Jul 22 2013
03:42 pm

Commission considering nominees, set to vote soon after considering one month delay to vet candidates...

UPDATE: Commission appoints Craig Leuthold

Elwood Aspermonte's picture

Sounds like Leuthhold is a done deal

That's why they were looking to reschedule the vote when it was 5-5.

Typical outcome to be expected from a bunch of hicks, rubes, and cornballs that call themselves county commission.

Line them up and throw them out next year if anybody runs against them.

If you want a real clear understanding of what is the matter with Knox County and the local government, just look at the ten baffoons on the stage today. R. Larry being the biggest and most embarrassing of them all.

Anonymous972's picture

great manager

He'll be a great general manager of McDonald's...wait, that was for Trustee?!? I guess it makes sense since he could never do the WORK necessary for McD's.

fischbobber's picture


His son told me it was a done deal when we bought a baseball glove from him at Dick's the other night. I didn't believe him then but.........

Now I'm wondering if it was youthful exuberance and positive thinking, or if he indeed was privy to information that escaped me.

fischbobber's picture

Conflict of interest?

Given the relationship between the Leutholds and the Briggs campaign, isn't it a conflict of interest for Briggs to vote for Leuthold?

Could he have recused himself from the vote because of this conflict?

SnM's picture

It's not a conflict for the

It's not a conflict for the junior Leuthold's father to be treasurer of Briggs' campaign, but Briggs would have been prudent to have abstained from voting to avoid the appearance of conflict. Hay will be made from such strawmen.

At least Shouse, wisely, withdrew.

fischbobber's picture

Which junior Leuthold?

The story I got was that politics and the political scene was a primary topic of conversation between the three generations at the Leuthold household.

It looks like at minimum extremely poor judgement (and likely just that) at best.

I thought Briggs was supposed to be the guy with integrity in the Republican primary.

SnM's picture

I don't know anything about

I don't know anything about the Leuthold household (maybe they could call it the "Leutholdhold"?). I believe it isn't a conflict of interest for Briggs to vote on a matter involving the son of his campaign manager, but I also think he should have treated it as such s a matter of course.

Even if he has the entire GOP establishment behind him, for a guy challenging a sitting state senator with a vicious, vocal and vociferous following, Briggs is providing them plenty of yummy feasting fodder.

fischbobber's picture

This isn't a slam on Luethold

But the four commissioners voting for Manning were Broyles, Anders, Hammond, and Shouse.

(I love Ownby's lapel pins in the commission pictures by the way. How interesting and fashionable.)

I find the bedfellows odd and given the recent discourse on the level of Briggs unimpeachable integrity I'm wondering if perhaps I shouldn't be questioning his judgement.

We Democrats (and Greens for that matter) really should get busy and find some common ground.

While we certainly could have done worse in a trustee pick, this process has left me with a WTF? taste in my mouth.

Rachel's picture

On the first round the voting

On the first round the voting was Leuthold 5, Manning 4, and Curtis 1. Tony Norman voted for Curtis

On the second round, the vote was 5-5 with Norman switching his vote to Manning.

On the third round, it was 6-4 with Norman switching his vote to Leuthold.

If the fix was in, that's an odd way for it to manifest itself.

And the "odd bedfellows" came from perspectives. The folks voting for Manning were the ones who thought it important that a "caretaker" get the appointment. The ones who didn't think that mattered voted for Leuthold.

SnM's picture

Of course, Hammond said the

Of course, Hammond said the appointment being a caretaker mattered to him, until it came voting time.

Rachel's picture

Hammond voted for Manning.

Hammond voted for Manning.

SnM's picture

Ah, thank you. I heard the

Ah, thank you. I heard the Broyles, Anders and Shouse vote but did not hear the Hammond. Mea culpa.

fischbobber's picture


I never said the vote was fixed. Are you implying it was?

Rachel's picture


if I misinterpreted your post:

His son told me it was a done deal when we bought a baseball glove from him at Dick's the other night. I didn't believe him then but.........

Now I'm wondering if it was youthful exuberance and positive thinking, or if he indeed was privy to information that escaped me.

fischbobber's picture

It looks odd

The whole thing just looks odd to me, and it's not like Knoxville has a history of local government that is dominated by integrity. Especially as of late.

