Tag Archives: lectures

Haslam Lectures Media, Says He’ll Sign Distillery Bill

Gov. Bill Haslam says he’s likely to sign into law a bill updating the state’s 2009 liquor distillery statute despite questions raised about two real estate investments he has with a Knoxville developer who helped push the bill, reports the Chattanooga TFP.
“It was passed by the Legislature,” Haslam said. “I don’t see any constitutional issues. I don’t think there’s a lack of clarity. I don’t know at this point and date why I wouldn’t [sign it].”
The bill was sent to Haslam on May 6. Governors have 10 days to decide what action to take. The governor can sign, veto or allow the bill to become law without his signature.
Haslam emphasized earlier this week the bill was not an administration initiative. And he said he didn’t know developer Ned Vickers was involved in the bill and a proposed Gatlinburg distillery, let alone discuss the matter with him.
“Y’all’s job is to ask questions, but it’s also your job to get the answer right,” the irritated governor lectured reporters about a news report on the issue.
He said previous investments he made with Holrob Investments, with which Vickers was associated, were placed in a blind trust he created when he became governor in 2011.
The Tennessean reported this week that before placing most of his holdings in the blind trust, Haslam listed 18 Holrob-affiliated investments on a disclosure. The newspaper reported he still has two. (Previous post HERE.)
Haslam said he can’t say for sure whether he still has the two investments because they’re part of the blind trust, controlled by a trustee.