The following letter appeared in the Powell Post. My response appears throughout the letter in BOLD print.
I have been a lifelong Republican, a resident, and a business owner in the Powell community for over forty years. The writer of this letter is not a delegate of/or an officer in the Knox County Republican Party representing the Powell community.
I have seen many good projects and proposals either stymied or cast aside (and thereby hurting our community) because of poor representation at our local government level. The exact reason to replace an ineffective Democrat County Commissioner of 20 years. This all started to change in 1986 when Mr. Mark Cawood was elected to the Knox County Commission Seat 6A. 20 years to start something and not complete the job at a total compensation in excess of $400,000.00.
Mark Cawood has worked hard and diligently for our communities and truly represents all the voters of this district without regard to party affiliation. His opponent in this race is and always has has been a Democrat. This is simply not true. I have personally known Chuck James for more than four years. He has always been a Republican. He supported George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004. Mr. James and I met the President when he came to Knoxville, a few years ago and we had the opportunity to talk with the President and shake his hand. Chuck and his family had signs for President Bush, Congressman Jimmy Duncan and Sheriff Tim Hutchison on his property during past campaigns, in previous years. Chuck was elected in 2000 to a non-partisan position on the school board in 2002 and won the Republican nomination for this position overwhelmingly in May of 2006. Just as Mr. James ran against Mark for this seat in 1998 because Mark would not support Tommy Schumpert's many budget increases, he is now running as a Republican because his boss (Mike Ragsdale) is mad because Mark would not support the Wheel tax or the Blackmail Tax and promised to work to defeat him (for representing the 6th district voters' wishes), This too is not true, Mark Cawood informed several Commercial developers and citizens four years ago that he would not stand for re-election in 2006. Chuck James was informed of Cawood's decision and made the decision to run. When Mr. Cawood changed his mind (lied), Chuck James did not (change his mind or lie) and decided to run and allow the district to decide if 20 years were long enough.
Mr. James, Mark Cawood's opponent, receives two (2) paychecks from Knox County; as an employee of Knox County Parks and Recreation and as a School Board Member. His salaries are in the range of $65,000.00 per year. With the two previous statements that were not true, I can not on this posting prove if the allegation is correct. It is public record, so I will assume it is true. Here is the facts on Chuck James, the district was aware that he was and is an employee of Knox County and elected him to the school board. It is the same for Commissioner McMillian, Commissioner Stephens, Commissioner Clark, Commissioner Harmon, Commissioner Jordan and Commissioner Leuthold. The same is true of School Board Members Diane Dozier, Sam Anderson and Cindy Buttry.
It is not a violation of the State of Tennessee's ethical conduct for the district to elect someone to a position that is employed in a county position. It is a ethical violation to be in an elected position and then become employed in a county office. Mark Cawood, several years ago as a County Commissioner became an employee of the Circuit Court Clerk's office, he resigned from the position shortly after it became public. Now, he wants to be Commissioner! Do you really think he can or will look out for us on the tax issues when he works for the administration? Ask Commissioner Stephens, McMillian, Clark, Harmon, Leuthold and Jordan. These elected officials have an excellent record of serving the districts. Commissioner Stephens has served with Cawood representing the same district with Cawood the past 8 years. Commissioner McMillian voted the same way that Cawood has on issues for many years. Is the writer of this letter suggesting these officeholders are biased?
Given the fact that one can't serve two masters, who do you think he is going to support when it comes down to budgets and tax increases you the voter; or the man who signs his check? Ask and check the records of Commissioner Stephens, McMillian, Clark, Harmon, Leuthold and Jordan. Ask and check the records of School Board Members Dozier, Anderson and Buttry.
In fact, I have been told that one of the few meetings that Mr. James did attend was in support of the vote for the Wheel Tax. Mr. James is not now nor has he ever been a conservative or a Republican. Do not be mis-lead by hearsay. The writer says "I have been told" I again remind you that the Republican voters of the Sixth district on May 2,2006 overwhelmingly selected Mr. James to be the Republican nominee for Seat A.
We only have one true conservative in this race for Seat6A and that is Mark Cawood. He is a Ronald Reagan Democrat (i.e.; Zell Miller) and he deserves the same support from us that we have given him in the past, for his loyalty to his constituents, communities and schools. This too is not true. Zell Miller has written a book entitled A National Party No More. Senator Miller has denounced his party and refuses to run as a candidate on the Democrat ticket. Mark Cawood has certified himself by placing his name and his reputation on the Democrat ballot. The ballot of Hillary Clinton, Barney Frank and Ted Kennedy. A Democrat candidate is a person that embraces the Democrat ideology, the Democrat platform. The platform of Pro-Choice Abortion on demand, Gay Marriage, not supporting our troops, being a coward and ending the war on terror before it is completed. We, the voters, need to reward Mark by returning him to Seat 6A, and show our appreciation for his dedication hard work by doing so. The voters have paid him over $400,000.00 over 20 years, not including "other" benefits. Chuck James has contributed much of his salary back into youth sports programs in the sixth district.
I urge you to join me, my wife, and my family in supporting and voting for Mark Cawood in this upcoming election. Only if you want Cawood to pocket another $80,000.00 of your money and waste another 4 years of "starting" something. In doing so, we will retain his knowledge and representation in this upcoming battle against Metro Government that will surely be rammed down our throats unless we have strong opposition from our Knox County Commission. There is no Metro Government campaign. There is No Metro Government proposal. This is a scare tactic by the Cawood campaign. Enough is Enough, Vote Experience. Vote Republican.