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Blount Lifestyle PAC identifies and funds the local swamp creatures

People have been asking for a list of who to vote for and there are several posts on this website providing information about the good candidates.  Blount Lifestyles PAC identifies who the swamp creatures of Blount County are.  If a candidate appears on this list, then don’t vote for them.  These are the courthouse clique/good ole’ boys/establishment/political machine/swamp creatures being funded by the swamp creatures.

These are the people who will drain your wallet.  Let’s drain the swamp instead.

Please vote for Patrick England for Blount County Sheriff

Hello Folks,
During the last election, several of you asked me to post a list of who the good candidates are.  There are some candidate profiles already posted to this website, which provide information about the best choices for sheriff and county commissioners.  Early voting starts today (Wednesday April 11th) and runs through April 26th.  Election day is May 1st.

Please vote for Patrick England for Blount County Sheriff.  I’ll give you two good reasons to vote for Patrick England.

1.  Patrick has a plan to improve response time, when you call the sheriff’s office.  Response times can be slow to some areas of the county.  Patrick has studied the situation closely and will implement some much needed changes to have officers at your home or businesses quicker when you need them.

2.  Patrick opposes jail expansion.  He realizes that the overcrowding problem is largely due to the housing of discretionary inmates in the jail.  There are state felons and pretrial federal inmates that do not have to be housed in the local jail.  He does not think it is necessary to put Blount County further in debt to house inmates that the county does not have to house.

There are numerous reason not to vote for 28 year incumbent James Lee Berrong.  He appears to have acted without authority when he signed the federal inmates contract without seeking commission approval.

Berrong has a history of threatening to burn peoples’ houses down.  This is documented in a court opinion.  Please read more here: If someone threatened to shave your dog, sugar your gas tank and burn your house down would you report them to the sheriff or vote for them for sheriff?

Berrong has gone unopposed for several terms.  This is our chance to drain the swamp of Blount County government.

Let freedom ring!
Tona

If someone threatened to shave your dog, sugar your gas tank and burn your house down would you report them to the sheriff or vote for them for sheriff?

Americans have been conditioned to call 911 or the police when fearing for loss of life, liberty or property.  Many accept this as being what they’re suppose to do, but who do you call when the person threatening your life, property or liberty is the sheriff?

A 2014 court opinion from the Tennessee Supreme Court Special Workers’ Compensation Appeals Panel at Knoxville, stemming from a meeting in 2002 between Blount County Sheriff James Lee Berrong and his former secretary Jo Dean Nuchols, refers to a disturbing, habitual problem from Berrong.  From page 4:

“Sheriff Berrong, Chief Crisp and Mr. French testified that at the meeting, the Sheriff was upset because he believed Ms. Nuchols had gossiped to his wife about alleged improprieties. All testified that the Sheriff’s actual words were that he would ‘shave her dog, sugar her gas tank and burn her house down.’ Chief Crisp and Mr. French stated that this was a phrase the Sheriff used frequently. Two other witnesses, Martha Reagan and Dennis Garner, also confirmed that the Sheriff often used that phrase.”

Threats to shave someone’s dog, sugar their gas tank and burn their home down should not be tolerated from anyone, let alone the chief law enforcement officer for Blount County.  Anyone often making such a threatening statement is wholly unfit to hold public office.

Ms. Nuchols’ workers compensation case was dismissed because of a failure to provide notice, not because her claim was frivolous. From page 18:

“In its alternative findings, the trial court held that Ms. Nuchols had a claim for 100% total disability. Unfortunately for Ms. Nuchols, she failed to perfect her claim by providing the defendants notice until she filed her claim almost a year later.”

This matter appears to originate from the sheriff’s concern about Nuchols talking with his wife.  From page 2:

“It is not disputed that Sheriff Berrong believed that Ms. Nuchols had a telephone conversation with his wife, Gayle, on May 29, during which Ms. Nuchols implied that he had been involved in an inappropriate relationship with a female employee of the department.”

The female employee is identified as Kathy on page 3 but no last name is included.  Did the sheriff have an inappropriate relationship with a female employee named Kathy?  The citizens of Blount County deserve to know.

Berrong’s website talks about his aggressive approach to drug enforcement and sex offenders.  Perhaps Berrong should apply an aggressive approach toward improving his own behavior.  Shouldn’t a sheriff lead by example?

It’s time for a new sheriff in town.  The election on May 1, 2018 is the day to make that happen.

