The citizens of Tennessee are entitled to a responsive, accountable, and incorruptible government. The Tennessee Ethics Commission was therefore established by the general assembly to sustain the public's confidence in government by increasing government's integrity and transparency through the regulation of lobbying activities, financial disclosure requirements, and certain other specific types of activities that are within the statutory jurisdiction of the Ethics Commission. In December of 2005, Governor Phil Bredesen called a special legislative session to focus the attention, will and efforts of the Legislative and Executive branches of government on the passage of strong ethics legislation. Governor Bredesen's call addressed a variety of specific issues, including ethical standards of conduct by government officials; contribution limits and disclosure in political campaigns; the open operation of government; the formation of an independent ethics commission; and penalties for violations of ethical standards. As a result, the 104th Tennessee General Assembly passed the Comprehensive Governmental Ethics Reform Act of 2006 in an effort to protect and secure the governmental process from corruption and abuse and to provide transparency to the citizens of the State.
The Tennessee Ethic Commission ("Commission") was created in an effort to sustain the public's confidence in government by increasing the integrity and transparency of state and local government through the regulation of lobbying activities, financial disclosure requirements and ethical conduct.
Under T.C.A. § 3-6-103 the Commission is comprised of six (6) members. They are appointed by the Governor, the Speaker of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The Governor appoints one (1) member of the majority party and one (1) member of the minority party, and each Speaker appoints one (1) member of the majority party and one (1) member of the minority party.
The initial members' terms are staggered as follows: the gubernatorial appointees serve initial terms of two (2) years; the Senate appointees serve initial terms of three (3) years; and the House appointees serve initial terms of four (4) years. Thereafter, members serve four-year terms and are eligible to serve two (2) successive four-year terms.
John Gregory Hardeman – Nashville. House Republican Appointee. Term expires December 31, 2014.
George Jaynes – Limestone. Gubernatorial Appointee. Term expires December 31, 2016.
James G. Stranch, III – Nashville. House Democratic Appointee. Term expires December 31, 2014.
Charles Traughber – Nashville. Gubernatorial Appointee. Term expires December 31, 2020.
Frank Watson III – Memphis. Senate Democratic Appointee. Term expires December 31, 2017.
Tammy S. White – Knoxville. Senate Republican Appointee. Term expires December 31, 2017.