Thu
Jul 12 2007
03:53 pm

This statement was just released by Democratic Caucus Chairman Senator Joe Haynes, D-Goodlettsville, after the announcement that Senator Ward Crutchfield, D-Chattanooga, had pled guilty to bribery in Federal court:

"The members of the Caucus are saddened by this turn of events. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Senator Crutchfield and his family during this difficult time. It is our hope that this does not obscure what was a record of noteworthy public service. Senator Crutchfield represented the people of his district with distinction for a very long time."

WBIR files this report.

KNS files this report.

Michael Silence has a roundup of background from bloggers around the state.

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Knoxquerious's picture

Sure are a lot of Dems

Sure are a lot of Dems involved in this sweep. I am not sayin Republicans in Tennessee are morally superior...I'm just sayin.

R. Neal's picture

Yeah, I'm sure there's no

Yeah, I'm sure there's no correlation to the Bush administration pressuring the DOJ to "indict more Democrats." Regardless, looks like the guy got caught red handed in the sting.

Bbeanster's picture

It's not hard to figure out

It's not hard to figure out why it's mostly Democrats getting caught in a sting operation in the Tennessee capitol. It's because that's mostly who's been in power in the General Assembly for the last gabillion years.

Power corrupts. When Republicans get it, they'll be just as crooked. It's a non-partisan thing.

Brian Hornback's picture

He has plead Guilty

while he cast every vote in the State Senate this year. He was knowingly casting votes with the full knowledge that he was GUILTY of being a Felon.

I don't want to make this political. But, the one Republican resigned, plead Guilty and is about to be released for having served his time.

Brian Hornback's picture

Good point.

Can't disagree. My only issue is that he knowingly served while being a Felon

Knoxquerious's picture

hmmm...I am trying to think

hmmm...I am trying to think here. Wasn't there another public official in Knox County that knowingly served while being found guilty of contempt in a court of law?

Tamara Shepherd's picture

Follow the money

Wasn't there another public official in Knox County that knowingly served while being found guilty of contempt in a court of law?

Yup, and we could probably track him down at the address where his pension check is arriving!

Andy Axel's picture

Throwin' stones...

I don't want to make this political.

And I'm the Queen of Sheba.

My only issue is that he knowingly served while being a Felon

Say, what *is* Tyler Harber up to these days?

____________________________

I'm a guy in a Reagan mask -- and I'm running for President!

Brian Hornback's picture

Andy

I do not know. The last person that I know that has talked with him is Bean.

Bbeanster's picture

Look, since Jan. 31, I'm

Look, since Jan. 31, I'm pretty much off the Hutchison bandwagon, but it's really neither fair nor accurate to compare his civil contempt citation with a criminal conviction in federal court on multiple counts of extortion.

I don't know how the district lines are drawn down there (I suspect they are favorable to the Dems, since Crutchfield would have pretty much drawn up his own safe haven), but it's not inconceivabe that the Democrats could lose a heretofore safe seat over this.

I'm not going to defend Hutchison for much these days, but as a 30-year employee of the KCSO, he's entitled to whatever pension his salary numbers merit -- just like every other KCSO employee.

I would suggest that the time of those who don't like the Hutchison regime could be better spent looking for an opponent for Hutch's surrogate, JJ Jones. If the Democrats sit back and leave it the usual suspects, the Hutchison campaign apparatus will remain undisturbed rolling into 2010 when Hutch rolls out his campaign for mayor. Don't make me say I told you so.

Tamara Shepherd's picture

Hutch

"...it's really neither fair nor accurate to compare his civil contempt citation with a criminal conviction in federal court on multiple counts of extortion."

In the civil suit relating to that citation, Hutchison lost on 18 of 19 counts. Personally, I continue to think that a criminal suit could have and should have arisen in the wake of the civil proceeding.

The contempt citation is largely superfluous to me.

Guess we'll agree to disagree on this one...

R. Neal's picture

If the Democrats sit back

If the Democrats sit back and leave it the usual suspects, the Hutchison campaign apparatus will remain undisturbed rolling into 2010 when Hutch rolls out his campaign for mayor. Don't make me say I told you so.

Bingo. And Sheriff. Not to mention County Commission. Half of KCSO will be doing double duty on Commission.

But I would have to reluctantly agree that Huthison has probably earned his pension. (Hell, even my FDR New Deal Democrat Mom likes him, so there's that.)

Maybe they should sell one of those black helicopters and a boat or two to pay for a few years of it, though.

bill young's picture

Randy Tyree for Sheriff

Randy can do the job.
Thats the key to winning a sheriffs race.
In other political races one can win by working hard & laying out positions on issues.But not for sheriff.

Yes a candidate,for sheriff,must work hard & tell folks what they will do but to be elected sheriff voters must feel that you can do the job.

Randy can do the job.

Bbeanster's picture

Maybe Randy can do the job,

Maybe Randy can do the job, but Randy cannot be elected. Hell, he can't even pay his 30-year-old campaign debts. It's been a lifetime ago since he beat Testerman, and the voters have turned him down for everything from governor to dogcatcher since then. It's time to move along and nurture a new generation of candidates.

