An Ol' Broad's Ramblings
Yep! The infamous Pork Report from the Beacon Center is out! Now, I gotta tell ya, I am more than disappointed to find that even though the “Rs” are now the majority in the state house for the first time since…what… Reconstruction?…. there is absolutely no difference in the spending issues. Seriously…none. The Rs are as bad as the Ds when it comes to spending other people’s money on crap. And yep…that’s what it is….C-R-A-P!
You can check out the entire report here, but my favorite is the Pork of the Year. Starting on page 6, we have….drum roll please….. LIVING THE DREAM ON YOUR DIME.
Whitney Askins, the executive director of the Upper Cumberland Development District (UCDD), had launched a project called “living the Dream” with $300,000 in seed funding from the development district. She also received million of dollars in various government grants. The funding went to purchase an elaborate mansion designed to provide housing for needy seniors. They weren’t the only ones living the dream.
What Williams (Nashville’s News Channel 5 reporter) and his team found was that Askins herself promptly moved into the mansion, filling it with her own furniture after paying herself from the “Living the Dream” coffers. She reimbursed herself nearly $10,000 for furniture and then went on a spending spree. Among her purchases:
- a $1,500 high-definition TV;
- a custom-made $25,000 staircase;
- a steam shower and sauna costing $3,000; and
- two massive fountains totaling nearly $9,000
Askins also relocated her horses and dogs to the mansion, or as she called it, a “therapeutic petting zoo” for the seniors. She also put numerous family members on the payroll, including her mother, father, sister, brother, and daughter. Each of the family members received his or her own car and gas cards.
In all, Askins blew more than $1.5 million on the project. After New Channel 5 released its findings, the development district board placed Askins on administrative leave, while state and local officials launched criminal and civil investigations into her actions. As if pouring salt in the wound, Askins applied for unemployment benefits, but fortunately, her claim was denied.
I should freakin’ hope so! While there are people desperate for work, some broad is taking your money, and having a high ol’ time with it, and then expects us to pay even more in unemployment benefits? Jiminy crickets…talk about ballsy! But I must ask…was NO ONE paying attention? Who approved the purchases? I would think with such a project, someone would have to have been doing a bit of oversight…wouldn’t you?
Were there actually any ‘needy seniors’ in the house, or was this just one big ol’ party for Askins and clan? While I’m sure the mansion (pictured in the report) would be quite pleasant for the needy seniors, I would think their needs would be more akin to food, clothing, shelter, and someone who actually CARES about THEM, and not their own comfort and desires.
People like this make me want to smack the crap out of them! Literally!
The numerous examples of how our state and local governments WASTE our money is absolutely mind boggling! At a time when everyone is strapped for cash, little luxuries have to go by the wayside, yet government carries on without a care in the world. How about some incentives for the youth…more Job Corps facilities so kids can learn a skill? Nope….gotta blow money on an industry that makes billions! Maybe using that money they blew for a $1.5 million sign for Volkswagon, who can buy it’s own sign to be seen from the air, to hire more state police that just might stop the drug trafficking through our state? How about equipping the volunteer fire departments in the small towns around the state? Just a couple of suggestions. Heaven knows, they could sure use some help in making wiser decisions!