Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Haslam Talk Doesn't Match the Haslam Walk

A week or so ago Georgiana Vines reported that the members of the Haslam family stated that they were not supporting any countywide candidate. The Haslam name had inadvertantly appeared on a fundraising list for Mike Lowe, candidate for Knox County Property Assessor.

That sounded good. However it appears that the Haslam family has endorsed and supported with monetary contributions, one countywide and one district candidate. They have endorsed and contributed to Foster Arnett, Junior and Karen Carson, candidate for Knox County School Board - Fifth District. This action is in violation what the Haslam family said to Ms. Vines and was reported in the News Sentinel.

Why would the Haslam's support Arnett and Carson? Because they are supporting candidates that are supportive of and committed to Metro Government. A Metro Government would allow Mayor Bill Haslam to run for County Mayor in 2010.

It is unfortunate that the Haslam family would say one thing and do another.

The News Station Loses the News

According to Terry Morrow beginning on Monday and in an announcement tomorrow. WATE "The News Station" will no longer have a noon news cast. So, "The News Station" will not have a local News newscast. No lose to the market, no one watches WATE anyway.

They use some excuse that no one watches due to the fact that everyone is working. Well, how do you explain that the television ratings have moved "The News Station" to dead last. They are going to be airing Inside Edition, heck that is the same type of news that WATE has been showing anyway.

Also, word is that Lori Tucker is staying and not going anywhere. That is no surprise. Where or what other station would want her? When you have been and are last in the television ratings, no one is beating down your door wanting you "to move on up."

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Republicans Down To Four

New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani today dropped out and endorsed Senator John McCain for President. California Governor Arnold is expected to endorse Senator McCain tomorrow.

More than likely Romney will be done on Tuesday. Leaving McCain, Huckabee and Paul.

Who would have thunk that the former Governor of a small southern state like Arkansas would out live, out play and out survive nearly the entire pack of Repulican Presidential candidates?
Go Huckabee Go!

Democrats Were Not Smart Enough in 2004 And Is Not Smart Enough This Year

Today, Senator John Edwards suspended his campaign for President. I believed that Edwards had the potential to win the Pressidency in 2004. The Democrats were not smart enough to select Edwards as the nominee in 2004. In the 2008 campaign Edwards had the message to win a national election in 2008. The Democrats haven't learned. People say will he ran as Vice-President in 2004. Yes, he did. But the American people do notvote for the Vice - President, they vote for the top of the ticket.

As a friend of mine said this afternoon, there is not a nickle's worth of difference between Hillary and Obama.

The Republicans will win again.

Thank you, Democrats.

Brian's Blog Featured In Campaign Handout

Brian's Blog has made the BIG time. Last night at the Farragut Cultural Alliance, I was met by the rising powerful star of the Knox County Democrat Party, Amy Henley Vandergriff. Amy is a Democrat candidate for Knox County Clerk.

Amy gave me a campaign hand out and said you may be shocked but I used something off your blog. Sure enough a few of the comments that I had posted about Amy on Brian's Blog following our first meeting at the South Doyle Homeowners Association was right there on her campaign literature. How complimentary is that? In the words of Dick Vitale I say "AWESOME, BAAABBYY!."

Amy has a website. here it is. Check out the web address, Let The People Rule. How AWESOME is that?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Lockett Is Not Part Of The Victor Ashe Slate

Tonight at the Farragut Cultural Alliance Candidate Meet & Greet, Bill Lockett candidate for Knox County Law Director assured me that he is not a candidate on the Victor Ashe slate of candidates.

As a matter of fact he told me that he has been meeting with a group of citizens in leading a grass roots effort to change the name of Victor Ashe Park to Fitzgerald Park. Lockett informed me that the Fitzgerald family are the individuals that owned the land that became the City of Knoxville park that bears the former Mayor's name.

So the Ashe Machines slate is three candidates.

Commissioner R. Larry Smith Gets The Award For Grandstanding and Chief Hypocrite

Last night at County Commission, R. Larry Smith continued with his political grandstanding by reaching out and slapping the Sheriffs Department for no known reason. Here is what happened. There was a discussion on the ordinance of nepotism (county employees not being allowed to run for or serve on county commission) R. Larry launched off on some juvenile tirade saying that people were still in the back of the room, glad handing and lobbying for votes to go one way or another. He then launched into the Sheriffs Department saying that while the County Mayor was being grilled the Sheriffs Department was in the back laughing and cutting up.

There was no response to Smith's little temper tirade. But, within about 20 minutes a citizen spoke on Public Forum and chastised Commissioner Lambert and the entire County Commission. Commissioner Lambert went outside to speak with the woman and from within the chamber you could hear the woman obviously angry, yelling at Commissioner Lambert.

For those of us still in the Commission chambers watching the Commission business. Three commissioners led by R. Larry Smith were giggling and acting like they were three years old. The other two commissioners that were behaving like juveniles were Mark Harmon and Tony Norman. All three acted like they were in the second grade.

County Commissioner Violates Sunshine Law

When the Ordinance for nepotism came up on last nights agenda. Commissioner Mike Hammond said "I have already read the room, I know this will not pass" So he did not make a motion to pass his own ordinance. Commissioners Mark Harmon and Tony Norman immediately made a motion to pass the ordinance.

The question is when the Commissioner "read the room" did he violate the sunshine law? As a matter of fact, after much debate and an eventual vote. His reading was accurate. All the more reason to ask when he "read the room" did he violate the open meetings act?

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Voice Returns And Credits Brian's Blog Within The First Hour

It has been a year since the The Voice was on the air. As we reported a couple of weeks ago, it returned yesterday. Brian Hornback and Brian's Blog was mentioned within the first hour. We were listed as #9 on the reason that they have been off the air for so long. The reason stated was funny as it was intended to be. They said that they have been correcting the grammar on Brian Hornback's blog, Brian's Blog. The funny thing about that is after seeing their website, TCU material and the fake southern accent, Brian's Blog is an English Scholar.

But it was and is all in fun and we appreciate the mention. To the boys, Lloyd, Kelvin and Frank we say Thanks.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

School Board Endorsements

In tomorrow's community tabloid editions, you will find ads for the two School Board candidates. One ad boast a list of 70 plus names of supporters, a quick review of the list reveal that over 75% of the individuals do not reside within the Fifth District School Board district. While the candidate boast of working together, there is no current or former County Commissioner or the County Mayor representing the funding body that endorses her candidacy. There is no current or former member of the Tennessee Legislative body (State House or State Senate) that has endorsed the candidate that boast that for the past three years her "tireless" efforts of working with the legislature. A likely candidate for the current vacancy of Superintendent is on the list.

Update: A Brian's Blog reader sent an email after one hour of this being posted that there is a name on the list that has a criminal incident and background. While there may be some concern, we are cautious in digging into the backgrounds of private citizens, even though they have now potentially placed themselves in a line of fire.

The other candidate has an ad with two endorsements from two of the three State Representatives that co-represent the district.

Which candidate is likely to achieve more? Someone with the encouragement and endorsement of the individuals that have worked with the incumbent and they recognize that they work best with the challenger. They recognize that the challenger has the best interest of the children in working to better the schools.

Here is what the Legislators had to say about the challenger, not the incumbent.

