Brent Leatherwood for State GOP Chairman?
We have always wondered why Brent Leatherwood’s resume never mentions the name of a congressman for whom he once worked. Check it out for yourself. Go to LinkedIn and you will see that Brent says the he worked as a “senior policy advisor” for a U.S. Congressman, but doesn’t identify his party, his name or even his state.
Most people who have worked for over 3 years as a “senior policy advisor” to a congressman are more than happy to say who they worked for, but not Brent. Wonder why that is?
Now fast forward to this year’s GOP primary. Leatherwood not only didn’t update his resume to include the congressman’s name, but he also paid the wife of a subordinate with state party money, knowing she was also working to defeat that same congressman.
There is undoubtedly some bad blood there.
So Brent, what was the real story behind your leaving that congressman’s office? Were you “encouraged” to leave? And was it with revenge in mind that you hired Taylor Ferrell with state party money, knowing she was also being paid to try and defeat the “Congressman-who-must-not-be-named?” (Ms. Ferrell was also working to defeat several incumbent GOP legislators in the primaries — that is until over two dozen Republican legislators raised hell about it).
The point to all these questions is relatively simple to ascertain. Is it just us, or would any normal, rational, thinking individual who has a fiduciary and political responsibility to spend the state GOP’s money wisely have a big freakin’ problem with the sleazy, disingenuous, inside dealing (nepotism) that you and your staff have engaged in and used our money to do it. And yes, at least one of the RTP crew is and has been a generous and consistent donor to the state GOP and she is pretty torqued off about your complete disregard for even the minimal standards of ethical conduct. It’s not hard to see why.
Brent, you and your minions allowed this to happen and when all those GOP state legislators called you on it, you arrogantly ignored them and continued to allow your political director’s wife to continue to work against the Congressman.
The irony seems lost on you that that same Congressman was the first one in the state to endorse President-elect Trump (and stick with him throughout the campaign).
Maybe you know Trump’s new chief of staff, Reince Priebus? Unlike you, Brent, when Donald Trump won the nomination, Preibus refused to take cheap shots at him like the #NeverTrumpers. Instead he worked harder than ever to make sure Trump had the RNC working for his election and got elected. In other words, he did his damned job.
You on the other hand, with less that 30 days before the November election, proclaimed Tennessee Republicans “should vote their conscience” when it came to voting for Trump — a sniveling, not so clever attempt to say you were not for Trump, even against Hillary Clinton. And you now want to become state party chairman? After throwing elected Republican legislators and the next Republican President of the United States under the bus with your petty agendas, one shudders to think of what you might do as state party chairman.
You will undoubtedly be looking for work if someone besides you gets elected to the chairmanship, but there is not a snowball’s chance in hell you could get any credible position in the Trump administration. And for good reason: they seem determined to only hire loyal, ethical Republicans. That criteria sort of leaves you on the outside looking in, doesn’t it? It sucks to be you.
But hey, don’t let Rocky Top dissuade the fine folks on the state executive committee – even the ones who did everything they could to defeat Trump but are now sucking up like a Hoover trying to get Inauguration tickets.
Somethings never change — but they should. Starting with you finding another place to work.
“A Nasty, Huge Old Debt and the heart- warming story of how a Big Bank miraculously saved the day!”
“Wells Fargo bails out Bob Corker and his cronies.”
When Bob Corker ran for the U.S. Senate, he did so by running on the story of a successful businessman who could “get things done.” In reality, Corker – like a lot high-flying developers leading up to and during the housing crisis – was trying to get his name off millions in debt guarantees. And Corker’s cash windfall from the sale of his properties to a controversial businessman named Henry Luken likely did not relieve him from his honker of a debt. Whatever continued debt (also known as a “contingent liability”) Corker is holding, it has remained a secret, since Senate financial disclosure rules didn’t require him to admit to “contingent liabilities.” But that didn’t make the debt any less real. And in reality, if the market downturn started picking up speed (which it did), those loan guarantees could ruin Corker and probably Henry Luken as well.
