Sunday, May 06, 2007

2007 Knox County Lincoln Day Dinner

Photo Courtesy of Knox GOP Office Manager Suzanne Dewar

Last night The Knox County Republican Party held its annual Lincoln Day Dinner. Dinner was at 7:30 p.m. at Rothchilds Catering and Conference Center on Kingston Pike. The program began at 8:15 p.m.

The first two ladies that I saw are the two most dedicated workers for the KnoxGOP, Suzanne Dewar and Jo Catlett. Thanks to Suzanne for sharing a few of her photographs. I have given her credit on the three that are posted here. They were at teh doors working hard as always.

It was Great seeing my friends, County Commission Chairman Scott Moore and City Councilman Joe Bailey as I entered the dinner. Also near the door were Trustee Fred Sisk, Register of Deeds Sherry Witt, General Sessions Judge Geoff Emery, Chancellor John Weaver, Ruthie Kulhman, candidate for County Commission District 4, Foster Arnett, Jr, potential candidate for County Clerk, City Councilman Steve Hall, State Representative Stacey Campfield.

Once in the dinner County Commissioners Lee Tramel, Richard Cate, Charles "Chuck" Bolus, Phil Ballard. County Commission candidate Ed Shouse, Property Assessor John Whitehead, former Register of Deeds Steve Hall, General Sessions Judge Andy Jackson.

John Owings and Sherry Witt were the dinner Co-Chairs, all Knox County Republican Elected Officials were the hosts. Rev. Phil Nelson, Pastor of Missions at First Baptist, Concord gave the invocation. John Owings is an active member of First Baptist, Concord. The Pasttime Quartet sand the National Anthem. Dwight Van De Vate and his wife Tracy representing Mayor Mike and Claudia Ragsdale introduced all elected officials including KnoxGOP Chair Irene McCrary.

I then introduced all former Knox County Republican Party Chairmen and ladies, including my friend former 1st Vice Chair of the Hawkins County GOP, Mike Faulk. My primary job was to present the 2006 GOP club of the Year award. The award has been presented every year since 1993. This year it was given to the Concord-Farragut Club. In 2006, the club had a debate between the three candidates for the United States Senate, they always participate in the Farragut Fourth of July parade, they raise money to support Republican candidates. Former President Cynthia McMillian and Current President Bill Johns were unable to attend so the award was presented to Concord-Farragut Republican Club members Suzanne Dewar and Commissioner Craig Leuthold.

Photo Courtesy of Suzanne Dewar

Congressman Jimmy Duncan spoke and gave an inspiring talk and introduced Senator Alexander. Senator Alexander spoke and as always gave an enlightening speech, his announcement that he would be running for re-election was met with applause. But when he said that his job is to continue taking Tennessee to D.C. he was met with loud approval from the audience. He then introduced United States Senator Richard Burr.

Photo Courtesy of Suzanne Dewar

Senator Burr was elected to Congress in 1994. Which made him one of the members of Speaker Newt Gingrich's Contract with America. Senator Burr bragged on Congressman Duncan, Wamp and freshmen David Davis of TN's First District. Senator Burr thanked the First and Second Congressional districts for giving George W. Bush a large enough vote in 2000 not to elect Al Gore as President.

He talked about the new Democrat leadership in the House. How they offered a transparent government during the 2006 campaign. However, they have offered NO amendments on the floor. They have had limited debate on the floor when they said they would have unlimited debate. In the first 4 months they have had 33 closure votes, during the same 4 moth period when Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist began leading the Senate there were only 5 closure votes.

Senator Burr said as Republicans We lost, plain and simple. He said as Republicans we are as committed just not today. We will make double the phone calls just not today, we will contribute more dollars just not today. We have to commit ourselves and commit ourselves TODAY.

As a party we lost our way. However, we can not win because of their (Nancy Pelosi led Demo's) mistakes. We must return to the party of Bold ideas. He told the story of someone asking Helen Keller is there anything worse that could have happened to you other than losing your sight and she said yes, if I lost my vision.

In the last election cycle instead of bold legislation - we hid from them (Nancy Pelosi Demo's) because we were scared. It is all about grassroots. We are the party of bold ideas.

With the Energy Crisis - When we sit here held hostage by events in the middle east, we do nothing. Instead we have the plan and solution for the energy crisis.

Education was a Democrat issue until Lamar came along. President George W. Bush talked about improvements and had a bold idea. Only 70% of high school kids graduate on time meaning that 30% of our kids will not have the skills to compete for the jobs we create. We always hear about what we do wrong and never about what we do right.

He ended his remarks by challenging Knox County. With a County and a Party that holds so many elected seats in the local government it is going to be up to you to help us compete for the votes and the election victories.

Senator Burr was warmly received by those in attendance.

What was in the infamous goodies bag? The white bag was provided by John Owings with his name and Knox County Law Director printed in green on the bag. John Owings also supplied a white stress ball that looks like a golf ball with John Owings Law Director printed on the ball. Knox County's Register of Deeds Sherry Witt supplied a white printed in red shopping list pad. Knox County Trustee Fred Sisk had a blue card with his name and position printed in white and on the back had the 2007 University of Tennessee football schedule. Ruthie Kulhman candidate for County Commission in the Fourth District had a purple chip clip with white letters that had her name and County Commission District 4 printed on them. She also has her website address printed on the clip. (This should be mandatory, always include your website address) Last but not least Sheriff Jimmy J.J. Jones had a nice blue and red ink pen with Jimmy J.J. Jones Knox County Sheriff printed in white.

Attendees of the dinner were wearing black with yellow star stickers that said Jimmy J.J. Jones Sheriff and also green stickers with white lettering that said John Owings Law Director.

It was a Great evening and everyone had a good time.

The food at Rothchilds was exceptional as always. Nathan and Susan Rothchild always have Superior food, Fantastic service and 100% hospitable. Thanks Susan and Nathan!

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