Saturday, July 31, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Here is to Tim Burchett for breaking free from the past and setting The New Direction. If I am in town, I will be with Tim.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
I get tired of hearing how I make people mad. How I am combative, New Jersey Governor Christie was asked a similar question. He answered it as only I wished I had. So, sign me up for the Governor Christie's of the world.
I have witnessed the Zach Wamp campaign and had some volunteer part in it for all 19 months. When we are together and when Zach has met members of my family, he speaks value for me into my family members.
As I have been attacked personally and in social media venues, I have let it go because I have been active for 28 years as a VOLUNTEER in the grassroots Republican politics. There is one friendship that has been severed and will likely not be salvaged, that is sad. But I defend Zach, Kim, Weston and Coty as if they are my family because they have become part of my extended family. I have created so many friendships because of this campaign. Friendships that stretch from Mountain City to Jackson. For some reason, I haven't picked up new friends west of Jackson, that's odd.
As a former elected official in Knox County, as a former Knox County Republican Party Chairman, I coulda taken the road that all the traffic traveled. I could have endorsed Bill, but I couldn't and wouldn't. I coulda sat quietly by while this Governor's race got into full swing. I didn't. It ain't my style. I chose my road, I feel good about our team. This is a campaign that in 28 years, I will look back and say "that is the one" That is the one campaign where I believed in my candidate and he believed in me. This campaign for me is the same as the first campaign that got a 16 year old kid up off the couch in 1982 and put him out putting up signs and distributing bumper stickers. That man in 1982 was Robin Beard, running for the U.S. Senate against Jim Sasser. I didn't get to know Robin Beard, I was just another kid in the crowd.
As for this campaign, I know Zach, Kim, Weston, Coty, Bonnie, Rick Tucker, Brad, Adria and Holland, Justin, Linda, Brad, Darrell and Deb, Jenci, Christy, Tracy, Big Poppa, Anthony, Susie and Kevin, Lisa and Dave, Diane, John and Christy, Ken and Nancy, Elaine, Bubba. There are a couple of young guys, Dale and Raleigh. Of course my three kids along with Andy and Ryan. These are new family members. I know that I have left some people off and it wasn't intentional, so I apologize now. This is not just another political campaign, it has been a life journey, it has been the dance that Garth Brooks sang about. There are 10 days left before the polls close at 8 p.m. EST on Thursday August 5, 2010, it is a life journey and I can't wait to take these friendships to the next step.
So, to conclude this blog post, I could have taken the road most traveled in Knoxville and Knox County. But I sure am glad that I didn't.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Saturday, July 24, 2010
So, as my friend Senator Lamar Alexander and Tom Ingram's old boss quotes Alex Haley, "find the good and praise it." I did that in finding a quote that Tom and I can agree on and praising it.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Mayor Rudy from another view.
My Hero, Zig Ziglar. He was accompanied by "the redhead" his wife and their daughter Julie. His presentation was classic Zig. I have read and listened to Zig for over 25 years.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
First, as KnoxGOP Chairman from 2005-2007. The Supreme Court ruling came down after the primary filing deadline in 2006 that the voters term limit decision was in effect. The decision was made to ask supposedly Republican Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam and one of our non contested Republican office holders to serve as Chairs of the 2006 Knox County Lincoln Day Dinner. So, I contacted Haslam and his response was that he had better not as he is a non partisan Mayor and did not want to offend the Democrats. So, the view that the party needed him but he declined to assist the party was set into motion. The party went on to be successful at the Lincoln Day Dinner and at the ballot box in spite of the non partisan "Orange Ballot Initiative". Haslam did not begin attending Lincoln Day Dinners until he announced for Governor, last year.
Secondly, in 2006 as KnoxGOP Chairman I supported BIG Jim Bryson for Governor and the Republican nominee Bob Corker for United States Senate. We beat Harold Ford, Jr. but was not successful with electing Bryson. Having been on the inside of the Bryson campaign it was obvious that the Republicans needed a strong candidate, like Bryson not someone that would cower from a position and someone that possesses a firm set of beliefs and principles.
