published Monday, August 2nd, 2010

Letters to the Editors

Corporations don’t have human rights

After 87 years, I am astounded by the vitriolic attacks on the president.

He was not in the Senate or Congress when the Glass-Steagle Act was repealed, which was enacted in 1935 to stop Wall Street investment banks from gambling money of others. For about 80 years, the specter of the Great Depression had not returned. In less than 10 years after it was repealed, the 2008 economic disaster occurred.

Any connection? Roosevelt’s spending to meet that emergency failed, some say. They say WWII spending restored the economy. “Well ...,” is war the best way to spend money for the economy? Why not schools, food, medical care, roads and bridges, etc.

All who have served in the military or in any public office have sworn to protect and defend the Constitution.

Sam Houston, who served in the army under Andrew Jackson, as congressman and governor of Tennessee, resigned as governor of Texas rather than sign an Act of Secession. He thought to do so a violation of his previous oaths.

I do not think “rights” referred to under the U.S. Constitution gave corporations all rights reserved to human beings. Our current majority of the Supreme Court think otherwise.

THOMAS A. GREER JR.

Dunlap, Tenn.

Keep Knowles’ efficiency on job

I never thought I’d be writing a letter of support for the re-election of Bill Knowles as longtime Hamilton County clerk. Never thought I’d feel the need.

However, for the benefit of all those folks who have just joined our Hamilton County family and maybe those who might be inclined to take a good guy for granted, Bill Knowles and his hand-picked, professional staff run one of the smoothest, most efficient operations in government, anywhere. As my 96-year-old daddy was fond of saying about his beloved wife and companion of over 70 years, “When you got someone good you don’t let ’em get away.”

Don’t let Bill Knowles get away.

CHARLES N. SIDDEN

Red Bank

Peers’ support shows Smith’s value

It has been my good fortune to have Kenny Smith as my representative on the school board. As a District 8 resident and parent of two children enrolled in public school, I have been impressed and pleased with Kenny’s service on the board. His track record speaks for itself.

Kenny has a no-nonsense approach and gets right to the heart of the issues before the board. His voting record reflects his commitment to putting resources in the classroom.

Kenny is a capable leader, as demonstrated not only in his voting record but also in his tenure as chairman of the school board. The fact that his peers elected him chairman three years in a row is ample proof that Kenny is a trustworthy and impartial leader.

Kenny works hard but doesn’t seek or take credit for his hard work. His heart and his head are in the right place.

I am confident he will be an exceptional commissioner, and I urge my friends and neighbors in District 8 to join me in voting for Kenny Smith.

TRAVIS R.

McDONOUGH

Cantrell has broad base of support

We are fortunate to have David Cantrell as a candidate for District 2 of the Hamilton County Commission.

David Cantrell has demonstrated his ability to lead and build consensus as a nonpartisan by establishing a support base made up of Republicans, Democrats and independents. The Times Free Press has written, “David Cantrell’s positions on future planning and education, and the background that impel them are ... in line with the country’s needs. We recommend his election.”

HERSHEL DICK

Signal Mountain

Haslam misleads on tax reduction

When Bill Haslam says in his campaign ads for governor that he reduced the property tax rate, he is a bit misleading. Tennessee state law requires that all properties be reappraised every four years. Should the tax appraisals change from the previous four-year cycle, then the tax rates must be raised or lowered so as to not result in more or less taxes. Each governing body then could change their tax rates to meet their particular revenue needs, up or down.

In the case of Knox County, the tax rate was reduced due to the tax appraisals being increased. This resulted in a lower tax rate to offset the increased tax appraisals. Mr. Haslam is not individually responsible for any tax rate, up or down.

I continue to be a proud supporter of Zach Wamp for governor of Tennessee.

LAWRENCE REEVE

Testerman will be a valuable asset

I support David Testerman for the school board in District 8.