Ray Moore runs for Blount County Commission

To the great people of Blount County:
I have been employed for 28 years by a retail company where I am in charge of millions of dollars of merchandise each year. This has given me the experience to carefully watch the resources of the taxpayers and to represent the people as a county commissioner. I have two beautiful daughters that are my life. I have lived in Tennessee my entire life and have been in Blount County for more than 20 years now. I do not like the direction our governments have been going: local, state and federal.

When my opponent wouldn’t give me straight answers about important issues that the county is dealing with, I could not sit on the side line and not do my part to change the direction of our local government. My opponent has voted for 3 budgets funded by the same 16% property tax rate increase from 2015. He also voted to restrict private property rights back in 2015 with the water buffer resolution. My opponent is against transparency. After the November 2014 Human Resources Committee meeting, my opponent told another commissioner to hide benefits information from public view. Please ask yourself: Is this the person you wish to have representing you as the citizen taxpayer?

Our county government owes over $214 million dollars in debt and total liabilities (see page 25). Some elected officials can not control their spending. We have schools that are in disrepair, yet over the past 3 years the county mayor and finance director set aside two-million dollars for jail expansion. The commission just approved spending $118,000 on a condemned bridge instead of repairing our schools. As both a voter and taxpayer, I do not think this is the way things should be done. I will prioritize the county’s spending.

I stand for the Constitution, and I will vote to insure that the money of each taxpayer will be spent wisely and not wasted on non-priority items like bridges to nowhere. I promise to vote against new taxes of any kind. We as a county do not have a funding problem; what we have is a spending problem. We need to prioritize spending and pay down our debt and in turn keep our government running efficiently. I support a transparent government that conducts its business openly rather than working behind closed doors and hiding things from the public. I humbly ask for your vote come May 1, 2018.

Thank you for considering me for Blount County Commissioner in the 7th district.

Sincerely,
Ray Moore

Joe McCulley runs for Blount County Commission

Joe McCulley has announced as a candidate for Blount County Commission, District 1, Seat B in the Republican Party Primary Election to be held on May 1.

He has extensive experience in business and finance having been the owner/ broker of a real estate, insurance and investment company. He has also served as the treasurer and Board of Directors member of Alcoa Tenn Federal Credit Union.

McCulley is a disabled Vietnam veteran who is active in serving veterans in the community. He is a member of the Blount County Veterans Affairs Committee, The Disabled American Veterans Chapter 76, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10855, AMVETS Post 22, American Legion Post 13 and the United Veterans of Blount County. The veterans of Blount County have honored him with their two highest awards, the Veteran of the Year and the Andy Chandler Lifetime Achievement Award, for his dedication in assisting veterans.

McCulley issued the following statement: “I served from 2006 to 2010 on the Blount County Commission. I voted against the property tax increase of 2007, voted against the wheel tax when it was on the ballot and seconded the motion to reduce the commissioners’ pay 10%. I questioned numerous spending proposals and was the first commissioner to speak against the dangerous swap and variable rate bonds. I supported that the debt be placed in a fixed rate with regular payments on both the interest and principal. The county went years only paying interest and nothing on the principal. I am a conservative and will not vote for an increase in the property tax or for a wheel tax. Neither will I support over a 60% increase in the commissioners’ pay. The records of my opponent, Shawn Carter, and I are totally different during our time on the county commission. He voted for a 16% increase in the property tax which was one of the highest increases in the history of Blount County and for the wheel tax proposal. He actively supported and voted for over a 60% increase in his pay to be paid for by the taxpayers. The voters have a clear choice in this race. They can support more spending and higher taxes by voting for Carter or fiscal responsibility concerning spending with no tax increases by voting for McCulley.”

Jim Vesper not impressed with officials honoring each other over “clean” audits

This morning I (Tona Monroe) received the following text about mine and Karen Miller’s standing apart from politicians honoring other politicians, in an election year, for receiving “clean” audits at last night’s commission meeting.

“I appreciated you standing apart with Karen last night. The self-congratulations show the other commissioners held last night was embarrassing.  Audited returns do not reflect monies well spent, or assets well managed! I wish every commissioner had your integrity and respect for their constituents wallets.  Blessings to you my friend.”

Jim Vesper – Blount County citizen and businessman

Commissioner Karen Miller and I voted against honoring elected officials and department heads for receiving clean audits.  Mr. Vesper is spot on.  These audits do not reflect the quality of spending or management of assets.  These audits are more a reflection of following accounting standards.  Money can be wasted on many things, but if it is properly accounted for it usually won’t result in an audit finding.

