Monthly Archives: August, 2016

We have met the enemy, and it is us.

Democrats complain about boondoggle they created.

yarbroIt had to be one of the funniest (and most pathetic) efforts by the state’s feckless minority in recent years. Tennessee Democrats held a press conference to complain about the skyrocketing premiums that come with Obamacare — a socialist, idiotic government program that they created over the objection of the American people and without the support of a single congressional Republican.

And NOW they say the premiums are too high?  Would you like a little more whine with that cheesy smirk, Sen. Yarbro?

This is equivalent to someone robbing a bank, then complaining that bank security needs to be improved.

You and your party OWN this disaster, Mary Mancini.

Choke on it.

“You put de lime in de coconut, and drink it all up…”

Speaker Jimmy Naifeh had “Naifeh’s Bitches” — a group of eleven RINO Republicans who back in 2003 voted for him for Speaker while trading their vote for various 30 pieces of political silver [credit to Frank Cagle for creating the term “Naifeh’s Bitches.”].  The arrangement was a savvy one for Naifeh because by splitting up the GOP caucus, it allowed him to cling to power for several years longer than he should.

Then came Speaker Beth Harwell and “the Coconut Water Caucus.”  RTP coined the phrase, but feel free to use it.  It derives its nomenclature from the fact that apparently the Speaker likes nothing more than a cold refreshing bottle of coconut water, especially after an exhausting day of subverting conservative legislation with spurious fiscal notes, covering up sexual harassment accusations about her friends while trying to cling to power past her expiration date.  And anyone who wants to suck up to Harwell apparently can do so by bringing the Speaker a nice cold bottle of coconut water — a much more politically correct method of sucking up than being an opposition party member who got invited to Naifeh’s office for 5:00 cocktails.

The latest incarnation of “Naifeh’s Bitches” are Democrat supplicants: like Rep. Kevin Dunlap – generally conservative voting record, but clings to the liberal Democratic Party.  One of the most attentive to Harwell is Rep. John Mark Windle, who likes to who keep a ready supply of coconut water on hand so when he goes to see Harwell, he doesn’t go empty handed. But Windle’s “special relationship” with the Speaker goes beyond just a refreshing beverage.

windle 1-editedWindle has been in the legislature for over a decade.  He has a conservative voting record (for a Democrat), but to the consternation of the fine folks of the Upper Cumberland, he supports Hillary Clinton (who is about as popular there as an outhouse breeze).  He is also squatting in a conservative legislative seat that would almost certainly go to a conservative Republican (you know, the kind of Republican who Harwell, Haslam and the establishment just hate), if someone would just mount a serious challenge or if it was an open seat.

But Windle benefits from his unusually close friendship with Harwell.  So much so that she has been known to run interference for him against Republicans candidates who want to replace him.

Discouraging challengers for a reliable toady such as Windle is par for the course for Harwell, but such maneuvers have their limits.  Harwell’s “Coconut Water Caucus” is facing a drought of extinction proportions.  There has not been a new conservative Democrat elected to the state legislature in years.  Harwell has seen other Democrats who have sucked up to her go down to defeat in recent elections, so she is losing many of her valued supporters – leaving her to contend with the growing, restive conservatives in the GOP caucus on her own.

[Editor’s note:  If history is any guide, the future does not look bright for the Coconut Water Caucus.  Of the 11 original “Naifeh’s Bitches, only two are left in the legislature.  5 retired, 3 were defeated in GOP primaries, one went to the state senate, one went to prison and only one is still in the House.  All were allies of Beth Harwell and all but one are gone from the House.]

Whether it’s passing college tuition subsidies for illegal aliens, propping up Common Core, trying to stop the elimination of the Hall Income Tax, etc., Harwell needs every vote she can muster.  And those votes are getting harder to come by.

Which brings us back to John Mark Windle, the Democrat apple of Beth’s eye.  We will have more on John Mark and how he figures into Harwell’s chances for re-election as Speaker.

Coming This Sunday.

Beth Harwell & the “Coconut Water Caucus”…

coconut water

… and how it might impact her political future.

Don’t miss it!

Brent Leatherwood Updates His Twitter Account?

