Jan 13 2016
06:40 pm

Citing a "crisis regarding school board," Cornerstone Foundation president Laurens Tullock is apparently working his e-mail list to remove Bud Armstrong as law director in the upcoming election he characterizes as "crucial," Betty Bean reports.

Tullock writes...

One of the biggest reasons that drove Dr. McIntyre to resign was the politics being played on school board issues by the current law director.

...and urges recipients to "do anything within your power to elect Nathan Rowell," Armstrong's opponent.

Tullock also endorsed District 2 school board candidate Grant Standefer and District 5 candidate Buddy Pelot and gave their home addresses, Betty says.

All of which is certainly Tullock's prerogative as an individual. But he's sending this stuff out via his 501(c)(3)'s e-mail account. And 501(c)(3)s can't endorse candidates. And Tullock's an attorney who should know that.

GSD's picture

Sounds like he got his

Sounds like he got his invitation to the "Prop up Mcintyre mo matter what and laws and ethics be damned" party a few months too late.

Of course, had he shown up on time, he wouldn't have found a very big crowd.

Interested citizen 's picture

You are wrong, Tullock!

You are wrong, Tullock! Very wrong!

Bad Superintendent's picture

Where is the local media?

Why is this Tullock violation not on the front page of the KNS? But they do have time for an Editorial supporting appointed school Superintendents. (link...)

EO Operational Requirements: Endorsing Candidates for Public Office

Can a tax-exempt organization endorse candidates for public office?

The type of tax exemption determines whether an organization may endorse candidates for public office. For example, a section 501(c)(3) organization may not publish or distribute printed statements or make oral statements on behalf of, or in opposition to, a candidate for public office. Consequently, a written or oral endorsement of a candidate is strictly forbidden. The rating of candidates, even on a nonpartisan basis, is also prohibited. On the other hand, a section 501(c)(4), (5), or (6) organization may engage in political campaigns, provided that such activities are not the organization's primary activity.

In addition, section 501(c) organizations that make expenditures for political activity may be subject to tax under section 527(f). For more information, please see Election Year Issues.



concerned's picture

body of the email

This is wrong on so many levels. It went out to the West High PTSO, just like the one in the last election. People are breaking the law.


I know that you have heard by now that Dr. Jim McIntyre resigned yesterday as Knox County School Superintendent, effective July 8. Over the past eight years Dr. McIntyre has taken this system to measurable results never seen before, including the highest graduation rates, highest ACT scores, and Level 5 (the highest possible) system student outcome scores. All of this culminated this last year in Knox County Schools being named an Exemplary School System – the only large system in the State to ever achieve that honor.

Yet, as Dr. McIntyre said in his resignation, “We stand today at a strange place where educationally we are more successful than ever, yet politically there seems to be more negativity and noise.” Dr. McIntyre resigned rather than to remain the lightning rod for that negativity, so that hopefully the focus can be put back on what is best for the future of all of our children.

We also have the opportunity to do something about removing some of that negativity and noise from decisions surrounding our School System. There is a crucial election coming up on March 1 where the Knox County Law Director will be chosen. The choice is between the incumbent, Bud Armstrong, and the challenger, Nathan Rowell. One of the biggest reasons that drove Dr. McIntyre to resign was the politics being played on School Board issues by the current Law Director.

I ask you to examine the professional credentials and experience of each candidate, and I hope you conclude to help do anything within your power to elect Nathan Rowell. The timing of contributions is crucial for success right now, and if you are so inclined, the details of how to contribute are at the bottom of this message. Feel free to adapt this message to inform other folks in your own networks.

About Nathan:

· Nathan Rowell is a partner at Watson, Roach, Batson, Rowell & Lauderback, where he has been practicing since 1997. His primary areas of practice are in civil rights, employment law, and government tort law.
· He has served on the Board of Directors of the Community School for the Arts, Church Street United Methodist Church, and Wesley House. He grew up in Sequoyah Hills.
· Nathan has a deep respect and appreciation for education. His late father was Dean of the UT College of Education (Dr. Charles Glennon Rowell), and his mother is a retired teacher.
· Nathan has never run for office and is truly a “professional and not a politician”
· Professional bio: (link...)

About Bud:

· Bud received his law degree after retiring from TVA. He was a practicing attorney for 3 years prior to running for law director.
· He served 2 terms on County Commission, representing East Knox County. He ran for a 3rd term in one of the at-large commission districts, but was beaten by Ed Shouse.
· Since serving as law director, he has shown a desire to use the law as a political weapon. His lack of experience makes him susceptible to mistakes, putting the taxpayer at risk.
· He has been a continual thorn in the side of the current school board majority. He uses legal maneuvering to delay or fight votes on issues he wants to fight. In addition to attempting to gut the superintendent’s employment contract, he attempted several legal maneuvers to thwart the approval of the International Baccalaureate program at Bearden Middle School. He has continually encouraged County Commission to take school board items off the consent agenda to discuss and vote on them, directly in violation of the agreed upon “consent decree”.

