Friday, September 30, 2005


H.B.0056 --- "It is just business as usual."

The following is a comment from Melvin Purvis:

The upshot of the Shaw House Bill that Rep. Matthew Hill allied with Shaw on (it did not get voted on yet) is that this legislation by Shaw seeks to amend an existing Tennessee state law requiring both local (municipal and county) and state government agencies to publish public notices as required by Tennessee Code within newspapers located within areas effected by the proposed governmental action.

Ethical Statesman ( ha! ) Matthew Hill allied with Shaw's HB0056 (it did not get far enough to be voted on yet) beacuse the language of this bill would allow both television and radio broadcasing stations (such as Rep. Matthew Hill's WPWT 870 AM "Tower of Truth") to get a big share of that taxpayer money pie by airing public notices as radio commercials.

HB0056 favored by Rep. Matthew Hill also requires broadcasters selling air time for public notices to also post these same Tennessee public notices at web sites maintained by these broadcasters....

My question to HB0056 is why even bother with paying any taxpayer money to Tennessee newspapers or any news media outlet for publishing or airing public notices?

It seems to me that it would be more ethical and more statesman-like to simply scrap the current public natice publishing law and save all Tennessee taxpayers a bundle of money by allowing local and state governments to post required public notices at their own governmental websites.

You know, I probably just have a higher ethical standard than Rep. Matthew Hill, but shouldn't Rep. Hill have simply had nothing to do with H.B.0056 and thereby avoid any conflict of interest on this particular TNGA vote?

Ex-Rep Chris Newton summed it up very well: "It is just business as usual in Nashville...."

For more on the bill go here.

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Thursday, September 29, 2005


Matthew Hill & Another Unethical Buddy

Check out this interesting story from on September 23, 2005: Hobbs, who is quite conservative, calls out Hilly boy for ignoring the unethical nature of a bill by Rep. Shaw (it “benefits” him financially) that apparently benefits Hilly boy too. If Hilly boy was looking out for the best interest of the 7th District he would have nothing to do with Shaw’s bill. Instead, Hilly boy is embracing it whole heartedly. The following is from Hobbs’ post:

Oh, The Irony
"We still want to make sure the black community gets the representation it needs. But it's not just the black community. We represent people as a whole. When you start dividing people up into race, if you're not careful you can get yourself into a lot of trouble." - State Rep. Johnny Shaw, D-Jackson, Chairman of the Tennessee House of Representatives Black Caucus. Shaw said this to a reporter after discussing why he denied state Rep. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville, can't join the group. Campfield - who has a "substantial number" of African Americans in his House district - is white. If there was a "White Caucus" Shaw would be screaming racism.

UPDATE: has a round-up of links and commentary on this story. The Knoxville News Sentinel had the original story on it. And Campfield, who has a blog, says the story is actually something that happened months ago, and he wonders about the timing of the story coming out now. Campfield's version of events is much different than Shaw's, and he concludes by saying:

“The timing is quite interesting since about a week ago on this site I posted a story about how Johnny Shaw (who is serving on the ethics committee) was pushing a bill through the legislature that would personally and directly benefit him financially in his radio business. I guess Shaw didn't like the message, so he tried to shoot the messenger. In other words, he didn't like that I pointed out his questionable ethics regarding the radio bill.”

Campfield's post mentioning Shaw and the legislation Shaw pushed that would benefit Shaw's business, published Sept. 11, is here.

Shaw's broadcast bill, of course, has been reported elsewhere and earlier than the blog entry. (I have mentioned it in stories and, believe I recall the Tennessean touched up on it, too, in an ethics story.) Back in session, it was notable as a conversation topic as an odd lobbyist squabble - Tennessee Press Association lobbyists on one side, Tennessee Broadcast Association lobbyists on the other - but didn't rise to the public interest level (in my view) of writing about. As I recall, Rep. Matthew Hill, whose family is in the broadcast business, allied with Shaw on the bill despite the two being somewhat polar opposites in the political arena.

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Award for Matthew Hill

I hereby award Hilly boy the Kosovo Campaign Protest Award in reference to Rep. Matthew Hill protesting in Bristol, Tennessee against U.S. military troops during the Kosovo Air Campaign (17 April 1999). That's the real thing on the far right; Hilly boy doesn't get that one.

By the way, the Cameo Theatre, owned by Hilly boy's daddy, is for sale. If they sell it they can no longer use it for illegal political activities. Guess Tom Delay has them scared.