Keep in mind that the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office gave the sheriff and county a free pass for the sheriff signing the federal inmates contract without first obtaining commission approval possibly because its auditors hadn’t caught it the entire time (well over a decade) the contracts have been in effect.  The Comptroller’s Office also gave the mayor, finance director and county a free pass for the $2 million that the mayor and finance director claimed authority to assign.  The mayor and finance director lacked the authority to express the county’s intent with that $2 million “assignment.” Only the commission had the authority to assign those funds with the county’s intent.  The Comptroller’s Office chose not to recognize the mayor and finance director’s $2 million assignments but failed to mention their actions in the audit reports.  Even two failures to properly prove authority did not result in audit findings.

The Tennessee Comptroller’s Office seems to be handing clean audits out like candy.  It’s important that the citizens of Blount County, and ultimately Tennessee, understand the limited scope of these audits and that they don’t reflect the quality of spending.  Clean audits do not mean that elected officials are good stewards of your taxpayer monies.

Important questions you need to ask about the salaries of elected officials before voting in the local May 1st and state and federal August 2nd 2018 primary elections

State mandated minimum salaries and additional pay supplements for local elected officials vs what taxpayers are making

When you look at important economic indicators such as median household income and average annual income, Blount County taxpayers haven’t fared well in recent years.  When adjusted for inflation, 2014 numbers show that average pay in Blount County actually dropped and that household income averages a double digit drop.

The State of Tennessee mandates very generous salaries for elected officials that are 2, 3 and 4 times what the average Tennessee taxpayer is making.  I (Tona Monroe) have written the state legislature for a couple of years on this matter but this matter has largely fallen on deaf ears when it comes to taking action.  A few lawmakers have agreed with me that the mandated minimums are too high but none have taken action to provide reform.

You can view the state mandated minimum salaries for local elected officials here.
2018-2019  2017-2018   2016-2017  2015-2016  2014-2015  2013-2014
2012-2013   2010-2011  2009-2010  2008-2009  2007-2008  2006-2007

This figures show huge increases to the base pay for local elected officials being mandated by state law.  Despite being paid double and triple, and in the case of judges almost quadruple what the average taxpayer is making, 4 of these local elected officials are receiving pay supplements above the already large state mandated minimums.  Blount County taxpayers are paying $96,717 more than state minimum for the circuit court clerk, highway superintendent, sheriff and mayor.  It’s obvious these people don’t feel the same economic pain that many Blount Countians are feeling.

2 important primary elections will be held this year.  The local government primary election will be May 1, 2018 and the state and federal primary election will be held August 2, 2018.  All office holders elected in partisan elections are Republicans in Blount County.  There isn’t a single Democrat or independent in office in Blount County, excluding the school board which has nonpartisan elections.  Thus, it is highly likely that all upcoming offices, excluding the school board, will be decided in the primary elections.  If you wait to vote in November, you will miss your best opportunities to have an impact on who governs at the local and state levels.  There will be no county elections in November and only state and federal general elections occur in November.

The May 1 and August 2 primary elections provide opportunities for you to clean house of these state and local officials who refuse to hold the line on these outrageous salaries.  Only Commissioners Mike Akard, Jamie Daly, Karen Miller and myself have voted to cut the pay of these 4 elected officials down to the state minimum, which is already much higher than it should be.

Questions to ask before heading to the polls on May 1 and August 2:
1) Why have local elected officials refused to cut the pay of these officials to the state mandated minimums?
2) Why have the state legislators continued funding huge increases for elected officials?
3) Why did Jerome Moon try to lead the commission to believe that these pay supplements weren’t optional?

Please consider these questions before casting your votes in the May 1 and August 2 elections.

East Tennessee Index 2014 figures for median household income:

What does this measure?
Median household income, adjusted for inflation. Half of households earn below the median, and half are above.

Why is this important?
Median household income is a gauge of overall economic health of the region and the financial resources of households.

How is our region performing?
In 2010-14, median household income in the region was $45,100, slightly higher than the state ($44,600) but lower than the nation ($53,500). Among local counties, median household income was highest in Loudon ($50,600) and Knox ($47,500) and lowest in Union ($36,000) and Monroe ($37,200). The region, state, and nation all saw their median income fall by double digits from 2000 to 2010-14 (down 12% in the region, 14% in the state, and 10% in the nation). Median income fell much faster in the region from 2005-09 to 2010-14 than in the nation and state (16% decrease in the region compared to a 6% decrease for the state and the nation). Among the counties, median household incomes decreased most from 2000 to 2010-14 in Sevier, Monroe and Blount (all 14%). Union experienced the smallest rate of decline (7%), but still has the lowest median household income in the region.

