Saturday, May 31, 2008

DNC Rules Committee Meeting

We were told our vote wouldn't count. But, we voted in record number because we knew that the Democrat party would not NOT count our votes.

O.k. So what Florida State Senator (D) Arthenia Joyner representing Senator Clinton is saying is Rules do not apply to Democrats, we expect special treatment because we are entitled to that special treatment. Only Republicans are expected to be punished for going against the rules.

Nice and it is recorded forever on CSPAN.

McElroy's and Scripps Answer Appears To Be NO!

Fourteen days ago, two weeks Brian's Blog asked the following question about McElroy and Scripps. The coverage of McElroy and Scripps yesterday and today have resulted in McElroy and crew answering the question with a loud and clear, NO!

Remember, you read it here first fourteen days ago. Not in the News-Sentinel, not on WBIR. It was Brian's Blog first and accurate.

IdleAire Investors Part II

Sources have been flooding the Brian's Blog email and voicemail with information about the IdleAire information that was officially revealed yesterday.

Brian's Blog sources have provided us with the following information. The School Board selected The Lewis Group on February 2, 2005 as the architect for the Hardin Valley Academy High School. At the time, Dan Murphy was the School Board Chairman and Sam Anderson was the Immediate Past School Board Chairman. Anderson served as Chairman September 1, 2002 - August 31, 2004. Murphy served as Chairman from September 1, 2004 - August 31, 2006.

Friday, May 30, 2008

IdleAire Investors

Thanks to the knoxnews website, here is the complete list of the IdleAire investors. The only investor that the News-Sentinel has reported is County Mayor Mike Ragsdale. We went through the 99 page list and there are many notable names. Included in the list are the following:

George Korda, PR guy, Radio Talk Show Host on NewsTalk 100 and Political Analyst for WATE.

Joe May, Knox County's Lobbyist and PR Consultant.

Jerry Lewis, local Architect of Knox County School Boards Hardin Valley Academy High School, Holston Middle Expansion & Renovation, the McFee Road Southwest Knox County Elementary preliminary designs and in 1993 the A.L. Lotts Elementary.

Lanis Cope, local Architect of Knox County School Boards Gibbs Elementary and Powell Middle School expansion and renovation.

Daniel P. Murphy, Fourth district Knox County School Board Member.

Samuel Anderson, First district Knox County School Board Member.

Mike Ragsdale, Knox County Mayor.

Mike Arms, Chief of Staff of the Knox County Mayor.

Susan Richardson Williams, political talking head on Inside Tennessee on WBIR.

James Berrong, Blount County Sheriff.

Bob Koppel, former head of East Tennessee Children's Hospital.

Debra London, head of Mercy Health Partners, formerly St. Mary's Hospital System.

Why Do Elected Officials No Show?

On Wednesday afternoon the Knox County School Board hosted a budget meeting with the Knox County Commission. Actually, this was a re-scheduled meeting from a week or two ago. The previous meeting had to be postponed due to school staff illness.

The meeting on Wednesday had 3 School Board members attending. Karen Carson, Cindy Buttry and Dan Murphy. No Shows were Sam Anderson, Thomas Deakins, Indya Kincannon, Rex Stooksbury, Jim Williams and Robert Bratton. Bratton contacted Brian's Blog and explained his absence, it should be recorded as an excused absence.

The Commission had a similar record of attendance. With only 9 members attending. Those present were Samuel McKenzie, Mark Campen, Tony Norman, Elaine Davis, William Daniels, Mike Hammond, Richard Briggs, Greg Lambert and David Wright.

Last night, the School Board held its own budget meeting and the Vice Chair Indya Kincannon and Sixth District Member Thomas Deakins were no shows.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Can We Go Back?

Brian's Blog has been informed and we are attempting to confirm this. But, on June 10, 2008 all 5 Knox County General Sessions Judges will sit together and hear the petition from Knox County Public Defender Mark Stephens on his motion to remove his staff from defense of misdemeanor warrants.

Why is this motion necessary?

The cost of indigent defense has increased over 300%.

The Public Defender has been provided with a $2.7 million dollar separate office building, while the District Attorney General is still operating out of the same office space afforded to his staff on the day the City - County Building opened.

Brian's Blog has been informed that only 20% of court cost are collected by the indigent. Thus, resulting in the accused (criminals) "having no skin in the game." If they were required to pay a small fee every two weeks or a month to retire their court cost then they would think differently about their actions.

Brian's Blog has learned that the Public Defender recently appeared to ensure that he represents the accused in a couple of murder cases. Does the Public Defender have it all wrong? How many misdemeanor cases could he represent over an accused murderer or two?

In our community we need a discussion about how we can go back to the old system. Where lawyers were appointed to represent the indigent. It was a great system for keeping good lawyers busy and providing them exposure to the courts. Now the Public Defender hires in attorneys (young and seasoned) and they become government bureaucrats. They either stay in the bureaucracy or they ultimately venture out to join the defense bar.

One of the problems is that jail has NOT become enough of a deterrent to stop or curb illegal activity.

In the near future, I plan to contact Mark Stephens, our Knox County Public Defender to get any information that he will provide Brian's Blog for our current system and reaction to his thoughts on returning back to the system that was in place as recently as 1990.

We will report back.

For the record. Brian Hornback has been a loyal supporter of Mark Stephens. Having volunteered for his campaign in 1990, his re-election in 1998 and was honored to be Knox County Republican Party Chairman when he was re-elected again in 2006. Mark's family and his extended family "are the salt of the earth." This is not an attack on Mark, his staff or anything that you conspiracy theorist would like to thank that it is. It is a thought for discussion. If the facts can back up, our new current system, we at Brian's Blog will support it. If this change resulted "in throwing the baby out with the bath water" than let's discuss moving back.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Republican Endorses Finbarr Saunders

Political Knoxville is reporting the "official" endorsement of Finbarr Saunders by a former Republican candidate for County Commission Fourth District Seat A.

Republican candidate, successful businessman and community activist Walter Wojnar has "officially" endorsed Finbarr Saunders. Brian's Blog reported earlier about some bumper stickers that Walter has provided to the Saunders campaign.

On Saturday, at the Don Sproles Picnic Rally I asked Saunders about the bumper stickers. He said that at the recent Democrat dinner (the one where Carville spoke) that a former Democrat Chairman approached him and said that he had seen several of the stickers.

This demonstrates Finbarr's ability to garner bi-partisan support and build coalitions of people from different backgrounds and beliefs.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Great Debaters

I kept saying that I needed to go to the movie theaters and see The Great Debaters. I didn't. However, on Saturday I ventured over to the neighborhood Blockbuster Video and rented it. Last night, instead of watching the Coca-Cola 600, I watched The Great Debaters.

What a moving story. It is an unbelievable production. Even at my youthful age, it brought back memories of the racial hatred that existed in the South in the seventies. However, the racial hatred that I witnessed was nothing like the racial divide and hatred that existed in the Jim Crow South in the 1935.

This is a must see.

Sproles Campaign Kick-Off Saturday

As we posted last week. Don Sproles, candidate for Knox County Commission, Fifth District Seat C held a Picnic Rally on Saturday. The event was held in the Cedar Bluff community at 9050 Cross Park Drive.

