$300,000 of your money for politicans to hand out recognition and honor

It would be better for politicians to get their hands out of wallets instead of using using our wallets to hand out congratulatory plaques.  Donna Rowland should have voted no instead of present not voting.

http://www.examiner.com/article/tn-rep-donna-rowland-on-fiscal-stewardship-and-responsibility

The Children’s Home: A blank check?

In the October Commissioner report, I didn’t cover an important issue because the meeting was so late in the month and I wanted to get good coverage of the Commission meeting out to you in a timely manner.  There was another issue that made little sense to me so I voted no.

The 5th Judicial Drug Task Force (FJDTF) requested use of the Children’s Home, since they wanted a larger facility.  Earlier this year they asked the Commission to pay nearly double the appraised value for a piece of property to build a new facility.  Thankfully the Commission didn’t make the unwise purchase.  See Jim Folts’ February 2014 report for more info on the matter.

In October, the Commission was asked to approve a memorandum of understanding between the County, the Sheriff’s Department, and the FJDTF allowing the FJDTF to use to the former Children’s Home.  That seemed like a reasonable request, but there was a clause in the memorandum that made no sense.

6. WHEREAS, the improvements to the property will be paid for by the FJDTF and in the event the FJDTF is removed from the property by Blount County or the property is sold by the County, the County will reimburse to the FJDTF the value of the improvements made to the property by the FJDTF and the value will be determined based on the value of the improvements at the time the payment is triggered by the removal of the FJDTF or sale of the property.

The FJDTF will be free to make any improvements it wants, using asset forfeiture money, and according to the Finance Director the Commission will have no oversight on the costs of those improvements.  I made a motion to require Commission approval for improvements costing over $1,000.  My motion was defeated 10 to 9.  11 votes are required for passage.  Akard – yes  Allen – no  Archer – yes  Bowers – no  Carter – no  Carver – yes  Caskey – no  Caylor – absent  Cole – yes  Crowe – no  Daly – yes  Farmer – no  French – absent  Headrick – yes  Lewis – yes  Melton – no  Miller – yes  Monroe – yes  Moon – no  Samples – no  Stinnett – yes

This agreement is equivalent to having a renter sign an agreement with a landlord where the landlord collects no rent, the renter is free to do all the updates he wants and then when the renter moves out the landlord has to reimburse the renter for the improvements that he did, minus depreciation.  This doesn’t pass the common sense test.

It seems to me that the Commission gave the FJDTF a blank check, even if the check won’t have to be paid for several years.  By defeating my motion the Commission agreed to reimburse the FJDTF for the improvements it does to the property without any oversight.  This could get expensive because the building was cited for 19 code violations.  It will likely cost a considerable sum of money to fix it up to codes.

Only Commissioner Karen Miller and I voted against this nonsense.  Commissioners Caylor and French were absent.  Commissioner Caylor was the sponsor.

Richard Hutchens addresses 2 important issues in open letter to Mayor and Commissioners

Richard Hutchens has for years appealed to the Board of Commissioners to rise above petty politics and make decisions that are in the best interest of all citizens, not a connected few.  Last year he gave Roy Crawford the First Blount County Statesmen Award.  His shame, shame, shame speech delivered during Melton’s reign of tyranny, a month before the Commission raised the property tax rate, will go down as one for the ages in Blount County politics.

Last night he sent an open letter to the Mayor and Commissioners addressing two important issues.  Both deserve serious consideration.  Please read the letter.  How do you think the Commission should address these issues?

Click here to contact your Commissioners.

Open Letter from Richard Hutchens Page 1

Open Letter from Richard Hutchens Page 2

October 2014 Commission Report

October was a really busy month for the County Commission.  I had 6 meetings to attend this month, the Agenda Committee, the Commission Board meeting, 2 special called meetings dealing with the refinancing of County debt, an IT Committee meeting and a Blount County Corrections Partnership meeting.  There is much to report, so please take the time to read this, send it to your friends, family and neighbors and ask any questions that you have.

Debt Refinancing – A Major Step in the Right Direction
One of the best things to happen was the Commission’s decision to seek fixed rate financing for $20,165,000 of variable rate debt and the swap attached to it.  This debt was originally issued on 05/17/01 as the A-1-A bond for $20,000,000 with a variable rate.  The County paid $238,532 in fees to issue this debt.  The County signed a swap contract on 1/17/02 against the bond to synthetically fix the nominal interest rate at 4.31%.  Synthetically fixed doesn’t mean that the interest rate is actually a flat fixed rate.  The rate varied from about 4%-7% until the bond deal blew up in July of 2008.

