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Cooley on the hot seat

Cooley on the hot seat

It's only getting worse for Deputy Gov. Dave Cooley, whose initial claims that he never identified himself to a Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper who ticketed him for speeding recently have been embarrassingly disputed by the audio and video of the traffic stop. In the tape, which aired last week on WTVF-Channel 5, Cooley is seen and heard giving the befuddled trooper his business card, with his lofty title prominently displayed. Cooley now says that he gave the trooper his card simply as a matter of "professional courtesy" and that he wasn't trying to get favorable treatment. He could take a cue from Deputy Mayor Bill Phillips, whose recent citation—paid promptly the day after he received it and before any shenanigans could occur—sits under the glass top of his desk, there for him to reference should a reporter ever call about it. As for Cooley's boss, Gov. Phil Bredesen is standing by his No. 2, though he told a group last week that the whole thing is "a mess."

Country in New York

The GOP convention this week may look more like the CMA Awards than the choreographed partisan exercise that it is. Scheduled to entertain at various events are such country artists as Brooks & Dunn, Trace Adkins, Darryl Worley, Sara Evans and Lee Ann Womack, among many others. Where's Toby Keith when you need him? Fortunately, rounding out the musical lineup are the Blind Boys of Alabama, a black gospel group.

Dolly woo

For her philanthropic work providing educational opportunities to kids in her native East Tennessee, among other worthy endeavors, entertainer Dolly Parton earned the American Legion's Good Guy Award this week during the group's annual convention in Nashville. Of course, there may be a couple of other reasons for the honor.

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