By Steve Hunley

A Strange Event

Evidently Christine Cruz recently held some kind of event at Cherokee Country Club.  Originally billed as a “Let Freedom Ring Fundraiser,” it was to feature Robby Starbuck from Nashville, who is a candidate for Congress.  Thing is the Tennessee General Assembly hasn’t redrawn the lines for the congressional districts in our state as of yet.  There has been considerable talk the legislature may divide rock solidly “blue” Davidson County into three pieces in redistricting.  The goal of course would be to squeeze out another Republican congressman from Tennessee, leaving only Steve Cohen in Memphis amongst the GOP congressional delegation from our state.  The primary for the state elections will be held next August and as of now, Starbuck hasn’t even been nominated and doesn’t have a district to run in as of yet.

Of course Cherokee Country Club is the bastion of the establishment Republican set, all of whom are for incumbent County Commissioner-at-Large Larsen Jay, Cruz’s opponent.  Basically, Cruz got to town and was immediately recruited to run for the Knox County Commission by then-GOP county chair Randy Pace.  Cruz’s campaign is being run by the Angle Group, which now Republican Party chairman Daniel Herrera was or is a partner.  From what I hear, the attendance at the event was on the pitiful side and pretty much nobody here knows who Robby Starbuck is… or Christine Cruz, for that matter.

It also perfectly illustrates the problem with candidates who have only just arrived in Knox County.  They have no real roots in the community, haven’t been here long enough to establish any credentials with fellow voters, nor do they really know anything about the individual communities (and their voters) that comprise Knox County.  That makes for a hard slog in a campaign.

That kind of candidate might be popular with the handful of blue-state refugees that make up most of the Knox County Republican Party Executive Committee, but let’s face it, that is a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the tens of thousands of people who will be voting in a GOP primary here.  The great majority of the folks voting inside a Republican primary in Knox County have no idea who Randy Pace is and the insurrectionists aren’t having much luck in electing their candidates.


More Bad Biden Policy

Joe Biden’s advisors have apparently managed to cut through the fog that surrounds him to take notice of his dismal poll numbers.  Somebody at the White House has also thought to do something about rising gas prices.  The Biden solution?  Tap the reserves to the tune of 50 million barrels in the hope it will help stop the higher prices as winter approaches.  And where are the reserves?  In the ground of course.  These are the same geniuses who, in the name of the Democrat party’s religion – – – climate change – – – killed the pipeline in the United States.  These are the same bad policy makers who turned America from being energy-independent to energy-dependent, while granting Vladimir Putin a pipeline in Europe.  Inflation is at its highest point since 1946 just after World War II.

Biden shows literally no understanding of the problem and let’s not forget, the Democrat party has an official policy to drive up the price of gasoline because they want people to buy electric cars and discourage driving.  Biden’s solution is like someone quitting a very good job and then spending the family savings on Pokémon.

Only 4% of Americans think things are going very well under Joe Biden.


A Sad Day in Waukesha

The terrible tragedy in Waukesha, Wisconsin is beyond understanding.  Evidently, Darrell Brooks, Jr. allegedly tried to run over his girlfriend before being allowed to post an astonishingly low bail to get out of jail.  Apparently, that is one of the hallmarks of the leftist district attorney general in the area.  Bail reform is a big thing to most leftists, allowing folks like Darrell Brooks Jr. to post either very low sums or nothing at all to be back on the streets and in the neighborhoods of law-abiding folks.  Clearly, the restorative justice attempts all too often puts the public in danger by giving criminals the chance to commit additional offenses.

I doubt very much Americans are going to hear as much about Darrell Brooks, Jr. as they did Kyle Rittenhouse.  Evidently Brooks has a criminal history going back to 1999.  According to news reports, there is an active warrant for the arrest of Darrell Brooks, Jr. for a sex crime in Nevada.  Among the charges against Brooks over time in a 50-page rap sheet are numerous firearms and battery convictions, strangulation, drug charges and sex offenses in three different states.

Last Sunday, Brooks allegedly drove through a crowd of innocent people attending a Christmas parade.  As of this writing, six people have died as a result, the last to succumb from injuries was an eight year-old child.  The victims thus far are Wilhelm Hospel, 81, Virginia Sorenson, 79, LeAnna Owen, 71, Tamara Durand, 52, and Jane Kulich, 52.

So in addition to having allegedly tried to run over his girlfriend, there was the outstanding warrant in Nevada when Darrell Brooks, Jr. was able to pay the ridiculously low bail and get back out on the streets.

The leftist district attorney of Milwaukee, John Chisholm, is looking into the matter now, but some bureaucrat ought to lose his/her job over this.  Six people have lost their lives because of this egregious decision and the lives of those they left behind will never be the same.  The holidays and Christmas in particular will be awfully difficult for the loved ones of the victims killed in Waukesha, Wisconsin.  Now families are planning funerals instead of holiday dinners.


Severance vs. Herrera and Lee?

The political season for 2022 seems to have begun shortly after Daniel Herrera took over as Knox County Republican Party chair and candidates are still popping up.  Rhonda Lee is apparently running for the Knox County Commission in the 7th District.  Lee ran hard against Public Defender Eric Lutton last year and lost.  Apparently hope really does spring eternal as evidenced by Gina Oster’s perpetual campaigns for public office seem to come every other year.  Oster may be Rhonda Lee’s guiding star as she enters the GOP primary.  Lee would have to be the underdog as Chuck Severance has a head-start and solid support inside the district.  Severance is the son of long-time state Representative Charlie Severance and his wife Phyllis.  Phyllis Severance occupies a rarified status among many Republicans for her long service to both the GOP and in government.  Phyllis Severance worked for then-governor Lamar Alexander and was director of Human Resources for Knox County under then county executive Tommy Schumpert.

There have been reports Daniel Herrera has been introducing Lee around the courthouse, which would – – – yet again – – – seem to be a contravention of the Tennessee Republican Party’s rules against interfering in primary elections.  It will be interesting to see if Rhonda Lee just happens to be a client of either the Angle Group or Erik Wiatr.

Chuck Severance’s wife, Kim, served a term on the Knox County Board of Education from the Seventh District.  Severance is making his first run for public office but has a long record of community service and has been active inside the local Republican Party.  Lee will be hard-pressed to catch up to Chuck Severance.


TN State Supreme Court Appointment

The untimely death of Tennessee State Supreme Court Justice Cornelia Clark leaves a seat on the high court which must be filled by Governor Bill Lee.  The appointment will come from either East or Middle Tennessee as no Grand Division of the State may have more than two justices at one time.  Among the applicants are Kristi Davis, who just recently was appointed to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Judge Charles Susano Jr. on the Tennessee State Court of Appeals.  Another East Tennessean who is interested in serving on the Tennessee State Supreme Court is Doug Overbey, a former state Senator who also served as U.S. Attorney during the Trump administration.

At last count there were no less than 11 applicants, all of whom will go before the Governor’s Council for Judicial Appointments.  The final three names will be presented to Governor Lee.  The governor has the right to reject the names or choose one from the three presented to him.

It will be interesting to see just who Governor Lee will select, especially as whomever he appoints to fill the vacancy caused by Justice Clark’s passing will have to face the voters next year in a retention election.  So, too, will Governor Lee face the voters and both East and Middle Tennessee counties are mostly Republican.