Rex: I'm not dead (I'm in Pittsburgh)

Sunday, May 2, 2010 at 11:45pm

Pittsburgh, the town that former Pixieslead singer Frank Black sang was “a place where all good sinners can get stoned,” hosted a contingent of Nashville business leaders, those who think they are business leaders, and basically anyone who could afford the trip last week.

The purpose was the annual “Leadership Study Mission,” hosted by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. There, muckety-mucks and aspirants attended panel discussions on public and higher education, workforce, regional visioning and transportation, waterfront development, sustainability, the hospitality industry and more.

Sounds great, right?

Well, Rex has heard from more and more business leaders that trips like these aren’t an easy sell to corporate overlords who have to foot the bills, and the cost is really a disguise to raise money for the chamber.

This year’s trip cost $2,500 in airfare, two nights lodging, food, consultant fees, etc. That’s right: $2,500 for two nights in the city of three rivers.

Interestingly enough, that was the same price for you to fly with the chamber to Baltimore a couple of years ago.

Rex decided to check with his personal travel consultant, William Shatner — the Priceline Negotiator — and discovered that the cost of a flight and high-end hotel in downtown Pittsburgh booked only a week out goes for less than $500 for the same days of the week. The chamber had been planning this trip for weeks.

At the very least they could have said the extra money was going to be used to keep Ben Roethlisberger away from the young ladies.

‘Your illogical approach to chess does have its advantages on occasion, Captain’

Metro Councilman Michael Craddock took a hard swing at David Torrence, his opponent in the Criminal Court Clerk’s race, that defied conventional logic and explanation.

Craddock fired off a press release to Nashville media saying he was calling on Torrence to “explain to the taxpayers why four discrimination complaints have been lodged against him in the span of two years.”

Rex then read the next two paragraphs of the release.

“Although three of the complaints have been dismissed and one is currently under appeal in federal court, this indicates a pattern of abuse,” Craddock said.


“The taxpayers are spending tens of thousands of dollars defending incompetency [sic]
in the Criminal Court Clerk’s office,” Craddock also said.

Rex read the complaints, which Craddock attached to the release. They were all dismissed. As for the “tens of thousands of dollars” of taxpayer money used to defend the charges, Rex wasn’t provided a copy of the bill proving Craddock’s charge and doubts he will ever see one that can.


Rex knows it’s not easy being green. Some people choose to take a “wait and see” attitude on the whole issue, but to paraphrase Stewie Griffin, “Jim Henson had a wait-and-see attitude and look what happened to him. Now we’ve got wrong-sounding Muppets!”

What is the green goblin in this the case? According to Metro Council Clerk Marilyn Swing, 23 members request that paper copies of the council agenda be mailed to them prior to every meeting, despite the fact that the agenda is posted on the city’s website for everyone to see.

Rex is happy to see that the council’s enviro-stalwarts Emily Evans, Jason Holleman and Mike Jameson aren’t on the paper-list. But liberals Megan Barry and Jerry Maynard are.

Here’s the list of Metro Council members who might turn red if you ask them why they aren’t so green.

Adkins, Greg; Baker, Buddy; Barry, Megan; Bennett, Karen; Burch, Carl; Claiborne, Phil; Coleman, Sam; Crafton, Eric; Duvall, Robert; Garrett, Tim; Gilmore, Erica; Harrison, Frank; Hunt, Walter; LaLonde, Kristine; Langster, Edith Taylor; Matthews, Lonnell; Maynard, Jerry; Moore, Sandra; Ryman, Rip; Stanley, Bruce; Steine, Ronnie; Toler, Parker; Wilhoite, Vivian.


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1 Comment on this post:

By: govskeptic on 5/3/10 at 6:54

These Chamber Trips have always been attended by those
seeking "influence time" with state and local officials and to
have "insider" influence/contracts on many subjects and
projects. The cost versus reward keeps many cost conscious
businesses from attending these events time after time.
No surprise at all on the Council members still needing paper
copies. Talk versus walk is always a blaring laugh for so
many elected officials.