"Laurie Alford will be an energetic and effective advocate for the children of the 5th District. Laurie also has innovative ideas that will make our school system more effective and efficient for the taxpayers of Knox County. I’m happy to support her entry into public service."

"I support Laurie Alford for the 5th District School Board seat. As a parent of a son in public schools, she has the proper perspective on education policy for this community."

Remember, when you vote in this era of change, make your vote for change for the right position.

Peyton and Eli....Making History

Heeeee's Baaaaacccckkkk! To Campaign?

UPDATE: After we reported this action. The weekly tabloid began working on it and will be reporting on our item in tomorrow's edition. Check out their report here.

Original Post: No official sighting of him as of yet, (He was last seen at Jack Barnes Christmas lunch, the middle of December 2007) but sources indicate that Victor Ashe, the controversial former Mayor of Knoxville and the lover of taking your county private property and moving the City of Knoxville on top of it is back in town.

Supposedly, he is here to promote and elect his slate of candidates for the February 5, 2008 election. Which is either a violation or as close to being a violation of Federal law as you can get. You see, he is an appointed Federal official serving as Ambassador to Poland.

Federal law forbids Federal employees to promote, solicit or campaign for political candidates and campaigns while on "official duty". It would be reasonable to conclude that as Ambassador, he is always on duty, 24/7/365 except in 2008 when it is 24/7/366.

It is reported that his slate of candidates are: Ruthie Kuhlman, candidate for County Commission Fourth District Seat A; Ed Shouse, candidate for County Commission Fourth District Seat B; and Foster Arnett, Jr, candidate for County Clerk .

Ruthie Kuhlman has stated publicly that Victor Ashe is supporting her, "personally, financially, every way possible".

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Senator McCain To Pick Up Key Tennessee Endorsement

Governor Charlie Crist of my adopted state of Florida endorsed Senator John McCain tonight. Sources of Brian's Blog have informed us that former Chief of Staff of President Reagan and former Tennessee Senator Howard Baker is set to endorse McCain within the next day or two.

How does this play out in Tennessee? Pre-Fred Thompson, Congressman John J. Duncan, Jr was committed to Mitt Romney. Will Congressman Duncan return to Romney or will he re examine the field and endorse another candidate or ride the primary out.

Congresswoman Blackburn also was a Romney commitment pre-Fred Thompson. What will she do?

Time will tell.

The Prodigal Comes Home

I first met Michael English in the mid to late 1980's at the old WNOX auditorium on Whittle Springs Road. That was back when WNOX was a radio station not owned by Citadel Communications and was a good independently owned station.

Michael was performing with The Singing Americans, a Southern Gospel group. I have followed his career ever since through the Goodmans, Gaither Vocal Band and then his solo career. When he first fell from the grace of the fans. I had a conversation with John Hanna, the operations Manager of WRJZ Joy 62 and Love 89. I was upset over Christian radio pulling his music from the radio airwaves because I believed then as I still do today. The music isn't Michael's it is God's. God is the God of second chances. I told John then, if this is the decision it should be held for every other artist in Christian music. It hasn't been.

John Hanna has since passed and I believe he would have imposed the same restriction on all the others, had he been here.

Michael's 2007 published book, The Prodigal Comes Home details his story of failure and God's story of Redemption. Michael was at my church last year and I had a chance to spend time and talk with him. Following his visit to First Baptist Church, Concord I communicated with Michael.

His story is one to read and one to Praise and Thank God for. Michael's website is located, here. The video promotion for his book is located here. Michael's new Curb Records CD project, The Prodigal Returns will be released on February 26, 2008. I can't wait to add it to my ipod. I have the entire Michael English library on my ipod, including The Singing Americans music as well.

Michael, Thank you for sharing the story and the journey with me. God Bless.

Taxpayer Dollars Never Made It To Knox County's Classroom

Over the last two to three years, Knox County Schools has expended millions of dollars in a computer system to handle its payroll. Spending money that could have and should have been spent in the classroom. Instead Knox County has spent money on a Lawson software program that today is not functioning for it intended use, cutting Knox County Schools payroll.

The School Board was warned by their former Superintendent that the system would not work. But, still the board directed its former Superintendent to head into a computer system that literally drained dollars out of our classrooms.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I Have Recently Quoted A Democrat

A couple of avid readers of Brian's Blog have asked about the coverage of some key election races this year. They say things like, your team is giving so and so hell.

In response I have been using a revised quote of a former Democrat President in response. "We haven't given anybody hell! We just tell the truth and they thought it was hell." That quote is a minor revision of a quote by former Democrat President Harry S. Truman.

BTW, utilizing a Democrat quote is all that I have ever done that is in anyway close to being a supporter of or for a Democrat. Had I been a registered voter during the Truman campaigns, I would NOT have voted for Truman.

Conservative Congressman and Former Republican Presidential Candidate Endorses......

Mike Huckabee. Yesterday, California Congressman and former Republican Presidential candidate Duncan Hunter endorsed Mike Huckabee. Check it out, here.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

My Friend Michael English and a Couple of His Hits

On my flights Monday and Tuesday, I began reading my friend Michael English's book, A Prodigal Comes Home. The book was released August/September 2007. It is an amazing story. I have posted about Michael before. I first heard Michael in concert in the mid to late 1980's. This is his one of his trademark songs as well as the song, I Bowed on my Knees. It is below.

Karen Carson Utilizes A Vote For Political Purposes

Brian's Blog has been forwarded an email that Karen Carson has sent to individuals within her email list. Here is the email with the names blocked to protect our sources.

My opponent continues to make rezoning *the *issue in this school board race. I am reaching out to you to see if you can remember the names/emails of those who worked in that small group to postpone the rezoning. Even though they did get rezoned to Bearden, I do think I worked with them to prevent the rezoning to HVA and promote a more reasonable idea.

If there are any names in there that you know, I would appreciate if you could give them a call and just find out where they stand at this point. Please let me know if you hear anything. Thanks, Karen

So a decision was made for political benefit? According to a few individuals, a review of the School Board Ethics policy and the Knox County Ethics Charter Provision that was mandated by the State Ethics law passed in Nashville, may be reviewed for possible violation and a possible complaint may be filed with the TSBA Advisory Ethics Commission and Knox County's Ethics Committee.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

You Liberal Democrat Lovers Were Not Smart Enough in 2004 and Brian's Blog Is Certain That You Ain't Smart Enough In 2008

You Liberal Democrat Lovers Must Be So Proud!

Who At Knox County Schools Exposed Staff Members To Unsafe Road Conditions This Morning

I woke up in Charlotte, NC this morning. I flew over yesterday morning, had business meetings all day yesterday and today and flew home this evening. One of our Brian's Blog staff left this message at the Brian's Blog headquarters following Knox County's morning fiasco of bad weather.

"I'm glad to know our Knox County schools central office administrators know soooo much more than Knoxville Police Department, TDOT, and the Knox Co. Sheriff's Dept.

All those agencies have told the public to stay off the roads, unless it is absolutely necessary.

Since when did Inservice days become absolutely necessary?"

The likely suspect, Russ Oaks. The one guy whose job it is to be the Public Information Officer. The guy who on January 9, 2008 was asked by Brian's Blog to provide information that is subject to the Open Records Act. But, because he is stalling, has not produced the information in 13 days.