Notes about the data
Figures are presented in 2014 dollars. The multiyear figures are from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. The bureau combined five years of responses to the survey to provide estimates for smaller geographic areas and increase the precision of its estimates. The survey provides data on characteristics of the population that used to be collected only during the decennial census.

ETIndex.org 2014 figures for average annual salary:

What does this measure?
The average annual salary in a region in a given year, adjusted for inflation.

Why is this important?
Salaries are a gauge of overall economic health and a measure of the degree to which employees are sharing in the prosperity of a community. They also indicate the vitality of a region and its ability to compete and attract workers.

How is our region performing?
In 2014, the region’s average salary was $43,000, below the average for the state ($45,200) and the nation ($51,400). Since 2000, the region’s average salary increased by 6%, on par with growth nationally and but below statewide (7%). Roane County’s average annual pay grew by 26% over the same time period, more than any other county, while average salary fell in Blount and Sevier counties over that period (both less than 1% respectively). Between 2013 and 2014, the region’s average annual salary increased by 1%, on par with the state increase.

Notes about the data
Data presented in 2014 dollars.

May 1, 2018 Local Election Issues

Harry Grothjahn of Truth Radio AM 1470 invited me to speak on his Sunday morning radio show to discuss important issues that you need to know about before voting in the upcoming May 1, 2018 local government primary election.  The interview was recorded so that you can listen to it and the slide show presentation is attached for your information and review.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of important local issues.  This is a good starting point in becoming informed for the upcoming May 1st primary election.

Let freedom ring!
Tona Monroe
Blount County Commissioner

May 1, 2017 local government primary election issues slides

http://tncitylinktv.com/archive/commissioner-monroes-most-important-blount-county-commission-issues-in-the-last-4-years/

County Commissioners Daly, Miller and Monroe given Blount Patriot Eagle Awards at Bill of Rights dinner

Harry Grothjahn of Truth Radio AM 1470 hosted the 3rd annual Bill of Rights dinner in Alcoa today.  State Senate candidate Scott Williams was the keynote speaker, speaking about the history of states holding conventions to address problems.

Grothjahn presented the three ladies on the Blount County Commission, Commissioners Jamie Daly, Karen Miller and Tona Monroe, with the Blount Patriot Eagle Award.  Grothjahn told the Blount County Commission last month that only the women on the commission are standing for righteousness in government.  The plaques feature an eagle and are engraved with a scripture from the book of Isiah.

Yet those who wait on the LORD will gain new strength: They will mount up with wings like eagles.  They will run and not get tired.  They will walk and not become weary.  -Isaiah 40:31

Commissioner Jamie Daly, Harry Grothjahn, Commissioner Karen Miller and Commissioner Tona Monroe

Blount County Commissioners Tona Monroe, Jamie Daly & Karen Miller  and state Senate candidate Scott William

 

14 machine commissioners make Art Swann state senator

Blount County Commissioners Andy Allen, Dave Bennett, Shawn Carter, Rick Carver, Grady Caskey, Mike Caylor, Dodd Crowe, Gary Farmer, Ron French, Scott King, Mike Lewis, Kenneth Melton, Jerome Moon and Tom Stinnett voted to replace Doug Overbey who recently resigned from the Tennessee Senate with (now former) Representative Art Swann.  Swann was nominated by Commissioner Carver.

Commissioner Tona Monroe nominated Scott Williams.  Commissioners Archie Archer, Karen Miller and Monroe voted for Williams.

Commissioners Mike Akard, Brad Bowers, Tom Cole and Jamie Daly were absent from the meeting.

Only Commissioners Miller and Monroe spoke during the discussion portion of the meeting with both sharing why they were voting for Williams.  Monroe shared that Williams served his country through military service, is a gentleman and a class act.  She said Swann had never returned any of her emails about concerns she had related to state laws and matters impacting local governments.

After the meeting, Jim Hammontree, who has picked up a petition to run for the seat currently held by district 2 Commissioner Mike Lewis, shared with BC Public Record and the local paper that the commission took a do nothing state representative and turned him into a do nothing state senator.

Blount County Commissioner Tona Monroe and state Senate candidate Scott Williams

Happy Thanksgiving

Troy and I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.  We have much to be grateful for.

