Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Ragsdale For Congress?

A friend called today to say that he was traveling down I-40 and was behind a white truck with BIG letters that said RagsdaleForCongress. com He asked if our Knox County Mayor were challenging our beloved Congressman John J. (Jimmy) Duncan, Jr. I said that would be news to me. But here is the link to the website.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Who Owns Larry Smith.Today We May Have Found Out.

One of our community readers of Brian's Blog submitted some interesting information from the IDB/TIF workshop.

Larry Smith interjected when the chairman opened the meeting by talking about how himself and some commissioners were very distraught about the way Mr. Tim Graham was treated at the last workshop. He said that Graham had paid people to come and give a presentation about TIF's, and the board only gave him 5 minutes before cutting him off. Then one of the board members brought out to Mr. Smith that Graham's people were not on the agenda for the meeting, neither did they ask to be put on the agenda. He just showed up thinking his people could have the floor, for who knows how long. Larry left the meeting early.

R. Larry Smith. The R doesn't mean Republican

We filed an earlier story about how R. Larry Smith has ranted and raved about Brian Hornback informing the Commissioners of the inability of Chad Tindell to obtain a simple majority of votes. Larry "Stick" Smith believes you should never speak ill of another Republican. In the earlier post we pointed out that "Stick" had passed up on two Republicans to cast a vote for Democrat Elaine Davis. We were partially correct. He actually passed on three good Republicans. On the first ballot he voted against Walter Wojnar. On the second ballot he voted against Logan Brummitt and on the third ballot he voted against Knox County Republican Party Vice-Chairman Mike Alford. All for a Democrat.

Word is that while Lumpy is expecting censure at the Powell and Karns Republican Clubs for his vote for a Democrat in Mark Brown for General Sessions Judge. That the troops out in Halls are sharpening their pitchforks for Larry "Stick" Smith. Because we all know that the R. doesn't stand for Republican. So, what does the R. stand for?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Congratulations to Judge Patricia Hall Long

Congratulations to Knox County's NEW General Sessions Judge Patricia Hall Long. Long selected by 10 of the 19 Knox County Commissioners will serve on the bench vacated by now Criminal Court Judge Bob McGee.

Both Long and other appointee candidate Glenna Overton made the rounds to the various monthly meetings of the Republican clubs during the General election. Long will be the only female on the one of the five General Sessions Judges. Judge Brenda Waggoner served until early 2006. So this appointment brings diversity.

Long served nearly 14 years in private practice with my friend Jeff Hagood's firm, Hagood, tarpy and Cox. She has experience in the Public Defender's office and most recently served in the District Attorney Generals office. She has the most diverse experience.

Congratulations to Knoxville Vice Mayor Mark Brown for a good showing.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Sam Anderson Retires

The City Council this week will vote to approve the retirement of Sam Anderson from the City of Knoxville. Sam Anderson has served as Director of Parks and Recreation. He retires with more than 30 years of service. Read the resolution, here. He will receive a monthly pension benefit in excess of $6,900.00 a month. And some of you people complain about the Sheriff's Department pension?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Foster Arnett Violates Two Federal Laws

This past Thursday I appeared at the Knox County Clerk's office to examine 7 documents that I requested to view through the Open Records Act. When the folder was opened 2 of the documents were the job change forms for County Clerk employees Carol Ellis and Sharon Ellis. I requested that the form of Sharon Ellis be photocopied and I paid $1 for the copy.

The other 5 documents were the Separation notices for the employees that Arnett dismissed on Tuesday September 2, 2008. His first day on the job. As I looked at the first of five, I noticed that Arnett had left the Social Security numbers visible. The Clerk's office is supposed to redact or remove this information for the privacy of the employee(s). I requested that the forms of George Stooksbury and Rodney Lane be photocopied. I paid $2 for the copies that I received.

Immediately upon leaving the Clerk's office. I telephoned Joe Jarret the Chief Deputy of the Knox County Law Director's office and left him a voicemail alerting him to this incident. I then telephoned several of the individuals to inform them that the Clerk had NOT protected their identity as required by Federal law. Mr. Jarret returned my call during lunch and as I enjoyed lunch with an associate (who overheard my end of the conversation) I explained what had occurred and that I was contacting the affected former employees. In an email or two with Mr. Jarret about unrelated business. I revisited this breach of identity protection and reiterated my obligation to contact the former employees.

Now in addition to violating these employees right to protect themselves from breaches of personal information.

What I discovered on the Separation Notice troubles me and everyone that I have mentioned it to. The reason given for the dismissal of the 5 employees states "Dismissed as a result of election of new County Clerk. Permanent." This is hand written on the form and every indication is that it is in Foster Arnett's handwriting.

It is a violation of Federal law to change the employment of or to dismiss employees because of an election. Does Clerk Arnett not recall that his mentor and former boss, Mayor Victor Ashe was found Guilty of violating the Federal Civil Rights of some Knoxville firefighters following an election?

