As of six am this morning State Senator John Ford, three other Tennessee lawmakers, and former lawmakers were arrested in TN on wide ranging charges related to extortion. The link is to the local new radio station; the text on that page will disappear and be replaced by other news in a few days so I have copied their news release here. If you want to listen to Terry Harris from the U.S. Attorney's office in Memphis, click here.
"BREAKING NEWS: Senators Ford, Bowers, Dixon among 5 lawmakers arrested
BREAKING NEWS...600 WREC has learned several Tennessee legislators, including state Senators John Ford and Kathryn Bowers were been taken into custody by FBI agents in Nashville. Also taken into custody are state Representative Chris Newton and Senator Ward Crutchfield. Former state Senator Roscoe Dixon has been arrested as well. They face charges of violating the Hobbs Act, which focuses on extortion. A press conference was held in Memphis today. Terry Harris of the FBI spoke to the media and outlined the charges saying "Government is not for sale". Harris says the charges are a result of a 2-year sting operation dubbed "Tennessee Waltz" done by the FBI, TBI, and U.S. Attorneys offices in TN. We have news teams working in both Memphis and Nashville to stay on top of this developing story. Stay tuned to in-depth team coverage throughout the day on 600 WREC."
Right below this breaking news, was this interesting news.
Harold Ford Jr. Announces Senate Candidacy
It's official, Congressman Harold Ford Junior is running for U.S. Senate. Ford publically announced Wednesday he's seeking the seat that will be vacated by Senator Bill Frist in 2006. The announcement comes after months of fund raising, and touring Tennessee. Ford says he's confident he can can raise $14 million dollars for the race, and win the state. The Federal Election Commission reports Ford has about $1.7 million in a congressional campaign account that can be used for the Senate run.
The news of John Ford's arrest, which is Harold Ford's uncle, affects Harold's run for Senate and could affect the Governor of TN if he wants to run for president. Having 4 current and one former lawmaker arrested under you watch will reflect badly on Bredesen, I wonder if he will blog about it. I just got finished listening to a live news conference that Governor Bredesen just gave. He expressed the idea that this was bad for the state and that this would be trying time. I disagree; this will probably be one of the better things that could be done for the state. Bredesen also pointed out that this was an ongoing investigation by the FBI, TBI, and US attorney general's office. So there could be more arrests as the investigation continues.
Say Uncle - is about 7 hours ahead of me and has much more than I have.
One of the better post found by say uncle is here: Half Baked.
The Fly Paper Theory
"UPDATE: Wish I could blog more on this, but I'm busy, busy, busy. Earlier the Nashville Scenewas suggesting that Mayor Herenton might be involved in some way"
Also the site of the fake company that caught the Tennessee 7 (title via half baked) is here (the company's website via Fly paper Theory)
Update: "I disagree; this will probably be one of the better things that could be done for the state."
I take that back. It is probably one of the better things that could happen to memphis.
update: The site for the company that tricked the TN lawmakers was in correct. Via the fly paper theory.
"SO---- it looks like there is NO online information about the dummy company. AMAZING that so many people would fall for it."
Update: I just heard on the news that the prosecutors are trying to convince the judge in the arraignment of John Ford that he is a threat. They have played videotape of him threatening people.
Update: The e-cycle website was found.