Jan 31 2007
11:37 pm

From the KNS: JJ hires Hutch for $99k


Jesus Christ, these folks are blatant.

Jan 31 2007
08:04 pm

NBC News has just announced the death of Molly Ivins. She fought breast cancer for seven years. The outspoken critic of George Bush was only 62. Her best seller Bushwhacked should be on your bookshelf.

Jan 31 2007
03:42 pm

UPDATED: This is a tentative list of seats that will be up for grabs in 2008 and 2010 by my quick estimation.

Please correct or clarify in comments. If you want to nominate better candidates to run to avoid future public process debacles like we witnessed today, let's get the party started.

I'll support any candidate willing to change commission rules against back corridor arm-twisting during 5 minute recesses. I want to start seeing these deliberations on camera.

2008 Seats Up for Grabs

1st District

Josh Jordan appointed 2007

2nd District

Charles Bolus appointed 2007

4th District

Richard Cate appointed 2007
Lee Tramel appointed 2007

5th District

Frank Leuthold appointed 2007

6th District

Sharon Cawood appointed 2007

7th District

No one up for re-election in 2008.

8th District

Jack Huddleston appointed 2007

9th District

Tim Greene appointed 2007
Paul Pinkston elected 2004


Mark Harmon Dist 2 (2010)
Ivan Harmon Dist 3 (2010) may be term limited?
Tony Norman Dist 3 (2010)
Phil Ballard Dist 8 (2010)
Mike Hammond Dist 5 elected 2004 to fill Mike Arms seat...term up in ___??

Larry Smith Dist 7 (2010)

TERM LIMITED IN 2010 (can't run)
Tank Strickland Dist 1 elected 2002 seat open in 2010
Scott Moore Dist 7 elected 2002 seat open in 2010

Craig Leuthold Dist 5 elected 2002 seat open in 2010

Jan 31 2007
01:34 pm

Reuters is reporting that California may ban conventional lightbulbs by 2012. I can see it now - a huge black market and smuggling lightbulbs into California.

The "How Many Legislators Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb Act" would ban
incandescent lightbulbs by 2012 in favor of energy-saving compact fluorescent

I have only seen a compact fluorescent lightbulb (CFL) in use once. It seemed to be okay in a lamp with a shade. However, I wasn't around it very long. Also, I know you cannot use them if you have dimmers on your lights, so how are they going to get around this?

Jan 31 2007
12:57 pm

The first meeting of the Johnia Berry Discussion group will be Saturday February 17th at 2pm at the Cedar Bluff branch of the Knox County Library. We will be actively discussing the case.

For further details please go to (link...).

Thank you.

Jan 31 2007
11:35 am

Our five-minute break is dragging on in the battle of the Fourth District. I'm trying to support good candidates and avoid all the less-reputable activities. The intrigues will make a great book, tentative title. Crashing the Commission. --Mark Harmon

Jan 31 2007
08:43 am

Live blogging from the Knox County Commission special meeting to appoint replacements for vacancies created by the term-limits ruling. Running commentary after the list of appointments.

Sheriff (Tim Hutchison): J.J. Jones
County Clerk (Mike Padgett): Billy Tindell
Trustee (Mike Lowe): Fred Sisk
Register of Deeds (Steve Hall): Sherry Witt

County Commission:
1st District (Diane Jordan): Josh Jordan
2nd District (Billy Tindell): Charles Bolus
4th District A (John Schmid): Richard Cate
4th District B (Phil Guthe): Lee Tramel
5th District (John Griess): Frank Leuthold
6th District (Mark Cawood): Sharon Cawood
8th District (John Mills): Jack Huddleston
9th District (Larry Clark): Tim Greene

8:38 We are on the scene at the City County bldg. Local media is here and commissioners are huddling. Beanster just showed up.

8:57 Call to order and roll call. Lumpy Lambert absent. Prayer, pledge. Scoobie: "Play Ball!" Oh wait, recess to wait for Lumpy.

9:06 Lumpy's here, call to order. Call for nominations for Sheriff. All pass. Smith: "What are we doing here?" nominates J.J. Jones.

Only name in nomination for Sheriff is JJ Jones. Vote. 18-0 1 pass (Schmid). Jones gets it at 9:09. Jones being sworn in at 9:11. Two minute recess to wait for judge to swear him in. 9:20 Jones sworn in by Judge Workman.