Here is a scan of the George Stooksbury Separation notice. Brian's Blog has accomplished on this scan what Clerk Arnett was unable to do. We redacted, actually we cut the personal information to protect Mr. Stooksbury.

On the employment status change forms for Carol Ellis and Sharon Ellis it states "Reorganization made by new county clerk." This appears to be in Foster Arnett's hand writing as well. It indicates that this change was made as a result of the election and would also to a layman's perspective to violate Federal law as well. Their salaries were cut by a third.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Fire Fulmer Here! Fire Fulmer Now!

This Crying Foul Over the Sunshine Law was Predicted

Dr. Briggs didn't like the initial outcome of the committee assignments and election about three weeks ago so he cried foul and got a redo. Lumpy Lambert doesn't like the way the appointment process is going for General Sessions Judge vacancy so he cries an early foul. This was predicted sometime ago by former Citizen Voice Columnist David Page. Read his column from September 23, 2007 here and another column from January 20, 2008 here. I do not know if David is a prophet or the son of a prophet. But, he nailed it.

Full Disclosure About Communication With R. Larry Smith

As my team reported on Thursday. R. Larry Smith lost total control and hung up on me before I could ask him a question. I was irritated that an elected official would hang up on a tax paying citizen. Especially one that he had attacked at the Commission meeting. So, I immediately sent Smith an email. I wanted him to know what my question was that he hung up on me before I was able to ask it. I really want him to answer it. Because I sent it to his Knox County email address, it is open for public inspection. Here is the email that I sent to R. Larry.

The email is entitled Thanks and was sent at 4:47 p.m. on September 18, 2008.


Thanks for hanging up on me. If you are man enough to answer it, my question to you is. What did you think of the allegations and innuendo that Chad Tindell said about me in March 2005?

Here was Chad's attempt less than two years ago to apologize. This was sent on 10/21/2006 at 4:08 a.m.

I'm sure you have (or will) see today's KNS. Thanks to Tyler Harber and Sandra Clark, the private emails from and to me, Tammy Miller, Susie Alcorn, Gary Drinnen, Frank Cagle, Georgiana Vines, Sandra Clark, Bob Davis and others are posted on the KNS website. I tried to point out that the contents of the various emails were not relevant, but how they were obtained was relevant. That doesn't sell papers.

I am fairly certain Tyler provided you with copies of these various emails back at the time. I simply want to apologize for some of my more pointed comments about you. I had worked my tail off, built up the party and it seemed like it had been torn down in one day. I was mad. I didn't think you had been honest with me. I think it's pretty clear that dealing with Harber wasn't a wise move. I've told you all this before.

However, none of this excuses some comments I made. I can make a public apology, but I'm not sure it does any good. I later told you I would help you however I could. It's been a year and a half. I have publicly complimented your leadership. Just know that I do regret some of my comments back at the time. Republicans have had a good 2006...so far. I just hope November elections go well.


R., If you are man enough, respond to my question.

In my opinion, you would have NEVER made a comment if I were still standing in the back of the Main Assembly Room during the public forum portion of the hearing.

Brian Hornback

The information in this e-mail message, including any attachments, may contain confidential and privileged information that is protected by law. It is intended for the sole use of the recipient named above. If you are not the intended recipient or the agent responsible for delivering it to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any unauthorized review, use, dissemination or copying is strictly prohibited. If you have received this electronic mail transmission in error please notify us immediately at
brian@brianhornback.com and delete any copies from your system.

For the record, R. Larry has NOT responded to my email. However, you read it here first. I want to fully disclose what I have done.

In R. Larry's world, he has secrets that he doesn't talk publically about.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Intergovernmental Committee Meeting Discussing False Charge by Dr. Briggs

R. Larry Smith - Chief Hypocrite

R. Larry Smith criticized me yesterday for sending a letter stating facts concerning Chad Tindell's inability to garner enough votes to win two separate elections. R. Larry says that I am single handily tearing down the Republican Party. I appreciate his vote of confidence in my abilities to achieve a monumental task. However, it should be noted that when the current Commissioner and former Knox County Republican Chairman know as R. Larry Smith had a chance to vote for and appoint two good Republicans (Logan Brummitt and Walter Wojnar) to the Fourth District Commission seats. He didn't. He voted for Democrat Elaine Davis twice.

I have NEVER endorsed a Democrat while I was Chairman or since I served as Chairman. Chief Hypocrite R. Larry Smith voted for a Democrat twice.

UPDATE: Sources indicate that there appears to be a few members of the Halls Republican Club that will ask for the club to vote on R. Larry Smith's credentials as a Republican. Based on his casting a vote for a Democrat instead of two solid, good Republicans.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

R. Larry Smith Loses Temper With Brian's Blog

This afternoon we received reports that R. Larry Smith during public forum apologized to Chad Tindell and attacked the letter that was submitted by Brian's Blog founder Brian Hornback. So, Brian called R. Larry at his "insurance" office. Brian said "Larry, Brian Hornback." R. Larry said "Yeah." Brian said "I hear that you attacked my letter at the public forum after I left the room." R. Larry said "well, I just think it's wrong." Brian asked "what is not factual in it." R. Larry said "as a former party chairman, I just think you are not doing right with a letter like that." Brian said "well, let me ask you a ques".....R. Larry interrupted "I don't want to talk to you" and slammed down the phone.

