By Steve Hunley

Tax and Spend Kincannon

For the better part of a year, I have been predicting Mayor Indya Kincannon would propose a property tax increase.  Lo and behold, it has come to pass.  Kincannon is proposing a 20% tax increase in the midst of the worst inflation since the Second World War.  Kincannon and her fellow Democrats like to talk about spending tax dollars on the poor, yet seem never to think about working people and working families.  She and her kind provide ample pay and benefits for bureaucrats while thinking nothing of the people whose mortgages and rents will go up so Kincannon can continue to spend money.  Those same people working hard (and sometimes more than one job) are not paid as she and her husband are handsomely compensated by the University of Tennessee and the City of Knoxville; in short, by the very people whose taxes she is raising.

That same inflation has affected the housing market, which has, as a consequence, driven up the prices of homes substantially.  Those same escalating prices are reflected in the property assessments that have just been sent out all across the county.

During last year’s city council campaigns, some incumbents, most notably Tommy Smith, bragged about how the City’s finances were superbly well managed.  Of course, after the election, it came to light the City of Knoxville has been spending more money than it takes in, which doesn’t seem to be very superbly well managed to anybody outside of government.

The same council members who loudly exclaimed the City is so very well managed will be among those who rubber-stamp Kincannon’s tax increase.

Among those who sat and applauded as Kincannon made her announcement were most of those Democrats running for county offices this August.  The last property tax increase in Knox County was more than 20 years ago; the last property tax increase in the City of Knoxville was five years ago and solely to pay for the defined benefit retirement packages of city employees.

County voters need to remember that when considering the general election campaign in Knox County next August.


This Tree Doesn’t Fork

A week or so ago, Elaine Davis, vice chair of the Knox County Republican Party and candidate for the Tennessee House of Representatives, was escorted through the Cordell Hull Building, home to the members of the General Assembly, by Drew Lonergan.  Readers are likely wondering at this point, who in the world is Drew Lonergan?  Well, Drew is one of the four original partners in the notorious Angle Group; the other three were Justin Mash, Allie Jeffries and Daniel Herrera.  Jeffries was the campaign manager of prospective candidate Christine Cruz, Randy Pace’s hand-picked choice as chair of the Knox County Republican Party’s Credentials Committee.  Ms. Cruz, at the time selected by Pace, had lived in Knox County all of about ten minutes and had never voted in a Knox County GOP primary.  Cruz was also Pace’s choice, along with Daniel Herrera, to challenge incumbent County Commissioner Larsen Jay.  Mash and Jeffries later married and Herrera was a member of the wedding party.  Lonergan is jack-of-all-trades apparently and peddles his wares as a political strategist.  Apparently, the only candidate to avail himself of the yet-to-be-tested mettle of the Angle Group is Deno Cole, seeking a judgeship.  Cole has paid a hefty fee to the Angle Group and the lawyer seems to be the only candidate in the state of Tennessee to have his campaign managed by the wunderkinds.

Herrera has told Scott Golden, chair of the Tennessee Republican Party, that he has divested himself of whatever interest he had in the Angle Group.  To my knowledge, there has never been any proof provided that is the case; Herrera did tell the Knoxville News-Sentinel he accepted a payment of perhaps $2,000 or so from the Angle Group before divesting himself of his interest.

Davis having been escorted through the halls of the legislature by Drew Lonergan is likely no coincidence and her campaign manager is Erik Wiatr, who guided her to defeat against Representative Gloria Johnson two years ago.  It seems pretty obvious the tree doesn’t fork with these folks.


Washington Liberalism Comes To Knoxville

Debbie Helsley, a candidate for the Democrat nomination for Knox County Mayor, is trumpeting her endorsement by the Communications Workers of America.  Of course, Helsley headed the local union of the CWA for years and their endorsement of her is something akin to a candidate being endorsed by her Mom, not much of a surprise.

Helsley was one of those in the audience clapping while Indya announced she intended to raise property taxes in the City of Knoxville.  Helsley’s campaign recently announced her “bold” climate change agenda for Knox County, which is just what folks were waiting for instead of worrying about gas prices and the extra money they are shelling out for food.  Don’t you know the streets and boulevards will be positively lined with people applauding when Greta Thunberg gets here to host a fundraising dance party for Debbie in a few weeks?


Missing Mikey

It is impossible to describe just how much his friends and family miss Michael “Mikey” Smith.  A stalwart of the Eighth District Republican Club and other service organizations, Mikey was one of those folks who shunned the limelight but made up the backbone of any group in which he participated.  Mikey worked hard, paid his taxes, and truly loved his family and friends; Mikey loved his country, his community, the Republican Party and his God.

Like so many others, Mikey was carried away by the COVID virus and he is missed so terribly by his many friends in East Knox County particularly.

Mikey’s granddaughter Alexis is about to give birth at any moment to a baby boy, whom she intends to name for her grandfather.  Nobody would have been more proud than Mikey.  It is indeed a reminder of the circle of life and in that new precious life will be Mikey Smith’s legacy of love living on still.

The Knoxville Focus family prays that the Lord will shower His blessings on the newest arrival in Mikey Smith’s family with every good thing.