The County’s credit rating wasn’t good enough to issue variable rate debt on it’s own.  It purchased bond insurance to be able to issue this complicated variable rate debt.  The bond issuer lost it’s AAA credit rating, causing the County to have to refinance the debt.  On July 31, 2008 the bond was re-issued as the series E-3-B debt for $20,165,000.  The debt principle increased because the County had to refinance multiple series of debt at once and lacked the funds to pay the refinancing fees.   Alarmingly the County still owes $20,165,000 after 13 years of paying on the debt.  Not one penny has been paid on the principle because is was financed as a balloon payment with the principle being paid only during the last two years of payments.   This situation is worse still because a swap is attached to the debt.  The amount it costs to terminate the swap changes frequently and has been running over $5 million.  In a nutshell the County financed $20 million in debt in May 2001, has been paying on it for 13 years and actually owes nearly $26 million on this debt, including the swap.  It’s insanity and I am happy the Commission decided to put the County on a more fiscally sound path by seeking fixed rate financing.

Information Technology (IT) Committee – Working to improve transparency
Several people have told me that they experience problems with the live streaming and the Google hangout live session recording of County meetings.  I sought membership on this Committee to address these concerns.  John Herron, the County’s IT manager said that it would cost around $30,000 to improve the live streaming.  Mayor Mitchell said that the matter may be presented to the Budget Committee in January.  Herron said that with purchase of some better cameras he could burn a disk and give to the cable access channel, putting the Commission meetings back on cable.  Spending your money is not something that I like doing, but I think this is a wise investment for the citizens.

County Corrections Partnership - Tackling Serious Correction Measures
(formerly Ad hoc Committee to Study Jail Overcrowding)
The former Chairman of the Committee, Tab Burkhalter, spoke about the presentation given on the final report of the Institute for Law and Policy Planning (ILPP) study to provide solutions on the jail overcrowding.  You can read the study online here.  The Study says “The County needs …to completely rethink the use of it’s jail” and offers several solutions to reduce overcrowding.

Burkhalter told the Committee that the Jail has a higher than average number of women and that many of them are in the jail for drug problems.  A few months ago I listened to Circuit Court Judge Tammy Harrington talk about the Drug Court.  She said that the County now has a facility for men, to help them get off drugs and back into society.  There is no facility for women.  In the back of the study there is a list of 118 County properties.  Thus, I made the motion that the Agenda of the next meeting be to look at the empty County buildings and meet with community people who have experience putting together and operating a facility to help women inmates get rehab and return to society.  In December the Committee will discuss this matter.

Agenda and Commission Meetings
Technology Request by Circuit Court Clerk
There was a letter from the Circuit Court Clerk Tom Hatcher requesting that the Commission approve $30,500 for data processing services, maintenance agreements and hardware. (See pages 16-18)  Commissioner Karen Miller asked why the data services and maintenance portions was $26,500 and the equipment was only $4,000.  She was not given an answer explaining why the services and maintenance was over 6 times that of the equipment.

The information provided was vague, with the explanation reading “For purchase of replacement monitors, printers and software support.”  Thus, I inquired into the age of the equipment that the Commission was asked to replace.  The Director of Budgets and Finance gave me a flippant answer saying if it was anything like the rest of the County it was old.  I made a motion to postpone this item until the November meeting so that the Commission could be provided with a detailed list of equipment and software that was being replaced and updated.

The motion failed 6-13.  Akard – yes  Allen – no  Archer – yes  Bowers – no  Carter – no  Carver – no  Caskey – no  Caylor – absent  Cole – yes  Crowe – no  Daly – yes  Farmer – no  French – absent  Headrick – no  Lewis – no  Melton – no  Miller – yes  Monroe – yes  Moon – no  Samples – no  Stinnett – no

Commissioner Samples stated that the money was coming from Court fees not tax money.  My response was that we (the Commission) still have the fiduciary responsibility to see that the money is spent wisely.  Commissioner Allen then stated that the software could be in danger of expiring, but gave no date or a single example.  Those excuses work every time.

