Welcome to Capitol Hill: Fifty Years of Scandal in Tennessee Politics (Paperback)
Although Tennessee has a rich history of political scandals dating back to the founding of the state, the last fifty years have been a confusing, confounding, and sometimes ludicrous period of ne'er-do-welling. Welcome to Capitol Hill is a guide to the state's modern history of corruption. From Governor Ray Blanton's pardon scandals to the FBI investigation that started with now lieutenant governor Randy McNally wearing a wire in the late 1980s to the sexual misconduct that plagues Tennessee politics, this book chronicles it all. Veteran political reporters Joel Ebert and Erik Schelzig draw from interviews, archival documents, and never-before-seen federal investigative files to provide readers with a handy resource about the wrongdoings of our elected officials.
Joel Ebert joined the University of Chicago's Institute of Politics in 2021 after nearly a decade of reporting on state legislatures and government, including for the Capital Journal in Pierre, South Dakota, the Charleston Daily Mail and the Charleston Gazette-Mail in West Virginia, and The Daily Line in Illinois. After joining the Tennessean in 2016, Ebert reported on serial sexual harassment allegations against then-Rep. Jeremy Durham that ultimately resulted in his ouster from the House, broke several developments in the scandal leading to Rep. Glen Casada becoming the first House speaker to fail to complete his full term in 126 years, and launched a political podcast, Grand Divisions. Ebert earned a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Erik Schelzig was named the editor of the Tennessee Journal in 2018 after twelve years as an Associated Press statehouse correspondent in Nashville, where he chronicled the state's changeover from Democratic to Republican control. He previously worked for the wire service in West Virginia and Florida, where he covered governor's races won by Joe Manchin and Jeb Bush. Schelzig started his career with the Center for Public Integrity's International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and later spent a year in Germany covering the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks as a visiting reporter for the Washington Post and the news magazine Der Spiegel. Schelzig has a master's degree in political science from George Washington University.