In a Washington Post article naming Mark Clayton the worst candidate for national office, Democrat leaders said something shady.....
Tennessee Democrats, who’d watched their conservative voters drift to the GOP, finally lost the state House in 2010. That had been a financial lifeline for Democrats, since the legislature has broad powers over patronage.
“That pretty much was the end,” said Cheek, the executive committee member. “Because we have nothing left. In the other low points, we had the Election Commission, we had the Building Commission. . . . If you wanted to get state deposits into your bank, those were all ours. And that’s where you’d raise your money.”
Losing those powers “really kicked the props out from under the financing of the party,” Cheek said.
That comment to me looks like the Democrats are admitting they extorted businesses and made deals with state money based on who gave money to their state party. Not based on what was the best investment for the state. I am not a lawyer but if that's not criminal it should be.