The word around the courthouse is that he is the guy responsible for leaking information that violated FERPA laws and is responsible for the character assassination of numerous administrators over the last couple of years.

Word left on the Brian's Blog voicemail and email are that the employees involved in vehicle accidents this morning will be calling the Superintendent's office beginning tomorrow morning, complaining about the inactions of the Public Information Officer.

Sincerest Sympathy and Prayers to Thomas Deakins and Family

A Brian's Blog source has informed us that Thomas Deakins father passed away. Brian's Blog encouraged all of our readers to keep Thomas, Kimberly and their chidren along with Thomas's extended family in your thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Giants -vs- Patriots

O.k. the teams are set for February 3, 2008 for the Super Bowl. Good job, Eli! I am pulling for the Giants.

Two years in a row that a David Cutcliffe trained quarterback is playing for a Super Bowl ring.

Let Us Remember and Never Forget

Today is the day that we remember the Roe -v- Wade decision that has resulted in no child being safe in their mother's womb. Today at 2:00 p.m. was the Right to Life March from Calvary Baptist to Tyson Park. I intended to march, but was unable. I will see all of you Right to Lifer's soon.

Let's keep the battle engaged to give every child the chance at life as we had.

School Board Candidate Carson Changes Tune On Radio Forum

Laurie Alford and Karen Carson, candidates for Knox County School Board Fifth District are on The Hubert Smith Radio Show as this is being posted. Karen Carson has been promoting that she will return any and all emails and phone calls within 48 hours.

Caller Rick said that he attempted to contact on three separate occasions Karen Carson. One of the issues was concerning an issue that had been in the media. Karen has yet to contact him.

She then changed her position saying that she makes every attempt to return phone calls and emails within 48 hours and if she doesn't then you need to call her back.

Carson again talks the talk but fails to walk the walk.

Voting History

UPDATE: Brian's Blog received an email (not from Karen Carson) stating "Karen Carson's voting record in Knox County (she was a registered voter in other locations, long before 1992) is a public record" Here is a scan of the voter application that was signed on 2-7-92. Please note Question 7 ask Where you were last registered to vote? As you can see. Hand written is 1st reg.

What we post here at Brian's Blog is based on fact. Here is the evidence of fact and the supporting document for our posting.

Original Post January 16, 2008 5:45 p.m. The Brian's Blog research team has been looking into the voting history of political candidates that are on the February 5, 2008 ballot. Citizens voting history is public record, it only reveals if you voted Democrat or Republican, not what candidate you voted for.

The voting history of our founder and President Brian Hornback was reviewed today. He registered to vote the day after he turned 18. He has NEVER missed an election and in EVERY primary, he has voted Republican.

In reviewing Fifth District School Board Member Karen Carson's voting history it revealed something interesting. A few months ago on the local liberal blog, she stated that she is a member of the Concord-Farragut Republican Club. However, her voting record reveals that on February 10, 2004 she voted in the Democrat primary. She also voted Democrat in August 1996. She only first registered to vote in February 1992 for the first time.

Now back to the February 2004 Democrat Presidential Primary, which Democrat presidential candidate do you think she cast a preference for? The percentage of votes for the minority party candidates in February 2004 were.

John F. Kerry garnered 52% of the vote.
John Edwards garnered 27% of the vote.
Wesley Clark garnered 23% of the vote.
Howard Dean garnered 4% of the vote.
Al Sharpton garnered 2% of the vote.
Dennis J. Kucinich garnered 1% of the vote.
Carol Moseley Braun
Dick Gephardt
Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.
Joe Lieberman

or was she one of the votes for John Greene, Democrat candidate for Second District U.S. House of Representatives against our Congressman John J. Duncan, Jr.?

In August of 2004, she did vote in the Republican primary. However, her campaign treasurer was on the Republican primary ballot and lost by a heavy margin to State Representative Park M. "Parkey" Strader.

At Church This Morning

As many of you know by reading Brian's Blog. I am a member of First Baptist Church, Concord. This morning our Pastor, Dr. Doug Sager continued in Philippians 3:12-14. The past two weeks combined with today have been exceptional.

He also touched on something that has been relevant to me and the operation of my blog. Since this blog was started about three and a half years ago. Commentator's on the local liberal blog and even here always try to say, you are a member of First Baptist Concord and shouldn't confront this issue or that issue, you shouldn't say this or say that. I get emails saying that people are going to contact my pastor or church leadership.

I guess they assume that I am a deacon or something. I have served on committees and served as Chairman of Christian Life Committee several years ago. I am currently not serving in any leadership position at this time. While I am an ordained Deacon and Elder in the Presbyterian Church, USA. I have declined having my name placed on a ballot for deacon election at First Baptist Concord. I have been a member sine 1993. The decision to be placed on a deacon election ballot is a personal one and one that is decided with much reflection and contemplation in my quiet time with God.

When people threaten to contact my church leadership, I figure well what I can do about it. I take the stand that I do and to do nothing and be quiet is not exchanging my beliefs and thoughts in the arena of public debate. My pastor and church leadership have never told me about any of your complaints. Many of my Associate Pastors have told me that they read my blog. I always thought, that I was the only one that people may have complained about. But obviously, I ain't the only one.

This morning during the sermon. Dr. Sager said "I get calls and letters telling me how bad you (members of the congregation) are and how you (members of the congregation) need to be corrected." He said "I tell them, well I don't do that. I let God do it." They then say "well that must be a pretty bad church." His response back is. "Well it sounds like you might fit right on in."

The sermons can be watched or listened to online, here.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

A Fred Thompson Departure Will Put McCain Over The Top

If Fred Thompson departs stage right, soon. It is our belief that his departure will assist McCain. A Thompson voter is prone to vote McCain.

A McCain/Huckabee ticket? Too soon to tell. Onto Florida with Rudy having a Thompson strategy. The Thompson strategy was to put everything into South Carolina. Rudy is wagering everything on Florida.

Republican turnout in Tennessee on February 5, 2008 will be diminished with a Fred departure.

Candidate Expo Pictures

Thanks to my friend Martha Woodward for contributing these photos from the Candidate Expo. Martha is a co-host of Salute America. Salute America is heard every Sunday on Am 850 from 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. She is the published author of Knoxville's Sunsphere, A Biography of a Landmark. She is also a free lance contributing writer for publications like The Knoxville Journal and Knoxville Focus.

Republican candidate for County Clerk Scott Moore inspects the hard work of his wife Lorie and the numerous Moore volunteers that labored to get the "Tags, Title, License and Moore" message out to the voters that attended the Candidate Expo.

My friend and regular daily reader of Brian's Blog Walt Wojnar. Wojnar is pictured here with his lovely and supportive wife. Wojnar is a candidate for County Commission Fourth District Seat A. Wojnar is facing Richard Cate, William Daniels and Ruthie Kuhlman. Walt has a catchy phrase. "W O J N A R - the J. is silent, I won't be." By the way W goes with just about anything. W = Women, W = Water, W = Winner.

My friend Mike Corum and I talking with Ruthie Kulhman. Kulhman is running for the same seat as Wojnar, Cate and Daniels. In this photo I was explaining to Ruthie that my wearing a shirt the same color as her campaign colors is not an endorsement of her campaign.

