If you do not live in Robertson County, chances are that you know nothing of this story. At first glance, it appears to be just another run of the mill crooked politician story. No shortage of those. But I find so much of it quite fascinating. For starters, Mr. Polen, besides being a County Commissioner, is also the Chair of the Robertson County Democratic Party. Under his direction, our local Party has amassed an army of over 2 volunteers, raised enough money to run an ad on Craigslist, and helped lose an important seat in the State Assembly. His careful guidance has insured that members of either Party can post to our Facebook page, and that inquiries there are answered in the same decade.
I have to wonder what the State party brain-trust has decided to do about this. Perhaps, since not a single story I can find mentions that Mr. Polen is the head of the local Democratic Party, the plan is to lay low and hope no reporter ever digs into the story beyond the Ponzi scheme allegations. (Actually, that’s a pretty safe bet) I mean, this is Robertson County after all, and it’s not like people here do anything noteworthy anyway. (except raise crops that help stock our grocery stores) So, maybe the boys in charge will just go ahead and close up shop in our little neck o’ the woods. The local Party has withered on the vine for awhile now, and it may be too expensive to find someone to run it amongst the 14 die hard members that remain.
But sad as all that is, it isn’t what interests me the most. According to reports, Mr. Polen duped friends and associates into investing their hard-earned cash into his business on the belief that his political connections would insure fat State contracts to, among other things, clean up the coal ash spill in East Tennessee. Now, leaving aside for a moment the fact that Mr. Polen’s company couldn’t do a thing at a coal ash spill site except perhaps mow the remaining grass, but did these people think it was okay to make money based on inside information and political connections? If so, I think they deserve whatever losses they suffer. Now, I’m not a gambling man, (wait a minute, I am a gambling man) but I’d wager that Mr. Polen has mortgaged himself to the hilt, and there won’t be a morsel of flesh left, just a pile of financial bones to pick over.
The fact that Mr. Polen was an elected official here speaks volumes about the voters in this county. Well, I guess we have the representation we deserve.
I’ll be watching this story’s progress closely. I may be the only one.