Monday, January 18, 2010

Don't be throwing no rocks

Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen discuss the t...
Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen discuss the tornado damages in Nashville. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I just love it when these politicians get all high and mighty. Many of them love to criticize others. The problem is they shouldn't be throwing rocks when many of them live in glass houses due to corruption, infidelity, and questionable policies and votes. One of them is Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen.

Over the last few months, the University of Tennessee has had several male athletes get in trouble with the law. Four football players were allegedly involved in an armed robbery, and most recently, three basketball players were riding around in car that was pulled over for speeding and found to have an illegal weapon in the car as well as marijuana. Mr. Bredesen went on record as saying the university needed to clean up its act, and I agree with him. However, let's take a look at Mr. Bredesen's record for a moment :
  • While mayor of Nashville in the 1990s, he brought the Nashville Predators NHL franchise and the NFL's Houston Oilers, now known as the Tennessee Titans, to town and built them both fancy facilities to play in. He did it on the backs of Nashville taxpayers by putting the city over $400 Million in debt by selling bonds to finance the construction of the facilities. Ever since, Nashville's leaders have had to ask the city departments for budget cuts every year, raise property taxes several times, and lay off many city employees because of the financial strain these debt obligations have placed on the city. According to reports, Nashville taxpayers may be looking at another property tax increase this year, also. Bredesen caused a financial mess that the city's current leaders are paying the price for.
  • As Governor of Tennessee, the state's budget has suffered dearly. Hundreds of needy Tennesseans have been kicked off the TennCare rolls and left without health care insurance because of lousy financial management and little fraud accountability. Bredesen has done nothing to solve the problem. Heads of the various state departments have had to cut their budgets numerous times each of the last several years because state revenues are down but millions of dollars in pork-barrel spending continues. As the state legislature begins the 2010 session, estimates are that they will have to cut about $1 Billion from the 2011 budget in an attempt to make ends meet. 
  • In the fall of 2008, Bredesen appeared in a horrible public service announcement produced by the Governor's Highway Safety Office (GHSO) titled "Harvest." The PSA was part of the GHSO's Booze It and Lose It program whose goal was to get Tennesseans not to drink and drive. However, all this particular PSA did was offend and upset donor families and other organ donation advocates, including myself, by correlating drunk driving deaths and organ donation. When many of us demanded the PSA be pulled, Bredesen could only say how proud he was of the Booze It and Lose It program.
  • In 2009, the Tennessee legislature passed The Restaurant Carry Bill allowing Tennesseans with concealed handgun carry permits to take their weapons in restaurants that served alcohol as long as they were not drinking and the establishment was not posted "No Guns." When Bredesen ran for re-election in 2006, he received the National Rifle Association's (NRA) endorsement because he promised to support this legislation if it passed the state legislature and made it to his desk for his signature. He broke his promise to the NRA and the state's gunowners. He is not a man of his word.
I know some Liberal is gonna say that neither Nashville nor the state's money problems are completely Bredesen's fault because the economy is in really bad shape. Maybe so, but I believe that if his administration had not left Nashville in debt up to it's ears for the sake of professional sports, it would be easier for the city to manage the current fiscal crisis. However, thanks to Bredesen, their hands are tied. The fact is Mr. Bredesen has a dismal record on wasteful spending and financial management of taxpayer money and these things happened on HIS watch.

I would suggest that based upon his record, Mr. Bredesen stop worrying about the problems in the University of Tennessee sports program and concentrate on getting his own house in order. I, for one, can't wait until he leaves the governor's office in January 2011. Mr. Bredesen - "Don't let the door hit ya on the way out."
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