My friend Hubert Smith with Republican candidate for Sheriff Jimmy "J.J." Jones. Hubert is host of "The Hubert Smith Radio Show" heard every Sunday on AM 850 from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. Smith also host a CTV television show, "One on One with Hubert Smith" aired every Friday at 9:00 p.m. on Knoxville's Comcast Channel 12.

Is Metro Nashville More Conservative With Taxpayer Dollars Than Knox Schools?

The Metro Nashville Davidson County School Board this afternoon at 4:30 p.m. Central time gave Director Pedro Garcia $216,000 in compensation for his departure as the school systems head. The amount is equal to one year of salary.

Last year, former Director of Knox County Schools received a package priced over $400,000 in total salary and benefits. He is still an active employee of the board until the Knox County Board names a new Superintendent.

Public Officials Work For Whom?

When a Senior from Lake Braddock politely called a school board official, asking if he could respond to his repeated e-mails, his wife felt inclined to respond to this students calls with this message. Bear in mind, the student who called never said anything threatening or offensive and dealt with this woman in a dignified manner.

Is this the manner in which school constituents should be treated? Should school constituents be talked down to? Should school constituents be treated in an intimidating manner?

School Board Candidate Provides Alcohol At Public Rally

Fifth District School Board candidate Karen Carson is inviting the public to what she is calling a Public Rally and Reception on January 28, 2008. Carson is advertising a cash bar. What kind of example does this set?

The announcement reads that "The event is free and open to 5th district voters, their families and all current and former employees of Knox County Schools." The announcement goes on to say that "All other 5th district and Knox County-wide candidates, along with representatives of all Presidential primary campaigns, are invited to come, meet and greet attendees, and distribute campaign information. Light appetizers and beverages, along with a cash bar, will be provided."

First up a voter is anyone 18 or older. The legal age for consumption of alcohol is 21. It is a Public event not a private reception. 5th district voters are being encouraged to bring their families, which would include and not limited to minor age children. Where cash bars are being provided with individuals partaking. This isn't New Orleans, it is Knoxville, TN. The buckle of the Bible Belt. This issue provides a moral question for the Carson campaign.

However, there is a legal question in regards to this event. The announcement specifically invites "current and former employees of Knox County Schools" The ethics policy that became policy over a year ago and covers every employee and governmental official in Knox County and Knox County Schools forbids any Knox County employee from accepting any free gift. The light appetizers and beverages will put every Knox County employee that accepts it in violation of the Knox County Ethics policy.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Old Career Politician PAC Endorses

UPDATE January 17, 2008 6:03 a.m. I talked with a candidate last evening that participated in the interview for the PAC. The candidate confirmed that they met in a basement. Also, when the candidate met with the panel, there were four members of the PAC present for the candidates interview. The panel instructed the candidate that it would take five members to cast a vote for an endorsement. However, this candidate was only interviewed by four members. No references were called and verified for at least two of the candidates that were not endorsed. Certainly the old career politicians were not open and transparent in their process.

Original Post: January 16, 2008 7:09 p.m. The "Public Trust PAC", The "Good Government PAC" as named by the News-Sentinel aka as The Old Career Politician PAC. The Old Career Politician PAC aptly named because it is led by two old career politicians (Ben Atchley and Tom Schumpert) that fought and fought hard against term limits. Today the Old Career Politicians endorsed their candidates for Commission and School Board. While we would agree with a couple or three of their endorsements.

Here is the question.

If these old career politicians believed that the actions on January 31, 2007 were so horrible that they must form a PAC to endorse candidates. Why did the PAC have all their interviews in a smoke filled basement? They did not advertise when and where the interviews would be held. They did not invite the public or the media.

It appears that the old career politicians just brought the candidates in and said here is our agenda, here is what we expect, if we endorse you, it will be expected that you carry and implement the agenda.

Richard Briggs recognized this tactic and refused the money.

Help Wanted: Superintendent of Schools, Knox County

This is from the Knox County Schools website. We are posting it here as a free service to the Knox County School System.

Knox County Board of Education seeking applications for superintendent

Knox County Board of Education is seeking an individual with visionary leadership and strong administrative skills to lead a district of 55,000 students. Salary for the successful candidate will be in the range of $240,000, plus an excellent comprehensive benefits package.

Interested candidates may request an application form by contacting:

Ray and Associates, Inc.
4403 1st Avenue S.E.
Suite 407
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402-3221
Telephone: 319/393-3115
Fax: 319/393-4931
E-mail: or apply online at
Application Deadline:February 20, 2008

Do not contact the Board or District directly.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

What A Politician Says...Isn't Necessarily What They Live.

When you hear candidates say things like

Do the right thing
Do your very best each day
Treat others as you want to be treated

and then they go onto utilizing other code words from organizations that they have worked for in the past like.

Honor, Above All Else

and then they conclude with

I am running for the right reasons.

Do these words reflect who they are among their neighbors? Do they respect their neighbors private property rights? Do these words reflect their actions on recognizing their neighbors personal space?

Candidate Sign In Disrespectful Location

Update to the Update: 5thdistrez (we know who you really are) sent a question, however because of the language used in asking the question, we can not post it in the manner that it was sent, due to site rules. However, it asked if Brian's Blog called or emailed the candidate. No we did not. We posted it and the candidate or their campaign staff recognized that they were wrong and they moved to sign to the other side of the road. Thanks for asking and tone down your rhetoric and language in the future. This is a family friendly blog.

Update January 15, 2008 7:17 a.m.:The sign in question was removed within 12 hours. Thank you. There have been a couple of campaign people asking if it is their sign at _________ intersection. The candidate in question has done the right thing.

Original Post January 14, 2008 5:17 p.m. There is a busy intersection in West Knox County where there is a road side memorial for a young lady that lost her life one evening. One candidate has their sign in the right of way at this memorial. That is the most disrespectful action that I have ever seen. I have talked with the land owner of the property and he has not given permission for the yard sign to be placed there and he also feels it is disrespectful to the grief stricken family. He has continued to respect the families make shift roadside memorial.

I am going to give this candidate 24 hours to remove the sign after that I will post a photograph of the candidates sign with the road side memorial.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Candidate Meet & Greet and Fifth District Forums

Tonight was the Candidate Meet and Greet and the Fifth District County Commission forum and Fifth District School Board forum.

The Candidate meet and greet went well with Candidates for Trustee, Roger Kane, L.B. Steele's son Alan representing him, Steve Hill and Fred Sisk in attendance. Ben Harkins represented Sheriff candidate Jimmy "J.J." Jones. Register of Deeds candidate Sherry Witt was present. Our Knox County Law Director John Owings was present. County Clerk candidate Scott Moore was represented tonight.

The forum for the Knox County Commission fifth district had every candidate attending and participating. Thomas Baer, Richard Briggs, Jim McEvers, Kyle Phillips and John Schoonmaker all Republican candidates. Don Sproles, an Independent candidate that will be on the August 7 ballot participated as well.

The forum for the Knox County School Board Fifth District had both candidates attending and participating in the second half of the night activities. Laurie Alford and Karen Carson.

Alan Williams, News Anchor of WVLT Volunteer TV Channel 8 was the moderator and did an exceptional job.

