“E-mails? What e-mails?”
Leave it to our feckless governor to invent new ways to destroy what credibility remains in his administration. His latest attempt is an egregious overreach of “crony capitalism” wherein Haslam tries to privatize practically the entire state government. To assist in this effort, he brought in corporate experts and asked them to be creative in coming up with new ways to award contracts on everything from janitors at Austin Peay to state parks personnel. Then he told them not to talk about it, warning them against using the dreaded new technology — called email — so as not to leave a trail of what they were up to. The Dean has the story here.
Now don’t get us wrong. Most of us here at RTP believe there are some state functions that could and should be run by the private contractors. Out first target for replacement by privatization would be that surly lady behind the counter of the DMV in Putnam, Williamson, Shelby, Gibson, Cocke, Lincoln, Unicoi and Bradley counties. All the rest of the DMV should just be fired.
And anyone who thinks nothing could go wrong with all this privatization stuff has obviously not experienced the culinary delights served up by Aramark at the UTK student cafeterias. (Student: “You call this pizza?” Aramark: “No, we call it a 4.5% return on investment. And it’s a hamburger.”)
But despite one’s personal views about privatization, the biggest problem with Haslam’s latest debacle (remember InsureTN, Common Core, LogoGate, etc., etc., etc.) is his warped sense of noblesse oblige when it comes to keeping public information from the public. We can imagine the conversation between Gov. Billary and then-chief of staff Mark “Haters Gonna Hate” Cate when this whole scheme was first cooked up:
Cate: “Governor, we can’t have the rabble looking at our plans. Why they may ask questions, demand numbers, offer a contradictory assessment.”
Governor: “You’re right, Mark. I know, let’s do what Hillary Clinton did with her illegal email system and destroy any emails we don’t like or might prove embarrassing.”
Cate: “Nah, that’s too much work. And if our experience with Pilot is any guide, the damn FBI will find them anyway. Let’s just tell all the contractors not to use email in the first place.”
Governor: “Brilliant. Now let’s see that new state logo the chimps at the Nashville Zoo came up with.”
All this from the same governor whose first official act after being sworn in was to keep his personal finances and tax returns from the prying eyes of the great unwashed who had just elected him. Then he paid his political consultant under the table in a likely violation of campaign finance and/or lobbying laws.
Yeah, Billary Haslam is so transparent, you can see right through him.
So, all you loyal RTP readers (as well as all of you who read us, but won’t admit it), send Gov. Haslam a quick email letting him know just how you feel about his latest boondoggle and attempted cover-up. You can reach the governor at his private email address:
We’re sure he would love to hear from you. Just make sure to erase your email after you send it. If you send it.