Monday, June 29, 2009

Closed Door to Media? or Closed Door to a Non Legitimate Reporter?

In this column found in the Shopper News the "reporter" gives the false impression that the Knox County Mayor would not meet with Farmer and Former County Commission Candidate James McMillan because he had his Attorney present. However, if you will read the actual words, you will see that Knox County Mayor's spokesperson Susanne Dupes said, “This meeting is closed to the media,”. No mention of his Attorney being the reason for the closed door meeting.

What the reporter wrote is "so he brought backup – lawyer Stephanie Matheny, Tennessee Clean Water Network executive director Renee Hoyos and a reporter from the Shopper-News." What we have since discovered that the "reporter" did not disclose is that the "reporter" from the Shopper News is the one actually writing this column.

Had McMillan taken a legitimate reporter from the Shopper News like Shannon Carey or Jake Mabe the results may have been different. This particular author and "reporter" in question has a history of posting items on the liberal left blog that is closer to bathroom material than actual legitimate news reporting. Here is a tame example. Mea Culpa:I was so mad I Submitted by Bbeanster on Thu, 2006/09/07 - 6:14pm. Mea Culpa:I was so mad I don't rightly remember exactly what I did say, although the words "set up," "sandbag" and, yes, "chickenshit" do ring a bell, and I probably used the latter to describe the tactic rather than the person.

So, maybe McMillan in the future should ask prior to the meeting if everyone could agree which if any media representative they can agree on.

Pilot Employees: It's About the Children

The second quarter filing for political contributions is fast approaching. Sources from the Pilot corporate office have informed one of our team members that the Knoxville Mayor's brother has been asking employees about contributing to his brother's campaign for Governor. The employees inform him that they have maxed out their contributions. The response is, "your kids haven't maxed out."

It is speculated that Congressman Zach Wamp will report contributions in the $1.2 - $1.5 million dollar range. Haslam will have more than that but remember in order to win doesn't go to the wealthiest or the one with the right family that can raise money for you. It is about the person that works hardest, has the right record and has the best on the ground campaign. That will NOT be the corporate board room Knoxville Mayor.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Ninety Years Ago Today, June 28, 1919

On this day ninety years ago Harry S. Truman married Bess Wallace.

They moved into this home in Independence, MO. Two days ago, Friday June 26, 2009 I toured the Truman home. The National Park Service had two dozen of the most beautiful yellow roses on the dining room table for the anniversary. Yellow roses were a favorite of Bess.

Friday, June 26, 2009

A Sad Week

First it was the passing of Ed, then the passing of Farrah and now the passing of MJ. Death will come to us all at some time and point. Ed was elderly, Farrah was taken too young with illness and MJ there is no explanation. Let's hope for a less traumatic weekend.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Governor Mark Sanford

Today, Governor Mark Sanford has announced that he has been engaged in an extra marital affair the past 5 months. His announcement was handled the right way. Mrs. Sanford was NOT required or expected to "stand by her man" like Hillary Ramrod Clinton, Mrs. McGreevey, Mrs. Craig. So, now if the media and his Republican enemies have any decency, (which I doubt) they will leave Mrs. Sanford and their 4 boys alone. Pick on the Governor, if you desire. But, leave the family alone.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Let's Just State the Obvious

Did you see this profile of Roy Mullins in today's edition from The Big Metal Shed on the Hill. First, of all good job there Big Metal Shed, you all are several months behind Jake Mabe over at the Shopper News. He did a story on Mullins when it was first confirmed he is retiring.

What is interesting in the story is the last line. It is a quote from Roy's wife. "I truly believe that is why he's willing to retire now," Joyce Mullins said. "The school system is in excellent shape." So, what the Mullins are saying is that he was unable to retire during Charles Lindsey's term because the school system was not in good shape. So, the school board that hired Lindsey in 1999 did not do a good job. Let's review the school board that hired Lindsey. Sam Anderson, Paul Kelley, D.M. Miller, Margaret Maddox, Tom Prince, Diane Jabalonski, Diane Dozier, Steve Hunley and Jim McClain. All of those individuals with the exception of Sam Anderson are gone. In addition, all of them were elected OUT of office with the exception of Paul Kelley who saw the hand writing on the wall.

