As discussed here previously, the Federal Election Commission sent late filing notices to U.S. Senate candidate Gordon Ball's campaign. The Ball campaign assured us that the reports were filed on a timely basis.

Today we noticed the Ball campaign had filed a response to the FEC late notices. The response included copies of postmarked certified mail receipts and tracking info showing that the July and pre-primary reports were filed on time.

Continued...

23
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Tue
Aug 5 2014
02:28 pm

What: Knox Dems election night watch party
When: Thursday, August 7, 2014 - 8:00pm
Where: Knoxville Marriott, 501 Hill Avenue SE

Press release...

The Knox County Democratic Party will be celebrating election night this Thursday, August 7, from 8 pm - 11 pm at the Knoxville Marriott, located at 501 Hill Avenue SE. Please join us as we watch the returns from the night's races, and hear from the candidates on the night's results.

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Mon
Aug 4 2014
03:01 pm

Of course, there never WAS any "there" there.

(link...)

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Mon
Aug 4 2014
12:04 pm

In their latest newsletter, MPC advises that they are setting up a single email address for communication with MPC Commissioners - commission@knoxmpc.org - and you can also see a blurb about it on their website.

I think that is great, but then they also make it clear that they are judging from their website, it looks like they may be doing away with individual email addresses for Commissioners, which is not so great.

I have heard from a couple of Commissioners who said that some of them have received threatening or vulgar communications and it was thought that having a single email address for all would stop that from happening.

My feeling is that if someone receives a threatening email, it should be reported to the Sheriff, and it is not a good reason to prevent the public from communicating with individual Commissioners.

City Council, County Commission and the School Board all provide individual email addresses as well as a joint address and I don't see why MPC should be any different. If someone doesn't want individual communication with the public, perhaps they should rethink their service on MPC.

I recognize that service on MPC Commission is a thankless and unpaid job and I appreciate those who choose to serve. But I do think it is important that they be accessible to the public, and not just through a joint email address.

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21
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Early voting for the Aug. 7th county general and state primary elections ended Saturday. Early votes totaled 35,086, with about half of those from Downtown West and Farragut. Including absentee ballots counted so far, the total is 36,486. Totals for the Republican primary were 29,881 v. 6,299 for the Democratic primary.

UPDATE: Not quite an early voting record for August (going back to 1996). The record by a slight margin (350 votes) was the 2010 August election. (Not sure what the deal was in 2000. An error in the records?)

Aug. 4 1996 4,072
Aug. 6 1998 13,934
Aug. 3 2000 5,627
Aug. 1 2002 25,190
Aug. 5 2004 16,879
Aug. 3 2006 24,042
Aug. 7 2008 20,575
Aug. 5 2010 35,436
Aug. 2 2012 11,934

The all time record is 125,796, for the Nov. 2008 election:

Nov. 5 1996 41,844
Nov. 7 2000 70,463
Nov. 5 2002 53,370
Nov. 2 2004 108,722
Nov. 7 2006 67,833
Nov. 4 2008 125,796
Nov. 2 2010 55,600
Nov. 6 2012 110,446

22
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Mon
Aug 4 2014
01:44 am

From CNN ...

Middle class employment is on the upswing, thanks to the strengthening economy.

Middle class jobs are finally coming back

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28
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Sun
Aug 3 2014
07:59 pm

We're four days away from Election Day and one thing is certain: Democrats need to crank it up a few notches if any of our candidates are to have a real chance at winning. I'm not knocking any or all of the things Democrats are doing already, but we've goy to step it up. Democrats have 7 well-qualified candidates in contested general election races on the ballot: Wimberly, Fansler, Price, Kidd, Padgett, Berrier, and Underwood. 8 years ago, both Wimberly and Fansler were so well-respected that they drew no opposition. They are still respected, but the political dynamic in Knox County has drastically changed since 2006.

