News Release from the Beacon Center of Tennessee, December 17, 2018:
In the 13th annual Tennessee Pork Report, the Beacon Center once again revealed millions of dollars in government waste, fraud, and abuse ranging from a new taxpayer-funded MLS soccer stadium in Nashville to a Memphis company that was given $5 million just to move across town.
The Pork Report highlights a combination of government mismanagement, incompetence, and outright fraud. The Beacon Center allowed Tennesseans to vote on their choice for the Pork of the Year award, and the “winner” was former Nashville Mayor Megan Barry.
Mayor Barry wasted over $174,000 in taxpayer money on her extramarital affair, which included paying her bodyguard overtime so that he could take trips with her to places like France and Greece. To make matters worse, she consistently lied to both the press and the public until finally pleading guilty to felony theft.
Other finalists for Pork of the Year included:
- $5.5 million of state taxpayer money so that the company ServiceMaster could move from the outskirts of Memphis to downtown Memphis while not creating a single new job.
- At least $17.5 million for the Wall Street Firm AllianceBernstein to move from New York City to the taxpayer-funded 5th and Broadway Building in downtown Nashville. We say “at least” because we have no idea how much the state and city actually gave AllianceBernstein since the number was blacked out for “privacy” concerns.
- Tens of millions of dollars in buyouts by the University in Tennessee to pay for their hiring mistakes, including former Chancellor Beverly Davenport, former football coach Butch Jones, and former athletic director John Currie, just to name a few.
The 2018 Pork Report comes from state and local budgets, media reports, state audits, and independent research conducted by Beacon Center staff and scholars. An electronic version of the report (pdf) can be found here.
The Beacon Center is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, and independent organization dedicated to providing expert empirical research and timely free market solutions to public policy issues in Tennessee.