Timing and Logistics:

· The election is March 1, but early voting begins on February 10th. That means most of voter communication will be going on in the next 6 weeks. The first major expenditures will be coming due in the next ten days, with another round of expenditures coming at the end of January.
· Each individual can contribute up to $1,500, which means $3,000 per couple, per election.
· An online donation button hasn’t been added yet. Sending a check saves over 3% in transaction fees, and does not have the transferring limitations that online options provide.
Checks can be mailed to:
Rowell for Law Director
850 Volunteer Landing Lane ,#105
Knoxville, TN 37915

(I would also urge you to support Grant Standefer in the Fountain City School Board district race, and Buddy Pelot in the Farragut School Board district race. Contributions to Grant can be made to Standefer for School Board, 5547 Beverly Square Way, Knoxville 37918. Contributions to Buddy can be made to Pelot for School Board, 9211 Colchester Ridge Road, Knoxville 37922).

J Laurens Tullock, President
Cornerstone Foundation of Knoxville
625 Market St., Ste. 1200
Knoxville, TN 37902-2219
Ph 865-637-1912
Fax 865-546-5199
Admin Asst Jackie Slagle

When you expect more, students achieve more!

Laurens Tullock's picture

My Endorsement of Nathan Rowell

I always enjoy reading the Shopper News on Wednesdays. When I read the paper yesterday, I did not expect to see my personal endorsement of Nathan Rowell for Knox County Law Director which I sent to 26 of my friends by email on January 5 as the subject of a front page story in the Shopper, but I guess in this age of social media, none of us should ever be surprised to see something that was intended as a personal note become public. (By the way, I don't even have a facebook account, and have no idea who put it on the West High PTSO facebook page.)

Although the original recipients clearly understood this endorsement as my personal opinion, I want to make it absolutely clear that the comments in my January 5 email were entirely my own, and were in no way intended to reflect the opinion or endorsement of Cornerstone Foundation of Knoxville, or its directors, or other employees. As Tamara Shepherd indicates in the beginning of this thread, I should have sent out my personal endorsement on my personal email account to avoid any confusion in that regard, but as she also notes, I have every right to endorse as an individual.

Therefore, my personal endorsement of Nathan Rowell for Knox County Law Director stands. I have been a licensed attorney for 37 years, and for almost 20 of those years worked in government environments, first as an attorney for the U.S. Air Force, then as a federal prosecutor for the U.S. Justice Department (and local U. S. Attorney's Office), and then as director of community development and public service for the City of Knoxville. I am acutely aware of how important it is to have extremely competent, professional, and non-political representation of Knox County government and the school system in the law director position. That is why I endorsed Nathan and am proud to do so.

Laurens Tullock

concerned's picture

why corporate signature?

"Although the original recipients clearly understood this endorsement as my personal opinion, I want to make it absolutely clear that the comments in my January 5 email were entirely my own, and were in no way intended to reflect the opinion or endorsement of Cornerstone Foundation of Knoxville, or its directors, or other employees."

Then why this? It can't be your personal opinion when sent on corporate email with your corporate credentials.

J Laurens Tullock, President
Cornerstone Foundation of Knoxville
625 Market St., Ste. 1200
Knoxville, TN 37902-2219
Ph 865-637-1912
Fax 865-546-5199
Admin Asst Jackie Slagle

When you expect more, students achieve more!

Dante's Beatrice's picture

Now is the winter of our discontent

Here is the purpose statement of the Cornerstone Foundation of Knoxville...

"The purpose of Cornerstone Foundation of Knoxville is to serve as a catalyst to reach our God-given potential as a community. We were founded on the belief that Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone, and that He expects us to live out the values of Christian stewardship and to seek the peace and prosperity of the city in which He has placed us. Therefore, our funding and activities are focused on the Greater Knoxville geographic area, and on specific priorities resulting from extensive research to determine the most effective strategic actions that can be taken to reach our full potential as a community."