The best we can determine is that Luken assumed the debt from his conveniently-timed purchase of Corker’s properties, while giving Corker $500,000 (believed to be a cash advance to help Corker, whose assets were mostly locked up in his commercial properties). The “Big Lebowski” of the debt was $28.1 million owed to GE Capital. When Corker rolled up the debt with GE Capital, he was required to (and did) submit a Universal Commercial Code (UCC) filing, placing his name on the debt. When the debt was satisfied, either by payment or transfer, GE Capital was supposed to release Corker with another filing. This is where it starts to get murky. RTP asked our accountant (Ernie T. Eyeshade, CPA) if he could find any such release in the financial disclosures or elsewhere. He came up empty.
So the first question for Bob should be: Did GE Capital release you from a $28.1 million debt? And if not, where is that debt now and how was it satisfied? And before Bob gets his tighty-whiteys in a wad, we again acknowledge that the disclosure report doesn’t require the listing of a contingent debt. But we ask anyway because, for as you will see, the existence of that debt and where it went is key.
Show Me Da’ Money
It’s an important question. For if GE Capital did not release Corker from his contingent liability, and if Luken and/or Corker could not cough up the cash as the commercial and housing market began to spiral downward in 2008-2010, then GE Capital would send some accounting goons around to collect from Luken. If Luken couldn’t pay, then they would come after Corker for the dough.
How Corker made this debt disappear is not a tale of business or financial derring-do but a tale of apparent skirting, and perhaps stepping over a legal or regulatory line.
Bear with us, because this gets a little complicated. But it is a tale that must be told.
When Corker, who seemed to be leveraged out the ying-yang, decided he wanted to run for the Senate, he had a little problem – liquidity. He need cash, and lots of it, for a successful campaign. He needed a buyer.
So Corker turns to one Henry Luken to sell the bulk of his commercial real estate “empire” – assets, debt and all. Luken agreed and, as they say, the rest is history. But history has a way of circling back on people, and not in a good way.
Corker was the owner of real estate worth between $62 million and $228 million. He had bought Coca Cola heiress Alice Lupton’s old mansion on Minnetonka Road and was the mayor of Chattanooga. In addition, he was the former roommate and friend of Pilot Oil scion, Jimmy Haslam (and brother to the soon-to-be governor, Bill Haslam). So Bobby was connected — big time.
But Corker was also the owner of a debt that could strangle some third-world countries. According to the Knoxville News-Sentinel, Corker “had between $24 million and $120 million in debt, mostly through mortgages on real property holdings that were part of the sale of properties to Chattanooga businessman Henry Luken.” And despite loans, special relationships with bankers and politicians, all the available accounting tricks, accounts receivable, valuations, etc., etc. big-time developers like Corker are usually just one big deal away from a huge fortune or one step away from bankruptcy if the economy or a deal goes sour. In 2005, as he was dreaming of hobnobbing with the political elite of Washington, Bob Corker needed to come in off the high wire and cash out as best he could.
Enter Henry Luken.
Luken dropped in on Chattanooga in the 90’s and immediately started throwing money around. While amassing a lot of cash, Luken played on a highwire. In 2013 a big part of his business was forced into bankruptcy after he lost $47.4 million from a “fraudulent transfer” verdict stemming from his communications company’s 2008 purchase of a television network.
When the full housing/real estate/banking crisis hit in early 2009, Luken was left holding a bag like a Cub Scout on a snipe hunt. GE Capital gave Luken two 6-month extensions on his debt, but time was quickly running out. The financial and political damage to Corker of Luken going belly-up was palpable.
Corker, Wells Fargo and a “Harmonic Convergence” of interests.
Luken admitted to the Chattanooga Times Free Press he could not find any takers to finance the lousy mountain of debt he had taken off Corker. Even his own manager confessed: “[It was a] horrible time for everyone …because of the market there weren’t a lot of people letting go of a lot of money,” Ms. Childress said. “We were technically in event of default.”
But never fear! Luken had an ace in the hole – his old friend Bob Corker and, more to the point, Corker’s position on the Senate Banking Committee.
