Blount County Tax Revolt Issues Endorsements for Local Primary Elections

Here are the endorsements for the May 6, 2014 local County Primary elections, along with a School Board endorsement for the August 7 primary.

We have endorsed the following candidates for:

County Commission Republican Primary:

District 1 Seat A:    Archie Archer
District 1 Seat B:    [no endorsement]
District 2 Seat A:    Mike Akard
District 2 Seat B:    Douglas Benton
District 3 Seat A:    Sean Thompson
District 3 Seat B:    Chipper Wyatt
District 4 Seat A:    Linda King
District 4 Seat B:    Karen Miller
District 4 Seat C:    [no endorsement]
District 5 Seat A:    [no endorsement]
District 5 Seat B:    Wade Masters
District 6 Seat A:    Thomas Cole
District 6 Seat B:    [no endorsement]
District 7 Seat A:    Troy Ball
District 7 Seat B:    Tona Monroe
District 8 Seat A:    [no endorsement]
District 8 Seat B:    [candidate withdrew]
District 9 Seat A:    [no endorsement]
District 9 Seat B:    Steve Simon
District 10 Seat A:    Jamie Daly*
District 10 Seat B:    Larry Henry

County Commission Democrat Primary:

District 4 Seat A:    Richard Neal Hutchens

General Sessions Judge:

Division 2: Kenlyn Foster

County School Board:

District 7: Stan Giles*

For other positions, please check back later.  There is a chance there may be one more endorsement.

Don’t forget, early voting is April 16 through May 1.  Election Day is May 6.

Click here for a printable list.  You can print this and stick it to your fridge as a reminder,

or give copies to your neighbors.  Here’s the URL for hand outs.

* Stan Giles was originally endorsed for District 10 seat A.  He dropped out to run for School Board District 7.  Our endorsement follows him, and we are supporting Jamie Daly for Seat A.  The school board election will take place in August.  I will update this with specific dates.



Setting the record straight on DHS and license plate tracking

Last week the internet was ablaze with reports of the Dept. of Homeland InSecurity contracting to obtain license plate tracking information, and then the subsequent canceling of request to contract.  Contrary to what many are thinking, that was not a victory for we the people.

It seems as if many people are under the mistaken impression that we dodged a surveillance-bullet when DHS withdrew this solicitation. We didn’t. A national plate tracking database exists, run by Vigilant Solutions, and it is widely used by law enforcement nationwide. The company is currently aggressively defending in court its ability to track anyone it wants, however it wants. If you’d like to see which agencies have access to its rapidly growing database, you can click here and scroll through the drop down menu. Vigilant has helpfully provided a list for all to peruse.

More on the beta testing city for the police state, Los Angeles, CA.

Britain’s GCHQ guide to Online Covert Action

It has long been an open secret that U.S. and other government     agencies have been spreading disinformation and misdirection among     dissident groups, including various “patriot myths” designed to     disrupt activists and prevent them from making competent efforts.     One of the just-released documents by Edward Snowden includes the     British manual for doing that, which is shared with its allies. See

So the next time you receive word from some “patriot” for actions     that are too simple, obvious, direct, and appealing, the odds are     high that is coming from a government agent.

-- Jon

Constitution Society     
2900 W Anderson Ln C-200-322 
Austin, TX 78757 512/299-5001

Spending Increases this year

The turn back money being touted as good stewardship from elected County officials does not accurately portray the budget spending situation.  Look at these figures from Commissioner Jim Folts for the full story.  County employees were already receiving higher compensation for their labor.

From Commissioner Folts:

These are increases in the salary budgets over the actual spending last year. Also noted are the increases budgeted for the officials running the departments.