In May 2007, six months following the November 2006 after looking at candidates with statewide appeal. I declared that if Third District United States Congressman Zach Wamp would run then I would support him for election as Governor. This was before Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam was even reelected to a second four year term as Mayor of Knoxville.
Thirdly, as I look at a Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam he still has a year and a half in his current term as Knoxville Mayor to complete. Knoxville is on the verge of taking a turn that could undo all that Haslam has begun and that would be devastating. Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey still has two years remaining on his four year term as State Senator. He should be able to complete his term, as the legislature is hanging on by a Republican majority thread. As a Republican, I believe we should be servant leaders of our word and that means completing the terms of office that we told the citizens we would serve.
As I look at Congressman Wamp, I see a servant leader like I strive to be. A man of conviction that does not cower from his world view.
I see a servant leader that has a 100% pro-life position. I see a servant leader that has a second amendment record far superior to a Mayor that would punish handgun carry permit holders from protecting themselves in city parks. The only thing that a Wamp opponent can point to is the TARP vote. He was informed (wrongly I might add) that the citizens he represents would be without access to their cash, checking accounts and credit. But, don't take my word for it, let the Congressman explain the TARP vote to you. The question and subsequent answer is asked at 4:39 of this video.
For all of these reasons, I have been backing Zach Wamp since he announced for Governor nearly 19 months ago. Yes, I have passionately defended my candidate and his family. Yes, I have passionately pointed out the differences and inconsistencies of his opponents. So, until August 5, 2010 I will continue passionately supporting and backing Zach. I believe that when you hitch your truck to a wagon you do not change.
As a disclosure, Wamp, Bill Gibbons and Ron Ramsey all contacted me about their candidacies and asked for my assistance. I informed Gibbons and Ramsey that my decision for Wamp was firm, my commitment rock solid. Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam nor any of "his" people contacted me about supporting him in his run for Governor. Although, he has mailed me many invitations to fund raisers and receptions.
I ask all my family, friends, loyal Brian's Blog readers to Vote for Zach Wamp in the upcoming Republican primary. Early Voting is underway until July 31, 2010 or on Election Day August 5, 2010.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
This week, 11 months after Big Red was commissioned and put to work, the Haslam campaign began leasing a bus and as copy cat as it is began traveling their paid campaign staffers on the leased bus. Don't you bet that the Pilot Coca-Cola Wagon lease includes a paid driver with the little chauffeur attire.
Note how the sun is shining on Big Red brighter than it is on the Coca-Cola Wagon.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
In the near future Johnny Pirkle (owner of the 100.3 FM signal) and Ed Brantley (former legendary Knoxville radio broadcaster and Former Citadel Broadcasting Executive) are expected to begin a station that will begin broadcasting on the 100.3 FM airwaves. The word on the street is that 100.3 FM under Pirkle and Brantley will either be country music or a talk station format. It has been reported to Brian's Blog that office space has been secured by them in the Downtown West area. I am pulling for Pirkle and Brantley and if they can secure the Fred Thompson Show, that would be the icing on the cake.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Here is Brad's letter in it's entirety.
Weekend talking-heads, reporters, and editors seem to be casual Haslam for Gov campaign volunteers as dismissive stonewalling continues. "Trust us. Move along. Nothing to see here." is the reply to any question of transparency. We know little to nothing about certain conflicts-of-interest ahead for the Haslam family, which could control this state. In addition to Mayor Bill's "conservative" conflicts like raising taxes before cutting them, joining the Bloomberg gun-control campaign for 3 years prior to running for Gov., documented gambling license ownership, and allowing for insulting treatment of property owners (former owner of Transit Center property, TYP targeted communities, Midway residents, etc.)...he and his family has been given a virtual free pass by almost all local media.
