Apr 23 2010
03:19 pm

What: Concerned Citizens debate
When: Friday, April 30, 2010 - 6:30pm
Where: Knox Expo Center, Clinton Highway

From Elaine Davis:

Please be advised of a scheduled debate of Knox County primary candidates.

HUBERT SMITH will moderate.

This event is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. To date, over 20 local candidates have committed to attending, ANY CITIZEN can ask ANY CANDIDATE ANY QUESTION.

CONTACT: Elaine Davis,

The following list is a list of all candidates invited and the responses received thus far.

Mayoral Race:
No-Bedwell, Robert
No Response-Burchett, Tim
Yes-Cosby, Lewis
Yes-Hutchison, Tim
Yes-Maize, Ezra
Yes-McBath, Michael

No Response-Duncan III, John

Sessions Judge:
Unable to Attend-Long, Patricia

Yes-Hart, Steve
No Response-Jones, J.J.

Circuit, Civil Sessions & Juvenile Court Clerk:
No Response-Quist, Cathy

Criminal & 4th Circuit Court Clerk:
No Response-McCroskey, Joy

County Clerk:
No Response-Arnett, Jr., Foster
Yes-Cole, Debbie

Register of Deeds:
No Response-Witt, Sherry

1st District Commission:
No Response-McKenzie, Sam

2nd District Commission:
Yes-Broyles, Amy
No Response-Daugherty, Don

3rd District Commission:
Out of Town-Norman, Tony

4th District Commission:
Yes-Ownby, Jeff
No Response-Saunders, Finbarr

5th District Commission:
Out of Town--Briggs, Richard

6th District Commission:
No Response-Anders, Brad

7th District Commission:
No Response-Carringer, Michele
Decline-Rogers, Steve
Unable to Attend-Smith, R. Larry
Yes-Williams, Lillian

8th District Commission:
Yes-Bias, Duane
Yes-Wright, Dave

9th District Commission:
Yes-Brown, Mike
Schedule Conflict-Pinkston, Paul

10th District Commission:
No Response-Evans, Eddie
Unable to Attend-Hammond, Mike

11th District Commission:
Yes-Armstrong, Bud
Yes-Moneyhun, Franklyn
Schedule Conflict-Shouse, Ed

1st District School Board:
No Response-Deathridge, Gloria

4th District School Board:
No Response-Fugate, Lynn

6th District School Board:
No Response-Deakins, Thomas

7th District School Board:
Yes-Dorsey, Charlotte
Yes-Jones, Matthew
Yes-Sepesi, Kim
Yes-Warwick, Bill

8th District School Board:
Yes-Boles, Harvey
Yes-Everette, Tommy
No Response-McMillian, Mike
Yes-Mullins, Roy

9th District School Board:
Yes-Bratton, Robert
No Response-Houser, Robert
Schedule Conflict-Sommers, Tammy
Out of Town-Trainor, Pam

Rachel's picture



Hoo boy, THAT sounds like a recipe for disaster.

The first big forum I was involved in was during the Rogero/Haslam election. We took audience question, but had them written down on cards and submitted so we could screen out obnoxious ones.

And it was both amazing and disheartening how many of those there were. All kinds of nastiness and innuendo, directed at both candidates.

I would NEVER help hold a forum where people can ask questions right from the floor.

Anonymously Nine's picture


"I would NEVER help hold a forum where people can ask questions right from the floor."

So we hear so often. That elite attitude is the problem here.

Lisa Starbuck's picture

Asking Questions

I wonder if perhaps taking written questions so that the asker is not identified is why some of the questions were out of bounds? It may be that getting people to directly ask would actually reduce that kind of thing. People seem to be more likely to be snarky or downright mean when they can be anonymous. Fewer people are willing to do it face to face. And I suppose the moderator could cut off anyone who asks inappropriate or irrelevant questions.

Concerned About Perception's picture

It was NOT free for the

It was NOT free for the candidates. Hubert Smith wanted $25 contributions from all the candidates. FOR WHAT?? It is a public building and he did not provide anything else. Who needs this? Don was right, sounds like he is trying to make money off the taxpayer's dime since it was a public building.

