Bredesen Signs TN Ethics, Campaign Finance Merger

Nashville, TN – Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen has signed into a law a merger of the Tennessee Ethics Commission and the state Registry of Election Finance. The new law closes down the state's first standalone Ethics Commission, which was created in response to the FBI's 2005 Tennessee Waltz undercover bribery sting operation that led to the convictions of five former lawmakers. Lawmakers didn't pass an extension of the independent Ethics Commission, meaning it shuts down Wednesday. Sponsors say the newly merged Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance streamlines operations and saves up to $300,000 per year.