The resolution passed 15-4.  Akard – yes  Allen – yes  Archer – no  Bowers – yes  Carter – yes  Carver – yes  Caskey – yes  Caylor – absent  Cole – yes  Crowe – yes  Daly – no  Farmer – yes  French – absent  Headrick – yes  Lewis – yes  Melton – yes  Miller – no  Monroe – no  Moon – yes  Samples – yes  Stinnett – yes

Towers in Residential Areas
The Commission passed a resolution to decrease the minimum tower separation requirements in residential areas from 200 feet to 85 feet from your property line.  Commissioner Archer and I both felt that the public simply wasn’t aware of the matter or there would be more discussion from the community.  Commissioner Archie Archer made a motion to send it back to the Planning Commission for further study.  The referral motion failed 10-9.    Akard – yes  Allen – no  Archer – yes  Bowers – no  Carter – yes  Carver – yes  Caskey – no  Caylor – absent  Cole – yes  Crowe – no  Daly – yes  Farmer – no  French – absent  Headrick – no  Lewis – yes  Melton – no  Miller – yes  Monroe – yes  Moon – no  Samples – yes  Stinnett – no

The final vote total was 11-8.   Akard – no  Allen – yes  Archer – no  Bowers – yes  Carter – no  Carver – yes  Caskey – no  Caylor – absent  Cole – no  Crowe – yes  Daly – no  Farmer – yes  French – absent  Headrick – yes  Lewis – yes  Melton – yes  Miller – no  Monroe – no  Moon – yes  Samples – yes  Stinnett – yes

Open Enrollment Software
The Commission voted to spend $60,000 on a “stop gap” measure for a one year use of a software system that performs open enrollment benefits for County employees.  The County has paid nothing for this service in the past but the Commission was told that we had to pass this because the County changed its benefits administrator who would no longer perform the service for the County.

I asked the new HR Director Jenny Morgan if this $60,000 software had been put out for a bid.  She told the Commission that it had not been put out for a bid.  I then ask if there was any documentation to show that they County was getting the best price for it’s money.  She told me that the documentation that she had was a letter from our benefits adviser.  You can view the one page letter on page 20 here.  Notice there is no supporting documentation in the Commission packet, the information provided to Commissioners.

In July the Commission was encouraged to authorize implementation of an HR software system from Kronos.  Former Commissioner Jim Folts tried to delay the resolution one month so that the Commissioners could study the matter further.  That motion failed after being told that if they rushed the Kronos software system through, they would be able to use it for open enrollment for employee benefits.  That did not materialize.  Furthermore, the savings given in the slide show presentation for the annual open enrollments cost was listed as $117,600 (see page 53).  When I asked why the Commission was given that number in July when the County could buy it for $60,000, nearly half, I wasn’t given an answer.

At the Agenda meeting the voted failed 10-5, with one abstention Grady Caskey.  11 votes are required to send items to the Commission meeting.  After Chairman Steve Samples declared the motion to have failed, Grady Caskey spoke up saying he had intended to vote yes.  Votes can’t be changed after the Chairman announces the results.

Vote total 10-5  Akard – no  Allen – yes  Archer – no  Bowers – absent  Carter – yes  Carver – yes  Caskey – abstain  Caylor – yes  Cole – absent  Crowe – absent  Daly – no  Farmer – yes   French – absent  Headrick – yes  Lewis – absent  Melton – yes  Miller – no  Monroe – no  Moon – yes  Samples – yes  Stinnett – yes

Chairman Samples announced that the Commission would vote again.  I raised a point of order and told the Chairman that he couldn’t move the body, per the rules.

Commissioner Jerome Moon then proceeded to violate the rules by making a motion to reconsider.  The motion was out of order, per Roberts Rules of Order because only Commissioners who voted with the prevailing side, the Commissioners who voted no, may make the motion to reconsider.  In this case only the 5 who voted no, Commissioners Akard, Archer, Daly, Miller and I would be in order to make this motion.  I didn’t catch that fast enough and it slipped through the Agenda meeting, passing 11-5 in violation of the rules.

At the Commission meeting, I moved to have it removed from the Commission Agenda since it was sent in violation of the rules, but the motion failed.  Only Commissioners Akard, Archer, Carter, Caskey, Daly, Miller and I voted to follow the rules.  Commissioners Caylor and French were absent.  The rest voted to continue on after a rule was broken.  My motion to send it back to the Budget Committee to go through a bid process also failed.