Leatherwood Tweet Leatherwood Tweet edited

Mystery Photo #2

The following photo came from one of our loyal tipsters.  We are pretty sure the person on the right is Rep. Charles Sargent.  Can anyone correctly identify the woman on the left and why she might be significant?

And remember, the Rocky Top Tip Line ( is open and anyone can play!  To date, we have been able to protect the identity of every tipster and we are proud to say not one of our tipsters has ever been “Vince Fostered” for leaking their insider info to us.

It’s safe! It’s fun! And it drives the entrenched corrupt establishment absolutely nuts (and understandably so).

sargent photo 1 edited





Ethically-challenged Toadies Unite!

We thought that after the Tennessean, Rocky Top and several other outlets revealed the governor was using taxpayer money to give his family business a big pay-off, that  there would be some sense of regret – some sense of shame — from the establishment wing of the Tennessee GOP.

Boy were we wrong.

Just hours after RTP highlighted the governor’s crony corruption (and compared it to the political corruption taking place at the state party headquarters), than one of the ring leaders of the state GOP corruption puckered up for a major butt kiss for the governor and Pilot Oil:

Leatherwood Tweet

Maybe they also stocked up on Chapstick to make it easier for you to remove your lips from the derriere of the Haslams, Brent.

Man, your knees must be sore too….

It’s as if he is trying to PROVE he’s corrupt.

Governor rigs board, increases taxpayers’ share to pay for oil spills caused by his family’s company.

Pilot Oil/Flying J gets big financial break.

rip off

The opening lines in the Tennessean story say it all:

After taking office, Gov. Bill Haslam reconstituted an obscure board that enforces environmental rules for the industry that helped make him the richest elected official in America.

Since then, the Underground Storage Tank and Solid Waste Disposal Control Board has taken steps to shift the financial burden of cleaning up toxic spills at gas stations and truck stops from business owners to taxpayers.

Bill Haslam has skirted dangerously close to corrupt crony capitalism several times before (i.e., remember Jones LaSalle and fracking schemes on state land?).  But in this case he blew right past the line of impropriety and handed his company – the same company he refused to put in a blind trust and which has made him a billionaire – a huge break paid for by the taxpayers.

What is it with this governor?  Is he:

  1. clueless
  2. arrogant
  3. stupid
  4. corrupt
  5. or all of the above?

The hubris here is astonishing.  Our Governor is a major stockholder in a company that is (still) under federal investigation for ripping off customers and which has already netted about a dozen felony convictions, and yet Bill Haslam thinks it is okay to pull off his version of “Manuel Rebate” using taxpayers as the patsies. (“Le me introduce you to my leetle friend…”)

This is not good for the Republicans in Tennessee — crap rolls downhill, you know.  Why, it’s enough to make the likes of Ryan Haynes think he can misuse state party money to pay the wife of his political director who then goes out and tries to defeat incumbent Republicans.  Or a Speaker with $1.3 million in her personal campaign accounts who only uses that money to pay off her friends while she goes out and recruits candidates to run against fellow Republicans. And don’t get us started on her covering for her cronies’ sexual harassment accusations — the same sexual harassment that she claims she is fighting in the House..

“After all, if the Governor can get away with it, so can we….”

State GOP explains (sort of)

Two days after the state party took down the SEC member contact information from their website, and less than 24 hours after Rocky Top pointed out its suspicious disappearance, the web page is back up with an asterisk.  It still has no SEC member contact information, but now says it is down “for maintenance.”

Sure it is.

“John Doe Reporter # 3”

The most loyal readers of RTP (both of them) may have noticed that after a flurry of posts about rumors of senior aides and sitting chairmen accused of sexual harassment, RTP has gone uncharacteristically quiet on the subject over the last couple of weeks.

Hope you enjoyed your respite from the muckraking, because starting tomorrow we are going to crank it back up again.  And just what has prompted us to revisit the controversy?  Well, a couple of things.

One was today’s article in the Tennessean.  It was a mishmash of rehashed re-reporting of Jeremy Durham — a story from which most people with actual lives had finally moved on.  Reporters Boucher and Ebert dance all around the issue, decrying the “culture” that had allowed Durham to thrive.  But in their rambling article they forgot to mention that the most powerful person in the House, who for six years has overseen and condoned the culture by covering up for her friends who were allegedly involved in drunken sexcapades with legislative staff, was none other than the Speaker of the House, Beth Harwell.

