Dogs and Ponies and Fundraisers, Oh My!

Yesterday, the State Government put out a release about the Governor’s budget tour. Here’s a sample:

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced that portions of the Fiscal Year 2012-2013 budget hearings will take place outside of Nashville so that citizens in East and West Tennessee have an opportunity to attend. Hearings will be held in Knoxville and Memphis, which will mark the first time in state history that budget proceedings will occur away from the State Capitol.

Scheduled to begin on November 2, the budget hearings will be streamed live on www.tn.gov as in years past to give Tennesseans that are unable to attend accessibility to the budget discussions of each state agency.

Minimum Bid $500
Dandy. Believe you me, I’ll be there…after my Map quiz.

I don’t want to belittle this too much because I actually like the idea of the government going around and talking to people about what government does. I think it’s important for people to have a good understanding of government, and that understanding should start with how it’s funded. Without funding, nothing happens, regardless of what Grover Norquist tells you.

Hopefully this will be a real live discussion of government, not just a dog and pony show. You know I’ll be writing about it either way.

But that’s not all the good Governor has on tap. Just hours after I got notice of this meeting I got this invitation to a $500 a head fundraiser for Republican candidate for DA, Amy Weirich.

Now look, I don’t begrudge Amy for doing what any smart politician would do, seek out the biggest name they can get to help raise money for a first term, even if she is a Republican. I have plenty of friends who like her, yadda, yadda, yadda… However I, like my blogfather Steffens, am still waiting for a mythical Democrat to announce for the race.

After this fundraiser, and considering all the folks she has behind her, that seems unlikely.

But isn’t it convenient that Gov. Haslam, a man of the Pilot Fortune, could be in town on state business while this event is taking place. What a coincidence!

This, of course, comes just days after Haslam held the most successful fundraiser at the Governor’s residence in history. $550,000 may be a drop in the bucket to ole Bill, but it’ll buy a truckload or two of Pilot travel mugs if the going gets tough.

So, there ya go. I will be at the budget meeting, but I won’t be at the fundraiser. $500 is too rich for my blood, never mind the whole Republican part of the equation. In the mean time I’ll be doing everything I can to dispel the notion that Democrats have given up in Shelby County. Lord knows, if we give up here, we’re toast statewide.

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