Once Again, Rocky Top tipsters “out” Cate.
Cate still posing as a staff member for Haslam, even though he supposedly left state government months ago.
You remember when you were a kid, and after digging around in your nose, you tried to get rid of the evidence by flicking it off the tip of your finger, but it just kept sticking around, grossing everyone out?
Yeah, that’s just like Mark Cate.
Ostensibly, Cate resigned as Bill Haslam’s chief of staff back last summer. We know that is the case because the governor’s office sent out a big ol’ press release and everything. We’re told there was even a going away party, with cake and everything. Yes, Mark was leaving to make oodles of dollars in the private sector. At least that’s what Haslam and Cate told everyone.
But quicker than Bill Haslam could slip a personal check under the table to Tom Ingram, up pops Cate like a Whack-a-Mole. A couple of weeks ago he showed up at the Washington, DC meeting of the Republican Governor’s Association (a favorite watering hole for thirsty consultants and lobbyists). Mark was trolling for existing and potential clients who might need his services (as if a bunch of companies would just be dying to hire a complete jerk who had successfully pissed off the entire Tennessee state legislature).
But what was different this time was that instead of getting in the “lobbyist/contractor” line, Mark went directly to the “staff” credentials table and picked up a pre-printed card with his name on it that was authorized by the governor’s office. Check out this photo (zoom in to see Cate’s title printed on the nametag).
If it looks a little fuzzy, it may be because you’ve been drinking like, well, a lobbyist at a DC reception. But here is the translation:
Wait – didn’t we get rid of this booger months ago? Why is he still posing as a member of the governor’s staff? Did the state pay for his registration? His hotel? His travel? Did he fly on the governor’s plane?
This administration is so mobbed up with business cronies it’s impossible to tell the difference between staff and lobbyist. But we guess that was exactly what the Governor intended all along. “Incestuous” doesn’t even begin to describe these people.
Nonetheless, RTP will keep trying to flick off this political booger just as long as Mark keeps digging.