The real story is that GE Capital would have had to sell off the Luken loan at a discount or move to collect the outstanding balance themselves. The latter would have put GE in a very difficult spot: having to sue a sitting U.S. Senator who sat on the committee that was unquestionably the most important committee in Congress for a firm like GE Capital.
In rides Wells Fargo, who inexplicably decided to refinance the Luken/old Corker debt at a time when most banks were spirally down the toilet and re-financing was just a pipe dream for most. Luken “discovered” Wells Fargo and convinced them to finance an under-capitalized loan with a huge debt attached. The story they spun at the time was that Wells was “excited” about Chattanooga’s economic prospects – this at a time when the country and banks were facing economic disaster. Such refinancing of loans were not just hard to find in 2009 – they were damn near impossible. Hell, even Warren Buffet couldn’t refinance a loan during the 2009-2010 meltdown.
According to our sources in the financial community, in practically every similar circumstance, if a firm like Wells were to take over such a loan it would have insisted on a refinance discount – a discount Luken and/or Corker would have to pay. Again, a bad position to be in against a U.S. Senator. More likely, Wells bought the entire loan – maybe even at a premium that would have allowed Corker to be removed as a contingent liability. Since researchers have found no record of Corker making another UCC filing removing himself from the loan, there is a possibility he is still on the hook. But now he would be on the hook to his friends at Wells – who were coming in and out of his door to lobby him like ants to a picnic on such things as GSEs (more on this later).
But we are asked to believe that somehow Luken just stumbled on Wells Fargo and arranged a loan that 99% of the rest of the world couldn’t or wouldn’t secure. How convenient.
Why would Well Fargo do that, you may ask? Well if you were a mega-bank like Wells and were holding over half of the nation’s mortgages, why wouldn’t you rush to bail out the close buddy and business associate of a member of the Senate Banking Committee? After all, the Banking Committee held Wells Fargo’s future in their hands. Wells was lobbying the crap out of Corker and the committee at the exact same time Luken came begging with hat in hand. It appears the narrative spun by Luken, Corker and Wells was nothing more than a cover for a raging conflict-of-interest involving their relationship with the member of the very senate committee that was deciding the fate of banks like Wells Fargo.
Wells Fargo’s rescue was nothing short of miraculous. It is believed they took over the Corker/Luken debt, maybe even paying a premium for doing so. and did it while the financial world was in flames. If true, wouldn’t this be the very “corporate cronyism” and “rigged system” that President-elect Trump keeps talking about?
Was what Wells, Corker, et al did illegal? There is a good chance that was the case. But was what happened unbelievably unethical and sleazy? You’re damn right it was.
As they say down in Pulaski, comparing the stench of this deal to that of pigs wallowing in the mud is an insult to pigs.
Since all this happened, and as you may have read in the papers, Wells Fargo is now in a heap of trouble for other reasons. Not the least of their worries is how they opened up over 2,000,000 new accounts in their customer’s names, without bothering to tell the customers. That has resulted in the appointment of an outside law firm to do an independent investigation of the internal workings of Wells Fargo. One would think that any “arrangements” involving one or more members of the Senate Banking committee would be of immense interests to them as well as the Feds.
If the review of Wells finds any impropriety, then some people might want to start practicing the “perp walk.”
Private Gains, Public Losses:
How Bob Corker used taxpayer money to protect his own investments.
Before we dive into the Corker/Luken/Wells Fargo fiasco, we need to update you our last posting: “The Big Short – Corker Style”.
In our last edition of the Corker Chronicles, we revealed how Corker bet against America by shorting the housing market, making millions in profit in the process. An alert reader reminded us that Corker’s perfidy wasn’t just shorting the market – he made sure his profits were secured by the taxpayers!
That’s right. When Bob invested in housing hedge funds using Pointer Management as a front, he was taking a risk. But Bob took steps from his perch as a U.S. Senator to minimize that risk. How? Well it seems that one of hedge funds Corker invested was partnered with a particular bank to ensure the payout of all the moola to Bob when the time came to cash in. The to-big-to-fail outfit that was essential for Corker to put money in his personal pocket was none other than AIG.