O.k. so here goes, R. Larry liked Brian's Blog when I was being attacked by Sandra Clark and the Shopper News. He would always brag that he and I were in the same boat and "that I should pour it on, her." Now, Hornback has given as much as he has taken and there appears to have been a nice quiet stalemate between Sandra and him. But R. Larry loved it when he thought that he could have input into the feud. He didn't and he won't.

When Hornback was party chairman in 2005 and the countywide officeholders and he determined that the overhead at the previous headquarters (on Concord Street) was too great and we needed a handicapped accessible location. R. Larry called and begged him to rent space in his 640 North building and he would work with them to get where we needed to be on overhead. They did and it was a good move for the party.

It is interesting to note that the opportunity that R. Larry took to attack the Hornback letter is the moment that he called Billy Stokes, a former Knox County Republican Party Chairman back to the podium. Stokes who as a former Knox County Republican Party Chairman endorsed a countywide Democrat for Chancellor in 1998. Stokes endorsed Darryl Fansler over Republican Wayne Houser, Jr. It was an extremely tight race. The final results were not known until 6:00 a.m. Brian Hornback knows because he was the countywide Chairman for Houser in 1998. R. Larry has not been critical then or now of Stokes endorsement of a Democrat. But that is why they call R. Larry two step R. Larry.

Hornback has not endorsed a Democrat while he served as Chairman or since he served as Chairman. Growing up, Hornback heard "you are known by the enemies that you keep" With R. Larry being an enemy that's not a bad thing. Because sometimes you have to stand up for what is right and party shouldn't be a blind that you close your view on.

In R. Larry's world if someone professes to be a Republican then you shouldn't report that they are delinquent on their property taxes in another county. Just look away.

In R. Larry's world if someone professes to be a Republican then you shouldn't report that they have done something wrong. You just look away.

The world of Brian's Blog is different than in R. Larry's world. We call what is right when it's right and we call what is wrong when it's wrong. We call the balls, balls and the strikes, strikes. It is the role that we have created here in our citizen journalist world at Brian's Blog. We have hundreds of readers reading and engaged in the process because of Brian's Blog. Now, we all know that in R. Larry's world you only call a fair game when it is your team on the field. That is not right and it is not ethical. R. Larry can live with himself in his world his way. At Brian's Blog, we don't and we won't.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Knox County General Sessions Judge Vacancy

The following letter was hand delivered early this morning to the Knox County Commission office. A personalized copy for each of the current 18 commissioners. A copy for the Commission office and a copy for the vacant Eighth District Commission seat.

Today copies were hand delivered to all 8 applicants as well as a hand delivered copy to the News Sentinel office addressed to Publisher Bruce Hartmann. It is the personal non endorsement of Chad Tindell for General Sessions Judge by the founder of Brian's Blog, Brian Hornback. For the record, Steve Mule guessed correctly.

September 18, 2008
Dear Knox County Commissioners,

I am writing to you today concerning the judicial vacancy that exists in the Knox County General Sessions Court. On August 7, 2008 Judge Bob McGee was elected to serve the citizens of Knox County on one of the three Knox County Criminal Court benches creating this vacancy. The individual that you select to replace Judge McGee will have very large shoes to fill.

According to the Commission office there are eight candidates for this position. They are Patricia Hall Long, Glenna Overton, Mary Evars-Goan, John Owings, Randy Reagan, Mark Brown, Del Holly and Chad Tindell. While I believe that seven of them bring unique perspectives to the position and there is one candidate that based on my own personal dealings with him I consider to be an unworthy candidate for appointment.

In my opinion, Chad Tindell lacks the judicial temperament and maturity to serve as a judge in Knox County.

Less than two years ago on October 21, 2006 it was reported in the Knoxville News Sentinel that Chad had sent emails in March 2005 to nearly every member of Knoxville’s media that began with "you didn’t hear this from me". In those emails he stated innuendo about several individuals including myself that was without basis or fact. He was attempting to be an anonymous source. Is this the type of judicial temperament that we in Knox County want serving on the Knox County General Sessions bench?

In addition, in 1998, Chad ran for Knox County Commission in Knox County’s Fourth Commission District. In that Republican primary Chad was rejected by the Republican voters of District Four. This is an indication that the voters of the Fourth District did not feel that he was the best qualified candidate at the time to serve on our county legislative body.

In addition, from 2003-2005 Chad served as Knox County Republican Party Chairman and from all indications he did a good job.

In early 2006, less than a year after Chad had stepped down as Party Chairman the Knox County Commission appointed a "caretaker" for a vacant Knox County General Sessions Judge position. This vacancy was due to the untimely retirement of Judge Brenda Waggoner. At that time, Chad did not receive one nomination from any Knox County Commissioner. He said at the time that he wanted the voters to decide.