The picnic started at 11 a.m. and ran until 2 p.m., I arrived near 11 a.m. and had other places to go, so I was there for about 45 minutes. There were about 75 - 100 during the time that I was there. Don and his lovely wife Karen were greeting everyone and working to ensure that everyone had a good time. I enjoyed talking with both of them briefly.

The stars of the picnic were the Sproles two grandsons, one blew bubbles, while the other one took a nap. It was good to see another media personality there, Hubert Smith of The Hubert Smith Radio Show. It was also good to see and have conversation with former candidate for Second district County Commission and current community activist, Chuck Williams. I also enjoyed talking with City Council Member Chris Woodhull, County Commission candidate Finbarr Saunders and our District Attorney General's wife Laura Nichols and of course our own DA, Randy Nichols. The Nichols are also grandparents (that is hard to believe) but they had their two year old grandson with them. He kept Mrs. Nichols busy, while the DA and I talked politics. (imagine that)

When I left there were many more cars, loaded down with people coming in the parking lot. The picnic still had a good 2 - 2.5 hours left to go. So the start of the picnic proved to be successful.

The music provided by Brent Thompson and friends was exceptional. The food was marvelous. The people were the best. The hospitality of the Sproles was phenomenal. Overall, if you missed it. You missed a great event.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Gibbs Ruritan Clubs Annual Dinner

Last night, I along with my awesome and beautiful wife attended the 16th Annual Gibbs Ruritan Community Dinner. It was held at Ramsey's Restaurant on Central Avenue Pike. The food as always was excellent, Mike and the crew did a great job.

The room was packed with probably as many as 600 people. It was a fun evening. As the evening started, the introductions of elected officials and politicians were announced. The introduction of County Commissioner and candidate for Property Assessor "Phil Babley" was announced. Of course County Commissioner and candidate for Property Assessor Phil Ballard explained it's Ballard. Everyone laughed. Then it came time for School Board Member-Elect Bill Phillips, Phillips is now Phipps. Everyone laughed. Also Chancellor Mike Moyers became Millis Moyers. Everyone laughed. It was all in fun.

Other notables present were Register of Deeds Sherry Witt, County Commissioner Dave Wright, former Commissioners Mike McMillian and Jack Huddleston and former School Board Member Steve Hunley.

We sat at the table of School Board Member-Elect Bill along his wonderful and beautiful wife, Karen Phillips. Also, at our table were Commissioner Babley (I mean Ballard), Witt, Hunley and Huddleston. It was an interesting crew.

At the beginning of the evening, a comment was made from the emcee about an article that appeared in the Shopper. The emcee asked how "many of you read that paper, it's a good one." Less than 15% of the room raised their hands and no one clapped.

It's amazing what happens when a paper has competition. Since the Fountain City Focus became the Knoxville Focus, (with countywide circualtion) the Shopper has been a slippery slope. They have already cut one of their editions, the one out far east.

Again, it was a great evening, I plan to attend the 17th Annual Community Dinner of the Gibbs Ruritan Club.

Transfer of Power

I have previously posted about writer Vince Flynn. I have recently completed his second book, Transfer of Power. It is an excellent political thriller.

What happens when a terrorist and his group of people take over the White House. How does the United States military respond? Especially since there are hostages and the President is tucked away in the underground bunker.

How will the Vice President respond, when the transfer of power is given to the Vice President because all communication is cut off from the President in the bunker? Will the Vice President give into all the demands of the terrorist? Is the President safe in the bunker?

Vince Flynn has written and published 9 books. I am reading them in the order that they were published.

Check out Vice Flynn's website, here.

Friday, May 23, 2008


If you grew up in the rural south. You will remember the old tent camp meetings. In my youth, even living in East Knox County a few tents would pop up from time to time. I have found memories of the gospel music tent at the TVA&I fair. The tent was hosted by Knoxville christian radio station WKXV AM 900. Every night, multiple Southern Gospel groups would take the stage and all night worship would ensue.

I remember meeting Frank Treece of Cedar Ridge and Wes Waggoner there. Cedar Ridge was a special group anchored by Frank's wife Violet. Violet has gone on to her heavenly reward, her impact has been felt for many years to come.

This song by the Gaither Vocal Band and in particular Russ Taff, brought back some fond memories.

The Latest Bumper Sticker

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Front Page Follies Preview

UPDATE and Apology: A friend of mine pointed out that Jean Ash does not contain an e. I checked and he was correct. My apologies to Jean Ash. I guess with the lovefest for McElroy, I had a vision of the ring leader of the Knox Charter Petition, Victor Ashe. For those people that thought that Jean and Victor were brother and sister. It just ain't true.

According to Jean Ash, this years Front Page Follies will portray Jack McElroy as good guy and the others as bad guys. This is not real surprising since the Front Page Follies is just an opportunity for the Chamber crowd to get together, have a few drinks, laugh at the "little"people that are having to pay for $3.75 a gallon gas at the local Pilot. While they all stand around afterwards, slapping one another on the back, feeling good about themselves. While the rest of us spend time with our kids, raising productive families.

Here is the preview written by Jean Ash for all to see the arrogance on parade.

The 2008 Front Page Follies will laud “The Sunshine Boys,” News Sentinel editor Jack McElroy and First Amendment attorney Richard Hollow, for their pursuit of justice after Knox County Commission plunged our area into darkness with backroom deals on January 31, 2007, dubbed “Black Wednesday.”

Maybe not as funny as George Burns and Walter Matthau in the acclaimed 1975 movie or earlier Neil Simon play, McElroy and Hollow made an even bigger impact on the lives of area citizens, who have a more open government as a result of the decision upholding the Sunshine Law.

What will be hilarious, however, are the performances of the Follies cast, led by director Carol Zinavage. Some examples of song parodies now being rehearsed are: “Sunshine in our meetings --makes us nervous….” (to the tune ‘Sunshine on My Shoulders’); City Council members singing “Thank God We’re Not County Boys” (to the tune of “Thank God I’m a Country Boy”); “The Ballad of Pat Head Summitt,” with apologies to Davy Crockett: “… learned how to stare when she was only three….;” and “Bubba Shot the Red Light….”

This year the Follies will also honor the Nine Citizens who joined the legal action, represented by Herb Moncier.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Summer Reading List

I have for the past three summers and will this year participate in the Farragut High School's mandatory summer reading program. This year, all students are required to read "The Man Who Planted Trees". It is located here. In addition, all students are required to select one of the four books.

1. Persepolis – The Story of a Childhood *– by Majani Satrapi
ISBN: 037571457X
2. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time **– by Mark Haddon
ISBN: 1400032717
3. Marley and Me *– by John Grogan
ISBN: 0060817097
4. The Glass Castle *– by Jeanette Walls
ISBN: 074324754X

I have just purchased the last of the four books. I will spend my summer reading all four books. My son will select one of the four to read, I have also offered to share my FHS summer library with a friend's student.

A great addition to this summer reading program is that each and every student will turn in a "report" in August after returning to school. Here is the link to the Farragut High School summer reading program. This link includes the "report form" along with the parent/guardian verification statement. This is a great improvement as it includes parent acknowledgement and accountability.

As in the past, Brian's Blog will post reviews of the book(s) as I complete them throughout the summer.