Salary budget increase 4.3%
Berrong increase 4.6%

Salary budget 3.9%
Crisp increase 4.6%

Circuit Court Clerk
Salary budget 12.4%
Hatcher 4.6%

Juvenile Detention
Salary Budget 14.8%
Captain 5.0%

Jail (Berrong)
Salary Budget 11.3%

Another Common Core “state” Standards Smoking Gun


by Eric Holcombe

In a previous post, I showed you how the State Dept. of Education selectively censored the memorandum of understanding (MOU) agreement forms that were provided to me upon request. The MOUs I requested were the forms the state claimed in the Race To The Top (RTTT) application for hundreds of millions of federal taxpayer dollars were signed by all the Tennessee public school district directors of schools, the local school board chairperson and if applicable, the local district teacher union representative. Of course, this has since been proven to be false as the department has since informed me these signed MOU forms claimed in the RTTT application “do not exist”. The MOU copies that were provided to me were: 1) not the same MOU form or language as those claimed to be signed by all parties in the RTTT application, 2) were only signed by the directors of schools and 3) were signed several months after the Race To The Top application. The department for some reason withheld five districts from these copies, all of which were signed in 2009, before the first “confidential” rough draft of the Common Core “state” Standards were even available for anyone to look at. That date was January 13, 2010. The only district that seemed to put up any kind of documented protest was Jackson – Madison County. Their MOU included an attached letter of protest/concern authored by JMCEA representative Janis Carrol which indicated concerns about agreeing to a memorandum of understanding that amounted to signing a blank check because: 1) The education “reforms” that would become special session legislation in January 2010 did not exist yet but there was plenty of talk about teacher tenure restriction/elimination and tying teacher pay to student achievement testing. 2) No one could yet read the 1100-page RTTT application that they were swearing familiarity with in the MOU they were being asked to sign 3) Therefore, they could not know the deception used by the Department of Education to hide the agreement to implement the Common Core “state” Standards and the massive data-mining increase (SLDS system expansion) that would be contained in the RTTT application. However this unknown also would apply to the school district personnel that were asked to sign.

To give some insight into what was going on in December 2009, when the State Dept. of  Education was asking all the districts to sign the blank check and agree to whatever is inside their RTTT trojan horse, Janis has provided meeting minutes from the JMCEA  executive committee meeting along with some commentary. Note that these minutes are from December 8, 2009, over 30 days prior to the first “confidential” rough draft of the Common Core “state” Standards even being available; the special session legislation that would be passed in January just prior to its inclusion in the RTTT application (which would be submitted only a couple of days later) doesn’t exist yet. Thus, the 1100-page RTTT application cannot be complete at this point, yet the state is asking for districts to agree they are familiar with whatever might be contained in it (including the Common Core “state” Standards and mandatory online, overpriced achievement testing by no-bid contracts with Phil Bredesen’s Achieve Inc. unbeknownst to them).


 Janis’ comments follow:

I’m attaching the minutes from the JMCEA Executive Board meeting just prior to me signing the RTTTF MOU. It explains how we came to the decision of how to handle this in the best way we thought possible.

Although this was four years ago, I recall us feeling the pressure into to signing this. We were damned if we did and also damned if we didn’t. We were lead to believe that all local associations had to sign this in order to get it. I didn’t want us to be the scapegoat if we didn’t. That being said, we agreed it was a bad idea to sign something that was still being planned out… CRAZY.

I think I remember there were about four or five teacher associations who refused to sign it. Turns out in the end that it didn’t matter if we agreed and signed it or not. It appeared it was a done deal.”

JCMEA Executive Committee December 2009 Minutes by horbunce

Remember those famous words from Jamie SCORE Woodson at the September 20, 2013 “fact-finding” hearing: “We were going to do it anyway”. She was sponsoring the special session legislation at this time and getting ready to resign and go to work for Bill Frist to spend those millions that Bill Gates gave to TNSCORE – for the children, of course. However, that special session legislation does not commit the state to Common Core or the no-bid, data-mining contract with PARCC (Governing Board member Kevin Huffman and their project manager, Achieve Inc. – Bill Haslam board member).  

Also note in the JMCEA minutes that TEA had provided a letter to the local affiliates – presumably a letter of protest that Janis improved upon. This is what I would expect my union to do for me as a dues-paying member, because endorsing this massive application that you can’t read yet is as Janis stated “CRAZY”. For some reason though, even TEA had changed their tune by January 16, 2010 (two days before the RTTT application was submitted) as Earl Wiman’s rubber-stamp letter contained in Appendix A (on Page A-27) of the RTTT application states:

We advised all of our local affiliates to sign their LEAs Memorandum of Understanding in order to support Tennessee’s RTTT application. Further, we recommended that they commit themselves to negotiate the appropriate components outlined in the school system’s scope of work.

Presumably, this change was in response to “partnering with” Gov. Bredesen and compromising on the teacher tenure issue in special session. It is apparent that this was the JCMEA executive committee primary concern, after all, they couldn’t know what was contained in the RTTT trojan horse – and neither did Earl Wiman.