Bbeanster's picture

Never play cards with a man

Never play cards with a man named Doc. Never eat at a place called Mom's. And never accept an invitation to a debate put on by an entity called "Concerned Citizens."

This is poorly planned, last-minute and will be attended by crackpots.

Anonymously Nine's picture


"This is poorly planned, last-minute and will be attended by crackpots."

Let them eat cake. Another elitist heard from. You left out "mouth-breathers".

Your man will not be attending Bean. Why will Tim B. not face the public? It has passed ridiculous. And your Dwight Van de Vate impression while comical is wearing a little thin.

Regular people can have debates. Thanks for putting them down. We need more of that.

KnoxCatLady's picture


Please! The most elitist thing stated in this forum recently were your own comments about the reaction of West Knoxville versus that of South and North Knoxville when faced with the threat of facilities for the chronically homeless. You demeaned the people of South and North Knoxville by saying they had not done their research nor had they hired lawyers, etc. The people of South Knoxville fought as hard as they could and there was obviously no recognition on your part of the lack of resources from one part of the community compared to another more affluent area. I really doubt the family who can afford one pair of sneaker for their child loves the child any less than the family who can afford many pairs. You lecture people as if you sit at the right hand of the throne of God almighty, yet you are awfully free with that word - - - elitist.

The area near the Flenniken Elementary School is largely an area where the homes occupied by the residents wouldn't cost as much as the apartments for the chronically homeless. Still, those people have invested their lives there and I don't consider it any less important or meaningful than the finest home in West Knoxville. You've shown no concern or compassion for anyone, save perhaps yourself and your neighbors as far as I can tell.

Somehow everything with you comes back to Tim Burchett, which I cannot fathom. Perhaps I simply don't understand your agenda, but it strikes me as sheer lunacy.

The condescension in your comments fairly oozed. You seem to think you are some sort of tribune of the people; that somehow those folks who disagree with you do so due to evil motives.

I don't like the TYP at all. Like many others here, I dislike the current concept and I think the leadership and execution of the TYP has been, at best, seriously flawed.

And no, not any member of the public has the RIGHT to ask ANY question of any candidate. There is something called decency, and while I doubt you are acquainted with either the word or the concept, simply because one individual decides to have a forum doesn't make it anything of the sort. What has passed the ridiculous is your insistence upon blithely ignoring any FACT contrary to anything you spout.

Anonymously Nine's picture


"You demeaned the people of South and North Knoxville by saying they had not done their research nor had they hired lawyers, etc. "

That is silly and so is the rest of your diatribe. No one did the research the Teaberry group did. That is a fact. Do you dispute it? And Teaberry would have been built if the Meadows Condos had not hired John King to defend them from a large sink hole system that was already threatening their homes. That is a fact.

There isn't a sink hole at Flenniken. Or Minvilla. Get your facts straight. There was no insult to the people of the South or the North. You just made something up.

As far as Burchett goes, he had ducked public appearances. You deny that? He needs to stand up and face the voters. People wonder for good reason why he won't. Supposedly he has knocked on four thousand doors but he can't find time to be at a debate?

You might be interested to know Burchett was invited to the debate on Monday the 19th. On Friday the 23rd invitations to an event at Jim and Jo Mason's home were emailed out. That event will feature Tim Burchett. That event is coincidentally at the exact same time as the debate. So that is awfully convenient. No one is fooled by the subterfuge. Tell your candidate to stop hiding.

My dear friends,

I am writing to invite you to a "Meet and Greet" with State Senator and Arts Caucus member Tim Burchett one week from today, Friday, April 30 from 6:30 to 8:00 PM in the gallery of Jim and Jo Mason's home at 128 South Gay Street in downtown Knoxville. We're fortunate that the Dogwood Arts Festival's wonderful Regional Fine Arts Show will still be on exhibition at the Mason's for all of us to enjoy while we chat with Senator Burchett. Free parking will be available that night in the Market Square Garage, in the Jackson Avenue surface lot between Gay Street and Broadway, on the Gay Street bridge linking the 100 Block to Depot Street, and at Regas Restaurant.