I have completed The Man Who Planted Trees, this is an excellent quick 10 minute read. The message is simple in that all good deeds, gone unnoticed proves a life well lived.

Is There One Among Us?

The picture below is from last year. It was at an event during the playing of the National Anthem. Barack Obama did NOT place his hand over his heart, while the others did. Here in Knox County we had a similar incident recently, however it is a tad bit different.

One of our Brian's Blog correspondent attended this years Fulton High School graduation. Everyone on stage did NOT place their hand over their heart with the exception of one elected official. On the stage mimicking the Barack Obama gesture were the members of the administration of Fulton High School, Assistant Superintendent Donna Wright and Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam.

The one official that appropriately saluted the National Anthem was Knox County School Board Vice-Chair Indya Kincannon.

Ms. Kincannon, this is a great way to lead by example. Your respect for our country and its National Anthem has NOT gone unnoticed. Good Job!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Sproles Campaign Rally..Be There to Support an Independent Voice That Will Cast Our Independent Vote

Dottie Rambo, God Speed, We Love You

Dottie Rambo left our world on Mothers Day. She immediately entered her heavenly reward. Our world is richer for her life, her legacy and her ministry work.

Dottie was part Cherokee Indian. At her death she held the copyright to more than 2500 gospel songs. In an interview during a recent illness, Dottie talked about sitting down at the stream and talking with Frannie Crosby about the songs that Frannie wrote.

Dottie died in route to meet Lulu Roman and Naomi Sego for a Golden Girls of Gospel concert in North Richland Hills, Tex., at the Fountain of Life church. God took Dottie to heaven on Mother's Day and the music in heaven is a little more sweeter this week than before Mother's Day.

God Bless, Dottie Rambo. Here is Dottie's website.

What Agenda is Mike Hammond Married To?

Knox County Commissioner Mike Hammond has shown his hand. He said that at the appropriate time, he will make a motion to accept the P-Card Audit, accept the Law Director's opinion and take no other action.

He either should make a motion to clear the Mayor and the administration or make a motion to take some other action. To do neither, asks the question what agenda is he married to?

Is his agenda a Hammond for Mayor campaign in 2010. By doing nothing, he doesn't make anyone mad and helps his future campaign endeavors.

County Commissioners To Have $6000 Placed In Their Personal Checking Accounts?

Knox County Finance Director John Troyer has mentioned at the P-Card Audit meeting of the County Commission that the Commission could decide to take their discretionary funds and place $6,000 in each Commissioners personal checking account and then each Commissioner could write checks out of their own checking accounts to non-profits, etc.

Is this something any of us would want? I hope not.

Appointed County Commissioner Gone Mad

William Daniels, appointed caretaker County Commissioner for the fourth district arrived at the Knox County Mayor's State of the Community Address last Wednesday May 14, 2008 at Hardin Valley Academy High School. Daniels arrived about 10 minutes late. He arrived after County Commission Chairman Tank Strickland had introduced all elected officials and after the County Mayor had started his address.

I noticed that Daniels was speaking to a Sheriff's Deputy, Daniels then approached me and said "this isn't right, my notice said 8:30 and there is no seats for officials." I said, "I don't know and I don't work for the county. Dwight Van de Vate is right there." I was pointing to the County Mayor's PR guy, Dwight Van de Vate.

Daniels approached Van de Vate and they had words, with Van de Vate clearly saying that the address was scheduled and advertised to begin at 8:15 not 8:30. Daniels went back to Van de Vate at least twice more during the address. Daniels also approached appointed County Commissioner Mark Campen of the Second district. Campen shrugged his shoulders and said something to the effect it's o.k., I don't care.

At the conclusion of the Mayor's remarks, Daniels made sure that the County Mayor was aware of Daniels failure to be early for the State of the Community address.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Which One is Lying?

Here is a test for you, our dear readers. Reporters Georgianna Vines and Betty Bean, o.k. reporter is a loose term for both. But this question is which one is lying, more than the other.

On Saturday in the Sentinel Vines "reported" that James Carville had one word of advice for the Republicans. "Pack" Her one line from the story is "He had one word for the GOP: "Pack.""

On Sunday/Monday Bean reported that James Carville had one word of advice for the Republicans. "Panic" Her one line from the story is "“I got one word of advice for Republicans:“Panic!"

Which one is lying? Are they both lying? Did they both attend the same dinner? Carville only spoke in Knoxville at one time and in one place in Knoxville on Thursday night. It appears that their salaries need to be reduced. Both working for the same organization (Scripps owns the Sentinel and Shopper) attending the same event. Reporting on the same one liner and one or both of them can't get it right.

Heck, for all we know. Carville probably said "Prepare" As Larry the Cable Guy says "That is funny, I don't care who you are!"

Write-In Candidates?

Pamela Treacy has started a discussion over at School Matters inquiring if everyone understands that it is not too late to run for School Board. Read Pamela's post, here.

Is it just a coincidence that Indya Kincannon and Karen Carson, the School Board Vice-Chair and Chair, both waited until February 5, 2008 (the primary election) to select the Superintendent?

For those of you outraged over the treatment of Donna Wright (being scored a ZERO by four board members, Kincannon and Carson being two of them). For those of you outraged at the treatment of Bob Thomas as a finalist. This may be worth checking in to.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

IdleAire Questions about Stocks and McElroy's Coverage

The News-Sentinel has produced two editorial cartoons about IdleAire. One has the Knox County Mayor hooked up to a IdleAire duct by one ear and cash flowing out of the other ear. The other cartoon has a White Elephant's trunk as an IdleAire duct.

Here are a question or two for McElroy and Company to consider. Will the stock purchases be revealed in the bankruptcy proceedings? If not will you (McElroy and Co) pursue finding out all the stock block's and all the purchasers of the stock blocks? If so, will you reveal two Knox County Contractors, two other elected officials and one Knoxville media personality that are linked in the same block?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

What About Elected Officials That Dis' Their Job Responsibilities

The Knox County State of the Community address was this morning at 8:15 a.m. (more on the actions of Appointed County Commissioner William Daniels in another post) However, it should be noted that two Knox County Commissioners totally "dissed" the County Mayor and their responsibilities as County Commissioners by being NO Shows this morning. They were Second District Commissioner Mark Harmon and Third District County Commissioner Tony Norman. In addition to missing the State of the Community. They missed a brief County Commission meeting that was held at the site of the State of the Community address.

The Knox County School Board fared pretty good in new revenue compared to other county departments. However, the School Board was represented at the State of the Community by less than a majority of the board. School Board Member Cindy Buttry informed the County Mayor prior to this mornings event, that she had a family medical issue and would be unable to attend. So she had an excused absence. As for Samuel Anderson, Karen Carson, Thomas Deakins and Jim Williams that all received unexcused absences. Especially the Board Chair Carson and Deakins, the board member that represents the Hardin Valley community where the State of the Community was held, Hardin Valley Academy High School.

Rep. Niceley's Bill II

We filed this post yesterday. Earlier this evening we filed this post. We are now adding to the debate on this issue. A certain Knox County School Board Member sent out the following URGENT email yesterday afternoon around 1:00 p.m..

