Thursday, November 13, 2008

First Lady should give money back to state

Tennessee First Lady Andrea Conte -- who took $11 million in state money to build an entertainment center under the governor's mansion for people with titles -- should return the funds since lawmakers may well face a $1 billion budget deficit for the current fiscal year when they return in January.

Conte's project was originally sold to the public as not costing taxpayers a dime. Then it escalated out of control and beyond needed public scrutiny. The result was $11 million in taxpayer money being used.

Conte and her husband, Gov. Phil Bredesen, are mega-monster millionaires. That $11 million is nothing to them. But for the most vulnerable in this state, the sum will mean state workers keeping their jobs and the sick on TennCare staying on the health care rolls amid what will be very deep budget cuts.

If you see Conte at a public function, ask her to give the money back to the people who can really use it during these difficult economic times.

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