One thing that I am thankful for is the opportunity to call out government officials for wrong doing and advocate for reform.  In some parts of the world people face severe repercussions for rebuking their government “leaders”.  Sadly I too often hear from people who are afraid of retaliation if they challenge that courthouse clique that exists in local government.  Good people who initiate no harm should not live in fear of their governments.

I encourage everyone during this time of thanksgiving to give serious consideration to your knowledge and involvement in state and local governments.  In general people are too focused on federal politics.  The main stream media bombards us with drama and endless controversy in Washington DC.

Give some consideration to taking a break from media sources that focus solely or mostly on national politics and put some time and energy into learning what your local and state governments are doing.  It wouldn’t surprise me if the majority of people can’t even name their local and state officials.

While I stood in a very long line to vote in the November election, I noticed someone willing to wait in the long line to vote in the Presidential race who hadn’t voted in the local government primary election held in May of 2014.  The reason this stood out to me is because this person had my sign in their yard but they didn’t actual take the time to vote in the local election.

If you voted in the presidential race this year, your vote was one in over 120 million votes.  If you voted in a county commission race in the local government election in May of 2014, your vote was about 1 in a thousand.  Some districts had more than 1,000 votes and some had less.  Many people don’t vote because they don’t feel that their votes matter.  Where does your vote have the most impact, a race with over 120 million votes or a race with about 1,000 votes?

If you still aren’t convinced that your vote matters tremendously in local elections, let me put it another way for you.  3 of the 21 county commission races were decided by less than 25 votes in the May primary election in 2014.  Jamie Daly won her race by 21 votes.  Archie Archer won his race by 12 votes.  Kenneth Melton won reelection to the Blount County Commission by receiving 6 more vote than his challenger.

These local races are often very close.  Do you vote in the local elections?  If not, why?

The unofficial results on the county’s website show 53,260 votes in the November election while only 12,061 voted in the August election.  If you are one of the many people who voted in November but not in August, please reflect upon why you didn’t vote in August.

Yesterday and today I posted several articles about the difficulties and unresponsiveness that I deal with on a regular basis as an elected official serving the community through local government.  Contact information for the appropriate people is provided in these posts if you feel so inclined to provide input on any of these matters.

It has been said that serving as a county commissioner is a thankless job.  Actually its not.  I receive several thanks on a fairly regular basis.  What is more accurate is to describe it as a helpless job because there are so few willing to help promote better government locally.

What would make me even more thankful this Thanksgiving Day would be to see more people take an active role in what is happening right here in our county.

Sincerely,
Tona Monroe
Blount County Commissioner

Senator Doug Overbey and Representative Art Swann are nonresponsive

Some years back, prior to be elected to serve as a county commissioner, I (Tona Monroe) asked Senator Doug Overbey to obtain an opinion from the Tennessee Attorney General.  He declined saying that that he felt that AG’s opinions should be used to answer questions that local government officials have.  His response told me that he doesn’t give a flip what the people he is elected to serve want but I had hoped that after my election to local government that Overbey would be responsive to my requests for information and ideas for reform.  He isn’t.

I can’t recall him responding to anything that I have sent him since taking office in September 2014.  He did find the time to send me a letter during his campaign for reelection saying he hoped that he had earned my support.

Overbey spends his time catering to his wealthy donors and attending social events.  He represents the elite.  He is a career politician floating in the swamp of Nashville.

The people of Tennessee failed to drain the swap in Nashville during the primary elections in August.  Voter turnout was very low.  The election was lost in the drama and media coverage of federal politics.  I encourage everyone to pay more attention to state and local politics.

Representative Art Swann doesn’t respond either.  Rep. Bob Ramsey does respond to some things but never offers to work toward any reform that will improve local government.

Senator Doug Overbey: sen.doug.overbey@capitol.tn.gov  850-9411
Representative Bob Ramsey: rep.bob.ramsey@capitol.tn.gov  984-8124
Representative Art Swann: rep.art.swann@capitol.tn.gov  982-6811

A new name for the political machine or good ole’ boys: the courthouse clique

For many years the powers that be here locally have been referred to as the political machine and the good ole’ boys.  I’ve used the terms myself, as have many others, although I’ve never liked the term good ole’ boys.  There is rarely any good that they do.  Thus, I propose a new name for the local establishment: the courthouse clique.

Who exactly are the courthouse clique?  The Blount Lifestyle PAC website provided a list.  The website is down but this screen shot provides a list of those who are the courthouse clique.

Newly elected County Commissioner Dave Bennett can be added to the list of the courthouse clique.  He was the secretary of the PAC.  See the page dated 12-31-15.

