Publisher’s Positions

By Steve Hunley

Anemic City Elections

The City of Knoxville elections have come and gone and hardly anybody noticed it.  The lack of interest on the part of city voters in the off-year is matched only by their conspicuous absence.  The fact so few people bother to vote should be an embarrassment to the city government.  When candidates for the Knox County Board of Education and County Commission get more votes than a mayoral candidate, it is hard to say that any candidate for a post in the city government has a mandate.

The results of the recent city election shocked very few people.  The defeat of longtime Judge John Rosson was probably the biggest news to come from the election results.  For 36 years Rosson presided as Knoxville’s municipal judge and was a constant presence at the political events of both parties for decades.  Tyler Caviness, a thirty-something attorney with a scanty resume, won the general election.  From the beginning, the leadership of Knox County’s Democratic Party lined up behind Caviness’s candidacy, ignoring the candidacies of Mary Ward and Andrew Beamer, both of whom are Democrats.  The Caviness campaign was linked to that of city council candidate Debbie Helsley through Jack Vaughn, campaign manager for both campaigns.

Rosson ran first in the primary election, but only narrowly, which gave Caviness an advantage in the general.  Judge Rosson campaigned on his long experience while Caviness mouthed vague platitudes about “reimagining” the court.  The contrast between the two candidates was stark with the aging incumbent facing the fresh-faced newcomer.

Despite being labeled by the Democrats as a Republican, Rosson ran very well in the Black wards.  Victor Ashe, whose claim to being a Republican is highly doubtful, constantly bad-mouthed Rosson and was omnipresent at the Caviness party on the night of the general election.  The country club Republicans did little or nothing to support Rosson and as a result Caviness won big majorities in Sequoyah Hills and the like.

Those same precincts – – – and Democrats usually run very well in precincts like Sequoyah due to the well-off University of Tennessee personnel who live in an area once dominated by Knoxville’s old money – – – gave large majorities to city council candidate Tim Hill.

Hill had been running for more than a year, collecting the biggest campaign war chest of any candidate, yet the businessman proved to be an awkward campaigner.  Hill seemed wary of offending Indya Kincannon, hoping for her support against Councilwoman Amelia Parker.  Unfortunately, Hill wasn’t equally wary about offending plain old voters and his perch on the planning commission provided him a means to upset entire neighborhoods.  Tim Hill ran far behind Parker in the primary election, but ahead of Matthew Best who had the support of Mayor Kincannon and her minions.  Parker is highly critical of  Kincannon, not because of her socialist views, but rather for having been one of the very few council people to question or oppose the administration.

Just as the administration was unable to pull Matthew Best through the primary, it was barely able to move the needle for Hill.  Amelia Parker, who had little money to spend, handily beat the candidate with the most funding.


Closing Gay Street Is A Bad Idea

Speaking of Mayor Kincannon, the city government is “experimenting” with the closure of part of Gay Street.  Gay Street from Wall and Union avenues will be closed to traffic from 7 p.m. until 4 a.m. on November 10 and 11; November 17 and 18; December 8 and 9; and December 15 and 16.  According to the City of Knoxville, the “experiment” involves allowing pedestrians the opportunity to enjoy having the section of Gay Street all to themselves.

All parking on Gay Street would be banned, sending everyone to nearby garages and street meters.  According to the City’s press release, if city officials decide they like the idea, then the Gay Street closure will occur on a regular basis along with “other city streets” possibly.

You can count on it.  Kincannon and company believe in the municipal utopia outlined by Democratic Socialists, which eliminates the need for people to own and drive cars.  “Walkability” is part of their Holy Grail of living.  The cultural Marxism of the Left constantly defies logic or simply doesn’t care.  Businesses downtown, which employ people who in turn pay taxes, also pay hefty taxes, both property and sales taxes, which flow into the City’s coffers.  Obviously, the more difficult it is for customers to park and get around downtown, the more likely it is businesses will see a smaller clientele.  The homeless downtown were already a problem and many Knoxvillians complained of the smell of urine permeating the area, which does little to attract visitors.  Many of those same people occupy their time by panhandling and some get right aggressive about it, making many people uncomfortable.

David Moon, a businessman and perhaps the sole columnist for the Knoxville News-Sentinel, aside from Bob Booker, to have a lick of sense, cautions the city government not to be in such a hurry.  Moon is exactly right, but Kincannon and her merry band of Wokesters will pay no heed.  They will do their best to keep the herd growing on their unicorn ranch.

Ethics Committee Gets It Right, Finally

Knox County Commissioner Kyle Ward released a statement following the unanimous decision by the county’s ethics committee saying the complaint against him was not valid.

“I am glad Mr. Covington was able to manipulate the rookie journalist at the News Sentinel into building some name ID for him at my, and the taxpayers’ expense.  Maybe he will fare better in his next run for public office.”

It was a well-deserved dig at a perennial candidate for public office as well as the daily newspaper which has been politically biased against Ward for his conservatism on the Knox County Commission.  Under the regime of the USA Today banner, the News-Sentinel tries to be as woke as Disney and the holy of holies, at least in Knox County.

The News-Sentinel has had it in for Kyle Ward and then-Commissioner Justin Biggs for addressing what were the excesses by some in the health department during COVID.

There are very few people who are politically aware who aren’t cognizant of just exactly where the Knoxville News-Sentinel stands on the political spectrum.  Anyone can charge wrongdoing and the ethics committee was unanimous in its decision to exonerate Ward.

Leftist Hypocrisy

The convoluted reasoning of the Left that allows them to be antisemitic is by labeling Jews as the beneficiaries of “white privilege.”  Evidently, anything is permissible in persecuting any human being labeled as having enjoyed ‘white privilege’ by the Left, including the greatest slaughter of Jews since the Holocaust.  The Left and Leftists have created several cottage industries creating “anti-racism” groups, which go on to excuse racism in the name of stopping racism.

Any travesty, no matter how vile, no matter how vicious, is apparently justified by the Left.  Safe spaces on campuses?  Gone for Jewish students and let’s be honest, there hasn’t been freedom of speech on college and university campuses in years.  Anyone who takes a view different from their narrative must be destroyed.  Just like in Adolf Hitler’s Germany.