Since its inception a couple of weeks ago, RTP has notified potential readers with text messages to the phones of nearly every legislator, scores of lobbyists, scads of activists, lots of Republicans, a number of Democrats and last, but least, the mainstream news media. The text recipients number in the hundreds.
We fully expected to get a bunch of people asking to be deleted from the text messages. But to date, only 3 people have demanded to be removed. As a public service we are notifying the three malcontents and profiling just who they are.
1. Gif Thornton — Gif is a self-identified long-time Republican who works for Adams & Reece. For the better part of a century, Democrats have dominated the lobby corps, with Democratic elected officials supplying them with clients while leaving folks like Gif out in the cold. So when Republicans achieved a super majority, Republicans were excited about the chance to break that stranglehold. When Adams & Reece decided to expand its lobbing group, with Gif leading the way, folks thought Republicans would be at the top of the list of new hires. So what did Gif do? He hired a bunch of Democrat lobbyists. Go figure. RTP will take your name off the list, since it appears you do not want to receive conservative commentary. Maybe your Democrat co-workers will spring for a subscription to the New York Times. Perhaps their liberal editorial board is more to your liking.
2. Phil Valentine — Really, Phil? None of your other conservative radio talk show hosts have asked to be removed. In fact, they’ve been reading RTP articles right on the air. But we like you, Phil, and will take your name off the list. Let us know if you would like to be reinstated. You’ve got our number.
3. Bryan Kaegi — Say what you will about Gif Thornton, but at least he’s a Republican lobbyist who actually registers as a lobbyist. Not so, Brian Kaegi. He’s a lobbyist, but tries to pretend he isn’t so that he doesn’t have to register his clients. A while back, Bryan got caught red handed (with emails to prove it) looking for all the world like he was lobbying for clients who obviously wanted someone with ties to Gov. Haslam to represent them on a energy deal involving state-owned land:
Bryan said he wasnt lobbying, he was just “gathering information.” Once all the other lobbyists at the LP stopped laughing, Bryan just waited for the Ethics Commission to do nothing. The TEC obliged and let Bryan slide with his little farce. Gee, just like his idol, Tom Ingram, Bryan just goes on about his lobbying business pretending to be something he’s not and the Tennessee Ethics Commission continues to be a toothless tiger when dealing with these guys.
If it walks like a lobbyist, talks like a lobbyist and smells like a lobbyist, it’s highly likely it’s a lobbyist.
Your a lobbyist, Bryan. And you’re off the list.