Whenever I see the latest installment of Hillsborough County Commissioner Jim Norman and The Mystery of the Arkansas Home, for some reason I find myself humming the theme song to the Beverly Hillbillies.
You know: Swimmin' pools. Movie stars.
Except our home-cooked version sounds more like this:
Come listen to a story of a candidate named Jim
You mighta thought his chances had gotten purty slim
Headlines said Jim, how'd y'all get yourselves that house?
But Jim went and played it quiet as a mouse
Tallahassee, he said.
The house it's on an Ozark lake, purty as can be
And rumors started floatin' round about its pedigree
On a politician's assets, we keep a watchful eye
And when they get all quiet, we start to wonderin' why
Cash, it was.
Four-hunnert thirty-five grand.
Couple boats, too.
The house was his wife's, Jim said, hers and hers alone
Asked about that wad of cash, he said just hold the phone
A list of her "investors," from him you could not pry
Which made you wanna ask him: Why, Commissioner, why?
Just trust me.
It might be on the up and up, or maybe not so much.
For years Jim's been in politics, he's got the people's touch
Ralph Hughes he was a bidnessman who Jim sure liked a lot
And rumors started circlin' round that Jim a house he bought.
Pave them roads, boys.
No impact fees.
Then folks they got to wonderin' on Jim's Salvation Army job
Gets paycheck big enough, could make a grown man sob
A feller files an election complaint, Jim's opponent makes a din
None of which could stop him in the primary election.
Won, you see.
Well the next thing you know, the FBI is sniffin' 'round
Looking for answers that may or not get found
Jim says Tallahassee is the place I gotta be!
But now that Kevin Ambler guy is up and suing me.
Unfair, it is.
(Final verse, the one with the Hillbillies waving goodbye at the mansion door:)
Soon it's time to say goodbye to Jim and all his kin
And he would like to ask us nice to stop our buttin' in
But maybe this will follow him to his new locality
Where they'll want a heapin' helpin' of accountability.
Tallahassee, that is.