As you may know, Senator Burchett has been a great friend of art and culture and is also a candidate for County Mayor. With election day coming up on May 4, I am very excited to be able to party with Tim during a time when his schedule is so full!

I would be delighted to see you and other friends of art and culture at the Meet and Greet, so please spread the word.

If possible, please RSVP by return e-mail. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to give me a call at (865) 382-6742.

sobi's picture

I would have questions from the floor...

bill young's picture

Ask 'em if ya got 'em

I dont see anything wrong with candidates taking questions..right from the floor..straight from the voters.

Matter of fact I wouldn't have opening statements or questions from the moderator..just go straight to questions from the crowd.

Television & N-S I bet will cover it.

Rachel's picture

Sorry, Bill, but when I'm

Sorry, Bill, but when I'm part of putting on a debate I want to make sure that the audience gets to hear the candidates talk about relevant things.

"Have you stopped beating your wife?" questions serve no one. They're an insult to the candidates, and waste the audience's time.

I wouldn't be so adamant about this if I hadn't seen for myself the kind of questions people submit on index cards.

bill young's picture

Have you stopped beating your wife?

Ask the folks in the 8th school board district...if that is a relevant question.

marytheprez's picture

Hey, speaking of that person, I have a question

Why was there nothing, NADA, in ANY media outlet about the "incident" out there on Tazewell Pike on Friday night? Apparently this local 'pol' continues to get away with...well...almost murder. WHY?

Michael Grider's picture

Can you elaborate?

Can you elaborate?

marytheprez's picture

NO, out of respect for the

NO, out of respect for the victims.

There were several witnesses who watched the whole drama unfold; however investigators avoided to get statements of what happened...then claimed this fool was "asleep at the wheel"...just like his other previous 'incidents' that turned into misdemeanors for this disreputable citizen. He is now at a local hospital, suffering serious wounds as a result of his own rage and stupidity. The 8th District needs to wake up.

reform4's picture

Will it be a gotcha event?

Let's see, who will be the questioners?

I'm sure #9 will get called on.
I'm sure Lennis will get called on.

I can pretty much write the script as to how this is going to go.

Anonymously Nine's picture


I have only one question. Senator Burchett, why are you ducking the public?

Wonder if Burchett will duck Cosby the way he has ducked Hutchison? At some point people might wonder what it is all about?

Lennis's picture

Why are they so scared?

It would appear that the person who asks the questions is more of an issue with these trained poodles than the questions themselves , or the fact that their candidate is too big a coward to face the public and answer the facts.
Burchett voted for Senate bill 1577 and that gave the PBA the power to not take low bids anymore and instead use the "request" method for building contracts. Can you say 20 million cost over run, Steve?
I only respect democrats who are man enough to vote for democrats, not a rino like Burchett, reform4.How is that for gotcha?

CartesianFrog's picture

What Are You Afraid Of ?

The genius of the United States is not best or most in its executives or legislatures, nor in its ambassadors or authors or colleges, or churches, or parlors, nor even in its newspapers or inventors, but always most in the common people.
Walt Whitman

Let the people speak.....

wakeup's picture


I received an email (2 actually) about this-the first email said it was on the 23rd, the 2nd email was 'clarifying' the 1st email, and now its been moved to the 30th? I question the legitimacy of such a poorly organized event. I am surprised any candidates would be able to attend on such short notice-especially 4 days before Election Day.

As for the digit-both Tim's were on Hal Hill, John Becker, and the League of Women Voters debate. There may have been others, but those I can think of off the top of my head.

Anonymously Nine's picture


"As for the digit-both Tim's were on Hal Hill, John Becker, and the League of Women Voters debate. There may have been others, but those I can think of off the top of my head."

Those were not debates. Not by a long shot. You do know the difference don't you?

The hypocrisy, irony, and gall of all this can only be explained by the card I received today in the mail from Tim Burchett. It showed his picture as he stood holding a microphone and pointed to what appeared to be a person in the audience.

