From AP via News-Sentinel

Republican Gov. Bill Haslam has signed an executive order that eliminates a requirement for the governor and top aides to disclose how much they earn.

The move wipes off the books former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen’s first executive order of 2003, which required the top executive branch officials to make annual reports about their total earnings.

The article

Or I guess it depends on how you spin it ....


From the Tennessee Report ...

Haslam Signs First Exec. Orders: Transparency, Ethics & Non-Discrimination the Focus

Governor Bill Haslam today signed three executive orders setting out his commitment to transparency and openness in state government.

Executive Order No. 2011-01 requires every employee of the Executive Branch to annually disclose the same information as the legislative branch. The Counsel to the Governor will serve as the chief ethics officer and will administer the policies and maintain all records related to the ethics policy.

The article

R. Neal's picture

Is anyone surprised by

Is anyone surprised by this?

Of course he doesn't want anyone to know how rich he's getting off gas, beer, cigs, and lotto that he now regulates.

I thought that second link was going to be the News Sentinel's editorial praising Haslam for being so open and transparent and hailing his long history of open government in Knoxville. Instead, it's Haslam's press release at the TN Report. Same difference.

If anyone has any doubt about who's running this state now, it's the guy standing behind Bill Haslam in the photo accompanying the KNS article.

And the KNS's first installment in their week-long love letter to the Haslams gives us a glimpse of how they operate since a long time ago:

According to a newspaper account, someone from outside the university challenged the assertion that Haslam had been held out of the 1949 season, and a Southeastern Conference review of game film verified that he had played in that year's Ole Miss game - using up an entire season of eligibility. The discovery knocked Haslam off the roster for games against Kentucky and Vanderbilt, plus a Cotton Bowl matchup against Texas.

See, it's only a violation if you get caught.

marytheprez's picture

Egg-zactly, R.

And the violations we must get prepared for will be the conflicts of interests for all his 'aides' and their "second incomes"...First, don't these political appointees get super salaries for becoming servants of Tennessee? Why would they EVER need second incomes? Would those extra pots of 'income' include consulting fees, part-time secret lobbying, bonuses or WHAT?
But since the Guv'nor got away with refusing to reveal HIS income when running for his new position, I guess he wanted to 'cover' his new hirelings, also.

Yep, we will have to wait and see who gets will take awhile, but it is likely to happen.

michael kaplan's picture

well, we know his income is

well, we know his income is at least $100,000, the 5% tax-free interest from his investment in the downtown movie theater.

michael kaplan's picture

if you do a google search for

if you do a google search for "bill haslam net worth" you'll get this blog entry as No. 4 on the list. the issue has now made the new york times via the associated press. any good investigative journalist could likely estimate his annual income. a willingness to reveal sources but not income suggests that his income - like that of many of the super-rich - may have risen at a time the economy was in decline.

michael kaplan's picture

Of course he made out like a

Of course he made out like a bandit.

well, we don't really know that for a fact. except, of course, for that one investment in the downtown movie theater.

Rachel's picture

oh fergawds sakes, give that

oh fergawds sakes, give that one up. A) Haslam could easily have lost his entire investment, and B) there wouldn't BE a theater on the 500 block (and all the accompanying redevelopment) w/o it.

There are legitimate things to criticize Haslam on, but the movie theater thing just ain't it.

Rachel's picture

I agree with 2) and 3). I'm

I agree with 2) and 3). I'm still glad it's there.

michael kaplan's picture

If you recall, my article in

If you recall, my article in the Knoxville Voice criticized the project - owned by the City through the Industrial Development Board - for not having been designed in Knoxville. Although Faris Eid did master planning and preliminary design, the design development and construction documents were subsequently given to an outside architect. IMO it's not a good use of taxpayer money when local architects could have easily handled the work. In her last books, Jane Jacobs calls this 'import replacement,' or a move towards cities becoming economically self-sufficient. One would think a good mayoral campaign could be constructed around this idea: look at everything a city buys - goods and services - and try to find/choose local alternatives.

Rachel's picture

That's different from

That's different from insinuating there was something wrong with Haslam puttin his own $$ into it.

And BTW, you're not the only person on KV who reads Jacobs.

j.f.m.'s picture

I assume it's the combination

I assume it's the combination of making-out-like-a-banditry and just the sheer size of the numbers. It's one thing to know your governor is "rich," which is a vague thing that most people don't understand very well. It would be another to know that last year he made $10 million or $50 million or whatever the number might be. And still another to know that his net worth is however many hundreds of millions.

I think the move is both shameless and shameful, but totally unsurprising. And I also sort of suspect that even if the information were public, an awful lot of people just wouldn't give a damn. Lots of Americans seem perfectly happy to just let rich people run everything. They've been chosen for wealth by the God of the Marketplace, so they must be superior beings in some way.

michael kaplan's picture

It would be another to know

It would be another to know that last year he made $10 million or $50 million or whatever the number might be.

i neglected to add another issue: the numbers might reveal the part of the income that was tax sheltered, showing that he was paying tax at a rate lower than less-affluent citizens. that's why i mentioned the $100,000 income from the movie theater investment.

I also sort of suspect that even if the information were public, an awful lot of people just wouldn't give a damn.

i agree with you. it's the plantation effect.

Rachel's picture

And I also sort of suspect

And I also sort of suspect that even if the information were public, an awful lot of people just wouldn't give a damn.

I know Bredesen isn't as rich as Haslam (or rather, I ASSUME that's the case), but I will admit that I never looked at how much Bredesen was making.

It wasn't that I was "happy to let rich people run everything." On the contrary, I'd like to reform our election process to allow more non-rich people to run. It's just that once he was in office I was more interested in how he was running the state.

Andy Axel's picture

In the FWIW dept....

The sale of HealthAmerica to MaxiCare (which eventually became Coventry Healthcare) was reported to have netted him a cash profit in the neighborhood of $47M.

bizgrrl's picture

Turnng on their own? No, I

Turnng on their own?

No, I don’t know what this is about, but it looks bad.

Nah, he's not a Republican.

MemphisSlim's picture

Where's the statement that he'll work for $1 a year like Phil?

I'm surprised he's willing to travel on the state's rickety old King Air turbo props, having campaigned all year on Pilot's fleet of Dassault Falcon jets. He's accustomed to traveling quietly and smoothly, now he's going to travel loudly and get shaken everywhere he goes.

bizgrrl's picture

Can't he still travel on

Can't he still travel on Pilot's jets? The new governor of Florida has proposed selling their fleet. However, there is speculation he will just ride in his personal jet.

John Boyd's picture

Perhaps Haslam has something

Perhaps Haslam has something to hide?

EricLykins's picture

Tennessee Democratic

Tennessee Democratic Party
From the Sunlight Foundation: "To exempt oneself, as a American public official, from financial disclosure rules, is to empower corrupt and ineffective governments throughout the world, and to undermine those who struggle to improve them."

If we want to cite the Sunlight Foundation to help bash Tennessee's top Republican we could at least pass around their transparency pledge to all of the legislators and mayors while we're at it and get everybody on record.

The "as an American public official" quote is pretty good, but let's not miss the one directed personally at our new Governor.

"This shows an astonishing lack of knowledge and respect for one of the primary instruments of accountability in government."

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

This question is used to make sure you are a human visitor and to prevent spam submissions.


TN Progressive

TN Politics

Knox TN Today

Local TV News

News Sentinel

State News

Local .GOV

State .GOV

Wire Reports

Lost Medicaid Funding

To date, the failure to expand Medicaid/TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding. (Source)

Monthly archive