Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Election Day in Knox County

Judge Bill Swann

First, I would like to re-print a letter to which my name, along with those of 64 other Knoxville attorneys, was signed in the Sunday edition of the Knoxville News-Sentinel.


We are lawyers who practice in the Knox County Fourth Circuit Court.
We have represented you, your loved ones, and friends in all of the issues that come into that Court - divorce, custody, support and division of property.
We know how emotionally and factually difficult these cases can be and the toil that they take on your lives.
Therefore, it is important for all of us to know that the judge we are before will be fair, open-minded, and knowledgeable about these matters.
We cannot allow this judgeship to be used as a target for one person's anger.
We are deeply concerned that you may vote on the basis of a few distorted statements containing half-truths and outright falsehoods.
While some of us really know what happened in the cases cited by David Lee, all of us know that he cannot provide us with the certainty that he can properly and effectively perform the tasks of the Knox County Fourth Circuit Judgeship.
A person who has publicly written that he would resign if elected is not a qualified candidate for this position.
A person who has been involved in 11 divorce cases since 1992 in the Court in which he is running for election does not have the experience to resolve the issues before it.
Only a person who has year-in and year-out adhered to the highest ethical standards in search of knowledge in the area of domestic relations should be the recipient of your vote.
Vote for yourself.
Vote for your family and friends.
Vote for Bill Swann to be the Fourth Circuit Judge.

While there are several important races that will be decided after today's elections, it is the Fourth Circuit judgeship that will have me working a poll in South Knoxville after a day in court. Something has happened in this vicious race that has made Judge Swann's divorce the focus, when in fact it was David Lee's courtroom conduct during his outrageous divorce that created this race. I will not get into what happened during that divorce, as that is a decision left to Judge Swann's campaign. However, I do know people who have worked for David Lee, people who were involved in the divorce, and those who are familiar with the facts that led to Mr. Lee's incarceration. That knowledge alone would preclude me from supporting Mr. Lee for any judicial office.

Lee has been successful in making this campaign a referendum on Judge Swann's popularity. In doing so, Lee has taken the spotlight off of his own lack of qualifications for the position. This is quite unfortunate.

In my dealings with Judge Swann over the past several months, he has been nothing but professional. That isn't to say that I agree with many of his judicial decisions. In fact, I'm not sure if I would have decided half of the decisions in the same manner as Judge Swann. However, I also don't have over two decades of experience as a jurist, where one give the benefit of the doubt to a person accused of violating an order of protection and release him from custody, only to read of his wife's murder by the accused's hand the next day. Judge Swann errs on the side of caution, and people's lives may be saved for his deliberate path.

Second, I want to urge other voters from the 9th District of Knox County to vote for the term-limited incumbent in District 9A, Larry Clark. As John Schmid is doing in the 4th District, I am asking you to do so in the hopes that the Knox County GOP can select a strong candidate for the August general election. I have met with write-in candidate Peggy Lofin - who has a history of supporting and working for Democrats - and have not been inspired by write-in Johnny Chamberlain. If either fails to outpoll Larry Clark, the powers that be within the party will be able to choose a suitable candidate to run against Steve McGill in August. Mr. McGill is somewhat impressive, so the Republicans of South Knoxville will need a strong challenger to hold the seat. In these strange times, I feel this is the best way to insure that.

Third, I would like you to remember how Mike Ragsdale held you hostage in 2004, forcing you to choose between one tax option or the other. His "pound of flesh" approach should not sit well with conservatives. That alone should be enough of a reason to vote for Steve Hall.

Finally, I will leave you with my previous endorsements for today's races. Please exercise your right to vote. Many fine men and women have died so that you could have this privilege.

Knox County Mayor - Steve Hall
Circuit Court Judge - Judge Bill Swann
Chancellor, Division Three - Mike Moyers
Criminal Court Judge, Division Two - Judge Ray L. Jenkins
General Sessions Court Judge, Division Four - Andrew Jackson, IV
Circuit Court Clerk - Cathy Quist
Criminal & Fourth Circuit Court Clerk - Martha Philips
Register of Deeds - Steve Hall
Knox County Commissioner, 3rd District, Seat A - Tony Norman
Knox County Commissioner, 4th District, Seat A - Mike Alford
Knox County Commissioner, 5th District, Seat B - Kyle Phillips
Knox County Commissioner, 6th District, Seat B - Greg "Lumpy" Lambert
Knox County Commissioner, 7th District, Seat A - R. Larry Smith
Knox County Commissioner, 8th District, Seat A - Phil Ballard
Knox County Commissioner, 8th District, Seat B - Gary Sellers
Knox County Commissioner, 9th District, Seat B - David Kiger
District Attorney General, 4th Judicial District - Joe Baker
Knox County Clerk - Kelvin Moxley (Write-In)

I hope you go through just a little bit of the hell that Judge Swann has dished out to the innocent parents and children of Knoxville. How dare you comment on something you know nothing about. The day your kids are ripped from you for no good reason and left emotionally scarred then I bet you would be as passionate about getting him out of there. Any person that would actually want to sit down and listen to both sides would do a better job than him.

But then again, you probably won't suffer from any of his wrath. When you get tired of hanging on his left nut you might want to switch to his right. He's been married four times!!! What a great role model/judge. By the way, I think we need a serial killer preciding over all criminal cases.
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