Tennessee Gov. Haslam Exempts Himself and Top Staff from Financial Disclosure
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Gov. Bill Haslam
In his first action as governor of Tennessee, Republican Bill Haslam espoused the importance of government transparency and being open with the public—while simultaneously wiping out a state law requiring him and his top aides to disclose how much they earn.
Like his predecessor, Democrat Phil Bredesen, Haslam addressed the issue of financial disclosure in his very first executive order. But the GOP governor’s declaration essentially overrode that of Bredesen, who in 2003 ordered top executive branch officials to report annually about their total earnings.
Haslam’s order frees him and senior administration officials to disclose only their sources of income, but not the actual amounts.
“Government works better when people have input into the process, you are open to alternatives and examiner [sic] them, and then you explain why the decision was made,” Haslam tried to explain in an official statement. “The rule should be the more you can be in the open, the better.”
Haslam, whose family owns the $20 billion truck stop chain, Pilot, had previously declared he will not accept a state salary while serving as governor.
New Gov.’s 1st Order: Less Personal Disclosure (Oak Ridger)
Bill Haslam Did What? (by Roy Exum, Chattanoogan)
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