I just got word that a bill in the House is going to get an attachment by Representative Frank Nicely allowing an elected superintendent for Knox County only. We got a call from TSBA and they wanted us to be aware that his may come to a vote in less than 2 hours. I do not have the bill number but it is on the floor!

Please send our Representatives a message asking them to vote NO. Even if you are for an elected v/s appointed superintendent, this is not right to single out one county and do it this way. This will throw our school system into a mess like we cannot imagine. We will lose Dr. McIntyre if this happens.


First of all if anyone that is an elected member of the School Board says to you that they didn't see this coming or were not talked to about it. They are lying. One, because County Commission continually vote for a resolution asking for this legislation. School Boarders see it on the County Commission agenda and they do not go and speak against it. So, in remaining silent they are for it. Right? Second, this is the third year that Representative Niceley has presented this bill. The first year he had 37 votes in favor, last year he had 44 votes in favor, this year he had 52 votes in favor of not tabling the item. With 52 votes that means that 9-10 Democrats have voted with every Republican. I will contend that there were probably more Democrats, because I am sure there probably was one or a few Republicans that voted the other way.

Rep. Tindell and Armstrong, the two Knox County Democrats that voted with the minority last evening in favor of tabling. If they would study the issue instead of listening to two Knox County School Boarders, they would see that the academic test scores have not improved with appointed school superintendents, they have actually declined.

It is clear that with more and more legislators voting in favor of an elected Superintendent that the legislators are seeing that the Time Is Now to Let The People Vote!

If not this year, there is always next year. After all this is the third year. No war is ever won with one battle, two battles or even three battles. It is with many small battles that we ultimately win the war.

To Representative Niceley and the other 51 legislators always remember what Winston Churchill on October 29, 1941 said to the boys at Harrow School. "Never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.''

In addition remember in 1993 what
Coach Jimmy V said. "Don't Give Up. Don't Ever Give Up!"

6 Investigates....They Did What No Other Media In This River City Will Do

Harlow Summerford, Reporter for WATE filed a story today under 6 Investigates. Summerford did what no other main stream media in this river city will do. He exposed several of the elitist members of this community that pull the strings of McElroy and others.

Here is the video of the 3:40 story. Here is the website story.

Rep. Niceley's Bill

There has been a large amount of misinformation concerning Rep. Frank Niceley's amendment concerning the elected Superintendent bill. First, of all people have accused Rep. Niceley of being unethical and conspiring to do things illegal. One poster on a blog said "let's examine his financial disclosure." Go right ahead. As Brian's Blog has demonstrated with Karen Carson's disclosure, you can not believe what is or is not on there. (Where are you McElroy and Alapo?)

Here is what Niceley's amendment will do. If passed it will allow the Knox County Commission by a two-thirds vote to place the item on the ballot for the voters. The voters of Knox County will then vote for or against having an elected Superintendent.

Now, why would these people be against the voters casting votes. After all, the buzz words in Knox County have been "Let the people vote!" So, if you stand in opposition to Rep. Niceley's amendment then you are against letting the people vote.

Brian's Blog sources have alerted us today. That immediately following last nights session and all day today. Legislators, Lobbyists and all Special Interest have been twisting, begging and pleading with Rep. Niceley to remove the amendment. That is unethical and when threats are being made of an elected Representative of the people it is illegal.

Here is Representative Niceley's amendment to let the people vote. Here is Representative Odom's bill that the amendment is tied to.

Now, Let The People Vote! Let The People Vote! Let The People Vote! After all it is about Letting The People Vote!

Knox County Mayor's Budget Address This Morning

This morning at the site of the Hardin Valley Academy High School. Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale will make his budget address. It is a tough year for revenue.

Governor Bredesen has indicated that more than 2,000 state employees will be laid off. Nashville Mayor Karl Dean has indicated that 200 Nashville-Davidson County employees will be laid off.

Will Knox County be forced to lay-off employees? Will there be a tax increase? Will Knox County Schools be able to open Hardin Valley Academy High School? Will Knox County Schools get all that they are asking for?

We will know later this morning.

Man In The Arena

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: Knox County Could Have Elected Superintendent of County Schools

UPDATE: 8:42 p.m.: There was an attempt to table Rep. Niceley's amendment. The tabling failed. State Representative Joe Armstrong spoke in favor of the tabling, stating that he had talked with the two School Board Chairs (Knox and Jefferson Counties) and he stated that the people back home desire to search out the best and brightest. When the tabling failed, the item was rolled. It will be back. Surely, Representative Armstrong does not believe that the members of the school board speak for the entire community. Because obviously, they do not. The school board is currently divided 5-4. With 4 board members made of people, not from around here, 4 members that are native Knox Countians and 1 Sam Anderson. In no way, can the Knox County School Board Chair speak with authority as to the will of the citizens of Knox County.

Original Post: State Representative Frank Niceley is expected to attach enabling legislation for Knox County to opt for an elected School Superintendent to a bill this afternoon. It is great to see a member of the Knox County delegation with some guts.

A member of the Brian's Blog team will be monitoring the House proceedings and will report when the action is taken.

What Metro Government Feels and Looks Like

Metro Nashville-Davidson County is the closest thing to compare a Metro Knoxville-Knox County. The very thing that the Knox Charter Petition Group's efforts will produce.

This is what Metro Government feels like to our wallets. Here are the salaries that citizen tax payers in Metro Nashville-Davidson County are having to pay.

Metro Government also looks like this. So, for those individuals that always whining about urban sprawl, it just gets worse with Metro Government.

A Certain Blogger Has Accused Me Of Supporting Candidates Belonging To Other Parties

This certain blogger accused me recently of supporting candidates from different parties than the Republican party, here and here. He claims to be a Republican. His wife is an elected member of the State Republican Executive Committee.

It appears that the loyalty that he accuses everyone else of lacking is at question with his endorsement of a non Republican candidate for President. It seems that a few emails may be sent to one State Republican Chair, Robin Smith.

It seems that this particular blogger has become the blogger for a minority faction of the Knox County Republican Party.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Does Jermey Finley or His Sources Have a Bias Against State Rep. Joe McCord?

O.k. if you haven't heard about the Jeremy Finley's two "news stories" out of Nashville's WSMV about Maryville State Representative Joe McCord then you have missed a couple of news story with an agenda and/or bias.

Here is where Jeremy's report has failed it's journalistic duties. In his first report he acknowledged that he had entered the conference room of State Representative Joe McCord secretively three days in a row. The door to the conference room is labeled "Do Not Open". In East Tennessee that term means Private Office.

Second, if Jeremy entered the conference room "over several days" than there is likely hood that Mr. Finley, WSMV or maybe one or more of his "sources" may have planted the air purifier, the "old school" ashtray, the sandbag door draft, even the bottles of alcohol. It is possible that any number of people could have or may have leaked an item or two over the course of "three or several days" and then called Jeremy to do his expose'.

Why is Jeremy utilizing all the secrecy in intentionally entering a private office for three days? If our elected officials are expected to be open and transparent, why are the members of the media that cover them, not held to the same standard?

