published Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Times Free Press Exclusive: E-mail exchanges show angst of mayor at growing movement

by Cliff Hightower

A series of e-mail exchanges between Mayor Ron Littlefield and the president of the Chattanooga Tea Party show the mayor’s growing anger at the group’s recall effort.

Littlefield says the actions of Tea Party President Mark West are “in violation of the laws of God and man.”

“You have raised the hate level in Chattanooga to ‘red’ and contributed to a very toxic situation among the population in this community,” Littlefield wrote two weeks ago in an e-mail.

A series of e-mail exchanges between the mayor and West were released to the Chattanooga Times Free Press after an open records request was filed almost a week ago with the city. At least three e-mail exchanges between the mayor and West were not included in the original open records request.

West also released more e-mails Tuesday, showing his response to the mayor’s allegations that he was not following Christian principles.

The e-mail exchanges occurred as the two debated whether there should be a meeting between the two and if the recall effort was personal in nature.

West, in his two-page letter, said the recall effort was never personal and a matter of policy differences.

“The issues are your policies as a mayor,” West wrote. “The petition clearly lays out the grounds for the recall and they deal solely and exclusively with policy.”

West also wrote that he spoke to several pastors and men of God and none found any basis for the mayor’s claims that West is in violation of the “laws of God and man.”

He writes his organization only decided to get involved in the recall effort after the City Council approved a 19 percent property tax hike in June.

At one point, in a response to West, the mayor quotes several biblical scriptures and suggests Scripture to West. At the end of the e-mail, the mayor gives his own advice.

“Finally, let me respectfully suggest that you need to decide today what is more important to you: politics or Jesus,” Mr. Littlefield wrote.

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MayGun said...

Wow I didn't know that Mayor Littlefield felt so appointed by God that he would use the Bible to defend his position. I thought that we got past the whole divine right thing during the Magna Carta days.

September 1, 2010 at 12:20 a.m.
fairmon said...

What is the world coming to? Mr. West rejects King Ron as did the judge he tried to influence to utilize his wise counsel and now many of his subjects object to his reign.

His desire to continue as king blinds him to reality. He lashes out and insist that over 10% of his subjects are narrow minded and allowed others to anger and influence them to resist his wealth taking. He may be delusional? His response to Mr. West sounds as though he thinks he was anointed, forgetting he was elected by many of those same people he now calls narrow minded, angry and misinformed.

September 1, 2010 at 5:40 a.m.
Allison12 said...

Ron Littlefield is the one far right wing, zealot, with an idea that he is appointed by God, crazy.

September 1, 2010 at 6:15 a.m.
crimshaw said...

Verily, verily Harken to the Word of the Ron! He is the The Chosen One! Yea, though I walk through Jack’s Alley, I shall fear not. His stormwaters shall drowned the wicked taxpayers. He doth smite the tribes of Recallerites with his mighty counselors and court filings. He casteth out the Evil watchers of His Kingdom.

Let us raise Great Taxes to please his followers. He shall not want. He dreameth of many mansions on Holy Fields of tar. Fear the Wrath of Ron! He hath prophesied Great Trials and Tribulations for Chattanoogites should He not get His way. Blessed be the Name of the Ron!

First Councilonians 3:5-6

September 1, 2010 at 7:42 a.m.
gimmeabreak said...

Instead of engaging in a theological debate with Mr. West, perhaps the Mayor should be working on the city's biggest problem--CRIME As reported by the TFP, Chattanooga ranked 11th among the top 20 for highest crime rates. Stop worrying about how you might keep your job Mr. Mayor and start DOING it. Crime, gangs, and vandalism might be a good place to start!

September 1, 2010 at 7:47 a.m.
TPBC said...

Thank you Tea Party of Chattanooga for standing up for the people of this area and holding Ron Littlefield and our local government fiscally responsible! This is a bold stance in these often "MODERN" times of politics. Political correctness is killing this country and it is up to WE THE PEOPLE to make sure our elected officials are held accountable for their decisions!

September 1, 2010 at 9:34 a.m.
Allison12 said...

Mayor Littlefield is so arrogant; he really believes that those who challenge him are defiant with God. Remind me of Zach Wamp and the C-Street boys. Auto forgive for everything because they were chosen by God. Ron Littlefield is a sorry excuse for a Mayor and needs to be recalled.
Of course, he seeks a court injunction to stop a recall election, because he knows he will lose.

September 1, 2010 at 9:42 a.m.
elvisd said...

There was a time when men in government didn't sink to wrapping themselves in Bible verses for cover. Corruption, grandstanding, and mudslinging have always been with us, but using religion as a cheap crutch is churlish, and debases both government and religion.