David has lived in the district for over 35 years and is very familiar with the schools in the area and the entire system. He was principal in the school system when value-added test scores and the Basic Education Program were begun in this state.

His experience will be very valuable to the schools in the district and to the system.

When I served as superintendent, I found his most valuable quality to be the love and concern he had for his students. He promises to visit schools regularly and to keep informed at the school level by attending as many PTA meetings and school activities as possible. He will be a valuable asset to the schools, students and parents.

DON LOFTIS

Elect Fields, then keep him on toes

I am voting for and supporting Jim Fields in his campaign for county commissioner, District 2. His credentials, character and much highly attested integrity are impeccable and second only to the man he beat in the primary, Richard Casavant. Jim is clearly the best man left standing.

I predict Jim will win handily in the general election. I trusted Richard Casavant’s wisdom, judgment, fiscal responsibility and governing abilities to the extent I willingly allowed him free use of my billfold. When Richard said the county needed some of my money, I knew it to be true, that the greater vision he had was both accurate and unimpeachable. Richard Casavant was, in my opinion, the finest county commissioner I have seen in office in my long lifetime as a county citizen.

Jim, once you are elected, please do your very best to fill this important post. You have some rather large shoes to fill! I hope you are up to the challenge.

I urge all previous Casavant supporters to vote for Jim Fields, then try your best to keep him on his toes once elected!

RODGER CASTLEBERRY

Signal Mountain

Conservatives rally around Smith

It seems the “Stop Robin Smith” express is rolling.

If Robin is so unqualified, why is all the incoming fire heading her way? Does that mean she’s winning? Isn’t the frontrunner usually attacked this way? Surely the voters of the 3rd District have seen the same disqualifying traits these panicked supporters of other candidates have discovered.

No? Well then, she must be doing something right.

As I watch the claims against Robin devolve from attack to smear to outright lies, I notice the vast majority of opposition comes from one or two candidates who haven’t had much success raising money or getting Tennesseans to join their campaigns. We all know desperate politicians, even ones with no experience or record of working for real issues, turn to ugly tactics when time starts to run out. I’m just proud to know I’m supporting the candidate they are shooting at.

It’s easy to support Robin. She’s a great wife, a great mother, a leader in her church and she’s the candidate conservatives are rallying around because of her 20 years fighting for what we believe in. I hope these losing politicians will turn their focus to issues and leave the smear campaign behind.

ED & BONNIE

GRAVITTE

Hixson

Soliders deserve better treatment

My son, who is in the Army cavalry, was recently deployed to Korea. He called the other day needing money for toilet paper. He is currently purchasing paper from another soldier. He is also required to purchase, at his own expense, a bullet-proof vest. The soldiers were furnished no proper bedding and he has to purchase sheets and a pillow and another blanket. He was issued one blanket.

They were never briefed on the conditions they would encounter and hence were unprepared. I expect our soldiers to be treated better than this. I recommended the military to my son as I am a patriot and love my country. I’m not sure I would do so again.

Prisoners in our jails are treated better than this. They get toilet paper, bedding and three meals a day. Don’t our soldiers deserve better treatment than prisoners? Thanks, Obama; you have shown how much you care for our military, just like the draft-dodging Clinton.

JIM BROWN

Lakesite, Tenn.

Vote for Behler for needed change

Call us naïve, but when someone is in office for 12 years we believe that elected official should manage his office competently. Lack of technological upgrades. Inefficient manual accounting procedures. Not to mention a $41,227 utility bill for an empty court building. We should expect results, not business as usual.

While others may call that “good news” and these actions worthy of endorsement, we do not. No thank you, political establishment — we believe we deserve more!

We do not have money to waste in these economically troubled times. Families are hurting. Teens are at risk.

We need to demand all governmental offices be run efficiently with strict accountability to our community

It is indeed time for a change in the Juvenile Court clerk’s office. We urge you to vote for Gary Behler on Thursday.