BlountLifestyles

Jeff Headrick voted to advance a wheel tax levy resolution

In the race for Highway Superintendent, the Brian Downey campaign is telling the public that Jeff Headrick voted for a wheel tax while he served on the county commission.  Some are countering that Headrick voted for a referendum for the voters to decide if they want a wheel tax.  To settle the confusion regarding former commissioner Jeff Headrick’s record on the wheel tax, a review of Agenda Committee packets will set the record straight.  These are readily available online.

Jeff Headrick voted to advance a resolution that would have levied a wheel tax.  This vote would have placed the resolution on the commission agenda.  To read the resolution see pages 58-59 of the May 12, 2015 Agenda Committee packet: http://www.blounttn.org/comm/AG150512.PDF

Compare that to the 2013 resolution that actually called a referendum on the question of levying a wheel tax.  See pages 38-39.  http://www.blounttn.org/comm/CC130418.PDF  Jeff Headrick was not on the commission in 2013 when this vote occurred.

The vote on the resolution to levy a wheel tax is found in the minutes of the May 12, 2015 Agenda Committee meeting, which are available in the June 2015 Agenda Committee packet.  See page 55. http://www.blounttn.org/comm/AG150609.PDF

Headrick resigned his commission seat earlier this year when the commission voted to appoint him to the position of Highway Superintendent to fill the vacancy left by Bill Dunlap’s resignation.  Commissioners Mike Akard, Archie Archer, Jamie Daly, Karen Miller and Tona Monroe voted for Brian Downey.  Commissioners Andy Allen, Brad Bowers, Shawn Carter, Rick Carver, Grady Caskey, Tom Cole, Dodd Crowe, Gary Farmer, Ron French, Mike Lewis, Kenneth Melton, Jerome Moon, Steve Samples and Tom Stinnett voted for Jeff Headrick.  Commissioner Mike Caylor was absent.

If the wheel tax is an important issue to you, then you should take note that Brian Downey says he opposes it while Jeff Headrick voted to advance a measure that would have levied a wheel tax.

Will the Republican Party of Blount County release its bylaws before picking the County Clerk and Highway Superintendent?

The Republican Party of Blount County, Tennessee hasn’t exactly been known for transparency or fairness.  Several Republicans were denied entrance to a meeting in 2013.  The Party left Commissioner Jim Folts off its website.  When I was asked to speak to the Republican Party about why I thought Ron Paul was the best choice for President in 2012, then Chairman Susan Mills wouldn’t let me speak even though I had been an approved delegate candidate for Ron Paul, twice (2008 and 2012).  When Gerald Kirby lost his primary commission race to Jamie Daly, the party big whigs went to work for Kirby’s write-in campaign, even though party leadership is suppose to support Republican candidates.

Now the Republican Party Executive Committee will get to pick the Republican candidates for Blount County Clerk and Blount County Highway Superintendent.  The selection meeting will be a spectator sport.  You and I will be able to watch but we will not be able to participate.

The August general election for these two offices could be a Soviet style election.  If the Democratic Party doesn’t nominate candidates and no independents run, then the people of Blount County will get to go vote the R party or not the R party.  Actually it will be worse than that because you won’t even get to vote NO on the candidate.

Unless someone runs as a write-in, any write-in votes will not count.  Even if an independent or Democrat runs, barring some major scandal, the Republicans will win.  There are no independents or Democrats in elected office in Blount County, excluding the nonpartisan School Board.

With this kind of power, the Republican Party should release its bylaws.  I asked the Blount County Republican Party Chair, Patsy Lundy, for a copy of the bylaws.  She said the bylaws were being revised.  That’s the same excuse that has been used to deny releasing the bylaws for years.  The Tennessee Republican Party said it is checking with the County Party to see if the bylaws that it has are current.

I asked Lundy for a copy of the current bylaws.  She said she would check with some people (apparently the Chair has to get permission from her bosses) to see if she could release the bylaws to me.

The bylaws for the Blount County Democratic Party are available on the Tennessee Democratic Party’s website.  The Blount County Libertarian Party uses the bylaws of the Libertarian Party of Tennessee.  Both are available online for review, although the bylaws posted for the State Libertarian Party are over 4 years old.

People are talking about the Republican establishment coming unhinged because more voters are backing Trump than Rubio.  People would do well to pay attention to what the local GOP is doing.  Since it is likely that the Republican Party Executive Committee is going to pick 2 of our local office holders the least the Executive Committee can do is release its bylaws.