Thursday, July 31, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: Knox County Law Director Hires Don Bosch. What?

Hubert Smith of The Hubert Smith Radio Show and One on One with Hubert Smith has informed Brian's Blog that Knox County Law Director John Owings has informed the County Commissioners this afternoon that he is hiring outside counsel pertaining to the hospitality account and community grants of the Knox County Mayor. Smith confirmed this information with at least three Knox County Commissioners.

What would be unusual about the hiring of outside counsel? It isn't the hiring of outside counsel that is unusual. It is who he selected that is unusual. The left leaning criminal defense attorney Donald A. Bosch, Esq. and an associate from his law office, Ms. Ann Short-Bowers, Esq. .

Bosch a regular panelist on WBIR's Inside Tennessee, a vocal supporter of the News Sentinel, a proponent for the Charter amendments and any and all democrat candidates. What is interesting is that Bosch was before County Commission on Monday (three days ago) representing Knox Ag, Inc. He lost. But today he wins another client.

BREAKING NEWS: Knox County School Board Violates Sunshine Law Tonight

I attended the public meeting at Carter High School concerning the East County Sector Plan update. Brian's Blog will be posting reports tomorrow detailing the meeting. However a count revealed 159 individuals attending. Eight of them were known not to be from East Knox County. Two were from South Knox County and six from West Knox County (which would include your truly)

At the beginning of the meeting at 6, it was announced that they had a limited time to meet. That the Knox County School Board would be needing the auditorium at 8 for a meeting. A research of media advisories do not reveal that a school board meeting had been called for Carter High School after 8 this evening. So, are they violating the sunshine law? I had a previously booked appointment and had to leave by 7:20 p.m. so I was unable to stay to cover the school board meeting.

One Week To Go..Be Sure You Vote. Early and Often

One week to go. The August 7, 2008 election will determine who will serve as our Sheriff, Register of Deeds, County Clerk, Trustee and County Commissioner for the next two years. Those citizens who vote will determine who our Property Assessor, Law Director and Criminal Court Judge will be for the next four years.

There is a State primary for State Representatives and for half of the State Senate seats in the state. There is a primary for the U.S. Congress and U.S. Senate.

Most of the campaigns have been friendly and focused on the issues. I intend to cast my vote on Saturday, the last day of early vote. I may still be prone to be influenced for my vote on a race or two. So you can email me, here and make your case.

Here is an example of friendly, focused and fair campaigning.

This is a photo from the Farragut Fourth of July parade. It is the Don Sproles entourage. Sproles is running for Knox County Commission, District Five Seat C. He is an licensed attorney and works with his wife in their successful Knoxville based restaurant business, The Lunchbox. Check out Don's website, here. Click on the Links section and you can view or listen to a debate or two between he and his opponent from the two television stations and from Newtalk 100.

Knox County School Uniforms. Who and How Are They Enforced

The Knox County School System is re-constituting the high schools of Fulton and Austin East. There have been media reports of Fulton requiring school uniforms. Freshman must wear Maroon shirts. Students in the Communication school must wear black shirts. Students in the Human Services school must wear Gray shirts. Students in the Health Services must wear White shirts. The shirts must be tucked in the pants and no shorts are permitted.

Check out the latest mainstream media story on this issue, here. Austin East will require a strict dress code for this school year as part of their re-constitution.

Here are few questions.

1) For those students enrolled in the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch program. They are eligible for the school district to provide their uniform, just as their field trip fees are waived. Where are these funds in the school district budget?

2) When a student comes into school without the appropriate attire. What will the Fulton administrators do?

3) What discipline will be imposed on students not wearing our adhering to the uniforms?

4) Let's say that a Freshman knows that he/she will be in the School of Communication, so they start wearing Black. What happens when a Freshmen shows up with the color of his/her school choice?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

This is the New National Democrat Candidates

United States Senator Norm Coleman, MN - The Only Choice

Farragut Press: Tyree is a Rule Breaker

In the Press Talk feature of tomorrow's edition of the Farragut Press someone called in and said "Why must a white pick-up truck with a town of Farragut logo on it persist to removing [Randy] Tyree for Sheriff signs from private properties? Is this democracy?" The reason is that the Democrat candidate for Sheriff is a rule breaker. The Town of Farragut requires that NO yard sign be placed in the right of way or illegally placed within the town limits. When signs are placed in the right of way or illegally, then the town staff must collect them. If a candidate is a rule breaker now, what kind of Sheriff will he be?

Trustee Threat?

As a researcher on the Brian's Blog team, I was listening to the debate between Trustee candidates Robert Bratton and Fred Sisk this past Sunday morning on WIVK FM 107.7. Bratton discussed a form that employees were required to sign acknowledging that they could be fired at will without notice by the Trustee. Bratton contended that this is an example that nothing has changed, in that the backroom deals and political patronage continue in the Trustee's office post February 5, 2008.

I was curious about the form and obtained a copy from a source within the Trustee office. Here it is.

Remember the employees were given this form and required to sign and submit it to the Trustee office less than four weeks ago.

Obama Means ______________

Fireproof - The Movie

From the people that brought us Facing The Giants comes another movie with a message, "Fireproof". It will be released in theaters on 9/26/2008. Check out the "official" movie trailer, here. It appears to be another home run movie with a message that will last longer than movie.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


How dishonest can these people get? The Home Rule Charter form of Government began in September 1990 after we (the citizens, including me) voted for it. That was a fundamental change in how we operate in Knox County. In 1994, we (the citizens, including me) voted in term limits. That changed how we operate in Knox County. Gary Drinnen's comments demonstrate how dishonest the Knox Accountability Group really is.

Your Wallet - The Only Place Democrats Want to Drill

You can have three of these stickers for a contribution of $10 to the TN GOP. Visit the party's bumper sticker donation website, here. Also, the TN GOP supports and encourages anyone that is not part of the 1.3 million citizens that have signed the "Drill Here Drill Now" petition to do so online by visiting the American Solutions website, here.

Foster Arnett, Knox County Clerk Candidate

Yesterday at the County Commission meeting Don Bosch was up representing his client, Randy Greaves of Knox Ag. County Commissioner Scott Moore asked Bosch about his televised comments concerning the issue of Moore's endorsement of Amy Henley Vandergriff. Commissioner Moore said "I am a Republican. I support Republicans. I endorse Foster Arnett. If you have questions about my position, you need to call me." Bosch said "if I got it wrong, I apologize."

Foster is a longtime government bureaucrat (having worked as the press spokesman for KPD during the Victor Ashe administration and previous city administrations). His wife is an employee of Knox County. He recently had a problem with paying his taxes, but he did the right thing and paid them.

I too am a Republican. On Sunday, you read here a response by one of of the Brian's Blog team members responding to the false information that Don Bosch put out about me personally in regards to the race for County Clerk. Everyone knows that I support Republican candidates. I join with Commissioner Scott Moore in publicly endorsing Foster, the Republican nominee.

