Bob Corker

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U.S. Senator

Bob Corker




Leadership: No leadership position
Committees: Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Senate Special Committee on Aging
(subcommittees and past assignments)

Candidates for the TN-Senate Class I Seat:
(Next election: 6 November 2012)

Confirmed: None so far
Considering: None so far
Rumored: None so far
Potential: None so far
Dropped-out: None so far
(more info and editing for the TN-Senate Class I Seat)
On the Web
Official website

Bob Corker, is the Junior Senator for the state of Tennessee. He is a Republican and was first elected in 2006.


Record and controversies

Congressional scorecards

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Organization 2007 Scorecard
Score - Agree ratio
2008 Scorecard
Score - Agree ratio
American Civil Liberties Union not avail. not avail.
American Conservative Union not avail. not avail.
AFSCME not avail. not avail.
Americans for Democratic Action not avail. not avail.
Club for Growth not avail. not avail.
Drum Major Institute not avail. not avail.
Family Research Council not avail. not avail.
Information Technology Industry Council not avail. not avail.
League of Conservation Voters not avail. not avail.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People not avail. not avail.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce not avail. not avail.

Iraq War

For more information see the chart of U.S. Senate votes on the Iraq War.

Environmental record

For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal

The sale of protected wetlands

In 2003, Corker's real estate company sold protected wetlands near South Chickamauga Creek in Chattanooga to Wal-Mart for $4.6 million while he was mayor of Chattanooga. According to Joe Prochaska, an attorney representing the Tennessee Environmental Council, "What they did was outrageous. They just ran roughshod over this public property for private gain."[14] Environmental educator Sandy Kurtz filed suit in 2003 to stop the land deal, but the lawsuit was dismissed.

On September 18, 2006 a Memphis, Tennesse newspaper, The Commercial Appeal, reported that Corker's attorneys acquired city authorization to cut a road through the protected property owned by Corker in July 2003 while Corker was mayor.[1] City records show that Corker's attorneys won concessions from the city as details of the deal were worked out, much of which was done in private.[2]

Corker's campaign manager has said that a blind trust kept Corker from the details of the project.[3]

On October 13, 2006, lawyers involved in the case announced a settlement agreement. Details of the settlement were not announced, but court records indicate that a portion of the settlement involved a 45 day option for the Tennessee Environmental Council to purchase over thirteen acres of the land in dispute that the Council hopes to dedicate for public use.[4]

Playboy Advertisements

The Republican National Committee began airing a controversial ad against Corker's opponent in the final month of the race. The ad featured a scantily-clad white actress asking Ford, who is black, to call her after a night at a Playboy party. The ad was immediately denounced as racist for appealing to images of interracial dating and sexual contact.

Corker denounced the ad but said he could not ask for it to be removed from the air. Former Republican Senator of Maine William Cohen stated that the ad was "a very serious appeal to a racist sentiment."[5] RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman denied that the ad was racist and stated that he had no control over pulling the ad.[6]

One day after Mehlman denied having control over the advertising operation at the RNC the ad was pulled for having “run its course.”[7]

Missing papers

On September 9, 2006 The Commercial Appeal reported that official records from both Corker's 2001 to 2005 service as mayor and his 1996 service as state finance commissioner are missing.[8] The missing records include letters written and received by Corker during a six month period in 1996 and e-mails written and received by Corker in his official capacity as mayor between 2001 and 2005.[9]

Some of the e-mails were discovered on his former assistant's computer by The Commercial Appeal in October.[10]

Blind trust

On October 11, 2006, The Commercial Appeal reported that the blind trust that Corker set up to run his businesses to avoid conflicts of interest while he was mayor "may not have been all that blind".[18] According to e-mails discovered by the Appeal (some of which had previously presumed to be lost):

"Corker met often with employees from his private companies while mayor from 2001 to 2005, and he shared business tips with others. Corker also got help organizing his 2001 mayoral campaign from City Hall, where a government secretary passed on voting lists and set up meetings for the millionaire commercial real estate developer."[11]

The e-mails show that Corker often met with officials from his private company, the Corker Group, which was part of the blind trust, while he was mayor.[12] When asked about these e-mails by the Appeal, Corker said that he thought the blind trust had "worked very well" and that he had sold most of his business holdings so that he could avoid the appearance of conflicts of interest in the Senate.[13]


Raised in Chattanooga, Tenn., Corker graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1974 with a degree in industrial management. After working four years as a construction superintendent, he started his own construction company, Bencor, which he sold in 1990.

