Sunday, March 23, 2008

Pilot Corporation and its Connection To Knox County Schools

Over one week ago, we revealed what WBIR and News-Sentinel reporter Lola Alapo and even our own blog was unable to secure at first attempt. We were attempting to obtain the identity of the corporate contribution of a jet airplane ride for Brian Bingelli. School Board Chair Karen Carson even on Friday in an interview with News-Sentinel reporter Hayes Hickman was declining the identity by saying that it was not someone connected to schools.

Hickman obtained the acknowledgement from Alan Carmichael, PR spokesman with the Pilot Corporation as the contributor.

Let us now compare Karen Carson's statement. She said that Pilot Corporation has no tie to schools.

First, The maintenance and school bus fleet owned and operated by Knox County Schools use gas fleet cards that have their trucks and buses fueled at Pilot gas stations.

Second, Karen Carson as we have reported here before received $1,500.00 in contributions from executives with Pilot Corporation. She also received $500.00 from an employee of another Haslam owned entity called River Media. (This information was taken from her most recent campaign financial disclosure dated 1/29/08)

Third, the son of Pilot Corporation head James Haslam II is the Mayor of the City of Knoxville. One of City Mayor Bill Haslam's appointed department heads is Sam Anderson, a member of the Knox County School Board.

Fourth, the City Mayor Bill Haslam contributed $200.00 to Carson's campaign. He is the son of James Haslam II and brother of James Haslam III of Pilot Corportaion. He is also the Supervisor of Sam Anderson, a Knox County School Board member.

UPDATE: Sixth, the CFO of Pilot Corporation recently wrote a column in the New-Sentinel promoting the concept of the academies at Hardin Valley, Fulton and Austin East. Read David Page's column here in today's News-Sentinel where he details the Pilot Corporations stand.

This list will continue to be expanded as needed.

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