Sound familiar? It should. After the beheading of Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, et al, AIG was very much on the potential chopping block of financial institutions who were at risk of being dissolved and sold off. If that happened, investments such as Corker’s would take a direct and possibly fatal hit. If AIG went down, so would Bob.
Assuming he used information he was privy to from his position on the Senate Banking & Housing Committee to game the system, Corker had taken a major personal financial and ethical gamble in his investments with Pointer, but his exposure to what would happen to his personal bank account if AIG went down was a big, big problem. But never fear – along came the TARP legislation that would bail out AIG and keep it afloat long enough for Bob to run down to his bank and cash his checks. The legislation saving AIG’s sorry butt was unbelievably controversial, but Bob didn’t hesitate for a moment, nosiree. He voted FOR the AIG bailout helping insure that his personal investment would be safe from the financial crisis. And of course he did so without once letting the fine folks here in Tennessee or elsewhere know the extent or even the existence of his “insider” skullduggery and gross conflict of interest.
So it appears Corker was making a killing off of insider information while using taxpayers’ money to secure his investment.
We tell you all of this now, because it will give you a better appreciation of what we are about to tell you in Part 2.0.
Stay tuned. Our next edition will be up shortly.
We know you can’t wait…..
RTP is back at work — much to the chagrin of the establishment and the political effete elite. You know the ones — those who despise President-elect Trump (we get a Chris-Matthews-style tingle up our leg every time we say “President-elect Trump”).
For a couple of days there, Glen Casada was probably hoping that his threats to “out” Rocky Top were having an effect on our output. Fat chance. Our absence was the result of trying to get anyone on the RTP crew to awake from their tryptophan-enduced comas from all the turkey as well as their hangovers from the UT-Vandy game.
But back to reality and back to work. And back to taking names and kicking behinds. After all, the GOP chairman election is this Saturday and we couldn’t let that pass without our patented analysis accompanied by irreverent comments. Heads up, Brent Leatherwood.
Next posting in just a few hours, which will include a continuation of our series on Bob Corker’s financial peccadilloes. We promise not to bring up Glen’s “How to Pick Up Girls” video again (Oops. We just did. Our bad.).
The Big Short – Corker style.
When last we left you, Bob Corker had just backed his way into a U.S. Senate seat. We also told you at the close of our last story that we would explore what happened a $28.1 million debt that Corker was on the hook for as a result of the sale of his commercial real estate business to his friend, the controversial Chattanooga businessman, Henry Luken.
But all you readers, haters, politicos and hangers-on will have to cool your heels a little longer. Before we unveil that sordid story in Part 2, we first need to present what we call “Part 1.5” – The Big Short, Corker Style.
What Did Corker Do With All That Cash?
Before the debt came due and before the Wells Fargo involvement, Corker found himself with a big pile of cash to play with. It’s hard to tell exactly how much Bob Corker made from the sale of his business to Henry Luken, but it’s safe to say is was a whole butt load of money – anywhere between $11 million and $55.5 million. As anyone who has ever had access to that kind of cash will tell you, the first thing you need to do is diversify and invest it, hopefully in vehicles that will give you a nice, safe return (remember that word “safe.” It will become important as you work your way through our story).
Initially Bob did what you would think a newly rich developer would do – he invested in real estate and banks. Corker made sizeable investments in AIG, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Bank of America, etc. In other words, he bet ON the nation’s housing market continuing its climb. This was late 2006 and early 2007. Little did Bob know (but would soon learn as a Senator) of the looming cataclysmic meltdown of the nation’s financial system, closely tied to many of the very institutions with whom he had just placed a multi-million dollar personal bet. But as the newest member of the Senate, Corker was about to be let in on a very big secret.
In his new position, Corker became privy to exclusive information that was voluminous and frightening. By the summer of 2007 word of what was happening began to leak out from behind the closed doors of the offices where Corker had been allowed into. And just before the unsuspecting American public caught on, Corker did something bad. Very, very bad.
Just before all hell broke loose in the housing market, Bob Corker took a curious but revealing action: He completely reversed his financial position which was heavily vested in companies that benefit when real estate rises, and instead put millions into investments that would go up as real estate and the country was going down. In short:
Bob Corker bet against America.
