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.

                   


Cleveland City Council Votes To Keep Waterville Golf Course Open

The Cleveland City Council voted Monday afternoon to enter into a leasing contract with GSP Business Alliance in order to keep the Waterville Golf Course.   Discussions were previously held regarding closing the golf course because of the amount of money its upkeep costs. Formerly 18 holes, the course was also downgraded to nine over the past few years. One of the members ... (click for more)

3rd Edition Of Popular Stokes Photo Book To Be Issued

With a second edition of the popular Stokes Photo Book selling out, Chattanoogan.com will publish a third edition of 1,000 copies. John Wilson, publisher, said, "We continue to get calls and emails inquiring about the availability of this remarkable Chattanooga photo collection. So we have asked College Printing at Collegedale to put the almost 600-page book back on the presses. ... (click for more)

We Need The Chattanooga History Center

Having been on several of Dr. Daryl Black's walking tours, I can say that they weren't just informative, but a treat. The downtown, Fort Wood and Ninth Street of yesteryear were brought dramatically to life. We stood on the ground where Sherman had his headquarters (near the Ice Cream Show) and the corner where Bessie Smith sang as a young girl. And we also stood beneath the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Value-Added Friendship

I need to take you through the back door on this one because it is a story that my friend Sandy Pohfal just sent me from Texas. Sandy happens to know Dr. John C. Dealey, a business-consultant wizard in Dallas whose advisory councils have made folks a lot of money. In turn, Dr. Dealey knows a guy he’ll only refer to as “Raymond.” Of all the guys I just mentioned, you need to focus ... (click for more)

No. 25 UTC Women Defeat Samford, 49-32

“I think it’s great for grade school kids all over the country because they will learn how to spell Chattanooga because it will be in their local paper. That’s the best thing about it. There are Chattanooga graduates all over the place and they can pick up and go to the agate page and see if Sportscenter knows how to spell.” -- UTC women’s basketball coach Jim Foster ... (click for more)

Baylor Wrestlers Set to Defend State Duals Title

Ranked No.1 in this week's wrestling poll and boasting a 22-1 season dual match record, Baylor is the favorite to win the TSSAA D-II state duals this weekend at the Williamson County Ag Expo in Franklin. Friday Jan. 30 - Baylor opens with tourney against Brentwood Academy at 3:30 p.m. in the quarterfinals and a win puts them in Friday night semis (8:30 p.m. EST) ... (click for more)