Apr 9 2008
12:10 pm
By: R. Neal  shortURL

Knox GOP in disarray:

But this is the Knox County GOP - it stands for big government and personal gain over smaller government and liberty for Tennesseans everywhere. Heck, at a recent gathering, it was actually discussed that candidates should pay into the Knox County GOP coffers, as the county party is looking at bankruptcy due to its lack of a fundraiser (other counties hold Lincoln Days to raise money- the Knox County version has nothing to do with the county party, as per the Tennessee Republican Party and my own investigation). Given its failures, I am strongly considering bringing the matter to the State Executive Committee at its next meeting in July, as the local party needs to be demolished and rebuilt from the ground up.

Lots more at the link. Sounds like the county organization is in even worse shape than the state and national GOP.

RayCapps's picture

A House Divided....

I think a Republican president borrowed that phrase from the bible in a speech once. That seems to be case with the Knox County GOP right now with their own not-at-all-civil war, and I suspect it's having an adverse effect on collections.

I really wish someone would come up with a program guide so I could better follow who's on whose side in that struggle and how the media shakes out. I know the KNS is dedicated to the destruction of the element of county commission tied to the former sherriff, and I know that AM radio show VoiceSouth is dedicated to the destruction of Ragsdale. WBIR seems to be more aligned with the KNS, the ShopperNews appears more aligned with VoiceSouth, Frank Cagle is actually on VoiceSouth in addition to his articles in the Pulse... WATE seems more neutral. It's kind of like having CNN and FOX at the local level... just watch/listen/read whoever is telling the "truth" you want to hear.

jbr's picture

Doesn't WBIR and the News

Doesn't WBIR and the News Sentinel have a formal relationship? I just assumed their perspectives were always in sync.

Pam Strickland's picture

Others can probably address

Others can probably address this in more detail. However, the relationship between WBIR and KNS is, to my understanding about news content not editorial opinion content. They work on joint projects re more in depth reports. And they appear to have what I would call a media sponsorship agreement in that each outlet gives the other some prime real estate to promote their products.

WBIR doesn't have an editorial stance, that I can tell. KNS has their own editorial stance.

In a perfect world, editorial stance has nothing to do with news content.

Pam Strickland

"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be." ~Kurt Vonnegut

SteveMule's picture

Why is the Knox GOP broke?

Why is the Knox GOP broke? Can't someone over there take personal responsibilty for all this and straighten it out? What is so complicated about fiscal responsibility? You can't spend more than you earn. Come on GOP'ers!! You guys have the best slogans and sound bites! So ... someone over there LEAD!!!

Take Care, Be Good and don't play in the street!


KC's picture

the relationship between

the relationship between WBIR and KNS is, to my understanding about news content

They have news content?

Anonymous's picture

Knox County GOP

Speaking as a Republican, it seems to me that the ineptitude of the Knox County GOP is a hangover-like symptom resulting from 3 decades of dominance by a tyrant- Tim Hutchison. He managed to become the party "head," but couldn't care less about the party. Sycophantic Hutchison supporters turned a blind eye to his tyranny, but the cost is that an entire generation of potential Knox County GOP leaders have tuned out because they are turned off to Hutchison's antics, now supplemented by that of Ragsdale, Moore and Company.

The result is that the 20-something to Gen X younger and middle aged talent does not want to get involved, or feels shut out. So, the few who do get involved, like the Hornbacks and Moores, are mediocre or worse, because there is a leadership vacuum. Tindell is the rare exception to that. Most of the current "leadership" consists of inept left-behinders who have hung around long enough to take leadership positions b/c no one else wants those positions. Huddleston's article is a reflection of that frustration by a young, gifted Knox County GOP resident who is dying to get involved but is shut out. Former party stalwart Aubrey Jenkins would have embraced someone like Huddleston in a New York minute and made him an ally. The paranoia, egotism and magalomania in Tim Hutchison would see someone like Huddleston as a threat.

The failure lies with the older GOPers who have allowed a contemporary tyrant to dominate the party for going on 3 decades, until the party has become irrelevant to its younger members who object to that but are in a small minority. The long-term result will be that younger GOPers will remain loyal Republicans in the national elections, but will be more independent locally. Yes, Democrats, that means more offices for you.

