"I am incensed by this." For the first time in months, Senator John Ford is on the offensive.
"This right here is a degradation to every black citizen in the state of Tennessee," he said.
Ford lashed out against questions on Capitol Hill and in the media about millions of dollars in state grants paid through a consulting partnership headed by Ford's campaign treasurer, a man who shares office space with Ford on Third Street.
"Have they ever found anything? No sir, we have not. Not one iota!" said Ford to Comptroller John Morgan.
As it stands, state grants are distributed with no requirement of accounting. A bill in the State Senate would change that. Ford doesn't like it.
"It is so shameful somebody to come here and talk about $10,000, talk about no accountability in a little neighborhood like orange mound in memphis, tennessee," he said.
Ford says most state grants go to white agencies - and he took offense at scrutiny over a small handful of grants coming to minority agencies in the Memphis area.