So the public school administrators were ignorant of Common Core and PARCC testing being contained in the RTTT application because they could not read it. Neither could the teachers. Neither could any parents of any students. The signatories of the RTTT application were Gov. Phil Bredesen, Education Commissioner Tim Webb and State Board of Education President, B. Fielding Rolston. Somebody knew about the trojan horse. Somebody worked on the Tennessee RTTT application and made these promises to implement Common Core and the PARCC testing. Somebody at the state level was forcing the districts to agree to this 1100-page document without being able to read it. If it is not the signatories, then who? Because it certainly wasn’t “led” by the people of the state.

Commission passes election year County employee bribe bonuses, another sales tax referendum & more spending increases

Here’s a humorous, while direct  letter to the editor on the employee bonuses.

Item F6 took an interesting turn when Commission Jim Folts pointed out that there was no such parcel of land on the State Comptroller’s website maps.  Commissioner Burkhalter, who is running for Juvenile Judge, tabled the motion, only to bring it back up at the end and claim that he had found the parcel on the State’s website.  Then the County Purchasing Agent, Theresa Johnson, said that the parcel number was a typo, that the parcel number is 062.25 not 062.65.  This made Burkhalter look bad, because he claimed he found something that didn’t exist and said he needed to abstain after misreading the State’s website.  That wasn’t the only problem.  Commissioner Ron French inquired what the last Assessor’s appraised value was.  It was $150,400 in 2010, about half of what the resolution authorized purchasing the land for.  More waste from the Sheriff’s Dept.  The matter was tabled again.  This issue will likely be back.

Commissioner Folts, tried to find out what happened to the wrecked Animal Control vehicle, budget increase item F3.  A man in the audience said he knew, but he was not recognized and the Commission passed the purchase of a new vehicle at $24,295, without learning where the wrecked vehicle is.

Today’s article in The Daily Times does a decent job of reporting on part of the meeting.  The one thing that doesn’t come across in the context that it was spoken was Karen Miller’s statement about using the children as an excuse for tax increases.  She is very much concerned about the children and the people of Blount County.  If you want the full story, listen to her comments at the Commission meeting last night, here online.

Candidate comments for the orders of the evening.

Good evening Mr. Chairman.  What a beautiful day.  After you weather the storm, out comes the beautiful sunshine.  The people of Blount County have been weathering a storm on the level of a tornado bearing the burden of $221 million in debt. Tonight you have the opportunity to let the good people of this County to see a little glimmer of sunshine by rejecting this bribe called a bonus.

This bonus is about buying votes. Furthermore, it treats all employees the same, regardless of merit. Communism offers the same pay, regardless of effort.  Is that what you want for Blount County? Show the people of Blount County a ray of sunshine by sending all the turn back money to the rainy day fund to weather another storm or better yet, pay down some of this County’s astronomical debt.

Secondly, item F6, approving the purchase of 4 acres of land for $300,000.  Does this land contain gold or oil on it?  Why would anyone in their right mind spend $300 grand on 4 acres, unless it was sitting on a gold mine?

There are more problems with tonight’s agenda than I can cover in 3 minutes, so I’ll finish with item F8, increasing the sales tax.  Haven’t we been there and done that already, multiple times?  Didn’t this Commission waste $80,000 last year on a wheel tax referendum?  Einstein is credited with saying that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.  The people have spoken several times already.  Enough is enough.

Vote down all these spending increases on the agenda tonight and you won’t need a sales tax increase.  Then Mr. Chairman and Commissioners, the people of Blount County will finally be able to see a ray of sunshine.

Tona Monroe Candidate for Commission District 7 Seat B


Hey there, my name is Douglas Benton from Alcoa and after reading the paper on Feb 2, about the “GRAND REWARD”, I became…well, sad and disgusted.

I am old now…and looking back, there are lots of things I would do different.  There are lots of things I did that were against the law, and thank goodness, I never got caught and went to jail.  I have told my share of lies…hidden the truth from people…spun a story in a certain way.  These things I wish I could change.   Do you ever feel that way?  When you are young…you really don’t understand how you are hurting the other person or people…but you know why.  Those lies are important now.  Every night, when I lay my head on my pillow, I think about what happened that day and re-evaluate the decisions I made.  Do you all ever do that?  YOU SHOULD !!!