RIC & KAREN

GODWIN

Smith works hard to achieve results

There has been a lot of talk about Robin Smith’s success as the Tennessee State Republican Party chairwoman. I would like to tell you about the Robin Smith I worked with at the Hamilton County Republican Party.

She was our local party chairwoman for four years, and I had the privilege of being the executive director during her two terms. Robin is one who never settled for mediocrity. She always thought outside the box and came up with ways to grow and expand our local party.

Robin was the kind of leader who would never ask someone to do something that she would not do herself. She put out campaign signs, made phone calls, went door to door, and planned events. It was a privilege of mine to work with Robin in helping advance our Republican Party. She had high expectations and always worked very hard to achieve them. This is the Robin Smith I know.

MARTY FAIRBANKS

Soddy-Daisy

Haynes good model for giving back

Marty Haynes is the best candidate to represent District 3 on the Hamilton County school board.

I personally know how much the Hixson community and schools mean to Marty and his family because Marty is my dad. I have learned from him how important it is to give back to your community by watching his example.

While in high school, my teammates and I were amazed as Dad and several others willingly gave of their weekends to improve the athletic facilities at Hixson High School. Now as a 25-year-old soon-to-be-married man, I realize how much men like my dad have sacrificed for this community.

The ideas Dad has brought to this race are not just campaign slogans or buzz words. I have listened to him for too many years talk about a local superintendent, the budget, discipline and a vocational school at Chattanooga State.

I know for a fact how much this community and the schools in it mean to my dad — I have seen him live it.

Vote for Marty Haynes for school board!

DAVID “PUDGE”

HAYNES

Graham wrong on Brooks’ role

So Joe Graham claims that Commissioner John Brooks was not involved in increasing Hamilton County’s share of Basic Education Program education funds. His exact quote was “He really and truly didn’t have anything to do with that money.” How wrong you are, Mr. Graham.

Commissioner John Brooks led the charge to change the unfair BEP formula by pitching the idea to the County Commission of filing suit against the state. With the support of County Mayor Claude Ramsey and the entire County Commission, Mr. Brooks contacted Knox County commissioners and enlisted their support. In the face of a lawsuit, Gov. Bredesen brokered a compromise with the Legislature which has brought approximately $13 million more per year to this county for education funding.

Republican Commissioner Larry Henry stated on April 27, 2007, “And Commissioner Brooks has taken the lead and the initiative to do something here for the counties that are being affected by this BEP formula.” Hamilton County was short-changed by the BEP for years. Is Mr. Graham telling us that all those counties getting fat off of our tax money just suddenly decided to be fair?

Get your facts straight, Mr. Graham.

JERRY TIDWELL

Atherton rating tops the field

Jeff Atherton is the best candidate for chancellor.

He has the highest Martindale-Hubbell peer review rating score of the candidates. He has more experience in the types of cases filed in Chancery Court, having handled a significant number of probate matters (in addition to numerous complex civil cases).

Ms. Epstein listed in a flier that women should care about the vote because the court handles issues important to them, such as conservatorships. However, conservatorship cases are mostly assigned to Part I.

The focus of Ms. Epstein’s campaign appears to be her gender. As a female, I find this deplorable, especially given the gender diverse judiciary already present in Hamilton County. People shouldn’t vote for Ms. Epstein just because she is a woman.

The majority of Mr. Grisham’s practice has been collection cases in Sessions Court. Sessions Court practice typically involves filing a one-page form lawsuit, one court appearance, and a quick settlement or half-hour, nonjury trial. That is vastly different than Chancery Court practice.

In fact, Mr. Grisham is listed in Martindale-Hubbell as having a practice that is 85 percent collections and only 1 percent civil litigation.

The best candidate is Jeff Atherton.

SHERRY SITTIG

Hixson

Wamp learned respect early

We should all get behind and support the Chattanooga candidate for governor of Tennessee, Zach Wamp.

I have known Zach, his parents and brother and sister since they were teenagers growing up in East Ridge.