Audience? What audience? He won't appear in front of people. It takes some stones to mail that out.

Bravo. The charade is now complete. He is punking us. And you have to wonder.

What is he hiding? Why will he not show?

marytheprez's picture

And All Our DEMs are coming!

And not one of them have complained about this or any other format where they can talk about their issues. And of course this is not near an official 'debate'.
But, hey, it's o.k.

The last 'forum' was not fair, either, since the Democratic Candidates were not asked the same questions as the Republicans. (Of course the moderators didn't dare ask the two "TIMs if they supported NEPOTISM!

But hey, our candidates are ready, willing, and have facts to show that they have what it takes to win...whatever the office!

marytheprez's picture

UPDATE on the Concerned Citizens Debate!

I was very surprised how well this debate went. And I do not remember seeing or hearing from those bloggers who were not there last night. I may be wrong, BUT...
This formate gave all the candidates a fair and equal way to get their points across, talk about their goals and new directions for this city and county...there was no back biting, no insults, no rumors, no mud slung, NADA.
I was disappointed that a few of our Dems and/or leaning Dems could not make it. I asked a question to all the school board candidates (all leaning GOP as far as I know) what they thought about Bill Haslam's GOP plans about education revealed in the paper on Thursday. Of course I didn't specify the objectionable parts, so they all claimed to be clueless. They had all better learn about that because if he wins, he will most certainly try to implement it!
The County Commission and County Mayor candidates spent much time on questions re the "PBA" which was very informative. And the 3 County Mayor candidates who participated seem to have become colleagues and seem to be willing to work together even after the election, no matter the winner...Cosby, Hutchinson and Ezra Maize.

All in all, it was one of the better events!

Tamara Shepherd's picture

I agree with Rachel and Betty

Thanks for volunteering your time to this event, Elaine. I'll try to attend.

As to the event's format, though, I have some personal experience organizing forums of this sort, too, and I agree with Rachel and Betty that, unfortunately, it's necessary to screen attendees' questions for relevance and propriety. A moderator sure does help keep the conversation on point.

Also, when inviting so many candidates as at this event, it's necessary to ensure that all candidates attending get asked one or more questions. A moderator ensures that all candidates get to participate, too.

Provided the moderator is someone attendees will perceive as independent and fair-minded, I sure think you'll find the event works better with his/her help.

(Does the name "Concerned Citizens" relate to our history of local scandals starting with Black Wednesday and going forward, or does it relate to some other concern your group has, specific to the upcoming election? I wondered, too.)

Tamara Shepherd's picture

Mary's comment?

I'm not sure what Mary meant, Michael, but a poster at the KNS site alleged this weekend that Gregg Lonas had his maibox destroyed by Bill Phillips? The poster claimed, I think, that Phillips was injured in the incident? I didn't quite understand the KNS post, either, but this person was asking why KNS hadn't covered the indicent.

I don't know if Gregg lives on Tazewell Pike, nor whether this allegation is related to Mary's comment. I can't easily link the KNS post, either, but it was on that lengthy Lambert-says-Hutchison-led-Black-Wednesday-meeting thread.

Just a guess. Gregg? Or Mary?

marytheprez's picture

And as for me, I am just

And as for me, I am just pointing out that this just another example of how the 'local authorities' do not investigate all crimes in Knoxville and Knox County with the same diligence.

And, in fact, some 'investigations' seem to blame the victims, even when there are witnesses who are more than willing to tell the truth. This has definitely been the policy in District 8, and especially when it has involved the actions of this guilty individual.

I would think the citizens and voters in that area would want to find the truth for themselves. This situation has been going on there for years...yet folks seem to want to ignore it. But when the police records won't tell the truth, and the media won't know who witnessed it, then the status quo continues.

Marytheprez's picture

One more detail for you residents of District 8

OH, I forgot one more detail that those 'protect and serve' people have yet to connect to this, um, driver who, um, 'fell asleep at the wheel:": If your home lost power Friday night/early Saturday, witnesses said the driver was flying...he cut a power pole in half.