This campaign for Gov is a Haslam family affair, so the non-disclosure responses fall flat. With considerable connections, intimidating calls for support (2 that I know of), and endless cash potential, this is a family mission. However, refusing to be transparent about financial relationships, income tax returns, business partnerships, and the depth of conflicts-of-interests is unacceptable. You don't need to be a CPA to understand that most of Pilot Oil sales revenues and profits are generated from multiple state-regulated products (fuel, booze, and smokes), state-advertised "for the kids" lottery gaming, AND negotiable state and national contracts....trust us, move along, nothing to see here. Hiding business and state-regulated financial interests is an unbelievable insult to our collective intelligence and should disqualify any candidate for any state office.
Moreover, in a community where legitimate journalists and editors broke their backs for full-disclosure and transparency, pressed for the truth, and exposed corruption scandals of just a few years ago...a yawn of indifference is given daily to the most powerful family and their lack of full transparency. Every single media outlet must be paralyzed by the remarkable influence of Pilot Oil family interests and the many related businesses and business partners they have created and continue to bankroll. Most assuredly, the Pulitzer and Edward R. Murrow award folks probably won't be looking at Knoxville's coverage of this year's campaign for Governor for honors and recognition.
I just cannot shake the words of the wise, old Haslam PR sage and weekend talking head, who was extremely prophetic with me when she said, "Brad, remember the Golden Rule...he, who has the gold, makes the rules". In this media market, it seems that she was spot-on. However, I hope and pray that the lock for a distant 3rd place finish in gold and votes, Ron Ramsey, will see what is unfolding here and allow for a 2-man race that is decided by a majority of Tennessee Republicans. Then, Lt. Gov Ramsey can enjoy his renewed place as Lt. Gov of an innovative, fiscally conservative, leaner, and completely transparent state government next year.
Zach talking and interacting with all the folks that attended the early vote rally.
Due to the economy, I have not sought or accepted any campaign contributions. In fact I have returned contributions encouraging folks to send them to contested Republican candidates. My opponent has accepted contributions and has spent considerable dollars to manufacture name identification. His contributions have come from individuals that have a special interest in having a spokesperson to advance their agenda.
I am a REPUBLICAN Independent, I registered t vote the day after I turned 18, in 1984.I have voted in EVERY election since 1984 and I have voted in the REPUBLICAN primary in EVERY election since 1984.
Check the campaigns facebook page, here.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
District 1 Sam McKenzie (D)
District 3 Tony Norman (R)
District 4 Finbarr Saunders (D) or Jeff Ownby (R)
District 5 Dr. Richard Briggs (R)
District 6 Brad Anders (R)
District 7 R. Larry Smith (R) or Steve Rogers (I)
District 8 David Wright(R)
District 9 Mike Brown (R)
District 10 Mike Hammond (R)
Knox County Commission will surely miss Richard "Bud" Armstrong from District 8. He is an advocate for his district. While the School Board and Superintendent are upset with his recent actions regarding the Carter Elementary School renovation / new school construction. Armstrong is simply doing what he promised the eighth district that he would do. He promised to be an advocate for the eighth district first and he has kept that promise. When Bud Armstrong sought the Republican nomination at a district convention, we saw real promise in him. On August 19, 2008 we declared here that he was "The Right Choice for the Eighth District." On September 2, 2008 here we Congratulated him on being selected as the nominee as we covered the nomination convention. On March 16, 2009 we reported here the humorous side of Richard "Bud" Armstrong. On October 20, 2009 we reported here the thoughtful analysis that Bud Armstrong often brought to County Commission discussions. On February 15, 2010 Bud Armstrong here spoke just before the BIGGEST Breaking News in Knox County Republican politics ever. On April 10, 2010 here we covered Bud Armstrong on the campaign trail. On May 18, 2010 here we covered how Bud Armstrong handled his election results the right way.