In 1999, he purchased the two largest real estate companies in Chattanooga, making him the largest private land owner in Hamilton County, Tennessee. He sold most of these holdings in 2006 to Henry Luken. His business successes have made Corker a multimillionare.

Corker first ran for the United States Senate in 1994, losing the Republican primary to eventual winner Bill Frist.

In 1995, he was appointed Commissioner of Finance and Administration for the State of Tennessee. In 2001, he successfully ran for mayor of Chattanooga. As mayor of Chattanooga from 2001 to 2005, Corker oversaw a $120 million renovation project, including an expansion of the Hunter Museum, a renovation of the Creative Discovery Museum, an expansion of Chattanooga's River Walk, and the addition of a new salt water building to the Tennessee Aquarium.[14] After announcing his intent to run for Senate, some of his actions in office as Mayor of Chattanooga have been scrutinized.

2006 Senate race

In 2004, Corker announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican Senator Bill Frist, who is stepping down in 2007 after two terms. Corker faced two other Republicans in the August primary, Ed Bryant and Van Hilleary, which he won with 48% of the vote to Bryant's 34% and Hilleary's 17%. Bryant and Hilleary attacked Corker for not being conservative enough, hitting him for his previous pro-choice positions. His opponent's went so far as to say that Corker should be running as a Democrat.[15]

Corker invested $4.2 million in television advertising, focusing on the western portion of the state where he was relatively unknown before the primary.

Corker's campaign has focused on portraying his opponent, Harold Ford, as a career politician from Washington, Ford went to high school in Washington, while painting Corker, who moved to Tennessee when he was 11, as the true Tennessean. Corker has continuously tried to label Ford as a liberal on social and economic issues but has had little success. Ford's moderate to conservative record and rhetoric have partially immunized him from such attacks.

Corker is, by all counts, a mainstream Republican. He is pro-life, opposes embryonic stem cell research, supports President Bush and the war in Iraq, and favors further tax cuts. Corker also doubts the veracity of scientific studies showing the existence of global warming.[16]

Even though Corker has changed his initial pro-choice stance [17] to a pro-life stance Tennessee Right to Life refuses to call Corker a "pro-life politician". [18]

Corker defeated Ford 51-48% in the general election to capture the Senate seat. [19]

Money in politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. For specific controversies, see this article's record and controversies section.

Top Contributors to during the 2008 Election Cycle
DonorAmount (US Dollars)
Powell Construction$ 82,500
Welsh, Carson et al$ 66,400
JPMorgan Chase & Co$ 61,750
Hercules Holding$ 53,000
Miller & Martin$ 48,755
FedEx Corp$ 48,200
Corrections Corp of America$ 45,600
Elliott Management$ 41,250
International Paper$ 41,100
Apollo Global Management$ 40,750
Source: The Center for Responsive Politics' site.
Note: Contributions are not from the organizations themselves, but are rather from
the organization's PAC, employees or owners. Totals include subsidiaries and affiliates.
Links to more campaign contribution information for Bob Corker
from the Center for Responsive Politics' site.
Fundraising profile: 2008 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2008 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2008 election cycle Career totals

Committees and Affiliations


Committees in the 110th Congress (2007-2008)

More Background Data


DC office
  • 185 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510
    Ph: 202-224-3344 Fax: 202-228-0566
    Webform email
District offices
  • 10 West MLK Blvd., 6th Floor, Chattanooga, TN 37402
    Ph: 423-756-2757 Fax: (none entered)
  • Ed Jones Federal Building, 109 South Highland Ave., Suite B8, Jackson, TN 38301
    Ph: 731-424-9655 Fax: (none entered)
  • 800 Market Street, Suite 121, Knoxville, TN 37902
    Ph: 865-637-4180 Fax: (none entered)
  • 100 Peabody Place, Suite 1335, Memphis,TN 38103
    Ph: 901-683-1910 Fax: (none entered)
  • 3322 West End Ave., Suite 610, Nashville, TN 37203
    Ph: 615-352-9411 Fax: (none entered)
  • Tri-Cities Regional Airport 2525, Hwy 75, Suite 126, Blountville, TN 37617
    Ph: 423-323-1252 Fax: (none entered)
On the Web
Campaign office
  • No campaign website entered.
  • No campaign webform email entered.
  • No campaign office information entered.

Articles and resources


Local blogs and discussion sites


Semantic data (Edit data)