Rachel's picture

I agree with Rachel and Betty

I agree with Rachel and Betty that, unfortunately, it's necessary to screen attendees' questions for relevance and propriety.

I didn't even get the relevance part, and that's also important. Here's a perfect example - somebody always want to know what local candidates will do about abortion. The answer is nothing, because local candidates have nothing to do with abortion policy. But still, people will press them on it.

There's also the "are you a Christian" question.

Rachel's picture

That's supposed to read "get

That's supposed to read "get TO the relevance part".

Be Serious's picture

Burchett is a fake

Barbie Carringer just canceled at the last moment. Word is Burchett wanted a low turnout to hide his not showing so he has called around to tell people not to show. This guy is so much like Rags. Another gutless wonder.

Bbeanster's picture

Perhaps they've heard those

Perhaps they've heard those rumors the organizer and her friends are spreading about Burchett and his family.

Anonymously Nine's picture


"Perhaps they've heard those rumors the organizer and her friends are spreading about Burchett and his family."

So now you are spreading rumors. Nice.

Anonymously Nine's picture


"Is there anything that you can say that isn't stupid?"

metulj thinks he is smarter than everyone else.

Bbeanster's picture

Play dumb, Nine. you do it so

Play dumb, Nine. you do it so well.
Why aren't you at the "debate"?

Anonymously Nine's picture


"Why aren't you at the "debate"?"

Still seeking the elusive Burchett. Where is he? "Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego" was a great game. The new game is "Where in the world is Tim Burchett"?

Do you think he had a sudden case of debatitis?

wakeup's picture

the digit

Does ANY body on these forums like, respect, or hell, even listen to a thing this guy NumberNine says? I mean I feel like he's someone that the website pays just to antagonize everyone else in order to sell advertising based on webhits.

Anonymously Nine's picture


Best conspiracy theory ever. I'm in on it with R. Neal. I take it you are new here?

wakeup's picture

No, R. Neal seems smarter

No, R. Neal seems smarter than that. But I don't know what 'real employer' would put up with your antics of posting every 10 mins on any website you can get to post your mindboggling agenda. Are you still sad over losing your 'body of work'?

JHayes's picture

I wholeheartedly agree with Rachel, Beanster, etc.

Unscreened/Unregulated forums are always setup for disasters. Years back, I was at a forum where they asked one of the candidates whether or not he liked women (by the way, this was a man who was long time married man with children, so it was completely ridiculous to begin with), but the forum was as much to blame as the question itself. Also, I was at a forum about ten years ago, where someone asked any incredibly racist comment that nearly caused the room to explode. (I failed to leave the names out, just in case some of you know the incidents I am talking about, I don't want to revisit the issue)

Nonetheless, I had an acquaintance who told me that the event at the expo center yesterday was not very well attended, as compared to city council forum moderated by hubert smith last year.

marytheprez's picture

THIS forum/debate was quality information/not like past 'shows'

It is sad that so few voters are even interested in this mid-term, local election. It will decide who will be County Mayor to oversee the County Finances, programs AND budget. It will place folks on the NEW, smaller County Commission who will, in turn, VOTE on the Budget! Vote on how the PBA would operate. Vote on industrial parks! It will elect new members of the Knox County School Board who make decisions on hirings and firings, the SB Budget and more. And the County Trustee is responsible for collection of County Taxes, investments of same.

I suppose this County is just so tired of the last few years of perjury, embezzlement, lies, purchase cards scandals, no integrity, dishonor and term limits issues (that made the WSJ), that they will either stay home and not vote, or follow the practice of continuing to elect the good ole boys.

It is shameful that the numbers of registered voters in this County, over 300,000, can only turn out a fraction who actually vote. To vote in this country is an honor and a privilege. And those who refuse to vote have NO right to criticize any elected official, no matter how disreputable. I suggest that voters consider new candidates with proven leadership skills, integrity, and new ideas for positive change here. I urge folks to vote for positive change and do away with years of corrupt, arrogant government officials. It is time to be proud of our County government, not embarrassed by the 'on the take' pols we have elected again and again.

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