Friday, July 15, 2005


Ethics reform and Gregory

When it comes to ethics reforms in Tennessee politics there doesn’t seem to be a lot of excitement about making real changes. In this article the Democrats proposed changes that limit one rich individual from running the state. Make sure you check out the bio on Mr. Money Bags himself, and note how Bredesen returned the Gregory money he received. Not surprisingly, the Republicans will have none of these reforms because pharmaceutical billionaire John Gregory pays their bills. Though as you can see here, Mr. Gregory is afraid to show his face in public. Unfortunately the Gregory family is not afraid to buy up a large chunk of Northeast Tennessee. Forget Watauga; soon we will have Gregory Lake. And with the recent decision by the Federal Supreme Court, your own home might be the next Gregory target for real estate development.

At least two Tennessee Democrats refuse to back down to the Republicans' resistance to reform, and I hope they never do. I do believe that the Democrats can appeal to more Christian voters by emphasizing the ethics reforms that the Republicans are afraid of passing. However, more Democrats will have to oppose abortion to truly win more of those voters, I believe.

What I find interesting about the ethics topic is how many ethics violations can be found among the Ethics Committee, including Ramsey. Mr. Ramsey's behavior is not being ignored by everyone, according to this article that came out on Thursday. What is even more amusing is how Ramsey ignores his own indiscretions while throwing darts at Bredesen. I guess Ramsey missed the memo from Bill Frist that not all Tennessee Republicans hate Bredesen.

Tennessee Campaign Finance/Ethics Reform:
340 Edgemont Avenue, TNCON PAC, and the State of Franklin PAC.

State records and a February 2 , 2002
SJ Strategic Investments LLC news release indicate that former Tennessee State Senator (and former King Pharmaceutical lobbyist) Jim Holcomb was hired as the SJ Strategic Investments LLC "Government Relations Manager" almost to the same day of the original application date of the Tenn. Conservative PAC [TNCON PAC] as filed with the office of the Tennessee Secreatry of State.

One paritcular reoccurring expense reported within the Tenn. Conservative PAC disclosures by Treasurer Jim Holcomb is the $170.00 monthly rent for TNCON PAC office space within the $4.22 million "Leitner Pharmaceuticals Building" owned by the John Gregory-owned SJ Strategic Investments LLC..

Whatta bargin, Jimbo!

But I some how suspect that the $170.00 TNCON PAC rental is somewhat below the market value of commercial office space found in Northeast Tennessee...

And as I best recall, the 2004 State of Franklin PAC campaign finance reports filed with the Tennessee Secretary of State do not indicate that any other rent (other than a post office box rental) to the U.S. Postal Service) is being paid out to SJ Strategic Investments LLC. (or other office space providers), even though both State of Franklin PAC President Dr. Hill and State of Franklin PAC Treasurer Bud Branscomb are working together in the same offices at the 501(c)(3) tax exempt Appalachin Educational Communications Corporation (AECC) which is located at the Suite 100, 340 Edgemont Avenue Leitner Building address in Bristol, Tennessee.

The 340 Edgemont Avenue office of the 501(c)(3) tax exempt AECC serves as the de facto and gratis State of Franklin PAC office.

So why do you suppose that Dr. Kenneth Hill and his State of Franklin PAC is not actually paying (and properly listing the State of Franklin PAC rental amount) with the Tennessee Secretary of State) the actual market value of the rental paid to SJ Strategic Investments LLC for the defacto State of Franklin PAC offices at 340 Edgement Avenue?

I would the hate it to learn that the rental hijinks of both the TNCON PAC and the State of Franklin PAC may have caused SJ Strategic Investments LLC to inadvertantly understate rental income (or overstate charitable donations) within their 2002, 2003, or 2004 federal income tax filings...
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