Tuesday, July 17, 2007

When is a donation not a bribe?

In the light of recent Tennessee Waltz arrests, pleas, and convictions it just seems astonishing to me that Metro Nashville Councilman Mike Jameson (East Nashville) would say the following and expect us to swallow it.

Jameson dismissed the idea the timing of the contributions could create an appearance of a conflict of interest.

“I think you’ve got to take every Council member individually. … I certainly did not do [Gaylord’s] bidding in this past term, although they made a contribution to me in 2003,” Jameson said. “And anybody who thinks any Council member is going to abdicate his responsibility because of a contribution of a couple of hundred bucks I think needs to think seriously about who their Council members are.” (City Paper--it's OK this link is normal.)
"...take every Council member individually..." So who, in the opinion of CM Jameson, isn't as special as he is? And how does he define that special quality of trustworthiness that shouldn't be held accountable to the citizens of this city? And if we define that specialness by merely being reelected (for Jameson this time 'round unopposed) how do we account for Newton, Bowers, Dixon, Ford, and Crutchfield? Those weren't tremendous sums of money either. I was amazed at how cheaply they could be bought.


Unknown said...

I know Mike Jameson fairly well and he's one of the most trustworthy and honest individuals in politics that I have ever come across. I think you are radically off base to insinuate that he may be taking bribes.

Kay Brooks said...

I did not accuse him of taking a bribe. I want him to clarify his comment. Who are those 'individuals' and how do we recognize them?

You don't find anything dangerous about his statement? Maybe Jameson is OK but he's at least provided cover for others who may not be. You don't find that troubling?