So, it is always good to know that the first impression you have of someone plays out exactly as you saw that person. Bud Armstrong was a joy to follow. Bud Armstrong may not be on Commission after September 1. But you can beat he will still be advocating for the eighth district until August 31, 2010 at 11:59:59 p.m. and if I were a betting man I beat he will still be advocating for the eighth district after September 1, 2010. Here I wish Bud well and say Bud you will be missed on Knox County Commission.
Today, Knox County mayoral candidate Tim Burchett marked one year of campaigning.
Burchett said, "For the past 12 months I have had the privilege of meeting with citizens from all 94 precincts of this county. I have heard their concerns and their goals for Knox County and am more confident than ever that working together we can move our county in a new and better direction."
During this time, Senator Burchett has knocked on over 5,000 doors, participated in four county-wide forums with opponents, met with numerous citizen groups and organizations and led an extensive grassroots volunteer effort to carry his vision for Knox County's future. The key issues Senator Burchett has emphasized over the past year are restoring trust to county government, supporting job growth, fiscal responsibility and helping to ensure that education dollars are prioritized to the classroom.
Burchett added, "I have walked door-to-door on days when the temperature was almost 100 degrees and when there were 3 inches of snow on the ground. I believe voters deserve to know a candidate is committed to meeting with them personally and the best way to do that is going to them and having a conversation."
With early voting beginning on Friday, July 16th, Senator Burchett looks forward to continuing to agressively reach out to voters throughout Knox County. This will include continued door-to-door campaigning, multiple GOTV events and media forums sponsored by WATE, WNOX and WBIR.
Early voting runs from July 16 - July 31 and Election Day is August 5, 2010.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
Photographers S. Daniel Carter and Dan Andrews capturing photos of the Gubernatorial candidates representatives.
Knox County Circuit Court Judge Dale Workman auctioning off the donated desserts. I donated a large Chocolate Chip Cookie cake that had red icing "VOTE GOP" on the cookie. I bought it and donated it to the club, it was sold for $15, the money going directly to the club.
Daryl Luna representing and speaking for Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey.
Coty Wamp, daughter of Congressman Zach and Kim Wamp representing her father Third District United States Congressman Zach Wamp.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
On Friday afternoon, I received an email from Sandra Clark, Scripps employed Shopper reporter giving me an advance column that will post to the Scripps Shopper News website today and will be in the print edition tomorrow. Many people have asked about the history of Sandra Clark and Brian's Blog. This is as fine a time as ever to give the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I was elected to the Knox County School Board in March of 2000, I took the oath of office and began my service on September 1, 2000. During that election cycle, she launched and executed a considerable effort in defeating Eighth District school board member Steve Hunley. In her stories and editorials she called him many names. But at that time she owned the paper and it was hers. So Hunley was gone. But Hornback came along. She immediately set her attention toward me and on March 19, 2001 in a news story was her first assault on me. She reported that "I was a amiable young school board member. Perhaps it's just because he pops a Valium before meetings" Here is the news story.
I have never been prescribed or consumed any type of medication like Valium. At the time, Sandra Clark owned the Shopper and members of the management team at the News Sentinel informed me that this was an obvious news story with malicious intent. At that time and even today I accept that I am a public figure and did not challenge her on it. I can only assume that March 2001 being the one year anniversary of my election is what caused her to launch this attack. For the next three and a half years she along with her reporter Betty Bean wrote and published other stories like this one but never crossing the line as she did in the March 2001 story.
In 2004 when I ran for re-election they had spent 3.5 years printing articles that were misleading. With a BIG Democrat Presidential primary bringing the Democrats out to vote and George W. Bush not being challenged seriously for the Republican primary in February 2004. It was obvious that the Democrats voted for the individual that actually cast her Democrat vote that day for the non partisan school board race. So, yes I lost. No big deal. I knew that I was only assured of one term and accomplished the recognition of Memorial Day for school employees, the cell phone policy, the purchase of the Carter school property on Strawplains Pike, the hiring of Barber and McMurry Architects and a design for the new Cedar Bluff Elementary School.
