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The reports are that Mike Huckabee has formalized his choice of former Tennessee GOP nabob Chip Saltsman, a Bill Frist money man, to be his campaign manager.

So who is Chip Saltsman? Well, once upon a time, a payday lender for one thing. Yes, a check casher, on the periphery of Tennessee skulduggery, not that a little financial funny business would deter The Huckster. From the link:

Saltsman was vice president for strategic planning at Cleveland, Tennessee-based McKenzie Check Advance Co. when he became chair of the Tennessee Republican Party in 1998. McKenzie’s owners contributed $25,000 to a PAC of Democratic House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh the day before the state legislature convened in 2001. The contribution triggered a scandal after the legislature proceeded to pass legislation to allow “payday lenders” to add additional fees to the 400 percent interest rates that they already were allowed to charge the working poor for small loans. Although the McKenzie family had just sold its payday lending operation, Brenda McKenzie was still lobbying for that industry.

Here, in a straight account from Nashville's City Paper, sounds like he's somebody with Nashville social stick.

Here's a news account of his name turning up in a bit more financial funny business. Very similar to the DeLay business in Texas, using a PAC funnel to skirt contribution limits.

So far, no clips that indicate he's ever smashed hard drives. But otherwise, this could be a match made in heaven. Clips indicate he was a  player in Tennessee's repudiation of homey Al Gore in 2000.

Arkansas Bloggers, start your search engines on Mr. Chip.

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