Remind us never to rely on the Tennessean to find the 5,000 lb. gorilla in the room.gorilla

The other reason for our renewed coverage was a rumor that circulated two weeks ago that a former senior staffer, in a desperate attempt to somehow save his own hide, was ready to “roll over” on leadership and their complicity in covering up for friends of the Speaker.  The story our tipsters told us, was that the former aide was going to/did talk with a reporter from the MSM just before checking himself into re-hab.  Gratified that the MSM had finally decided to get involved prompted the crew here at Rocky Top to back off for a while (the vote was not unanimous, however, with Mrs. Hot Chick wanting to bring the heat).

RTP admits to one of our rare mistakes: We trusted the MSM to actually do its job.

The interview – if it ever took place – never made it into any story. Our sources also tell us the former staffer is now incommunicado, hidden safely behind the well-manicured hedges of some sort of facility that specializes in helping people who do stupid things.  The irony is every political reporter in the state knows exactly who RTP is talking about and they have proffered that name to numerous individuals.  Reporters have said they need to “get confirmation” and to publicly “get someone on the record” to say the names out loud so they can report it.  Funny, we don’t recall them holding such high-falutin’ standards of journalism when they were going after Rep. Pants Candy.  Durham deserved his fate, but the MSM seem bound and determined to protect the Speaker and her cronies from a similar fate.  Maybe if we start calling them “John Doe Chairman #2” and “John Doe former staffer #12” the media will get off its butt and report something.  Also, considering the crack job the “John and Jane Doe” coding system did to protect the anonymity of the individuals involved in the Durham case, the identity and privacy of the latest miscreants should be safe for at least the 15-20 minutes it takes to crack the code.

Was RTP “played?”  That’s certainly a possibility.  But live and learn, we always say.  Rest assured, we are back on the job and will continue to present mature and thought-provoking discourse on weighty matters of public concern.

Or more likely, we will continue run rockets up the nether-regions of preening politicians who reek of hypocrisy and malfeasance, regardless of whether the news media continues to playing pattycake with 5,000 lb. gorillas.


Here we go again…

State GOP takes down contact information for State Executive Committee members.

Action follows public release of roll call vote that denied GOP legislator the right to speak to the S.E.C.

It’s happened before….

Around noon on Saturday, Rep. Judd Matheny provided several members at the Tennessee Alliance of Tea Party and Liberty Groups the roll call vote that took place when the SEC decided 35-25 (including 9 proxies who conveniently voted against allowing him to speak) and encouraged attendees to call their SEC members and ask why they voted the way they did.  Within hours, the state party website removed the names and contact information for all SEC members:

SEC not found

As of this posting, the info was still not on the website.   And before Haynes rolls out a canned excuse such as the “site was down for maintenance,” we would point out that all other pages and links on the site were working properly.  It’s clear SECmembers were starting to get phone calls asking them to explain why they muzzled a 14-year state representative and refused to allow him to address teh state party.

This is not the first time the Haynes Hacks at the state party have pulled a similar stunt when facing controversy.  In April, just before Haynes and the establishment loaded up the delegation to the National Convention with former Bush and Rubio supporters at the expense of Trump delegates, the state party waited until the night before to release their preferred list, then immediately took down the contact info for the SEC members and others before the vote.  It was not restored for several days.

The state GOP, with its by-laws violation, its nepotism and self dealing financial arrangements, flipping off and its outrageous attempts to defeat incumbent GOP lawmakers while flipping off the 27 legislators who complained, is turning into what borders on a criminal (or certainly unethical) enterprise.  Their “do anything, say anything” to retain power is disgusting.

But never fear:  Rocky Top anticipated these creeps would pull something like this, so we screen shot the missing web pages a couple of weeks ago (below).

Recent news reports announced that Tennessee will experience a total solar eclipse in exactly one year.  But we invite Ryan and his little thugs to take this early opportunity to stick their list where the sun don’t shine, today…

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