Monday, July 28, 2008

William Daniels Op-Ed in Sunday's News-Sentinel

As a researcher on the Brian's Blog team, I requested to take the op-ed piece that Appointed Commissioner William Daniels had written and was published in Sunday's News-Sentinel and research his take on the early swearing in of the Commissioners. Here is the temporary Commissioner's column. Here is my take.

William Daniels is entitled to his opinion on swearing-in of Knox County Commissioners. Unfortunately, he confesses what he thinks is "tradition" with the law. His July 27, 2008 News-Sentinel opinion piece is full of inaccuracies which illustrate his lack of knowledge on state law.

Daniels quote: "The tradition has been for elected officials to take oath of office the month following the election cycle. I am unsure if this tradition is based on history or simply a courtesy for the existing officeholders. Perhaps it is just common sense."

Fact: Swearing in of elected officials is not done by tradition. It follows state law. County Commissioners, as are consititutional officers, are sworn into the office to which they are electedon September 1 following the August general election. This is clearly spelled out by state law and applies to all counties and all constitutional officers who have elected to serve 4-year terms. Daniels does not know the constitution he has sworn to uphold.

Daniels Quote: "The law states that ceritification takes place within 10 days of the election, and the new commission may be sworn in then."

Fact: This law applies to commissioners elected to fill a partial term. Ironically, this law applies to this election for county commission seats that are filled by commissioners who have been appointed by county commission, not elected. This law clearly states what should happen. What part of this Daniels not understand?

Daniels Quote: Is the Mayor's office really going to swear in new commissioners while the Intergovernemental Committee is in progress?

Fact: What is Daniels talking about here? Clearly, again, he presents his own lack of knowledge of the law. The Mayor does not swear in any elected officials. Judges swear in. Judges administer the oath of office. The new commissioners will decide when and what judge swears them in. The mayor's office may organize ceremonies and receptions but the mayor does not swear in and has never sworn in a county commissioner.

Daniels Quote: "How would the new commission even know the issues?"

Fact: The new commissioners have attended commission meetings. They have also been campaigning and staying in touch with citizens in their districts. Mr. Daniels, do you think you know more than them? Remember the citizens in the 4th district rejected you in the February primary. These same citizens will elect their commissioner next week.

Daniels Quote: "...I would suggest that it would be more appropriate to follow traditiona nd not disrupt the process...."

Fact: This issue is not about following tradition but about the law. The law says the commission seat belongs to the individual elected by law. Furthermore, Mr. Daniels is entitled to his opinion piece "use common sense for swearing in." Does it not make common sense that an individual elected by the district 4 citizens begin service on county commission instead of someonealready rejected by the same citizens contiuing to serve?

Check Out Logan Brummitt's Post on His Blog

My buddy, Logan Brummitt has joined the world of blogging. Logan ran unsuccessfully for the County Commission Seat B in Knox County's Fourth District. He wasn't the top vote getter but he is young and has a future. He is new to this forum of blogging. But I say "welcome, the water is fine."

Check out this blog post that Logan put up a few weeks ago.

Commissioner Phil Ballard Tonight

UPDATE: 9:51 P.M. Brian's Blog has been informed that Commissioner Ballard was advised that he must recuse himself on the mulch mediated settlement vote due to a "potential" conflict. If he would start speaking into the microphone all would be wonderful.

Original: 9:35 P.M. County Commissioner Phil Ballard of Knox County's Eighth District recused himself of the mulch mediated settlement vote. In addition any and all roll call votes, Ballard is not speaking into his microphone and his votes are not being heard.

Commission Chairman Gets Spanked Tonight

County Commission Chairman Thomas "Tank" Strickland today has been not allowing Commissioners who have their lights on to speak when someone calls for the question. This is a new procedure for the Chairman and the Commission. He is attempting to rule people out of order. A few minutes ago the train of cutting of discussion was whistling down the tracks, when it got to Commissioner Elaine Davis. She asked Commissioner R. Larry Smith if he had a question. He said my light is on and yes I have a question. Strickland rudely interrupted Davis and said it doesn't matter, the question is called. Davis responded to the Chairman that could effect my vote. She voted No and 9 others then voted No and the call failed. Chairman Strickland was spanked by Commissioner Davis.

These Commission meetings go on for so long, not only because the Commissioners cannot talk amongst themselves prior to the meeting. But also because Strickland is not running the meeting effectively as he should and he is trying to "Victor Ashe" the other portions of the meeting.

The Use of Intermediaries

UPDATE July 28, 2008 6:15 P.M. The County Commission first failed to vote to deny and extend a 120 day extension to the NRR contract. The County Commission then failed to approve the mediation settlement. Commissioner Mark Harmon and another Commissioner then made a motion to reconsider the denial. A substitute motion was made to approve the mediation settlement. All 9 votes remained, Commissioner William Daniels who had first passed on the approval and then on first vote to approve he changed to a NO. He then flipped on the second approval motion and voted Yes. With 10 votes effectively approving the mediation settlement. Commissioner Ivan Harmon changed to 11 votes.

The good news is that Knoxville Attorney Don Bosch did not get what he passionately asked the Commission to do. It appears that several Commissioners after having read Brian's Blog this morning realized that the use on intermediaries cast a long shadow on this settlement and NRR's mediation settlement was approved and Bosch was ineffective for his client, Knox AG.

Original Post July 27, 2008 6:22 a.m. Do you remember from the "sunshine lawsuit" when there were talks of using intermediaries? Well, it appears that some of the politically/media connected are being used as intermediaries. First, there is a connection between the News Sentinel and WBIR. News Sentinel Editor Jack McElroy appears with WBIR News Anchor John Becker on the Sunday television show Inside Tennessee. On the same program as panelist with McElroy are lawyer Don Bosch and PR guru and former TVA Director Susan Richardson Williams.

So if you were wanting a Knox County contract. Would it be a wise choice to hire Bosch and Williams? Knox Ag, a company seeking a county contract for the green waste recycling facility apparently thought so. Williams disclosed last week on The Voice, a daily talk radio show that she is involved with Knox Ag. Bosch has been retained as the attorney for Knox Ag, according to at least one newspaper story.

Although according to sources close to the County Commission, Randy Greaves of Knox Ag has sent a letter to several County Commissioners apologizing for selecting Bosch. He supposedly has acknowledged to the Commissioners that he was unaware that Bosch has made some outlandish comments about the Commissioners on Inside Tennessee and in other public venues.

While there are some serious questions about the current contractor NRRT. It appears that the contract for Knox Ag creates questions as well.

Here is a story that names Don Bosch as an attorney for Knox Ag, Inc. Here is a story used in the research of this story. Here is a story that details the past and the possible agreement on the mulch facility. Here is News Sentinel's Editor's recent opinion on the mulch contract. Here is a story requesting a probe of the contract. Here is a story concerning some probable health issues near the mulch facility. Here is another story concerning the contracts. Here is a story from January 2008 about the facility.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Elect the Real Mike for the State Senate

A little longer video the official announcement of my friend, our next State Senator Mike Faulk.