In May of 2006 just a year and two months after having completed his term as the Knox County Republican Party Chairman Chad was a Republican Primary candidate for Knox County General Sessions Judge. The final results show that three in four Knox County Republicans REJECTED the candidacy of one Chad Tindell. This after Chad had thousands of dollars in radio commercial endorsements from Republican State Senator Ben Atchley. So, Knox County voters decided and they decided loud and clear that Chad Tindell was not deserving of a position as a General Sessions Judge.

For you to nominate and select Chad Tindell would be a great disservice to the citizens of Knox County. I believe that as you interview these candidates, you will see what the voters of Knox County have seen and that the best role for Chad Tindell to serve our community is that of citizen and private attorney.

Thank you for your time. If I can be of additional assistance to you, please feel free to contact me at the email address provided in this letter.

Best Regards,

Brian Hornback

CC. Chad Tindell
Mark Brown
Mary Evars-Goan
Del Holly
Patricia Hall Long
Glenna Overton
John Owings
Randy Reagan
Bruce Hartmann, KNS

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News Sentinel and Pilot/Weigels Motives Explored

Why would the News Sentinel last Friday as their top of the fold headline story orchestrate the gas fear buying? Why would the News Sentinel bury the stories of North Carolina and Florida Attorney Generals investigating Pilot for price gouging? Could it be because Pilot buys 50,000 newspapers on Friday to give away for free every week?

Could it be that when Pilot/Weigel's saw that the News Sentinel was increasing its rack price 50% from 50 cents to 75 cents on Monday that Pilot/Weigel's assumed they could increase the price of gasoline per gallon like the News Sentinel and no one would notice?

Monday, September 15, 2008

News Sentinel Gets it Wrong Again

On September 12, 2008 the News Sentinel reported (here's the link) that 7 individuals were interested in being appointed to the General Sessions Court Judge Div. III position. The position left vacant when former General Sessions Judge Bob McGee took the Criminal Court Judge position that the citizens of Knox County elected him to on August 7, 2008.

Today, Brian's Blog received the candidate resumes from the Knox County Commission office and lo and behold there are 8, yes count them 8 resumes. It seems that a resume dated September 11, 2008 one day prior to the Sentinel's story was overlooked, disregarded or just plain ole ignored. The applicant that our dear daily paper left out is Attorney Mary Evars-Goan.

So, you can not rely on the team of Jack McElroy/Bruce Hartmann to report it factually. It all comes down to the team at Brian's Blog.

In alphabetical order the eight candidates are Mark Brown, Mary Evars-Goan, Del Holley, Patricia Hall Long, Glenna Overton, John Owings, Randy Reagan and Chad B. Tindell.

Brian's Blog is considering a non endorsement of one candidate. Send in your predictions and you may win a mighty fine prize.

Foster Arnett Violates "Normal" Knox County Hiring Process

On September 2, 2008 new County Clerk Foster Arnett terminated or demoted 8 employees of the Clerk's office. On September 3, 2008 new County Clerk Foster Arnett hired 5 employees to replace the employees that were eliminated or demoted.

A phone call this afternoon to Frances Fogerson, Senior Director of Human Resources and Policy Compliance for Knox County indicated to us that the standard operating procedure for hiring positions left vacant for any reason are 1) The job is posted. 2) The job is posted for 1-2 weeks. The posting always indicates the deadline for the application period. 3) A screening process is conducted. The screening process is to verify the minimum standards for the position. This typically is the education level achieved and work experience. After this has been completed the applications are given to the hiring supervisor. The HR department has completed it's process and it is up to the hiring supervisor to interview, screen and vetting of the applicants. The hiring supervisor then offers and a person accepts the position. The HR department then receives a new hire form indicating who the new hire is.

Why would Arnett knowingly violate the HR policy of Knox County? When did he allow all Knox County citizens to apply for these vacant positions? What vetting process did he use for these new employees? What happened to throwing the doors wide open to the Clerk's office? It appears that Arnett opened the door to kick a few out. He then opened the door to asked his cronies to come and work for Knox County and he immediately slammed the door shut.

Arnett, not a man of his word, not a man of the people.

Gasoline Price Gouging in Knoxville III

While nearly all the blame for Knoxville's price gouging being laid at the feet of Pilot and Weigels. It does appear that the first report came from Bill Weigel of Weigels. Here is the link from the WVLT report on Thursday September 11, 2008.

Also, the Maryville Daily Times had an interesting article over the weekend. Here is the link to that story. It quotes an account executive Sharon Cawood. Which we believe to be the former Knox County Juvenile Court Clerk employee and the former Black Wednesday County Commission appointee to replace her husband.

Her quotes were. In Knoxville, account executive Sharon Cawood said "one of our local gasoline chains called a local TV station Thursday, sometime during the day and said, 'We're running out of gas. We're going up 80 cents a gallon ... It caused a major scare."

"By the time it hit 6 o'clock news and 11 o'clock news, it was like snow was falling, and milk and bread were flying off the shelves."

