Monday, August 29, 2005


Ethics, Smethics

I completely forgot to publicize this article about Mr. Hargett. This former speaker of the house quit his job there so he could be a lobbyist for Pfizer. This is the epitome of unethical government behavior. Pfizer knows that ripping consumers off has to be protected and the best way to do that is to get in the pockets of legislators, just like our own Hilly boy. This definitely explains why Hargett sent a letter to the JC Press praising Hilly boy. Hargett probably wanted to work for King Pharmaceuticals, at least until the higher paying Pfizer came knocking.

“If there was ever any question that the Tennessee Republican Party is in the back pocket of the drug companies, this ought to settle it. As it turns out, Representative Hargett got out just in time — just one week after his party told the Legislature’s Joint Ethics Committee that it wanted a new ‘revolving door’ policy. ... There’s no doubt: Pfizer and the drug companies own the Tennessee Republican Party.”

Of course, the Democrats are stupid for not supporting the bill calling for legislators to wait one year before becoming a lobbyist after leaving the Legislature. That would have stopped this for at least a year.

Unlike Hilly boy, even Rep. David Davis is not too happy with Hargett:

Davis said the one-year cooling-off period before exiting state lawmakers can become lobbyists is needed. Twenty-six states mandate a period of time that must elapse before a former legislator can represent clients before the legislature, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

“I don’t care if they are a Republican or Democrat. ... I think that’s one of the things we need to do in ethics legislation is stop this revolving door,” Davis said.


In unrelated news, Hilly boy has his coffee shop up for sale. I guess the Gregory's are not too fond of supporting a business that loses money simply for the sake of appearances. Anyway, its only purpose was for Hilly boy to pose as a pseudo-business owner during the election. Supposedly he has had it for sale ever since he won the election. And as I have suspected, when Hilly boy is done using something, he will discard it after he gets what he wants. I would guess the voters of the 7th District are next.

I do not suspect that Mr. Accessible (Rep. Hilly Boy) has any standing with either the current executive management or board of directors at King Pharamaceuticals and other King subsidary operations as the Gregorys (aside from being major owners of King stock) are pretty much out of the picture with King.

SJ Strategic Investments LLC --- and since 2004 following the unraveling of the Mylan-King stock merger --- Leitner Pharmaceuticals seem to be the two personally-owned businesse entities capturing most of the Gregory family's business focus.

Would the Gregory's hire Hargett as a "governmental affairs manager " lobbyist for either SJ Strategic Investments LLC and/or Leitner Pharmaceuticals makes for some rather interesting speculation, given Jim Holcomb is currently employed within this same position by SJ Strategic Investments LLC.

This is not to suggest, however, that a very wealthy individual (such as John Gregory) or business (Leitner Pharmaceuticals) is somehow limited to hiring just one lobbyist or prevented from setting up additional "dummy" PAC fronts such as the Tenn. Conservative PAC [TN CON PAC] in a currently lawful effort to both skirt limits on individual donations to a political candidiate and to also funnel more campaign dollars toward Republican politicans.

Personally, I do not see one year abscence from the Tennessee General Assembly as being a "cooling-off" period given that members of the House serve two year terms --- I believe that any cooling-off period for former legislators-turned-lobbyists should be directly tied to the term or lenght of constitiutionally elective (or appointed) office last held by the TNGMA wannabe lobbyists: if you are leavivng the House, two years, if you are leaving the Senate, four years.

Of course. you really have to wonder what is rolling around in Hilly Boy's head when he states his first career choice would have to been a lobbyist --- I suppose that it is somewhat of a good thing for Washington County residents that he had the "state representative" gig listed number three or four on his career path...
Check out the following URL for the Tennessee Institute For Governmental Ethics And Reform:

Rep. Matthew Hill is apparently very ethically challenged as he "DID NOT RESPOND" to the followingTIGER survey form pertaining to legislative and ethical behavior within the Tennessee General Assembly! What gives??? I seem to recall that Rep. Matthew Blowhard was slumming across the 7th House District in Washington County and all the while implying that he somehow possessed a greater ethical reservoir than any of his opponents --- read on:

Dear Legislator,

As a member of the Tennessee Legislature, you should recognize the importance of public trust. Tennessee state government should seek to be open, honest and accountable. To that end, the Tennessee Institute for Governmental Ethics and Reform would like to know your position on the following issues that need to be addressed in order for true ethics reform. Results will be furnished to the public by way of newspaper ads and websites across the state. Included is a self-addressed, stamped envelope for your response. Please respond by Wednesday, April 20, 2005.

As a member of the Tennessee General Assembly, I believe the following issues are vital to meaningful ethics reform:

[ ] YES [ ] NO Strengthening the so-called ''Cup of Coffee'' law governing the wining and dining of legislators

[ ] YES [ ] NO Lobbyist registration of expenditures and salary

[ ] YES [ ] NO An anti-nepotism law prohibiting lobbying by or employment of relatives of government and elected officials

[ ] YES [ ] NO Requiring a one-year cooling-off period before a former state legislator can become a lobbyist

[ ] YES [ ] NO Elimination of contingency and consulting fees paid to government and elected officials

Signed ______________________________



This carpetbagging crud makes me want to puke...
Thanks for the heads up on this. I will make a post about this.
I agree that one year is not long enough for a cooling off period.
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