ear (2008-01)

Ear to the Ground

Good, Bad News

The good news for County Mayor Mike Ragsdale is that his frequent critic Lloyd Daugherty pulled out of the County Commission race in District 6.

The bad news for Ragsdale is that Daugherty pulled out because he has put together a deal to get back on the radio with a talk show. Daugherty had Southern Roots Radio on a local radio station and served as a rallying point for people opposed to the wheel tax and a forum for discussion of Ragsdaleâ’s missteps in office. But the station was bought out from under him and Daugherty has been off the air during the recent turmoil in county government.

But the head of the Tennessee Conservative Union is expected to ink a deal in the near future to get back on the air in time for the February primary.

Think You Got it Bad?

The non-profit Tennessee Center for Policy Research, based in Nashville, singled out Knox County government for its Lump of Coal Award this year because of credit card, travel, and grant scandals in Mayor Mike Ragsdaleâ’s office and the Sunshine Law violations that led to 12 officeholders being removed from office.

A blogger for the Memphis Commercial Appeal was incensed, noting that the Memphis City Council had a resignation and a prison sentence for a bribery scandal, and a second Councilman is defending similar charges. The head of the local utility company resigned under pressure and faces charges for allowing a councilman to avoid paying his utility bills.

The blogger, noting the â“sinsâ” in Knox County asks: â“Thatâ’s it?â”

Anybody Interested?

When Mike McWherter dropped out of the race against U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, the Democrats have been hard-pressed to find another candidate. Giving up on raising money to run against the well-funded Republican incumbent, they have resorted to calling rich Democrats, looking for someone who can self-finance a campaign.

Theyâ’ve been hard pressed to find another Phil Bredesen. We know of one wealthy Democrat who was solicited, in the same week, to be on a Democrats for Alexander committee and to run against him as the Democratic candidate.

Nashvilleâ’s City Paper reports the latest candidate to have his vanity appealed to is Nashville businessman Andrew Byrd. He is a venture capitalist and frequent max contributor to state Democrats and national Democratic candidates.

Bug in Our Ear

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