9:21 County Clerk nominations. Billy Tindell, George Stooksbury. Nomination from the floor: Jeffery Lawhorn. Tindell 14, Stooksbury 4. Tindell appointed. Question to law director. Tindell's seat now vacant. Can't vote. (Betty: Tindell out of office for the first time in 30 years.) Question: If he isn't sworn in yet, why is his seat vacant. Motion to swear him in and appoint someone to his seat. (Scoobie: the votes aren't going to be close. Schmid: Do you know something we don't?) Debate about process. Motion to vote. Griess moves to go by law directors opinion. Agreed, Schmid and Harmon vote no.

9:34 Nominations for Register of Deeds. Sherry Witt. Scott Emge. Vote: Witt 17, Emge 1 (Mark Harmon). Witt appointed.

9:37 Nominations for Trustee: Fred Sisk, One nomination. Sisk appointed, Unanimous.

9:40 Guthe moves for 4th district to go first since both commissioners are being replaced. Agreed. Nominations for 4th district seat A: Elaine Davis (Mark Harmon), Schmid: my nominee (Fisher) withdrew because of article in paper re. sunshine law. Scott Davis (Schmid). Griess nominates Fisher. Schmid: he asked to be withdrawn. Withdrawn. Lee Tramel (Lambert). Mark Harmon withdraws Elaine Davis. Greiss nominates Richard Cate. Tramel 4, Cate 10, Scott Davis 4. Richard Cate appointed 4th District Seat A.

9:49 4th District Seat B nomination. Elaine Davis (Mark Harmon). Jim Smeltzer (Guthe). Scott Davis (Hammond). Lee Tramel (Lambert). William Daniels (Smith). From the floor: Ed Shouse. Vote (fifth round) Tramel 8, Scott Davis 9. (Guthe passed.) Must have 10 votes.

10:10 Ten minute recess called. (Rumor is: Davis will get it. Guthe is the center of attention. New rumor: Swear in Cates so he can vote?

10:34 Convening. Greiss moves item be moved to end of agenda and proceed. Schmid objects. Roll call. Defeated. Voting again on 4th district seat B.

10:38 Sixth vote on 4th District Seat B: Jordon changed her vote, Guthe changed from pass to Davis. Tramel 9, Davis 9. Seventh, correction, eighth round: still deadlocked. Motion to postpone. Defeated. Ninth vote: still deadlocked. Two minute recess. (Reports that Cates was in the middle of being sworn in during the previous break but when the media converged they called it off...)

10:58 Reconvened. Smith moves to allow Tramel and Davis to speak for three minutes. Required 2/3 vote to change agenda. Motion fails. Tenth vote: Still deadlocked nine to nine.

11:01 Griess moves to put the vote at the end of the agenda. Requires 2/3 vote. Motion passes.

11:03 Nominations for 1st District. Jordan nominates Josh Jordan. Helen Lewis (Mark Harmon). Nick Della Volpe (Smith). From the floor: Jimmy Golan/Golden (?) (self), Robin Brothers (self). Vote: Jordan 16, Lewis 1, Della Volpe 1. Josh Jordon appointed.

11:09 2nd District nominations. Amy Broyles (Mark Harmon) John Wimmer (Norman). Debra Porter (Smith). Charles Bolus (Moore). From the floor: Chuck Williams. Vote (third round): Bolus 6, Wimmer 6, Porter 3, Broyles 3. Recess called at 11:21.

11:35 Resumed. Fourth vote: Bolus 11, Wimmer 5, Porter 1, Broyles 2. Bolus wins. (Got an extra vote there, not sure where the error is.)

11:38 Nominations for 5th district. Teresa Shupp (Norman). Frank Leuthold (Griess). Robin Butler (Lambert). From the floor: Tom Salter. Vote: Shupp 1, Leuthold 15, Salter 1, Butler 1. Leuthold appointed.

11:46 Nominations for 6th District. Sharon Cawood (Lambert), Howard Phillips (Smith), Jimmy Shelton from the floor. Vote: Cawood 15, (others drowned out by applause).

11:48 Nominations for 8th District: Maurice Freed (Harmon), Jack Huddleston (Mills), Kay Fazier (floor), Tom Pressley (floor, Bill Young). Vote: Huddleston 17 Freed 1.

