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.

                   



Copies Of Remaining Chattanooga Photo Books Available At Zarzour's Restaurant; By Mail

Remaining copies of the Chattanooga Photo books are available at Zarzours Restaurant on Rossville Avenue off Main Street. It is near Fire Hall #1. They include the Remarkable Stokes Collection, Railroads In and Around Chattanooga, and Paul Hiener's Historic Chattanooga.  All were published by Chattanoogan.com.  and printed by College Press at Collegedale. The ... (click for more)

Police Blotter: Man Digs Up Old Gun In His Yard On Wheeler Avenue

A Wheeler Avenue resident told police that he was doing yard work and discovered a handgun buried in his yard. He said the firearm did not belong to him. Police could determine that the firearm was a firestorm 1911 government 45 AUTO but were unable to read the serial number do to the rusty condition of the gun. Police submitted it to the Chattanooga Property Division for safe keeping. ... (click for more)

All I Want For Christmas Are Digitized Newspapers For 2018

With recent news of the Public Library investing in their own StoryCorps-ish effort with the Chattanooga Memory Project, it got me thinking about digitizing local newspapers again.   It's been two and a half years since the Chattanooga Public Library committed to sending out a request for proposals to digitize the local newspapers they have on microfilm. Back in ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Last You’d Suspect

Back when Bill Lenz launched Christ the Rock Community Church, the idea was to spread the gospel in Menasha, Wisc. but Bill and his brother Bob soon found they were dealing with people in trauma situations – drug and alcohol addiction, poverty, the homeless, and suicide prevention. As the church grew, they started an offshoot ministry called “Solid Rock” that deals with suicide ... (click for more)

Vols' Pruitt Is A "Ball Coach" Who Won't Forget HIs Roots

KNOXVILLE -- He is still the guy that taught them how to play kickball and officiated their dodgeball games. He's still the guy that wore a Fort Payne Wildcats football T-shirt to class every day and carried them over his shoulder across the playground if they got hurt. Before he rose to prominence as a college football coach, Jeremy Pruitt was a PE teacher at Wills Valley ... (click for more)

UTC Women Fall To Virginia Tech 64-44

The Chattanooga Lady Mocs started off the current basketball season with three straight losses, including a 60-30 whipping at Green Bay on November 11. Things had gotten better since that time as the Lady Mocs came into Sunday afternoon’s home game with Virginia Tech on a six-game winning streak, but the train jumped off the track, the local girls had one of their poorest performances ... (click for more)