ear (2008-08)

Ear to the Ground

Color Coordinated

Now that Cynthia Finch has left her post in Knox County government, what will the county printing office do with all that yellow and green paper? Seems yellow and green paper make up the colors of Finchâ’s sorority, and the printing office was called on to produce materials in suitable colors.

A county audit questioned Finchâ’s trips around the country on county business that coincided with her sorority conventions in the same towns.

Finch resigned ahead of a state Comptrollerâ’s audit of credit card expenditures, which the mayorâ’s office confirms raised some questions about her spending.

Moving On

What, another PR person?

County Mayor Mike Ragsdale announced this week the hiring of Susanne Dupes as deputy director of communications and media relations, reporting to Director of Communications Dwight Van de Vate. No, she isnâ’t the third public relations person in the mayorâ’s office. Lorna Norwood, the previous deputy director for the past year, quietly left the office recently for another job.

Meanwhile, former Ragsdale director of finance John Werner has sent out an announcement letter around town that he has joined HolRob, a local development company headed by Bob Talbott. Werner resigned in the middle of several audits about credit card charges and travel allowances.

Winning Friends

On a recent Sunday morning, Democratic attorney Dennis Francis opined, on WBIRâ’s Inside Tennessee show, that Democrat Finbarr Saunders would win the 4th District Commission seat over Republican Ruthie Kuhlman.

Francis was having lunch at Longâ’s Drugstore in Bearden a few days later when he was abruptly slapped on the back and upbraided by Kuhlman for his pick. Kuhlman noted she had handily defeated Richard Cate in the primary and would win the general election as well. Something about kicking Finbarrâ’s ass.

She slapped a card on the table with her campaign address and instructed Francis to send her a check for $1,000 for her campaign. Francis, who says he had never met the Republican candidate and says the conversation may have been an attempt at humor, does intend to write a checkâ"but will send it to Saunders.

Good Read

If our e-mail is any indication, the best-read document in Knoxville since the election is Amy Broylesâ’ campaign disclosure. According to the PDF document on KnoxPolitics.com/broylesCFD.pdf, Broyles, in winning the 2nd District Democratic primary, spent $860 on child care and also bought a laptop, a Palm Pilot, and a Camcorder at Circuit City.

We assume the pizza and beer was for campaign events.

Some Improvements to Campfieldâ’s Proposals

Stacey Campfieldâ’s twin proposals to arm teachers and to prohibit the newly armed teachers from telling kids up through the 8th grade about homosexuals or homosexuality seemed designed to be a punchline, a tip-off that heâ’s really not serious. Maybe itâ’s the equivalent of â“Come on, guys....â” As phrased, it would seem to prohibit a teacher from answering questions about that old song about Billy Joe McAllister, some of the poetry of Walt Whitman, or some of Tennessee Williamsâ’ plays.

The attempt at legislation, killed in a subcommittee on Tuesday, might have stood a better chance at passing with an amendment to the latter proposal, that schoolteachers shouldnâ’t tell innocent young children anything about Stacey Campfield.

Some Knoxvillians would also like to see some further specificity about where Campfield is from. Campfield is the elected, and re-elected, representative of Tennesseeâ’s 18th district, which is one of seven house districts that make up Knox County.

Seeing â“Campfield, R-Knoxvilleâ” has given some of our cross-state colleagues the idea that Knoxville is a rip-roarinâ’, gun-totinâ’, gay-hatinâ’ town. Could we add an amendment that requires Campfield do be identified as â“Stacey Campfield, R-Certain Suburban sections of Northwest Knoxville and Western Knox Countyâ”? (Do all those people know that heâ’s their representative?)

Bug in Our Ear

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