By Steve Hunley

Republican Incumbents Beware

Never before, at least not in my lifetime, can I recall the officers of the local Republican Party more blatantly using their positions for self-promotion and self-preferment.  The latest is failed state House candidate Elaine Davis, who ran unsuccessfully against Gloria Johnson in 2020.  Davis has picked up a petition to run in a GOP primary against incumbent state Representative Eddie Mannis.  A former Democrat, Davis quickly aligned herself with Daniel Herrera and the little band who boarded and pirated the local Republican ship of state.  Frankly, there is no real issue for a primary challenge to Mannis who has been effective during his first term in the legislature and has been responsive to the people he represents.  Elaine Davis, like several others, is simply desperate to be elected to something.

There is a little core group who just really don’t like Eddie Mannis because he once voted in a Democratic primary, something they don’t apparently hold against Davis, Steve Weiner or their favorite “strategist” Erik Wiatr who was both a Democrat and Green Party activist, a pretty exotic background for someone who says he now believes in the fire-breathing gospel of conservative Republicanism.  Clearly, their dislike of Mannis is rooted less in that one thing than something else.  Few people in Knox County have given of themselves, their time and money to do for the community as has Eddie Mannis.  Eddie’s Honor Air program is one of the best things anyone has done for veterans in recognition of those who have served our country.  Nor is there any other program I can think of that provides such an opportunity for young people to learn from a veteran so directly.

Let me point out that I don’t always agree with some of the public officials I support the most strongly.  My point is, I don’t expect any public official to do everything I would do were I in his or her place.  I don’t always agree with my closest friends.  The far right of the Republican Party is exactly like their counterparts on the far left of the Democrat Party; any disagreement is a sign of the most heinous perfidy and that person must be canceled out or destroyed.  It is a pretty ugly side of people and politics.  Unfortunately, that, along with Elaine Davis’s desperation to be somebody, is the driving engine of her campaign against Eddie Mannis.


ATTENTION Scott Golden!!!

Speaking of Elaine Davis’ leap from her perch as vice chair of the Knox County Republican Party to run against a Republican incumbent there are more signs something is amiss here locally and worthy of the state party’s attention.  Let me go through it all, briefly, Scott, in case you don’t know.  There is Daniel Herrera and his supposed former partnership inside the Angle Group which monetized local political races and helped challengers inside Republican primaries.  Then there is Steve Weiner who resigned as local party vice-treasurer and announced his challenge to veteran Judge Tony Stansberry.  Then Weiner changed his mind and bounced over into the race for county commission against Republican at-large incumbent Larsen Jay.  And there is the common thread all of these candidates either employ Erik Wiatr or the Angle Group, a positively stunning coincidence, don’t you think, Scott?

As this is written, there’s been no announcement I have seen that Elaine Davis has resigned her position as vice chair of the Knox County Republican Party since she announced her candidacy against state Representative Eddie Mannis.  So, we have three out of four of the elected party officers, as well as former chair and local Executive Committee member Randy Pace, who seem to be mighty active inside GOP primaries.  It doesn’t take Columbo or Sherlock Holmes to figure out something is amiss here.  If you still can’t see there are folks who may be violating our party’s state bylaws, feel free to give me a call. I’d be happy to discuss this with you in greater detail.


Connect the Dots

Follow the Money

Speaking of Erik Wiatr, the recent campaign financial disclosures show some interesting money movements.  The failed candidates for the Knoxville City Council managed by Wiatr who have money left in their campaign accounts have been donating to the campaigns of Rhonda Lee and Gina Oster, both of whom have hired Wiatr.  In fact, Oster’s biggest expenditure to date is her payment to Wiatr.  It was Wiatr who managed Oster’s failed campaign for the state House in 2020.  Judson Mason, who withdrew as a candidate for the Knox County Commission in the 7th District, also closed out his account and signed up as Lee’s campaign treasurer.  Mason also sent a $500.00 contribution to Elaine Davis; while the contribution appears on Mason’s disclosure, it hasn’t shown up on state records for Davis’ anticipated primary campaign against Eddie Mannis.

Financial disclosures record contributions from the accounts of Garrett Holt and Jim Klonaris going into the campaign kitties of Rhonda Lee and Gina Oster.  The flow of money may be a bit complicated, but a lot of it ends up in the same spot: Wiatr’s pockets.


Misinformation Hypocrisy

Facebook regularly bans those it claims are spreading misinformation.  Evidently, “misinformation” changes over a period of time.  The holy of holies has been the COVID mantras held precious by the Left.  Like the dogma of the strictest church, the Left’s “truths” about COVID are absolutely inviolate and one should be figuratively burned at the stake for a mere breath of heresy, even if it turns out, that doctrine is just not true.  Ask Joe Rogan.

The mainstream media, as an extension of the Left and the Democrat Party,  has done little to bring out the truth, but slowly, very slowly, facts are beginning to emerge.  The flips accomplished by the High Priest of COVID doctrine, Anthony Fauci, are worthy of the most accomplished circus seal.  Fauci flatly stated the following: “When people are vaccinated, they can feel safe that they are not going to get infected.”  Did that turn out to be true?  Of course not.

Then comes the study done by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, which finds the COVID lockdowns were ineffective.  The study said “. . .lockdown policies are ill-founded and should be rejected as a pandemic policy instrument.”  As this is written, the study has been completely ignored by MSNBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, and NBC, as well as the published tribunes of the Left: the New York Times and the Washington Post.  It amounts to a news blackout by the mainstream media.  The Johns Hopkins study was a “meta-analysis” of several studies which concluded, “While this meta-analysis concludes that lockdowns have had little to no public health effects, they have imposed enormous economic and social costs where they have been adopted,” the researchers’ paper states.