Bunker Buster

Tennessee Republicans are catching some flak from a guy who used to get paid to deliver it on their behalf.

Specifically, former party spokesman Bill Hobbs wrote on his Facebook page that he thinks it unseemly for Gov. Bill Haslam to be planning a lavish GOP fundraising shindig in the bowels of what was once Exhibit A in the case of Fiscal Conservatives v. Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen.

In fact, if Republicans are serious about wanting to be seen as ethically bigger men and women in political victory than their rival predecessors, Hobbs argues they’d consider instituting use-restrictions on the “Bredesen Bunker” like those Arkansas did with its “Grand Hall.”

Hobbs:

In 2007, as the political battle over the construction of Conservation Hall, a/k/a “the bunker,” raged, I did some research in my role as communications director for the Tennessee Republican Party and found that a similar controversy had arisen a few years earlier when Arkansas added a similar facility to its governor’s mansion.

I also learned that Arkansas had established official policies governing the use of its ballroom – policies that FORBID using the facility for partisan political purposes.

Tennessee needs similar policies – if it is possible, some lawmakers in Nashville ought to amend the next state budget to include such policies.

That won’t stop the current leadership of the Tennessee Republican Party from misusing this publicly-funded facility for partisan purposes, but it would prevent future leaders of both political parties from doing so.

  • MacArthur Parks

    Remember, the current GOP leadership also let Bill go from his job with the state GOP.

  • http://www.billhobbs.com Bill Hobbs

    Yes, they did, Mac. They let several of us go. It is normal for new party chairpersons to select their own staff. I’ve been supportive of the party since leaving that job, but in this case the party is doing the wrong thing. And I don’t blame the party only for this. The legislature should have created rules governing the ballroom. It still should do so. The political parties don’t have a problem with finding venues for big-money fundraisers. They don’t need to be using the governor’s mansion.