These are noble and beautiful ideas...Unfortunately, your cynical and calculated misuse of the valuable 501-C -3 stands starkly in contrast to these ideas.You don't deny doing this. Rather you decry that it went public.This cynicism and personalized version of morality is a virus that infects our body politic.You seem to have a vision of a privatized ("for profit" in Cleveland )charter school system for which the public must pay.This system includes a proviso that may include or exclude any child.In other words, it is a virtual re-segregation of the school system, but in the hands of (and benefiting) a private (for profit) group or corporation.This is a shocking and disappointing revelation.
This particular political scheme appears as a rerun of what you and your GoodOldBoy cronies did to "insure" the election of the obsequient but well trained cappuccino rubber stamp Tracie Sanger .This level of moral duplicity smacks of desperation and depravity. You know better.We expect this of theBroadie Toadies like McIntyre, and the Chamber stooges, but not you...until now.
The tainting of this process must be examined and perhaps could be wound into the Office of Civil Rights investigation of KCS violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.At the very least, your 501-C -3 status should be examined.These outrageous endorsements and repeated pleas for donations (under the clear 501-C-3 logo)may qualify as contributions in kind and could merit a tax re-assessment of the foundation.
This may taint all the people you have endorsed and for which you solicited money( in your secret 501-C-3 e mail above). The public needs a very thorough accounting and a repudiation from the candidates.If they are unwilling to do fully, then they should withdraw.

There is a ray of sunshine...

Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York
....Richard III, Act ,Scene 1

Average Guy's picture

Prerequisite for new Super

Must be able to accept sometimes "negativity" is truth and "noise" can be legitimate concern.

If unable to understand this basic concept of leadership, please do not apply.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


As Tamara Shepherd indicates in the beginning of this thread, I should have sent out my personal endorsement on my personal email account to avoid any confusion in that regard...

My goodness, Laurens, if I hadn't spotted my name in that sentence, I might have missed your scant apology altogether, buried as it was in your lengthy curriculum vitae...

But this isn't the first time you have dragged along those "working" for you in what appears to be an organizational endorsement.

You did essentially the same thing in your efforts with Knox Charter Petition, too, and compromised many of your volunteers (me included) when media brought to light what your own volunteers didn't know, namely that KCP's ballot initiative promoted to "clean up" local government had been funded on the basis of donor letters you personally penned, promising those donors that the initiative's success would pave the way for unified ("metro") government.

There's a pattern of non-disclosure here.

There's also a pattern of less than "extensive research" in your talking points.

Just as you assured me personally that KCP's ballot measure to bar county employees from service on the commission was NOT against the law (before you went to court on that point and lost), it is NOT the case, either, that "Dr. McIntyre has taken this system to measurable results never seen before, including the... highest ACT scores."

Whether you think people won't fact check an assertion like that at the State Report Card or whether maybe you didn't fact check it yourself, I don't know, but here's what that readily available record says concerning KCS students' composite ACT scores by year, all the way back to the first year following passage of NCLB:

Rpt Card Yr / 3-Yr Avg ACT / Indiv Yr ACT

2015 / 20.4 / 20.7

2014 / 20.2 / 20.4

2013 / 20.4 /20.2

2012 / 20.5 / 20.6

2011 / 20.9 / 20.4

2010 / 21.4 / 20.5--yr all high school juniors required to test

2009 / 21.9 / 21.8--yr McIntyre hired (7/08, bef school yr began)

2008 / 22.0 / 21.9

2007 / 22.0 / 22.0

2006 / 21.8 / not avail

2005 / 21.6 / not avail

2004 / 21.3 / not avail

2003 21.0 / not avail

We see, then, that from 2009 to 2010 the composite score for the individual year ACT fell from 21.8 to 20.5--1.3 points--as the testing pool grew from just college-bound juniors to all high school juniors. That's understandable.

However, over the five years since that time, we do NOT see that this same individual year score has recovered to its 2009 level and we certainly do NOT see that it has recovered to its "pre-McIntyre" levels of 2008 and earlier.

Really, given that the testing pool grew to include all high school juniors in 2010, the ONLY way we could make any assertion that these same individual year scores since 2010 are "measurable results never seen before" or that they are the "highest ACT scores" would be if we somehow knew what these scores would have been before 2010, had all students then tested.

I certainly can't guess what those pre-2010 scores would have been under those circumstances and since your CV doesn't indicate any paranormal abilities on your part, either...your claim appears wholly unsubstantiated.

(We'll have to leave discussion of the high school grad rate for another day, but surely you're aware of growing concern nationally for the credit recovery programs being used to inflate them? If not, some authoritative reporting is here, here, and here.)

Cece's picture

not the first time as a bully


Why do we have non-profits bullying people here?

"Seconds after the appointment of Fugate by the County Commission last month, Sam McKenzie blamed the appointment on the workings of a “puppet master,” and Amy Broyles had a teary meltdown and accused the commissioners of committing Black Wednesday 2.0

Several days later, Mr. Fugate, wearing his signature straw hat, was on his way to the A.J. Building to fill out his paperwork. He was approached by another gentleman wearing a straw hat. As Fugate prepared to greet him and compliment him on his hat, the gentleman spoke, addressing him by name.

