28 May 2005

Tennessee Waltz Stings John Ford

TN Senator John Ford arrested Thursday. Caught up a sting operation by the FBI and TBI. Walking human-hand-grenade-John Ford along with 3 other legislators and 1 former TN Senator arrested, along with two other alleged conspirators. For the 31 year Senate veteran Ford, constantly mired in scandal and controversy, the only surprise is that it took this long.

Ford has tendered his resignation, in light of this and other ethics matters that were about to reach critical mass.

Perhaps most damning in Fords case is tape evidence that on several occasions he threatened to shoot undercover agents. Those familiar with Ford's antics don't find this surprising. In 1991 he was tried and acquitted for allegedly firing a pistol at a truck driver while traveling to Nashville and in 1997 he was charged with aggravated battery for brandishing a shotgun and threatening a utility work crew who were working near his home. It will also be interesting to see how this affects nephew Harold Ford Jrs run for the US Senate, as the trial unfolds.

Also of interest is the arrest of RINO (Republican In Name Only) Rep Chris Newton of Cleveland. Newton had been considered to be a very savvy politician for cozying up to house speaker Jimmy Naifeh a very, very nasty partisan democrat, who has recently been occupying himself with killing any serious effort at significant ethical reform legislation. Newton doesn't look so savvy now. Let Newton go to the speaker now, and see what kind of help he gets.

I have been waayy, way busy with getting our house ready to finish moving into, re-doing hardwood floors, paint, carpet etc, and training for my new job etc, so I am not set up to blog in a big way at this time. I am just hammered for time right now but hopefully will be back blogging regularly soon. In fact, this post is being written at the in-laws.

Fellow Memphis bloggers AlphaPatriot, Joefish's Freshwater Blog, Half-Bakered,all have great coverage, and links. AlphaPat is right, Mike at Half-Bakered has very comprehensive coverage including a link to the indictments which are now posted at this link, and don't forget the Memphis RedBlog. Also, check out Nashville blogger BillHobbs, and Knoxville state Rep Stacey Campfields blog.

What is really disturbing in the aftermath is the pathetic ramblings of TN Lt Governor John Wilder.

"... It's rough. We're family. Three members of our family are in hell. Why? Because they're legislators..."

Wilder even goes so far as blaming FBI and TBI investigators for tempting them with money. Wilder is portraying them as victims who are only in this position because they are legislators.


Poor legislators, they are being picked on. They are just like any other group of oppressed victims. Please.

Also appalling is the lack of any semblance of outrage at the disgrace the actions of those involved has brought upon the TN General Assembly on the part of TN governor Phil Bredesen. Bredesen is practically defending them. Those indicted are all democrats with the exception of Newton who might as well be a democrat. Bredesen is the titular head of the democratic party in the state of TN, and as such has an obligation to publicly and forcefully denounce such foolishness, especially the comments of Lt Governor Wilder. After all, Lt Governor Wilder has questioned the judgement, if not the integrity of TBI agents (as well as FBI agents) and Bredesen is the chief law enforcement officer in the state. For Bredesen to allow Wilders comments to go unchallenged is a slap in the face to all law enforcement personnel in the state.

TN general assembly speaker Jimmy Naifeh is virtually mum on the subject.


Could it be that in their heart of hearts they don't find unethical behavior, bribery, and corruption in the TN general assembly all that unusual?

Equally disturbing is US Magistrate Diane Vescovos decision to allow Ford to be released from Federal custody with only a $20,000.00 bond. While she has imposed a strict house arrest regime, given Fords past conduct, this hardly seems prudent.

Will keep following this and trying to get the home remodeling stuff and work training wrapped up as soon as possible so I can get back at it. -SpinDaddy