The link to the NYT story on Knox County's lovely government.

(link...)

The second paragraph of the story:

You would understand this desire if you had attended last week’s meeting of the Knox County Commission; that is, if you had the seven hours to spare. But since you probably weren’t there, and be thankful for that, here is a quick primer on local, uncivil civics so that you might appreciate the recent political clamor in this part of eastern Tennessee.

The national embarrassment is real.....

pgs

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Rachel's picture

Actually, I thought the

Actually, I thought the story was pretty good. It focused on the how citizens were stepping up to fix the problems, when I was afraid it would focus on making us all look like the Lumpys and Scoobies of this world.

Pam Strickland's picture

I didn't meant that the

I didn't meant that the article was an embarrassment, but that Lumpy is an embarrassment. Sorry for not making that clearer.

I too agree that overall the article is positive, and for someone who just dropped in for a day or two, he did a very good job of summing up and understanding the big picture.

But that "university twit" remark in the NYT, that's another story....

pgs

Pam Strickland

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

Pam Strickland's picture

I didn't meant that the

I didn't meant that the article was an embarrassment, but that Lumpy is an embarrassment. Sorry for not making that clearer.

I too agree that overall the article is positive, and for someone who just dropped in for a day or two, he did a very good job of summing up and understanding the big picture.

But that "university twit" remark in the NYT, that's another story....

pgs

Pam Strickland

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

metulj's picture

"But that "university twit"

"But that "university twit" remark in the NYT, that's another story...."

I'd say the more comprehensive readers would connect the "inherent dignity" part to Lumpy's lack of dignity. It was a device to show that what you are dealing with is a class divide of sorts. One person has class. The other doesn't.

True happiness is knowing you are a hypocrite. -- Ivor Cutler

Pam Strickland's picture

I understand that. It's just

I understand that. It's just sad to know that what made this national news were things like the "university twit" and other Lumpy-isms as well as the rest of them just being themselves. I'd rather we got attention for our brillance or something.

Pam Strickland

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

metulj's picture

I think the citizens of Knox

I think the citizens of Knox County came out as pretty damn brilliant in that article: Participants in a deliberative democratic movement. Lumpy and the Boys are the ones that look like idiots and the article presents the whole case as matter of people who actually give a damn versus people who would rather be damned.

EDIT: Damn it.

True happiness is knowing you are a hypocrite. -- Ivor Cutler

jbr's picture

Maybe this list should be

Maybe this list should be called 'The Catfish List'

Fred Sisk
Mike Lowe
Sherry Witt
Phil Ballard
Scott Moore
J.J. Jones
Lee Tramel
Richard Cate
Chuck Bolus
Tim Greene
John Owings

Bbeanster's picture

time to get real--

If you vote in the GOP primary, and don't want to vote for Mike Lowe, who really is the fattest of the fatcats, you MUSt vote for Phil Ballard, and that's a fact. it's one or the other, and leaving that race blank means Lowe wins, in all likelihood.

jbr's picture

Ballard has some 'red flag'

Ballard has some 'red flag' contributors. Is he more beatable than Lowe in the general election?

(link...)

Bbeanster's picture

If Lowe makes it to the

If Lowe makes it to the general election, he's a lock to win. Just IMO, of course.

jbr's picture

I agree. Ballard seems more

I agree. Ballard seems more beatable in the general.

Why would folks like Sidney Blalock, Mike Cohen, etc. not in Tramel's voting district, be donating to Tramel?

Bbeanster's picture

Cohen's a puzzlement to me,

Cohen's a puzzlement to me, since he's a Friend of Mike (Ragsdale), and Tramel is the person the Ragsdalians most want beat.

I don't know Sid Blalock, but if he's one of the roadbuilding Blalocks, it make sense that he'd be for Tramel, who's got more developers/construction and realtor types on his disclosure than any body.

Tramel is a developer's whore.

Anonymous's picture

Cohen, Blalock, Tramel

Sid Blalock is of the roadbuilding/dirtmoving Blalocks.

Like many people in Knox County, Cohen is probably afraid not to donate to Tramel. Perhaps he and his employer seeks business with Copper Cellar/Mike Chase. He could be simply be trying to predict the winner. If you strike the King, you better kill him.

Mike, I know you read this site. What say ye? Tell us how Tramel represents the best choice for Knox County.

B. Paone's picture

Hey, my laptop made the Times!

