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Civil Liberties

Knox County Commission is going to discuss rules for the Knox County Ethics Committee at their meeting on Monday Night.

The proposal includes keeping the Committee from hearing any complaints that have any outstanding legal action. This is in response to a complaint that we filed with the Ethics Committee last September. The County has successfully stalled on that complaint for months, refusing to speak to the Committee’s investigator, etc., for months to avoid a ruling. At the last meeting the Committee committed to ruling on this issue on June 8th regardless of their objections.

The Committee is put in place by State Statute specifically to have a citizen organization to help hold the County in check with regards to ethics complaints. The idea that County Commission would try to limit or eliminate their ability to act anytime the County has pending legal action against them is insane and negates the reason for the Committee to begin with. Additionally, the proposal is so desperate and poorly written that, as discussed at the workshop this week, anyone could end an Ethics Committee investigation by simply filing any criminal or civil action.

For example, if you filed a complaint against an officer and that officer then pulls you over and writes you a ticket, that would halt the Ethics Committee complaint until your court date for the ticket. In our case our citations have now been over a year and we still have not had a preliminary hearing.

There are a number of legal issues with this as well. Anyone who wants details and clarification of these, especially those from the media, should contact Van Irion at 865-766-4040. He is handling our complaint with the Ethics Committee and is working on the legal side of the issue. Anyone who wants to come and express their concern at the County Commission Meeting on Monday night would be appreciated.  Copies of the proposed amendments may be found HERE and HERE

Excerpt from the Knoxville News Sentinel:

On Wednesday and Thursday, you might have a health official knocking at your door.

Staffers from the Knox County Health Department and the East Tennessee Regional Health Office, in teams of two, will interview some residents Knox, Blount and Sevier counties 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday and 9 a.m.-noon Thursday.

See full article here.

The  Tenth Amendment Center reports that the Tennessee senate has passed legislation on Friday to halt any attempts at enforcement of any international law that may regulate the the use, ownership or possession of firearms and ammunition if it is in violation of Tennessee statute, common law or the state constitution.  This aligns with HB2389 which passed the house last month.

The article, which can be seen here, quotes Rep. John Windle, speaking on the house floor in March that “This bill prohibits any interference of [the right to keep and bear arms] by international treaty.”

This is good news for Tennessee gun owners.


The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that a bill is rapidly progressing through the Tennessee legislature to protect police body cams from public review for up to a year.  According to the Sentinel, HB876, witch has approval from the House State Government Subcommittee, would “declare a general one-year ‘moratorium’ on public disclosure of any police body camera footage, starting on July 1.”

Tennessee’s Sunshine laws that regulate government meetings, requiring them to be in a public forum to avoid the appearance of collusion, are some of the most restrictive in the country.   However, apparently any police activity that has already occurred, either positive or negative, should remain in the dark.

The Tennessee Coalition on Open Government and the Tennessee ACLU have already spoken out against the bill as currently approved.

HB876 should suffer a quick death.  The sooner the better.

Visit the TLA on Facebook for discussion.



The Tennessee Liberty Alliance will host an open forum on January 11, 2014 for Knoxville regional residents to learn more about the current ideas and implementations for the Knoxville region that are guided by Plan East Tennessee (PlanET) and the Knoxville/Knox County Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC).

We all desire a thriving and healthy community as we move into the future, and it should be no surprise that there are many different ideas being put forth as to how to get there. Come with a friend and discover the latest ideas and plans of the MPC and PlanET, and how they will affect you and your family for generations to come.

Join moderator David “Shyne” Thompson, MPC’s TPO director, Jeff Welch, and other area leaders to discover the pertinent facts regarding this critical topic of “sustainability”. Local topics, including Westland Cove, will be open for discussion.



REGISTER HERE or copy and paste the link below to reserve your spot.


The Sevier County Tea Party will be hosting Mr. Glenn Jacobs at their June meeting to be held at the Sevierville Civic Center.

Mr. Jacobs, who is well known as professional wrestler, Kane, is a growing voice in conservative economic thought and policy.  He will be sharing his views of a strong centralized government that was espoused by Alexander Hamilton vs. Thomas Jefferson’s idea of a decentralized local government.   “Of course, I come down on Jefferson’s side.”, says Jacobs, “Jefferson believed that political power should be in the hands of the People, and that state and local governments were more easily controlled than a strong national government espoused by Hamilton.  Unfortunately, Hamilton’s vision eventually triumphed.”

