Wednesday, December 30, 2009

God Bless Ted Lowe, R.I.P

Ted Lowe, local Attorney and Owner of RA-Tel Broadcasting the company that owned WKXV-AM 900. Ted Lowe was a Great man that has received his eternal reward earlier than expected. But you never know when our time is up. Ted Lowe fit a lot into his life. When he passed into the Gates of Heaven thousands of people were there because of Knoxville's AM 900. Here is the link to his Obituary

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Mackay and Frith allow Felons to Vote

Sources from inside the City County Building informed Brian's Blog that news will be Breaking this evening that the Knox County Election Commission has allowed more than 100 citizens that are convicted Felons to vote for the past several years.

It is time for the Knox County Election Commission to turn Mackay and Frith and this investigation over to the FBI, TBI and immediately replace the Administrator and Chief Deputy Administrator.

More details as this developing story unfolds.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

News Sentinel Editor Exhibits Traits of Being Human

Today's column (link) by NS Editor Jack McElroy is the first glimpse that he may be human. No matter what the motive for his apology is, we should accept it at face value and encourage him to continue this move to correct the errors of their ways.

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Tennessean Gives Haslam a Christmas Eve Reality Punch to the Gut

The Tennessean on Christmas Eve did (link) what Jack McElroy and Crew do not have the intestinal fortitude to do and that is to highlight Bill Haslam's inability to be open and transparent with the Republican voters of the State of Tennessee. Here are some highlights of their editorial.

"Relatives who join in business should expect some level of scrutiny when one of their own announces for public office, especially if the candidate is building his or her reputation on business success."

"Political campaigns, especially at the state and national level have become incredibly expensive. The candidates who can afford to lend money to their own campaigns have an edge that voters should know about."

"Voters deserve to know as much as they can about candidates so they can make informed choices. Clearly the way a candidate runs a business or whether they paid their taxes in full and on time sheds light to their credibility."

"Voters certainly have come to expect candidates to divulge as much as possible about contributions to their campaign. It is equally important to know how the candidates handle their own businesses and careers."

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas from Brian's Blog

Stay focused on our Father in Heaven that sends the Star as our guiding beacon. Please pray for our troops that are attempting to keep peace in hostile parts of the world so that we can be free.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

WATE's Tucker and Patterson Were Irresponsible Last Night

Last night's news story concerning the accidental shooting of William S. "Trent" Lockett III was a tragic story. Brian's Blog the referee of Knoxville's media calls foul on WATE and it's anchors Tucker and Patterson.

First, Tucker begins to throw the story to Patterson by referring to Trent's father Knox County Law Director Bill Lockett as the "embroiled law director". Then Patterson tells the story and states falsely that Lockett has been under fire all year. That is not true, Lockett publicly acknowledged the issue of he and his former employer in May 2009. Additionally, there was no reason to rehash the situation of Mr. Lockett's and his former employer.

The only reason Tucker and Patterson employed this National Enquirer tactic (other than WATE have always employed this tactic) was to try and propel their already third place finish in local viewing to a higher status. It will not work, as they continue utilizing National Enquirer tactics they will continue to be third in a market with three television news teams in our community.

Last night's tactic should shame Tucker, Patterson and WATE for using the untimely death of a young man and the devastation of a family's loss for their own selfish ratings. It will not.

Everyone else in Knoxville, should do what WVLT news anchor Alan Williams said last night. Williams ended their segment by saying "All of us at WVLT extend our thoughts and prayers to the Lockett family." WBIR news anchor John Becker handled the story professionally. That is proof why those two stations are at the top of the Knoxville market.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas from The Wamp's

Wamp Leads In Twitterverse

All four Republican Gubernatorial candidates have twitter accounts. Let's see who is leading.

Zach Wamp is following 2,725 twitters, Wamp has 3,564 twitter followers and Wamp is on 161 lists.

Bill Gibbons is following 1,270. He has 1,260 followers and he is on 44 lists.

Ron Ramsey is following 388. He has 1,136 followers and he is on 44 lists.

