NASHVILLE — Efforts to let senators double the amount of campaign contributions they get from special interests and individual donors over the four-year course of their term belly flopped in the House this afternoon.
Sixty-one Republicans and Democrats said no to the bill, sponsored by House Republican Caucus Chairman Glen Casada. Only 17 members voted yes.
The bill was sponsored by Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson, in the upper chamber.
Earlier, Casada tried to bat down criticisms from skeptical House colleagues. It didn't really increase the amount of money senators could collect, Casada argued. It merely "reset" the limits every two years, he said.
His House colleagues didn't buy it, with one noting that it would give incumbent senators a chance to squeeze more money from special interests. Another questioned whether challengers to incumbents would be put at a disadvantage.
Senators serve four-year terms. Representatives serve two-year terms.
Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...