Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Apparently there was dirt to rub

Governor Bredesen was quoted in yesterday's Monday's Nashville City Paper as saying:

“Somebody sees this as an opportunity to rub a little dirt on her, a little dirt on me,” Bredesen told reporters.
Who knew there was so much dirt available? The Tennessee Republican Party has all the details about what they're calling a funding shell game in regard to the renovations of the governor's mansion (executive residence) and the party bunker/ballroom (Conservation Hall) that the Bredesens insist is essential to a well run government.
“Gov. and Mrs. Bredesen have claimed that the ballroom is being funded with private donations rather than tax dollars, but that’s not really true,” said Bill Hobbs, communications director for the TRP. “The Bredesens shifted nearly $3 million in private donations to the ballroom project that had been given for the renovation of the mansion itself – and then replaced that mansion renovation money with tax dollars. (A 20-page PDF file of the documents can be found online at the Tennessee Republican Party website, .)
The $4 million given to the Tennessee Residence Foundation for renovation of the mansion – and held up as proof that the mansion renovation was being funded mostly by private donors - was shifted to the Conservatory Hall addition.

Was this shift OK'd by donors?

A time line with lots more details and some suggested other state owned facilities that could serve the publicly stated purpose of the bunker can be found at the TN GOP blog.

I hate this whole mess. Who really wins here? No one. Oh, the governor may get his bunker but taxpayers will get stuck with the bill. The GOP provides evidence of a financial cover up and will be painted as mud slingers instead of legitimately holding the powers that be accountable. Citizens, already predisposed to believing the worst of their elected representatives and assume their tax dollars are a complete waste, have even more reason to distrust and disconnect from the process. All so some folks who have long ago forgotten that their priorities are not necessarily the best thing for the general population can party hardy, away from what little public scrutiny is allowed.

You want to spend our $12 million on state troopers, classroom teachers, honest government instead? I suggest you write or call the governor. 615-741-2001 or

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