Shopper News Provides Comic Relief Every Sunday Night

First, the E.W. Scripps hourly paid Shopper News Editor Sandra Clark always refers to the News Sentinel as the other paper. She does so again in tomorrows edition. It was kind of funny until about three years ago when they took ownership of the Shopper and retained her for a certain number of years. So, when she refers to "the other paper" she is actually pointing into a mirror and making fun of herself.

Second, Larry Van Guilder gets it wrong in his column tomorrow. In his column about the race for Knox County Trustee he wrote. "He didn’t hold the job for long. Chancellor Daryl Fansler’s ruling last October kicked him to the curb along with a slew of other officeholders, but Sisk won a second appointment to the office last January." Hey, Larry where were you when the Commission appointed in 2008? The appointments were after the February 5, 2008 elections, like on February 20.

And you two (Sandra and Larry) wonder why no body gives you any credit for being a "reputable" publication or "reputable" Scripps employees?

Breaking News: TVUUC Shooting in Knoxville

This morning the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, TN suffered a shooting within its sanctuary. Preliminary reports are that at least 13 were injured. The gunman entered during the children singing songs from the production of Annie. Details will be forthcoming.

Pray for the victims, their affected families and the church as they deal with this incident.

Don Bosch and Gannett's WBIR Attack Brian Hornback

Today, on WBIR's Inside Tennessee Don Bosch in asking a question of Knox County Clerk candidate Amy Henley Vandergriff asked her about some of her Republican support and threw out the name of our blog Founder and President, Brian Hornback.

This episode of Inside Tennessee was taped either on June 19, 2008 or July 10, 2008. Anonymous sources within Gannett Companies WBIR alerted Hornback to the use of his name. Hornback talked with New Director Bill Shory and Gannett's WBIR General Manager Jeff Lee. Shory indicated that he wasn't aware of the incident but would review the episode and take appropriate action. Lee indicated that the episode had been viewed and they would air the broadcast. When Lee was asked for Hornback to have equal time, Lee responded that we do not censure Bosch and besides the show is only viewed by political junkies, denying Hornback's right to equal time.

Regular Inside Tennessee panelist Susan Richardson Williams refutes Lee's assertion that the show is only viewed by political junkies. Williams has said that Inside Tennessee has higher ratings than the NBC Nightly News.

When this show was taped a new story written and published nearly four weeks before the taping of the show by Hayes Hickman of the News-Sentinel accurately quoted Hornback concerning this issue of the race between Vandergriff and her Republican opponent. Here is the link to the News-Sentinel story from Friday June 13, 2008.

Here are the two paragraphs that really prove that Bosch knew what he was saying was factually inaccurate.

The former GOP official vouched for the accuracy of the quote, which he originally posted in an earlier blog entry he said was intended to offer a "taste and flavor" for all of the county candidates who ran in the Aug. 7 primary.

Hornback, however, stopped short of characterizing the statement as an endorsement. "I've not endorsed Amy or endorsed, or unendorsed, Foster Arnett," Hornback said Thursday, adding that he refused an unnamed person's request that he ask the Vandergriff campaign to remove the quote from her site. "I refuse to ask her to do that. In my opinion, it would be unprofessional of me, in light of what's happened in the past 24 hours."

Why would Bosch state something so obviously inaccurate about a private citizen? The belief by many observers is that Bosch is retaliating against Hornback for his blog being a constant reminder of the many stumbles and bumbles of several E.W. Scripps owned publications. Also, that Bosch is also retaliating against Hornback for Brian's Blog being the forum that exposed the delinquent property tax status of the Republican nominee for County Clerk.

Brian's Blog had accomplished something that no newsroom in Knoxville or East Tennessee had been able to accomplish and Bosch is carrying the water of two media entities in attempting to discredit Hornback and his blog, Brian's Blog.

Gannett station management was put on notice nearly 5 days prior to the airing of this episode that they were airing something that is inaccurate about a private citizens actions. Has our (Brian's Blog) coverage of the Clerk's race been unfavorable to one candidate? Bosch and others may think so, but everything that we have reported has been accurate and we have refrained from attacking either candidate personally.

This blog provides a "taste and flavor" of local campaigns and political races that no other media in Knoxville/Knox County or East Tennessee provides. We do not allow attacks on candidates or campaigns. We report factual items. Simply because we continually fact check.

It is irritating to the news agencies with a large number of staff and salaries that they are being trumped by a blog with a small team of researchers. So they utilize a criminal defense attorney to launch their retaliation bombs. Bosch said that Brian Hornback is supporting Amy Henley Vandergriff. Support in a political campaign is 1) endorse the candidate. 2) contribute money. 3) raise money. 4) put out yard signs or distribute campaign material. along with many other activities. Brian Hornback has done neither of these things.

Words mean things and you would think that Don Bosch being a lawyer would understand the meaning of words. But there in lies the problem. Bosch is a criminal defense lawyer. The meaning of is to the likes of Don Bosch doesn't always mean is. Because this blog has reported factually unpleasant stories about one candidate in Don Bosch's world means that we support the other candidate? Does that mean that when Bosch represents the worst of the worst, individuals that have been accused of crimes that are morally unconscionable than does that define who Bosch is? We do not believe so. But it appears that is the standard Bosch has imposed on Brian Hornback. Stay tuned to Brian's Blog through July 26, 2009.

Pay Your Knox County Taxes in Jackson Hole, WY?

In the latest direct mail piece for the Republican candidate for Knox County Trustee the first goal and platform listed says. "Emphasis on customer service and maintenance of five substations throughout the country." I didn't realize our Knox County offices were accessible to Knox County property owners that reside somewhere else in the USA.

In the Fourth District Seat B race a direct mail piece hit the mailboxes yesterday. It stated that the candidate has the experence we need. The correct spelling is 'experience.' Can we buy a vowel?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

News-Sentinel Lays Off Higher Paid Employees To Hire Lower Wage Employees?

Brian's Blog broke this story about 8 layoff's in the advertising department at the metal shed on the hill last weekend. One of our team members was doing some research on hotjobs. The truth be known, he was probably looking for a higher paid job then being on the Brian's Blog research team. The date of the posting is July 17, 2008. According to our sources in the News Sentinel family, the 8 employees in the advertising department were laid off on July 18, 2008. What is the strategy? Are they exchanging higher paid positions for lower wage positions? Just a question or two. Inquiring minds would like to know.

Here is the job posting, it is still active as of this day and time. July 26, 2008 2:43 p.m..

