Ben Cunningham is a Gallatin, Tennessee real estate investor and founder and spokesman of the grassroots political group Tennessee Tax Revolt, Inc..
Cunningham is a Republican, but his group includes many Libertarians and conservative Democrats. The group is a result of the attempt to implement a state income tax during the administration of former governor of Tennessee Don Sundquist.
Cunningham was an early developer of infrastructure for what became the Internet and established a computer bulletin board service called Nashville Exchange. Cunningham sold the bulletin board service for a sum which enabled him to become a major real estate investor in the Nashville market. He has stated that his opposition to the state income tax is primarily a philosophical one and that he desires to limit the growth of government.
Cunnigham and his group advocate a "Taxpayer Bill of Rights" which would amend the Tennessee Constitution in a manner similar to that done in Colorado in the 1990s. Their plan would require that any tax increase resulting in an increase of revenues to state government growing at a rate faster than the combined rate of population increase and the cost of living index be subjected to a referendum.
It's discouraging, especially since they were considering the fate of one of their own. Clearly, there are very close, long-term personal relationships involved. You'd think they would be especially careful to observe the open-meetings laws.