State offering incentives to keep unions out of VW? Haslam won’t say

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner in September sent Gov. Bill Haslam a request for information on whether taxpayer-funded incentive money has been offered to Volkswagen to keep a union from organizing at its Chattanooga plant.

The recently-received reply, reports Tennessee Watchdog: It’s a secret.

“We got a response back saying if there was anything that it would be covered under economic development. Therefore it wouldn’t be public information,” said Turner’s spokesman Sean Braisted.

“Basically, nothing that we wanted was attainable. They didn’t give us anything.”

Haslam’s response, which Braisted sent to Tennessee Watchdog, said the information Turner requested was protected from public disclosure under Tennessee law. Specifically, Haslam’s office said the information is private until all parties involved sign formal contracts or other agreements — even though taxpayer money is at stake.

Additionally, Haslam’s office said that some of the details Turner requested involved confidential tax information.

…“The letter is pretty clear on which portions of the Tennessee Code are cited,” Smith said, without volunteering any other details.

Volkswagen of Chattanooga spokesman Scott Wilson said he would offer no comment on the matter.

Braisted said there is nothing more his office can do.