It also quotes Larry Daugherty, a talk radio host of WQBB. We assume that this is Lloyd Daugherty , a talk radio host of WQBB.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Gasoline Price Gouging in Knoxville II

The best way to correct the problem that we are suffering from in Knoxville/Knox County is to report the stations that are price gouging. Click on this website to report the abusers to the federal government. Thanks to Walker Johnson over at the Media Report team for sharing this link with me.

How effective will it do? I don't know. It will take a lot of reports due to the relationship of the owners in a certain chain that have raised large sums of money for the current occupant in the Executive branch of the federal government and the relationship of one owner in being the Finance Chairman for our Junior United States Senator from Tennessee. Not to mention the local connection to a certain high placed local elected official here in Knoxville.

Gasoline Price Gouging in Knoxville

Last evening my wife and I went to dinner with two other couples. As we traveled up to Dandridge to have dinner we noticed that the Love's trucking center had unleaded gasoline for $4.09 a gallon and we discussed the price gouging that apparently ends at the Knox County line.

However, we traveled on and had an excellent dinner outside on the patio of Angelo's at the Point with a view of Douglas Lake and a wedding that was going on. As we traveled back to Knoxville. We stopped at Love's and purchased gas for their vehicle. The scan of the receipt is below.

When our friend went in to purchase some Mountain Dew he ran into a gentleman that identified himself as the District Manager of Loves. He asked how and why are your gas prices still at $4.09 while gas prices are rising to $5 and $6 a gallon? The man said we refuse to price gouge like they are in Knoxville. Now, Loves is at Exit 412. As we traveled back into Knoxville we noticed that the Pilot Travel Center at exit 398 only 14 miles west was $4.99 a gallon. A 90 cent increase in gasoline prices and all we did was cross the county line. Last night, diesel fuel at Loves was $3.97.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Dr. Briggs Motives Revealed?

It was quite difficult this morning to locate this story on the News-Sentinel's website. I don't know if it was by design. I attended the Concord-Farragut Republican Club meeting this past Thursday evening and Georgiana Vines was present. So this morning when I checked the News-Sentinel online I went to the place where her column is normally located and it was only Sam Venable. So I thought well maybe Ms. Vines didn't write anything.

Later in the morning I was at the customer service area of Beaty Chevrolet for about 35 minutes and picked up the Sentinel and found her column and I read it. I came home and got back on my computer and searched for all columnist. I clicked on Ms. Vines name and there was the story. Because of numerous comments being posted to this column this afternoon the column has kicked Sam Venable off the front page.

Now, you ask what is so intriguing about this column? Well, first of all Commissioner Briggs sat right next to Ms. Vines during the meeting. But check this out from the column. Another potential county mayoral candidate was there to hear Hutchison. County Commissioner Richard Briggs, a cardiovascular surgeon, emerged successfully in winning a crowded Republican primary in February and the general election last month. No one has mentioned Briggs as a potential county mayoral candidate. But that could explain his actions over the last 16 days.

In the column it continues to confirm Briggs intentions, in his own words. Asked on Friday if he's interested in the position of county mayor, Briggs replied, "I think if the conditions were right I'd consider it. It would entail my giving up my practice. It is something I could get passionate about. If there would be a consensus about what would move the county forward on business expansion, education, economic development, there needs to be a team leader without an ax to grind for anyone." So Briggs believes that he is a team leader without an ax to grind for anyone? Yeah right! In the past 16 days he has become the county commission tattle teller all for the purpose of media grand standing.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Admirals Win..Mercy Rule Kicks in For the Bulldogs

The Farragut Admirals made the Bulldogs pay tonight. If you remember, last year in the regular season Farragut beat the Bulldogs for the 8th straight time. However, in the post season playoffs the Bulldogs won one. Tonight was pay back as the 2008 Battle of West Knoxville took place at Bill Clabo Field on the campus of Farragut High School.

In the third quarter the mercy rule kicked in for the Bulldogs. The mercy rule is when one team has a 35 point lead over another team. When the mercy rule takes over the clock does not stop, speeding up the conclusion of the game.

When the clock finally ended it was the Admirals 41 Bulldogs 10. At least no one can make the claim that the high school rezoning helped with athletic team building.

BTW, there are some great kids on the Bearden team. For example, Brandon Sapp is a GREAT young man. Also Brad Taylor and the coaching staff at Bearden are good guys. Their heart, energy and passion is in the right place.

My condolences and apologies to Cathy and Doug, I shouldn't be so boastful of a high school football score.

The Attacks on Sarah Palin

Knox County Clerk's Office

This is the first in a series concerning the operation of the Knox County Clerk's office.

This week we have been examining the public personnel records of the Knox County Clerk's office, following the changing of the guard to new Clerk Foster Arnett. As you will recall. Arnett fired 8 experienced employees and hired 5 cronies.

