By Steve Hunley

Liberals Sue to Block Wright-Niceley Bill

To the surprise of no one, the Wright-Niceley Bill, which establishes residency requirements for candidates for federal office is Tennessee, has been challenged in a new lawsuit.  As noted by the Tennessee Journal, the suit is filed on behalf of three voters who say they want to vote for Morgan Ortagus. While endorsed by Donald Trump, Ortagus is the very definition of a carpetbagger.  The suit has been filed by a Washington, D.C. law firm, Dickinson-Wright.  The Tennessee Journal points out the suit is rife with typos, including the spelling of the Volunteer State as “Tennesse,” “Repulican,” “Consitution,” and several other appalling mistakes which appear throughout the document.

Perhaps one reason for the suit to be riddled with misspellings is the folks drafting it were in an all-fired hurry.  So much so, the bill, as of this writing, has yet to be signed by the governor.  Nobody seems to be able to recall any similar instance of a bill passed by the General Assembly being challenged before it has even become law.

The state legislature does not control political parties.  Morgan Ortagus, and anybody else for that matter, is free to run for Congress, but the Wright-Niceley Bill only prohibits her from running as a Republican.

Ortagus registered to vote in Tennessee last November.


The Rest of the Story

Older readers will remember the late Paul Harvey’s radio broadcasts of some years ago, “And the Rest of the Story.”

For whatever is left of the readership of the Knoxville News-Sentinel, there may be the occasional reader who wonders why former Knoxville Mayor Victor Ashe takes every occasion to batter Knox County Law Director David Buuck. Lo and behold, there is a “rest of the story” in this instance as well.

Buuck made his reputation as an attorney by successfully trying a myriad of lawsuits having to do with the annexation of property outside the city limits of Knoxville.  And who was the mayor who continuously and aggressively ate up lucrative sales-tax producing properties to feed the City of Knoxville’s appetite?  Why Victor Ashe of course.  The City had already gone out of the school business, which gave its employees much better pensions than those of their counterparts in the county.  In fact, occasional penny-pinching Victor gets a nice pension from four terms as mayor of Knoxville and so will his daughter, Martha, after he has gone onto his eternal reward.  In the City, pension rights can be assigned.  Not something that is especially good for the taxpayers, but those who receive them doubtless really like them.

The annexations by the City of Knoxville took in virtually every big sales-tax revenue-producing area outside what were then the city limits.  That practice robbed the Knox County School system of a bigger share of sales tax revenue.

Of course, with the closure of the city school system, Knox County was left holding the bag (and the bill) for updating school buildings literally filled with asbestos; not only that, but very few were even air-conditioned and were sweltering during the warmer months.  Knox County taxpayers shelled out some $90 million the first go-round to begin removing the asbestos from the buildings where children sat day in and day out, as well as air conditioning them.

Victor Ashe is probably more responsible as an individual for taking more money from the Knox County School system than any single person in history since Tennessee has been a state.  Yet he tut-tuts over David Buuck’s office settling suits for his clients, the Board of Education.  Victor might have a law degree, but if he ever used it, I’m not aware of it.

On the other hand, David Buuck surely used his law degree and was highly successful in representing homeowners who did not wish to be annexed into the City of Knoxville and pay double taxes.  David Buuck won every lawsuit, 268 of them to be exact, with the City and Mayor Ashe.  Victor might well have saved himself some grief had he employed Buuck to defend him when he was sued by a gaggle of firefighters who claimed the mayor had retaliated against them and violated their civil rights for their having supported his opponent in an election at the time.

Now, as Paul Harvey would say, you know the rest of the story.


Deceptive Political Advertising

I don’t reckon there’s a single person who will be shocked we have candidates running in the primary elections running deceptive advertising campaigns.  If there were an award for deceptive advertising in local politics, the prize would likely go to former Sheriff Jimmy “JJ” Jones who is attempting to return to office.  Jones has blanketed the county with an ad blaming Sheriff Tom Spangler squarely for the homeless problem in our community.  Using some headlines from local TV stations and the like to give it the appearance of an epidemic in the county that isn’t even realistic.  For instance, a story from WVLT-TV headlined “Homelessness in Powell Sees Major Uptick” is about four people being arrested behind a Walmart for littering and theft.  Another story ripped from the headlines is from WBIR-TV 10 News entitled, “More homeless camps spotted in Knoxville.”  And there is the actual answer to the problem.

Well, yes, Knoxville is inside Knox County, but it also has its own government, not to mention its own police department.  Unfortunately for city residents, the administration of Indya Kincannon has backed policies that have exacerbated the homelessness problem in Knoxville.  The more free housing that is provided, and free programs, the more attractive a place becomes to the homeless, who flock here, just as they have to Los Angeles, Seattle and the like.  And make no mistake about it, the epicenter of the homeless problem in Knox County is located squarely within the city limits.  When County Commissioner Larsen Jay posted a picture of a tent village below an underpass in the city and wondered why the city government could do no better, Leftists inside the city very nearly swooned with anger.  When KPD officers were at another tent village in South Knoxville, Councilwoman Amelia Parker inserted herself into the mix, actually interfering with the officers attempting to do their jobs.  Parker retold the tale, casting herself as the heroine, telling anyone who would listen she was terrified, something that apparently happens to her quite often, as she clutched her City Council ID in her hand.  Point is, Amelia did not want the homeless folks moved an inch.

The City government likes the idea of having the homeless folks here, as they believe it helps their argument to spend millions of dollars on subsidized housing on every available square inch of property.  It bolsters their arguments for more spending; spending on mental health, free housing, and everything else.  Of course, none of it is free as the taxpayers pay for every dime of it.

JJ Jones can claim Tom Spangler’s approach to the problem of homelessness isn’t working, but it is disingenuous at best, as the problem is almost entirely confined to the City of Knoxville.  Transferring the homeless to area shelters is like putting a band-aid on a cancerous tumor.  The problem hasn’t been addressed, much less solved.

The failure – – – and the responsibility – – – for the growing homeless problem in Knoxville falls squarely on Indya Kincannon and the members of her rubber stamp city council who have literally done nothing save for spending more money with little or nothing to show for it.


More Deceptive Political Advertising

A prize for first runner-up in deceptive advertising would go to Rhonda Lee, a candidate for the Knox County Commission in the 7th District.  Lee’s style is not exactly demure or stately, but rather in-your-face.  Lee is campaigning by telling folks she intends to do her best to regulate the Hallsdale-Powell Utility District.  To give Lee credit,  it is a popular issue as the folks in the Hallsdale-Powell District like the utility company about as well as they like a rash.  Problem is, there is scarcely anything Rhonda Lee or any other member of the Knox County Commission can do to regulate the rates charged by the Hallsdale-Powell Utility District.  The rates have to be approved by the Tennessee State Comptroller’s office and the laws regulating utility districts in Tennessee fall under the jurisdiction of the state.  Rhonda would be more likely to get something done about utility rates were she running for the legislature.

Of course, Rhonda told one group in a tearful display she was running for the Knox County Commission because she wanted her granddaughter out of the mask the tyke had to wear in school.  That is a pretty odd reason to run for the county commission, as the masking policies in the schools is solely the purview of the board of education.  There is an open seat on the board from Rhonda’s district, but she’s running for the commission instead.  Truth be told, there’s not a thing she could do as a member of the commission about the masking policy established by the board of education except fuss and fume.

It is the campaign season and some candidates excel in political theatre, which is never a substitute for actually talking about real issues and getting things done.