Leadership Knoxville is not too thrilled about its confidential alumni mailing list being used in a political campaign and may examine its procedures in the future.
At present, any alumnus with a log-in can access the names of the organization's 1,300 members—a who's who of Knoxville—via the website. In what may be a first for a local political campaign, letters have been sent to the Leadership Knoxville alumni list soliciting votes.
Retired Sessions Judge Brenda Waggoner, Class of 1990, has sent a letter to the alumni membership list soliciting votes for her brother Bobby, who is running against Sheriff Jimmy "JJ" Jones in the May 6 Republican primary. The letter to "recognized leaders" in the community points out the importance of public safety in locating businesses and corporations seeking a new location.
"The perception of Knoxville as a great place to live, work and do business took an unfortunate turn for the worse last August when The New York Times and other prominent print and electronic news media, ran stories—national stories—quoting our current sheriff as saying he would stack human beings ‘like cordwood' in the Knox County Jail," she writes.
Jones was angry because the department was turned down for a program that identifies and detains illegal aliens and vowed to arrest them anyway.
The letter urges a vote for Waggoner instead of a "good ole boy."