By Steve Hunley

Missing the Message

It seems to be a weekly feature that the mayoral campaign of Debbie Helsley is continually issuing press releases bragging about little or nothing having anything to do with county government. The candidate herself seems to be missing, but Democrat operatives sending out those press releases are certainly having a lot of fun. The latest hopes to rally local Democrats by reminding them Glenn Jacobs was elected mayor of Knox County by 23 votes. Jack Vaughn tells us in Helsley’s latest screed the Democrats can “close the gap” this August. Really? What Jackie fails to point out is Jacobs won a hotly contested three-man race by 23 votes inside the Republican primary. Glenn Jacobs rolled over Linda Haney in the general election like a football contest between the Vols and Edna’s Cooking School. Jacobs beat the stuffing out of Haney in the general election.

Just like the national Democrats, local Democrats talk about everything but the economy and the inflation which is eating up the savings of working families daily.


Taking Money From Schools?

Indya Kincannon, mayor of the City of Knoxville, and Lynne Fugate, city council member, both began their political careers as members of the Knox County Board of Education. Both thought then-superintendent Jim McIntyre could do no wrong. Both were cheerleaders for McIntyre and both claimed to be strong supporters of the school system.

That was then and this is now, apparently. Both Fugate and Kincannon seem to subscribe to an idea of reducing the amount of sales tax the City of Knoxville turns over to the schools. Fugate pointed out if they reduced the amount from 72 cents of every sales tax dollar collected to 50 cents, the city would have $38 million more in its budget to spend. Although several members of the city council have bragged about how superbly well managed the City government has been, financially speaking, that was before it was common knowledge the city was spending more than it was taking in. Keep in mind the City of Knoxville essentially provides just three services and one of them, picking up garbage, is contracted out. The other two services are providing police and fire protection. The City of Knoxville went out of the school business during the 1980s. The health department, the school system, and virtually every other service provided by local government is delivered by Knox County, not the City of Knoxville.

And how exactly did the City of Knoxville go to the far reaches of the county and cherry-pick every lucrative sales-tax producing area in the county? Why, by annexing it of course. Knox County taxpayers have made up the differences for decades since then-Mayor Victor Ashe began an aggressive campaign of taking county property to keep the city solvent.

Now, both Lynne Fugate and Indya Kincannon seem poised to try to short the school system by another $38 million to pay for more social welfare programs. Those two staunch defenders of Jim McIntyre who claimed to stand up for the children have changed their tune.

It was Jim McIntyre who proposed to contract out the jobs of school custodians to big companies who would likely not provide many, if any, benefits for its workers. The Focus hated the idea then and hates it now, but Lynne Fugate voted to do exactly that. Kincannon voted against, but there are those board members who served with her at the time who will say she did so only very reluctantly.

For their part, the city council members and Kincannon hope jerking $38 million dollars from the school budget will force the County government to raise taxes to make up the difference. Unlike Kincannon and the council, Mayor Glenn Jacobs and the Knox County Commission aren’t spending more than they are taking in from the taxpayers.

It was Kincannon who abruptly pulled Knoxville Police Department officers from school campuses inside the city limits before the outcry forced her to reverse herself. There have been terrible reminders since of just how important that security is to local communities. No parent or grandparent should have to worry about sending their children and grandchildren off to school and wonder if the children will be coming home. Not one member of the city council opened his or her mouth in protest. In fact, the only public official who spoke out against the idea of removing the KPD officers from schools inside the City of Knoxville was County Commissioner Larsen Jay.

Neither Indya Kincannon nor Lynne Fugate will lack for opposition in next year’s city elections. The idea of taking away money from the school system, which operates every school inside the city limits, to spend on more social welfare programs, may not be popular with the voters.

Kincannon and Fugate and their allies aren’t just robbing Peter to pay Paul; they are proposing to rip off you and your kids.


Voter Suppression? Not Hardly

Remember how much time the mainstream media and Democrats have been caterwauling about “voter suppression”, especially in Georgia with the new election laws in place? That legislation was the Election Integrity Act of 2021 and according to Democrats, would lead to widespread voter suppression. The actual truth is the turnout in last week’s primary election was massive. In 2018, around 1.2 million people voted in the midterm elections; this year 1.9 million voters cast ballots in unofficial returns. The Georgia Secretary of State’s office has reported that 102,056 more Blacks voted during early voting in the recent primary election than had voted in 2018. That is three times higher than the number of Blacks who voted early during the 2018 midterms.

The mainstream media promoted the fiction the Election Integrity Act would have a chilling effect on voting by minorities, which has clearly been proven to be untrue. Major corporations like Coca-Cola and Major League Baseball raised a ruckus about the bill who called the bill suppressive. The bill tightened the law with respect to voter IDs for absentee ballots as well as reallocating the distribution of ballot boxes on the basis of voter registration data. The bill also called for more security around the ballot boxes.

Yet another lie from the Left.