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March 2, 2009

Raise Your Hand If You're a Democrat But Voted Republican Twice Recently.

That's right Ron Littlefield, longtime democrat, you keep your hand up. You voted for Republicans in the past two primary elections, didn't you?

The most important coalition for political success that Ron put together in his first run for mayor in 2005 was inner city blacks. Inner city black voters have generally supported the democratic candidate, whoever that is since, well always. I think those voters would be surprised to learn that Ron Littlefield voted Republican in the 2006 Senate and 2008 presidential primaries.

Honestly, it's hard to figure why he did that, but the bottom line is that in both circumstances Ron Littlefield could have voted for an African American Democrat but chose to vote for a white Republican. Now I believe that a person should vote for whomever they chose, but if you are the leader of your political party (as a mayor is in a city of our size), you're kind of expected to vote for your own party. Right Ron?

If you don't believe me, check the public voting records.

Comments to:

| By Billy Blades | 10:01 PM

In Summary: Because What Goes Around Comes Around.

Back in May of 2007, Herman Wang of the Chattanooga Times Free Press wanted to ask me some questions via email. Only a tiny fraction of that ended up in the story. I'm printing our convo here for the first time because I've gotten a lot of email from new readers (because of the current mayoral campaign, no doubt) who don't understand why I'm doing this. It's a bit long, and some of it is dated by subsequent events, but nevertheless it tells a lot about why this site is here. This is that interview, pretty much verbatim:

Herman Wang: Why did you start this site?

Billy Blades: I think I'll let my first blog entry dated August 8, 2005, stand as the answer to that question. I print it, slightly truncated, below. You're welcome to read the whole thing in the archives:

Reason D'etre

Why? Why this blog? Why is Ron Littlefield the Worst Mayor Ever?
Is it because Ron Littlefield ran the sleaziest campaign in our city's history?

Is it because he put a push poll in the field that accused a happily married, heterosexual woman of being a lesbian? (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

Is it because he made a deal with a (recently indicted) state senator to trade the support of his political machine for a job for his daughter?

Oh, speaking of vote trading, how about when Ron Littlefield approached his recently eliminated opponent Dan Johnson--a man diametrically opposed to him politically--and promised, and delivered, a cushy job at City Hall for his support in the run-off election?

Or is it the heinous character assassination he committed on our city's most active and responsible citizens--each and every one of them being his mental and moral superior--to create a false divide amongst a populace that is, sadly, so easily divided?

Yes. And what's even more irksome is that after all his backroom deals and Good Old Boy maneuvering, he's done so freaking little! There was actually something in the paper last week heralding our mayor for the smoothing of a bump on a bridge. I was apoplectic. He drags us through all that muck and that's all we get?!? Think about it--what has this guy done? But seriously, do you remember the flurry of activity when Builder Bob took office? Same thing with Kinsey. Committee's appointed, initiative's announced, projects underway, etc. This guy--crickets chirp. So yes, I'm indignant about all of that and that is why I've started this blog.

No doubt about it--Ron Littlefield: Worst. Mayor. Ever.

HW: What did the mayor do from the start that had you pegging him as "worst mayor ever" just days into his administration?

BB: Well, the timing in your question is not accurate. My first post came four months into his administration, (Inauguration day-April 18, 2005, first post-August 8, 2005) but I take your meaning. This wasn't the beginning of Ron Littlefield's political career in Chattanooga and six months of sleazy campaigning on his part had me well primed. I happen to believe that the political process doesn't have to be an exercise in character slaughter and venality. I believe that two honest, well-intentioned people can contend for the same office without resorting to electoral barbarism. Obviously, I live in a dream world that no longer exists.

As I've stated several times on, I've only mirrored the tactics Ron Littlefield and his henchmen (and women) used during the (2005) mayoral campaign. The things he did to win were successful, but they have consequences. I think of this site as an extremely drawn-out act of justice. I think most people miss the 'Colbert Report' aspect of this site.

But that's just what got it started. If it was just about the campaign, I could have stopped at the first post. But the longer this administration goes on the worse it gets. The recycling boondoggle still baffles me. I'm sure Ron thought the Homeless Hilton was a slam-dunk for him, but he's has managed to create a situation that a savvy opponent will likely use to cause him a lot of problems in a campaign. If I were that opponent, I'd put a poll in the field asking people to rank certain citywide services against a state of the art homeless shelter. The citizens are, after all, paying for one or the other.