It has changed even more since 1998, when Democrats swept to victory in a number of hard-fought judicial races, the DA's race, the County Executive race, and other county races. 1998 was a good year for Knox County Democrats (just ask Fansler, Wimberly, Leibowitz, Nichols, and Schumpert). 2006 was not as good, but we still retained a few courthouse seats, stole a commission seat, and almost took more (my brother, Leon, almost beat Tony Norman in the heavily Republican 3rd district).

Continued...

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Is there a single site with links to an extensive non-partisan list of various entities election endorsements for Knoxville/Tennessee August 7 election?

League of Women Voters, Metro Pulse, News-Sentinel, blah blah, etc.?

Looks like a good assignment for a Poli Sci class.

31
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Sat
Aug 2 2014
05:43 pm

We received some sad and tragic news last night under rather unusual circumstances. But we won't dwell on that. Except to say that just a week before a friend who married into South Knoxville asked us "why do so many South Knoxville boys die so young?"

She had a point. The list is long. Too long. And maybe not all so young, but certainly young in spirit and heart. Like how we all remember them. Maybe it's the same in any community. Who you knew growing up, who you still know, who you're still close to.

Anyway, while still trying to process last night's surreal news today, it occurred to us that South Knoxville is connected. It's not "six degrees of separation." In South Knoxville it's more like one or two degrees of connection. If you don't know someone, you probably know someone who does.

This is just one of the many reasons we love South Knoxville. And how we collectively mourn our losses.

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28
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If the rehearsal was any indication, tonight's concert at the Princess Theatre in Harriman will be great!

Tickets available at the box office for only $15 and it goes to the Tony Mason Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Continued...

25
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Sat
Aug 2 2014
08:50 am

Kansas is getting sucked up into a public finance sharknado budget disaster driven by the wind shear of Brownback’s tax cuts. Folks who like economics but are often repulsed by its disturbing propensity to nurture zombie-like ideas long after they have been proven wrong may find this Columbia Journalism Review encouraging. Story has to do with Krugman, Stephen Moore of Heritage, the state of tax cuts in Kansas, incompetence and journalism beyond dueling dualisms.

Deron Lee at CJR - Why one editor won’t run any more op-eds by the Heritage Foundation’s top economist

It all began a month ago, when the Star ran a piece by the Nobel Prize-winning economist-turned- liberal New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, as it does regularly. The column named Moore as one of the “charlatans and cranks” who have influenced policymakers at all levels to enact low-tax, supply-side economic policies—with ruinous effects, according to Krugman. The sweeping 2013 tax cut in Kansas is only the latest example, he wrote, citing unfavorable economic and fiscal news in the Sunflower State.

After the column ran, Pepper told me, “I was contacted by Moore’s people saying they wanted to run a response.” In the interest of fairness, she agreed.

Moore, formerly of The Wall Street Journal, submitted a version of a column that originally ran in Investor’s Business Daily. Contra Krugman, the column argued that Kansas’s tax-cut experiment needed more time to work, and cited statistics to show that states “following Krugman’s (and President Barack Obama’s) economic strategy are getting clobbered by tax-cutting states.”
- See more at: (link...)

Continued...

34
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Sat
Aug 2 2014
07:50 am
By: CE Petro  shortURL

As I was traveling along Middlebrook Pike yesterday, I noticed a few hand-painted signs had popped up among all the other candidate signs along the "right-of-ways". Actually, the sign-writer seems to have targeted StaceyX signs that are not clustered with all the other campaign signs.

While I was in the left lane I got the best shot possible while waiting at a red light.
medium_freespeechdumpcampfield.jpg

The other sign, same message, was much larger and just behind one of StaceyX's signs, visible while traveling east on Middlebrook Pike. (both signs that I saw were matched sized for size)

30
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We went over to Springbrook Park in Alcoa (like we do almost every evening to walk pupster) for the kick off of the Songs by the Brook free summer concert series. Maryville-Alcoa-Blount Co. Parks and Recreation have done an outstanding job putting this together. Here's our report with some photos and video over at BlountViews.

Check out the schedule, and y'all come on out for some upcoming shows.

