I was on a new radio program in Knoxville (1180 AM) this Saturday morning called Tennessee Confidential-Terry Frank was the host today.
We had a great discussion about Governor Bredesen, John Ford and his many connections with the same partners (Ronald Dobbins and Osbie Howard) in several businesses-United American Healthcare, Managed Care Services Group, and Oseman Insurance.
We discussed how reports from NewsChannel5 had documents showing a trail of hundreds of thousands of dollars from TennCare giant Access MedPlus' parent company-Tennessee Coordinated Care Network to Oseman Insurance. According to NewsChannel5, Access MedPlus transferred $3.5 million to Oseman between May 2000 and Oct. 2001 for reinsurance and according to the Tennessean, Ford makes about $130,000 a year from this company.
Oseman Insurance is a Memphis Agency with which Ford has been long been associated-and curiously, now Oseman Insurance is the company which has hired former chief for Governor Bredesen, Anna Windrow.
We talked about lobbyists and the other legislators indicted in the E-Cycle scam. I guess you could say it was a Tennessee Waltz roundup. We gave credit to a lot of blogs (and online news magazines!) where the hosts are either uncovering new information or going the extra mile to research more information.
I raised the story appearing on www.Thaddeusmatthews.com and www.billhobbs.com regarding the printing of lottery tickets by a friend of a Memphis legislator. I think a lot of these stories are going to be picked up by the mainstream media-there's a lot of information out there to be sorted through.
As we discussed on the show, a lot of what goes on in Nashville may not be technically illegal-but appearances are important to the public's faith in government as well. We need to work harder to clean up the mess and pass some tougher restrictions, laws, and guidelines.
We also discussed the Tennessean's front-page story on Don Sundquist and U.S. District Judge Karl Forester's comments that Sundquist was the reason for the probe.
David Horowitz called me yesterday to thank me for my fight to help students in Tennessee. He also told me how another major education group, American Council on Education, has now endorsed the principles of the Student Bill of Rights.
About 10 minutes after David Horowitz called, a member of the University of Memphis Student Government Association called me to express that he and fellow student government leaders wanted to put the Student Bill of Rights forward next year in a bill for their own student government. It fires me up to see college students getting so involved!
Things seem to be moving forward on that front. We are supposed to be moving forward with negotiations with UT and the Board of Regents in the next few weeks regarding the Student Bill of Rights. I will keep you informed.