“Mr. Fugate, if you are coming down here to cause a problem on this school board or with Dr. McIntyre, I hope that the business community runs you out of town.” Fugate replied, “Well sir, I am my own man.”

Fugate learned the straw hatted stranger was none other than McIntyre supporter and Cornerstone Foundation president J. Laurens Tullock."

Tamara Shepherd's picture


I have some concern for Laurens having sent this e-mail from his non-profit's address but I have more concern for that e-mail's content.

Quite simply, it's chock full of half-truths and outright untruths. In particular, there is nothing subjective in this question of whether the school system's ACT scores are up or down since Dr. McIntyre's hire.

Taken at face value, they're down. At no point since his hire have students averaged that system wide score of 22 from 2007.

Alternatively, taking into consideration that the testing pool grew in 2010 to include all students whether or not they were college-bound, we simply can't tell if ACT scores are up or down. That's because we simply don't know how students would have performed in the aggregate prior to 2010 if all of them had been required to test.

Either way, though, no basis whatsoever exists for maintaining that ACT scores are at any all-time high.

And like I previewed to Laurens, there is plenty of debate underway, too, as to whether our increased grad rate is anything meaningful, given the concern for many of the credit recovery programs being used to effect it.

Sandra Clark's picture

My story

Hey, Cece, you're quoting a poor rewrite of a post "Fear the Hat" from Shopper News (reposted on KnoxViews on Sep 11 2014
08:55 am).

Call me sensitive, but after reading the KNS report TODAY on Tullock's more recent email ... in which no mention is made of Betty Bean or Shopper News ... and Tullock is allowed to say, (paraphrase) "somebody posted it on Facebook or something," I'm a bit sensitive.

It's always been hard to get a scoop with a weekly; it's nigh near impossible in the age of blogs ... yet Bean and I get our share and it would be nice to have them attributed.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


You're right to expect attribution, Sandra.

If it's any consolation, I go to the Shopper for information *first* anymore (and I'll bet a lot of other folks do, too).

R. Neal's picture

Yes, the KNS ripoff story was

Yes, the KNS ripoff story was lame.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


At least the KNS ran a story.

Did the Knoxville Mercury? The e-mail went out on Monday and KM hit the newsstand on Thursday, right?

I looked and didn't spot one? Were they not in the loop?

Anonymous....'s picture

The Irrelevant paper

Are they still in the paper business? I keep reading on Facebook how they are begging for money.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


I have been skeptical of the business model for financing the newspaper. It's hard to imagine how an "independent" weekly might be such if its financial support is reliant on the benevolence of parties it should be covering in its news stories?

A couple of weeks back, the paper ran an editorial lambasting the law director, yet dismissive of the AG Opinion that official is touting as instructive of the frequency with which the BOE should be renewing its superintendent's contract. That may or may not be indicative of a conflict.

This week, the paper has been silent on the Tullock e-mail. That may or may not be indicative of a conflict.

All I know for certain is that some of that e-mail's recipients have also been major donors to the paper.

I will be interested to read any account they have of the Tullock incident, if and when they should offer one.

Treehouse's picture

I beg your pardon?

The Knoxville Mercury is an unimportant as the "obscure blog" that you post to. Thank goodness for the differing perspectives and no, I don't think they have to cover ever story in Knoxville to be relevant. Thanks, Mercury, for telling the stories no one else will.

Bad Superintendent's picture

here is your answer

Joe Sullivan is on the Tullock train:


Don't expect much from the New Metro Pulse. It ain't the old Metro Pulse.

Tullock's cry baby meme of "mean old law director chased off our great school Super" is bunk. What Armstrong did was follow the law. That is what they can't stand. Like Tullock's breaking the law on his fund raising letter, this group thinks they are above the law.

Anonymous Knox Resident's picture

Incompetent Law Director

Bud Armstrong is extremely unqualified to represent the legal interests of a county of almost half a million people. He might do alright somewhere like Bean Station or Maynardville, but Knox County is way out of his league. Why would the citizens elect a man with less than 3 years legal experience to this position? His challenger Joe Jarrett was extremely well qualified, even teaching courses on municipal law at UT. Bud's petty bickering with the Superintendent will have nothing but negative consequences for the pupils of the school system or the fiscal condition of the county. Now we the taxpayers are stuck with the bill on a severance package that is completely unnecessary and our school system will be set back years of progress.

Thanks for nothing BUD!

Knox Countians, please take a little bit of time to review the qualifications of the candidates before you vote rather than simply choosing a name you recognize.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


It may be that Armstrong's law credential and/or his years practicing are lesser than Rowell's, I don't share Armstrong's opinion that we should elect our superintendent of schools, and I'd rather we didn't elect our law director, either.