Bill Haslam is following 660. He has 1,013 followers and he is on 43 lists.

The Future of Anderson County

According to an email from Aaron Wells of the Anderson County Republican Party. Anderson County Juvenile Court Judge April Meldrum announced today that she will be resigning Tuesday January 19, 2010. This seat was taken by the Democrats in the 2006 County General election. The Judge has significantly increased the case load while not increasing the departments overall budget.

The Anderson County Commission will fill the vacancy until the County General Election in August. On Tuesday January 19, 2010 the Anderson County Republican Party will conduct a County Convention "Caucus" where they will nominate and vote to endorse candidates for the County General Election in August.

If you are a Republican in Anderson County and interested in being a part of leading Anderson County over the next several years, contact Anderson County Republican Party Chairman Aaron Wells by email here or by calling Wells at 865-898-7471

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Mt. LeConte - Living on Top Of The World During the Winter of 2010

I always thought the winter caretaker position at Mt. LeConte would be a cool (ok cold but AWESOME) gig. Thanks to satellite broadband connections powered by solar panels this years caretaker is sharing his view. Doug McFalls has a blog Life on LeConte, here. You can also follow him on twitter, here. I intend to live on LeConte through Doug this winter.

What Were The Motives of WATE?

WATE's Consumer Reporter Don Dare aired two stories on a local transmission repair business. The first story the customer and the owner are at an impasse. The customer and owner both presented their case to WATE. It is clear from Dare's comments and mannerism that he is taking the side of the consumer. The next hour the station felt compelled to run a second negative story. On the second story was because the solenoid had to be replaced after the transmission repair, the customer feels her transmission did not need to be repaired in the first place. The shop replaced her solenoid and now she wants a full refund on her transmission repair. Huh? Dare mentions that there are several lawsuits filed against this business. That doesn't mean there are judgements against this business. Name me a successful business that has been around for any length of time that has never been sued and I will show you a useless entity. How many lawsuits has Young Broadcasting or WATE had filed on them? Do a story on that.

What we find interesting is that WATE's advertising department in the past has gladly accepted thousands of dollars from this transmission shop and this owner to air commercials to pay the salaries of Dare and others at the station. The owner has appeared in his own television commercials so he is a recognizable figure. Brian's Blog just wonders why is WATE singling out this one guy and his business?

Here is the link to the WATE website where both stories video links are located.

Avatar - I Saw It Yesterday, A W E S O M E

Official Avatar Movie

Thursday, December 17, 2009

New Property for a NEW Southwest Knox County Elementary School

If you have an opinion on which of the four sites is BEST for Knox County's New Southwest Elementary School you have through tomorrow, Friday December 18, 2009 to leave your comments, here. Feel free to post your comments at Brian's Blog as well.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Seventh District School Board Replacement

On Saturday Georgiana Vines announced in this article the shock heard in North Knox County. That shock is that first term Seventh District School Board Member Rex Stooksbury would NOT be running for re-election next year. This evening in the Shopper News website here Jake Mabe reports that former ousted Seventh District School Board Member Diane Dozier was strongly considering running in 2010. It should be noted that Dozier is an employee in the County Clerk's Office. The current occupant of the County Clerk position is Foster Arnett. It would be shocking if Arnett would allow an employee in his office to violate the Knox County Ethics Policy by running for elected office and maintain their position in the Clerk's office.

While it would be a long shot for a successful Dozier campaign to be successful. There are two names floating through the seventh district as probable replacements to Stooksbury. Jake Mabe, a News employee of Shopper-News and Former County Commissioner Scott Moore.

Was the News Sentinel Bias Revealed Today?

Was the News Sentinel Bias revealed in today's newspaper, located here.? The photo below was in today's newspaper. The former and current publisher are pictured with Republican Gubernatorial candidate Bill Haslam. The same Haslam who's company buy thousands of newspapers to give away every Friday.

