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Opinion | For Tennessee lawmakers, these scandals are not going away | Otis Sanford

ABC 24 political analyst and commentator Otis Sanford shared his point of view on reports of questionable behavior linked to Tennessee Governor Bill Lee.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Allegations of corruption inside the Tennessee legislature are getting more extensive by the day. And now questionable behavior is also being linked to Governor Bill Lee.

This week, House speaker Cameron Sexton acknowledged he has been subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury that is looking into various charges ranging from outright fraud to possible bribery in exchange for legislative votes.

At the center of it all is former House speaker Glen Casada, who authorities said received kickbacks from a company set up by his onetime chief of staff – to do political consulting business for other Republican lawmakers. One legislator, Robin Smith, has already pleaded guilty to her role in the scheme and has resigned. She’s also cooperating with the government’s investigation of Casada and others.

Now, there are media reports that Lee may have had knowledge that one lawmaker was offered a National Guard promotion in exchange for his vote on the governor’s school voucher bill. The governor has denied knowing anything about the promotion offer.

All of this is coming as Lee and House members are gearing up for reelection campaigns later this year. Of course, since Tennessee is a solidly red state, Republicans, including Lee, are clear favorites to remain in office.

But these scandals are not going away. And somewhere along the line, the public is going to learn just how much criminal stench there is in the legislature.

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