Jacobs has obtained recent national attention with his assault on the the internet sales tax mandate, known by its misleading title as the “Marketplace Fairness Act.”  He has thrown down a challenge to Tennessee Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey to a debate about this important issue.  There have been rumors that Mr. Jacobs is considering the possibility of exploring the idea of contesting Lamar Alexander’s US Senate seat in 2014.  He is a founding member of the Tennessee Liberty Alliance.

This meeting will take place on June 20th at 6:30pm.  The Seiverville Civic Center is located at 200 Gary Wade Blvd in Seiverville, Tennessee.  For directions, CLICK HERE.  Spread the word.  This is sure to be an interesting and revealing meeting!

When soldiers came home from the war, they found their McMinn County Government had become corrupt and abusive. This corrupt government was capable of Gestapo type actions that included stealing ballot boxes, shooting and beating voters who resisted their will, bribery, and misuse of the public trust and power. They were not the same farm boys who had gone off to war. These GI s formed a political organization to overthrow the corrupt regime on election day. When they were met with violence and intimidation they fought back with fists, pistols, rifles and even dynamite.

Here is a link to the show. It will probably go off of the link Sun. Feb 3rd

On January 9, Bill and Norma Jarnigan were shocked to open a letter from the Jefferson County Economic Development Oversight Committee (EDOC) that laid out the county government’s blatant attempt to cajole the couple into selling their home of four decades. The county hopes to acquire their land and hand it over to a developer to build an industrial manufacturing megasite the county hopes will bring more jobs and tax revenue than the Jarnigan’s home. Opening such a letter certainly did not brighten the day of 68-year-old Mrs. Jarnigan, who stated, “I’d hate to think I’d have to move, me as old as I am.”

Meanwhile, at a press conference held that very afternoon, Jefferson County officials were unveiling plans for the East Tennessee Regional Megasite to be located on an 1800-acre tract of land where the Jarnigan’s and their neighbors’ homes currently stand. The press conference was all smiles, with claims being made that the Megasite could “provide 2,000 direct jobs and 6,000 to 8,000 indirect jobs in the initial phase,” and further that “It would have a very wide and broad impact” for the Jefferson County economy (all such claims assuming that the site could first be purchased, then certified, and finally bought by a corporation, none of which are even remotely certain at this point).

Jefferson County is no stranger to wanting land that isn’t theirs. In 1942, the construction of the Douglas Dam by the Tennessee Valley Authority, a federal New Deal corporation formed to provide “economic redevelopment” to the Tennessee Valley region, permanently flooded a majority of the county’s most fertile farmland. If it had not been for county residents personally petitioning then-first Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, the current Jefferson County seat of Dandridge would not exist—at least above water.

Seventy years later, the “megasite” announcement is the latest government instance of threatening Jefferson County farmland and the rights of property owners. But not to worry, says Garrett Wagley, director of economic development for the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce. The county is “really committed to an open process, and having a conversation about the plans…[for] this exciting opportunity.” Thank heavens these landowners received letters encouraging them to pony up…er, rather, sell their land mere hours before the EDOC’s press conference.

Just a few days after the unveiling of the “megasite” plans, property owners in the megasite’s potential footprint voiced their outrage at the prospect of the government seizing their land. Oliver and Jean Wood, proud owners of a 590-acre farm who received the same letter as the Jarnigan’s last week, boldly asserted that they would not surrender their farm for any price. Mr. Wood pointed out that city officials “have not taken into account the economic costs and the human costs of taking away century-old farms and disrupting lives.”

Wagley stated that “he hoped the issue of eminent domain would not come up,” but hope is a cheap thing relative to a megasite project with a million dollar price tag being sold to so many private landowners as an “exciting opportunity.” Encouragingly for property rights activists everywhere, however, citizens like the Woods and the Jarnigans are not taking the government’s phony bait.

Tennessee has a sordid history of abusing eminent domain in the name of “economic development.” The state’s eminent domain laws received a big fat grade of D- from the Institute for Justice for failing to ensure that property rights are adequately protected.

–Robert Fountain
This Article if from the Institute for Justice
See more here: http://www.ij.org/one-hundred-tennessee-property-owners-under-threat-for-nebulous-megasite-development

smart meterPublic utility officials in Chattanooga, Knoxville and Memphis have preached the benefits of a new taxpayer-subsidized technology they say will lower their customers’ utility bills and reduce electrical outages.

Known as a digital smart grid, this technology uses computers to distribute electricity. Those benefits, however, are short term — and that makes this investment, funded with almost $1 billion in federal stimulus dollars nationwide, an unwise use of money, according to an expert in computer and communications engineering.  >>READ MORE

"Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government."
...Thomas Jefferson