The former Publisher always sat in on candidate interviews and always voted on the editorial endorsement of candidates and here he is yucking it up with a candidate for office in 2010. Did he tell the new Publisher who to endorse? So that the Haslam's will keep buying up all those newspapers.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The News Sentinel Bias Continues

Today, this one story of a business closing as a side bar brief without naming the business in the headline.

This story on December 2, 2009 naming the business in the headline. This follow-up story on December 3, 2009 expanding with the business name in the headline. Then this story 5 days later with the company name in the headlines again. Then a different reporter with this follow-up story the next day. Then this blurb again today.

Unfortunately due to this tough economy there will be businesses that will suffer slow downs, financial hardship and ultimate closure. Why would Jack McElroy and his cronies at the Sentinel single out one company and one person for public embarrassment? It is not right.

Where were the 5 stories on the company that went belly up that the former News Sentinel Publisher lost all his stock investments?

Friday, December 11, 2009

News Sentinel's Bias is U G L Y

This story is interesting. The News Sentinel led by Jack McElroy has devoted several stories in prominent positions in the paper to a few car dealerships that have filed bankruptcy and tried to make a BIG deal about how Former Sheriff Tim Hutchison and Cedar Bluff Towing Executive Randy Hinton were stock owners in the Limited Liability Company that owned the dealerships.

But then you get this story in today's paper and an executive with Citadel is current Fifth District Knox County Commissioner Mike Hammond. Hammond runs the Knoxville operation for Citadel Broadcasting and has since Citadel entered the Knoxville market. With the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing of Citadel Broadcasting does Jack McElroy display Hammond's name with the story? NO. Why not? Because Hammond takes his marching orders from Jack McElroy and that is why Hammond is intending to run for County Commissioner at Large. So, that he can continue to represent the Big Metal Shed on the Hill's interest.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Why Does Scripps Owned News Sentinel Editors Cover Up For Haslam

The story of a 17 year City of Knoxville employee using youth workers funded by federal government stimulus money for his own personal property has been taken down from the front page of knoxnews quickly. Even with 16 comments posted of line, here. Why Jack McElroy and crew continue to shield negative stories from public scrutiny is amazing. Is it because Pilot Travel Centers, LLC buys thousands of newspapers to give away free every Friday? Is it because Jack McElroy has been promised a position in a prospective cabinet for Bill Haslam?

This 17 year City of Knoxville employee utilized federal dollars for personal gain. The 17 year City of Knoxville employee utilized labor of minors for personal gain. What would have happened had this been a Knox County employee? Sheriff Jimmy J.J. Jones terminated a deputy for a 5 gallon can of gasoline. But, Bill Haslam suspends the employee for 2 weeks. This is not leadership. Haslam is allowing an individual to profit at the expense of youth workers and federal monies.

With regard to Haslam Jack McElroy and the News Sentinel fails to give light so the people can find their way.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Commissioner Briggs Wants to Make it Easy for the Lazy

Commissioner Richard Briggs is proposing a massive redo of the Recall Charter Amendment that Knox County voters approved. in 2008 The voters approve something and then Briggs and his cronies want to tweak it for their benefit.

Briggs stated that he was trying to clean up the number of days between a recall election and the General election. Currently there is a required 90-95 days and then 70 - 75 days till the General election. Brigg stated that each election cost $250,000.00 and what he is really setting out to do is reduce the number of signatures required to have an recall election. For example in August 2008, 34,000 voters elected Knox County Law Director Bill Lockett. 3,800 voters elected Eighth District School Board Member Bill Phillips. Currently in order for a recall of Phillips to appear on the ballot then 15% of the registered voters in district eight must sign the petition within 90 day. The required number is 4,800 registered voter signatures. Briggs said that he has talked to the organizers of the Phillips recall in the 8th district and they have said that it is impossible unless you are wealthy and can spend the money on a recall drive.

Briggs wants to reduce the required number of signatures for a recall election to be 50% of the number of voters in the election that elected the person. Briggs said that in the 2008 election for Sheriff 44,000 votes were cast and with his proposal it would require 22,000 signatures to place a recall on the ballot for Sheriff.