He bet against the very market (housing) that he was overseeing from his position on the Banking committee. He bet against his former colleagues in the real estate and development community (including his friend, Henry Luken). He bet against the equity contained in average Tennesseans’ homes and he bet against the mortgages that secured that equity. Millions of Americans thought their biggest personal investment – their home – was a very safe place to have their money invested. After all, as the old saying goes: “God ain’t making more land, so real estate is always going to go up.” Except it didn’t.
But Bob Corker bet against America.
Simply put, Bob Corker and his fellow senator Mark Warner (D-VA) used their inside knowledge of the coming meltdown and an obscure Chattanooga hedge fund to “short” the housing market and reap millions for themselves while millions of Tennesseans and Americans were seeing their biggest investment (their home) disappear.
Bob Corker bet against America.
How Corker did this so unbelievably sleazy, venal and dishonest that it will take your breath away. And it will make you sick to your stomach that someone the public trusted with a U.S. Senate seat would use the power that came with that position to make himself even richer while the public suffered.
The Big Short
As a member of Senate Banking, Bob Corker was supposed to be helping oversee the growing housing crisis. Instead he saw an opportunity to get rich. With insider knowledge of what was about to happen, Corker looked for a way to re-direct his personal money. He found it in a little-known hedge fund in Chattanooga – the Pointer Fund.
The Pointer Fund was ideal. It had been around a while and was run by a close Corker ally, Joe Davenport. Pointer immediately turned Corker’s money over to Cedar Hill, another hedge fund located in New York City which specialized in the type of investments that Corker wanted them to make based on his knowledge of what was about to happen.
Cedar Hill gained notoriety in the best-selling book “The Big Short” (later made into an Academy Award-winning movie). By running the investment through Cedar Hill, Corker was given a fig-leaf to claim he didn’t know what Pointer was doing with his money. But Corker did know. There is a direct financial connection between Corker and Cedar Hill. The two founders of Cedar Hill have donated nearly $12,000 to Corker. What makes their donations stand out even more is that these hedge funders have rarely donated to congressional campaigns. In fact, the money they gave Corker represents 55% of the total donations they have ever given to congressional candidates. More than half of what these New Yorkers have ever donated went to a junior senator from Tennessee! Corker has since taken the Sgt. Schultz defense (“I know nothing! Nothing!”) when asked about the Cedar Hill connection.
The deal was so sweet, Corker cut in his buddy on the Banking committee, Sen. Mark Warner — a liberal Democrat from Virginia. It strains credulity to the breaking point that a wealthy senator from the Washington DC suburbs would somehow accidentally find an obscure hedge fund in Chattanooga and invest millions in it just in time to reap a huge profit – and profit they did. Pointer, the hedge fund that both Corker and Warner had invested in, made $120 million on the payments from the trade. You read that right: ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY MILLION DOLLARS. One trade. One, big, short.
Corker and Warner knew what was about to happen. The system was greased and rigged. And Bob Corker used his senate position to make a killing at the expense of hard-working Tennesseans and millions of others across the country.
Was what Corker did illegal, or just grossly unethical? Probably both.
One last note: By betting against housing and real estate with his insider knowledge, Corker was in effect also betting against the person who made it all possible by buying out Corker in the first place – Henry Luken. What a guy, that Bob.
As we shall see in Part Two, the housing crisis would nearly bankrupt Luken and cause Corker some sleepless nights. How they bailed themselves out of trouble with the help of Wells Fargo is fascinating. And perhaps seriously illegal. But we’ll let the voters and the regulators be the final judge,
Well played, Madame Speaker.
Now the real fun begins…
Looks as though the corruption endemic to the Harwell regime will last a little longer. Although the vote was much closer than her last re-election, she still won. Two years ago, she won by 42 votes. This time around her margin shrank to 10. She received just four more votes than the minimum needed to win. But she won.
We begin the dance again tomorrow. Please let Joe McCord know…..
Channels O.J. Simpson: Vows to find the real killer.
