The Tennessee Waltz has exposed a web of deceit involving legislators, lobbyists, and administrators in Tennessee. Not all are crooks, of course. However, there’s enough corruption in the air that far more people should have complained about the stench.
“We got a team,” says Dixon, who makes references to Kathryn Bowers, former congressman Harold Ford Sr., County Mayor A C Wharton and others. “It’s a network.”
Those were the recorded words of former Senator Roscoe Dixon while talking to an undercover agent. He actually sounds like that Verizon Wireless commercial, bragging about the power of his “network.” In that network was himself, a state senator, as well as a state representative, a former congressman, and a county executive.
Dixon, in effect, is bragging to FBI agents that they’ve not just bought a state senator, they’ve purchased an entire web of corruption that includes powerful players at the local, state, and federal levels.
[Undercover agent L.C.] McNiel said that, in a later conversation, he voiced concern about paying Dixon, who was considering leaving his Senate seat for a county government post.
In a recording played in court, Dixon assures McNiel that he will be in an even better position to help deliver business to E-Cycle because of his connections to other politicians.
As pervasive as this corruption is, there’s more to this crime syndicate than can be fixed with just more ethics rules and regulations. You can’t tell me that in a scandal that apparently touched every layer of government in Tennessee, that except for Senators Dixon, Bowers, and Ford, no one else in that body of 33 saw something wrong. I don’t buy it.
What is really needed are legislators who are willing to stand for truth when surrounded by lies. People who are more loyal to the State than they are to other State Senators. People who are more passionate about principles than they are about partisanship. In a word, what we need are LEADERS.
This is why I’m running for State Senate. The man I’m contesting has held the seat honorably and well for nearly four decades. He would never be personally involved in any of these scandals himself. But Senator Henry’s one tragic flaw is that he doesn’t hold his fellow senators to the same high standards he keeps for himself. That’s not good enough.
I’m asking for your vote and your support. Because, “we got a team” too. But on this team you won’t find corruption, scandal, and lies. Instead, you’ll find people whose first allegiances are to things like Duty and Honor and Tennessee. Will you join us?