Sunday, September 24, 2006


Matthew Hill's Poor Record Blasted at Stop by Former Gov

Sunday there was a great story in the Johnson City Press (also blogged about here) that highlighted Matthew Hill's failings.
Phillips said he believes there is a serious need for Northeast Tennessee to be better represented in Nashville.

“Well, you know, I was kind of pressed into service by my constituents,” Phillips said. “I get the feeling here that they’re not getting a return on their tax dollar in Nashville.”

One of the recurring arguments for Phillips’ election to office by his supporters was his well-established relationships with leaders in Nashville, something they claim is desperately needed.

One such example of using Phillips’ networking skills would be garnering road improvements within the city and county, notably what Phillips said was a need for the portion of Interstate 26 that runs through Johnson City to be expanded to six lanes.

For some reason in the (20)06-07 budget there is no new road dollars out of (the Tennessee Department of Transportation) to do anything on the highway systems in Washington County,” he said. “Now you go in neighboring Greene and Hamblen (counties), they’re doing a complete overhaul of Interstate 81, so I just need to see that it flows on into Washington County. And I think with my direct connection with Commissioner (of Transportation) Gerald Nicely and my friendship with him I can convince him that those dollars need to come here.”

McWherter, who served as Tennessee’s 46th governor from 1987-1995, reaffirmed the notion that connections get things done, saying three commissioners appointed by Bredesen who were present Saturday were responsible for building projects in Tennessee — and Phillips was friends with all of them.
Don't worry, income tax-loving Don Sundquist is probably on his way to the Tri-Cities to stump for Hill.

And, Phillips also addressed the THP scandal, stating the only reason officers with shady backgrounds were identified was because Phillips made it impossible for them to hide.
Once Phillips was in office, he began updating the department, placing computers in the cruisers that gave officers the ability to access the database.

Officers who access the database must pass a background check to allow usage.

“I initiated that and it uncovered people who had been hired under another administration with backgrounds that were not favorable to law enforcement,” Phillips said. “I didn’t hire them, Governor Bredesen didn’t hire them, we inherited them. That brought them to the forefront, and of course I happened to be the commissioner — that was on my watch. And I stood up and took responsibility for it even though I uncovered it through innovation.”

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