Monday, July 13, 2009

Jimmy Carter calls Jake Butcher a "true treasure"

A Tennessee political flashback to 1978. Butcher lost to Lamar Alexander and seven years later was convicted of bank fraud:

To run for Governor, Butcher resigned as chairman of the United American Bank of Knoxville, which is the largest bank in the chain. He owns one-fourth of the bank's stock. For the first six months of this year, U.A.B.'s earnings were down by 52%, but the bank nonetheless increased its dividend from 160 to 180 a share. Other bankers suggest that the move was chiefly intended to increase Butcher's income, but he says he had nothing to do with it.

Butcher last month got the Carter Administration to endorse a $12.5 million federal grant for Energy Expo, a sort of world's fair planned for 1982 in Knoxville. Carter announced approval of the plan even before Commerce Department officials had cleared their share of the grants. "That's why I'm going to make a good Governor," Butcher said last week. "I'm going to have this same kind of influence over the President when I'm Governor."