Conservative Union and Haslam Make Strange Bedfellows

Some things you don't expect to see in politics—like a Haslam addressing the Tennessee Conservative Union. But the TCU had their annual St. Patrick's Day dinner Monday night and Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam was there. That would be gubernatorial candidate Bill Haslam.

The Haslam family members are pillars of the Republican establishment. The TCU is more of a guerilla organization, most famous for campaigns in the New Hampshire primaries against Lamar Alexander.

The TCU members grilled Haslam on guns and the income tax; one attendee said Haslam's speech and answers weren't as impressive as the fact he showed up.

The TCU is led by Lloyd Daugherty and has had a primary focus in recent years of fighting a state income tax, though the group got its start campaigning against giving up the Panama Canal.