I also don't think that signatures approaching half of the number who voted in the last election constitutes a "lunatic fringe". This is just more bashing of the populist left AND the populist right by the usual elites.

September 1, 2010 at 9:44 a.m.

The mayor should be fired for being stupid in using government email in ways that undermine the position and question his sanity.

In addition, he's got the heathens against him, as well.

September 1, 2010 at 10 a.m.
justme56 said...

Isn't the mayor at all concerned that his emails make him sound like some kind of nutcase? In comparison, Mr. West comes off sounding like a reasonable, well educated person.

Too bad these emails weren't published a week ago, people would have been standing in line for a chance to sign the recall petition.

September 1, 2010 at 10:10 a.m.
dave said...

To Mayor Ron: Sir, you just don't get it do you. Let me explain: Folks are upset because TAXES are TOO High! Jobs are scarce, Times are hard and getting harder and folks need some relief, not name calling and higher taxes piled onto taxes. It is time to step out of the Ivory Tower and get down and "dirty" with the "rabble" and "lunatic fringe". This is WHY folks use the motto "TAXED ENOUGH ALREADY".

September 1, 2010 at 10:13 a.m.
locked99xj said...

Thank you Chattanooga Tea Party for being honest and transparent and not stooping to the mayor's level. It is quite evident that Littlefield is on a path to self destruction, and even if the courts rule in his favor, his true character has been revealed for all Chattanoogans to see.

His arrogance is offensive and he does not seem to realize that he works for the people of Chattanooga, not the people of Chattanooga working for him as his attitude insinuates. He is using intimidation and power to force HIS way and HIS policies. Because everything is about HIM. The average Chattanoogans income is down over $900. This is the worst economic downturn in 80 years and he actually proposes a 33% tax increase? Are you serious? Even 19% is beyond reasonable, all the while property values are going down. Then to mention his millions over dollars in storm water fees.


September 1, 2010 at 10:31 a.m.
harrystatel said...

A statement by a politician is like a compliment from a hooker: it is meaningless, and in the end you get screwed. Ron Hart

Harry Statel

September 1, 2010 at 10:38 a.m.
Nanniealice1894 said...

Mr. Littlefield, And please note, that I use the salutation "Mr." loosely. You have alot of nerve to bring God into the mix of all the mess you have created. You are truly a self loathing individual. Maybe you can afford the taxes you have imposed, or, maybe you don't pay your share of taxes. Whatever the case may be, you have failed miserably as a Mayor. You don't deserve to represent the people of this city. Your record speaks for itself. It is the right of the "people" to vote to impeach any representative that has misused the so called power that you hold. Again, how dare you to use God's name. You are a poor excuse for an elected offical. Accept it and get out of dodge. You are not wanted. One last comment, I AM TAXED ENOUGH ALREADY.

September 1, 2010 at 10:59 a.m.
librul said...

How disgusting. This display of idiocy must have the executives at VW saying "I knew we should never have gone to hooterville."

Why don't you all take your various "gods" and clear out?

The Chattanooga peeparty couldn't run the Warner Park Zoo and the people of Chattanooga didn't elect Ron Littlefield to put his god in charge of their city government.

This, along with our crime statistics should give the national media a real field day.

September 1, 2010 at 12:01 p.m.
FM_33 said...

Ron is smooth as water in a fine wine glass.

September 1, 2010 at 12:06 p.m.
ExDem said...

As and ex Signal Mountain guy (moved away 53 years ago) I don't have a dog in this fight. However, I shudder to think what would happen in this Texas Town if the officials raised taxes 19%. If any taxing entity raises taxes more than 8% here, a roll back election automatically kicks in. So far this year, the school district did not increase taxes, neither has the city. The County did increase 8% due to the number of prisoners needing a place to sleep, etc. I assume this is a result of our "round em up and lock em up" policy.

Is inflation really zero or is that what the politicians are feeding us?

September 1, 2010 at 12:30 p.m.
MountainJoe said...

After reading his sanctimonious, self-righteous e-mails in which he "plays the God card" while dismissing valid criticism of his misguided policies, I can say I would never vote for Ron Littlefield for dogcatcher, let alone mayor.

I hope he is not only removed from office ... tarred, feathered, and run out of town on a rail seems about right.

September 1, 2010 at 12:32 p.m.
InspectorBucket said...


Stand up straight, sirs. This business shows bad sense and worse taste. Enough writhing.

Speak like adult citizens governing and governed by the laws passed by other citizens.

We require better government between citizens, equal and free, not self-flattering glossolalia and demands for genuflection.

September 1, 2010 at 12:39 p.m.
hcirehttae said...