Not a bad article overall. Barry may be a little on the high-strung side, but he apparently writes a great story. I especially liked this line:

"The county’s public officials helped to propel the reform movement just by being themselves."

I can't wait for Tuesday night's voting tallies.

Ragsdale2010's picture

Cohen is struggling for relevance

The political train hitched up and pulled out of the station and Cohen was left behind, yet again. He was the first to fall on his sword for Ragsdale when he got tossed as the county spokesperson, prior to Van de Vate coming on board to salvage the sinking ship. In my opinion, people who distort the truth and flow of accurate and reliable information between government and citizens are dangerous.

The Times article is an excellent example of how the Knoxville community is perceived on a national level. While nobody want to admit it, any major business would be hard pressed to relocate any substantial portion of its business to Knox County when this type of shennanigans, hijynx, and back room rubeness goes on daily. Mike Edwards does a nice job of spinning the fact that Knox County is out of usable industrial space, when in fact, Knox County is really out of competent government leadership and capable chamber focus, which crows loudly everytime a business expands in Blount, Sevier, Roane, or Loudon County (Knox County taxpayers are marketing region, yeah right)and we continue to lag behind other more business (as opposed to government) oriented counties and business communities in terms of economic development.

Look at the topics discussed and the last 3 commission meetings, nothing other than political gamesmanship, trying to embarass the other elected officials, while commissions in adjacent counties are working on substantive issues that affect the viability of their community. It is truly an embarrassment to the community, we have been the laughing stock of the state for years now and now we're working on a national stage.

Cas Walker would be proud.

gonzone's picture

Seconded

"Cas Walker would be proud."

My sentiments exactly.

Anonymous's picture

Re: MikeRagsdale2010's comment

COMMENT: "Cas Walker would be proud."

How true. Sadly, mortify-ingly true.

And many of the perpetrators wear that fact with ignorant pride, like the embarrassing, backwards uncle at Thanksgiving who picks his teeth and is happy to show how loudly he can belch.

"By God, there weren't nothing wrong with the way Cas Walker run this town, so I has went and done it like him."

Sandra Clark's picture

We dodged

We dodged a bullet, so to speak, when the NYT didn't discuss Ann Robinson's blast at Lumpy and the rest of them. That discussion, which carried out to the hall, would have been my lead ... if I wrote for the NYT. -- s.

metulj's picture

Y'know, Sandra. Good for the

Y'know, Sandra. Good for the NYT. I think, as Southerners, we are so keyed up on 'race' as an issue. The writer decided to focus on something totally different: The almost intractable nature of GOB politics. That's a theme that folks on the Upper West Side or in Hunterdon County, NJ can totally grasp. They think they have a handle on the 'race' issue, but they don't. They would have seen that clash between Robinson and Lambert as white oppression, when I read it as a black woman who has found herself is a time and place where she need not be afraid of that traditional power structure. As a matter of fact, it better be afraid of her. Not because she is black, but because she's simply not afraid. What those idiots are finding out is that there are a lot of people like her.

As for your lead, I'd love to read that story. I thought about this whole thing this AM. What a great book this whole fiasco would make, or even better, what a great documentary a la "Street Fight." So much of the footage is out there with CTV and the like and the whole fact that so much of the skullduggery was done out of sight -- erased, if you will -- from the common people makes a narrative that focuses on that as the hook.

Here's my paragraph:

"So much is done in your name for the public good by representatives chosen by you. When those goods clash with special interests, elitist ideologies, and raw power what happens next might be something you'd hardly recognize as 'democracy,' or might be something you'd rather not claim. This story recounts just what "happened next" in a small city in the American South."

True happiness is knowing you are a hypocrite. -- Ivor Cutler

Anonymously Nine's picture

We dodged a bullet, so to

We dodged a bullet, so to speak, when the NYT didn't discuss Ann Robinson's blast at Lumpy and the rest of them. That discussion, which carried out to the hall, would have been my lead ... if I wrote for the NYT. -- s.

(link...)

Reminded me of Wanda Sykes.

Mike Cohen's picture

Tramel

First off, I recently moved, so I do live in the 4th district. But I wasn't there when I made the contribution to Lee.

I know Lee from working on Jamie Woodson's campaigns. We've both volunteered to help her virtually every time she's run. In all the years I have known Lee he has always been honest and straightforward with me. Always.

Do I agree with him on everything? No, certainly not. I've told him when I disagree with him. And, as a former journalist, I certainly don't think the Sunshine law should be weakened.