Glen Casada won for Majority Leader. How about that? He did so largely by attacking our little blog to divert attention away from his extra-curricular activity and years-long reputation. All we did was show an unedited video and photos of some unseemly behavior by a public official in a public place and Glen responded by threatening to “lawyer up.” Guilty dog barks, and all that.
Just remember, Glen: you can’t libel someone with the truth.
Whatever problems Casada has in his personal or public life are entirely of his own making. And we rest in the quiet confidence that he will screw up again and give us the opportunity to say we told you so.
See y’all tomorrow.
Harwell attempts to “rig the system” in Speaker race.
Will try to use proxy votes to win.
Move is unprecedented in a vote for Speaker.
Sources inside the House GOP caucus tell RTP that the race for Speaker is “razor thin.” We are also told that at least four of Harwell’s votes will not be present at the meeting. Those four votes could well be the difference in who becomes the next Speaker. Harry Brooks, Kelly Keisling and Art Swann are three of the four. Swann had a death in his family and we are not clear on why the others will be absent.
Harwell is prepared to abuse the rules and the traditions of the House to win. She will try to do this by allowing the members who are not there to vote anyway — by proxy.
What else would you expect from the Speaker who allowed “Ghost Voting” on the floor of the House?
Harwell has left a legacy of phony fiscal notes, intimidation of those who disagree with her, deceitful calendaring and “flagging” of bills, covering up harassment accusations against Joe McCord, Gregory Gleaves etc., etc. — all to get what she wants. She has even resorted to tears whenever faced with controversy, we suppose in an effort to gain sympathy, and banned Rocky Top Politics from the General Assembly servers on the eve of the vote for Speaker.
But trying to cheat to win the speakership is beyond the pale. Does any reasonable person believe that if all of her votes were present and it was Jimmy Matlock who had people who were absent, that she would allow proxy voting? Of course not.
This has got to stop.
President-elect Trump — whose name Harwell refused to mention for the last month of the campaign — has demonstrated what happens when elitist politicians try to “rig the system.”
Time to Drain the Swamp.
It’s a secret ballot.
Doing all that legislative business sure makes a guy thirsty and stuff.
The photos submitted to RTP indicate the photos were taken on March 16 of this year. The clock on the file marked the time as 9:47pm.
That date was in the middle of the session, which leads to a couple of questions:
When does this guy find time to sleep?
Just how many attractive young women hang out at Bar Louie on an average night?
More to come.
Harwell completely freaks out. Blocks Rocky Top from General Assembly servers!
Believes she can’t get re-elected Speaker if RTP revelations continue (and they will).
In a clear sign her speakership is in serious trouble, Speaker Beth Harwell has apparently instructed the General Assembly tech nerds to block Rocky Top from legislative computers. Our own techno nerds received this last night, not long after we posted the viral video of Glen “Mr. Grabby Hands” Casada:
Hello I am the Network Manager here at the Tennessee General Assembly and your website is currently being blocked by a security device we utilize. The type of exploit that is identified is directed at mobile devices. If you are able to validate that the server hosting your site is clean you can be removed from the database by contacting DVLabs at 1-866-681-8324
Tennessee General Assembly
Legislative Information Systems
Phone: 615-741-1100 ext. 44911
If this is a legit message — and we think it is — then this demonstrates a panicked desperation by the embattled Speaker. What is funny is that she and her minions believe that sending a bogus message about alleged malware is enough to make us stop telling the truth about what Harwell, McCord, Ridley, et al have done to the reputation and operations of the General Assembly.
Nice try morons. Rarely have we witnessed a more sophomoric attempt at censorship. It’s what we expected from the likes of Hillary Clinton and John Podesta. But in her frantic attempt to hold on to her position, Harwell has really stepped in it. All the way up to her eyes.
But just so you know, Rocky Top will not be deterred. To our readers (which is pretty much everybody in state government), we suggest you just use your own phone’s server to read RTP. Sneak into the bathrooms (like the ones across the hall from the Speaker’s office) to read what is really going on. Or just read it at home. Or Starbucks. Maybe we should call our friends at Breitbart and have them link RTP to their daily briefings. The possibilities are endless..