In December 2004, I decided to seek the position of Knox County Republican Party Chairman. The selection would occur in March 2005 and in February 2005 Sandra Clark asked that I meet with her at Litton's restaurant in North Knoxville. I did. Actually it was Sandra, Jake Mabe and myself. At that meeting Sandra stated to me that "they" the paper would support me for Chairman. At that point I was unopposed for the position. But, Sandra said "bygones be bygones, you have my support." On the Monday following my Saturday selection and several weeks after the election she wrote very scathing articles about me and the transition (or lack thereof) due to the former Chairman not assisting in a transition. She even reported the next week after my election as Chairman that I along with my family were vacationing at the Florida vacation town of Former President Richard Nixon. I was with my family in Florida. But I was not at Key Biscaine. This has caused me concern that they would attempt to discover and report my personal whereabouts.
A short time later in a Knoxville News Sentinel story it is revealed that Sandra was sending emails to the former chairman the day of my election calling me "a perfect idiot" along with other names. At this point I had determined not to interact, respond or have any dealings with Sandra. Along about the time of the News Sentinel email story hit the News Sentinel. Sandra had relinquished ownership of the Shopper to Scripps, the News Sentinel's parent company making her an employee of the paper. In August 2006 Betty Bean authored a three part series called County Confidential. In one of the three parts there was numerous false statements written about me. I contacted Sandra's boss and the week of Thanksgiving he, Sandra and I met in a News Sentinel conference room. We discussed County Confidential and I was given the opportunity to respond. Over the holidays I responded and in January 2007 the Shopper made my statement available. Here is the link to the correction (that Clark's Scripps Management forced to be printed and posted online) regarding the August 2006 error filled "County Confidential" series that Betty Bean authored.
Also, coming out of that meeting an agreement was reached that any future articles, editorials etc. would be sent to me prior to publication. That is why Sandra sent me the column on Friday that will appear tonight online and in tomorrows publication. It is nice to see that Sandra has kept that agreement. The funny thing in that meeting, Sandra's boss was asking about our history. I had explained that at the age of 23, I ran against a 23 year incumbent for County Commission and I lost by 112 votes. Sandra quickly said "and I supported you in that race" I said that is not true. I told she and her boss that it was a three way race and that Sandra supported the female that came in a distant third. Sandra put her head down and said "oh yeah."
As for the name calling of "tabloid bully editor girl" for Sandra and "tabloid bully girl" for Betty. I have never referred to Larry Van Guilder as "tabloid bully boy". He picked that moniker up and actually used it as a blog for himself. But why did I do that? Sandra over the years has nicknamed Sheriff Tim Hutchison, County Mayor Mike Ragsdale, former School Board Member Steve Hunley, former School Board Member Chuck James and former Knox County employee Tyler Harber were nicknamed in the Shopper. The James / Harber situaton sent the television stations to the Shopper and Sandra refused to speak to the television news reporters and the next week was forced by Scripps management to apologize. Both Sandra and Betty have called me the "truth squat" from when Brian's Blog was termed "The Truth Squad". I thought it would be funny to turn the tables on her and Betty. Should I have resorted to their tactics? No. Am I sorry that I have resorted to her tactics? Yes. Has it set me apart in the Knoxville blogosphere and kept me at the top in social media? Yes. Do I receive lots of compliments from elected officials, politicos and Scripps employees for the tactic? Yes.
