Bredesen critical of Ramsey vote against mansion project

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Governor Bredesen criticized Republican Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey today for being the lone holdout in the Tennessee Building Commission's vote to clear the way for construction of an underground hall at the governor's mansion.

The hall is part of a $19 million project to renovate the mansion that has drawn objections from neighbors. Of that amount, about $13 million has been provided by the state. About $9 million has been raised from private donations, but only $6.4 million has been allocated.

Bredesen, a Democrat, attributed what he called partisan attacks on the project to the political climate of an election year.

When contacted on his cell phone about Bredesen's comments, Ramsey said he was just trying to be fiscally responsible.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)