Ear to the Ground: Look Who Turned Up

Look Who Turned Up

So there he was after the second presidential debate, sitting on a stool on Fox News debating with actor Ed Begley Jr. Yes, it was "Republican pollster" Tyler Harber, the locally famous/infamous former aide to County Mayor Mike Ragsdale.

He left town after being accused of hacking the e-mail of former Republican Party County Chair Chad Tindell and resigning from his county job in 2005. He gave a lengthy interview to Betty Bean in the Shopper News saying his only duties in his county job were to run political campaigns and plan Ragsdale's run for governor.

Harber, who now works for a Washington public relations firm, has been a guest on at least two occasions lately on Fox. Harber observed that "negative ads work," defending the McCain campaign. Discussing the dullness of the over-structured town hall presidential debate in Nashville and the lack of interesting questions, Harber observed that he had lived in Tennessee most of his life and he knows "there are some weird people in Nashville. Where were they?"

Kevin "The Bruiser" Bradley vs. John "The Fodder" Kerry

A heavyweight Democratic party donor and general hot-shot New York City attorney/businessman, Jeffrey Manocherian was taking his kids for a tour of the "heartland" when a stop in Knoxville yielded something he just had to have: Yee-Haw Industries' "American Presidential Wrestling Heavyweight Championship" poster. Not for himself, mind you. "It was actually a gift for someone—it's hanging in a U.S. Senator's office right now. Everyone's been enjoying it," he says.

The full-size limited edition (150) poster, a Yee-Haw co-owner Kevin Bradley masterpiece, has half-tone plates from genuine old-school wrestling posters, with the head of Hillary "The Crusher" Clinton, for example, pasted on the body of Dirty Dutchman Mantel. Bradley's phraseology channels the legendary promoters, too: "Cage Match: Al ‘The Hanging Chad' Gore v. Dick ‘The Heart Attack Kid' Cheney."

Manocherian declines to elaborate, but Bradley says to the best of his knowledge the poster is hanging in the staff lounge at Sen. John Kerry's New York office. "He has to walk by it every day." But that's not the reason Kerry is featured on Bradley's follow-up, "The American Vice-Presidential Wrestling Middleweight Championship, Pandemonium on the Potomac," which was still on the drawing board when Manocherian bought a copy of the first poster. It features "Sarah ‘The Killa From Wazilla' Palin" and "The Nobody Cares" bout between John "Whatever" Kerry and Denny "Mr. Excitement" Hastert. "He's just available," says Bradley. "They're all fodder to me. As Hunter Thompson said, ‘The only proper way to look at politicians is down.'"

And there's a good chance Kerry will feel the second jab: Manocherian ordered a print via telephone.

Get Well Soon

Our best wishes are with Jeffrey Nash, who suffered a stroke about a month ago, but is said to be recovering nicely and is even back at work. The unreconstructed Englishman has been one of the innovative pioneers of downtown development in the last few years, creator of the wonderful Old City institution the Crown and Goose. His company, the Courtland Group, is behind several successful preservationist condo conversions, lately the long-delayed Crimson Building redo on Gay Street, and a grocery project. His North Central Village is a first-of-its-kind attempt to spread the downtown residential boom a few blocks to the north at a more modest price. Now completed and partly sold, it will reportedly be ready for its first residents this month.