This was a tough one for me because Ed Shouse is also a friend. He was on City Council when I worked for Mayor Ashe and I think highly of him, too.

In the final analysis, I think a lot of Lee's values are good ones. He and his wife take in foster kids. That's not an easy thing to do and says something about you. He took a leave of absence for the final stretch of the campaign, which was the right thing to do.

Bbeanster's picture

Frankly, I'm sick of hearing

Frankly, I'm sick of hearing about his foster kids. That has nothing to do with his behavior and performance as a commissioner, and he uses it for political advantage -- I personally believe he played me with the "foster kid" card. That was before he sent the kid back, iirc.

What I care about is what lee did to get appointed and what he did after being appointed.

His first act was jump in his county car with Scoobie, drive to Nashville and try to intimidate Joe May into thinking he worked for the commission instead of the mayor. Who thinks they were entirely sober? Did the taxpayers buy the gas for this trip?

His second act was to call the NS up after they reported this incident and threaten to "pull" the county's legal notice advertising.

I hadn't made the Hagood connection, but that makes sense. She endorsed Lee, in a low-key kind of way, and Bill Nolan's been active in Lee's campaign, too. He lobbies for bail bondsmen, and I imagine they'll be showing up on his final disclosure.

Lee is a political operative/fundraiser and a glad-hander. Period. Ask a real cop what they think of him.

metulj's picture

I endorse this post. I

I endorse this post. I especially endorse calling bullshit on the "foster kids" red herring.

True happiness is knowing you are a hypocrite. -- Ivor Cutler

Ragsdale2010's picture

Would we rather have had Scott Davis?

What I care about is what lee did to get appointed and what he did after being appointed.

I think it was down to Lee Tramel or Scott Davis and which way do you go on that path?

After an eternity of John Schmid and Phil Guthe, 4th district is ready for somebody to listen to the issues, advocate the communities position, push the buttons that need to be pushed, get the issues resolved.

Tramel will fill that role quite nicely, guns, badges, foster kids, in Joe May's face, taking on the daily rag, and anybody else that gets in his way. Having done without for so long, we'd nominate a bulldozer to borrow the NYT line.

Justin's picture

I adopted/rescued a

I adopted/rescued a greyhound a few years ago (sweet dog by the way). You think that makes me qualified for a run in District 2?

Anonymously Nine's picture

Would we rather have had

Would we rather have had Scott Davis?

How soon people forget...

Now the other choice on the Republican ballot in District 4 is Metro Ed Shouse. Metro Ed might put a Knox County Convention Center in the Midway Industrial Park. If Victor told him to.

A contest between Lee Tramel and Steve Drevik is a better choice. Victor needs to stay in Poland.

Bbeanster's picture

Oh, please. Lee Tramel never

Oh, please.
Lee Tramel never met a developer he didn't love.

Tamara Shepherd's picture

Sister-in-law in So Florida caught this

Geez. My sister-in-law, who lives in South Florida, caught this story in the NYT this morning and e-mailed the link to my husband at his work address.

I certainly hadn't mentioned it to her. I guess our travails really may be catching the interest of people all over the country...

mbradley's picture

Ouch...

Sounds like Betty's still smartin' over that Babelay Road rezoning...

Bbeanster's picture

Yup. I don't forget people

Yup.
I don't forget people who lie to me.

Anonymous's picture

Correct

Whoever described Sid Blalock as being from the roadbuilding/dirtmoving Blalocks hit it right on the money. They are currently moving/tearing up about a third of Sevier County.

Lisa Starbuck's picture

Betty is right

to be pissed over that rezoning - I know I still am. I don't like liars either and there was a lot of lying and crap flinging over that rezoning, favors repaid, etc. There's no way it should have passed on the merits alone. In addition, there were some personal vendettas that came into play, and we all paid the price. I'm sure the sunshine law was broken as it routinely was, and maybe still is, during these things.

I don't know about a documentary, but I do think Knox County's government would make a great reality TV show. We could call it Survivor Knox County - divide them into two tribes (Mayormen and Hutchimen) and lock all the commissioners, the mayor and his minions inside the CC building and let them duke it out to see who gets to stay. Maybe I'll pitch it to Scripps.

Pam Strickland's picture

I like it, so long as part

I like it, so long as part of the deal is getting rid of Lumpy.

Pam Strickland

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

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