Record-Setting Cash Flowing Into Metro School Board Races

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Over at The City Paper, Joey Garrison reports on the staggering dollar amounts that showed up on second quarter campaign fundraising reports, due yesterday from Metro school board candidates.

On top of the news that over a quarter-million dollars in total has been thrown at local school board races, was the revelation that at least one state legislative candidate has raised over $300,000 before primary elections and the news earlier this week that the National Rifle Association has dumped $75,000 into a state legislative primary.

So, is this is what all those drum circles were about? A sample from "Hazard Pay" Garrison, after the jump:

Dolan, vice president of community relations at Ingram Industries, enjoys the support of Mayor Karl Dean, the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and Metro Nashville Education Association, the local teachers’ union.

Kim, an executive for Teach For America, shares the support of the chamber with Porter. But Kim —— as well as Dolan and DeLozer —— has emerged as the choice for a new group of charter school backers in Nashville who have shown a willingness to reach into their wallets.

Dolan and Kim each collected $7,100 checks from the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce’s SuccesPac, an equal amount from the pro-charter school PAC Great Public Schools, and $3,000 contributions from a PAC formed by StudentsFirst, a new education organization that former Washington, D.C., schools chancellor Michelle Rhee leads.

Great Public Schools, a PAC that a trio of affluent charter backers organized, reported raising $34,300. The PAC’s leadership consists of charter supporters Bill DeLoache, John Eason and Townes Duncan (Full disclosure: Duncan heads the board of SouthComm, parent company of The City Paper.)

In addition to maxing out $7,100 donations to Dolan and Kim, Great Public Schools gave an identical figure to DeLozier and $10,000 to hire Bass, Berry & Sims law firm to file an amicus brief in the Spurlock v. Fox federal schools rezoning case.

It's worth noting that some candidates, such as District 5 candidate John Haubenreich, indicated they didn't take any money from PACs. (Full disclosure once again: Haubenreich has in the past contributed to the Scene, which is also a SouthComm property.)

At his blog, Jamie Hollin reacted to the disclosures and asked: Is the liquidation of public schools in Nashville within reach?

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