I can not blog the event for you tonight. I can not report on the questions or answers because in my role as the Legislative Co-Chairman of the A.L. Lotts Elementary School PTA. I served as the organizer and facilitator for the event and it would be inappropriate for me to report the evening to you. The rest of the Brian's Blog team was dispatched to other forum events. Like the one in Powell and the one at West High School.

I appreciate the Farragut Press, Knoxville News-Sentinel, West Side Shopper, a Representative of School Matters and Volunteer TV Channel 8 for covering the County Commission forum.

Attendance was not what I would have preferred to have because the committee that I lead has worked since August in ensuring that most every detail was covered. However, it is what it is and I believe that each person has their own sphere of influence and hopefully those in attendance recognized the countywide hopefuls that cared enough to attend and hopefully each person listened to the candidates and decided on whom to influence for or against in their own sphere.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Note to Candidates: A Good Indicator of any Political Candidate Is....

If you are a candidate for elective office, something for you to consider is that a good indicator of your ability to be a public servant that the rest of us can support is what kind of neighbor are you? What do your neighbors have to say say about you? If you are not regarded warmly or if you have been mean to your neighbors. Chances are that you will not be a good public servant and someone that a majority of us would not want to have serving us in elective office.

The Truth and Nothing But The Truth?

On Saturday January 6, 2008, Brian's Blog posted this about a source of our team that is contemplating an ethics complaint that may be filed concerning travel gifts. On January 7, 2008, Katie Allison Granju posted this on her blog Knoxville Talks. In the comments section, the subject (public official) in question by our source indicated that this travel was a grant.

On January 8, 2008, an Open Records Request for the documentation concerning this grant was sent to the School Systems Public Information Officer. Here is the request. "This is a formal request that can and should replace the/any earlier request. According to the Open Records Act, I am requesting all communications email, written and/or verbal between any Knox County School official including but not limited to Karen Carson and everyone and whomever awarded the grant for the trip to China. This request is being made under the open records act."

On January 9, 2008 Russ Oaks indicated that this could take some time. Still no information as of January 14, 2008 at 5:30 p.m.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Foster Arnett Is Conflicted

In today's News-Sentinel story it is revealed that Foster Arnett is conflicted with the News-Sentinel. It seems that he is President of News-Sentinel Charities. So on those days in Chancery Court, when Foster was talking to Jack McElroy. Were they talking about the Charities or about his campaign for Clerk? When he was talking to Herbert Moncier was he trying to get contributions for the News-Sentinel Charities or for his campaign?

As we get closer to the election, I sense more conflicting issues may come forward.

One on One With Hubert Smith

Well, Friday night at 9:00 p.m. the debut live call in television show One on One with Hubert Smith aired on CTV Comcast Channel 12.

I was honored to be one of the two guests for the debut broadcast. Rich Hailey of the blog Shots Across The Bow was on the panel. We discussed this thing called blogs and the impact they have with politics, media and our everyday lives.

There were are so many more qualified people than me to discuss this medium that I found in 2004, thanks to Jake Mabe over at Pull Up a Chair for introducing me to this thing called a blog. An example of those more qualified than me are the husband and wife blogging team of Domestic Psychology and Reality Me. But, I have a hard time turning down media opportunities. LOL.

Great job, Hubert. Brian's Blog wishes you much success with your show. Maybe a weight loss New Years show is appropriate for the this coming Friday nights show. Just kidding.

We Want Moore! Scott Moore for County Clerk

South Doyle Homeowners Association Candidate Meet and Greet on Saturday

It was a great event. I first met a pocket of Democrats when I first entered the cafeteria. Robert Bratton, Democrat candidate for Trustee. Ken Irvine, Democrat candidate for Criminal Court Judge. Randy Tyree, Democrat candidate for Sheriff.

And then there was Fred Sisk, Roger Kane, Hobart Lumpkin, Steve Hill and Steve Rogers, all Republicans for Trustee. Alan Steele representing his father L.B. Steele a candidate for Trustee was there as well.

Mike Lowe and Phil Ballard, Republican candidates for Property Assessor candidates were there. It was a home field advantage for Lowe as he is from South Knox having attended Doyle High School. Democrat Andrew Graybeal was in attendance as well and it was a pleasure meeting him.

Jimmy J.J. Jones was there and the kids flocked to see their Sheriff. It is always good to see my friend, J.J. I talked to Randy Tyree and told him although he is a Democrat, I personally like him. But, I have to support J.J. Randy understands that.

Sherry Witt, Republican candidate for Register of Deeds was there. Democrat Scott Emge had indicated that he would be there, however, he didn't show.

John Owings and Bill Lockett attended. John Owings had a lot of volunteers wearing green and white shirts and sweat shirts.

General Sessions Judge Bob R. McGee, a Republican candidate for Criminal Court Judge was well received.

I talked with Tim Greene, a Republican candidate for County Commission in South Knox County. Mike Brown, a candidate for County Commission was there. However, I never got a chance to speak to him. I understand that Vernon Rose, another candidate for County Commission was there, but I never saw him.

It was great to see my friends Commissioner Paul Pinkston and his lovely wife Dorothy. It is always a pleasure to spend time with them.

Then we move to the Knox County Clerks race.

Mike McMillan was there.

Scott Moore and his wonderful wife Lorie and their daughter were there. Scott was the hit as it seemed everybody wanted to talk to Scott and he was the last one to leave as the citizens just kept talking and spending time with Scott. A lot of Scott Moore signs were distributed yesterday to individuals that placed them in their yards.

Foster Arnett and his wife came in a little later than the 10:00 a.m. start.

Bryan Bates was represented the entire time by Jeannie Matthews and Bryan came in from another event and spent the better part of the morning there.

Democrat George Stooksbury was there early and left.

Democrat Amy Henley Vandergriff came and spent nearly the entire morning there. She was warmly received. She is a promising star. I told her that if for some odd reason she does not win the Democrat nomination that I would like to have her as a Republican candidate for an elective office in 2010. In my conversation with her yesterday, our first meeting by the way, she has an in depth knowledge of the Clerk's office, she has a passion to do the right things for her community. Rarely does a candidate come along that is someone that can motivate the citizens to act. Vandergriff has that potential.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Norwood Kiwansis Candidate Forum on Friday

I went and had a great lunch at Ramsey's Restaurant. Ramsey's is located inside the Days Inn at Central Avenue Pike and Merchants Rd. The food was great. I visited the Norwood Kiwanis meeting and the members there were very nice. The program was a forum between Amy Broyles, Cortney Piper and Chuck Williams. All three are Democrat candidates that are on the Democrat primary ballot February 5, 2008. The winner will face Republican Chuck Bolus on the August 7 general election ballot. Chuck was unable to attend as he is an Assistant Principal at Gresham Middle School.

I had met Cortney before so it was great to greet her as she entered the door and she said "Brian, how are you?" I then introduced myself to Amy, as we had never met before and figured that with all my efforts on behalf of the Republican party against the Orange ballot that it may not be a friendly introduction. But Amy was very nice, even complimentary. I met Chuck Williams briefly at the conclusion of the debate.

Hubert Smith seved as the moderator for the forum. He did an exceptional job. Hubert is a radio talk show host of The Hubert Smith Radio Show, broadcast weekly on Sundays 4 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. on AM 850 WKVL. He is also host of a live television program called One on One with Hubert Smith broadcast weekly on Fridays at 9:00 p.m. on CTV Comcast Cable Channel 12 .