Here is the first report and here is the second report.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Knox County School Board Chair Skirts and May Have Even Violated Campaign Finance Disclosure Law

Here is the link to the financial disclosure laws in the State of Tennessee that govern the disclosure of financial contribution to and expenditure of candidates for local and state office. It appears that the re-election campaign of Karen Carson has violated the code 2-10-107 (2) (A) (i)

Former School Board Member Diane Jablonski was appointed on December 11, 2007 and to the best of our knowledge is still serving as the campaign treasurer for the re-election of the current Fifth District School Board Member and School Board Chair, Karen Carson. The primary election was held on February 5, 2008. Carson was challenged earlier this year by local successful businesswoman Laurie Alford. The general election will be held on August 7, 2008. Because Carson garnered more than 50% of the primary votes, at this point she will be unchallenged on the general election ballot.

Here is the first 2008 financial disclosure filing of The Committee to Elect Karen Carson that has been filed. The ending date for this disclosure is 1/26/2008. All campaign contributions and expenditures that exceed $100 up to 1/26/2008 were required to be disclosed.

On 1/28/2008, The Committee to Elect Karen Carson hosted and held a public rally and reception at a West Knoxville Catering company. On the first financial disclosure (dated through 1/26/2008) they report an expenditure of $2,571.00 to the catering company. The event was held two days (1/28/2008)after the filing deadline. This would mean that the expenditure is required to be reported on the second campaign financial disclosure, not the first. At this particular event, sources attending the event indicate that several individuals gave checks and cash to the campaign. In particular the campaign received a check in the amount of $250.00 from local businessman William "Bill" Phillips. The "canceled" check indicates that the check was cashed or deposited on 1/31/2008.

So, the next financial disclosure covers the period 1/27/2008 - 3/31/2008. The second disclosure should reveal this contribution, as well as any other contributions received at the reception and the expense of the 1/28/2008 reception. By law, TCA 2-10-107 (2) (A) (i) all contributions that exceed $100.00 must be itemized and reported. Keeping in mind that the campaign contribution from Mr. Phillips was received by the campaign on 1/28/2008 and either deposited or cashed on 1/31/2008.

Here is the second financial disclosure that was filed with the Knox County Election Commission on 4/9/2008. It reveals no campaign contribution or expenditure during the period of 1/27/2008 - 3/31/2008. The box checked on the second financial disclosure indicates that the campaign received less than $1,000 during this reporting period. Our sources indicate that the campaign is still required that report any contribution that exceeds $100 per person.

Let's assume that it is not required to report a detailed report if the campaign raised or spent less than $1,000.00 in this reporting period. The balance on hand according with the 1/29/2008 report was $5,841.55. The balance on hand of the 4/9/2008 report is $5,319.34. That indicates that a sum of $522.18 was spent within the time period of 1/27 - 3/31 when you add the campaign contribution of William "Bill" Phillips of $250.00 to that total. It then totals $772.18. So the campaign would have had to have raised or spent less than $227.82 for the remainder of the period from 1/27/2008 - 3/31/2008 in order to remain under the $1,000.00 for the reporting period. But, keep in mind that TCA 2-10-107 (2) (A) (i) requires the campaign to report any contribution that exceeds $100.00.

According to Lola Alapo's post primary election coverage in the New-Sentinel on February 6, 2008 and according to the Brian's Blog sources that attended the Carson election night victory party, the campaign hosted a Mardi-Gras style election night victory party on February 5, 2008 at the clubhouse of a subdivision off of Northshore Drive. The cost of said party would surely exceed $227.82. In addition, the campaign handed out trinkets to potential voters at the polling locations on election day. Were they purchased with campaign funds or were they given to the campaign as an in kind contribution. If the value exceeded $100.00, then it must be reported.

Is it reasonable to assume that they spent less than $227.82 on this election night party? Is it reasonable to assume that businessman William "Bill" Phillips is the only person to contribute to the Carson campaign on the evening of the public reception? Why would the campaign report an expenditure two days (reception) before the expenditure occurred? Remember the first filing covered through 1/26 and the reception was held on 1/28.

In this new day of Knox County Government, where everyone is being required to remain open and transparent about their dealings, both as an elected official and through their campaign activities. Why is there an elected official attempting to skirt the law? Is this what the citizens of Knox County expect out of today's elected officials that represent the citizens of Knox County?

So, that no one can say that Brian's Blog does not have the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Below is a scan of the canceled check of William "Bill" Phillips that has been provided to Brian's Blog.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Flashback: The Hinson's

For those of you that grew up with or have enjoyed Southern Gospel Music over the years. You will remember The Hinson's, primarily Kenny and Ronnie Hinson. One of the greatest "message in music" songwriter's of modern time was/is Kenny Hinson. Kenny left us to too early, but he is in heaven. However, Kenny left us with plenty of messages in his short time.

Here is a video, of an appearance that they made many years ago on Nashville Now. Nashville Now was a TNN, The Nashville Network an old Country Music Cable Television station. Nashville Now was a variety show, hosted by Ralph Emery.

Here are The Hinson's singing one of my two all time favorite Hinson's song, "Call Me Gone". The other Hinson song that is one of my all time favorites is "The Lighthouse."

Check out The Hinson's

Friday, May 09, 2008

Kern's Is Back....Here's Some Good News

For those of you that ain't from around here, you just won't understand.

However, for those of us that are from around here. Food City is bringing back Kern's Bread. Do you remember A.J. and Mavis? Do you remember the smell coming from the Kern's bakery on Chapman Highway? Did you ever tour the Kern's bakery plant as a field trip with your scout troop and get one of those little individual loaves of Kern's bread? Did the Kern's Merry Go Round ever come to your birthday party?

Man, it is these memories that contribute to making East Tennessee the best place to have been raised. Here is a television commercial that Food City is doing to bring back Kern's bread and the memories of a simpler, better time in East Tennessee.

I will be at Food City, buying Kern's bread soon.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Farragut Vice Mayor Mike Haynes and Mayor Eddy Ford Lead..The Others? Not So Much.

The best elected governmental theater in Knox County was held this evening in Farragut at the Board of Mayor and Aldermen. First, during the Approval of the Agenda, Vice Mayor Haynes made a motion to delete the item for consideration to purchase 16.8 acres for public use including a possible school.

Vice Mayor Haynes pointed out the the town administrator, associate administrator and one Alderman, Tom Rossell had negotiated a purchase price of $1,300,000.00 with the current property owners. The Board of Mayor and Alderman had never approved for any negotiation to occur. The problem is the current property owners bought this property a few years ago for $427,500.00. The expert appraiser hired by the town appraised the value at $1,050,000.00 but Rossell wanted to spend $1,300,000.00 for this 16.8 acres. Dan Olson, Associate Administrator of the town indicated that he, the town administrator and Rossell had gone to the current property owners and gave them the appraisal, the current owners countered, the town countered and they settled on $1.3 million. When it looks like negotiations, when it sounds like negotiations it probably is negotiations.

There is an adjacent 20 acres for sale for $1.2 million. But, Rossell wants to spend $1.3 million for 16.8 acres. What?

So, the Town was prepared to pay a quarter of a million dollars over the appraised fair market value because Rossell simply wanted to. That is right $250,000.00 above the real market value for the property. It is a 300% increase from what the current owners paid a few years ago.

Mayor Ford asked town staff member Darryl Smith about a conversation they had about a member of the board asking if the appraiser would raise his appraisal. Smith indicated that Rossell asked about a re-appraisal. Mayor Ford then read an email that Rossell had sent about the appraiser not being willing to adjust the appraisal.