You are NOT telling the taxpayers that WE are ~208 MILLION dollars IN DEBT.  YOU ARE LYING TO THE TAXPAYERS !!!  Does that bother you?  Are you grown-up enough where the LIES start to bother you?

I have been coming to these meetings for a couple of years now and I watch a couple of concerned citizens come before you and express their opinion…and then, you vote the way you want…without thinking about what the people want.  Why do you think they voted you here?…because they trust you to make the RIGHT decision.  The truth is…you don’t care.

BlountCounty employees earn a good living…paid for by the taxpayers.  They get a CADILLAC health plan that cost us TAXPAYERS “900 and something dollars a month per employee”…Mr. Vinyard couldn’t even give me a correct dollar amount last week in the Budget Meeting.  To me, that is a GIFT…THAT KEEPS ON GIVING !!!!  I don’t know anyone, in the private sector that is paying $25/month for their health plan.  And with this governmental takeover of our healthcare system…Obamacare…everyone I know is paying double and some are paying triple for their plan.  A friend of ours came in from Los   Angeles on Wednesday, and we started talking about Obamacare…and he told me that his plan WAS $316/month with a $1k deductible and no copay…now it is $1,367/month with a $9k deductible and a $50 co-pay.  “If you like your health plan…you can keep it” .   Obummer also said that every family would save around $2,500/year on their health plans.  These are the biggest lies of the century!

Did he learn to lie from you all or did you learn to lie from him.  No one trusts you all to do the right thing…that’s why they don’t come to these meetings.  They hate watching liers!!!

Mayor Mitchell, why DIDN’T you put in the article that BlountCounty was ~208 MILLION dollars in debt…instead of having them print “This resulted in a $2.3 million turn back from appropriations in the general fund” and “according to the state Comptroller’s Office’s audit, the county ended fiscal year 2012-2013 with an $11.4 million fund balance”.    Talk about spinning some BULL.    I AM VERY ANGRY NOW!!!    WE ARE AROUND 208 MILLION DOLLARS IN DEBT AND YOU WANT TO GIVE AWAY ANOTHER 543 THOUSAND DOLLARS OF MY MONEY…FOR WHAT???…FOR VOTES???? STOP GIVING AWAY OUR MONEY!

Douglas Benton Candidate for Commission District 2 Seat B

Douglas Benton’s comments off the agenda

I knew you would pass the $543 thousand dollar “GIFT”.  That’s why we call you the “bobbing heads of Blount County”…you can’t say no.  Mr. Mayor, here you go again, giving away our money.  A couple of months ago you were going to give the Park Service a chunk of our money for the government shutdown…and you didn’t even have the Commission’s approval…now you have given away ½ million dollars of the taxpayers money to buy votes from the employees of Blount County.  If you want to give them a gift…pull out your wallet.

I can’t wait for the Property Tax increase coming next year.  You are going to whine and say “its for the kids”…or “we’re going to have to lay off thousands of employees”…or something ridiculous like that.  I wish it was a law that you had to let the citizens vote on every expenditure over $25 thousand dollars.  That might stop you spending our BORROWED money…that you don’t have.  Or did you forget that we are ~208 MILLION dollars in debt?   And Mr. Vineyard….DEBT IS DEBT !!!!!!!!!

How to stop license plate tracking

There is a simple way to solve this problem.  All a State has to do is repeal the plate requirement for motor vehicles.  Some States are talking about cutting water off to the NSA.  Why should people be tagged like cattle when they travel?  Cut the plates off, problem solved.  Instead the Tennessee General Assembly is looking to steal more money by upping seat belt fines.  More of that tough of crime garbage from Republicans.

Bob Ramsey’s responses to jokes and real issues are often the same

Last week I wrote Bob Ramsey about radioactive polonium in hydrofluorosilicic acid.  Here’s the response that I received.

“After reading the article, I am forwarding it to our health staff for evaluation. Thanks”

From: Tona
Sent: Monday, February 10, 2014 7:18 PM
Subject: Radiation poisoning from hydrofluorosilicic acid

Hello Rep. Bob Ramsey D.D.S.,
Do you still support poisoning us against our will when the crap (hydrofluorsilic acid) being dumped in our water is contaminated with radioactive polonium?