That said, if by "petty bickering with the superintendent" you mean that Armstrong has directed the BOE's attention to this 2001 State AG Opinion #01-102 that should guide the frequency with which they renew Dr. McIntyre's contract, he certainly appears to be right.

And I, for one, was grateful to have this better frame of reference for how that process is supposed to work. It led me to try to learn more about how other of the state's school systems write and renew their supers' contracts, during which effort Armstrong was kind enough to answer some of my questions. What I learned was that our super's contract is far more generous than that of any other large urban school system in Tennessee, so I shared those findings at KV just recently, in comments here.

Rather than trying to discredit Armstrong's professional qualification for the office, you could probably do your candidate more good by presenting your argument for how Armstrong's work product is lacking?

I think most voters are more concerned for this officer's performance than for his pedigree.

Cece's picture

Tullock people are funny

"Knox Countians, please take a little bit of time to review the qualifications of the candidates before you vote rather than simply choosing a name you recognize."

Ever watch a BOE meeting? Here is Bud Armstrong doing a fine job as Law Director straightening out two BOE members who are trying to violate the country charter. You can't ask for more in a Law Director.


Bud Armstrong follows the law. Does Nathan Rowell? The Tullock email is out there on the Internet with the names of the people he sent it to. If Nathan Rowell accepts any campaign donations from the people in that email he is not fit to serve as Law Director. Those donations are tainted. Same thing goes for Grant Standefer and Buddy Pelot. Buddy is a lawyer. Let's see if he returns those tainted donations. Grant is a minister. Let's see what the character of these people is.

Also, Doug Harris the BOE Chair was on that email. Did Harris send it to the West High PTSO like he did last time in the last election. I hope Bud Armstrong looks very closely at Doug Harris to see if that was legal.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


...with the names of the people he sent it to.

Who did he send the e-mail to? Can you list the names here?

Cece's picture

Can you list the names here?

They are all public figures. But I won't do that without permission of KnoxViews.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Good point. Randy, would KV be compromised in any way by this?

Usual Suspects's picture

bet I know

Is it a Who's Who of Leadership Knoxville Grads?

Pilot Lite's picture

Oh, Christ!

LBJ* ordained McIntyre to carry out His vision in the Knox public schools? But He needs the help of the Cornerstone Foundation email account.

Oh, Christ!

*Little Baby Jesus

concerned's picture

complaint filed with the IRS


"KNOXVILLE — A Knox County school board candidate has filed a complaint with the IRS alleging the president of a local nonprofit sent an email supporting several candidates, including her opponent.

In a news release, Jennifer Owen, who seeks the 2nd District seat on the school board, filed the complaint against J. Laurens Tullock, president of the Cornerstone Foundation of Knoxville, claiming the email violates the IRS' regulations around nonprofits endorsing political candidates.

"(The email) violates these regulations because it was sent through Cornerstone's email service and contained Mr. Tullock's official Cornerstone signature information," she said in a news release."

Tamara Shepherd's picture


I'm glad Jennifer called him on it. I rather suspect this isn't the first time he's done it.

Village Idiot's picture

The real story here is...

The real story here is we have some idiot that holds a law degree and makes over $200,000.00 a year.Yet he has no clue how to use Facebook. Cannot handle more than one email account,give him two and he gets confused and breaks the law.

Yet this village idiot thinks he is so wise that he needs to pontificate why EVERYONE should vote for a former lawyer of KNS.
First learn how to use Facebook. If you need help,I will gladly have my nephew in kindergarden help you. Otherwise, go back to sponging off a bunch of millionares and leave politics to the grown adults who have Facebook and know how to use email!

Knoxgal's picture

I don't think not being a Facebook user

I don't think not being a Facebook user disqualifies one from a job, but I did find it shocking that Lindsey Graham had never used email and was running for President. He would never be able to hold a white-collar job in the real world.

anonymous...'s picture


Not knowing how to use Facebook in 2016 is like not knowing how to use a rotary phone in the 80's.

Knoxgal's picture

Get real

Get real. My husband doesn't use Facebook - or any social media - and has no interest in learning. He has, however, achieved the pinnacle of his career with much recognition and numerous national awards.

R. Neal's picture

Donila has a copy of the full

Donila has a copy of the full email...


Usual Suspects's picture



Average Guy's picture

Sling duckets if they will,

sooner or later they'll realize, currently, message is trumping money.

Did Armstrong help McIntyre's exit? Yes.

So did Burchett, the Commission and newly elected BOE members.

Why? Because more of their constituents than not asked them to.

Tullock has the right to support (and ask for support) his people, but to lay McIntyre's qutting at the Law Director's feet is myopic at best.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Barack Obama likely "helped" Arne Duncan resign.

Bill Haslam likely "helped" Kevin Huffman resign.

And Tim Burchett, Bud Armstrong, the county commission, and new BOE members all "helped" Jim McIntyre resign.

