UPDATE: WATE coverage here.
UPDATE: More here.
UPDATE: More must read commentary here.
UPDATE: And here.
Original post follows...
A meeting last night at the Blount County Library that was advertised as a rally to support embattled Circuit Court Judge W. Dale Young turned out to be a partisan Republican event to criticize the Daily Times and bash ordinary citizens who dare to speak out and ask questions.
According to the Daily Times, the meeting was organized and paid for by the local Republican Party, and Blount County Republican Mayor Jerry Cunningham gave the "keynote" address. Other attendees included Blount County Republican Party Chair and County Finance Director Dave Bennett, who organized the "rally", Blount County Sheriff James Berrong, Maryville City Manager Greg McClain, and state Rep. Doug Overbey.
Judge Young, who is currently under judicial review according to the Daily Times, did not attend.
Mayor Cunningham retried some of Judge Young's recent cases from his bully pulpit. Cunningham declared that an immigrant seeking an order of protection was "illegal" (noting that "the liberal left, they don’t like you using those words. It's supposed to be undocumented, or whatever the devil is politically correct.").
He said "these are facts that could have been garnished [sic], had anybody done the legwork." Aside from the fact he probably meant "garnered", he asserts that her "green card" had expired.
That's wrong on two counts. From what I understand, she doesn't have a "green card" (which I believe is permanent resident alien status), but rather a temporary worker's permit, and her permit renewal was delayed by a paperwork backup at ICE and she had a letter extending her authorization until January so the renewal could be processed.
This has, I believe, all been reported in the Daily Times. But don't let the facts get in the way of a good stump speech.
Cunningham also suggested that she has no legal standing, but failed to mention that all persons have equal protection under the law as provided by the United States Constitution. It's surprising that a former U.S. Attorney would not know this.
Mayor Cunningham said that he had gone down to the courthouse himself to check into the woman's case. This seems rather extraordinary, but in the current political climate we suppose it's not surprising.
Cunningham also retried another recent case before Judge Young involving a divorce, revealing new facts that have not been reported, but without sourcing or substantiating them.
All of this is quite extraordinary. But here's the most amusing part from the article:
"Judge Young’s not only been attacked by the unfair reporting, he’s been attacked by some of these bloggers," he [Cunningham] said. "And the bloggers that do the attacking — if you ever have time to look at that trash — are always anonymous.
"If you’re going to do that, at least have ... the testicular fortitude to say it to my face," he said.
I suppose there have been some anonymous comments re. Judge Young here, but the most outspoken critics, including an attorney involved in one of the cases, have signed their names. Perhaps there are some other blogs he's referring to.
But seriously. Mayor Cunningham is seriously worried that people are getting involved and actually talking about local government in a forum outside the corporate and government controlled media? What is he so worried about? Was this some kind of preemptive diversionary tactic to head off some other trouble brewing?
By the way, who sent all those letters to Mayor Cunningham demanding an investigation into alleged conflicts of interests involving Democrats on County Commission? As far as we know, those people are all still "anonymous".
Anyway, read the whole article to "garnish" a full appreciation of just what kind of leadership we have here in Blount County. It's amazing to me that the voters of Blount County elected such an embarrassment.
Signed, R. Neal, Alcoa TN
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