Vice Mayor Haynes pointed out that the town has condemned property in the past and has always paid fair market value. As Mayor Ford was preparing to speak. Alderman Williams attempted to interrupt with a point of order. Mayor Ford had the recorder read the motion. Williams point of order was ruled out of order.

The town staff reported the status of the current Capital Improvement Plan and how the town only spends about $2.0 million a year on Capital. This $1.3 will be devastating to the town's capital plan. Williams tried a substitute motion to remove the cap of the fair market value. Williams pulled the substitute motion when it was revealed that Williams could be proposing a $2.0 million dollar land cost.

Bob Hill, Chairman of Farragut MPC spoke and said we (the town) have a process. That process has not been followed.

Ultimately, Williams made a motion to send the item to the FMPC for a priority listing. It passed unanimous.

School Board Member-Elect Bill Phillips spoke to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen about the fact that the school board would not be able to build this school in the future. This land will just be another piece of property off of Knox County's property tax rolls. Phillips was warmly received and many people thanked him for driving from Corryton, TN to attend this meeting. When their own board member and the Knox County School Board Chair both live within 7 miles of Town Hall and did not attend tonight's meeting.

Ultimately, a good decision came out of tonight's meeting. However, it would not have been possible without the excellent leadership of Mayor Ford, Vice Mayor Haynes and School Board Member - Elect Bill Phillips.

IdleAire and Ragsdale? What About IdleAire, Knoxville Mayor Haslam and Pilot

This from the Sentinel today. Do you remember the Brian's Blog report from way back on Saturday April 5, 2008. Read it here.

Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam sits on the same board that Mayor Ragsdale sits on. As a matter of fact, two of Mayor Halsam's employees are on the board as well. IdleAire through the TPO's Regional Planning board have voted and passed federal funds through the organization for IdleAire to build infrastructure at a Pilot Travel Center, a Haslam family owned entity.

Why did they not select Truckstops of America, Petro or Flying J. No, it went to Pilot Travel Center., a Halsam family owned entity Will, the Sentinel ever report this? It is doubtful. Why? Because Sentinel and crew like their candidate for Governor, Bill Haslam and Pilot/Haslam buys alot of newspapers, especially on Friday's. Just because the Sentinel will not or does not report it, does not mean the federal Inspector General will not look at it.

Brian's Blog will not even discuss the whole E.W. Scripps corporate connection to the Knox Area Chamber Partnership and Haslam family owned entities.

Brian's Blog will not even discuss how the Chief Financial Officer at Pilot Travel Centers, LLC was involved in the selection process for the new Superintendent of Schools. Brian's Blog will not even discuss how Pilot flew another candidate for Superintendent of Schools to Knoxville on their airplane, at Pilot expense. You remember it was the candidate that scored a whopping 31 in initial scoring and within 10 days the school board had buyers remorse. The board then voted for the two gentlemen that scored 18 and 17 or something like that. Brian's Blog would agree that Dr. McIntyre and Bob Thomas were the two best choices. But Pilot spent over $7,000.00 to fly the other guy here.

Brian's Blog Broke It..Lola Alapo Writes It Up.. It's In The Sentinel Today

This news story from Lola Alapo at the Sentinel in todays paper. Brian's Blog reported it Tuesday evening, find our report here. Brian's Blog always helping the main stream media, everytime and every where we can.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

If A Law Is Broken. Is It Really Broken?

I have already received word tonight that a School Board Member is blowing off the boards oversight of televising the expulsion of a student, this evening. The question is. When the Commission was alleged to have violated the law on January 31, 2007, there was outrage. That outrage led to Jack McElroy filing a lawsuit. Now, when the School Board violated the law tonight, will there be a similar outrage from McElroy and company?

I am guessing Lola Alapo, Jack McElroy and others will overlook tonight's violation. After all it is only a violation when it is a group, you personally do not like.

After all, last October in Townsend, TN there was allot of bonding between certain media members and board members. Kind of reminded you of the ole' Cheers television sitcom. "Where everybody knows your name!"

Breaking News: Knox County School Board Televises Expulsion

If you watch the Knox County School Board meetings regularly, then you know that at the conclusion of public forum the board takes a few minutes to turn off the cameras and sound to conduct disciplinary hearings.

Tonight, was no different, well it was a tad bit different. They took their two minute break and then they were back on live with video and sound. The Board voted on hearing the expulsion on the record and they upheld the disciplinary hearing authorities decision to expel the student with NO debate. Sadly, no parent or adult was present to take responsibility for the student or the students actions.

The board concluded its business and Cindy Buttry congratulated the Chair for a record meeting. Dan Murphy commented that this short meeting beat his record by 10 minutes. The Board Chair turned to Board Member Robert Bratton and informed him if he had comments to write them down. So the audio and video was working loud and clear.

This is the group that controls two-thirds of our county tax dollars and they can not even turn off a camera and microphone. sigh.

(sarcasm) Opps, a guess a little law broken here or there, doesn't matter to much. Right? After all no one bothered to show up to defend the kid (sarcasm)

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Final Numbers in Dr. Mumpower's Win

15 of 15 counties reporting.

Mumpower 48.57% or 19,335 votes
Campbell 41.82% or 16,663 votes
Armor 9.61% or 3,831 votes

39,849 total votes cast in the Republican primary in Congressional District 11 in North Carolina.

Dr. Carl Mumpower is the Republican Nominee in NC Congressional District 11

Brian's Blog is declaring that Asheville City Councilman Dr. Carl Mumpower, an Independent Republican candidate has won a three way Republican primary race to become the Republican nominee for the U.S. Congress representing North Caronlina's Congressional District 11.

With 14 of 15 counties reporting, Mumpower has 48.58 % or 19,326 votes to Spence Campbell's 41.80% or 16,628 votes to John Armor's 9.62% or 3,828.

On to November, to take out the quarterback.

UPDATE: 10:25 p.m. Dr. Carl Mumpower is Leading The Way

UPDATE: 10:25 p.m. 13 of 15 counties reporting, Mumpower 48.7% or 19,172 votes Campbell 41.78% or 16,449 votes and Armor 9.52% or 3.750. The two counties have partially reported. They are to the southern most part of the Congressional district. It appears that Dr. Mumpower will be taking the quarterback out of the game.

Original Post 10:00 p.m. In a three way Republican primary in North Carolina's District 11. Dr. Carl Mumpower is leading with 49.0% of the votes. This with 9 of 15 counties reporting. It is still too close to call. However the results are Dr. Mumpower with 18,447 votes or 49.0% to Spence Campbell with 15,616 or 41.48% to John C. Armor with 3,586 or 9.52%.

I will be excited tonight if and when Dr. Mumpower pulls off this Republican primary win. Because we will begin setting up the team to play a little game of sack the quarterback. With us sacking the one term, one hit dud, Heath Shular.

The Knox County School Board Needs An Intervention

The Knox County School Board needs an immediate intervention. They really need an intervention before poor Dr. McIntyre gets into town. A day or two of team building exercises, you know?