We will continue to bring you our smarmy little diatribes, even if we have to print it out and bring it to the front doors of the political class and shove it up their nether regions.
One last note: Since you sent that message Mr. Osborne, RTP has been read by over 11,000 people. So your security software is either not working or, more likely, you just made it all up.
We we have news for yo
As if we don’t already have enough to do, what with rounding up all the liberals for immediate deportation and forcing college students to make their own beds and wipe their own bottoms. But now we get yet more information about horny legislators for whom Beth Harwell has covered up.
This time it is the legendary (at least in his mind) Rep. Charles Sargent. What we are about to reveal is likely no surprise to many if not most of the denizens at the LP. The story is fairly well known, as are the principals involved. Again, for the lawyers, we report this secondhand but with the firm belief that it is true. And we will not name the female staffer at the center of the controversy, as per the Speaker’s wishes. Others in this sordid little saga are fair game, though.
You wouldn’t know it to look at him now, but in years past Charles possessed enough animal magnetism to attract a coupling partner. And no, we are not talking about his wife. We have had numerous tips over the last couple of years from people who wanted us to tell about Sargent’s extracurricular love life, but we demurred. To do so seemed so unsporting – sort of like shooting the wounded.
But that was before Rep. Pants Candy and the Harwell Grand Inquisition. We always wondered why the Speaker seemed so agitated by Jeremy Durham, especially when we had it on multiple good
authorities that she knew of and condoned (either actively or passively) the infidelity/sexual harassment misbehaviors by some of her closest allies. She has used her past chief of staff, “Ice Bitch” Connie Ridley, Joe McCord, other legislators and even the Attorney General of the State of Tennessee to doggedly pursue and expel a miscreant like Durham, doing so while fearing her own complicity would be uncovered.
No, when Beth started going after Durham she unintentionally made her own transgressions fair game. And one of the most odious was what happened with Charles Sargent. The way the story goes, the very-married Charles was having a grand old time “pounding the old Posturepedic” with one of his staffers. At some point it became politically untenable to continue the relationship. We do not know whether Charles’ wife caught on, whether he had a religious conversion or whether he was on the verge of embarrassing his colleagues. Our sources were not clear on that point. The end result was that something needed to be done and the female staffer in question needed to be, ahem, removed from the situation. But ever since Gloria Steinem, womenfolk have got downright snippy about such things as sexual harassment or losing their jobs because shagging the boss was no longer convenient for the boss. How dare they stand up for themselves!
Here is a snippet from a message one of the RTP tipsters sent some time ago about the Sargent Situation:
“I don’t know who Rep. Sargent’s new lady is, but he slept with NAME WITHHELD for years. WITHHELD was Joe McCord’s AA when he was a representative. I know at one point they had to keep Paxil on hand for her. Seriously.”
We believe you, loyal Tipster. Because the woman in question is still a state employee and is now employed by the Speaker’s extended office! Harwell knows who all the players are, knows the situation and has covered up for all concerned the entire time she has been in the Speaker’s chair. But while Durham was being (deservedly) tarred & feathered for his peccadilloes, Beth hypocritically helped heat up the tar while remaining silent about Charles and the others (including her own senior staffer) who were either guilty of similar infractions and/or who helped cover up for others.
[Editor’s Note: In the midst of all this is Joe McCord (aka Joe McCrude), both as someone accused of reprehensible (and unpunished) behavior and as a loyal “fixer” for the Speaker. If Beth is concerned RTP is going to reveal more stuff about McCord, she has right to be concerned. We will wait to see how the election goes tomorrow, but regardless of who is elected speaker, McCord’s days should be numbered. In the days ahead RTP will have more on Mr. McCrude — a LOT more. ]
By all accounts, Beth is in a close race to remain Speaker. Maybe the AG investigation turned up enough dirt on enough people to get her re-elected. But it would be a damn shame if the House named her Speaker (and McCord as Clerk) out of fear.
It’s a secret ballot ladies and gentlemen.
You can’t fix the problems without removing the people who caused the problems.
Time to “Drain the Swamp” in Nashville just as they are trying to do in Washington, DC