Job ID 1084
Company Name The Knoxville News Sentinel Hr. Department
Job Category Clerical/Administrative; Advertising/Public Relations
Location Knoxville, TN
Position Type Full-Time, Employee
Experience 1-2 Years Experience
Date Posted July 17, 2008

View The Knoxville News Sentinel Hr. Department profile and job listings

Responsibilities:· Assists account executives, electronic ad designers and customers in a fast paced team environment· Generate revenue through up-sell opportunities such as pick-up ads, special sections and theme pages· Prepare advertising text and electronically schedule ads· Answer telephones· Prepare correspondence and sales proposals· Work directly with customers to answer questions and quote rates· Order ad pick-up and tearsheet delivery· All other duties as assigned

Requirements:· Excellent customer service skills· Good time management· Must be a self starter, able to work independently and as a team· Proficient computer skills – Microsoft Office Suite· Minimum 55 WPM typing· Excellent spelling skills· Excellent telephone skills

Desired qualifications:· Telephone and/or face-to-face sales experience

News-Sentinel's PILOT, Victor Ashe and News-Sentinel Endorsements

O.k. when the News-Sentinel took flight from downtown. Then Knoxville Mayor Victor Ashe and the City of Knoxville gave the NS a lucrative corporate welfare handout called a PILOT. (payment in lieu of taxes) It was given so that the News-Sentinel would maintain a certain percentage of good higher paying jobs. It is questionable that the News-Sentinel has maintained their end of the bargain. Last Friday, the NS laid off 8 employees in the advertising department. (More on that in another post)

So, when they are considering their endorsements for the August 7, 2008 election is it any surprise that a majority of their endorsements are former Victor Ashe cronies. The very people that will continue to encourage the City of Knoxville officials to look the other way on the News Sentinel's adherence to the agreement.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Knox County Republican Party Direct Mail Piece Hit The Mailboxes TODAY

Knox County Republicans received this postcard today. It is a direct mail piece promoting the Republican ticket on the August 7, 2008 ballot. The piece performs it job well, in promoting the countywide Republican candidates. However, the interesting part of the card is that it says that it is paid for by the TN Republican Party and uses their Permit number in Nashville.

Brian's Blog realizing that certain main stream media would ask. Why is the TN Republican Party paying for a direct mail piece for one of ninety five Tennessee counties? We decided to beat them to the puch. So, we contacted the Knox County Republican Party Chair Irene McCrary and the Knox County 1st Vice Chair Corey Johns about the financial disclosure. McCrary said "They (Tennessee Republican Party) didn't pay for it." The Knox County 1st Vice Chair Corey Johns in acting as the Chairman of the "Unified Campaign". In response to the financial disclosure question told us "It's all good." He said that the financial disclosure is not misleading in that "The KCRP is a local subdivision of the TRP." Johns is chairing the Republican ticket campaign and Nick McBride is the ticket campaign treasurer. McBride served in this role while Brian Hornback was Chairman of the Knox County Republican Party and the Republican ticket campaign in 2006. McBride is very capable and able to keep the books straight.

TN GOP and the "Free Loading" Media

UPDATE: 2:34 p.m. Bill Hobbs, Communications Director of the TN GOP in an email exchange with the Brian's Blog team indicated that media would be allowed if they buy a ticket.

Original Post: 1:40 p.m. If the TN GOP is barring any media from Saturday's Statesman's Dinner. In my opinion, that is wrong. If they are barring media seeking complimentary tickets / seats then I am o.k. with that. I believe that every reporter should have to purchase tickets to similar events. It is not like the AP, E.W. Scripps, Gannett or any other news gathering organization can not afford to pay an entry fee for the reporter(s) attending said event.

This is a fundraiser for the TN GOP not an opportunity for the media that hate Karl Rove to eat a great meal and blast the good man. While I was Chairman of the KnoxGOP, I never approved a comp ticket for media members to attend the two Knox County Lincoln Day Dinners that I lead. If one media member got in and ate the meal without paying, it was without proper approval.

A Campaign Song for a Local Campaign

In 1971, Johnny Cash recorded a song that could be used for a local 2008 campaign. So enjoy this rendition of a classic performed and recorded by the late Johnny Cash in 1971.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Are McElroy/Hartmann and E.W. Scripps Hypocrites?

Do you remember the News-Sentinel's argument in it's "sunshine lawsuit"? They said that the actions of our county government must be open and transparent and that the actions of our elected officials must be open and transparent.

Before the February 5, 2008 primary election, the News-Sentinel posted the recordings from their editorial board's candidate interviews on its website. But, what about now? No, they are not posting the interviews on their website.

So, what are the candidates having to commit to the E.W. Scripps editorial board in order to receive the papers endorsement? Are the candidates having to agree not to pursue the details of the News-Sentinel's sweetheart corporate welfare handout called a PILOT (Payment in lieu of taxes). The News-Sentinel contributed $7,500 to the charter amendment group. So, are the candidates having to commit to support the charter amendments when elected? There are many more likely scenarios. Brian's Blog is not into conspiracy theories. However, questions have to be asked as to why the Sentinel has proclaimed that it is neccesary to be open and transparent for everything and everybody except itself.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Heidi Newfield's New Solo CD Release in 12 days

Heidi Newfield, former lead singer of Country Rock band Trick Pony will release her new solo project on August 5, 2008. Her solo project appears to be ripe for success. Check out the video for her first single release "Johnny and June" from this project titiled "What Am I Waiting For". I plan to get the CD on release day. Here is the link to Heidi's myspace page.

Breaking News: WBIR Responds To WVLT's Success

In a move responding to WVLT Volunteer TV's highly rated 4:00 p.m. newscast with Mark Packer and Stacy McCloud. WBIR announced this afternoon that it is cancelling it's third place rated show Style and in response is moving "Live at Five" to 4:00 p.m.

Sources from within the Gannett organization have informed Brian's Blog that pressure has been applied to News Director Bill Shory and General Manager Jeff Lee to make heads roll or theirs would be rolling down Hutchinson Avenue. So, the first causality is Moira Kaye.

The Brian's Blog team will be waiting for the team over at Media Report for their take on this bump in the road for Lee/Shory and crew.

Here is the News-Sentinel's report.

Breaking News: Don Daugherty The Likely Democrat Candidate for Criminal Court Clerk

Former Knox County Democrat Chairman Don Daugherty issued a Media Advisory indicating his intent to seek the Democrat nomination to seek election for the Knox County Criminal Court Clerk position. As of this date, No word on the Knox County Republican Party nominee selection process.

Here is the text of the media advisory released this afternoon by Daugherty.


Former Knox County Democratic Party Chair Don Daugherty announced today that he will
be a candidate for the Criminal Court Clerk vacancy. The vacancy, create by the passing of longtime clerk, Martha Phillips, will be filled by a special election on the November 4, 2008 ballot.

Daugherty, who resigned on June 6 from his position as chair of the local party, said that under state election law, the Democrats and Republicans will hold nominating conventions prior to the August 21, 2008 noon qualifying deadline to select their respective nominees for the general election. Neither party has scheduled a convention, but because the Democratic Party’s rules are silent about how a nominating convention may be conducted, the Democrats are meeting next Tuesday, July 29, 2008 to set the ground rules for their convention.