Seriously, what else would it take being found in this industrial waste for you to say the benefit of possibly preventing some tooth decay (which actually makes it harder to see tooth decay on x-rays) is out weighed by all the harmful CRAP that comes with it?  Would people have to turn neon green first and grow a 3rd physical eye before you no longer claim your saving their teeth by poisoning them?

Let freedom ring!

Last year, I wrote a satirical email to Rep. Bob Ramsey regarding chocolate being more effective than chemicals containing fluoride in protecting teeth.  I received the following response:

“We are looking for the same results, less decay. This may be a good avenue to that end, and I have sent the suggestion to our staff as well as the TDA administration. Thanks”

Sent from my iPad

As you can see, he forwards it to others, not taking a position either time.

Here’s the response that Richard Hutchens received from Ramsey regarding UT’s Sex Week last year.

Richard Hutchens recently wrote Representative Ramsey on a couple of issues.  Ramsey’s response and Hutchens’ initial email are included fyi.


It is totally worthless sending a well written, well thought out e-mail to Bob.
He doesn’t read them
To: Richard Hutchens
Subject: Re: Please Co-Sponsor End of Forced Annexation in TN Act
Date: Mon, 17 Feb 2014 03:21:27 +0000
Sent from my iPad
On Feb 13, 2014, at 6:06 AM, “Richard Hutchens”  wrote:
Rep. Ramsey and Senator Overby
Three Fundamental Principles of our Constitutional form of Govt. are:
1.   Sovereignty resides with the citizens
2.  Governments are instituted among men to secure their unalienable rights…
3.  Legitimate Governments derive their just Powers from Consent of the Governed.
As my Representatives, Please protect your Constituents God Given and Constitutional Protected Rights to these above principles by Co-Sponsoring HB 2371 and  vote for the End of Forced Annexation in TN Act (EFATA).


The recent political edition of why did the chicken cross the road joke, in which I added my own response, was posted on Stacey Campfield’s blog.  You can see Bob’s thoughtful response.


Last year when Richard Hutchens sent Bob Ramsey concerning the problems with the Blount County Republican Party, he received the same response.


Perhaps you see a pattern in these responses.


Response regarding UT Sex Week

This is the response that I received from Rep. Bob Ramsey.  My follow-up is on top of the response, so you may wish to work your way up, rather than down.  No UT official’s name was provided, which I assume was redacted by Bob.

Thanks Bob.

What exactly are student speaker fees?  Who pays these fees?  Are students, who don’t support this, required to pay fees which ultimately contribute to funding this filth?

Are members of the public, free to use the University of Tennessee campus to promote any filth they desire, so long as the filth isn’t illegal activities?

Let freedom ring!


—–Original Message—–
From: “Bob Ramsey” <> Sent: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 6:26pm
To: Tona
Subject: RE: University of Tennessee – Public university Sex Week to teach masturbation, when orgasms are a ‘political act’

It seems the University of Tennessee shares the concerns of citizens and members of this legislative body with regards to how sex week has been portrayed and marketed to the public as an event funded by tax dollars.
I have taken the liberty of attaching the correspondence sent to me by The University of Tennessee regarding Sex Week at UT Knoxville. I hope this satisfies any questions you may have.
Representative Ramsey:
Thank you for your message concerning your constituent’s questions regarding Sex Week at UTK – an event organized and hosted by students at our Knoxville Campus.  After reviewing some of the information referred to by your constituent, I share the same feeling and concern about the appropriateness of some of the marketing materials and promotions.
I have verified that no state appropriations, tuition monies, or tax dollars have been committed or will be used in any aspect of the event.  All funds will be derived from grants to promote personal responsibility and awareness, student speaker fees, and private funds, some of which will be raised by the student organizations sponsoring the event.
As you know, the First Amendment restricts the ability of the University administration to direct or influence the spending of student speaker fee monies.  Additionally, the University cannot prevent registered student organizations from using university facilities for these events.  However, I can assure you that the University has done all that the First Amendment allows it to do in this circumstance.
Again, I understand and appreciate you and your constituent’s concerns and likewise appreciate your continued support of The University of Tennessee.
Rep. Matlock has brought legislation HB2450 Education, Higher – As introduced, prohibits use of institutional revenues, including student activity fees, to engage visiting or guest speakers for events at public institutions of higher education. – Amends TCA Title 49, Chapter 7; Title 49, Chapter 8 and Title 49, Chapter 9.