I must repeat a situation which happened a few years ago when I was working for a construction company as inspector on Market Street in downtown Chattanooga. Zach Wamp came by on the sidewalk and I, of course, spoke to him and he responded, “How are you doing, your honor?”

After he left, all the construction workers were astonished that a congressman of the United States had called me “your honor!” But this is the way that Zach was taught by his parents to respect his elders, even his ex-mayor.

Join me in August voting for the best candidate — Zach Wamp for governor.

BRAD SMITH

Ex-Mayor of East Ridge

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gm1220 said...

All you Robin Pelosi Smith supporters are blind to the fact that she started slinging mud first. She is a pig and loves the mud and has hired staff that loves mud as much as she does. I don't think that calling Chuck a "self-funded collections attorney" was a compliment! Do you? She is a party boss running against Obama and this is what's wrong with both parties. She is not going to Washington to help me she is going just as she states in her TV ads to stop Obama. Well, as the old saying goes, "Even a blind hog will find an acorn ever once in a while." She needs to open her eyes around her and just maybe Obama will do something good! But, no. . She is out to get anyone with a D by there name. This is called grid-lock! We have enough of that going on. She needs to stay home!

Everyone vote Thursday and NOT FOR ROBIN!

August 2, 2010 at 8:58 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Mr. Brown, your letter made a lot of sense until the last paragraph. Although I agree that our soldiers deserve better, how is this Obama or Clinton's fault? Clinton left office in 2001, and Obama has just entered. Bush was in office for 8 years, and according to your definition of "draft dodger" as applied to Clinton, was also a "draft dodger". (I'd say neither dodged but that's my opinion) Why isn't Bush at fault too?

You are right to point out the problem, but you crossed a line. Your politics are transparent.

August 2, 2010 at 9:28 a.m.
bret said...

Mr. Reeve is correct about how the property tax system works, but is a bit confused about who is doing the misleading. Haslam's ad says that Knoxville has low property taxes, which it does, although not as a result of anything Haslam did as Mr. Reeve points out. Wamp's ad, on the other hand directly accuses Mayor Haslam of raising the taxes. That is not only misleading, but false.

August 2, 2010 at 10:25 a.m.
bret said...

The reason there is so much anti-Robin Smith sentiment around has nothing to do with the other candidates. It has to do with the fact that Robin Smith represents everything that is wrong with politics today. Her brand of partisan slash & burn dirty politics where the goal is to win at all costs is what people dislike about her. In her lust for power, she lies about her record, President Obama, and the other candidates. When she is busted on these lies she hides behind her children or her mama. She doesn't even understand simple principles like our 14th Amendment.
She's Sarah Palin without the personality or the legs.

August 2, 2010 at 10:34 a.m.
tennstar said...

There is black and white proof of the fact Robin Smith left the state party broke (viewtheproof.com). She was asked to go on talk radio and dispute the facts face-to-face with her accuser. Chuck Fleischmann agreed to meet with her on the air. However, she refused because she doesn’t have a leg to stand on. Instead she puts out an ad with her children defending her—pretty pitiful. People are not after her because she is a front-runner. They want the truth out because they are scared to death uninformed voters will be swayed by her many lies. She is a control freak and you best not go against her. Also, if she is the front-runner, why did she offer Tim Gobble a job to get out of the race? She also denied this and had her mother respond to these allegations. Her mother!!! I suppose she didn’t have the nerve to accuse the Sheriff of lying herself-the nerve!!!! The only thing she can seem to speak about is Obama. She thinks she is running against him. I guess she forgot he was elected while she was the chairman—probably missed it while she was out spending the party’s money. A vote for Robin will be the biggest mistake a voter can make. The Third District Theme Song--Anybody But Robin!!!!

August 2, 2010 at 11:13 a.m.
bret said...

The irony is that a Robin Smith victory in the primary might actually ensure a Democratic victory in the fall.

August 4, 2010 at 3:29 p.m.
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