Also in attendance were County Commissioner Ivan Harmon, County Commissioner and Property Assessor candidate Phil Ballard and Democrat Property Assessor Andrew Graybeal.

The opening statements began

Cortney Piper said that she desires to transform county government into a citizen vehicle. She will be 100% accessible. Recognizing that the school budget is 2/3 rds of the county budget. She said that she is the only candidate with land use experience. Because of her experience with the TN Clean Water she is aware that in Knox County we have 350 miles of polluted or unusable streams.

Amy Broyles said that she and her husband own a small business. A hard wood flooring business. They have three children. They all attend Knox County Schools. She spends time with all the PTA's not just the ones where her children go to school but all the schools of the Second district. They live in Old North Knox for the past 15 years. She said that her leadership will help tighten up county government.

Chuck Williams said that he got involved because there are a lack of services in the Second District. He said that he is tired of the scandals and that there is a reason that the Mayor keeps defending someone instead of firing her. He also said that we need accountability to our schools.
The first question was in regards to the Cynthia Finch incident.

Williams said personally I believe that she needs to pay back all the money including the travel. He then asked Why is the Mayor protecting her?

Broyles said This highlights that our county government needs to check all county positions and departments. She said that Finch did the right thing in stepping down from oversight of the grant awarding process.

Piper said The problems highlighted with the community services highlights a greater need. We need to continue with the audits. The county having now removed Finch, Mike Arms and Mike Ragsdale from the recommendation to a citizen panel is a good move.

The second question was should Cynthia Finch be dismissed?

Piper said If I were accused of what she has been accused of, I would not continue in my position with my organization.

Broyles said Yes.

Williams said Definitely.

The third question was for each candidate to tell how they are different from the rest.

Broyles said her history of experience with the community, having children in public schools and that she is prepared for the job.

Piper said the fact that she is a local professional, community volunteer, college athlete. She planned organized and led the "Greek Challenge". It received a national award for Keep Knoxville Beautiful. She said that every time she faces a challenge she comes up with a plan to overcome the objection. She is the only candidate with land use experience.

Williams said I know what it is like to face the challenges that the other two talked about, because I have faced them. I told Mayor Ragsdale that I am not afraid to go to the media on his butt.

The fourth question was asked of Williams. What did the Mayor say when you told him that you were not afraid to go to the media on him?

Williams said that His aide called me asked who told me about what it was that I had called him about. I told them to get it done and they did.

The fifth question asked was How has closing the East Towne early voting site affected voting in the second district?

Piper said people do not have the luxury of voting in the mall. It was very convenient.

Williams said That he had received a phone call blaming Amy. It doesn't bother me as I vote at the Love Kitchen. He asked why was it closed down? I don't know as with all Knox County decisions no reason was given.

Broyles said In order to come into compliance with State election laws, it had to be moved. It is currently across the street. Is more convenient. Most people don't like walking through a sea of asphalt to go vote.

The sixth question was asked How do you represent your district when a group of neighbors and a developer are opposing one another for a vote on County Commission?

Williams said I would have to know why they are opposed. Heat don't bother me. I don't care what they say.

Piper said the government has a need to represent the community first. Listen to the public and then look at the development.

Broyles On this you will not find much difference in the three of us. We have a problem in this community with the developers having too much say. I have returned campaign contributions from some developers.

The seventh question asked was, Give us your opinion on the Halls TIF. and if they had been on Commission would they have voted for it?

Piper said I was at that meeting until midnight. TIF's should only be used for blighted areas. Halls isn't in need for on-site prep work. She would have voted NO.

Williams said it scares me that we agree on so much. Rule High School is empty and is blighted and could use a TIF. It should be for all of us.

Broyles said The TIF is inappropriate. The downtown tif was used and the desired use produced results.

The eighth question asked was, At present how are you making yourself available and how will you do it if elected?

Williams said Geogiana Vines reported that these two are fighting. I will return phone calls. I haven't had to return any contributions because my brother gave me the money to pay for the cards that I handed out to you. He went on to say that if for some reason he is unsuccessful in this race he will support the nominee.

Broyles said that she is on all neighborhood list serves. She has been available at meetings and that it is not always easy to connect with all officials. But she will be.

Piper said the website, phone, She has been knocking on doors, attending Commission meetings, when issues come up she post her thoughts on blog and issues media advisories to publications like Knoxville Focus (which the editor Charmin Froth and Reporter Brian Paone were attending the meeting)

Each candidate was given a 2 minute closing remark.

Broyles encourages everyone to visit her website. You can make a campaign contribution securely there.

Piper said that as a Division 1 college athlete it instills a passion for what we want. As a local professional community volunteer she is committed to the cause of transforming our county government into a citizen driven vehicle. She stated that she has the grace and finesse to get 9 other votes on County Commission to help us. I would appreciate your vote. Vote for me to transform our community into a citizen involvement vehicle.

Williams said that he had moved here after 9/11 from New York to be near my daughter. I plan to open an office on Central Avenue to help citizens. My phone number is 865-237-8761. He said that he is tired of all the non sense and I hope that you will vote for me.

Bratton To Run For Another Position

I first met Democrat Robert Bratton in 1990. He was elected to County Commission. He served there for a while and then ran for the State House against political new comer Jamie Hagood, now State Senator Jamie Woodson.

Bratton took some time away from public service and returned in 2002 to run unopposed for Knox County School Board. In 2006, he was opposed by the former School Board member Jim McClain. Bratton beat McClain, handily.

Now Bratton is running as a Democrat for Knox County Trustee. He has no opponent on the February 5 ballot. So this race will begin Feb. 6 and run until August 7, 2008.

Here is the announcement from today's News-Sentinel.

Friday, January 11, 2008

THP Has A Quota. Why Am I Not Surprised By Another Bredesen Failures

This story in today's News~Sentinel reveals one thing. The THP has a quota system.

The agency suspended him for two days in May 2006 for not meeting the THP's quota for commercial vehicle inspections.

Why am I not surprised that THP would have a quota system. Prince Phillip of Nashville has compromised the integrity of the THP from day one. The Bryan Farmer case is the tip of the iceberg. Bryan Farmer was punished because he is a Republican and the state will ultimately pay a huge price for the injustice. Prince Phillip of Nashville uses the THP in the rawest sense of political gamesmanship.

Tonight on CTV..Our Founder and President Will Be On Live

Brian Hornback, Founder and President of Brian's Blog will be appearing on Knoxville's Community Television CTV, tonight. In Knoxville/Knox County CTV is broadcast on Comcast Cable Channel 12.

Tonight's show is the debut broadcast of One on One with Hubert Smith. It will be a live broadcast.

In addition to the host, Hubert Smith. Brian will be appearing with Rich Hailey, Founder and President of the blog; Shots Across The Bow. Our understanding is that the topic will be Blogging and Politics.

Tune into our friend, City Councilman Steve Hall's show Politics Knoxville at 8:30 p.m. just before Hubert Smith's debut show.