I've been continually annoyed by this West fellow and his Tea Party gang, and I don't have much to say about Littlefield one way or another, but...

Leave Jesus out of it, Mayor. This is a matter of politics, personalities, and pragmatics. You sound like a fundamentalist demagogue when you demand that someone behave "like a Christian" in a political forum.

September 1, 2010 at 1:07 p.m.


Mayor Littlefield has claimed at various times in the past to be 1) a Republican and 2) a Democrat. Latest speculation is that he's a Democ.

What his policies have been and those whom he surrounds himself with are clearly Progressive (the animal that exists in both Parties btw). Therefore his 'conversion' to a right-wingin' bible-thumpin' fanatic is pure fantasy. Any decent, right-wing religious nut would NEVER embrace Mayor Littlefield's actions, (covert) beliefs or agenda. The fact the Left COA also worked on the campaign is an anomaly that exists say, once in 800 light years.

The Progressive movement in America and in the West, over the last hundred years or so, has learned to co-opt religion, especially Christianity in order to further their agenda. They use the name of God and Jesus freely, along with spouting their "Social Justice" doctrine and infiltrating Christian congregations. Now, we have a plethora of church denoms, government institutions and agencies nesting these particular beasties. Their modus operandi, as in Marxist ideologies, is to use the Lie quite often and quite freely. They have no problem changing stories and outright lying to advance their little agendas.

What Littlefield does and has been doing is exactly what we have in DC, the White House and both Houses-for decades. Nothing new here boys. Littlefield et al, do what's expedient for themselves, their loved ones and an ever-increasing, bloated Bureaucracy. THAT is their god.

Mazeltov, in trying to elect a better man or woman for office. You're all going to need more than an atheist's or scientist's or marxist's Deity-free discernment and 'reason'. That's already been tried and so far, it's never worked out for the good. Never.

September 1, 2010 at 1:07 p.m.
FM_33 said...

Ron is connected with the old money in this town is is not going nowhere.

September 1, 2010 at 1:11 p.m.
FM_33 said...

The Chattanooga Tea Party is a bunch of progressives leftist posing as conservatives that appear to hate the mayor and his agenda.

Most of them come from family's with a conseravtive backround but they will are not that themself and they have admitted to this in the open, if anyone takes time to talk to either one of them on the street.

Chattanooga Tea Party = Progressive Left Trouble Makers !

September 1, 2010 at 1:18 p.m.
librul said...


September 1, 2010 at 2:01 p.m.
elvisd said...

Wow, it just blows folks minds when people come along who don't neatly fit in the left/right R/D paradigm. Establishment types hate them, so they try to "uncover" who they "really are". Could it be that they may not fit someone's paint by the numbers agenda? For example, the Establishment says you can't be for strong environmental protection and gun rights at the same time. The Establishment says you can't be against foreign invasions but be also against big government spending, and on and on. The minute you deviate from a platform, the Establishment is after you. I consider the East Coast Liberal vs. Sean Hannity Republican paradigm to be poisonous to discourse in this country. Both those camps want to "own" issues. Locally, this plays out with the savaging of the COA/Tea Party allegiance on this recall. The Establishment just can't make themselves admit that different camps who owe nothing to established parties can come together on an issue.

On the matter of Littlefield complaining about Chris Brooks being a "paid political consultant": so what? The Dems have a president whose career was as a paid political consultant/community organizer. The Repubs. elected a governor in MS who has done nothing his whole life but be a paid political consultant. Chris Brooks is, like you or any other person who is involved in politics beyond voting, a politician. You can be one, but he can't? Get real.

September 1, 2010 at 3:02 p.m.
locked99xj said...

elvisd, I agree with you. Chris Brooks being paid as a political consultant is alot better than Zach Littlefield (Ron's son) who is unemployed, but does play drums in a band for some money. See the mayor just cannot talk because everything he condemns others for, he is guilty of in his own life.

September 1, 2010 at 3:26 p.m.
MayGun said...

For the record Chris Brooks and members of COA are not paid to be political consultants we are all volunteers that believe we can make a positive change in this city. Every once in a while somebody might buy us a sandwich. Littlefield is trying to lump everyone into the "lunatic fringe". This is an effort by people...not political parties.

September 1, 2010 at 4:01 p.m.
elvisd said...

Precisely. I don't care whether you are a member of a party, an interest group, a civic club, or whatever. If we care about politics, we're all more or less "politicians".

If Chris Brooks doesn't get paid, all the better. If he is, it makes no difference to me.

I'm enjoying this alliance between COA and the Tea Party, even if it's a temporary friendship of convenience. Just a small breaking of the stranglehold of party machine politics.