Happy Father's Day

I am quite amazed at my three kids, all of them are teenager's now. With the oldest one having turned 18 last October. I still remember driving my wife and two day old Son home from Ft. Sanders Hospital in 1990. I remember the first night as a father in our home, he was restless and I placed him on my chest and we slept on the couch. I remember the first night when all three of them came home the first time. The now 18 year old is becoming his own man. Time sure slips away. All the mistakes that have been made are mine and mine alone, all the good and great stuff of my three kids are a result of their mother and themselves. My kid's mother (my wife) is a dear saint to have and continue to endure raising four kids.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Difference In Coffee

Knoxville's Weigel's proclaim that they have the "best coffee in town....guaranteed". I drink a lot of coffee and I will agree that Weigel's has better than good coffee. But, if I didn't think they did they have a guarantee pledge that I will get my money back. That is putting your money where your mouth is.

Pilot on the other hand say that they have the "best coffee on the Interstate." They do not guarantee their claim. That is certainly NOT putting your money where your mouth is.

So, here's the question for coffee drinkers. Would you rather have the "best coffee in your town...guaranteed" or the "best coffee on the Interstate" not guaranteed?

A "War Room"? Say it ain't So.

Sources within the Andrew Johnson Building have given Brian's Blog some unconfirmed reports that Superintendent McIntyre's new Chief of Staff has created or is in the process of creating a "war room". War and Education do not comfortably go together. Say it ain't so.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Knox County Election Administrator Position Narrowed to Ten, Maybe.

The list of 45 was apparently narrowed to 10 finalists. The interviews of the 10 will begin at 8 a.m. on June 29, 2009. There is a footnote that there may be more names. This was posted on the Knox County Election Commission web page located here.

1. Greg Mackay - current Democrat Election Administrator

2. Scott Frith - North Knox Realtor, Appointee of Mayor Mike Ragsdale to Legacy Parks Board, has more political enemies than a former County GOP Chairman.

3. Jack White - Unknown at this time

4. Steve Hall - Current City Councilman and Host of Politics Knox (televised on CTV, Comcast Channel 10 at 8:30 p.m. every Friday evening)

5. Robert Seay - Unknown at this time

6. Jennifer McDonald - Unknown at this time

7. Gary Tidwell - Unknown at this time

8. Robert Huddleston - Local Attorney, Husband to State Republican Executive Committeewoman, Do not know if he is related to Black Wednesday Appointed County Commissioner Jack Huddleston.

9. William Ailor - Unknown at this time

10. William Moxley- Former Co-host of a former local low watt radio talk show.

Interestingly, Gary Drinnen the PR guy for Knox Charter Petition did not make the list of finalists.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Hey, Mikey Come Clean With Open Transparency

Term limited County Commissioner Mikey Hammond, of Birmingham fame is stating that he has discussed with several attorneys the issue of his eligibility to run for County Commission at Large. Our sources indicate that the only attorney that he has talked to is Tom McAdams. The Attorney of one former Knoxville Mayor Victor Ashe. McAdams most recently was the legal counsel for the Knox Accountability Project, Knox Charter Petition Group. The group that proposed taking your ability to vote for Register of Deeds, County Clerk and other Countywide officials away.

Current Knox County Circuit Court Judge and former Knox County Law Director Dale Workman has made no secret of the fact that if someone has been elected twice they are ineligible to seek that same office again. Judge Workman was the Knox County Law Director when the Knox County Charter was first drafted and voted on years ago. If anyone can be considered an expert, it would be Judge Workman.

When Mike was recently challenged at the West Knox Republican Club meeting, he said that if it the issue is challenged and a Judge rules he is ineligible then he will not run. That's just what we need, Mike forcing Knox County taxpayers into another lawsuit because he doesn't understand the words from our Knox County Charter, "no person shall be eligible to serve in any elected office of Knox County if during the previous two terms of that office the person in question has served more than a single term." (Knox County Charter 9.17 A)

Mike must like the perks and power of office. Evidently being Operations Manager of a local radio station and the Public Address Announcer of the Lady Vols doesn't doesn't satisfy his ego anymore. The power of County Commissioner must be his drug of choice.