But since you've brought it up and now have me wondering, if indeed the 5 votes needed for stalemate were indeed in the bag from the outset, is that illegal?

I just found all this election stuff out tonight. It's very much a "Say what?" situation for me.

Looking at the voting blocks, I can't help but remember that my grandma told me I'd be judged by the company I kept.

Rachel's picture

"in the bag"

I didn't "bring it up." You did, with your post about Leuthold's son and how that had you wondering.

Having five (or six, or seven) votes lined up is only illegal if Commissioners discussed the matter among themselves beforehand. There's nothing illegal about Leuthold lobbying Commissioners, and I'm sure he did so. His dad probably did as well.

Leuthold may have even had assurances from five of them that they'd vote for him. Again, nothing illegal or unethical about that.

Please note I've made no comment pro-Leuthold or pro-Manning or anti-anybody. I'm just addressing process.

fischbobber's picture

Please note

Nor have I.

I don't have anything against any party involved.

The process looks odd, and the coalition strange.

My point has only addressed an odd circumstance( which I believe I mentioned somewhere in an earlier thread) and an odd situation. When one combines the insistence that Briggs has some sort of superhuman integrity level and superior ability to govern his fellow man, it stands out.

To quote SNL,

It's one of those things that make you go, "Hmmmm".

Pam Strickland's picture

No one has said that Briggs

No one has said that Briggs has super human integrity or superior ability to govern. At least I haven't heard anyone say that. What I have seen and heard is that he is a man of integrity and is generally a leader on commission. Don't take statements out of context. You know better, Bob.

Rachel's picture

Ah, Pam, you took the bait.

Ah, Pam, you took the bait. Don't.

Observer's picture

"It's one of those things

"It's one of those things that make you go, "Hmmmm"."

What is strange is that you would have preferred a sitting Commissioner to be appointed in violation of the Charter Amendment on Conflict of Interest. So Black Wednesday is fine if your guy gets the appointment? There was no conflict of interest to appoint Leuthold. I would have preferred a caretaker. They went the other way.

fischbobber's picture

My choice

I would have preferred Schumpert, though at this point I doubt that it matters and am not sure if that was even realistic.

SnM's picture

Elected office holders are

Elected office holders are almost always going to tend toward a familiar face and name with which they feel comfortable. No big surprise there.

But Leuthold's lengthy tenure under Lowe and Sisk ought to have undergone much greater scrutiny, although, since he hasn't been there for a few years, the bond-issuer probably won't balk.

And Leuthold is now a shoe-in for the office in 2014 barring scandal (if such can be barred, given the party and the office), in keeping with the new state mandate:


fischbobber's picture

Late applicant

He was a late applicant. Frankly, that's why I didn't by into the idea of him winning. It all seemed very last minute to me.

Again, it's not that anything was wrong or illegal, it's just that it all looks, well, either real odd, or real predictable, depending on whose story you're going to buy into.

Rachel's picture

BTW, while I think that

BTW, while I think that Shouse probably did the right thing by withdrawing, I suspect that being able to count to six was also involved.

fischbobber's picture

How does everyone know?

How does everyone know how everyone was going to vote? Is there some sort of Knoxville illuminati thing going on here?

Rachel's picture

It's not rocket science. I

It's not rocket science. I can tell you pretty much how City Council will vote on almost any issue (don't pay as much attention to Commission but in many ways they're even more predictable). You mostly just need to know the players, their histories, their philosophies, their past alliances, their constituencies, etc. etc.

In other words, pay attention over time.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


How does everyone know how everyone was going to vote? Is there some sort of Knoxville illuminati thing going on here?

Not necessarily.

Sometimes people lobbying their elected officials reveal to them what their colleagues on the deliberative body have said about how they plan to vote.

Those of us doing the lobbying really aren't supposed to help our elected officials get around the Sunshine Laws that way, but it happens.

Rachel's picture

Yup, that happens - although

Yup, that happens - although I found out when I was on MPC that you have to be careful putting too much stock into what people told you about how other Commissioners were going to vote.

People tend to hear what they want to hear, and sometimes elected/appointed officials get pretty coy. Once in awhile they flat out fib to ya.

fischbobber's picture

And then there is this


Among other things, the bonding costs will indicate what the experts in the private sector think about the process. Money talks, you know.

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