Old resentments die hard. When Zach Wamp ran against Haslam in 2010, it got a little rough. Wamp succumbed to playing the “class resentment” card and ridiculed Haslam for having more money than brains. Haslam questioned Wamp’s sanity. Wamp acted as though Jesus had sent him a personal telegram telling him to run for governor. Haslam spent millions on vacuous TV ads about pie that numbed the senses and insulted the intellect. The latter proved to be more popular with an electorate that apparently received its political news from episodes of the Jersey Shore.
What Wamp did get right was questioning Haslam’s conservative credentials. Those credentials have apparently being locked away in Haslam’s blind trust along with his secret income taxes. It looks as though they will be buried deeper than Jimmy Hoffa during a second Haslam term. More on that in future postings.
In the end Haslam’s millions overwhelmed Wamp’s fervor and the rest is almost history. But not quite.
The mastermind behind Haslam is Tom Ingram. And when the Son of Wamp (Weston) decided to try again for Congress, Bill and Tom countered with the Son of Ingram. They are applying the political equivalent of Tennessee’s founding father, John Sevier, who offered the justification for massacring pregnant Cherokee women and children: “Nits make lice.” Ya gotta crush those Wamps early, because they might grow up and challenge a Haslam for future office, ya know.
Having Haslam make a bunch of direct contributions to Chuck Fleischmann would be too obvious, so he sent Tom to the rescue. Having Tom on the Fleischmann vendor list might also seem a mite blatant, so Tom sent his son, Conner Ingram, to be his eyes and ears the Fleischmann campaign.
The Federal Election Commission reports lists Connor as a consultant and has been paid over $6,000 since March. His LinkedIn page says he is an intern for Fleischmann. Not bad — most “interns” receive no pay at all.
No one here at RTP has seen Conner since he was knee-high to Bob Corker and we wish him well in his new profession of politics. But going to work as a spokesman for Congressman Chuckles is only the thinnest of fig leaves for Daddy Tom. Or Bill Haslam.