Here's information on the real Kosovo Campaign Award (If you earned this campaign ribbon [medal], Rep. Matthew Hill Does Not Support You):

President Clinton has approved establishment and award of the Kosovo Campaign Medal and campaign streamers to recognize the accomplishments of our military servicemembers who participated in or were in direct support of the Kosovo operations within established areas of eligibility. Individuals authorized the medal must have participated in or served in direct support of one or more of the following Kosovo operations: Allied Force, Joint Guardian, Allied Harbor, Sustain Hope/Shining Hope, Noble Anvil, or Kosovo Task Force Hawk, Task Force Saber, or Task Force Hunter within the Kosovo Air Campaign or Kosovo Defense Campaign area of eligibility. The Kosovo Air Campaign began on March 24, 1999, and ended on June 10, 1999. The area of eligibility is the total land area and air space of Serbia (including Kosovo), Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, Bosnia, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Greece, Bulgaria, Italy and Slovenia; and the waters and air space of the Adriatic and Ionian Sea north of 39 degrees North latitude.

The Kosovo Defense Campaign began on June 11, 1999, and will end on a date to be determined.

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Rookie Rep. Campfield's Hot June

Here’s an interesting story about rookie Rep. Stacy Campfield, the favorite blogger of Hilly boy’s kid brother. I like Camp’s blog usually, but this situation is definitely not wise.

He said Thursday [June 22, 2005] that he has told a roommate who rents a room at his Knoxville home to leave after learning the tenant is a convicted sex offender.

During his first, and unsuccessful, attempt at the 18th District seat in 2002, Campfield changed his voter registration address from 1409 Hannah to a West Knoxville apartment in the 18th District the day before he filed his qualifying petition as a candidate.

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Fellow TN GOP Legislator Clem Suggests Rep. Matthew Hill is a Non-Thinking, Semi-Literate, and "Shallow" "Knee-Jerk Conservative"

The following is from a post on on March 28, 2005:

Blogging Politicians

Friday's Christian Science Monitor had a very interesting story about politics and blogging, headlined More politicians write blogs to bypass mainstream media.

Memo to Republican members of the Tennessee legislature: If you would be willing to contribute to a new blog, now in the planning stages, that would be written by several Republican members of the state legislature, about the legislature, contact me at
State Rep. Chris Clem, R-Lookout Mountain, is one of a few legislators I have already invited individually to write for the blog, either under his own name or as "Legislator X" due to the possibility of blowback from the Democratic House leadership. Clem emailed me a very thoughtful response, and gave me permission to post it for you:

It is not a bad idea. I, for one, prefer to sign my name to anything I write. I think it is good practice for people to learn to write and to learn to write well. Writing forces one to think about what they believe and why they believe it. Too many conservative legislators simply vote knee-jerk conservative without thinking why. I think several legislators would love to write for one of your blogs. And, it would help them think through their own beliefs.

I would love to see Campfield, Hill, Kelsey and Swafford start writing about why they vote certain ways, not just reporting what is going on.

We need more people who can articulate why the income tax is not a good a idea, why the TEA is heading in the wrong direction, why activist judges are undermining our republic, why abortion cheapens human life and why euthanasia will threaten all our rights.

This is the 50 year anniversary of Francis Schaeffer's founding of L'Abri in Switzerland. I owe him and L'Abri a great deal. My wife's family spent a year in L'Abri back in the 1960's. On this 50th anniversary of L'Abri I find an even greater need for conservatives to understand certain foundational truths.

Republicans could learn a lot from having a clear "world view." Voting a certain way because Ronald Reagan did it will only get you so far. I hope your blogs and your attempt to get Republicans to write about their beliefs will deepen and strengthen the conservative philosophy in a Republican party that is too often too shallow to respond to the challenges of today.

So, don't just encourage them to report what is going on. Ask them why they believe what they believe. And, don't be satisfied with a shallow response.

- Rep. Chris Clem

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Thursday, September 22, 2005


They liked TIGER when it only focused on Dems

Check out the following URL for the Tennessee Institute For Governmental Ethics And Reform:

Rep. Matthew Hill is apparently very ethically challenged as he "DID NOT RESPOND" to the TIGER survey form pertaining to legislative and ethical behavior within the Tennessee General Assembly! What gives??? I seem to recall that Rep. Matthew Blowhard was slumming across the 7th House District in Washington County and all the while implying that he somehow possessed a greater ethical reservoir than any of his opponents.

Based on the comments from this story, I believe that Hilly boy has been instructed to keep quiet when contacted by TIGER, a Republican founded organization.

Among the contributors listed for TIGER is the Gregory family of King Pharmaceuticals in Bristol, but the organization has not disclosed the amount of money it contributed.

“Your finances are less than transparent,” said panelist Dr. Anthony Nownes of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. “Why do you resist complete and full disclosure?”

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Dirty Money for Matthew Hill

So now that former Republican Rep. Chris Newton has pled guilty and then thankfully resigned, why don’t we look at some of the people who recieved some of Newton’s dirty money. From the Tennessee Secretary of State Web Site we learn about these locals who recieved Newton money:

Matthew Hill, $200

Jason Mumpower, $250

David Hawk, $250 (Here's a story about Hawk's ex requesting a protective order against him. Not good for a lawmaker)

Tennessee Right to Life, $250

So my question is, Are these people going to return the money back to Newton? Or, are they perfectly happy to accept dirty money? I think we know the answer.


