Political Consulting: A Misleading Trend - And Response

Tuesday, April 29, 2014
As a former chair of the Hamilton County Republican Party, I’m concerned about recent tactics by paid political consultants in Chattanooga. An election should be the choice of an informed public and, yes, candidates are free to spend campaign funds to inform the people. Paid political consultants in this town are selling themselves and promoting candidates for their own financial gain.

In this current election, Pamela Fleenor’s paid political consultant is Robin Smith. Ms. Smith submitted a “letter of support” for Ms. Fleenor to the Chattanoogan. Seeking to disguise her letter as genuine support from a private citizen, nowhere in this letter did Ms. Smith disclose that she is Ms. Fleenor’s paid advisor.

It’s also important to note that the campaign posted a Facebook picture of Ms. Smith with Ms. Fleenor captioned, “Great to run into my good friend Robin Smith,”. This  is equally misleading. As Ms. Fleenor’s consultant, Ms. Smith and her partner Albert Waterhouse are paid to attend such events. There is no surprise there.

Now, I see that Ms. Smith has openly solicited party faithful through the use of our headquarter's email list to plug Ms Fleenor as "prepared" to serve.  As the pockets of Smith/Waterhouse get fuller, the more bold Robin becomes.

I support any citizen’s right to recommend a candidate to the voters, but if that opinion is bought, then that financial relationship should be disclosed.

Let me say that Kathy and I support Joe Manuel for Chancellor, Ms. Fleenor’s opponent. Joe earned my respect based upon my experience with him, his outstanding reputation as a lawyer, and his service to the Republican Party – no financial incentive was required for this endorsement.

Marty Von Schaaf

Immediate Past Chair

Hamilton County Republican Party

* * *

The Grand Old (Man) Party chair has spoken, former that is. Thank goodness for those election cycle Lincoln Day dinners to bring the local party out of the deep red zone that accumulated during the “immediate, past, yesterday’s news, glad it’s over” former party chair.

If conservatives really valued Mr. Von Schaaf’s opinion perhaps they would have elected him to a second term.  The self-proclaimed Grand Old Men need to give it a rest and admit that a girl will beat your man in a judicial race. Na Na Na Boo Boo.

 

April Edison



Roy Exum: Not Many Know This

The best story of the summer – by far – came out of Panama City over the Fourth of July weekend when over 80 total strangers on a Panama City beach responded to screams. Two boys, ages 14 and 11, were caught in a rip tide and all of these “angels” quickly formed a human chain -- over 80 people with their arms locked -- to stretch out in the water, reach those kids and tug them out ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Dear Friend Jake

Two weeks ago four of us piled in a car to go down to Canton, Ga., so we could tell Jake Butcher goodbye. Bob McKamey, former mayor Ron Littlefield, a dazzling guy named Steve Wilson, and myself. This would be the last time any of us would see Jake. It was a spectacular day and anyone who doesn’t believe in such goodbyes is missing out on the greatest moment in their life. It is ... (click for more)

Cleveland City Council Votes 4-2 To Pass A 46-Cent Property Tax Increase

The Cleveland City Council, with scant public notice, voted 4-2 on first reading on Monday afternoon to approve one of the largest property tax increases in the city's history. Richard Banks, Bill Estes, Tom Cassada and Vice Mayor Avery Johnson voted for a 46-cent property tax boost. Opposed were Charlie McKenzie and David May. Dale Hughes and Mayor Tom Rowland were absent ... (click for more)

Police Find Large Cache Of Meth, $23,134 Cash On Hensley At Motel Near Hamilton Place; Police Say He Was Supplier To Rossville Man Who Died In June 29 Overdose

Chattanooga Police said they found Michael Wade Hensley with a large cache of meth, a loaded handgun and $23,134 cash after being summoned to a motel near Hamilton Place Mall last Wednesday. Police said they believe that Hensley, 41, was the supplier for a 36-year-old Rossville man who died of an overdose on June 29. Hensley is now facing federal charges of possession of meth ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Team Wins 17U Division I AAU National Championship

Team NLP(TN) from Chattanooga won the 17U Division I AAU National Championship on Sunday with a 61-56 victory over the Miami Runnin' Rebels. The game was televised on ESPN. Team NLP(TN) program is coached by Brainerd High School Assistant Coach, Steve Cook Jr (Chattanooga Christian High School graduate), while E'Jay Ward (Brainerd High School graduate) serves as his assistant ... (click for more)

Lookouts Rally Falls Short In Sunday's 6-4 Loss At Mobile

MOBILE, Ala.  -- Sherman Johnson hit a two-run double in the second inning, and Alberto Triunfel singled three times as the Mobile BayBears topped the Chattanooga Lookouts 6-4 on Sunday.  Trailing 6-1, the Lookouts rallied for three runs in the eighth inning but that would be all for the night. Lookouts starting pitcher Felix Jorge (8-2) was shelled for the second ... (click for more)