So, Briggs wants to reduce the number of signatures required to place a recall on the ballot. He said that he wants a 1 year waiting period (that provision is already in the Charter) He also wants to set the time to circulate the petition. The Charter Amendment already sets the time period as 90 days.

Commissioner R. Smith said "I like it, but I would like the percentage to be 51% so that it is a majority.

Commissioner Brad Anders said I agree we need to clean up some of the language. However, voter apathy is NO reason to lower threshold. If you are elected in a 51 -48% election. One vote making 4% of the population mad will result in a recall effort. Commissioner Anders said that this change could result in every elected official being on the ballot every two years.

Commissioner Mike Hammond said that any registered voter could sign the petition even if they didn't vote in the election. The people who are registered and never vote and simply just want to keep controversy will sign a petition. Hammond believes an election should be held sooner rather than later. He said that he is struggling with percentages.

Commissioner Ed Shouse says that the Convention Hotel Recall had professional help. The Charter Referendum Recall had professional help. The wheel tax recall petition drive did not have professional help. If we use the General Election numbers, why would we even bother to vote? Shouse asked Commissioner Dave Wright if Phillips ran unopposed . Wright said YES.

Briggs in responding to Anders said if people are going to elect you every two years that happens with Congress and the legislature. Plus the recall people will have to work. In addition, a majority of states require 25% of the people that voted in the election. When California recalled Governor Gray Davis it was 25%.

Anders in responding to Briggs said that the legislature running every 2 years. That is their term. Your term as a Commissioner is four years or the next term 6 years. The excuse of a cooling off period of 1 year is not valid as people get riled up. This lowering of the threshold is a knee jerk reaction. It should be hard to recall someone. A majority of states have an income tax so if you would like to have one go ahead. The voters that elected Commissioner Sam McKenzie in the first district was low. A thousand people could recall the first district commissioner. Only 800 people voted in the election of First District Commissioner Sam McKenzie, so 400 signatures could place a recall election of McKenzie on the ballot.

Hammond said the cost of a countywide election is $25o,000.00. A district election would be cheaper. Cost is a consideration.

Commissioner Mark Harmon said that he believes that Briggs is setting the bar too high. Circulating a petition is an arduous task. 25% of a turnout is the average of other states and communities. Briggs has set the bar at 50% Harmon calls this a reasonable plan.

Commission Chairman Tank Strickland said Briggs is making it too low. It should be high like Anders said. We need to look at it, study it. 15% of the registered voters may be high. But, 500 people could recall the first district Commissioner.

In response Briggs said that Cabinet members serve at the pleasure of the President. We serve at the pleasure of the public. Again, Briggs continuing to compare the Knox County Commission to Congress, the legislature and the President's cabinet continues to fuel the rumors and innuendo that Briggs suffers from Bill Frist syndrome. Meaning that Briggs a heart surgeon has aspirations for higher office like Heart Surgeon Dr. Bill Frist that went from U.S. Senator from Tennessee to become U. S. Senate Majority Leader and is frequently mentioned as a likely candidate for President of the United States.

In the Finance Committee, Anders voted NO. Strickland abstained. The entire Knox County Commission will take up the issue Monday December 14, 2009. The meeting begins at 2:00 p.m.

Register of Deeds Correction

Brian's Blog had contacted Knox County and received the salaries for the positions that are on the ballot in 2010. We received a follow-up voicemail and email yesterday indicating that there was an error in the list provided. The error is the reported salary for the Register of Deeds. The actual salary for the Register of Deeds is $99,736 not the salary we first reported. The Knox County Human Resources official apologized for the error and we understand mistakes sometimes happen.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Need a Job With A Guaranteed Paycheck?

