Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bredesen Striking Back at Odom

Posted By on Thu, Nov 20, 2008 at 8:55 AM

From Phil Bredesen's press secretary this morning comes the startling news that the governor has "trust issues" with Gary Odom. That's putting it euphemistically. We'd say the governor thinks Odom is a disreputable goofball. As the AP observes, Odom "has had strained relations with Bredesen ever since Odom was a Nashville councilman and Bredesen the city's mayor. Matters came to a head last year when Odom became a vocal critic of the governor's plan to close a tax loophole for family-owned businesses." To be more precise, those were fabulously rich families who own lots of land, and Odom killed Bredesen's attempts to make them pay their fair share of taxes . One example is Nashville’s May family, who tried to pave thousands of acres of tranquil green land in Bells Bend to build a Cool Springs-like shopping paradise. The AP continues:
The failure of that measure forced Bredesen to raid $12 million from the wetlands acquisition fund-a cause he has long championed-to help fill holes in the state budget.
Just to complete the story, Odom then raised a bunch of money from the Bells Bend developer crowd, including $4,000 from the May family, $3,000 from would-be bridge builder Bell Construction, and $2,500 from Waller Landen’s PAC. He gave that money to various Democrats running for the legislature, and he's demanding that they vote for him for minority leader in return. Now, it's time for the governor to pay back Odom, and his aides are working behind the scenes to help Craig Fitzhugh become the new House Democratic leader. See also the view from the unofficial state GOP website.

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