JJ Jones will beat the crap out of Randy. Book it.

bill young's picture

Book It

It's been booked.
Do I get any points?

Democratic Primary:The city's where its at & Tyree is strong with city Democrats. Going to have to get up pretty early to beat Tyree in the primary.

The General:Are voters going to be in a throw the black wednesday bums out mood next summer? If so the Sheriff's got problems.

The powder aint wet:I'm not sayin Tyree's runnin' but unlike past races he's been out & about for over a year now.Thats the way Tyree won in that other lifetime & thats the way we will win in '08.

Tyree's the cure for the black wednesday blues!

Knoxquerious's picture

JJ Jones will beat the crap

JJ Jones will beat the crap out of Randy. Book it.

I recall everyone saying the same thing about Tim and Randy. 48% of the vote ain't bad for a campaign that raised less than 10% of the money the opponent had to play with. It shouldn't be hard for the jaded voters around Knox County to see Tim and JJ being were the kingpins of January 31st. Besides, what other Dems out there have the steam to snatch a seat? (Aside from 4th and Gill District)

Cut the head off, kill the snake.

Bbeanster's picture

Dems have a great chance to

Dems have a great chance to win back the 2nd District seat that they lost Jan. 31, unless they inflict so much internal damage during the primary that they can't get it together to mount a strong campaign against Bolus.
At the same time, the Republicans have a great chance to take a formerly safe Dem seat from Sharon Cawood.
If I were a Dem, I wouldn't concede a single damn seat. I'd fight them in the 8th District, where the appointed incumbent is a demonstrable moron who sold out his constituency in an important rezoning battle last month. I'd fight them in the 9th, where the appointed incumbent is a sock puppet for Paul Pinkston. I'd bite my tongue and campaign for Cawood, figuring that she's better than whoever the other party will dredge up. I'd put on a fullblown campaign for Tom Salter for the 5th District seat that F Leuthold isn't going to run for (this is the one seat I might concede if Frank decided to run, which he won't, so conceding is not an option). Even though this is a Republican district, my sources tell me that people out there are MAD. I'd fight like hell in the 4th District against both Tramel and Cate, both of whom are deeply flawed appointees. If they get knocked off in the primary, it's a whole different ballgame, though. Much tougher, IMO. The Jordan seat in the 1st District is a safe one for the Dems, and there will be a gabillion people in the primary.
With the Republicans as fractured as they've been since the early days of the Ashe administration, I really think that the Democrats could come out of next year's elections with a modest net gain on commission, if they play their cards right. But the odds of that happening are exceedingly slender, IMO.
And finally, Hutchison's showing against Tyree wasn't particularly impressive, but TH still ended up with the W. I've got to think that the vote for Tyree -- who was underfunded and didn't run much of a campaign, even with the term limits controversy raging -- represented the baseline "Anybody But Hutchison" vote. Flip 2%, and Hutchison would have been out of office-- and January 31 would have been just another day.

Bbeanster's picture

Damn

Double posted again.
i'll just use the mistake to say that it really doesn't matter to me which party controls County Commission.
To my mind, the three best commissioners are Republicans Tony Norman and Frank Leuthold and Democrat Mark Harmon. Watch, and you'll see that these three vote the same way a great deal of the time. Commission issues really don't turn on party lines.

Tamara Shepherd's picture

Non-partisan issues could warrant non-partisan races?

I agree, Betty. I sometimes think there are some good arguments for making commission races non-partisan, like school board races are.

CBT's picture

Power corrupts. When

Power corrupts. When Republicans get it, they'll be just as crooked. It's a non-partisan thing.

Could the same be said of the U.S. House and Senate now that Democrats are in control?

I have problems with both political parties lacking leadership on important issues and being too concerned with playing the '24-7 news, sound byte, what's bad for my opponent is good for me' game. You can disagree with them, but it doesn't appear that Congressman Jimmy Duncan and Senator Lamar Alexander play those games. What was it from 'In Living Color'? Homey don't play that!

CBT's picture

Isn't Kathryn Bowers also

Isn't Kathryn Bowers also changing her plea to guilty?

And, still sitting out there, after banking hundreds of thousands of dollars, the king of graft, the one, the only, the all-star....John Ford.

CBT's picture

Political party affiliation

Political party affiliation has no bearing on how Commission votes.

bill young's picture

'08 County Primary

This is going to be very interesting.The Presidential primary vote will be high;The record is 33,000 in the Democratic primary,may not get there but it will be close.The Republicans will set a record because there hasn't been a contested primary since '76..how high will it go..50,000..60,000???

Democratic primary:The 1st district will be the only race decided in the primary.This is always a tough race.But what makes '08 different is the wild card 10th ward.This ward is a near 0 when it comes to county politics.Even if you wanted to get something stirring;in May primaries you run into exams & nobodys here in August for the general.I've been boppin around over here & what I'm finding is a great deal of interest in the presidential primary.I have no prediction on turn out BUT its going to be WAY WAY higher than its ever been.In a close race the candidate that ignores the 10th could get beat.I agree with Betty on Democratic pick ups but other than the the 1st those candidates will have to win in the general.

