[Update: It turns out that Senator Alexander inserted a $400,000 earmark for the Tennessee State Museum into the FY 2009 Interior Appropriations bill. This is a classic feature of the circuitous campaign finance operation the political class has perfected over the years. They funnel taxpayer money to institutions that, in turn, help them win reelection.]
If you want to understand everything that is wrong with the current crop of leaders in both parties, take a look at this story out of Nashville by local investigative reporter Ben Hall.
Evidently, Lamar’s top campaign staffers were coordinating the creation of a traveling exhibit of Senator Alexander with the taxpayer-funded Tennessee State Museum. The exhibit, which would paint a acclamatory picture of the senior senator, was originally going to be deployed towards the end of this year and into 2014, to coincide with his reelection campaign…that is..until Ben Hall caught them in the act.
The taxpayer-supported museum had been working with Alexander’s campaign on an exhibit that would travel across the state — while the senator was running for re-election.
After NewsChannel 5 Investigates requested e-mails from the state museum, officials abruptly postponed the exhibit until after next year’s election.
The e-mails show Alexander’s campaign worked with the museum on the timing and even funding for the exhibit. […]
But even after Alexander announced he would seek re-election, the museum communicated with campaign employees and planned to open the exhibit next month in East Tennessee, then take it across the state through next year’s election.
But fear not, they were just coordinating how to stay out of each other’s way:
One document with Tom Ingram’s handwritten name at the top seems to map out months and locations for the exhibit, but Riggins-Ezell said they weren’t trying to coordinate with the campaign.
They just wanted the exhibit to follow the same route Alexander walked across the state in the late 1970s when he ran for governor, she said.
Folks, you can’t make this stuff up.
Maybe if Lamar Alexander wants a monument for himself, he should retire so as to preclude any ethical issues of using the exhibit to promote his campaign.
Either way, I plan to work overtime this year to create a museum with multiple exhibits of the senator’s appalling voting record and years of work as a Chuck Schumer Republican. Conservatives won’t be able to vote for him even with nose plugs.