HW: You obviously have some contacts within city government. Are you a current or former city employee?

BB: I think that's made pretty clear on the site, but I guess I can be more clear: Yes.

HW: What's your real identity?

BB: We're in the blogosphere, baby! I'm Billy Blades. Billy Blades doesn't exist outside of this context.

HW: What kind of reaction have you gotten to your site? Mostly positive? Negative? Threats?

BB: That has been very surprising to me, because frankly, I love a good fight. However, I've only received one negative email. Or rather, three negative emails from one person. I've received hundreds and hundreds of positive emails; an unambiguous landslide of support.

I get a lot of emails from people whom Ron has pissed off and they want me to write a post about how he built landfills in north Georgia for his own financial benefit or something like that. You'd be surprised the number of well-known people who email me. They are very interesting and many are howlingly funny. The amazing thing is that people write to me and identify themselves and completely trust me not to reveal their identity. Obviously, I never have. I guess they see through the sarcasm of my site and they trust Billy Blades. I personally know at least 60% of the e-mailers from work, civic involvement or nightspots in Chattanooga, but I never reveal myself to them. I've built quite a network of informants, but I don't use all the info I receive.

It's very interesting to me to contemplate the psychological implications of the whole thing. I'll get an e-mail from someone deep inside City Hall, and I'll think, "Are you crazy?! Why would you risk exposure?" Chattanoogans are very disheartened at how bad Ron has proved to be as our city's leader. But the arrogance of his staff has really galvanized people against the Littlefield administration. Really nice, sweet people have been very offended by how arrogant Littlefield staffers are. I used to get mostly angry emails about Ron's power-tripping, but now, it's mostly people who are saddened about how poorly he represents Chattanooga in the wider world.

It really is quite sad to think about the progress we aren't making. The ideas not being conceived. But then I remember that Missy has created a Web site to bring art to the masses and I rest easy about the state of things in East Lake.

HW: Any candidates you have in mind for the 2009 mayoral election?

BB: Yes. There is someone who I think could mount a credible campaign and is a particularly honest and good person. But I think that if I name that person, it will just give Ron's attack machine someone to point it's guns at and start blasting before things even get going.[That person did not end up in the race, btw. BB] Honest and good people don't seem to fare well in our civic process, and I can't recommend it to anyone. I've thought a bit about the upcoming campaign and I don't think I will endorse anyone, because I don't want to be a negative for him or her. I suspect blogging about Ron Littlefield will be my contribution to whoever runs against him. Of course, his or her supporters are welcome to purchase Littlefield: Worst Mayor Ever t-shirts from my Web site! I don't make a penny, but they're just so good lookin'!

HW: Is there anything Littlefield can do at this point that would make him redeemable in your eyes?

BB: Well, that's a bit heavy. I mean, I assume you mean redeem his political career and not his life. Ron Littlefield is a man who's in over his head. He just doesn't have greatness in him. He's not a man who has achieved great things because of his strong vision or brilliant ideas, like his recent predecessors. That's not a crime--many people are ordinary. And honestly, I think that Ron wants to do great things. The fact that his ability lags behind his ambition is what causes him to behave badly and pursue bad ideas. I don't think anyone expected him to be a Bob Corker. People of that energy don't come along very often. But I do think they expected him to keep the momentum of progress in Chattanooga moving forward, and they were led to that expectation by his campaign promises.

No honest person that knows anything about civic process and city building can say that Ron Littlefield has improved Chattanooga. He's so concerned about matching Senator Corker's legacy that he's blown through half of his term and we only have a fashion magazine and a time capsule to show for it. Oh, that's right you guys did the magazine with Missy. Make a little room on a shelf for the award you're sure to win for that one.

But in this question, I think you mean can Ron do something that will placate me and make me close down this blog. No. Ron can't un-smear reputations and he can't un-tell the Big Lie (I refer specifically to his canard about the Power Structure and it's mysterious, puppetmaster-like control of our lives).

However, if you mean, can Ron do right by the citizens of this city--yes, absolutely. Just get something done! He seems to think he needs to be a religious leader or civic guru. Just do something already! Sadly, he's burned the bridges to the people who could help him move our city forward. Unlike previous mayors, Ron Littlefield can't call our city's best and brightest into his office and seek advice or partnerships.