UC early vote-Word to the wise;the staff,the fauculty & the students love the 3 day early vote @ the UC.These voters are from all over the county.

Republican primary:This thang will be wild;will huge turn-out beat the black wedenesday blues??? What kinda shape will the nominees be in if the primaries are bare knuckle??

Bbeanster's picture

Bill, for the past 30 years

Bill, for the past 30 years I've listened to Democrats predicting a massive turnout of UT students come net election.
It never happens.
I wish you good luck next year, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

Tamara Shepherd's picture

Changed demographic at UT?

In a quick aside, I've wondered if maybe the student demographic at UT differs from the one in my day (mid 70's).

SOMEONE is buying those $1/4 million condos in Fort Sanders, and a recent story Frank Cagle did (Knoxville magazine, November 2006) cited average family income of over $100,000 for this past year's freshman class.

Are Dems that much richer than 30 years ago, or do they no longer prevail among UT's students?

bill young's picture

1st DISTRICT PRIMARY

I'm talkin Democratic 1st district primary.
In the '06 county primary we had around 40 votes in
10-N & 10-S.In the '04 Presidential primary we voted around 300.I think we can move that turn-out up a bit.The key,for us to be effective in the 1st district democratic primary will be the presidential/1st district drop off.

FYI,we had 300 voters in '04 presidential primary;to compare,the 13th ward voted around 350 & the 12th around 250.

UC...UC...Students can do a change of address @ the UC early vote site.This bunch is mobile.We've all been students..if it aint happenin now it aint happenin.So students didnt do a change of address;..it was always yea yea I'll do that BUT never did.NOW if they voted on campus or in the Fort(for that matter just moved into the fort & voted somewhere else) in the '06 November general(Ford won big over here with 1,300 votes) & have moved they can change address @ the UC early vote site & vote.Who knows what district they will be living in next year.The Beacon will push it & students read the Beacon.

CBT's picture

Most UT students never

Most UT students never register to vote locally. And, even if they do (Repub and Dem clubs both have registration drives) they still don't vote.

You can energize a lot of students for a Presidnential race and some for a U.S. Senate and Governor's race, but few care anything at all about local races (anything less than statewide). They don't know the candidates, don't know the issues and those races have no 'sex' appeal like national politics.

Factchecker's picture

Could the same be said of

Could the same be said of the U.S. House and Senate now that Democrats are in control?

I'd bet against it. Reps became more corrupt in the last 12 yrs during the time they had control than Dems did during the previous 40 or whatever it was while they controlled.

You can disagree with them, but it doesn't appear that Congressman Jimmy Duncan and Senator Lamar Alexander play those games. What was it from 'In Living Color'? Homey don't play that!

And I do disagree with them. I would also not say that Lamar has remained scandal free. He has shown a teflon-like quality to not being permanently stained by a lot of improprieties surrounding his career. Conflicts of interest, sweetheart deals, etc.

As for Duncan, while is right about Iraq, that view is consistent with his conservatism that wasn't mind-snatched the way 97% of Republicans have been over the years. He still exhibits all the non-authoritarian (pre '90s) Republican problems. Deny there are ever any environmental problems, suck up to practically anything big business wants, pander to the sheeple on non-fiscal (non-Iraq) issues, fail to be progressive on anything where any reasonable person would agree progressive leadership is needed. Etc. But no, he's not corrupt (other than coddling big business interests, which is a form of corruption).

Andy Axel's picture

Reps became more corrupt in

Reps became more corrupt in the last 12 yrs during the time they had control than Dems did during the previous 40 or whatever it was while they controlled.

No kidding. Tom Delay makes Dan Rostenkowski look like a wilting violet.

What was it from 'In Living Color'? Homey don't play that!

[sarcasm] An attempt at hipness? NOT! [/sarcasm]

____________________________

I'm a guy in a Reagan mask -- and I'm running for President!

Bbeanster's picture

You can disagree with them,

You can disagree with them, but it doesn't appear that Congressman Jimmy Duncan and Senator Lamar Alexander play those games. What was it from 'In Living Color'? Homey don't play that!--

Sez who?
Lamar stole everything that wasn't nailed down long ago. I remember doing blackberry farms stories (regarding state road work done there while he was governor); stories about that daycare chain he started right after he left the governor's mansion (it was a spinoff from some state pre-K initiative he started as governor, and his partner was his former commissioner of education); and don't even get me started on the "free" $300,000 he collected off the rape of the Knoxville Journal.

There was the slick way the search committee was bypassed to get him the job as UT president, too.

I could probably remember dozens more shady deals if I had the time and the inclination.

As far as Jimmy Duncan goes, it's nothing out of the , far as i know -- a daughter who works for Ragsdale; that deal a few years back when he gave Ron McMahan a phantom job so he could get government health insurance. Small potatoes, relatively speaking.

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