THEN Congress passed ESSA last month, dissing pretty much every "reform" these three education leaders espoused.

The plain truth is that this era of Test and Punish the Fat Cat Teachers is on its way out, nationwide. It may take a little longer to usher it to the door here in Tennessee, but it will find the door.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Although having said that, I should concede this: The SCOTUS may yet impose a speed bump in how quickly this era passes altogether.

You may or may not be aware that the SCOTUS heard oral arguments this past Monday in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Union, which case turns on public sector unions' agency fees.

The prognosis for public sector unions is not good. We will know any day now just how bad. The Atlantic has an update earlier today and here is the NYT on the subject, from Monday of this past week.

Dante's Beatrice's picture

Curious to see what this one has to say

I just got back home and heard from a business partner that the full list of those receiving the improper Tullock email in question is up on Knox Focus 24/7.
I am going to go there and take a look. (link...)

GSD's picture

Tullock is the perpetual

Tullock is the perpetual wannabe of the Knoxville "Business Elite", and is now trying to get the attention of the big-buck kingmakers from whom his "foundation" sponges their money by attempting to "step into the arena" to take up a cause - the propping up of McIntyre and his disastrous tenure - that said kingmakers have already abandoned for reasons of self preservation and political expediency.

They are laughing at you, Mr. Tullock. You are making a fool of yourself and you will never get a seat at the big boy's table.

And the fact that you cloak you amateurish political manipulations in "the values of Christian stewardship" (as your "nonprofit" organization's mission statement describes) makes your hypocrisy stand out in even greater relief.

Average Guy's picture

Don't know about laughing,

but I didn't see Bean on that email list.

So at minimum, he doesn't have the allies he thinks he does.

Tamara Shepherd's picture

Ding, ding, ding!

We have a winner!

Dante's Beatrice's picture

Whoops, I did it again

Conversation over heard at super secret,DEFCON 5,emergency campaign meeting,....deep inside the Cornerstone/ Broadie Toadie / Chamber /Charter School / Pilotization War Room Bunker.....

Cthulhu , Master of Gas Gouge and Cappuccino speaks ,....."Laurens ,what the hell were you thinking? We have run this scam over and over again.How did you let this email slip out?"

L Tullock,Viceroy of Cornerstone,
" Whoops I did it again. (link...) ."

Dante's Beatrice's picture

The Whoopsie Defense

I found an article called the "Whoopsie" Defense over at the Focus. I am not a regular there, but this was interesting.I had forgotten that BOE member Tracie Sanger had a "Whoopsie" moment in her campaign.Ms Sanger(who will be referred to as Pam Trainor 2.0 from now on) was the beneficiary of an improper fund raising e-mail.Let us hear from the article:...

"In that instance, an email seeking campaign cash for Sanger went through a PTO organization, yet another tax exempt supposedly non-political organization. WHOOPS! In both cases, the offenders pleaded it was just an oversight, a simple mistake. WHOOPS!Yet these lapses of judgment have occurred in both campaigns and Sanger raised a staggering amount of cash for her campaign, largely from the business types that also donate to organizations like the Cornerstone Foundation and other tax exempt organizations. WHOOPS!.

Jennifer Owen, instead of meekly accepting whatever the establishment wants to dish out, stood up for herself. Owen’s opponent, Grant Standefer, is the head of a tax exempt organization himself. Standefer needs to state, and quickly, whether he approves of Tullock’s actions. Just how many of these tax exempt organizations are participating in local politics? Probably more than a few, especially when they are caught all they have to say is “Whoops!”

I have respect for Mr Standefer, but I am deeply concerned that our vital public /private partnerships and 501-C-3 agencies have been tainted by the Pilot Privatizing in this beautiful valley.Maybe the better word for this is Pilotization of all the public and private institutions in the self styled Haslam Kingdom.

Whoops, There it is.

Matthew's picture

Christina Graham

McIntyre should be given the exact same compensation package he thought Christina Graham should get and here is why...

If KNS and Doug Harris and the Pro McIntyre crowd really believe that numbers and results should have "saved McIntyre"...well then why didn't the same great numbers and results save Christina Graham? if Jim McIntyre didn't think great numbers should save her, then great numbers should not save him.
Also, let us all remember, Christina Graham got FIRED for doing a good job, with good numbers. McIntyre is quitting because he no longer has the billionaire club or those that sold their souls to the billionaire club.

Yet as Jim McIntyre is finding out real fast, the reality is that even if you sell your soul, once they are done using you and have no are on your own.

So I conclude with Matthew 7:12

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

So to Mr. Tullock, when you say Bud is not following the law, I say you sir are wrong on both counts. Both the law of the land, and in this case, the law of the bible, Bud is following.