11:54 9th District nominations. Martin Pleasant (Mark Harmon), Tim Greene (Clark). From the floor: Josh Lowe, Matt Meyers (by Josh Lowe), joke nominee "the good guest" who knows when it's time to pack up and go home, Ruby Wright (self), Ronald Lee Tucker (rants about the "travesty" and says he will keep talking until they making him leave, Scoobie says "then I'll have to ask you to leave"). Vote: Greene 16, Pleasant 1. Greene Appointed.

12:00 Recess called.

12:04 Rumor: Chuck Bolus sworn in, may seat him to try to break the deadlock. Tramel in?

12:08 Reconvened. Bolus takes Tindell's seat.

12:10 Mark Harmon, point of order: notice someone new seated. Objects to swearing in one commissioner instead of all as previously agreed. Law director: this was always a possibility. Bolus has taken the oath, filed it with the clerk. He may take his seat. Schmid: Stinks! Despicable, underhanded, something to that effect. Insult to the people of the 4th district. Guthe: should we now start over for 4th District nominations? Law director: Yes, because Bolus was not involved in nominations. Lumpy: Can others be sworn in? Lumpy moves to recess to swear in replacements. Scooby, this was always a possibility. Anyone can get sworn in if they want. Guthe withdraws motion. Scoobie asks if anybody wants to be sworn in.

12:16 Start 4th District B nominations all over again. Elaine Davis (Mark Harmon), William Daniels (Norman), Lee Tramel (Ivan Harmon), Jim Smeltzer (Guthe) Scott Davis (Hammond). Scott Davis (from the floor) withdraws name from nomination. Tramel 12, Daniels 1, Smeltzer 4, Davis 1. Tramel appointed.

And that's all folks!

UPDATE: Speculation is that Ragsdale was the loser today, and now he's looking at a tough budget with a new under/unfunded pension, and no votes on county commission to raise any new taxes. One person remarked that "we just witnessed a sheriff who is out of office take over Knox County government."

Whatever it was we watched today, it was historic (as radio talk show host Hubert Smith who was sitting nearby put it) and from my point of view it was fascinating.

And not knowing who all these people were or the names being thrown around or all the power plays and insider trading going on, I REALLY appreciate Betty Bean helping me at least get some of the names spelled right. I'm sure she will have a full play by play of all the inside baseball and dynamics at play in the next Halls Shopper. Scott Barker will likely have a good report in tomorrow's News Sentinel, too.

Photos after the jump...


Jan 31 2007
12:15 am

Not only do we get the Commission spectacle starting at 9 a.m., but two other interesting meetings are also on tap.

At 4:30, the City's Neighborhood Task Force will present its recommendations to Mayor Haslam. Not 100% sure where the meeting is, but they've been meeting at LT Ross. Open to the public.

At 5:30, in the Small Assembly Room, the South Waterfront Oversight Committee will hold what we all devoutly hope is our final meeting. Also open to the public. The agenda is primarily considering a bunch of changes that have been requested by Bill Baxter and some other large property owners along the river. These folks aren't asking for tweaks - they're asking for MAJOR changes that would alter the very nature of the plan. Heavy duty lobbying has been going on the last week or so. 'Twill be interesting to see what happens.

Jan 30 2007
11:22 pm

(And now for something completely different. This week and next I'll be posting a word of the day feature.)

From the definition for humble pie:

In the 14th century, the numbles (or noumbles, nomblys, noubles) was the name given to the heart, liver, entrails etc. of animals, especially of deer - what we now call offal or lights. By the 15th century this had migrated to umbles, although the words co-existed for some time. There are many references to both words in Old English and Middle English texts from 1330 onward. Umbles were used as an ingredient in pies, although the first record of 'umble pie' in print is as late as the 17th century.

It is possible that it was the pies that caused the move from numbles to umbles. 'A numble pie' could easily have become an umble pie', in the same way that 'a napron' became 'an apron' and 'an ewt' became 'a newt'. This changing of the boundaries between words is called metanalysis and is commonplace in English.

Wikipedia makes a more careful distinction between metanalysis ("the act of breaking down a word or phrase into segments or meanings not original to it") and junctural metanalysis:


Jan 30 2007
07:50 pm
By: Andy Axel  shortURL

The Way of the K00k is not easily understood by those of a sane set of mind. Herein the seeker may find keys with which the ineffable K00K Mind might be fathomed...