Did you see Mayor Corker when he was making his presentations around the city to raise money for the waterfront? Corker reached out and made some really big requests and the city answered in a big way. Ron Littlefield has spit in the face of all the people who get involved in the big projects that last for generations. That resource does not exist for him. He got what he wanted when he was elected, but it was at the cost of the tools a mayor needs to be successful in office--to the detriment of all of us.

HW: Are there any positives to Littlefield's administration so far?

BB: Didn't you hear? We got a new traffic light. Hang on, I'll dig up the press release. Also, he fired MichMich--that was a step in the right direction. Seriously, I hope that he does something good for our libraries. But here again, he's muffed it from the start. Our libraries need to be made vital to young people and he appointed a commission of W.W.II vets. It's not about the card catalog anymore. We need some twenty-somethings on that panel to bring fresh ideas about what will make a library a community information and communication hub in the future.

HW: What's your assessment of the administrations of Corker, Kinsey and Roberts?

BB: Corker: Best. Mayor. Ever.

Kinsey: Smartest. Mayor. Ever.

Roberts: Kindest. Mayor. Ever.

Berry: First. Mayor. Ever.

HW: How long have you lived in Chattanooga?

BB: I grew up here.

Comments to:

| By Billy Blades | 8:27 AM

February 22, 2009

Ron Bails Out Of The Debates; Bets On You Voting For Him Anyway.

Ron Littlefield has been ducking out of debating Rob Healy lately and it's really ticking off the people who are sponsoring the debates. In the past few days Ron hasn't bothered showing up for the YPAC (Young Professionals Association of Chattanoga), Chamber, Highland Park Neighborhood Association and Eastdale Neighborhood Assocaiton debates.

I've gotten emails from quite a few people ticked off that he dissed them and their constituents and speculating as to why Ron Littlefield is afraid to debate Healy. It's my opinion that his out-of-town pollster has told him that he has this election in the bag (primarily because interest is so low and early voting has been so abysmally low) as long as he doesn't make any big mistakes. In other words, it's his to lose, so why show up and face people in an open forum and take a chance of saying the wrong thing?

Oh, and if at some point Ron or his spokespeople say that he had previously scheduled meetings and couldn't be there, think this to yourself, "That's BS." In a political campaign, nothing is more important than standing before constituents with your competition and talking to them face to face. Besides, he's the mayor--he can move any meeting he needs to.

So Ron isn't going to come to your group and discuss his (in)actions of the last four years, because it's safer not to. What if he runs into a citizen that has been paying attention? He knows that the vast majority of people are uncomfortable with change and incumbancy is hard to overcome for a challenger. That's what history tells us, and why should this year be any different? (Oh, yeah--that whole 'Hope!' thing)

So, what's it gonna be, Chattanooga? Does it matter to you that your mayor won't stand before you and be accountable for the job he's done. Are we sheep?

Comments to:

| By Billy Blades | 9:54 AM

February 15, 2009

You'll Have to Do Better Than That.

Last week, Ron Littlefield failed to get the endorsement of several groups that had endorsed him last go-round, but he did manage to get the endorsement of the Chattanooga Area Labor Council this week. While that in itself is not a surprise--Littlefield has been in bed with the unions his entire career (smoke-filled backrooms being his native environment). What I found astonishing about the endorsement was the ridiculously up-is-down nature of the reason they cited: Ron's commitment to improving neighborhoods.

Say what?!? Which neighborhoods? MLK? Brainerd? I can't think of a neighborhood that has been improved by public money or mayoral action in Ron's tenure. The MLK neighborhood has been besieged for the last four years by Ron's obsessive desire to create a Southeastern Homeless Magnet Complex in their neighborhood.

Oh, and btw, there was a letter to the editor (a Littlefield campaign planted letter, no doubt) that gave Ron credit for the softball fields at Warner Park. The letter writer may just be uninformed, or just a Littlefiend, but the money and plans for those fields were a part of former Mayor Kinsey's ReCreate 2008 parks plan, that was put in motion TEN YEARS AGO. Sorry, Ron, not gonna let you take credit for another man's work. Again.

