Here comes the Clueless Caucus

Frank CagleFrank Talk

During previous sessions of the legislature, I singled out some members of the Krazy Kaucus. This session some of them are gone: Timothy Hill, his brother Matthew, known collectively as “The Hillbillies,” and Micah Van Huss. But never fear. We haven’ t run out of members. Only now we’ll call it the Clueless Caucus.

State Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver was texting the folks at home about her exaltation in taking part in the Capitol Hill protest, which she called absolutely epic and historic. She and state Sen. Mark Pody were there when a mob broke into the Capitol and five people died.

Frank Cagle

While Weaver was celebrating, a Capitol Hill policeman was having his head bashed in by a fire extinguisher.

In another clueless move, we also learned last week that some legislators turned their campaign funds over to an out-of-state company. They have no idea who owns the company. They were so out of touch they might or might not know what campaign violations might have occurred.

That may be why the FBI raided the offices and homes of some staffers.

Further clueless behavior. Everyone raided had ties to former Speaker Glen Casada. When will they get the message on The Hill that Casada is radioactive? Those raided include his former aides, Cade Cothren and Holt Whitt, and Carol Simpson in his office now. Nadine Korby works in state Rep. Kent Calfee’s office. Calfee told The Tennessean he doesn’t know who owns the political consulting firm that ran his campaign.

If staffers take the rap, I guess it sometimes pays to be clueless.

GOP club wants to stop “leftward” drift: Republicans have not been very active in recent city elections, and progressive Democrats have taken over. The West Knox Republican Club wants to change that, says club president Gary Loe, in an e-mail memo.

The memo cites a recent unanimous vote by city council apologizing and pledging $100 million in reparations for downtown business property, homeowners and renters purchased during urban renewal in the 1960-1970.

That vote “and other development that further send the city of Knoxville to the left, make it necessary for the West Knox Republican Club to vigorously step in … and begin to work on identification, recruiting, supporting and electing GOP candidates to council.”

Loe calls council members up for re-election next year “Democrats and Socialist incumbents” and lists Tommy Smith, Andrew Roberto, Seema Singh, Lauren Rider and Gwen McKenzie. Lynne Fugate, Amelia Parker, Charlie Thomas and Janet Testerman’s terms are not up.

Who has the checkbook? I seem to recall that some Volunteer fans, upset about lousy football coaching hires, were suggesting the Haslam family bug out. We now have a losing coach with a $13 million buyout. What do you think about the Haslam checkbook now?

Jimmy and Dee Haslam have been able to cheer their team all the way into the playoffs this year. The Cleveland Browns are no longer perennial losers. Perhaps the Browns being at a higher level will allow the Haslams to spare some time for the Vols.

Meantime, congrats to the Haslams and the Browns, who lost 22-17 to the favored team to win the Super Bowl, the Kansas City Chiefs.

Frank Cagle is a veteran newspaper editor and columnist.


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