Friday, July 21, 2006


Accentuating the Positive - Last Night's GOP Events in Knox County

The VOLConWife and I had a fun and productive evening Thursday, an evening that saw us attend two GOP events on opposite ends of Knox County.

First, we proudly voted at the Early Voting location in South Knoxville off of Chapman Highway. I was dismayed to see that a great deal of sign vandalism has been occurring at that site, with signs for Ed Bryant, Andy Jackson, and Ralph McGill drawing the most attention from the vandals. As those three candidates are true conservatives, I am not at all convinced that this was random. Signs that were replaced at 5:30 P.M. were destroyed by 10:30 P.M. that same night. Given the low-traffic area of this voting location, I suspect that either someone within the location or one of the few businesses in that area is selectively committing the vandalism. In any case, it's ridiculous behavior.

We were able to vote on the new machines, and they worked quite well. The only problem I had was with the difficulty in write-in votes. I wrote myself in as the Republican nominee for the 15th House seat, attorney Tim Elrod in for one of the judgeships, and Steve Hall for Knox County Mayor. I have been told that these votes will not be counted under Election Committee policy. If that is the case, I suspect I will file a suit against the Election Committee to make sure that they are doing their job - ensuring fair elections and counting the votes to declare a winner.

I wish I had brought a camera to commemorate Angela Huddleston - the VOLConWife - casting her first vote for herself in an election.

The election personnel stated that voting had been heaviest Thursday at that location, but even then, only a shade over 100 people had voted. In running numbers from the 2002 primary and comparing them to this early voting period, it appears that voting turnout will be light. Blount County also looks to have light turnout so far. This could mean big lines on Election Day if people are waiting until August 3rd, or it could mean that turnout will simply not be high and less than 600,000 voters will vote in this GOP primary. I think 560,000 votes might be a bit optimistic as of today.

We then attended the South Knox GOP's Cookout at Gary Underwood Park. We met with several wonderful people from South Knox, including several of elected officials. Commissioner Larry Clark (9th District) and Tennessee Representative Frank Nicely (17th District) - both of whom have been endorsed by this site - were both very kind in word and deed. Watermelon, hot dogs, and Sprite - and then it was on to the next event.

There were a few more people (as in a factor of 20) at the Republican Rally in the far reaches of North Knox County. All three U.S. Senate candidates (Ed Bryant, Bob Corker, and Van Hilleary) were in attendance, as were Jim Bryson (Governor), Mark Albertini (Governor), Ralph McGill (U.S. House), Stacey Campfield (TN House), Gary Drinnen (TN House), Mike Moyers (Chancellor), Andy Jackson (General Sessions Judge), R. Larry Smith (Commissioner), Mike Ragsdale (Mayor), Brian Hornback (County GOP Chair), and several others.

There was apparently some good BBQ at the event, but I never saw it since I got caught up in one political conversation after another. (The VOLConWife was able to commandeer a Mayfield "Brown Cow" and a Coke, but, alas, no BBQ.) I certainly enjoyed my (separate) conversations with Stacey Campfield and Gary Drinnen.

Bob Corker worked the "money" at the event, which seems a bit silly given his own financial investment in buying this election. Bob even came over to myself, the VOLConWife, and another gentleman with an Ed Bryant sticker near the end of the event and asked that we support his campaign if he win's the primary, as he will do likewise if Ed wins. I was civil, shook his hand, and said, "Thank you, Bob." I didn't get his reaction to one of his chief supporters who, while debating one of the Ed Bryant supporters in attendance, stated that Bob Corker's pro-choice leanings were an advantage in both this race and potentially in the general election. Yeah, I bet Bob doesn't like his supporters saying such junk when he is trying like mad to look pro-life. With supporters like that...

I've written about other happenings after the event. I won't go into those again.

After all of that, the VOLConWife and I did some sign repair in South Knox County. Just another busy day in an election year.

I seriously wish you could have had a microcassette recorder to record those comments and then make Corker answer for them-and find a way for all of us to hear them!
Dave -

Actually, I wish I had brought my microrecorder to get one of Corker's top guys stating - while ineffectively debating one of Bryant's staffers - that Bob Corker being pro-choice was a good thing come the general election.

Now THAT would have been a great soundbite...


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