September 1, 2010 at 5:06 p.m.

I think that Ron should just take it with pride and go back to Georgia! Take your friend Anita Ebersole who you gave a $75k per year raise after you took office. Take your followers ( Steve Leach) and your dictators ( Lee Norris ) with you. And dont forget your womanizer Paul Page! You are a liar and we city workers and taxpayers HATE MEAN people like you!

September 1, 2010 at 5:21 p.m.
fairmon said...

I am not a member of any group but gathered many signatures and turned them over to the most available member of any of the three groups. It is time for every day citizens to resist the ongoing abuse by the incompetent ego driven leaders we unfortunately elected. Look at the experience, qualifications and capabilities of those in office. City government is not unlike a sizeable business and we do need someone with the credibility and ability to manage the business of city government. They are at least 30% over staffed and spend about 25-30% on non-essential non growth activities. They sacrafice essential services such as police and fire to fund their pet projects or to appease special interest. Finding a capable person willing to do the job is a challenge.

September 1, 2010 at 5:59 p.m.
lgrohn said...

Mr. Littlefield's own words have exposed, and condemned, his ethics and character more than anything someone could have said or done.

September 1, 2010 at 7:12 p.m.
coverbooks said...

Mayor's angst? After reading this article and the posted letters to/from Ron & Mr. West, it seems apparent to me that the Mayor is losing his grip on reality...quite honestly, it seems like he is emotionally disturbed. I want him recalled...I think he absolutely needs to be recalled, but at the same time I hope he gets the psychological help he seems to desperately need.

September 1, 2010 at 7:35 p.m.
sideviews said...

More than 15,000 people signed one of the recall petiitons, putting their name on an identifiable document without the secrecy of the ballot box -- more than the number of people who voted to re-elect Ron Litttlefield last year. Nearly 10,000 of those signatures are verified as registered voters in the city of Chattanooga. I know many others wanted to sign the petitions but felt like they couldn't afford to put their name on a public document for all to see because they or their family members work for the city, or do business with the city, or may want the mayor's support for some project, or they go to church with the mayor. This is the first such recall in Chattanooga history, so don't think the bar has been set too low for this action. Many of us will likely vote to keep Littlefield as mayor if not one better comes along. Any opponent won't have much time to campaign. But don't drag this fight out for months, Mr. Mayor. That will only hurt our city and its image. If you make a strong case for your actions, you will be elected again.

September 1, 2010 at 7:36 p.m.
locked99xj said...

I think it is important to note that Littlefield was required by law to release these emails to the public upon request, yet he only released certain ones to the media. THERE WERE OTHERS THAT WERE NOT RELEASED. The complete list above is due to the Tea Party President releasing them. Once again the mayor distorts and spins the truth and hides the truth from the public. HE DISGUSTS ME!

September 1, 2010 at 9:03 p.m.
Amos_Ives_Root said...

It seems to me that there are a lot of ignorant people confounding national issues with local politics.

Just because the national government is out of control, doesn't mean Chattanooga is spending too much money. In fact, the opposite is true.

September 1, 2010 at 9:10 p.m.
harrystatel said...

"Just because the national government is out of control, doesn't mean Chattanooga is spending too much money. In fact, the opposite is true."

Amos, Where do you live? Just tell Mayor Ron and he'll arrange for a piece of Public Art for your neighborhood. Ask him to bring some floating fish from Moccasin Bend for a cookout.

And Amos, if Ron's not spending enough you welcome to spend your own money for a change.

Harry Statel

September 1, 2010 at 9:19 p.m.
InspectorBucket said...

Everyone should read these emails.

It is devastating to learn what sort immature, muddled thinking preoccupies these two Titans of Chattanooga Politics.

Apparently neither antagonist can engage the other honestly, face-to-face as an adult, sentient being. Why the need for hand-wringing and hurt-feelings? Why can't grown men think, speak, or disagree without resorting cant, psycho-babble, and the shoulders of "counselors" to cry upon?

Forget the recall. An abdication of commonsense, clear-sightedness, and intellectual independence has clearly already occurred.

September 1, 2010 at 10:05 p.m.
enufisenuf said...

Littlefield is a prime example of how no good can come form mixing political stupidity with religous stupidity. He certainly seems to have a mouthfull of nails for his political coffin.

The working class people of this country, by whatever means need to do exactly what s happening here, making those charged with decisions that affect our lives and income nervous when they fail to look out for our best interests.

I do like the idea of tarring and feathering the ones who fail in their resposibilities to the PEOPLE, running them out of town is a nice touch also.

September 2, 2010 at 6:03 a.m.
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