Daugherty has spent the past two weeks discussing the position with grassroots Democrats, as well as officeholders, candidates, and party officials, and lining up support for a race. Daugherty is convinced that he is more than qualified for the job. In addition to having a law degree and being an independent legal writer, he has been a legal administrator supervising a staff of attorneys and support personnel comparable to the clerk’s office, and was hired by the Circuit Court Clerk in the early 1990's to establish the court cost and fines collection office of the Circuit and General Sessions Courts, to consult with the Circuit Court Clerk and District Attorney on those issues, and actually drafted the written manual used by the Circuit/Sessions Court Clerk's cost collections' department.

“More than anything,” Daugherty said, “we need competence, accountability, and leadership” in Knox County government. “The office plays an important role in our judicial system and we must block ‘political game-playing’ from entering into our judicial processes.

According to its website, the Criminal Court Clerk's Office is responsible for retaining, preserving and managing all documentation regarding court proceedings. The office handles approximately 75,000 citations, misdemeanor citations, misdemeanors and felonies annually, and calculates and collects costs. The office, said Daugherty, has the potential to be a fully selfsustainable office, collecting millions of dollars more every year in costs.

To receive his party’s nomination, Daugherty will have to win an election at the Democrats’ yet to be announced county convention. “I have complete confidence that the Democratic Party’s governing board will implement a set of rules which will allow every Democrat in Knox County who wishes to participate to do so at the convention.” Daugherty says that he already has lined up “a substantial number of pledges” of support, that he will be appointing a campaign treasurer within the next few days, and that although he has committed to using some of his own funds, he will begin raising funds immediately to make the race.

Obama Love?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Great Blog Work by The Media Report Team

Congratulations to the Media Report Team. It appears that the Media Report Team has been working really hard on covering the moonlighting of one of the news anchors over at WATE. It seems that they are covering The Voice and WATE. While the Brian's Blog Team have been covering the actions of "the metal shed on the hill" (aka News-Sentinel) and it's counterpart WBIR. Both teams normally cover WVLT as part of a joint venture / partnership of our two teams. So, to our sometimes partnering team, Here's To You!!

While we are posting this at 6:01 p.m. the television is on WVLT here at the corporate office of the Brian's Blog Team. That team over at Volunteer TV (Alan, Stacy, Scott and Rick) are far better than Laurie and Gene or John and Robin. What television station is the media report team watching? Enquiring minds want to know!

Halls Republican Club Meeting Last Night

I attended the Halls Republican Club meeting last night. It was challenging driving through the storm. But the turnout was good. I commended Sheriff Jones prior to the meeting. Because as I was driving to the meeting a Sheriff's deputy was out of his car cutting a tree with a hand saw that had fallen slightly onto Maynardville Highway. All the KPD officers that I saw were sitting in their cruisers, while general Knoxville employees were cutting the trees with chain saws near the Holston Chilhowee Recreation Center. Last night the two speakers were Sheriff Jimmy "J.J." Jones and one of the candidates for County Clerk.

Brian's Blog anticipates filing a full report post about the meeting later today.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Karen Carson of Knox County School Board..Arrogant and Elitist

News-Sentinel reporter J.J. Stambaugh covered the Knox County School Board meeting and workshop tonight. Here is J.J.'s report. "..Carson questioned the validity of the survey, pointing out 85 percent of responses came from households with two parents, and 64 percent of responding households included college graduates." Carson said."There are some groups we haven't touched," So, Carson wanted more or less two parent homes? or she wanted more or less single parent homes? Carson desired more college graduates or less? Carson reveals her arrogant and elitist motives. The bottom line is that it appears Carson desires no public opinion in the decisions made by the school board. Ask the parents and students affected by the massive high school rezoning. Or better yet, watch her when members of the public are speaking at public forum. She rolls her eyes, flips her hair and totally ignores what the common person is saying.

In response, the survey creator Michael Gant of the University of Tennessee Social Science Research Institute said that's a typical problem with mailed surveys.. "There's not much to be done about that," Gant said.

When Is a School Employee a County Employee?

Saturday night at the Sheriff's Department Community Appreciation Day a general county employee walked up to me and said, "Brian, why do school employees only want to be county employees when it is convenient?" Here is what this county employee means and it is a great question. One that I had not thought of until this individual brought it up.

Do you remember a few years ago, when the County Mayor proposed bringing the school employees over to the county's insurance program? A measure to reduce expenses and save the county taxpayers money. The school employees said "oh, no we are covered by the state insurance plan and can not come into the county's insurance." The teachers union had to vote and they voted to stay in the golden enclave of insurance plans. There are not enough non-certified school employees and the County Mayor felt it should be all school employees on insurance or none of them. So, the idea was dropped.

Now, all the county employees are getting a 2% pay raise and the school employees are saying that they are county employees and should get a pay raise. Several school boarders are bellyaching that it isn't right for county employees to get a pay raise while school employees do not. Several candidates for county commission are bellyaching that it isn't right for school employees to not get a pay raise while county employees get one.

I believe that school employees should get a pay raise. However, I believe that the school boarders should prioritize the pay raise in their budget (which is 60% of the total county budget) and locate the pay raise. I can suggest some budget cuts that will NOT impact current school employees or the school curriculum.

Because when is a county employee a school employee or a school employee a county employee? Only when it is convenient for the school boarders. All 9 of them. However, if it came to a vote, it would be a 5-4 vote. With 5 voting to do nothing and 4 voting to be responsible.

McIntyre Will Take His First Step

This evening, Dr. James McIntyre the new Knox County School Superintendent will take his first step in becoming a popular guy to the employees of the school system.

Hubert Smith had Dr. McIntyre on his "One on One with Hubert Smith" television show Friday night. Hubert came close to announcing that it is known that McIntyre would amend the budget to provide a pay raise. Yesterday on his radio show, Hubert announced that it is expected that McIntyre will announce at his first board meeting a pay raise for school employees.

That's a good way to build rapport with the school employees.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sandra "Don't Let The Facts Get In The Way" Clark Is At It Again

Tomorrow's print edition of the E.W. Scripps bird cage liner has Sandra "I print lies" Clark at it again. She states that former Property Assessor Parkey Strader is the Chief Deputy for current Property Assessor John Whitehead.

Does she not remember, 7 months ago when Parkey Strader resigned the Property Assessors office? Of course she remembers it. It is Clark's standard mode of operation. Don't let the facts get in the way of a political slime job.

News Sentinel Fails To Keep It's PILOT

When the News Sentinel took flight from downtown Knoxville to the blighted community where it is located today. The received a PILOT which is not a Haslam owned gas and go station or a place to get a free newspaper on Friday's. But it is/was corporate welfare to locate in a blighted area. It is similar to or is nearly exactly the same as a TIF.