Concord Farragut Republican Club Met Last Night

A great crowd attended the Concord-Farragut Republican Club last night. The speakers scheduled were Scott Moore, Knox County Commission Chairman and candidate for Knox County Clerk, John Owings, Knox County Law Director and Fred Sisk, candidate for Trustee. Sisk was running late and ultimately did not make it to the meeting.

Several other candidates were present last evening and made their pitch for election. L.B. Steele, candidate for Trustee; Jason Biggs, representing Mike Lowe, candidate for Property Assessor; Phil Ballard, candidate for Property Assessor; Roger Kane candidate for Trustee; Laurie Alford, a business controller for the Tennessee Press Service, Inc and candidate for Knox County School Board, Fifth District; Dr. Richard Briggs, candidate for County Commission, Fifth District; Sherry Witt, candidate for Register of Deeds; John Schoonmaker, candidate for County Commission, Fifth District and controversial City of Knoxville political activist Lynn Redmon representing Foster Arnett, Jr.

Both State Representative Parkey Strader and Craig Leuthold, County Commissioner announced that they were in attendance and not running for anything.

It was great seeing former Sheriff Tim Hutchison attending the meeting. He was sitting near the Moore family. Scott Moore during his talk acknowledged the presence of the former Sheriff and thanked him for his many years of service to Knox County. Moore worked in the Sheriff's Department for 15 years and many of those years for Sheriff Hutchison who was first elected in 1990 and served until January 31, 2007. I commented to the Sheriff when I first saw him last night. "I haven't seen you since January 31 st" He laughed.

The News-Sentinel certainly enjoyed the years of 1990-2007 using our Sheriff as a whipping post. However, he was always doing his job of protecting our neighborhoods, locking up the bad guys and never let their attacks keep him from his job. I hope Sheriff Hutchison will be back on the ballot in the future. He still has a lot to give this community.

John Owings was asked "If the law director were to have their law license suspended or revoked for any reason for any period of time. What is the course of action?" Law Director Owings said that the Knox County Charter states that if the law license of any attorney in Knox County is suspended or revoked for any reason, they must forfeit the office. A follow-up question was asked. "Has your opponents law license been suspended for a few days recently?" Owings replied, That has been reported.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Ashton Shepherd, The Next Big Country Music Sensation

If you travel south of Knoxville / Knox County. Not far. Loudon County and south, you can pick up country music station US 101 located out of Chattanooga, TN The station is located on the FM dial at 100.7. Today, I was traveling through their coverage area and every time I do, I listen.

This afternoon they hosted in studio a new young talent, Ashton Shepherd. Ashton is from Leroy, Al. She grew up in Coffeeville, Al a short distance from Leroy. Her debut CD will release on March 4, 2008. My prediction is that she will be the next BIG country music sensation. Her current single from her debut CD is available on country radio now. The song is "Takin Off this Pain". She has a myspace page with three of her songs and an opportunity to pre-purchase her CD all at this web page.

Here is a youtube video of her introduction from MCA Records Nashville / Universal Music Group, it includes samples of her voice and talent.

Here is a youtube video of a radio in studio interview and sample of her music.

The Voice Returns to Knoxville's Airwaves

UPDATE: I have been informed that they will not be on the air until later in the month now, probably January 28 ish.

Original Post: January 9, 2008 8:04 p.m. Sources close to Brian's Blog have reported that Lloyd Daugherty announced yesterday that his radio talk show "The Voice" will return to the Knoxville airwaves. Our sources indicate that beginning this Monday January 14, 2008 The Voice will return on Journal Broadcasting Companies AM 1040 WQBB airing Monday - Friday 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon.

Kelvin Moxley will return as Co-host with the addition of Frank Cagle as an additional co-host. Congratulations to Lloyd and crew for landing back on radio.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Knoxville Attorney Bruce Anderson In Line For A Hearing Officer Position

Knoxville Attorney Bruce Anderson is County Mayor Mike Ragsdale's choice to become Knox County's adult business hearing officer. Anderson previously served on the Knox County Charter Review Committee and has served on the Board of KUB (Knoxville Utilities Board).

Anderson if confirmed by the Knox County Commission this month will become the hearing officer for all hearings involving the adult business community in Knox County. According to Knox County Law Director John Owings, Anderson would be compensated $175.00 per hour. At this time term of office has not been established for the hearing officer position.

Knox County Commissioners at their agenda committee meeting today asked the Mayor's staff to secure a resume for Anderson and requested that the Mayor's staff identify what experience Anderson has with adult businesses.

Further discussion will follow on Monday January 14, 2007 at the Commissions Finance and Intergovernmental Committees.

Knox County Candidate Meet & Greet and Fifth District Forum

To be held on Tuesday January 15, 2008 from 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. The meet and greet and forum will be held at A.L. Lotts Elementary School in the gymnasium. The school is located at 9320 Westland drive, Knoxville, TN 37922. This candidate meet and greet and forum is sponsored by the Lotts Elementary School PTA Legislative Committee.

Beginning at 6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. All candidates for elected office in Knox County have been invited to participate in a candidate meet & greet.

The forums will be moderated by Alan Williams, WVLT Volunteer TV Channel 8 Anchor.

6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. The candidates for Knox County Commission Fifth District Seat C will participate In a candidate forum. The candidates invited are.

Thomas S. Baer
Richard M. Briggs
Jim A. McEvers
Kyle H. Phillips
John Schoonmaker
Don Sproles

7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. The candidates for Knox County School Board Fifth District will participate in a candidate forum. The candidates invited are.

Laurie Alford
Karen Carson

Become informed of the candidates and issues before Early Voting begins on January 16 and ends on January 31, 2008. Election day is February 5, 2008.

Any questions please contact the A.L. Lotts Elementary School PTA Legislative Co-Chair Brian Hornback at

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Today's Debates on WNOX

Thanks to Elaine Davis for reminding me and us of this evenings debates on WNOX between the fourth district candidates. I forgot to include them. I listened to the debates between the several Republican clubs that I visited this evening.

As for this morning's debate. It started out rough. County Clerk candidate Foster Arnett, Jr. in introducing himself said "I even worked here at IVK." referring to WIVK. Hey, Foster you were on WNOX FM 100.3 not WIVK FM 107.7. Foster even had to admit that his wife is a Knox County employee. He has railed against nepotism and the like and now his wife is employed by Knox County.

Hallerin Hilton Hill stated in the first hour that the selected Republican and selected Democrat candidates to emerge victorious out of the February 5 primaries would face off in November. Actually, the County General is in August. Hal corrected it in the second hour, I am told.

As for this afternoons debate on The Phil Show between Laurie Alford, Business Controller for the TN Press Service and Karen Carson. In a much appropriate manner Phil introduced the candidates from left to right and the left leaning liberal Karen Carson was on the left. How appropriate.

In New Hampshire and In Knox County, TN Today

It will be interesting day for political junkies. I feel as certain as I can from the reports that we are receiving from New Hampshire that Clinton will come in second. The icing on the cake will be if Edwards could force a third place finish for Clinton. Her little crying stunt, yesterday says that she is in real trouble and is desperate. Heck, she never cried over all the misdeeds of her husband, including his many relationships outside of their marriage.

As for the Republicans. I believe McCain will emerge in the first spot. I wish he had not proclaimed that he would finish first on Sunday. It just looked arrogant and unlike independent New Hampshire. I would like to see a Huckabee second place finish. While I really believe that it will be Romney second with Huckabee and Rudy in third and fourth.