Jan 30 2007
06:29 pm

Looking into my crystal ball, the smoke is clearing...... the picture is coming clear.............

Here are my predictions for tomorrow:

District 1. Josh Jordan
District 2. Jonathan Wimmer
District 4. Two of the following three: Richard Cate, Lee Tramel, Ed Shouse
District 5. Frank Leuthold
District 6. Sharon Cawood
District 8. Jack Huddleston (seat-warmer for Steve Hunley)
District 9. The Greene guy who was just announced

Trustee: Fred Sisk
Clerk: Billy Tindell
Register of Deeds: Sherry Witt

So say I
(and I'm winning a $100 bet!!!! Yay!!!)

Jan 30 2007
04:58 pm

The Nation's current cover story, "The Way Down South" by Bob Moser is a must-read for all Southern Democrats.

(And for state and national party leadership folks if they care about winning any more presidential elections.)

There's too much good stuff to excerpt here, so read the whole thing for an informed and entertaining perspective on how Democrats "lost" the South, how national Democrats abandoned us, how "Republican-lite" campaigns aren't working, and what we ought to be doing going forward.

As our friend Chris Kromm (who is quoted in the article) says in his commentary about article:

How would the South be different today, if the Democrats had adopted a "50 state strategy" and invested in policy and media infrastructure in the South that could identify the issues and constituencies for progressive success?

It's impossible to say, but the answer to that question has enormous relevance today, as Democratic leaders debate about whether to "forget the South" or "move to the right in the South." Perhaps history points to a third option: investing in the creation of a new progressive majority in the region.

As in a "New Third Way"? Anyway, go read The Way Down South. This will be on the test... in 2008.

Jan 30 2007
03:38 pm
By: Knoxquerious  shortURL

The writing has been all over the wall for the past few weeks. As the leading Democratic vote getter in August though, it would not surprise me to see him back in the picture next year. Let's all wish the best of luck to the new sheriff and their (yes I am aware it's plural...TH and JJ) appointed buddies on commission. The campaign starts tomorrow at 10:00am, so get out there and start raising that money.


Jan 30 2007
02:56 pm

Pinkston/Clark committee selects Tim Greene. This and other term limit replacement news in the latest KNS update.

Jan 30 2007
02:48 pm

More on the Senate minimum wage debate.

"The Clinton administration learned that in dealing with an opposing majority in Congress he had to give something to get something. It's not clear in this case, though, how giving tax breaks to 25 million small businesses in return for a $2.10 per hour wage increase that affects only 1.8 million workers is such a great deal."

Jan 30 2007
11:30 am
By: Justin  shortURL

The Tennessee Valley Authority and some of its distributors are experimenting with "smart meters" that can measure electricity use by the hour.

Does anyone know if/when KUB will try this out?

Jan 30 2007
10:27 am

I heard this song on the way to work today; just in case County Commission wasn't listening, I wanted to dedicate this to (most of) you:

Read it after the jump...


Jan 30 2007
07:50 am

Reddog warned us that the draft was trying to be reinstated. Rangel has now introduced the bill. I have posted a couple of additional quotes and links the most important being a link to contact your representative.

In 2003, Rangel introduced HR 163; legislation that would draft both men and women between the ages of 18-26 starting as early as June 2005. It was defeated 402-2 the following year in the House of Representatives, with Rangel voting against his own bill. [Source]

Jan 30 2007
01:22 am

The Tuesday evening candidate forum at Whittle Springs Middle School was a great success, attracting most of those seeking appointment to the open positions in Knox County government. They had a chance to speak before 13 of the 19 county commissioners, and answer questions from an audience of around 200 people.
Volunteers from the League of Women Voters helped me conduct a preference poll of those attending. Those numbers are presented below, but one should stress that these are but one measure that likely will guide county commissioners in their decisions on Wednesday. Other important factors will be the qualifications of the applicants and their answers to the varied questions (storm water, land development, taxes, school support, etc.) raised by the audience.
Most of the attendees were from the Second District, and most (but not all) appeared to follow the instruction to vote only in their own district and the countywide offices, Thus, with all the precautions about a preference poll ballot, these numbers were tallied at the end by two LWV volunteers:

More after the jump...



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