In the hiring of the 5 employees he disclosed that 4 of them would receive a $450 a month travel allowance. In reviewing the public personnel records, Brian's Blog has discovered that 9 additional Clerk employees also receive a $450 a month travel allowance. Arnett did NOT disclose that a total of 13 employees in the Clerk's office will receive this $450 a month travel allowance. That brings the total of travel allowances to $5,850 a month or $70,200 a year.

That is a significant amount of gasoline for an office that simply collects fees for licenses and business taxes.

The four new employees that are receiving the travel allowance are

Bruce Whiteaker
Pat Sullivan
Bill Skaggs
Peggy Kane

The nine current employees that are receiving the travel allowance are

Wanda Bailey
Kimberly Brewer
Stephen Elder
Carolyn Heiskell
Wendy Iturbe
Jack Kerr
Terry Miller
Phil Reagan
Mellissa Webb

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

News Sentinel To Increase Its Daily Price

Sources within the metal shed on the hill inform us that effective September 15, 2008 the News Sentinel will increase it's daily rate 25 cents raising the price per paper to 75 cents. The Sunday paper will remain at $2.00 a copy. Just a few months ago they reduced the amount of paper by decreasing the size of the actually newspaper. Now they are raising the daily price.

So, now our little local paper will be the same rack price as USA Today. What gives? Our sources indicate that it is necessary for them to raise the daily paper price due to decreased sales and subscriptions and because it is necessary to pay for the Jack McElroy Sunshine lawsuit that was filed in Chancery Court last year.

School Board Vice-Chair Election

Dan Murphy nominated Karen Carson

Bill Phillips nominated Cindy Buttry

Anderson - Carson
Kincannon - Carson
Buttry - Buttry
Murphy - Carson
Carson - Carson
Deakins - Carson
Stooksbury - Carson
Phillips - Buttry
Bratton - Buttry

On a vote of six to three the board elected Karen Carson Vice-Chair. This was obviously a move to avoid the appearance of a Sunshine Law violation. The fact remains that a five member voting block always vote together. It doesn't matter if it is a contract for milk, election of a Chair.

School Board Chair Election

Sam Anderson nominated Indya Kincannon.

Cindy Buttry nominated Robert Bratton.

Anderson Kincannon
Kincannon Kincannon
Buttry Bratton
Murphy Kincannon
Carson Kincannon
Deakins Kincannon
Phillips Bratton
Stooksbury Bratton
Bratton Bratton

No surprise the five vote majority held electing Kincannon as Chair on a 5-4 vote.

School Board Meeting - September 10, 2008 @ 5:00 p.m.

They are meeting in the first floor board room of the Andrew Johnson Building. They had to change their meeting one week later than normal due to the Labor Day Holiday. Because of this change they were unable to meet in the Large Assembly Room of the City County Building.

The camera is on the board members are making it to their seats.

The action of electing a Chair should be the last official act of soon to be former School Board Chair Karen Carson.

The meeting started at 5:02 p.m. with 9 board members present. A moment of silence is being held. Board Member Rex Stooksbury is leading the pledge.


Brian's Blog will be live blogging the Knox County School Board Re-organization tonight at 5:00 p.m..

Obama Doesn't Like Women. He Calls Them Pigs.

Now we know why Hilleary received 18 million female votes. Yesterday, Obama said "you can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig." This was obviously a reference to the Sarah Palin line, "the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick."

So, Obama kisses Joe Biden's wife on the lips and now he calls Todd Palin's wife a pig. Obama doesn't have to worry about Joe Biden, but Todd Palin. That could be a whole different story. Does Michelle wear lipstick? What does he think of Michelle? Enquiring minds want to know.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Knox County Mayor's Office Loses an Employee Before He Starts

A reliable Brian's Blog source has informed us that Clifford Tucker, the former State of Tennessee Comptroller employee that was previously announced to be joining the Knox County Mayor's office. In his role with the State Comptroller's office he led the 23 counties of East Tennessee.

It appears that the State of Tennessee has informed our source that this press release announcing his employment with the Knox County Mayor's office was premature. He will NOT be joining the Mayor's staff now or in the very near future.

Dr. McIntyre Must Feel Like The Knox County School Board Lied

First, it was the senseless, avoidable death of Eric Law. Then it was the Central High School shooting death of Ryan McDonald. Then he is confronted with the federal judge advancing the Kim Kallenburg case. Then Austin East High School discovers a gun two days in a row.

Then today
one of his employees is arrested with a federal indictment for "distributing and possessing with intent to distribute crack." The employee was arrested in the fourth and gill neighborhood. The neighborhood that attempted to recruit he and his wife to locate their family home there. Personal note to Dr. and Mrs. McIntyre, that was a good decision not to purchase a home in that neighborhood.

Dr. McIntyre must be feeling like this school board surely lied to him about Knox County Schools.

Monday, September 08, 2008

The Original Mavericks

Another Knox County Legislative Body is Under Investigation for Sunshine Law Violation

Sources close to the Knox County School Board have informed Brian's Blog that the Knoxville News Sentinel is investigating a possible Sunshine Law violation by the Knox County School Board. I ran into Lola Alapo before the beginning of the school boards swearing - in ceremony and mentioned the rumor to her. She indicated that there may have been.