26
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Fri
Aug 1 2014
09:39 am

The volunteers with the Tennessee Health Care Campaign (THCC) are starting to plan for the open enrollment period that will run from November 15 through February 15. Our enrollment activities rely heavily on volunteers, especially those willing to attend training sessions to be better informed. We can always use volunteers of all levels of expertise, so don't let classroom time discourage you. We will have enrollment activities/events on weekends, weekdays, and at least one evening a week.

Please consider becoming a volunteer to help the uninsured get access to affordable health care coverage.

Contact me at beckyharmon1714@outlook.com if you would like to join our local efforts.

29
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Fri
Aug 1 2014
08:51 am

The State of Tennessee's Annual Sales Tax Holiday is held every year on the first Friday in August and ends the following Sunday night. This year's tax-free holiday weekend begins at 12:01 a.m on Friday, August 1 and ends Sunday, August 3 at 11:59 p.m.

Tax free items include clothing ($100 or less), school & art supplies ($100 or less) and Computers ($1,500 or less).

Topics:
20
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Thu
Jul 31 2014
08:07 pm

We tuned in just now to All in With Chris Hayes (MSNBC) and he says he is in Knoxville and has our skyline including the sunsphere as the backdrop.

We are not sure why he is here in Ktown.

Will keep you posted.

UPDATE:

They are shooting a future series on coal up in Harlan County, KY.

28
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Thu
Jul 31 2014
02:21 pm

What: First Friday Celebration with Knox Co Democratic Party
When: Friday, August 1, 2014 - 6:00pm
Where: Knox Co Democratic Party HQ - 311 Morgan St Knoxville 37917

Come party down with Knox Co Democrats as we celebrate our Great Candidates in advance of the August 7th Election.

as always, great food, drink and conversation.

brought to you this month by the 4th District Democrats

for info: linda haney (llinc@comcast.net)

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26
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Thu
Jul 31 2014
01:36 pm

Is Tennessee's Achievement School District (where failing schools get assigned) cooking the books? This report, Underachievement School District 2014 Edition, has a lot to digest.

(By way of Gloria Johnson.)

29
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Thu
Jul 31 2014
05:44 am

In a complicated merger/spin-off deal announced yesterday, Journal Communications of Milwaukee will acquire all of E.W. Scripps' newspaper business and E.W. Scripps will acquire Journal Communication's TV and radio broadcast business.

The combined Journal/E.W. Scripps newspaper business will be spun off as a separate publicly traded company, Journal Media Group, headquartered in Milwaukee. It will launch with a clean balance sheet and no debt, with E.W. Scripps retaining substantially all pension obligations. The Knoxville News Sentinel and the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspapers will be operated by the new company. The announcement also mentions "community publications," which presumably include Metro Pulse and the Shopper-News, also owned by E.W. Scripps.

The Journal Communications broadcast business will be folded into E.W. Scripps' existing broadcast operations headquartered in Cincinnati. The Journal Communications Broadcast Group owns several Knoxville radio stations, including WNOX 93.1, WWST Star 102.1, WCYQ Continuous Country 100.3, and WKHT Hot 104.5. After the merger, E.W. Scripps will own and operate TV and radio stations in 27 markets and will be out of the newspaper business.

Both boards have approved the transaction, which is expected to close in 2015 subject to shareholder and regulatory approval.

More:

E.W. Scripps announcement
Journal Communications announcement
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report

41
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Wed
Jul 30 2014
07:50 pm
By: Sandra Clark  shortURL

Just got home from Union County where the board of education voted unanimously to keep those 626 students who had enrolled for their first year in the Virtual Academy. It was the right and honorable thing to do.

Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman penned a bombastic letter to the BOE before caving, but BOE attorney Mary Ann Stackhouse said it best: "He seems to be stating the law."

Yes, it'd an idle threat to close a school next year -- when it's already set to expire without a legislative extension ... and when it's very like that Commissioner Huffman won't be sitting in his swivel chair anyhow.

Background three items deep at (link...)

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