Wednesday, July 09, 2008


Knox County YRs July Meeting

Angela, Leo (the youngest of the Young Republicans), and I attended the Knox County Young Republican meeting yesterday at Amerigo in West Knoxville. There was high attendance, and candidates were there aplenty. Sherry Witt (Knox Co. Register of Deeds), Brad Anders (Knox Co. Commission Seat 6A, and the wives of Ron Leadbetter (18th District State House of Representatives, currently held by Stacey Campfield) and Phil Ballard (Knox Co. Property Assessor) were all present, as was sitting Knox County General Sessions Judge Andy Jackson.

The conversation was vibrant, as usual, with discussions ranging from the death of the Tennessee Plan to have unelected Democrats pick the appellate judges in the state to unconventional campaign tactics used by some of the local Democrats (including a focus on the goings on in Blount County) to Thursday night's unity dinner to how Bob Dole's 1996 presidential bid was actually more energizing to the grassroots than the current GOP nominee's and what could be done about that.

Brad Anders (pictured above) was the listed speaker for the evening. I do not live in the 6th District of Knox County, which comprises Karns, Hardin Valley, and a good potion of Powell, so I was only familiar with what Anders had said going into the primaries way back in February. It appears that Anders will win the seat in August. He is very likable, and his life is certainly a changin' with the expected birth of his first child in December. However, as a conservative, I had to admit that I saw too many warning signs regarding the fiscal condition of the county to fall in love with Anders' campaign. He sounds more than willing to endorse a hike in the sales tax. Having gone over last year's Knox County budget, there are plenty of cuts that need to be made before Knox County - which taxes the hell out of its residents in comparison to the rest of East Tennessee - even considers adding a sales tax hike or property tax hike onto the already ridiculous wheel tax that was implemented only a few years ago.

I especially enjoyed speaking at length with Judge Andy Jackson. He really is an engaging and intelligent man. (And, no. I'm not kissing up to him because of his position - I've never practiced in front of him.) When the Tennessee Plan has wound down and the Senate Republicans see to it that appellate judges are elected as set out in the Tennessee Constitution, wouldn't it be refreshing to refer to Chief Justice Andrew Jackson? Just a thought...

It was a fun meeting. Any time that we have to pull even more chairs into the room for seating purposes, the meeting promises to be enjoyable.


Thanks for the "blogtime" you have given the campaign in regards to the Young Republicans Meeting. I must not have presented my message very clearly for you to think that I would "endorse" a tax increase. I would love to see a bare bones budget and will attempt with all my might to trim next years budget. My hope is that we build our tax base with new businesses and positive development, not through an increase in the tax rate. I do support decreasing our debt while decreasing our spending. I would rather pay a little now than a lot later. I hope this clears up how I feel about taxes and debt. Call me anytime you have advice for me or have an opinion that may may be helpful, as I know I do not have all the answers.
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