Democrat Caucus Chairman Mike Turner Continues Pattern of Ethically Challenged Behavior
NASHVILLE, TN – State House Democrat Caucus Chairman Mike Turner is the subject of yet another firestorm after it was discovered one of his staffers sold the lawmaker’s University of Tennessee football parking pass – offered to lawmakers for $96 – for a profit on Facebook. According to a WKRN report on the incident:
During the time of the incident, Nichols posted on Facebook: “I have a parking pass for UT football games… It is my bosses pass… He is asking for $1000, but I bet he would take less.”
“Rep. Turner continues to assert that he had no knowledge of this incident, but I find it hard to believe that his staffer would just come up with this idea out of nowhere,” said Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney. “If Rep. Turner didn’t know what was happening, why did his staffer attribute the asking price to his boss? Rep. Turner’s story doesn’t add up and he needs to be straight about his role in this scheme to gain profit from the very taxpayers that already pay his salary and quit throwing his staffer under the bus.”
The WKRN report also has a comment from Turner where he says that “no money every changed hands,” but a report by the Associated Press says differently:
Once discovered, Ross Nichols returned the money to a young woman who had purchased the pass and then returned the pass as well, his father said.
Scalping a UT parking pass is just the latest on a list of controversies in which Rep. Turner has found himself at the center. For example:
- March 22, 2010 – During a press conference, Rep. Turner suggested that race is playing a role in the growing opposition to President Barack Obama and his policies. Turner was quoted as saying “I think some of the people who are against Obama are just against Obama because he’s African-American.” Read a news report on his comments here.
- March 26, 2010 – Rep. Turner, who also serves as a Nashville Fire Captain, thought it appropriate to call a fire station and ask for them to pick him up after a routine traffic stop found he was driving without a valid driver’s license. While most motorists would have to call a tow-truck to move their vehicle, a taxpayer-funded fire engine came to the scene to pick up the lawmaker and an off-duty firefighter drove his vehicle back to the station. Read a news report on this incident here.
“Rep. Turner has a definite pattern of ethically challenged behavior,” continued Devaney. “He’s used his position to take advantage of Tennessee taxpayers and accused opponents of President Obama of being racists. As a lawmaker and a member of the Democrat leadership team, he should be held to the highest ethical standard. I believe Tennesseans are tired of Rep. Turner acting as though he is above the law and beyond ethical guidelines.”