The project started in 2005 before Shuler decided to run for Congress, the Waynesville Democrat said Thursday. He had no contact with TVA about the project, and his name didn’t appear on the proposed swap because it was filed under the name of a limited liability company.

Highlands originally thought it had access to about 2,000 feet of shoreline, Shuler said, but the TVA development map turned out to be wrong. Instead of suing TVA, Highlands acquired docking rights from the owners of another piece of property, then swapped it with TVA, he said.

“The long and short of it was, if the maps weren’t incorrect, I never would have purchased the property in the first place” because it lacked docking rights, Shuler said.

Your tax dollars at work. Of course, a bigger scandal is Heath Shuler’s support for a 55 mph speed limit:

Record-high gas prices have triggered talk that it may be time to lower the speed limit on federal highways to 55 or 60 mph.

“I think that’s a great way to save fuel,” said U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler, D-Waynesville, N.C. “I think it would be the right thing to do.”

Can we launch a recall drive? Meanwhile, without government nannying, Americans are driving less and using less gas.

If things are bad enough to adopt a 55 mph speed limit, they’re bad enough to stop letting members of Congress travel by military jet.