Interesting to note is the recent actions of Betty Bean that I blogged about here in early April this year. It seems that Bean has been checking (ie. stalking) my facebook page where a photo of me was published where I am attempting a fist bump and the ring on my finger is visible. On the day that Karl Rove came to town to autograph his books, she takes a shot on knoxviews saying that she bet "truth squat (which is her nickname for me) and Karl Rove were clinking pinky rings" The picture of me doing the fist bump was taken on February 27, 2010. Her post was on April 6, 2010. So obviously Bean and likely Sandra are continuing to monitor my public and personal activities (even though I had blocked them from the facebook page some time ago)
As for the part of Sandra's column where she discusses former Black Wednesday County Commissioner Jack Huddleston accosting me (the News Sentinel reporters term) (here is the News Sentinel link to the story) at an April 2010 Knox County Election Commission meeting. I have been advised to refrain from making comments on that situation and incident at this time.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Friday, July 09, 2010
McMillan attempted to agitate Mullins in very pointedly stating that Mullins is better suited as Superintendent than as a board member. McMillan also stated that Mullins was inconsistent in his position on the Carter school by accepting a plan that supported renovation and not a new school. Mullins stated that the decision was made by the board and not him. Mullins stated that he had concerns during his last stint as Interim Superintendent but was told by the Board Chair, not to worry about it, that they could wait till the new Superintendent is hired and see if he/she had the same concern, since he was just temporary.
McMillan challenged Mullins for a perceived lack of action and asked if it was because he was afraid. Mullins made the bold statement that considering current challenges and economic climate he might support tax increases to fund schools. McMillan stated that he would not support any tax increases.
Both candidates said that they feel the school system as a whole teaches to the test. Both candidates support term limits for school board members. Neither candidate feels that year round school will benefit the budget. Both candidates do not support giving the school board taxing authority.
Cortney Piper was the moderator. Near the conclusion of the debate she stipulated that this would be a lighting round in which a yes or no answer was all that was required and then she asked who represents Holston Middle School. An obvious question that would not be adequately answered with a yes or no. Piper then stated that she would read the questions before reading the instructions for answering them.
While we appreciate our correspondent filing in for Brian's Blog. Shopper News had two reporters present. That is an interesting allocation of an existing snails crew.
Roy Mullins will be the guest this evening on One on One with Hubert Smith on Community Television of Knoxville, Comcast Channel 12 at 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, July 08, 2010
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
Here is the link to Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. Here on January 4, 2009 Smith was critical of Congressman Duncan's actions. Here is a May 16, 2010 article from the Chattanooga Times Free Press where Smith was critical of Congressional activity. The author of this article even identifies Smith as a former Democrat candidate for Congress from Knoxville, TN. Why can the City of Knoxville not research this? If Mayor William Edward Haslam has been active in Republican politics as he says he has, why did he not remember Smith's background?
Second, I have received several phone calls from county elected officials informing me that they are receiving requests (even heavy handed requests) to endorse for an ad.
It seems that Tennessee's "Bobby Ewing" is getting desperate. How much money will Tennessee's "Jock" and "J.R." be forced to pay to elect son and brother "Bobby"?
Tuesday, July 06, 2010
A closed First Tennessee bank on Clinton Highway.
The closed Goody's headquarters and distribution center on Parkside Drive in West Knox County.
In addition, This tidbit from the June 30, 2010 of the Knoxville News Sentinel about First Tennessee Bank's move to Blount County and states "45 of the bank's Knoxville employees who work in technology purchasing and remote check capture will be relocated to the Maryville site." So, William Haslam has lost 45 employees from Knoxville in the past week. How about how he lost H.T. Hackney to Roane County,TN.
Evidently, the Knoxville Mayor in addition to having connections to video poker slot machine operations and possessing the honor of being the 4th largest retailer of lottery tickets. He also has support from the palm reading and card reading industry.
While I do believe that there will be a lot of Democrats voting for William Edward Haslam in the Republican Primary on August 5, 2010, like this one from this post on Brian's Blog June 8, 2010. There is NO way that South Knox Bubba will vote in the Republican Primary. That would be like me voting in a Democrat Primary, that hasn't happened in any election since I registered to vote right after I turned 18 years old in 1984. I have voted in EVERY election since I registered in 1984 and voted REPUBLICAN in every primary since 1984. So, So. Knox Bubba ain't gonna vote for William Edward Haslam, I didn't take the bait earlier and I ain't buying it now. It was kinda funny, though.