By way of Tom Humphrey, the Tennessean reports that some local Friends of Bill made nearly $5 million off the state for just taking out a mortgage on some property for a few years. Nice work if you can get it.
There's nothing particularly illegal or immoral about the deal, except maybe that Knox County had the land appraised too low for some reason, thus missing out on some tax revenue. And of course it all happened before Haslam took office, sort of, and besides, he doesn't know anything about it anyway.
What's most disturbing about the article, though, is this:
The state bought the building by tapping $87 million that it had previously budgeted for TennCare, the state’s Medicaid program for the poor. But that money was able to be shifted for other uses when the federal government boosted its share of Medicaid funding for Tennessee as part of the stimulus package.
If that's true, it's pretty outrageous. Never mind all the GOP hypocrisy about federal spending and the stimulus program. What about federal money intended to help low-income people get health care being diverted to land deals to benefit wealthy developers instead? It's too bad Pellissippi State's image will be tarnished by getting themselves dragged into the middle of all this.
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