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By Steve Hunley

For several years, I have pointed out the connection between the wealthy elitists and local politics.  For those who doubt it is there, all one has to do, as the old saying goes, is follow the money.

The race for the Second District seat on the Knox County Board of Education will determine whether superintendent of schools Jim McIntyre will be able to continue to run the school system like a dictator with little accountability, or whether the school board will actually do its job and not be a bunch of rubber stamps.

As anyone could have predicted, the Knoxville News Sentinel did its part to help McIntyre maintain control by endorsing Tracie Sanger.

Sanger also has the endorsement of the departed, though hardly missed, McIntyre rubber stamp Indya Kincannon.  The endorsement was tepid, but to be fair, there wasn’t much for the News Sentinel to rave about.  The Sentinel  editorial did make it quite clear that Ms. Sanger supports McIntyre lockstep.

So do all of the local wealthy elitists.  You can view Ms. Sanger’s financial disclosure list at  Of the $43,000 raised in contributions to Sanger so far, most have  come from members of the Chamber of Commerce establishment. In fact, the Haslam family has ponied up over $15,000, which is amazing considering none of them live in the Second District. This is an enormous sum and will probably be a record breaker for a school board race in recent history once we see the final tally.  She has employed professional political consultants and will likely saturate the airwaves and the mailboxes any day. You would think she was running for a county-wide office.

Sanger has also been the beneficiary of fund raising appeals sent by the Bearden PTSO, which is a clear violation of IRS rules for nonprofits.  Again, the flood of cash isn’t from the Second District, but largely from West Knoxville. Sequoyah Hills resident Joe Sullivan and his family have contributed a total of $4500.

A lot of these folks would have us believe nobody in the world has an agenda, except for me.  As I’ve said before, all these folks have an opinion and their opinion is that McIntyre can walk on water.  Personally, I think he is like a dead mackerel in the moonlight; he sure does shine, but he sure does stink.

These same good government people nearly ran the University of Tennessee into the ground picking the various presidents; we’ve seen what they did with the football program at UT.  And the result in the school system hasn’t been much different.

The guy they hand-picked to be superintendent has less actual teaching experience of an average teaching intern and was never superintendent of anything before he came here.  McIntyre has demoralized teachers to an unbelievable point.  He’s increased the bureaucracy substantially.  His droning on about change being hard and hinting that teachers just don’t want to be evaluated is pretty disgusting, especially considering it comes from a guy who has set the terms and conditions of his own evaluation, as well as the timing.  Hypocrisy?

If the people of the Second District want to elect another circus poodle to jump through the hoop when McIntyre snaps his finger, Tracie Sanger will win in a walk.  If they want somebody who has intelligence, integrity, courage and will stand up for the people who elected them, Jamie Rowe will win in a landslide.  Come November, we will see if seats on the Knox County Board of Education can be bought and sold.

The wealthy elitists sure hope they can be.