So, Brian's Blog is challenging Hammond to come clean in an open and transparent manner. Identify the 3 - 5 attorneys that have advised you that you are eligible to ignore our Knox County Charter and to take your pointing finger from the picture above and exchange it with your middle finger and say to the citizens, The Public Be Damned!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Another One Jumps Out of The Big Metal Shed on the Hill

Sources from Oak Ridge indicate that Associate Editor David Keim will be leaving the Big Metal Shed on the Hill for a position in Oak Ridge. The position has some media responsibilities. But he is leaving the Editorial limelight. It begs to question, who will be the last Editor to turn out the lights. Here's a novel idea. Have the reporters and journalistic staff do their jobs without Editors. There you go. I might become a subscriber again.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Saturday, June 13, 2009

I Finished The Farragut High School Summer Reading List

O.k. I read the three AP English books for rising Ninth graders. I have just completed the third of the three school wide reads. You only have to select one of the three. I always read all three. The third and final one is Dewey - The Small - Town Cat who touched the world. by Vicki Myron.

What a great story. It is comparable to Marley and Me. Although Marley was a dog. Dewey is a cat. Dewey became the library cat at the Spencer, Iowa Public Library in an unusual way. One more he was in the book depository.

He was adopted by Vicki Myron and the Spencer Public Library and he became the icon of Spencer, Iowa. If you love animals. This story will touch you. It's a quick read. So, check it out.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Karen Carson - Chief Hypocrite Among The Sinners

Karen Carson, Fifth District Member and Vice Chair of the Knox County School Board has sent a communication to the Knox County Redistricting Committee asking even pleading that they not separate neighborhoods in any redistricting plans. In her communication (which is below in it's entirety) she even throws the Town of Farragut residents and Commissioner Briggs proposal under the bus. The Chief Hypocrite said, ..."as you look at these proposals and their impact on our community you will attempt to put keeping neighborhoods together before keeping any towns together."

Now, here's the deal. This from the school board leader that not only split neighborhoods and towns. But split families in her high school redistricting plan from just a year or so ago. Everyone that didn't fall into the "grandfathering" clause of the redistricting plan got screwed by the Chief Hypocrite Carson.

----- Original Message -----

From: "Karen Carson" <>
To: <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>
Sent: Thursday, June 11, 2009 7:39 PM
Subject: Redistricting proposal

> To: Members of the redistricting committee
>From: Karen Carson
> 5th District School Board Representative

>> I have reviewed the proposed redistricting plans and wanted to share
> my concern about the proposals which would split individual
> subdivisions. Specifically, I have been contacted by constituents who
> live in Crestwood Hills Subdivision who are very concerned about not
> only having their voting districts (and representatives) changed but
> also would have their neighborhood divided. I hope that as you look at
> these proposals and their impact on our community you will attempt
> to put keeping neighborhoods together before keeping any towns
> together. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions
> about these concerns. Thank you for your continued work to improve
> Knox County,

>> * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
> Karen Carson
> 5th District School Board Representative
> Home: 675-0236 - Cell: 300-6443
> * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Are There Some Shenanigans Going on in Nashville? Of Course.

Sources in Nashville tell us the Senate is likely to pass the budget today. What about the House? Well, they have adjourned until Tuesday. If they don't pass the budget fairly quickly next week. There are at least four legislators and their spouses going on a trip to Taiwan. Our sources indicate House Speaker Kent Williams, State Representatives Harry Brooks, John Litz and Joe McCord are the ones headed to Taiwan.

Now, it makes since that if State Representative Jimmy Naifeh, State Senator Jim Kyle and the Democrats could keep the budget from passing by end of next week. They could have a plum of a political soundbite. "The Republican controlled Legislature doesn't finish their work and run off to Taiwan."

Our sources also indicate that the cuts while appearing deep, really are not that deep. They are not cutting pre-k. They are simply moving it from recurring to non-recurring.

Oh, the games them boys and girls play while they are in Session with our lives and our money at stake. No Tennessean is safe while the Legislature is in Session. With all the Shenanigans going on, I don't know if it's more like Animal House or Weekend at Bernie's.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

News Sentinel Ignores a Sunshine Lawsuit That Doesn't Involve The NS Editor

On May 29, 2009 this story was reported in the Morgan County News that the current Director of Morgan County Schools is suing the Morgan County School Board for a Sunshine Law violation.