Don't expect a recovery for decades at least. The old-school Hutchison sycophants who dominate the Knox County GOP can't even schedule an annual dinner, so how are they going to recover from a demographic sea-change?

Anonymously Nine's picture

Couldn't help but notice you

Couldn't help but notice you did not mention Mike Ragsdale or Mike Arms in your manifesto. Or for that matter Big Jim Haslam. There are several groups in the local GOP. It is a big tent. A dysfunctional big tent but a big tent none the less. The Hutchison group can get along with the Haslam group, the Ragsdale group can get along with no one including themselves.

Watching local Dem's fight I don't see much difference. Another dysfunctional big tent. In August we find out which partisan group is most dysfunctional.

Anonymous's picture

Hornback has not been the

Hornback has not been the Chairman for over a year now. If Huddleston wants a greater voice, he should run for Chairman in 11 months.

KC's picture

I think what's hurting the

I think what's hurting the Knox GOP, especially among younger voters, is the same thing that's hurting the GOP and Democrats nationwide: more voters, especially younger generations, consider themselves Independent and not aligned with either party.

Which is why the presidential campaigns are focusing on Independents, and why Sen. Obama's campaign, most notably, is trumpeting his support among Independents.

O'Neil was partly right when he said that all politics is local, but in age of instant communications, Youtube, and 24 hours news, national trends are having a huge impact on local politics and party politics.

Sandra Clark's picture

GOP politics

Interesting discussion. For my two cents, Hornback spent the money Chad Tindell raised for the GOP and didn't replenish the larder. He failed at the most basic task of a party chair -- did he leave the job better or worse than he found it?

Brian left $312 in the party treasury.

Those like myself, who have been around forever, recall that the Lincoln Day Dinner previously was the major fund-raiser for the county party. During R. Larry Smith's one-term tenure as party chair, the LDD was taken away by the county officeholders because they wanted the proceeds to benefit candidates, not the sign-printing, banner-making, letterhead producing p.r. type stuff that Smith was buying.

Ironically, I supported Larry over his then-foe Tim Burchett. Larry won the party chair's race and Burchett went on to win election as state representative and then state senator.

Gosh, had Tim beaten Larry, we might have seen Burchett selling insurance and Smith in the State Senate. Be careful what you wish for! -- s.

gonzone's picture


Karma's a bitch ain't it Cas Walker's crew?

One thing is for sure, you can NEVER EVER trust a Republican with your money.

*(Whiny Ass Titty Babies)

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
Hunter S. Thompson

redmondkr's picture

Reading this thread has been

Reading this thread has been a bit like reading The Hobbit. I keep wondering when Bilbo will awaken Smaug.

Visit us at

The Home

SteveMule's picture

it's ALIVE!!!

Yes, it is true! Bilbo has awoken Smaug!

Take Care, Be Good and don't play in the street!


Rachel's picture

The previous Chairman had

The previous Chairman had the party in throws of disunity. - Hornback

Hey, CBT, how did that work? If this where the saying about not trusting someone further than you could throw an elephant came from?

CBT's picture

Rachel, my record as

Rachel, my record as Chairman speaks for itself. Record fundraising, winning elections, more people involved, a first-ever Knox GOP website, an expansive email list, weekly email newsletters and opening and funding a permanent GOP office.

If I knew how to insert a picture here, I would respond to the 'disunity' comment.

lovable liberal's picture

Would that picture include

Would that picture include the words, "See figure 1"? Pretty please!

Liberty and justice for all.

My home

CBT's picture

I learned from a friend that

I learned from a friend that my response above caused Mr. Hornback to post accusations on his blog which he says showed disunity in the Knox GOP while I was chairman. Since this is where the topic was raised, I thought I'd respond here (plus, Brian screens comments on his blog).

Brian fails to address (as brought up by someone other than me) why he crippled the Party by leaving only $312 in the Party's account, while spending the $18,000 or so I left behind. He also fails to acknowledge the accomplishments of the many while I was Chairman, including the fundraising events I organized which were headed by all county wide GOP officeholders (including a major event co-chaired together by Mayor Ragsdale and then Sheriff Hutchison).

