Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Bryson to Bredesen: Will you remove the Deputy Governor?

(Nashville, TN) - GOP nominee for Governor Jim Bryson has called on Governor Phil Bredesen to fire controversial Deputy Governor Dave Cooley for ongoing ethical problems and his involvement in a ticket-fixing scandal that now involves the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Attorney General. Bredesen refused to answer the question three times during yesterday's televised gubernatorial debate in Knoxville.

"Someone must be held accountable for the Deputy Governor's ticket-fixing and the cash for promotions scheme within the Highway Patrol," said Sen. Bryson. "Either that person is Governor Bredesen or Dave Cooley."

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has refused to comply with a subpoena issued for the closed file of Cooley's actions regarding a speeding ticket he received that was dismissed in 2004. Bredesen asked the TBI to investigate and news reports have said that investigation has uncovered internal memos and e-mail relevant to the case. The Attorney General, an appointed Democrat, is backing the TBI.

The subpoena is part of former Highway Patrol Lt. Bryan Farmer's federal lawsuit over the THP's promotions process. Farmer contributed to Bredesen's 2002 opponent and was subsequently dismissed.

Another major issue to come out of the debate was Bredesen's refusal to support tough state laws that punish illegal immigrants who commit crime. The Governor also downplayed the fact that illegal immigrants are on TennCare and left the door open to a gas tax increase.

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