Bad Superintendent's picture

WBIR news


"A Knox County school board candidate has filed a complaint with the IRS alleging that the President of the Cornerstone Foundation of Knoxville is in violation of IRS regulations after sending an email supporting several political candidates.

Jennifer Owen, who is seeking the 2nd District seat on the Knox County school board, filed the complaint against J. Laurens Tullock, after he showed support for Owen's opponent according to a news release."

ann v.'s picture

Thanks KnoxViews and all contributors/commentators

Thanks once again to KnoxViews and people who comment on KnoxViews.

Dante's Beatrice's picture

NAACP letter to Knox Co Commission Jan 19,2016

Here is a copy of the letter sent by the local NAACP (Jan 19,2016) to Knox County Commission concerning the proposed MOU and the proposed construction of the new Gibbs Middle School.This is an effort to establish a cause of action due to bad faith in the matter of the MOU that would support an OCR intervention and, perhaps, a federal lawsuit against the KCS for violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VI .There will be more to come on this matter.

PO Box 14096, Knoxville, TN 37914
Rev. Dr. John A. Butler, President
865-617-2603 |

The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.

January 19, 2016

Knox County Commission
City County Building
Suite 603
400 Main Street
Knoxville, TN 37902

Re: Postpone or Do Not Approve New School Building Contracts

Knoxville Branch NAACP opposes Knox County Commission approval of construction contracts for new Knox County schools at this time because construction of the proposed schools will likely result in an unjustified, adverse disparate impact on students of color.

On November 13, 2015, the Knoxville Branch NAACP requested that the U. S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights (OCR), investigate concerns relating to the discriminatory use of Capital Funds for new school construction by Knox County School District.

On December 18, 2015, the Knoxville Branch NAACP, as well as the Knox County School District, was informed that the OCR will investigate “whether the District’s plan for the construction of Gibbs Middle School will result in re-segregation, in noncompliance with Title VI.”

Knoxville Branch NAACP respectfully yet strongly insists that the Knox County Commission cease any further action on school construction or construction decisions until completion of the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights investigation and potential mediation process.

“As a recipient of Federal financial assistance from the Department, the District is subject to the provision of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI), 42U.S.C. §§2000d et seq., and its implementing regulation, 34 C.F.R. Part 100, which prohibit discrimination on the bases of race, color, and national origin.”

The Knox County Board of Commissioners met in Special Session on Monday, June 15, 2015 and approved R-15-6-101-SS – “Resolution of the Commission of Knox County, Tennessee, approving an Intragovernmental Memorandum of Understanding between and among the Knox County Commission, the Knox County Board of Education, and the Knox County Mayor regarding teacher compensation, the building of a Gibbs Middle School and a Hardin Valley Middle School” and entered into the agreement on July 1, 2015.

Therefore, the Knox County Commission, in partnership with the Knox County Schools, may be subject to findings of violation of the provision of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI), 42U.S.C. §§2000d et seq., and its implementing regulation, 34 C.F.R. Part 100, if the Knox County Commission approves the building contracts or proceeds with construction activities prior to the findings provided by the U. S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, and/or until a potential remediation process is completed.

Therefore, to ensure equal educational opportunities for all Knox County students, the Knoxville Branch NAACP respectfully yet strongly insists that the Knox County Commission’s decision be postponed or not approved until completion of the U. S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights investigation.


Rev. Dr. John A. Butler, President
Knoxville Branch NAACP

Attachments - 3

Gloria Sweet-Love, President, TN NACCP
Bradford Berry, General Counsel-NAACP National Office
Victor Goode, Interim Director of Education-NAACP National Office

Dante's Beatrice's picture

"Original" letter to OCR from NAACP

Here is a copy of the "original" letter sent to the OCR by the local NAACP concerning the MOU and the potential violations of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.The NAACP claims that this pattern of behavior on the part of Dr McIntyre/KCS and Knox County government :....
(1)will “have an unjustified, adverse disparate impact on students based on race and/or national origin.” ...and...
(2)will “re-segregate” Knox County schools through the use of new capital construction

Stay tuned..This could get very interesting.No wonder Broadie Mac wanted to grab his"Golden Parachute" and jump

PO Box 14096, Knoxville, TN 37914
Rev. Dr. John A. Butler, President
865-617-2603 |
The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.

November 6, 2015

Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
61 Forsyth St. S.W., Suite 19T10
Atlanta, GA 30303-8927

To the Office of Civil Rights:

The purpose of this letter is to ask the Office of Civil Rights to investigate concerns we have with Knox County and the Knox County Schools (912 S Gay St, Knoxville, TN 37902). We feel that this investigation will be both alarming and telling of the discrepancies as it relates to the investment of tax payer capital resources. Over the last five (5) years, over $70M - $100M has been invested in Capital Funds for new school construction by Knox County/Knox County Schools.

