The bill says candidates may lend their campaigns up to
Candidates also no longer could charge their campaigns interest on loans up to
The legislation does not limit how much candidates may spend.
But in focusing on loans, the bill strikes at an advantage that wealthy candidates long have exercised in
"They may have to think twice about putting millions in because they would not get it back," said Rep.
It's intended to help "working class" candidates, Dunn said, but several Republican and Democratic lawmakers objected. They fear the bill would harm their ability to seek bank loans above
Two Republicans pointed out that a wealthy candidate could still simply refund his or her own contribution after the campaign. Dunn acknowledged that would be a possibility, but he said it would violate the spirit of the law and the public would know it and have something to say about it in the next election.
But Bredesen never sought to repay himself and, so far, Haslam hasn't either. Haslam is running for re-election this year but no well-known rival has emerged.
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