There was supposedly some bid paperwork being passed around the Commission during the meeting.  The bid process according to Commissioner Stinnett went through the broker Trinity Benefit Advisors.  Chairman Moon called down Commissioners Tom Stinnett and Mike Akard for discussing it during the meeting.  I still haven’t been given any bid paperwork.

The Commission was fed the typical line that we have to do this or chaos will ensue.  That line works every time, so the resolution passed 16-3 with Commissioners Daly, Miller and myself voting no.  The 3 ladies on the Commission are quickly proving to be the most fiscally conservative Commissioners.

Kronos suspension
For the most part, the County Commission has been left in the dark about the pending implementation of a costly HR and payroll software system service.  The Commission is now (in November) being asked to spend $2.3 million over 5 years, but has only been given what the Director of Budgets and Finance wants the Commission to have, when he wants the Commission to have it.  In November, I plan to go into greater detail about the problems, but want to give a brief summary about why I sponsored a resolution to suspend implementation of the Kronos software system.

In July the Commission authorized over $1.3 million to what most believed to be first year implementation costs and licenses fees.  After taking office in September, I met with Mr. Vineyard and asked for an Kronos implementation schedule and was told it would be in the October Budget packet.  It was not.  At the Agenda meeting, I asked Mr. Vineyard why it was not in the packet.  He refused to answer my question.  At the end of the meeting, I requested that it be added to the Commission packet in November.  Mr. Vineyard gave me a hostile look and refused to say anything at that time.  He wasn’t the only one giving dirty looks.  Citizens in the audience commented to me after the meeting that the laughing and behavior of some HR people and a handful of County employees was disrespectful and unprofessional.

Since a response to my request wasn’t forthcoming, Commissioners Akard, Miller and I sponsored a resolution to suspend the Kronos project until the Commission was provided with detailed information.  Lo and behold the information is in the November Agenda packet, with a request to sign a 5 year contract at a cost of approximately $2.3 million.

There was also a letter added to the October Commission packet 2 days prior to the Commission meeting stating that the delay was due to Mr. Vineyard experiencing health problems.  I do not understand why he didn’t convey that during the October Commission meeting.  Technology can be a good thing, but the secrecy surrounding this project is in no way in the best interest of the public.

Former Commissioner Jim Folts wrote about some of the problems with the proposal after the July Commission meeting.  You can read his report at www.jimfolts.com.

Human Resources (HR) Committee – Shocking Comments
Tension was apparent as a result of statements made by Commissioner Grady Caskey, a Blount County teacher and former President of the Blount County Education Association (commonly referred to as the teachers union), off the Agenda about a request made by Sheriff James Berrong at the July HR meeting.  Until this year County employees paid nothing for their health care plan, a plan that the County benefits adviser Drew Mann routinely calls “rich” because it’s so generous.  The policy was changed to $25 a month this year, which is still well below nearly everything I’ve seen in both the public and private sectors.

The Sheriff asked, at the July meeting, to look into whether teachers are paying the $25 like general government County employees.  They did receive this benefit for free until August 1, when they began paying $25.  At the October meeting, Grady Caskey informed the HR Committee that the $25 was paid for them as a result of teacher negotiations with the School Board.

After the meeting, Commissioner Tom Stinnett, a retired Maryville City School teacher, admonished Caskey for talking in public about the teachers paying nothing for their health care benefits, saying “You can’t do that. You can’t do that in public. It pisses…. it pisses the public off. They don’t give a crap about us in this room, trying to tell them why we deserve it.”  After Caskey responded, Stinnett went on to say, “That’s why they hate us, ok. We have to do everything to hide this from people in the public because they will crucify us and they will all line up at the beginning of the Commission, … line up against us.”  It is shocking that a Commissioner would make such statements, wanting another Commissioner to hide benefits information from the public and belittle the public by saying they would crucify teachers for having transparency.  I’ve never met anyone in Blount County who wants to crucify our teachers.  Citizens deserve better from elected officials.

In November
Kronos, stay tuned.

Read more on the October Commission meeting here.

Update: The article has been updated to reflect the fact that School employees began paying $25 for health care benefits in August.