Why is the News Sentinel not reporting this story? Because Editor Jack McElroy is not the one suing and he along with the Publisher do not have a interest in replacing certain elected officials.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

It is Gooberish, Just Not Gubernatorial

Mike Hammond Ducks and Dodges

We were unable to attend the West Knox Republican Club last evening. However Political Leverage was there and filed this report at their blog.

It seems that Hammond is telling people that he has asked several Attorneys and they have told him that because he only served two years of one term that he can run. First of all Attorneys tell you what you pay them for, Mikey. Our sources hope that the lawyer that assisted with the picture in Birmingham wasn't advised.

Secondly, what part of "no person shall be eligible to serve in any elected office of Knox County if during the previous two terms of that office the person in question has served more than a single term." (Knox County Charter 9.17 A) do you not understand?

Monday, June 08, 2009

Fifth of Six Farragut High School Summer Reads Completed

I have completed the fifth book of the six Farragut High School Summer Reads. The School has three and then the AP English requirement for rising Ninth graders have three others. I completed the three AP books first. I re-read The Last Lecture, and just completed The Blind Side, Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis.

The book details the life of Michael Oher. Michael Oher (Oar) was a boy left to fend for himself on streets of Memphis. When he was fortunate to become a student at Briarcrest Christian School. He was taken in by Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy. He was the first recruit by the new Ole Miss Football Coach Ed Orgeron. The recruitment became the first NCAA investigation of Ed Orgeron while at Ole Miss. The second controversial incident of Coach Orgeron at Ole Miss was his attempt to obtain Tulane University football players immediately following Hurricane Katrina.

The funny portion of the book details Ed Orgeron speak. Here is an example. "Dajus da crap dey wrote bout me last sittee days!" (That's just the crap they wrote about me in the last sixty days!) And now Ed Orgeron is on the TN football staff.

Good read. Great story not only of Michael Oher but the commitment of Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy to rescue inner city kids with athletic ability.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Mike Hammond says The Public Be Damned

Mike Hammond has been meeting with local PR firms in an effort to shop for the best deal for a firm to serve him for his strategy and pr needs for a countywide County Commission race. The last time that Hammond had a serious challenge was in 2004, (in 2006, he didn't have a serious challenge) he had Tyler Harber. Mike, Mr. Harber is still available. No word on if Hammond has contacted Harber or not. It appears that Hammond is trying to lure one of three local yokel firms.

Here is the exact language of the Knox County Charter "no person shall be eligible to serve in any elected office of Knox County if during the previous two terms of that office the person in question has served more than a single term." (Knox County Charter 9.17) The entire Charter language is below for your review. Now, remember on November 8, 1994 the citizens of Knox County OVERWHELMINGLY (greater than 2-1) approved this Term Limit provision. In 2006, the TN Supreme Court upheld this provision of our Charter.

So, now Mike Hammond is taking the position that the public be damned. He will do what he wants to do, without regard for what the citizens have clearly voted for him to abide by. Send Mike Hammond a message. Tell him, thank you for your two terms of service. But we will NOT vote for you again. Because your a law breaker.

Sec. 9.17. Term limits.

A. Effective January 1, 1995, no person shall be eligible to serve in any elected office of Knox County if during the previous two terms of that office the person in question has served more than a single term. Service prior to the passage of this measure shall not count in determining length of service. Judges are exempt from this provision.

B. In January prior to each state legislative session until such a time that it can be certified that the legislative term limits described in this clause have been enacted, the clerk shall write all state legislators whose districts include any part of Knox County stating that the people of Knox County desire an opportunity to vote on legislative term limits. The people of Knox County respectfully request that a proposed constitutional amendment limit each Representative to six years (three terms) in the Tennessee House of Representatives and eight years (two terms) in the Tennessee Senate. The people of Knox County also instruct all state legislators representing any part of Knox County to pass this proposed constitutional amendment and place it on the general election ballot.