On November 20, 2009 the Knox County Election Commission began handing out qualifying petitions for several county elected offices. You only need 25 registered voters signatures to have your name placed on the ballot. So, if you are elected to one of these jobs, it is a guaranteed paycheck for the term of office that you are elected to. Here are the positions and salaries. Knox County Mayor $154,321.00; Knox County Commissioner $19,835.17; Knox County Trustee $99,748.00; Knox County General Sessions Judge Div. III $154,320.00; Knox County Sheriff $135,236.09; Knox County Circuit, Civil Sessions and Juvenile Court Clerk $117,596.60; Knox County Criminal Court Clerk $109,722.80; Knox County Clerk $99,748.00; Knox County Register of Deeds $122,941.90 and a Knox County School Board Member $19,835.17. In addition the Commissioners and School Board Members receive a travel stipend that pays a combined salary of around $27,000.00 per Commissioner or Board Member. The deadline for filing to be on the ballot for one of these jobs is February 18, 2010.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

A Funny Thing Happened At The Election Commission

The candidates signature was not verified and accepted by the Knox County Election on their nominating petition. She didn't get the BIG check mark of approval for her own petition. Check it out here. Check page 2 signature line 28.

The Bummer of the Christmas 2009 Season

Brian's Blog has just discovered that Community Television of Knoxville will NOT have their Christmas Auction this year. Brian Hornback of Bran's Blog has purchased several Christmas gifts in previous years while also assisting a vital community asset. Bummer indeed.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

NS Reporter Lola Alapo Leaves Out Critical Information in Article

Did you see this News Sentinel article yesterday where the paper through it's reporter Lola Alapo promotes two possible candidates to replace Ninth District School Board Member Robert Bratton. What Alapo left out of this article is that Pam Trainor has previously ran for public office and was soundly rejected in the same Ninth district. Pam Trainor was a Democrat candidate on the 8/6/2004 ballot as Pam Maroney Trainer. She garnered 1,583 votes or 30.02% of the vote. Martin Pleasant an Independent received 435 votes or 8.25%. County Commissioner Paul Pinkston a Republican won the election with 3,255 votes or 61.75% of the vote. In addition to the shoddy journalistic work on Maroney Trainor, Alapo left out that the other possible candidate Tammy Sommers in addition to attending religious observances at Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist, a fellow member of the same organization is School Board Chair Indya Kincannon. This would raise questions concerning the open meetings law with Kincannon and Sommers possibly deliberating at observance functions. Why would Alapo not research the background of two likely candidates prior to publishing the article? The article as presented yesterday left out key information that would shed critical light to the issue it supposedly addresses. School Board Member Robert Bratton will seek re-election.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Indya Kincannon Disclosure Raises Inquiry

Indya Kincannon's disclosure covering January - June 2009 is signed by Kincannon as the candidate and treasurer. That is allowed by law. However, the question is concerning the witnesses to the signatures. The witnesses are her minor children. Clearly the legislative intent in requiring a witness would be an individual of an age of accountability and maturity. Definitions of witness are –verb (used with object) 1. to see, hear, or know by personal presence and perception: to witness an accident. 2. to be present at (an occurrence) as a formal witness, spectator, bystander, etc.: She witnessed our wedding. 3. to bear witness to; testify to; give or afford evidence of. 4. to attest by one's signature: He witnessed her will. –verb (used without object) 5. to bear witness; testify; give or afford evidence. –noun 6. an individual who, being present, personally sees or perceives a thing; a beholder, spectator, or eyewitness. 7. a person or thing that affords evidence. 8. a person who gives testimony, as in a court of law. 9. a person who signs a document attesting the genuineness of its execution. 10. testimony or evidence: to bear witness to her suffering. Previous legal definitions of witness concerning children are; though formerly it was held by some judges that it was a presumption of law that the child was incompetent when he was under seven years of age. Gilb. Ev. 144; 1 East, R. 422; 1 East, P. C. 443; 1 Leach, 199. When the child is under fourteen, he is presumed incapable until capacity is shown; 2 Tenn. Rep. 80; 19 Mass. R. 225; and see 18 John. R. 105; when he is over fourteen he may be sworn without a previous examination. 2 South. R. 589 Clearly the signatures are under the age of fourteen. Now, Administrator McKae makes over $100,000. 00 a year and his Deputy Administrator Frith makes over $80,000.00 and they can not ensure these documents comply with the law.