Schools have been replaced and new schools have been built only in communities with 95% white population. Conversely, minimal dollars or no new construction in schools with African-American population greater than 5%. We feel that this practice will “re-segregate” Knox County schools through the use of new capital construction. Examples include:
Carter Elementary
Gibbs Elementary
Funding by the County Mayor and the County Commission and vote by the Knox County Board of Education to build a new Gibbs and Hardin Valley Middles Schools in 2016-2017.

While we do not oppose construction of community schools, studies paid for by the Knox County schools system and the Knox County government have revealed that capacity is not the reason for new construction in most cases, especially with Carter Elementary and the funding for a new Gibbs Middle School.

We believe these practices will “have an unjustified, adverse disparate impact on students based on race and/or national origin.” It is our concern that this discriminate use of Capital Funds for new school construction by Knox County/Knox County Schools will dismantle a previous agreement that Knox County schools has with the Office of Civil Rights concerning desegregation; (link...).


Rev. Dr. John A. Butler, President
Knoxville Branch NAACP

Gloria Sweet-Love, President, TN NACCP
Bradford Berry, General Counsel-NAACP National Office
Victor Goode, Interim Director of Education-NAACP National Office

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Just cross-posted this second (November) letter to the thread about the OCR's investigation of the Gibbs project, too. Thought it would be easier to find for anyone possibly wanting to dig it up later?

Dante's Beatrice's picture

Thanks Tamara

Thanks Tamara.I probably should have posted these over on you OCR thread in the first place.I was reading Betty's thread and just put them up............DB

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Thanks for copying us, Dante. Hope you don't mind that I also cross-posted the letter to the thread entitled Office of Civil Rights investigating new Gibbs Middle School, since a conversation was already underway there on this topic.

Roscoe Persimmon's picture

In my opinion, candidate should file complaint with BPR

which regulates attorneys in the State of Tennessee. The Supreme Court of Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility takes a harder look at the ethics of its attorneys than the IRS, which would be looking at the entity, not the officer. Tullock may have to self report his violation of federal tax law, although the candidate has been the one injured by the actions. I don't think the BPR recognizes the "whoopsie" defense.

Cornerstone Foundation was championed by Rodney Lawler, his longtime business partner, Pat Wood, championed the East Tennessee Foundation, hate to see either foundation or their officers engaging in politics in Knox County or in East Tennessee, that's not what they were set up to do and if their leadership has already counted their money up for the day, they should be reminded by the IRS not to play politics from the position of a not for profit tax exempt foundation.

fischbobber's picture


Is this the same Lawler/Wood that was involved in Haslam's homeless scam? The one where the Ten Year plan would pay inflated prices to people in the private sector for distressed property? Then the government would approve plans and money to lower the value of surrounding property, thus making it more enticing to real-estate vultures? Seems like there's a pattern forming.

It's all about helping poor people though, really, it is.

Is rigging markets illegal?

Elwood Aspermonte's picture

You should study the IRS Form 990s for these foundations

You'll find a cornucopia of the well healed and moneyed sorts of old line Knoxvillians on the boards/directors of these two foundations and the East Tennessee Foundation dwarfs the Cornerstone Foundation, although the Cornerstone presidency pays better, but both have the generally prescribed purpose of improving community the quality of life in the valley, much akin to TVA's original charter, but I'm not so sure that politicking for some folks the high binders deem qualified or preferred is what these foundations are all about. has images of all of the information and the particulars associated with these two foundations and they are not anywhere nearly as transparent as you would think that they are.

The foundations have done a tremendous amount of good in various areas in and around East Tennessee for a long, long time, however, they shouldn't even have a hint of misdirection or political engagement, but this is Knoxville not to be confused with Nashville, Charlotte, Atlanta, Dallas, or Chicago.

GSD's picture

Holy cow. Watching the BOE

Holy cow. Watching the BOE meeting right now.

Looks like the Chamber-types woke up to send in the troops. According to Mr. Philander Claxton, those who dare question Dr. McIntyre's regime are "afflicted with leprosy".

Roscoe Persimmon's picture

You'll find a young Haslam on the board of Cornerstone

Board hasn't changed much over the years, not sure how Tullock's solicitation on behalf of these candidates would further the foundation's realization of God given potential, but then again, maybe the IRS ought to take a very hard look at that form 990. I doubt the daily newspaper rag will do much with it, maybe some of the other blogs or news heads might take a look and see how supporting political candidates actually furthers the foundations charitable purposes.

Acorn,, and now, in my opinion, Cornerstone Foundation, nothing but politics hidden behind a thinly veiled charitable organization, get your popcorn ready.

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