It appears that when the election of Chair and Vice-Chair is held on Wednesday evening, it is expected that Indya Kincannon will be elected Chair and Dan Murphy as Vice Chair. It appears that the majority group of five have previously committed to casting votes for the team of Kincannon/Murphy on 9/10/08.

It has been rumored that there have been meetings of two or more during August to discuss this election. We all realize that any two board members meeting together and discussing an item on a future agenda is a violation. Clearly a board member seeking election as Chair and meeting with a fellow board member either through phone conversation or face to face meeting is a violation.

Obama Declares his Faith

From yesterday's website of the Washington Times is this jewel. Check out the online story here. Here are snippets of the story.

during an exchange with ABC's George Stephanopoulos on "This Week," when he was trying to criticize the quiet smear campaign suggesting he is a Muslim....

...The exchange came after Mr. Obama said that Republicans are attempting to scare voters by suggesting he is not Christian, which McCain campaign manager Rick Davis said was "cynical."

Asked about it on ABC, Mr. Obama said, "These guys love to throw a rock and hide their hand."

"The McCain campaign has never suggested you have Muslim connections," said Mr. Stephanopoulos, who repeatedly interrupted Mr. Obama during the interview.

"I don't think that when you look at what is being promulgated on Fox News, let's say, and Republican commentators who are closely allied to these folks," Mr Obama responded, and Mr. Stephanopoulos interrupted: "But John McCain said that's wrong."

Mr. Obama noted that when Republican vice presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin "was forced" to talk about her pregnant 17-year-old daughter, he issued a forceful statement to reporters that the line of inquiry was "off limits." But he said the McCain campaign tried to tie him to "liberal blogs that support Obama" and are "attacking Governor Palin."

"Let's not play games," he said. "What I was suggesting -- you're absolutely right that John McCain has not talked about my Muslim faith. And you're absolutely right that that has not come."

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Arnett is Running For Mayor in 2010?

Multiple Brian's Blog sources attending the opening festivities of the TNVA&I (Tennessee Valley Agricultural & Industrial) Fair on Friday overheard conversations that Foster Arnett is teaming with his 5 new employees (Bruce Whiteaker, Pat Sullivan, Bill Skaggs, Peggy Kane, Becky Crews) and Corey Johns, the current First Vice-Chair of the Knox County Republican Party to launch a bid for the Republican nomination for Knox County Mayor in 2010.

Is It a Violation?

The information about the Fifth District "Fristian" Commissioner Richard Briggs objecting several days after the meeting adjourned about a possible Sunshine law violation is quite amusing.

The Sentinel is attempting to blow it out proportion. They have this photograph in today's paper. So if their photographer was that close, then he/she heard the content of the meeting. Thus the meeting was held in the open.

As a matter of fact, Commissioner Scott Moore was appointed to chair the Committee on Committees meeting by Commission Chairman Tank Strickland. Moore said where everyone could hear it, everyone being commissioners, the citizens and county employees in attendance and the television audience. So you want us to go over here in the back of the room. And Strickland said Yes. Briggs did not object at the time.

Separation of Power

I just finished Separation of Power by Vince Flynn. I obtained all of his paperbacks, the latest is currently a hardback. (I am waiting for paperback) This one began where the last one left off with Mitch Rapp and his new lover Anna getting ready to become engaged. But the CIA Director died and his longtime assistant Dr. Irene Kennedy is in for a confirmation hearing like no other. However, the activity in Germany from the last book has Rapp running one step ahead of someone that is out to get him. The story thickens when it is discovered that the legislative branch is attempting to intervene in the business of the executive branch . This is another great political thriller by Vince Flynn. The next one is Executive Power. Vince Flynn can be found here.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Dear Mr. Obama

Arnett is a RINO

No we are not calling Arnett an animal that is on display at the Knoxville Zoo. We are calling him a Republican In Name Only. You ask. Why?

Because as it was referenced in a comment on the News Sentinel website today that during the swearing in ceremony on August 29, 2008. Arnett was the only Republican to be sworn in by a Democrat judge.

The Next Vice President of the United States of America

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Foster Arnett Violates County Policy on His Second Day on The Job

Foster Arnett has violated county policy on his second day on the job as Knox County Clerk. Yesterday, he fired or encouraged 8 employees to leave their employment with the County Clerk's office. A move that would have been forbidden if these employees had been covered by a civil service system.

Today, he violated the Knox County hiring freeze by hiring 4 or 5 new employees to replace the 8 that he severed their employment. Arnett's actions have taken Knox County back to the old days of political patronage. Fire the ones that didn't raise money or work in your campaign and hire ones that contributed, raised money or volunteered in your campaign.

During the campaign Arnett promised to "Do The Right thing." Instead he has resorted to his days at KPD when he lied about Andre Stinson, a young African American man that died at the hands of KPD. Arnett said that Stinson had drugs in his system. A toxicology report revealed that Stinson was drug free and Arnett received a reprimand in his personnel file. So, it is more of the same from Arnett.