Tonight, we will see.

As for Knox County today. The candidates for Knox County Clerk will face off in a radio debate this morning on WNOX FM 100.3 beginning at 8:00 a.m. I have been informed that all candidates on the Republican side Knox County Commission Chairman Scott Moore, former Knox County Commissioner Mike McMillan, Bryan Bates and Foster Arnett, Jr. along with George Stooksbury the Democrat have informed WNOX that they will be in attendance. Democrat Amy Henley Vandergriff had not indicated to station officials that she would participate. However, she did announce at the Saturday Morning Democrat Club that she would be participating.

The candidates for School Board in the Fifth district will face off on "The Phil Show" on WNOX FM 100.3 beginning at 3:00 p.m.. The candidates are Laurie Alford, a business controller with the Tennessee Press Service, Inc and a committed community volunteer along with the other candidate, Karen Carson. At some point I need to share a humorous story or two about my hero, Phil Williams host of the "Phil Show".

If you have questions for either the Clerk or School Board candidates, you must call in to 865-212-4500 submit and record your question. During the debates if WNOX chooses to use your question, no guarantees, they will then play the recording on the air at which point the candidates are expected to answer.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Travel Produces A Violation of Knox County Ethics Policy?

UPDATE: Katie"I get it wrong because, I do" Graju on her blog is stating that I reported an ethical violation. Katie only copy and pasted the part that excluded the sources that we cite. I shouldn't be surprised. In her only real responsibility over at WBIR. She put State Representative Stacey Campfield and her friend Shree Pettigrew on Inside Tennessee prior to the Republican Primary but excluded an invitation to Rep. Campfield's only Republican opponent. That is Katie's idea of fair and balanced.

Also, it is the same station that had Bill Shory lining up all pro Harold Ford commentators following the Chattanooga debate between Harold Fraud, Jr. and now Republican Senator Bob Corker. The same station where the anchor calls State Representative Parkey Strader, Parker Strader. The same anchor that had to ask the panelist on Inside Tennessee how to pronounce Emge. And all you people wonder why, Walker Johnson keeps reporting how Channel 8 is kicking WBIR's rearend in the ratings. Where is the world is Seth? He would have been a better anchor than what they have, now.

Katie also recognizes that our blog is the most read in all newsrooms in Knoxville and she is hoping that I correct her, so that her blog will get some traffic. The people in your own newsroom don't like you Katie.

Original Post: In two weeks the one year anniversary of the established Knox County Ethics policy will come to be. The ethics policy was required by legislation that passed in Nashville and became the law for all elected officials.

No elected official is permitted to accept a gift of more than $25 from a person, organization or entity. As citizens have began to examine the ethics policy and the behaviors of some elected officials, it has been brought to the attention of Brian's Blog that School Board Chair Karen Carson has accepted such gifts that are in excess of the $25 maximum.

For example, she along with Assistant Superintendent Donna Wright accepted a trip to the country of China as a gift from the Peoples Republic of China. From the layman's perspective, this trip is in violation of the literal policy.

Will those citizens that contacted Brian's Blog contact the Ethics Committee? Time will tell.

Republican Debates

I watched the ABC/WMUR/Face Book debates last night, all four hours. Tonight, I have concluded watching the Fox Chris Wallace moderated Republican debate.

Both debates were good. Tonight was better. Primarily, because Congressman Ron Paul was not a participant.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Karen Carson Long on Promises...Short on Results

In late October or early November 2007, School Board member Karen Carson met with a neighborhood group within the district that she represents. There was a concern that the neighborhood was being split between two high schools. Carson listened and promised to get back with the citizens.

In late November early December of 2007, Carson sent communication to the neighborhood that she would fix the rezoning problem with a scheduled school board discussion on December 17, 2007 and a vote on January 9, 2008.

You ask, why December 17, 2007? Because it lands four days after the filing deadline for political opponents and 3 days before the withdrawal deadline for potential political opponents. This would be a classic political move, so Carson thought.

The discussion occurred on December 17, 2007 and the withdrawal deadline passed and Carson still has an opponent. So, then yesterday the School Board agenda is posted to the school systems website and the rezoning correction is not on the agenda.

A male school board colleague of Karen Carson's was overheard after the school board workshop on December 17, 2007 as asking her "What are you doing?" With a tone of obvious disgust that the pure political nature of Carson's attempt.

Old Knoxville Media Face

While overnight in South Georgia a few weeks ago. Brian Hornback of Brian's Blog was watching the local news, I recognized a familiar face anchoring the news on WALB Channel 10, the NBC affiliate out of Albany, GA. When the name popped up on the screen it said Ben Roberts.
At Brian's Blog we normally leave these where are they now to the good folks over at the Walker Johnson Media Report. However, we just couldn't resist.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Is Cathy Quist Attempting to Avoid a Review by the Knox County Auditor?

In today’s News-Sentinel Scott Barker details that in December Circuit Court Clerk Cathy Quist hired Knox County Auditor Richard Walls son to a $27,000 a year job. Last December she hired the spouse of County Commissioner Mark Cawood and this past August that employee had to resign due to embarrassing actions on her part that were brought to light by Brian’s Blog.

In July 2007, longtime employee Hubert Smith was laid off due to a lack of funding for his position in Ms. Quist operation. Ms. Quist and her staff believed erroneously that Mr. Smith a friend of Brian Hornback was the source for the findings related to the postings on Brian’s Blog.

Now in order to avoid any auditor review Ms. Quist hires the auditor’s son.

Now the Knox County Mayors Office in cooperation with the Knox County Commission will have to employ and pay an independent auditor as questions about the office operation of Ms. Quist has not been cleared since the questions of employee time records and hiring and promotion practice of the Clerks office are still an ongoing investigation.

With the departure of Sharon Cawood in August, Ms. Quist placed her longtime boyfriend and reported fiance Greg Shanks in the supervisory position, certainly a move of nepotism. With the hiring of Mr. Walls son it is clearly a move of cronyism.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Rediscovering God in America by Newt Gingrich

I spent the first half of this third day of 2008 reading the book Rediscovering God in America. This book written by Newt Gingrich, details the references of God throughout our Nations capitol. Beginning with the Washington monument and proceeding through every major landmark including the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. It includes a walking tour of the major landmarks as well.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Culturally Incorrect Rod Parsley

I spent the first two days of 2008 reading Culturally Incorrect written by Pastor Rod Parsley. Pastor Parsley is the leader of World Harvest Church in Columbus, OH. The book Culturally Incorrect was published and released in 2007. It is for all intents and purposes the follow up to his book Silent No More.

The book spends a considerable amount of time detailing the ailment of our country. The second part of the book details the prescription for what ails us as a country.

The book is so detailed that it should be placed in the category of textbook. If we as citizens of this country do not take heed and change our ways. We will be gone as the society our founding fathers intended us to be.

This is a must addition to all of our libraries.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all the faithful readers of Brian's Blog.

We are approaching the fourth year of this blog. There are certain members of the media community (the tabloid type) that told me that I could not and should not have a blog during my term as party chairman. It is quite obvious why she would have encouraged me to silence the Truth Squad. We will continue our mission into 2008 and beyond.