C. In January of each year until such a time that it can be certified that the term limits described in this clause have been enacted, the clerk of Knox County shall write all U.S. Representatives whose districts include any part of Knox County's limits and both federal Senators stating that the people of this municipality support term limits for the U.S. Congress. The people of Knox County respectfully request that a proposed federal constitutional amendment limit each Representative to six years (three terms) in the United States House of Representatives and twelve years (two terms) in the United States Senate. The people of this municipality also instruct their federal delegation to pass a constitutional amendment imposing these limits and submit it to the states for ratification.

D. If any provision of this petition shall be held unconstitutional, invalid or inapplicable to any persons or circumstances, then it is intended and declared by the people of the County that all other provisions of this petition and their application to all other persons and circumstances shall be severable and shall not be affected by such decision.

(Ref. of 11-8-94)

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Foster Arnett and Crew is Screwing the Taxpayers Beginning July 1, 2009

Former Knox County Clerk's Mike Padgett, Billy Tindell and George Stooksbury all gained a contract with the State of Tennessee to print titles here in Knox County. It resulted in thousands of dollars in fees staying within the Knox County Clerk's office. Which helped to offset the financial responsibility of the Knox County taxpayers.

In less than one year, on July 1, 2009, Foster Arnett and his crew have lost that contract which will cause the Knox County Clerk's office to lose thousands of dollars in fees remaining in Knox County.

In addition, while all Knox County offices have operated under a hiring freeze. Arnett and Crew are hiring employees. Incompetence reigns with Arnett and Crew.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Mike Hammond a Knox County Charter Law Breaker

Mike Hammond was first elected in 2004 to a term of two years. In 2006, he was re-elected to a term of four years. The term limit referendum that the citizens of Knox County imposed on Knox County and the TN Supreme Court upheld in 2006 says that NO official shall serve more than two consecutive terms.

Mike Hammond has served two consecutive terms. If he chooses to violate and break the law of Knox County it will not surprise many of us associated with Brian's Blog. It just brings back to mind the Tracy Lawrence song, Paint Me a Birmingham. Is Hammond so desperate to hold on to his Commission seat and salary that he wants certain individuals to paint the citizens of Knox County a picture of Birmingham?

Jack McElroy Slams John Troyer

This morning Editor Jack McElroy was a guest on the T. Blackman radio show from 8:30-9:00 a.m. on AM 850. Several callers took him to task for his Sunday column. He stated that his column was the same as Charlie Daniel cartoon. What was most troubling was the last caller asked him about the way the paper handled the Cynthia Finch situation. In response McElroy stated, John Troyer had all the booze on his p-card. We called on Troyer to resign and he did. He mentioned Troyer's name about 6-7 times.

I contacted Mr. McElroy via his Scripps voicemail to explain that he had slandered and defamed the name and reputation of Mr. Troyer, the current Knox County Finance Director. McElroy in an exclusive interview with Brian's Blog, McElroy said that he had called Mayor Ragsdale and T. Blackman and that he will be back on the radio tomorrow (Thursday June 4, 2009) to correct his error. McElroy said it was a "brain fart" and that he confused the name of Troyer and former Finance Director John Werner. I asked if he had contacted Mr. Troyer. He said that he left him a voicemail because Mr. Troyer was unavailable. I told McElroy that I hoped that worked for him. He thanked me for bringing it to his attention.

As we looked further into this situation, this afternoon. We do not find that the News Sentinel ever called for John Werner's resignation. We find that John Werner voluntarily offered his resignation. Alcohol or as McElroy defined it "booze" was not the issue with the Werner p-card findings. Why did McElroy find it necessary to bring up Werner who is 23 months into his life as a private citizen?

This Editor is unlike any other Editor. He finds it necessary to appear on television public affairs programs, radio talk shows and write funny op-ed's. Op-ed's that make fun for public officials even an individual that is a recent transplant recipient. In his column he utilized questionable language when referring to Commissioner Strickland. It is as if he has a desire to be relevant and have "movie star" status and not the Editor of the daily paper. While Harry Moskos, Ron McMahan and Gerald Garcia were Editors of the daily papers here they did not feel they need to be wanted and relevant. They simply did their jobs as Editor of the daily papers.

I do not believe that we have seen or heard the last of this issue. The signs that were put up a few weeks ago have begun popping up in Knoxville again.

Mike Hammond to Run for County Commission At Large in 2010