The 3 most common reasons to spend your money in a rush

At the beginning of each Commission meeting an emergency evacuation notice is required to be read.  It isn’t read by a person and for quite some time I’ve wondered where the voice in the sky is coming from.  Someone recently told me that it’s an audio recording.  It saves time and eliminates the need to make sure that you have the notice handy to read.  It’s easy for the Chairmen to simply push a button and play the notice.

The Commission could save a lot of time if the three most common reasons to rush something through were recorded and played as an audio at the start of each Agenda item instead of having to recognize Commissioners and listen to them give the reasons over and over and over.  There are 3 common reasons employed by Commissioners that work every time.

The three most common reasons to rush passage of Agenda items are:

1) The County is up against a deadline and chaos will ensue if the Commission doesn’t hurry and pass the item.

This reason was given twice at the October Commission meeting.  When I inquired into the age of the equipment that the Commission was being asked to approve, Commission Andy Allen stated that the software reference in the resolution may be about to expire.  He gave no date or supporting information.  That worked because it passed 15-4.

The reason was used again to approve $60,000 for a software that will be used for open enrollment for employee benefits.  The new software Kronos was suppose to fill this need and was used to rush it through (another example of the Commission allegedly having to rush something through) even though the project is behind schedule.  Instead of informing the Commission on the delay, the Commission was asked to approve $60,000 as a one year “stop gap” measure for open enrollment since Kronos will be used next year.

The new HR Director told me that the former HR Director handled this, which means that it was done prior to September when the new HR Director took over.  One would logically ask how the previous HR Director knew in advance that there was a need to seek software from our benefits advisor.  Someone knew that Kronos was not going be implemented in time and sought this software, but never mind that important detail.  The Commission just needed to pass it or chaos would ensue.  This worked because it passed 16-3.

Bottom line: Office holders and Department heads leave the Commission in the dark and the Commission rubber stamps what they want.

2) This isn’t property tax or local tax money

This reason was given by Commission Steve Samples to pass the technology request from Circuit Court Clerk Tom Hatcher because the money came from Court costs.  This works every time because it passed 15-4.

Bottom line: Your money is spent without due diligence.

3) The federal or State government says we have to do this

This reason was employed twice at the October Commission meeting.  Commissioner Andy Allen muddied the water when he told Commissioners that the FCC won’t allow us to turn down tower applications.  No federal law was given and no examples were given as to what circumstances the County allegedly has to approve towers.  He said that an attorney told this to the BZA.  When I asked if there was an attorney opinion, Chairman Moon cut me off and no information was obtained.  This worked because the Commission passed the resolution 11-8.

This reason was also given as an excuse to not have any oversight on reconstruction work on the Childrens Home.  I asked for the federal law that said that the Drug Fund couldn’t be used for renovations.  Guidelines were provided rather than the actual federal law.  That worked because my amendment to require approval for spending over $1,000 failed 10-9 (11 votes are required).

Bottom line: It’s easier to blame something on federal or State governments than it is to actually do your own research.

Solution: In the interest of time, it would be simpler for the Commission to record these 3 reasons and play them at the start of each Agenda item because they always work and the Commission could adjourn quicker.  Due diligence takes a back seat to these 3 reasons.  On the flip side, perhaps I should start using them since they work every time.  ;-)

All 4 Constitutional amendments pass

What makes absolutely no sense to me is why voters would pass a constitutional amendment (Amendment 1) to undo what the unlawfully selected selected judges did (less restrictions on abortion), only to turn around and legalize the system of selecting judges (Amendment 2) that was used to create the need for Amendment 1.

Seven Reasons to Vote for the Libertarian Party

From Reason:

1. The Libertarian Party supports all of your freedoms, all of the time
2. The Libertarian Party is consistent and principled
3. Voting for old party politicians tells them that you want to keep government big
4. Voting Libertarian is the only clear message you can send
5. Voting Libertarian forces the old parties to take the libertarian positions
6. Because the old parties don’t want you to
7. Voting Libertarian helps your favorite “libertarian-leaning old party politician


For great explanations to each of these reasons, click the link above or here.

 

Incumbents Have to Go

I was just going to post excerpts, but the whole article is worth reading. Link here.

From John Stossel:

I’m told that the public is “angry” at today’s politicians. Eighty-two percent disapprove of the job Congress is doing. So will Tuesday’s election bring a big shakeup?

No. Congressional reelection rates never drop below 85 percent.

