Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Fred Phillips in the Newspaper

While looking over some old issues of the Johnson City Press, I found a number of stories about Fred Phillips’ bid to oust Matthew Hill. The following are some examples:

In the August 16 editions of both the Johnson City Press and Kingsport Times News, Hank Hayes points out that Fred Phillips has raised considerably more money than Hilly boy. The same thing was also reported in the July 13 edition of the Johnson City Press.

Here’s an excerpt from the July 9 Johnson City Press interview with Fred Phillips:
Phillips said he that while he is connected to the Democratic Party, he holds many of the same beliefs as area Republicans, including his opposition to abortion, except in certain instances involving rape, incest or a threat to the mother’s health.

“I’m looking to re-establish the connection between Nashville and Washington County and address the needs of the people of Washington County.”

For many years, Phillips was the only Democrat able to break through and win a county office in extremely Republican Washington County.

“Voting against something just because it was introduced by the other party or the other side is just foolish. We’ve got to get rid of this wall of isolation between the two sides in Nashville.”

Johnson City Police Chief John Lowry, the association’s first vice president, said, “Everybody I know from Mountain City to Memphis just has so much respect for Fred and what he can do for East Tennessee. He is a consensus builder.”

Other top priorities for Phillips are education funding, including better pay for teachers; improving the state highway system, including widening of Interstate 26 from Sullivan County through Johnson City and into Unicoi County; and homeland security, including tougher immigration legislation.
In the April 16 edition of the Johnson City Press, Robert Houk pointedly calls out Matthew Hill for his propensity campaign in a very mean-spirited (unChrist-like in my opinion) manner:
When Phillips launched his bid for the state General Assembly in Jonesborough earlier this month, the Democrat was surrounded by quite a few Republican friends. Such notable Republican officeholders as Washington County Sheriff Ed Graybeal and Washington County Mayor George Jaynes were seen in the crowd.

It’s not all that surprising to see Republicans at an event for Phillips. A number of prominent Republicans openly supported Phillips when he served as sheriff of Washington County. Phillips is going to need all the help he can get from Republican voters to unseat Hill.

Hill will likely be portrayed as a political opportunist from Sullivan County who has done little to distinguish himself during his first term in the General Assembly.

Meanwhile, Phillips will be attacked as a partisan who allowed political favoritism to go unchecked at the Tennessee Highway Patrol during his tenure as safety commissioner.

Remember the negative print and radio ads Hill backers ran two years ago against former Rep. Bob Patton, R-Johnson City? Expect to see more of the same this fall.

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