It appears that the disunity is now attacking their 5 vote majority. Last night the board had a long meeting discussing policy revisions and changes. A discussion ensued about Title I and Title I schools. School Board Member Sam Anderson has several Title I schools and spoke from his perspective. The School Board Chair has no Title I schools in her district, but she spoke in what was viewed to be counter of Mr. Anderson's remarks.

Mr. Anderson became so aggravated and upset that he left his seat and went to the back of the room. School Board Member Robert Bratton went back to talk to Mr. Anderson and Bratton was overheard to say that the Board Chair shouldn't have said anything.

It is clear that the problem with a divided 5-4 Outsiders -vs- Knox County natives is beginning to cause a great divide.

If Mr. Anderson continues to become so upset that he continues showing himself, it will also reflect poorly on his boss, Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam. Could Mr. Anderson be the beginning of the weakness in the Mayor Haslam armour? First, his hate talk in Sundays paper about the Town of Farragut and then one day later, he becomes so irritated that he leaves a board meeting.

In other news of the school board divide.

It appears that the School Board Chair is upset with the County Commission not rubber stamping a few items on last months Commission agenda. 5 of the 19 Commissioners voted NO on a few items on the agenda. It takes 10 to vote anything down. So, it was no harm, no foul. Bit in an fit of rage, the School Board Chair is now having Robert Watson the attorney for the infamous School Board -vs- County Government lawsuit to appear at this months mid month school board workshop. So, the School Board will spend a few thousand dollars to have Robert Watson prepare and then appear at the mid month workshop to make a presentation on the final decree that was agreed to by both parties.


Mayor Ragsdale Has To Balance The Budget. But, He Should Leave Carter Elementary

This breaking news came on the Sentinel website this afternoon. While I believe that the Sentinel and in particular this writer, Lola Alapo may and probably did get the context of the quote wrong, thus creating a misleading story. While I also believe it is VERY pre-mature (based on a one sentence quote from an entire meeting) to guess what the Mayor's budget will look like before it is presented on May 14, 2008 at 8:15 a.m.. I have some thoughts on this issue.

My desire is to see that the Carter Elementary design dollars remain in the budget and the project on track. You ask, why would Brian Hornback care about the design dollars for Carter Elementary? My reason is because one year ago (May 2007) during the Mayor's budget address, he brought a young girl (an elementary age girl) up on stage. She had written the Mayor a note and handed it to him at the conclusion of a Carter Elementary PTA program. In the note she asked the Mayor for a new school. At the budget address he thanked her for the letter and told her that the design money will be in this years budget. While government and politics may change. Government should not renege on commitments made to our children.

I personally do not believe that Mayor Ragsdale wants to go back on his and the Commissions word to the Carter community.

But, here is the problem that Mayor Ragsdale and the County Commission are in.

The School Board in the Capital Plan Budget for next year that they voted on and approved last month, they did NOT ask for a replacement for Carter Elementary, while they have owned land for the replacement school for six years. They didn't ask for a NEW Southwest Knox County Elementary, even though a Farragut Alderman has and is attempting to violate the State Sunshine law to purchase land for a school that the school board hasn't even asked for. The School Board didn't ask for a replaced New Hopewell Elementary School, while they have owned land the past six years for a replacement school. They didn't ask for a replacement for Adrian Burnett Elementary School, while they have owned land for a replacement school for over 12 years.

The School Board DID NOT request the NEW Hardin Valley Academy High School to relieve the overcrowded conditions that have existed for the past 15-20 years in the area high schools. It was only because the Knox County Mayor and Knox County Commission recognized the problem and paid for the new high school with the dollars collected by the wheel tax.

It is obvious that the school board lacks the vision to recognize what is needed for the schools in Knox County. Their Capital Plan is only requesting $14 million dollars next year, with a majority of those dollars going to; $5 million for Physical Plant Upgrades, $5 million for roofs/hvac, $2.0 plus million for renovations to Ball Camp Elementary, yet another West Knox County School.

While the state statute does not give the school board the exclusive authority over capital construction. of schools. Sources indicate that a discussion may be forthcoming this budget year, to remove the capital from the school board and place sole responsibility for schools capital in the hands of Knox County government.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Happy Cinco De Mayo

Be Safe. Travel Safely. If you drink, have a designated driver. My friends at the KPD and KCSO will be out watching for you and you will be caught.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Knox County School Board Is Anti-Farragut and a Memo to Dr. McIntyre

In today's Knoxville News-Sentinel is this story. The Senior member of the school board, Samuel Anderson is spewing hate. Hate toward the Town of Farragut. He informs the Superintendent (through Lola Alapo's story) not to reside in the Town of Farragut. First, of all is this red-lining? Informing someone where he and his family should not reside. Is this a threat? As one of nine of McIntyre's employers and one of the five that hired him.

First, of all McIntyre could move to the county communities of Farragut, Southwest Knox County, Karns, Hardin Valley, Powell, Halls, Gibbs, Carter, South Knox County and still send them to the inner city magnet schools. The under performing schools. Heck, there are a bunch of county schools that are under performing.

Second, the City of Knoxville gave up the city schools and let's review what they gave to the county. Old Asbestos filled buildings, that had to be replaced, an unfunded pension plan, no air-conditioning in its buildings, no technology in its buildings, leaking roofs that had to be replaced, teachers that were overpaid in comparison to the county teachers, a golden parachute for its administrators. Just to name a few.

What if Farragut resident and Knox County School Board Member Thomas Deakins were to say (and he wouldn't by the way) that the Superintendent shouldn't live in the first district or in the fourth and gill neighborhood because as city residents they abandoned the school business. He would be portrayed as a racist and an elitist.

As for McIntyre's comment at end of the story. "I'm going to ask that my kids be generally off limits. I want to make sure our kids have a normal childhood and are not subject to undue scrutiny." I am writing a memo to Dr. McIntyre and here it is.

Dear Dr. McIntyre:

You're request will NOT be honored by the News-Sentinel. This town is partially controlled by the very paper that you were quoted in. They have in recent history printed the whereabouts and the coming and going's of the family members of Knox County Law Director John Owings, Knox County Property Assessor John Whitehead, Commissioner Scott Moore, Commissioner Paul Pinkston, Commissioner Craig Leuthold, Commissioner Tony Norman, Commissioner Ivan Harmon, Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale, former Commissioner Diane Jordan, former Commissioner Richard Cate, former Commissioner Frank Leuthold, former Commissioner Mark Cawood, former Commissioner Sharon Cawood, former Commissioner Mary Lou Horner, former Commissioner John Mills, former Commissioner Larry Clark, former Knox County School Board Member Brian Hornback, former Knox County Trustee Mike Lowe and former Sheriff Tim Hutchison.

Heck, in regards to former Sheriff Tim Hutchison. They printed a map and photographs to his weekend home in another county. It was on the front page, top of the fold. It was so disturbing that his wife has refused to spend anytime there do to the papers lack of privacy for his family.

When you take your family to the Krystal, Chili's or Aubrey's it will be discussed on blogs, community newspapers and the News-Sentinel. What movies you take your wife and children to will be discussed. Everything you do will be discussed ad nauseam. As for Brian's Blog, we will leave your family alone. As we have left the personal affairs of every elected official alone. I get emails all the time wanting to know, why haven't you discussed this or that. I will criticize and expose actions in officials capacities. Like flying Brian Bingelli to Knox County on a private jet. While you were forced to fly commercially.

