NASHVILLE -- It was a tough fight, but a Nashville free-market think tank and advocacy group says voters on its website narrowly chose Gov. Bill Haslam's controversial $46,000 new Tennessee logo over $165 million in incentives for Volkswagen's Chattanooga plant for its Tennessee "Pork of the Year" award.
Justin Owen, president of the Tennessee Beacon Center, said in a statement that "for the first time in Beacon history, we let you decide which instance of government waste should be named 'Pork of the Year.'"
"It was a close matchup but in the end, the new Tennessee $46,000 logo debacle pulled it out, barely edging out the $165 million handout to VW by a vote of 47%-39%."
The Haslam administration has come under fire for its development with a Nashville firm for the new logo, which features the letters "TN" imposed on a state-flag like background.
Owen said a Hamblen County employee "stealing nearly a quarter of a million dollars of taxpayer money for personal use" including a trip to Disney World came in a distant third,
The VW incentive is for a second line of production for SUV vehicles in Chattanooga.
Owen said "Tennessee taxpayers [are] sending over $165 million to Volkswagen, who against their workers' expressed wishes, are courting UAW with potential of becoming their gateway to the South."