Taylor Swift is a scathing critic of Marsha Blackburn — but her label is a generous donor: report
Pop star and Nashville resident Taylor Swift has been a scathing critic of Sen. Marsha Blackburn, slamming the Tennessee Republican as “Trump in a wing” and a “homophobic racist.” But her record company, Universal Music Group, has been a generous Blackburn donor — and according to Daily Beast reporter Roger Sollenberger, “federal regulators” have put UMG “on notice” for “giving Blackburn more than the legal limit allowed in an election.”
“Taylor Swift has been extremely consistent about this political opinion: She hates Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN),” Sollenberger reports. “That much was clear in 2018, when Taylor Swift issued her first political endorsement for Blackburn’s then-opponent for the Tennessee Senate seat, Democrat Phil Bredesen. And it was made even more explicit in the 2020 documentary ‘Miss Americana,’ where Swift can be seen seething over Blackburn.”
Sollenberger adds, however, that UMG’s political action committee “apparently…. feels differently — so differently, in fact, that (it)…. isn’t just maxing out the allowable contribution to Blackburn; it’s exceeding the limits.”
Taylor Swift\u2019s Music Label Gives Big to Her Political Nemesis (@RLongennamer - @thedailybeast)https://redef.com/item/61d41cb2e841156ed02629a4?curator=MediaREDEF\u00a0\u2026— MusicREDEF (@MusicREDEF) 1641315667
According to Sollenberger, “Federal filings show that UMG’s PAC has put money into Blackburn’s campaigns nearly every year since 2005, shelling out a total of more than $32,000 in political support. And Blackburn has so far raised $9500 from the UMG PAC to put towards her 2024 bid, nearly hitting its ceiling three years out from the election. The Federal Election Commission flagged that the latest UMG donation put the PAC over the donation limit for the 2024 primary election cycle — and while the Blackburn campaign appears to have already reallocated the funds to comply with regulations, the PAC has so far failed to do so in its reports.”
The Federal Election Commission, in a January 2 letter addressed to UMG Employee Action Fund Treasurer Cary Davidson, writes, “Schedule B of your report…. discloses one or more contributions” that “appear to exceed” the legal limits on campaign donations.
Regardless, Swift has been unwavering in her criticism of Blackburn. And the 32-year-old pop star has said that she would be a hypocrite if she didn’t speak out against her.
In the “Miss Americana” documentary of 2020, Swift said of Blackburn, “If I get bad press for saying, ‘Don’t put a homophobic racist in office,’ then I get bad press for that. I really don’t care. I think it is so frilly and spineless of me to stand onstage and go ‘Happy Pride Month, you guys,’ and then not say this, when someone’s literally coming for their neck.”
Two years earlier, in an open letter written during the 2018 midterms — when Blackburn was running against former Tennessee Gov. Bredesen — Swift wrote, “Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me…. She believes businesses have a right to refuse service to gay couples. She also believes they should not have the right to marry. These are not my Tennessee values.”
But even though parts of Tennessee are Democrat-friendly — mostly notably, Memphis and Nashville — the red state is an uphill climb for Democrats in statewide races. Blackburn defeated Bredesen by 11%.
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