In order to receive the corporate welfare that they received, they are to maintain a certain percentage of employees. It has been speculated that the News Sentinel has been close to violating this agreement. Sources within the News Sentinel family have notified Brian's Blog that this past Friday (July 18, 2008) the News Sentinel laid off 8 employees within the advertising department of the metal shed on the hill.

It is on time for the Knox County Commissioners to ask the question and force McElroy/Hartmann and Crew to prove their worthiness to maintain the corporate welfare that they have and continue to receive. It is the position of thousands of citizens in Knox County that it is time to rescind the corporate welfare and force the News Sentinel to pay it back.

News Sentinel Becomes News Sentinei

If you live in Blount County. You may be the proud recipient of one of 25,000 plus News-Sentinel's that has the papers name misspelled. It reads News Sentinei. How proud are you of a paper that can not even spell it's own name correctly?

Knox Accountability Worker and I Find Common Ground..A Counter Strategy is Developed

Last night, I attended with my family the Sheriff's Departments Community Appreciation Day at The Cove - Concord Park. In The Cove, two tents were set up with the paid volunteers getting signatures for the Charter Petition. Community Activist James Golden was standing near the tent and commented to Trustee candidate Robert Bratton to tell people to turn these petitions over and read them before signing them. I was nearby and it brought together a five person conversation, Golden, Bratton, myself and the two paid staffers.

As the conversation was under way, I interjected. "Guys, you can't blame these two guys. They're making $1.65 per signature." One of the petition staffers said. "That's not true." To which I said "It was in the News-Sentinel." To which the petition staffer said. "you can't believe everything that you read in that paper." To which I remarked. "That's right, they printed your petition." So, me and the petition staffer found common ground agreement.

Here's the deal. The petition staffers are misleading the public. One female staffer said. "Sir, are you a Knox County citizen.?" I said "Yes." She said. Have you sign the nepotism petition. I said. "No." The other staffer kept chanting. "Sign here before they can steal anymore." I don't know why he kept referring to his own organization like that. Their arguments are misleading. But what do you expect from this group of former Victor Ashe appointed bureaucrats.

Now, a new counter strategy was developed last night. Encourage citizens to sign the two petitions at every possible opportunity that they can sign them. The Knox Accountability Group is billed the $1.65 and will not question the signature. The signature that is recorded on the petition is a fictitious name and fictitious address. When the petitions are turned in and are certified by the Knox County Election Commission then we will make a public records request to view the "certified" petitions and see how many fictitious signatures were certified.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Have You Ever Stopped To Listen?

This morning I walked my normal walk at Lakeshore Park. However, I had about three errands to make before walking and so I was listening to my ipod with my FM docking station in my car. As I pulled into Lakeshore, I captured the visual image of my ipod ear buds being in my laptop bag on my office floor. Decisions, Decisions. Do I walk without my ipod? Do I not walk at all today? Do I waste the $4.00 a gallon gas and drive home, get my ear buds and drive back to Lakeshore?

I decided to do the most responsible thing that I could reasonably do at that moment. I wanted to walk but didn't want to waste the gas in my cars gas tank. So today I walked without the ipod. A first in about two years. I started out hearing the birds and normal insect sounds. Next it was a walker with an ipod singing along to what I assume she was listening too on her ipod. I then heard the normal hum and a surge or two from the KUB electrical substation. All of the surrounding homes burning electricity. By then I was near Northshore Drive and had the sound of all the passing cars along Northshore and Lyons View Drive. I overheard at least three separate conversations of other walkers. As I neared the baseball fields, the familiar sound of an aluminum bat hitting baseballs as I am sure a father and son were working on batting practice. As I walked near the UT Golf practice field it was the sound of the water sprinkler and the mower preparing the greens. The sound of the KUB waste water treatment facility came next. The smell is there every time, just this day it was combined with the sound.

After 2.1 miles I was reunited with my ipod. I am sure that it was as disappointed as I was that it didn't get to walk today. But the walk today did make me realize what a great earth our God created and how blessed I am to live in a community where I was able to enjoy my walk in a different way and without the ipod I actually said more hello to a fellow walker along the way.

But as much as today was different, the ipod actually takes my mind off the actual walk itself and tomorrow the ipod will return.

Have a great Saturday.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Why I Love My Network!

For the past two years I have been married to Verizon Wireless. Last month we just committed to another two year relationship. I have used nearly every cellphone company and I am in love with my network.

Thanks to my buddy Doug over at Reality Me for posting this at his place first. This is the funniest thing that I have seen in a long time.

Verizon Wireless Surprises Customer - Watch more free videos

Not Ready To End The Fight.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Sheriff Jimmy "J.J." Jones

Here is Sheriff Jimmy "J.J." Jone's website. The two best political commercials ever produced in Knoxville, TN politics are on his website. When I can post them as stand alone video here on Brian's blog, they will be posted between now and August 7, 2008.

Here is the KnoxNews story of perennial candidate Randy Tyree complaining. Now I like Tyree as a person. I was Knox County Republican Party Chairman in 2006. As Chairman, I had to sit down with Tyree on television camera after television camera and explain to him and all of Knox County why he was NOT and still today is NOT qualified to be Knox County Sheriff. Tyree and I will have to agree to disagree on his ability to be Knox County Sheriff.

Let me make this as clear as I can. No one in Knox County is more qualified to be our Knox County Sheriff than Jimmy "J.J." Jones.

Starting tomorrow, cast your vote for Sheriff Jimmy "J.J." Jones for Knox County Sheriff. The safety and security of your family and property depend on it. After all, if Tyree is elected Jack McElroy will be moving on to another town (transferred to another city by E.W. Scripps) and won't have to live with the repercussions of such a drastic decision.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Fourth District Commission Candidate Forum

We have a George Herbert Walker Bush or a Don Sundquist in our Knox County midst. Ruthie Kuhlman tonight said that the next two years. She will NOT vote for a tax increase. However, she said that if she had been appointed on Black Wednesday she would have voted for the .08 property tax increase that the voters approved in the successful Sheriffs pension vote. With Kulhman's pledge if 9 other Commissioners join with her stance, Knox County will continue down the road to debt and no real retirement of the enormous debt that exists today.

Kulhman in responding to a question by citizen and successful businessman Walter Wojnar did not understand what role the County Commission has in annexations. Her opponent, Finbarr Saunders explained that the Urban Growth Boundary is approved by the County Commission. The point was made by moderator Gene Patterson that the original Urban Growth Boundary agreement is set to sunset and could come up for reconsideration within the next two years.

Steve Drevik, the Democrat candidate for Seat B made a good impression tonight. One is that he is the only Fourth District Commission candidate that lives in the county and not in the incorporated area of Knoxville.

All four candidates pledged to take office after the election is certified (August 17, 2008) especially, if advised by the law director. As always the leading candidates are Finbarr Saunders for Seat A and Ed Shouse for Seat B. Drevik did make a good impression tonight and has potential in future endeavors. Especially if he will move his ideology more to the center, by moving right.

