Fledgling TFP Editorial Page Editor Hired To Be A “Flame Thrower,” He Tells Republican Group

Friday, August 24, 2012 - by Judy Frank
Pictured, left to right, are County Clerk Bill Knowles, Drew Johnson, Daphene Kirksey and Tommy Crangle, club president
Pictured, left to right, are County Clerk Bill Knowles, Drew Johnson, Daphene Kirksey and Tommy Crangle, club president
- photo by John Shackleford

Less than two months into his stint as one of the Chattanooga Times-Free Press’ two editorial page editors, Drew Johnson is already catching flak from some members of the conservative political groups he is openly courting. Thursday evening, for example, he was roundly criticized by Nightside Pachyderm Club members for withdrawing his endorsement of Republican state Senate candidate Greg Vital on the eve of the recent primary election – and writing a scathing column explaining his reasons for doing so.

Mr. Johnson stood his ground. “Greg went around and basically threatened people with his money . . . I don’t think that he is fiscally principled,” he told the club members.

Likewise, he said, he has the same complaint about Todd Gardenhire – who managed to squeak out a victory over Mr. Vital.

“I spoke with Todd and with Greg,” he said. “I like them both personally . . .  (but) I was displeased at both of them as a fiscal conservative.”

He sees similar flaws in many so-called conservatives, Mr. Johnson told the group. For example, “(apparent Republican nominee for vice president) Paul Ryan’s voting record is horrible . . . very liberal. He voted for auto bailouts, Medicare B . . . things no fiscally conservative person would support.”

Born in 1979 in Johnson City , Jason Andrew “Drew” Johnson has built his career on attack politics and he’s proud of it.

Thursday night, for example, he listed a litany of accomplishments he said he made during his tenure as head of the Tennessee Center for Policy Research, a think tank he founded to promote free market principles in the Volunteer State. He has also worked as a senior fellow for the Taxpayers Protection Alliance.  

Thursday evening, addressing the Pachyderms, he was more circumspect than in some earlier pronouncements.

When he was brought in to replace longtime New-Free Press editorial page editor Lee Anderson, his new bosses were looking for a “flame-thrower,” he said.

“I see my role as making liberals really mad . . . and calling out Republicans who aren’t acting conservatively,” he told the group.

                   


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report - And Mug Shots

Here is the latest jail booking report for Hamilton County: ABBOUT, JOSHUA EDWARD     1402 BONNELIA CIR SODDY DAISY, 37379     26     Hamilton County          DRIVING ON, SUSPENDED ANDERSON, ADRIAN D     1725 NORTH CONCORD RD APT A CHATTANOOGA, 37421     37    ... (click for more)

Funeral Service Is Tuesday For Lookout Valley Woman Who Died In Motorcycle Wreck

Funeral services will be Tuesday for a 41-year-old Lookout Valley woman who was killed in a wreck on South Broad Street on Thursday morning. Julie Huckabee died when her motorcycle collided with a van that was turning onto 35th Street. She was a lifelong resident of Lookout Valley and graduate of Lookout Valley Class of 1991. Surviving include: son, Matthew Huckabee, daughter, ... (click for more)

The Many Lessons I Learned From Helen McDonald Exum

Helen McDonald Exum was my friend and mentor. As I think of her passing I can only imagine the celebration that is happening in heaven as the news of her arrival is being told. I am sure that there is a party that not only has she organized but that there is not a detail that has been left to chance. I am sure that it is the grandest of events, for you see, she has been planing ... (click for more)

Insurance Burden Should Not Fall On The Teachers

I have attended several Hamilton County School Board meetings over the past few months, including the recent special called meeting" to vote on teacher insurance changes. First, let me say I am very impressed with Superintendent Rick Smith and his staff at the Central Office.  Mr. Smith is a very dedicated public servant, working hard to provide services to our community ... (click for more)

Worley-Powered Vols Clobber Utah State, 38-7, In Opener

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee, trying to snap out of the doldrums of four consecutive losing seasons, started its 2014 campaign in fine fashion Sunday night before a season opening sellout crowd of 102,445 that endured a heavy rain story 30 minutes prior to kickoff. And senior quarterback Justin Worley, who missed the final four games in 2013 after undergoing thumb surgery, was ... (click for more)

Lookouts Capture Southern League Northern Division Title With Doubleheader Win Over Smokies

The Chattanooga Lookouts are now playoff bound after sweeping a double-header against the Tennessee Smokies  to clinch the Southern League North Division for the second half of the season. The first game of the double-header was backed by a masterful gem of a game thrown by the starter for the Lookouts, Steve Smith (W, 3-2). Smith dominated the Smokies' lineup from top ... (click for more)