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Thu Aug 16, 2012, 02:38 PM

Andrew W. Miller/Truth Matters PAC investigated by Tennessee Registry of Election Finance

Political notebook: One PAC resolves violation, another to be investigated
By Tom Humphrey
Posted August 14, 2012 at 5:40 p.m.

...The Registry of Election Finance board has voted to hold a hearing at its Sept. 5 meeting on whether Nashville businessman Andrew Miller used a PAC as an illegal "conduit" to avoid limits on how much money an individual can give to a candidate for the state Legislature.

The PAC in question, Truth Matters, was established in July. In a pre-primary disclosure it reported receiving $71,000 from Miller — the sole contributor — and then spending $63,400 of the money in making donations to 10 legislative candidates in amounts ranging from $5,000 to $7,100.

From separate candidate filings, it appears that Miller had already given $1,400 to eight of the candidates — including East Tennessee incumbent Reps. Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby, and Tony Shipley, R-Kingsport. The maximum amount an individual can donate under state law is $1,400. PACs may give up to $7,100 per candidate.

State law also prohibits using PACs as a "conduit" that allows an individual to get around the individual limits. One of the factors to be considered in an inquiry on whether a violation has occurred, Rawlins said, is whether all or most of the PAC's money came from a single donor who had also donated individually to a candidate.

Miller was also the major donor to two other recently established PACs...(more)

Major contributor to Shipley campaign called before state board
By Hank Hayes
Published August 15th, 2012 10:11 pm

One of Tennessee GOP state Rep. Tony Shipley’s major campaign contributors has been called before a state board to answer for his contribution activities.

The Truth Matters political action committee, established last July by Middle Tennessee businessman Andrew Miller Jr., gave Shipley $7,100 and gave thousands of dollars to other GOP candidates.

Miller’s and the PAC’s activities will be the subject of a Sept. 5 hearing held by the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance (TREF) to determine whether the PAC was used as an “illegal conduit” to avoid individual contribution limits.

Miller also made a $1,500 individual contribution to Shipley’s campaign in June 2011, said TREF Executive Director Drew Rawlins.

Campaign finance law in Tennessee allows individual contributors to give candidates up to $1,400 per election, while PACs can contribute a maximum of $7,100 per election.

If found to be in violation, Miller could face a potential civil penalty of up to $10,000 per violation or 115 percent of all contributions made. The candidates would also have to return the contributions, according to state law.

Shipley, who will face Democrat Bruce Dotson for the 2nd House District seat in the November general election, did not respond to a phone call seeking comment for this story.

The Truth Matters PAC also contributed to the successful GOP primary campaigns of Blountville businessman Timothy Hill in the 3rd House District and political newcomer Micah Van Huss, who defeated 6th House District incumbent state Rep. Dale Ford, R-Jonesborough. Hill, the brother of state Rep. Matthew Hill, got $5,000. Van Huss received $7,100.

According to TREF, Miller also contributed $50,000 to Tennesseans for Ethics in Government, an organization that attacked Shipley’s GOP primary opponent Ben Mallicote on abortion in a direct mail piece.

Mallicote, a former Kingsport alderman and vice mayor, lost the 2nd House District August GOP primary election to Shipley by 10 votes.

In an e-mail, Miller also verified he is the chairman of the Tennessee Freedom Coalition (TFC), a nonprofit organization listing its top advocacy issue as educating people “on the realities of Sharia and stopping the growth of Radical Islam.”

Tennessee Freedom Coalition - Board of Directors (Andrew W. Miller)
Andrew Miller – Chairman & Executive Director
Andy Miller was born and raised in Tennessee. After graduating from Vanderbilt’s Owen School of Business Management, he started a career on wall street and lived in Manhattan. After moving back to Middle Tennessee in 2000, Andy got married, started a family, and he resides with them on a farm in Williamson County. His profession is venture capital mainly focused on local companies. He has been involved in numerous political campaigns and most recently chaired “2010 Tennessee Victory Leadership Team”, the GOP’s “Get Out The Vote” effort that helped fully regain control of both houses of Tennessee’s General Assembly as well as the Governor’s Office for the Republican Party. He also is a member of the Williamson County Republican party and a member of its Chairman’s Circle.

(photo caption: MTSU alumnus and donor Andrew Woodfin "Woody" Miller (B.S. '66), left, greets President Sidney A. McPhee at the University's Philanthropy Luncheon in the James Union Building April 13. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

Alumnus Miller makes ‘transformational’$10 million gift

I am thinking that MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee should set aside a significant portion of the $10 million Andrew W. Miller gift to the univeristy to fund a new scholarship fund for Arab & Persian-American scholarships.

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