News Sentinel Ignores Governor.

While all three Knoxville television stations covered Prince Phillip of Nashville's aka Governor Phil Bredesen visit today to Central High School. No word from the Knoxville News Sentinel website about his visit. A website that they promote with all types of breaking news. Not today, though.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Congratulations to Richard "Bud" Armstrong

Richard "Bud" Armstrong is the Republican nominee for County Commission in Knox County's Eighth District. Armstrong will be on the ballot on November 4, 2008 to replace former County Commissioner and present Knox County Property Assessor Phil Ballard.

The Republican nominating convention was held at 7:00 p.m. in the Gibbs High School auditorium. There were between 125-150 delegates in attendance tonight. Armstrong was nominated by former Commissioner John Mills. Former County Commission candidate Galen Porter was nominated by former State Representative Jim Boyer. Both candidates were given 3 minutes to speak prior to the vote. It appeared that Porter received between 10-12 voice votes. While Armstrong received all the other votes.

After the vote, both candidates shook hands and as Armstrong took the stage. Porter left the auditorium and the building. Bud Armstrong will be an excellent Commissioner and deserves each and every vote from the eighth district on November 4, 2008.

The Democrats will meet this Thursday September 4, 2008 to select their candidate, if a Democrat exists in the Eighth District.

County Commissioner David Wright Stands Tall, Tonight.

Before the nominating process this evening, the Senior County Commissioner from the Eighth District David Wright spoke to the convention and during his talk he explained why it is necessary to vote against the Orange and White Charter Amendments. Wright is supportive of the Republican Party position while an individual Commissioner like Briggs has said that he will oppose the Republican party position in opposing the amendments. It is likely that Briggs will face an ouster complaint from within the Knox County Republican Party. An ouster complaint that could remove him from the Republican Party and will forbid him from using the Republican label in the future.

Slopper News Got It Wrong Again....How Long Will Bruce Hartmann Tolerate It?

If you saw the Slopper News that hit the streets today, (Tuesday Sept. 2, 2008) you saw a report that the Republican Party would have a candidate for consideration at tonight's County Commission Eighth District Nominating Convention for a gentleman named Russell Huckaba.

The Slopper News Publisher Sandra Clark was present at tonight's convention. But no one named Russell Huckaba was nominated. Was this a story manufactured by the Slopper News Publisher? Was this an attempt by Clark to promote someone as a Republican but in actuality they will run as a Democrat or Independent? How long with E.W. Scripps Publisher Bruce Hartmann tolerate erroneous published reports by Clark?

Greg McKay and Charter Petition Signatures

UPDATE: There have been several comments on this story. Please click and read them. Why does the News-Sentinel, WBIR and WATE not care about a standard of signature verification? I have over the years either had a petition for myself or for other people. The Election Commission has always said that if a signature, name or address does not match the voting records on file, then it is tossed.

Is it because this is about metro government and the media supports metro government? After all the News-Sentinel has printed the petitions as an in-kind contribution to Knox Accountability and has editorialized in support of amendments. So, it will be up to the people of Knox County to ensure that not fraud exists. It will require the people (through a public records request) to obtain a copy of the petitions and verify the signatures and double check the election commission's verification.

Original Post: Sunday August 31, 2008 @ 9:43 p.m. A source of Brian's Blog has supplied us with a report from an applicant that attended the Knox County Election Commission training for potential signature verification temporary employees. It appears from our individual that attended the training that Greg McKay does not want signatures presented to him for verification. Here is the report.

In the "training" time, we were shown on the power point overhead, a picture of a very clearly written signature."Greg McKay." Mr McKay (conducting the session) said it was his voter registration card from the files when he was 18 years old. (We will be comparing those cards to the signatures on the petitions.) Underneath that signature, there was a scribbled line or two. If anything, it "might" have been initials, but they did not resemble a "G" or "M"! (It looked like a toddler's random scribble. If they were letters, they were basically on top of each other.) Greg McKay said that what we were seeing was a legitimate signature. Several people questioned this comment, in the sense of disbelief. His comment was basically, " I'm telling you. this is a legitimate signature."!

An attendee commented/questioned to Mr. McKay that weren't we to "preview" and mark these questionable items and then someone in authority make the final decision? Mr. McKay's comment was something to the effect that we had 80,000 signatures to verify, and they didn't want a lot of those being sent to them. (he said they would go to him and his staff) and we had to get this done because they have an election to be getting ready. He reminded us that it was a legitimate signature. He expects us to use good judgment. (in other words, I understood him to mean not send him a bunch!) He said it had to get done in order to get the amendments on the ballot to be mailed overseas on 9/21 I believe.

Where The Heck Is Cutcliffe? Oh, Yeah Duke!

After watching tonight's game. Clawson, Crompton and Lincoln ain't Tennessee material. Where is Cutcliffe? Oh yeah, he is at Duke. It will be a looooonnnngggg season. The good news is that we can have David Cutcliffee back when they finally fire Fulmer.