Hornback's supposed proof of disunity? He claims I should have intervened more publicly in the Stokes - Hagood race which, at times and apparently due to Mr. Hornback's friend Tyler Harber, turned quite nasty. It's obvious Mr. Hornback has no idea what conversations and meetings I had with the candidates, those candidates' supporters and state GOP leaders, both here and in Nashville. And, if he thinks that race showed 'disunity', he needs to review the results. It seems to me that about 75% of Republicans 'unified' behind Senator Hagood.

Mr. Hornback brought me into this discussion to deflect criticism pointed at him. As I said, my record speaks for itself. So does Brian's.

BH's picture


my information came from one of the candidates, that you did not intervene in the nasty dispute.

Tyler Harber was not my advisor in my 2000 or 2004 campaign. The only time he assisted was when I ran for Chairman.

The record reveals that he was your advisor when you ran for Chairman in 2005 and according to you managed the GOP Roster book. So he was more of an advisor to you than me.

CBT's picture

Brian, I thought it best for

Brian, I thought it best for the Party not to inject itself into a Republican Primary race. That was based on extensive conversations and sound advice from members of the local Executive Committee, the State Republican Party and others. While the candidates and a few others knew about the scurilous statements by some involved in that campaign, few members of the general public did. It's like the proverbial cow pie, if you stir it up it might just stink more. That would not have been good for the candidates, their supporters or the Republican Party.

As for me, I did speak at length with those involved in that race about the tone of the discussion and some of the statements being made. I think time has proven my decision right. It is remembered as a contentious race, but few remember the ugliness. Frankly, it's best to leave such things in the past.

If I can get Mike Ragsdale and Tim Hutchison to join together as Event Chairs (all other county wide GOP elected officials also served as co-hosts) for a fundraiser for the local Party, where we took a scenic train ride and had a great picnic (and raised several thousand dollars), I fail to see much 'disunity' during my time as Chairman.

When I left, the Party was strong, capable and financially sound.

BH's picture


Chad. During my term Mike Ragsdale and Tim Hutchison co-chaired an event as well.

In 2006, I chaired one of the BIGGEST Countywide REPUBLICAN sweeps ever. Oh, wait you lost your primary race in 2006 coming in third out of three candidates. I see now where all your anger and hostility toward me is coming from. The immediate past chairman didn't and couldn't garner enough votes to come in first or second out of three.

This explains why you keep posting the way you post here. I understand. Have a Nice Day, Chad.

Rachel's picture

Oh, wait you lost your

Oh, wait you lost your primary race in 2006 coming in third out of three candidates.

Pot, meet kettle.

Didn't you lose your race for school board re-election? I do believe that's why you're always yapping about Karen Carson.

CBT's picture

Brian, you brought me into

Brian, you brought me into this discussion with the post on your blog and yet another one of your comments about my time as GOP Chairman. I know you like to blame me for your failures. No one buys that line. Stick to arguing with Sandra or Bean or Randy or whoever else takes a shot at you and leave me out of it. Answer the questions they and others posed above.

Republicans won races while I was Chairman. So what. The job requires more. I've said enough.

Factchecker's picture

Oh, do go on!

Oh, do go on!

Nelle's picture

In response to the question posed by the title of this post ...

No, I don't miss Hornback.

Thanks for asking :)

Bizzy's picture

It's getting good now!

Chad there is one thing that has always puzzled me and that is right after taking office as party chair the media never went to Hornback for any quotes or interviews regarding party politics. For some reason Hornback was MIA. He was so MIA that I was thinking the party should have put his picture on a milk carton. Matter of fact, any time the media needed a quote they went to you. I thought you were very gracious in stepping up.

Chad, do you recall why Hornback was laying low? Was there some reason he was avoiding the media? Were there questions he didn't want to be asked? Just wondering.

BH's picture


As usual, you are wrong. Reveal your real identity like Chad and I and you may be taken with a tad bit of credibilty. Until then continue with your little business peddling your companies wares.

CBT's picture

Bizzy, I won't speculate as

Bizzy, I won't speculate as to BH. He can answer for himself.

As for calls from the media to me, maybe my number was handy and I was accessible.

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