
Also giving $1,000 to Dedman's campaign was David McMahan, the Nashville lobbyist and Wilson County resident who persuaded the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Commission to close a portion of the Lock 5 wildlife refuge adjacent to his land for hunting. The land was eventually opened only to teen hunters for eight weekends out of the year.
Dedman could not be reached for comment Tuesday, but told The Lebanon Democrat on Monday he wasn't too worried about the massive dollar amount Elam has raised in the past three months.
"I think you have to let the people decide rather than buy votes," Dedman said.
Defending Warren's contribution, Dedman noted she also made a contribution four years ago in his bid for a second term.
"She's a real good friend of mine and an excellent employee," Dedman said.
Elam also loaned her own campaign $2,000.
The Mt. Juliet mayor reports cash on hand of $34,096.28, while Dedman reported $25,474.18 on hand.
Staff Writer Jason Cox can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 45 or by e-mail at email@example.com