About 50 citizens attended. 12 individuals were either candidates, moderators, media and the hosts Commissioners Elaine Davis and William Daniels. The moderators were WATE News Anchor Gene Patterson and Hubert Smith of the Hubert Smith Radio Show. As citizen Mike Mitchell was asking a question, Don Parnell interrupted Mitchell telling him to ask a question. This was Parnell's act of becoming moderator after obviously feeling like Patterson and Smith were not doing their job.

Parnell was a leader in the Knox Charter Petition Group. His rude and obnoxious behavior is a sign of the prevailing attitude of the Knox Accountability Group.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Leave Robin Smith Alone!!

Thanks to A.C. Kleinheider for posting this story and the video below in response to the Robin Smith incident of the Tennessee Democrats and Prince Phillip of Nashville picking on our State Republican Chairwoman, Robin Smith.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Irvine Campaign Contribution

A reliable source for Brian's Blog presented this information about appointed Criminal Court Judge Ken Irvine's financial disclosure. This is interesting and is real perplexing seeing that Irvine has been putting his campaign signs in trees.

It is interesting and perplexing that Ken Irvine has received a $1,000.00 donation (the donation in question is found on page 3) The contribution is from the DRIVE Committee of the Retirees’ Chapter of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

Our reliable source asked the following question. What possible interest could the Teamsters’ Retirees have in the selection of Criminal Court Judge in Knox County, Tennessee? Our source says that according to their Web site: DRIVE Committee: The Democratic, Republican Independent Voter Education (DRIVE) program is working hard to improve and protect the rights of Americans. It provides the necessary support to candidates for public office, and is a powerful way for us to have an impact on the political and legislative process, especially on issues that affect retirees. Federal law prohibits unions from using union dues money to make political contributions to candidates for federal office. We need to stop those who are trying to destroy our rights, as working and retired members, by supporting and passing anti-labor legislation. It is in our own best interest to get active in DRIVE. All we ask of our retired members, on a voluntary basis, is a $5.00 annual contribution to DRIVE. DRIVE holds the key to all of our futures!

The follow-up question that remains is. So – they support Irvine, against McGee, because he (Irvine) is going to affect the lives of retirees?

Campaign Signs in Trees? Give Us a Break

O.k. it is getting close to early voting. The signs are beginning to litter our right of ways and that is normal and unfortunately part of the process. But why does one candidate litter our community with his yard signs attached to the trees. Our trees don't ask to be used in this way. They are part of our ecosystem and should not be used as yard sign posts.

However, if you were like me yesterday traveling Northshore Drive from Concord Road all the way to Lakeshore (the corner of Westland/Lyons View and Northshore) you will see about 10 Ken Irvine campaign yard signs attached to the trees.

Come on Democrats and in particular appointed Criminal Court Judge Ken Irvine. Why would you use the trees? I hope that Irvine's campaign committee will go out and free our trees from the burden of carrying out his campaign message.

Fourth District Candidate Forum

Fourth District County Commission Appointees Elaine Davis and William Daniels are hosting a Fourth District candidate forum. All candidates on the August 7, 2008 are encouraged to attend and meet and greet the citizens.

The forum will be held this Wednesday July 16, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. at the Bearden High School Auditorium. The forum will feature Ruth Kuhlman and Finbarr Saunders candidates for Seat A and Ed Shouse and Steve Drevik, candidates for Seat B. Gene Patterson of WATE will be the moderator.

FOP Endorsements

We were first with the announcements of several of the FOP endorsements on July 7, 2008 and our sources were correct. Sheriff Jimmy "J.J" Jones for Sheriff, Andrew Graybeal for Property Assessor, Chuck Bolus for County Commission Second district. We reported on July 10, 2008 the endorsement of Brad Anders for County Commission Sixth District.

Today all of the endorsements were announced in an ad in the News-Sentinel. In addition to the ones that we previously reported. The FOP endorses the following. Judge Bob R. McGee for Criminal Court Judge, Div. II, Ruth Kuhlman and Ed Shouse for County Commission Fourth District Seats A and B respectively, Richard Briggs, County Commission Fifth District and Chuck Ward, County Commission Ninth District.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Tony Snow, Only the Good Die Young.

Tony Snow, the Fox News and Former Press Spokesman for President Bush passed away today. He was the victim of colon cancer. Why do the young, good ones leave us early? While we are stuck forever with the old, bad relics. Why?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Tom Baer is For Raising Your and Our Taxes

It appears that Thomas Baer is supporting Metro/Unified Government. The support of such a measure would indicate that Baer is for raising your and our taxes. In an answer to a WATE survey question for the commission race, that he lost this past February. His tax and spend beliefs were established. This was only four months ago.

The question was Are you for or against a consolidated city/county government? Baer responded "I could support it if the details of the merger do not negatively impact non-government jobs and replace any private enterprise jobs with government employee jobs."

The entire 14th district is in the County and his support of Metro/Unified Government will impose a tax increase on the constituents he’s seeking to represent. You and I.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Don Sproles Get Out The Vote Rally This Saturday

Ms. Vines Shouldn't Throw Stones at Glass Houses

Well, Ms. Vines over at the McElroy and Crew's Sentinel "The Big Metal Shed on the Hill" has criticized Brian's Blog in the past for misspelling the name of Congressman John J. Duncan, Jr.'s Chief of Staff and for inaccurately spelling Ms. Vines first name as well. It appears that stone belonging to the character from the Andy Griffith Show Ernest T. Bass has come back crashing into her glass office cubicle.

It seems that Ms. Vines has the misspelling of Bob Griffitts’ name in one of her recent columns. “Bob Griffith (sic), Duncan's chief of staff, read the tribute, which was printed onto a plaque, and presented to Strader's daughter, Paula Rudder.” Link to the story is located here.

Ms. Vines are you going to report that you committed the same error on the same name that you criticized Brian's Blog for doing? We could actually take it as flattery that you would mimic our sometimes out of the box style.

Brad Anders for County Commission Sixth District

While the liberal democrat running for County Commission in the Sixth district goes into great detail about her activity in Knox County Schools as a substitute teacher and volunteer with the PTA and schools in the district. The organization that knows her best has endorsed her opponent.

Brad Anders the candidate for County Commission in the Sixth district has been endorsed by the Knox County Education Association and his fellow colleagues, the FOP. The FOP know the kind of professional that Brad Anders is and they endorse him. The very organization (KCEA) that know of his opponent also recognize that he is the best candidate.

So, the choice is clear and it is unanimous for the Sixth District County Commission seat, Brad Anders.

The People Who Know Foster Arnett Say No Thank You!!

UPDATE: Brad Anders the sixth district candidate for County Commission has been endorsed by the FOP. He is a KPD officer and a member of the FOP. A majority of the FOP believe him to be the qualified choice for County Commission.

