Saturday, July 22, 2006


Around the Horn

Congratulations to former University of Tennessee tight end and Elizabethton, Tennessee native Jason Witten for signing a six-year contract extension with the Dallas Cowboys. Everyone around these parts knew that the Cowboys got the steal of the draft in 2003, and now the rest of the NFL knows it, too. In only 3 seasons in Dallas, Jason has made the Pro Bowl twice, and his 87 catches in 2004 ranks fifth all-time for catches in a season by a tight end. Jason's new contract is for six-years and nearly $28 million. Again, congratulations, Jason!

More great news coming out of the sports world, with American Floyd Landis blistering today's time trial to claim the yellow jersey in the Tour de France. His performance on Saturday almost assures a win of the event, which is set to conclude on Sunday. Hopefully, the allegations of doping that have plagued Lance Armstrong won't envelope Landis, too.

I have been around a few of the counties in the area investigating sign stealing by the Bob Corker for Senate campaign. I suppose I should have brought the matter up with Mr. Corker himself in Knox County on Thursday night, but it slipped my mind at the time. In talking with both GOP and Democratic personnel across Tennessee, I have never experienced so many instances of sign theft or vandalism as in this primary. Even the Democrats are aghast at how fractious the GOP primary has been.

I have decided not to attend the Tennessee Statesmen's Dinner tonight in Nashville. Frankly, as I told Knox County GOP Chairman Brian Hornback earlier today, I am a bit fed up with the GOP establishment right now, and I would more than likely say some things tonight that I might regret saying tomorrow.

Writing of Mr. Hornback, he was certainly busy this morning. You can read all about it over at Brian's Blog. Of particular interest, Brian spotted Democratic nominee for Knox County Chancellor Jim Andrews in some rather poor campaigning behavior. As I pointed out earlier, I am uncomfortable with judges that can't seem to follow the rules themselves. VOLuntarilyConservative has endorsed Mr. Andrews' opponent, Mike Moyers, for the Chancellor's position. Unfortunately, it appears upon first inspection today the Mr. Moyers is also the victim of deliberate sign loss over the past 24 hours.

Ed Bryant was in Kingsport Friday evening at FunFest. Hank Hayes has the write-up in today's Kingsport Times-News. Ed is also in Kingsport to open up a campaign office there, giving him more of an office presence in the pivotal 1st District than the other two candidates in the Senate race. Ed also showed more of the humor he has brought to the campaign trail over this campaign:

"For somebody who touts himself as the front-runner, for them to go hard negative and use a black-and-white ugly photograph of me that my mother doesn't even like, and then to put $1.7 million into the race of personal money which he said he would not do when he started this campaign, shows to me that he is not a front-runner," Bryant said of Corker's TV ad.

Finally, the Knoxville News-Sentinel had a story today on former Governor Don Sundquist and his continued financial dealings with political interests in the state. (Of course, his support of Bob Corker was all over the story if you looked hard enough.) The headline dealt with Don Sundquist and his keeping his "financial finger in GOP politics." That's quite appropriate, since many Tennessee conservatives have been giving Sundquist the finger for nearly a decade.

MORE: Terry Frank has some thoughts on the Sundquist-Corker connections here and here.

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