In an unrelated note, I find this story interesting as Hilly boy professes to support the military. However, he doesn’t mention the fact that in 1999, in Bristol, Tennessee he was protesting the U.S. military aerial bombardment of Kosovo.

And if he really supports the military, why has he not joined himself?

I guess he will prove his support to troops overseas by sending them a copy of this photograph, where he hangs out with veterans, as though he was one.


And finally, I wonder how this little immigration meeting went. I love how all of his meetings are announced less than 24 hours before they begin. That way only his three radio listeners actually attend.

I like his doublespeak too. He hints that he is not sure many people from the 7th district would attend, or that many people even care about immigration issues. Then he says he knows they care. Weird.

"The main purpose for this meeting is basically that, and depending on how many people come out, I guess that will answer whether or not people are really concerned about the issue or not."

"Immigration is an issue that many people in and around Washington County are concerned about and it is something that our Legislature has been and will continue to address.”

On another note, I like how am 910 now boasts as the exclusive home of Fox News in the Tri-Cities. That's the claim that Hilly boy's 870 used to make; it's even on a billboard on the Bristol highway. Now 870 says they are the original home of Fox News in the Tri-Cities. My guess is Fox wanted a station with more than 3 listeners.

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I think this story once again shows the lack of wisdom by our Rep. Hilly boy. Only 15 lawmakers signed on to a letter asking Bredesen to suspend the gas tax for 30 days. Of course, all they were doing was copying Georgia. David Hawk was the only other local lawmaker who signed on. Here are some quotes from the story that underline Hilly boy's foolishness:

[O]ther Republicans warned such a move would paralyze road construction in the state's fastest-growing communities...even as prices at the pump are poised to fall.

State Senator Mark Norris, chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, told the Chattanooga Times Free Press, the move "would not be appropriate." Citing statewide infrastructure needs, Norris said, "You'd be robbing Peter to pay Paul, and that would not be good at this time."

According to the Tennessee Department of Transportation, the state's 21.4-cent gas tax generates about $397 million a year for road and highway projects-or about half of TDOT's total revenue. Without those funds, transportation officials said, projects across the state would grind to a halt. Suspending the gas tax also would put a pinch on cities and counties, which collect more than $245 million a year.

Oddly, Republicans signing on to the gas tax letter failed to mention that gas prices - prior to Hurricane Katrina - had soared 44% in a year under the Bush Administration's faltering economic policies.

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Mr. John Gregory

Check out these nice pictures of a man who usually is afraid to show his face in public, as though he is ashamed or something. I don't know what else can be drawn from this event at his speech: "A reporter who attended the dinner was asked to step into a hallway while John Gregory delivered his remarks."

Here's what Dems have to say about John Gregory:

Haynes, D-Nashville, said Republican lawmakers are addicted to drug company money.

"We tried to curb their addiction, but they apparently don't want the help," Haynes said in a Senate Democratic Caucus news release. "Unfortunately, this (committee) vote means that Republicans win and the public loses. Instead of common-sense campaign finance rules, we've got a system that promotes laundering of campaign donations so that the disclosure laws and limits on the books are made meaningless."

"If he's going to buy Republican legislators, the public deserves to know what they are getting," Haynes said of Gregory. "Are we getting new legislators who will oppose common-sense prescription drug price reform? Right now, we're getting Republicans who don't want to play by the rules."

For more about Tennessee's campaign finance rules, contributors and reports go to the Registry of Election Finance's Web site at

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Gregory Jazz

For some telling information, be sure to check out the Federal Election Commission web site.

I find it very interesting that John Gregory’s son, James is an employee of WHCB 91.5. WHCB is owned by the 501(c)(3) tax exempt Appalachian Education Communications Corporation (AECC). State of Franklin PAC (a Gregory funded and run organization) President Dr. Kenneth C. Hill is also the AECC President and father of Rep. Matthew Hill, R-7, Jonesborough.

James is also listed as a student and his contributions in 2004 totaled over $33,000. I am sure all of that was his own hard earned money. What is also interesting is that he is listed as an employee of the Tennessee Republican Party. It’s not just me; the Gregory’s and the Northeast Tennessee Republican caucus behave in shady ways.

Also, be sure to check out Susan Gregory’s donations (daughter of John). She is listed as Chief Investment Officer of SJ Strategic Investments and Leitner Pharmaceuticals (John Gregory’s new companies after he got out of King Pharm.), though she files her occupation as "housewife" on Federal Election Commission contributor records. She also started SJ Travel, llc., and Ride Revolutions in Johnson City.

SJ Strategic Investments

SJ Travel Rental Properties

Ride Revolution

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