There are many great communities to live and raise your family. I am a native Knox Countian. I was raised in East Knox County, attending Sunnyview Elementary School through the eighth grade and I attended and graduating from Carter High School.

In 1992, my wife and I along with our one child at the time moved to Southwest Knox County and for us it was a better option. As the Immediate Past Chairman of the Knox County Republican Party, I have visited every community in Knox County. I have friends in every community in Knox County (even Halls, though I give them allot of grief over that stupid slogan they have). Your family will be fine, wherever you decide to relocate. As for the scrutiny that comes with serving in this community. That is a totally different story. The News Sentinel has an agenda and it is an ugly one.

Welcome to Knox County.

Brian Hornback

911, What is Your Emergency? "Yes, I would like to Report a Crime"

On Thursday evening at 1513 Hutchinson Ave in Knoxville, TN a crime occurred. If you watched today's episode of Inside Tennessee. A crime occurred. It was an assault by 5 individuals on one woman. The victim was County Commissioner Victoria DeFreese. The 5 individuals were Georgianna Vines, Dennis Francis, John Becker, Mark Harmon and Don Parnell. A witness and one that did not participate in the assault, but sat by and did nothing to assist the victim was one Susan Richardson Williams.

The interview was going along as well as could be expected at the very beginning. But if you watch the body language of Ms. Vines. She is continually looking down at her paper. She folds her arms across her chest when Commissioner DeFreese is talking.

After John has concluded with a couple of opening comments from both Harmon and DeFreese. He throws it over to Richardson to ask a question. Richardson asks a question of DeFreese. DeFreese gets about three sentences out and Vines launches in on her, interrupting DeFreese trying to re-direct the question. Heck, Georgianna, she never got the chance to answer.

Then Dennis Francis jumps DeFreese and is argumentative with her, saying that the February election was a mandate. O.k. Dennis, but Commissioner DeFreese wasn't on the ballot on February 5, 2008. Heck, Dude. She wasn't even on Commission until February 20, 2008. I hardly think you can blame her.

Harmon continually interrupted DeFreese, stating why 13 Commissioners should have "let the people vote." Again, Harmon, she was one vote. Just as you are only one vote. Normally in the minority and not effective for the Second district. But you are one vote.

In the next segment they add the "leader" of the arrogant elite Latte' club called Knox Charter Petition Group Don Parnell. Who continued the abuse on DeFreese, blaming her for 13 Commissioners not voting for their amendments. Donnie, she is only one vote. She can't even talk to her district colleague. How can she secure you 13 votes? If your group had done a better job in talking with all 19 commissioners, you may have gotten 13. But, then again, your group didn't want Commission to pass them, now did you?

John Becker, never reeled Vines, Francis, Harmon or Parnell in on the disrespect shown DeFreese. Never once did anyone on the panel interrupt Harmon. However, they continually interrupted DeFreese. It was low class. It was disrespectful to a public official. It was disrespectful to women and in particular, a woman in the role of public official. It was not characteristic of the Southern charm of our city and our community. It was very Yankee.

In these here parts, we consider the actions of these panelist on Thursday evening as an assault. The reports that Brian's Blog received this afternoon from the Emergency Communications Center said there were many phone calls made about 10:05 a.m. this morning and the calls went like this. "911, what's your emergency?" "Yes, I would like to report a crime that occurred Thursday evening at 1513 Hutchinson Avenue inside the City limits of Knoxville."

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Next Saturday: The Healing Begins in Knoxville/Knox County

Next Saturday May 10, 2008 at 11:00 a.m. in downtown Knoxville, TN the healing begins. The Procession of Healing will be held. Each year nearly 3100 babies are never allowed to live outside the womb of their mothers. There are women and men that need to begin the healing from the past decision of abortion.

Check the website, here or the myspace page, here and I hope to participate or at least be in attendance to support those individuals that need to start the Procession of Healing.

Thanks to the many churches and ministries that have partnered together to organize this event. Especially Steve Fatow, out at Trinty Chapel.

How Many More Democrat Mistakes Can the State of Tennessee Afford?

Here is the story. Under Democrat Tennessee Governor "Prince Phillip of Nashville" they let a murderer out of prison and he was out for nearly a month before they figured out they made a mistake.

Makes you wonder if the Democrats are returning to a Ray Blanton kind of state leadership. Ray Blanton the former Democrat Tennessee Governor that accepted cash for paroles and/or pardons.

Democrats. They ain't law and order kind of people.

90 MInutes in Heaven

Don Piper is a minister in Texas. He had left a conference and his car was hit by a large Texas Department of Corrections truck, driven by an inmate. When the EMT arrived they declared him dead at the scene. Another minister stopped and was prompted by God to pray for the person. A person that he didn't know.

He climbed in through the back of Don Piper's car, laid his hand on Piper's shoulder and prayed and sang. After an intense time of prayer and worship Piper began singing along with him, "What a friend we have in Jesus." The man left the car demanded that the EMT re-check the wreck victim. He did indeed have a pulse, thus resulting in Piper having returned to this earth, after spending 90 minutes in Heaven. After 13 months of laying still and completing his healing, he returned to the field of ministry.

Don Piper recalls his experience in a book titled 90 minutes in Heaven. Last week I read the book. I recommend it to you. Don Piper spoke recently to the First Baptist Church, Sevierville. It is expected that he will be back in East Tennessee at a small little mission baptist church called First Baptist Concord. I am looking forward to hearing Don Piper at my home church this year.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam's Budget Address

I had RSVP'd to attend Mayor Haslam's budget address. However, an illness in the family kept me home. Brian's Blog had many correspondents at the budget address/luncheon.

It was expected that Mayor Haslam would utilize some of his excess rainy day fund money as an investment into the Knox County School system. It was rumored from his own senior staff members that he was prepared to invest somewhere in the neighborhood of $3.0 million dollars in the Knox County School System. It was especially encouraging when he had students from Beaumont and Lonsdale at the budget address. But, when the budget was presented there were no additional dollars going to the school system from the City's rainy day fund.

It makes you wonder. What can Haslam say when he runs for Governor about public schools. As Mayor, he did nothing extra for the children. As a young man, his family enrolled him in private schools. As a father, he enrolled his own children in private schools. Just how could Bill Haslam relate to the children in public schools? After all, on Thursday they were simply used as stage props.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

The Appeal by John Grisham

About a week ago, I finished reading the latest book by John Grisham. I am a fan of all of Grisham's work. I normally go out the day or within a week of a books release and get it. I did the same on this one, I got it on its first available day for purchase. However, it takes me a while to get to the book to read it. Because I am an avid reader and have to get to it.

The Appeal is a great thought provoking book. Obviously, it is fiction. However as you read the book it seems that we wouldn't be surprised if the very story line happened today.

What I found interesting is the "bad guys" (the BIG money, corporate greed guys) near the end of the book used a tag line. "Let the People Vote." I thought darn it, that is what the bad guys (BIG money, corporate greed guys) with the Knox Charter Petition Group have been saying.

Grisham as always is a great read, Check out The Appeal. The latest from John Grisham. You will not be disappointed.

The Biggest Hype for an Event in the History of Knoxville/Knox County

Smart Fix 40