The last big “wave” election was 1994, when Democrats lost control of both houses. The media called it a “revolution,” and the late Peter Jennings from ABC likened Americans to 2-year-olds throwing a tantrum.

Even that year, the reelection rate was 90 percent.

Matt Kibbe of the group FreedomWorks and Hadley Heath Manning of Independent Women’s Forum came on my show to say they don’t believe that this will be the year voters “throw the bums out.”

Incumbents have all sorts of built-in advantages, said Manning: “Once you’re in office, you have network ties, usually with a big party organization, usually with other officeholders. You have ties to donors who have helped you in your previous round of fundraising.”

In the U.S., she says, “we don’t have kings, (but) we still have political dynasties.”

Politicians in office game the system to make it tougher for outsiders to challenge them. They always talk about getting money out of politics. They don’t mean getting taxpayer money out of their own end of politics—all those privileges such as government mailings and websites and broadcasting facilities right in the Capitol Building. No, the money they want to limit is outsiders’ money.

When Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says “this money is suffocating the airwaves, silencing the voices of the many,” she means she wants to prevent private groups funding political messages that sometimes criticize people like her. Expensive TV ads might allow unknown challengers to break through. Can’t have that.

Manning says Democrats who now push the idea of a Constitutional amendment to limit campaign ads “want to rig the system so that their donors are still able to give—whether that’s labor unions or people who typically support Democrats—but they want to silence the opposition.” They make it sound as if labor union donations are a natural part of the democratic process—but money from corporations and independent interest groups, by contrast, “interferes” with elections.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) led the charge against evil “outside” money when he got what he and reporters called campaign finance “reform” passed a dozen years ago. The Supreme Court wisely threw much of that out, because it was an attack on free speech. But there are still a million rules left— plenty to discourage “amateurs” from attempting to participate in politics.

“The problem with campaign finance regulation is it allows for an insane amount of discretion amongst the regulators,” says Kibbe. “So they can pick and choose who is punished for what. And it’s really just a way to control political speech.”

A better way to get new blood into politics would be term limits on elected officials. Several states have them, and the result has been more turnover in legislatures. That’s good news for taxpayers because studies show that the longer politicians are in office, the more they spend.

Saying most incumbents will win is not saying that the election doesn’t matter. It does. It would be good for America if Republicans won the Senate, taking away Sen. Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) power to pass absurd farm subsidies or fatten flood insurance while blocking votes on the things such as the Keystone oil pipeline, charter school expansion, and Yucca Mountain nuclear disposal.

Reid will probably lose his position as majority leader. But he’ll remain in Washington with all the other big-spending blowhards—from both parties—who grow old and powerful there.

“That is an out-and-out falsehood,”

Don't believe the Fred Thompson lies -Vote NO on 2!

Don’t believe the Fred Thompson lies -Vote NO on 2!

Those are the words of Wally Kirby, executive director for the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference referring to the outright lies told by the attorneys paying political hack Fred Thompson to lie to you on the radio about “preserving your right to vote” for judges. TNReport covered a strong-arm attempt by Gov. Haslam via Bill Gibbons to leverage an endorsement on 2 from the actually elected district attorneys. They couldn’t muster a 2/3 majority without Gibbons “reminding” them of how invested the Governor is in this amendment and holding an additional vote.

So there are 10 (or more) district attorneys that still have a shred of a conscience left and know that the executive branch is acting illegally by “selecting” judges and our entire current state supreme court has been “selected” by Bredesen and Haslam.

“Quite frankly, there was strong opposition from a few,” Wally Kirby, executive director for the DA’s organization, told TNReport. “Some of them feel like all of the judges should be properly, popularly elected — like they are.[emphasis mine]

Kirby wouldn’t provide names of those who voted against the measure, but he related that some felt Amendment 2 is confusing, and that the campaign in favor of it has been misleading. The “Yes on 2″ commercial suggesting that the amendment protects the people’s right to vote for judges is “very deceiving,” he said.

That is an out-and-out falsehood,” said Kirby. “It does not give you the opportunity to vote for a judge. It gives you the opportunity to vote in a retention election eight years from now.”[emphasis mine]

If I had been violating the state Constitution like Governors Bredesen and Haslam have been, the illegally “selected” judges have been….I guess I would want the buy-in of the remaining state level DA’s too. Who is left to indict you?