Monday, December 1, 2008

WSMV's Finley scores coup with new Ford outrage

In Tennessee politics, the surname of "Ford" conjures up thoughts of scandal instead of success in serving the people.

And so WSMV's Jeremy Finley added another sorry chapter tonight to the Memphis family's political history. State Sen. Ophelia Ford, who has suffered from an assortment of "health" problems while in office and missed much of last session, found time to take five trips at a cost of $12,000 to taxpayers this summer.

Sen. Ford was not one bit apologetic, and responded to Finley's questions with a "Oooeeee! Alleluia! That's all I spent?!"

Because of a fiscal crisis facing state government, state employees have been ordered not to travel. Yet Ford and several other lawmakers took trips costing taxpayers more than #100,000 during the summer. The lawmakers also received per diem payments for food and lodging.

Finley's reporting is a prime example of fine watchdog reporting. Ford's conduct is indicative of a political family more accustomed to self service than the public kind.

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