Friday, May 28, 2010

Bill Haslam Is Bugsy Siegel?

In response to this post from yesterday, we received the following statement from the Haslam campaign. "Pilot leases space in seperate buildings on a couple of their lots to a company that puts slot machines Nevada. Where there are slot machines EVERYWHERE. I don't think the Mayor of Knoxville is Bugsy Seigel. But nice try." In addition, another commenter that did not identify themselves, but again we have the IP address stored in the database said, "God fearing in one of those contridiction in term. Business must reflect the culture, buesiness must be competive. I would guess that Bill Haslam individually does not control each decision of Pilot Oil. I find a little blackjack while filling up, no different than a lottery games in TN." The first came from someone identifying themselves as a Haslam Operative. The second came from a Haslam supporter. Neither commenter signed their real name, but we have both IP addresses stored in our database.

So, both comments have caused me to ask more questions. 1) as far a Pilot Travel Centers leasing space in separate buildings typically it is in the same building, but if it is in separate buildings it is still Pilot owned assets. 2) Why feel the need to lease to someone that will put in slot machines, just because they are EVERYWHERE in Nevada? Why not do something different? Rent to a gamblers anonymous chapter? Rent to a truckers ministry? Rent to a Subway restaurant? Because it already has an Arby's location there. So, are Arby's EVERYWHERE in Nevada, too? 3) As for the Mayor of Knoxville being Bugsy Siegel, that is not possible. Because Siegel died on June 20, 1947, in addition if Siegel were alive today in the person of the Mayor of Knoxville. The Mayor would be 104 years old, as Bugsy was born on February 28, 1906. Bill was born in 1958 which makes him 51 years old.

As for the second comment, business does not have to reflect the culture. Take for instance the locally owned grocery store chain in East TN in the 1970's the White Stores. They did not sell tobacco or beer and were closed on Sundays. They were successful. Let me bring it home to today, look at the Chick-fil-a businesses. They are closed on Sundays. Look at tow locally owned restaurants, Fuji and Shono's they are closed on Sunday and they are all successful. They haven't caved into the culture. They have been competitive. As for the comment that you guess that he hasn't been involved in every decision at Pilot Oil. Well, I agree with you, first Bill left Pilot Oil, which were the small individual c-stores, not the travel centers. He left those to run Saks Direct which went out of business. Pilot Oil sold those small c-stores (like the one near the new Rooms to Go in front of Bearden High School on Kingston Pike and the one on Kingston Pike east of Lovell Rd) So, Pilot Oil is no more. Pilot Travel Centers, LLC which corporate documents show it being organized out of Delaware. If you watch one of Bill's latest commercials he says that he helped his family take a small local company and build it into a national company. I would think that as the person that helped his family build this national company that he would have objected to the casino. A last point on this just being a lease on the property, why is it named "Pilot Casino" surely if the Haslam's were not involved they wouldn't allow someone to lease property and then utilize their signature name. Would they? But then again, are there royalty payments for the use of the Pilot name?

Bill Haslam can clear all this up becoming open and transparent. He can release all of his income information. So, where the casino operation in Nevada is only a lease and where he does not profit from the revenue of the casino. Also, by becoming open and transparent and releasing his income, he will clear the speculation that his income spiked heavily during the gas price gouging of Hurricane Katrina. Become Bill, Zach Wamp, Ron Ramsey and even Bill Gibbons, who is no longer a candidate for Governor released all their income information. If you want to be Governor become open and transparent. Don't get sucked into the smoke filled, gambling rooms of the past.

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