- Associated Press - Thursday, January 5, 2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Republican donor Andy Miller Jr., who has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to Tennessee candidates for state and federal offices, is moving to Kansas.

WSMV-TV reports (https://bit.ly/2ifn0cn ) that Miller announced on his Facebook page that he was relocating to a 1,000 acre property in Comanche County, Kansas. In Miller’s words in a Facebook comment: “Being a Rancher is more my style.”

Miller and his company Healthmark Investment Trust last year agreed to pay $7.8 million to settle federal allegations that another one of their companies defrauded the military health care program Tricare.

A lawsuit filed by former executives claims Miller caused cash flow problems at another company called Life Watch Pharmacy by hiring political allies, friends and family to work do-nothing jobs. Miller attorney Scott Sims has called those claims “baseless.”

Sims in a statement to WSMV said Miller intends to spend “a little more time” in Kansas in the future, but that he “plans to continue to participate fully in the legal process until it is concluded.”

State ethics disclosure forms show at least seven current and former state lawmakers have had financial ties to Miller companies.

Perennial GOP candidate Joe Carr in 2015 paid $2,250 to settle a Federal Election Commission probe into interest earned from a $200,000 campaign loan to Life Watch. Miller confirmed to The Tennessean newspaper that expelled state Rep. Jeremey Durham had loaned campaign money to Life Watch.

The newspaper has also reported that Republican Reps. Andy Holt of Dresden and Jeremy Faison of Cosby once rented a house from Miller while they were in Nashville for the legislative session.

In 2011, Miller bankrolled a trip to Europe for six state lawmakers billed as a “fact-finding mission” about the dangers of radical Islam, and he is the founder of the Tennessee Freedom Coalition that has brought Dutch anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders to speak in the state.

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Information from: WSMV-TV, https://www.wsmv.com/

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