UPDATE: July 9, 2008 8:03 p.m. An additional source has confirmed most of our original post. However, there is a correction. They did NOT endorse Scott Emge for Register of Deeds. The only two countywide positions that they endorsed were Sheriff Jimmy "J.J." Jones and Andrew Graybeal for Property Assessor. Robert Bratton, candidate for Trustee received more votes that Fred Sisk. Sherry Witt, candidate for Register of Deeds received more votes that Scott Emge. Amy Henly Vandergriff, candidate for County Clerk received more votes than former FOP member Foster Arnett. Additionally we have been informed that Chuck Bolus has received the FOP endorsement for the Second County Commission district seat.

Original Post 7/7/08 7:20 P.M. Charlie one of our commentators beat us to the punch in a comment on an earlier post. A source over the weekend informed us that the local FOP has voted on their endorsements for the August 7, 2008 election.

Our source indicates that Foster Arnett, Jr. a candidate for County Clerk and a former member of the local FOP did not gain enough votes to be endorsed. It appears that Amy Henley Vandergriff the other County Clerk candidate came closer to the endorsement than the former KPD mouthpiece did.

Our source indicates that the selection between Trustee candidates Fred Sisk and Robert Bratton were too close to gain an endorsement for either one of them. The endorsement for Property Assessor between Republican Phil Ballard and Democrat Andrew Graybeal, appears to have been given to Graybeal. The endorsement for Register of Deeds between Republican Sherry Witt and Democrat Scott Emge, appears to have been given to Emge. Our source also indicates that Republican Sheriff Jimmy "J.J." Jones gained the endorsement over perennial candidate Randy Tyree.

Our source could not recall all the County Commission endorsements. We will post those as soon as we have them.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Steve Hall UPDATE

Thanks to State Representative Stacey Campfield for this update. Continue to keep Steve in your prayers for his recovery and keep Janet and the family in your prayers for strength to endure.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Johnny Hunt - SBC President

I missed reporting it last month so better late than never. Last month, Pastor Johnny Hunt of First Baptist Church Woodstock, GA became the President of the Southern Baptist Convention. Pastor Johnny has been a guest evangelist at my home church of First Baptist Concord at least twice the past two years. Here is the news from the Baptist Press.

On my ipod every week I get the most recent sermon of Pastor Johnny's and so during the week in addition to sitting under the preaching ministry of Dr. Doug Sager. I also get to experience the preaching ministry of Johnny Hunt.

I am so blessed to be able to be led by these two great men of God. Both are Conservative, Bible Believing Pastors. Pastor Johnny is just what my Southern Baptist Convention needs today.

Pastor Johnny was saved Out of the Pool Room and that is the title of his testimony. You can view his testimony, here.

City Councilman Steve Hall Needs Our Prayers

Thanks to State Rep. Stacey Campfield for this tip. Rep. Campfield reported late yesterday evening that Councilman Hall suffered a motorcycle accident in Oak Ridge on July 4, 2008. Our thoughts and prayers are needed for Councilman Hall, his wife Janet and their children.

According to The Rep, Hall has been sent to Chattanooga for emergency back surgery. Get well, Steve. We appreciate you and need you back in Knoxville.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Surrounded by Idiots

I have just finished reading Mike Gallagher's first book, Surrounded by Idiots. It was published in 2005. It is a great book that exposes the liberal lunatics that are the trademarks of the Deaniac Democrats. It finishes with an interesting twist.

Mike was married to Denise, a Democrat. She has recently passed away and Mike in returning to the airwaves on Monday July 7, 2008.

He acknowledges that while he rants and raves about Democrats, Democrats are real people and we can disagree about policies but in the end we all have good intentions. He also ends the book saying that Barack Obama is a guy that even he could find some good in. That Obama is better than Ted Kennedy, Robert Byrd, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, et al.

It will be interesting to see what Gallagher thinks of Obama between now and November 7, 2008.

God Bless Jesse Helms! Rest In Peace, Senator

Former United States Senator Jesse Helms, of North Carolina passed away early this morning. The Conservative of any and all Conservatives. God Bless Jesse Helms and my he rest in peace.

I have his book, Here I Stand. With his passing, it will advance up on the reading order.

Happy July 4th, 2008

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Political Knoxville

Over in the links section is Political Knoxville. On Tuesday July 1, 2008 a monthly feature entitled 3 Sides debuted. Check out 3 sides here. It features Ray Abbas as the progressive view, Brian Paone as the independent view and me as the conservative view.

While you are over there, vote on the three current straw polls. One is on the Fifth District County Commission race between interim commission appointee Richard Briggs -vs- successful businessman Don Sproles. Also, the race between Republican Brad Anders -vs- left leaning Democrat Kathy Bryant and finally the race between Sheriff Jimmy "J.J." Jones -vs- perennial political candidate Randy Tyree.

Congratulations to the winners of the last straw polls. Commission candidate Finbarr Saunders and Steve Drevik and Clerk candidate Foster Arnett.

Saddam's Secrets

I have just finished reading Saddam's Secrets written by Iraqi General Georges Sada. A year or so ago a friend of mine informed me that I should read this book. I found this copy at the Friends of the library sale.

The book details the horrific actions that Saddam imposed on his people and this from a man that was a close advisor to Saddam for his entire career. Sada also details how Saddam moved the weapons of mass destruction into Syria following a June 4, 2002 natural disaster in Syria. The weapons were moved in trucks and planes disguised as humanitarian aid.

Even the famed Democrat President of the United States Bill Clinton's National Security Advisor Sandy Berger warned, "He (Saddam) will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983."

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Robert Bratton Reception

On Tuesday July 8, 2008 from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Robert Bratton, Democrat candidate for Knox County Trustee will have a reception. The Host list includes several prominent officials and the son and daughter-in-law of Knox County Republican Chair Irene McCrary.

The host list includes School Board Member Sam Anderson, Jeff and Deanna Byrd, Mark and Sharon Cawood, Darryl Chandler, School Board Member Thomas Deakins, David and Donna Dillon, Chuck and Donna James, Terry and Sharon McCrary, Randy and Laura Nichols and David and Veronica Robinette. The Event is at the offices of S.I.T.E, Inc in Hardin Valley.

UPDATE: Brian's Blog has been informed that Mr. Bratton's wife and Mrs. McCrary are business partners.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Martha Phillips - I will Miss You

In all my time involved in Knox County Republican Party politics (1982) the sweetest and most sincere individual that I have had the honor of supporting and serving was Martha Phillips. Martha was a genuine public servant. If Martha said it. You could take it to the bank.

Martha had a great life. My only regret for her is that she was unable to enjoy retirement. But then again that just wasn't Martha. If you wanted to know the truth, Martha would tell you if you were brave enough to ask. If you didn't want to know the truth, then don't bother to ask.

Mrs. Martha - I will miss you. To Kelly and the family, Thanks for sharing Mrs. Martha with all of us.