There’s a fascinating story from the Tennessee Star last week about how Bob “I-used-to-be-somebody” Corker threw a hissy fit on a plane from DC to Tennessee.
Seems the Bobster noticed a Nashville businessman who used to give Corker campaign donations but, according to the story, stopped when he began to suspect that the diminutive former senator was a major sleaze who used his position to enrich himself with all sorts of insider deals. RTP had a whole series of stories about that very thing (to see them just go to the archives and type in “Corker” or “pipsqueak” and they should pop up).
The Star story went on at some length to describe the scene between Corker and financial advisor Tim Pagliara, replete with Corker on his knees in his seat, peering over the back of the seat to get at Pagliara, who found himself surrounded, since Corker’s former chief-of-staff Todd Womack was in the seat behind him.
What in hell would possess Corker to antagonistically confront a constituent in a cramped public space with numerous people within earshot hearing his every word. Our guess is that the mere presence of Pagliara was enough to remind Corker his reputation would need some repair work if he were to run for another office. Maybe an office currently held by someone whose name rhymes with “rump”?
But we digress. The Star covered the contretemps well enough, but it was one line in the long story that caught our eye. It was where Womack, while trying to defend Corker and himself over a deal where millions in profits were realized. “We didn’t make that much money off the deal,” Womack said.
Uh, what do you mean “We”, Kemosabe?
Was Todd in business with Corker while the two of them were employed by the Senate? And does Womack’s annual Senate financial disclosure statements (required of chiefs of staff) reflect what he made on the deal? Inquiring minds want to know.
Womack also offered to provide Pagliara a copy of a release form showing what happened to a $22 million contingency debt Corker had on the sale of his business. A debt that seems to have magically “disappeared” when Wells Fargo stepped in to take over the loan from GE Capital.
Yet another question for Womack (and Corker). Have you or can you produce the release? It’s an important damn question. Maybe when the Tennessean is done laying off employees, they might find time to look into this (Ha, ha. Just kidding. They are nowhere close to stopping the layoffs.).
When Corker went into the Senate, he was reportedly worth a few (as in low six figures) million dollars. By the time he left 12 years later his estimated worth was between $65 – $90 million! So how does one make that much money when your only job is being a U.S. Senator?
Corker may want to check his bank account. National political races and reputational management consultants cost a lot of money.
Yeah, for a few months there we had real lives. Babies, graduations, weddings, drunken nights in Bangkok (well maybe not the Bangkok part – but you get the idea). But then we wandered down to Legislative Plaza only to find they had moved the legislature someplace else. All we found were storage boxes and a tumbleweed blowing through where the snack bar used to be. That got us curious.
Truth is the crew here at Rocky Top was a little bored with our blog. We grew tired of having to sober up before noon so we could dazzle everyone with our extensive sources and incredible political analyses and still make it to the bar by happy hour.
Things were starting to get a little stale. Haslam was a lame duck, Corker had become a full-fledged self-destructive little pipsqueak. Even Glen Casada decided to hang out with people his own age.
Even the governor’s race didn’t interest us that much.
We watched in wonder as Diane Black (who was arguably the most qualified to be governor) went down in flames. Randy Boyd (the wealthiest – and most annoying), barely came in second while his campaign spent the equivalent of the gross domestic product of a medium-sized African nation. But hey — Chip Saltsman got wealthy as his campaign manager, so that’s something of a silver lining, we guess. Beth Harwell was the most pitiful. And then there was Billy Lee.
Lee turned a real personal tragedy into a book, inherited the family business, then married his kids’ teacher, all of which gave him an inexplicable reason to run for governor (hinting that he had received the personal endorsement of the Holy Spirit didn’t hurt either.) It is understandable if Lee and his team think they were political geniuses, but they would be wrong. They were smart enough to take the only path to winning that was available to them: let the others fight outside the school cafeteria, while Lee snuck back inside and stole everyone’s lunch. But don’t get cocky, kids. 64% of the GOP primary voters voted for someone other than Bill Lee. Lee’s margin for error over the next four years is very thin.
Marsha Blackburn trounced Phillary Bredesen and became the senator the establishment hates. Mark Green was handed a congressional seat on a silver platter (Green’s former patient, Saddam Hussein, would have been so proud of him had he not been unfortunately hanged some years ago). John Rose married a girl he used to “mentor” when she was a high school student, but wrote a check for a few million and bought a golden ticket to DC. And Tim Burchett finally admitted (or did he?) that Big Foot wasn’t real and was awarded one of the state’s “Congressman for Life” slots.
“But, but, why are you picking on Republicans?” we hear you whine. In the words of the great bank robber Willie Sutton: “Because that’s where the money is.” And by “money” we mean the tax dollars and state contracts being lined up by lobbyists advising Bill Lee. They are like pigs at the trough, waiting to get the neophyte governor to do their bidding and fill their pockets.
As for going after Democrats, well that would just be cruel. Like shooting the terminally wounded.
So now to answer the question that probably no one is asking, but we will answer it anyway. Is RTP back for real?
We will not be publishing as frequently as we used to. Mrs. Hot Chick thinks that’s why we got bored in the first place. But when we do spout off, we will try to make it good.
One final reminder: We still don’t care what your opinion is. But keep leaking us good stuff and maybe you can join our elite army:
The Few. The Proud. The Merry Band of Tipsters.
COMING SOON to a spam filter near you:
- The education of Billy Lee.
- That pain you’re feeling Governor is just Glen Casada channeling Jimmy Naifeh.
- Randy McNally: Run silent, run deep.
- Butch Ely says: “You can’t work here. Hell, you’re a conservative!”