We all know that GOP moneybags Lee Beaman is financing the Oak Hill WATB’s fighting Democratic Governor Phil Bredesen’s “conservation hall” project. I wrote about it back in December, when it became apparent to anyone with half a brain that this was just another case of TN GOP partisan poo-flinging. This project has little relevance outside the wealthy and privileged neighborhood NIMBYs affected by construction noise, specifically blasting to build the underground facility. But let’s get real here: someone at the TN GOP has their eye on the governor’s seat, and thinks they can turn this into a statewide smear.
Personally, I just don't think we’re that dumb here in Tennessee.
Anyway, funny story: turns out Mr. Beaman dynamited when constructing his own house in nearby Forest Hills. Oh, snap! From the Nashville Scene:
It turns out that Lee Beaman, the zillionaire businessman who’s leading neighbors fighting “Bredesen’s Bunker” partly to prevent blasting for the gigantic underground banquet hall at the governor’s mansion, isn’t opposed to dynamiting at his own house. Beaman blasted away last year for the home he’s building in ritzy Forest Hills, but denies any hypocrisy.
“My concern with the governor’s project is not the blasting,” Beaman tells the Scene by cell phone from the ski slopes of Jackson Hole, Wyo., where he’s vacationing. “That doesn’t bother me at all. It’s the inappropriate use of taxpayer money. I’ve never taken issue with the blasting.”
Maybe not, but other of the governor’s Oak Hill neighbors, including Beaman’s wife Kelley, have made blasting one of their major complaints during raucous public meetings on the bunker—at times verging on the hysterical on that topic, in fact. Blasting is supposed to last two months in the otherwise quiet neighborhood, and contractors haven’t reassured anyone by promising to blow a horn whenever the dynamite’s fuse is about to be lighted, presumably so residents can cover their ears.
“I find it arrogant for you to come in one month before you are going to start blasting and say this is what we are going to do,” Kelley Beaman scolded state officials at one meeting.
One resident, Lorelee Gawaluck, fretted aloud that dynamiting might damage the tender young minds of neighborhood kids. “Are they going to send in a psychologist to tell us how to prepare our children?” she demanded to know.
Oh, get over yourselves. A psychologist? Yeah, just like Belmont University dispatched psychologists to help citizens cope during construction of the Curb Events Center--NOT!!!! (A project, I might add, named for and financed by another major GOP moneybags, Mike Curb).
Anyway, these Oak Hill people sound like the worst group of whiners. Try living in Green Hills for the past 10 years, where massive construction projects have sprouted on every corner. We’ve had plenty of blasting going on--one right next door to my house, thank you--and a lot of these Oak Hill folks got rich off of it. So now they’re worried about the blasting when it’s in their neighborhood? Oh, whaaah! Welcome to (pun intended) boomtown! They've been blasting around my street for years. We survived. So will you--your lots are at least five times as big as mine.
Grow up, already.
And as for the Beamans, who are happy to finance a smear of the Democratic governor while blasting away on their own residential construction project, no one buys your lame "think of the taxpayers!" screeching. The project will be financed by private donations. You know, like the kind you made to smear John Kerry's war record.