Sunday, June 19, 2005

A Willing Waltz

"The five Tennessee lawmakers were being led down the garden path, according to court documents: Money was given to them, and a bill was introduced. More money and the bill was amended. More money and the bill was withdrawn.

The end of the path led to indictments for the elected officials and two others in the "Operation Tennessee Waltz" bribery case, interviews and a review of court documents show.

With each step on the pathway, more money came their way, and in return, a new request had to be fulfilled for men who turned out to be informants and undercover federal agents.
The allegations against the lawmakers in the "Tennessee Waltz" case are not simply a case of selling votes. The strongest element of the case against them, two former prosecutors said, may be the cause-and-effect relationship — of bribes in return for specific actions by the lawmakers, of what undercover federal agents asked for and what the legislators delivered."

An article by The Tennessean intoday'ss paper showed that ex-Tennessee State Senator John Ford, (D.Memphiss) as well as many others willingly danced in the TBI's "Operation Tennessee Waltz" that uncovered a pool of bribes and selfless legislation. With quotes from Ford saying things like, "You are talking to the guy that makes the deals," it's hard to deny what his intentions were when he talked to them. E-Cycle, TBI's phony company paid him a lump sum of $10,000 as a down payment in August of 2004 for 2 months worth of legislation. In total Ford got $55,000 of bribe money, and to top that off, when the state ethics bill came up, he had the nerve to try to guilt trip other legislators by saying that there were some there who had a guilty conscience.