Back to my original point about neighborhoods. Now, it's true that there has been a great renaissance in the Main Street area near Market Street during Littlefield's term, but that's all due to foundation money and influence and RiverCity--Littlefield's arch-nemisis. Ron had nothing to do with Main Street and I can tell you that the people in that area bristle when he pops up trying to claim credit. Or worse, his pathetic attempt to link himself to CreateHere's efforts in a letter to the editor in the Times Free Press last August.

Littlefield has done NOTHING for neighborhoods, and I have no idea why he'd try to claim otherwise. All any citizen has to do is look out his or her window to see the (non) evidence of that.

So Ron, when you are handing out talking points to your cohorts, try to find some that don't make readers do a spit-take onto their daily newspaper. If you're going to try to convince us that black is white, hot is cold or that Ron Littlefield is an effective mayor--you'll have to do better than 'committed to neighborhoods.'

Comments to:

| By Billy Blades | 11:46 PM

February 9, 2009

Cracks in the Foundation.

While it's still doubtful that Ron can lose this election--though if we've learned anything lately, it's the power of hope over the status quo--it must be noted that pieces of Ron's coalition for success in 2005 are falling apart.

Last week, the firefighters union, who supported him last election cycle, have opted not to endorse Ron Littlefield for Mayor. While it's true that they also didn't endorse Healy, but that's not the point here. Ron lost the firefighters. A Democrat, sitting mayor lost the firefighters? Wow. That's strong. I mean weak. It's a strong testament to how weak Ron's leadership skills are.

But that's not all--he also lost the service workers union (SEIU). SEIU brought workers from Nashville to work for Ron during the last election and he made promises to them that he didn't keep. In fact, they aren't being as neutral as the firefighters, they're actively working against Ron. And Marti--which is just fun stuff. (BTW-she's pulling the same crap as last time--in my view, she doesn't live in the district she's running to represent. She just stays over there more often. Oddly, she admitted she does her laundry at Hemphill. That whacked-out mu-mu support system is always her own worst enemy. Test number 3 for 'does someone live here': Where do you do your laundry--that's where you live.)

Oh, and the police aren't too happy either. Ron must have promised them money too.

Like I said, it's unlikely any of this matters--based on the Ward Crutchfield phone transcripts from Operation Tennessee Waltz, Ron still has his coalition with inner city leaders intact, and that is the most important thing in a municipal election in this city--but it's still interesting that several of the piers he built his previous campaign around are crumbling.

Plus, Chattanoogan's know deep down that VW had nothing to do with Ron and that he is, in fact, the Worst Mayor Ever.

Comments to:

| By Billy Blades | 11:37 PM

February 7, 2009

It was the right thing to do.

As you know Joe Lance dropped out of the mayoral race Friday. It was the right thing to do. Joe's a good man, but his campaign was a non-starter and at this point in the race, all he was doing is splitting the progressive/anti-Littlefield vote. Unfortunately, Joe's name will still be on the ballot--causing some dillution of the vote-- but in effect it's down to Littlefield and Healy now. So this was a bad day for Littlefield.

Given the non-campaign Ron has been running, I'm guessing Ron's polling numbers tell him he can't be beat. It's probably true, but I can't stop trying. Four more years of sleazy mediocrity, in my opinion, is not acceptable. Four more years of riding the coattails of better, smarter, harder working men. Four more years of not-a-damn-thing happening in our neighborhoods. Four more years of funding Missy Crutchfield's goofiness, while a recycling program that was not very good to begin with has been made virtually useless by Littlefield's incompetence.

So while it's true that most Chattanoogans will fall sway to the power of incumbancy, we've got to try. Do you have a Healy sign in your yard? Do you have a bumper sticker on you car? Are you talking about who you intend to vote for with co-workers, at the gym and at your church? There's less than a month until the election--and there won't be a runoff this time folks, this is it.

For the record, I didn't say a word about either while there was more than one (serious) candidate opposing Littlefiend. That's over now. 'Nuff said.

Comments to:

| By Billy Blades | 12:00 PM

February 2, 2009

Mail Fraud.

Well, I knew that Ron Littlefield--who, I should remind you, is the Worst Mayor this town has Ever seen--would try to take credit for Volkswagon building a manufacturing plant here, but I didn't know he'd cause an international incident. Have you seen the recent mailer hitting mailboxes around the city? This guy is shameless, and his Louisiana consultants have the subtlety of a flying mallet.

From the VW logo on the front door, just in case you were too dim to get the symbolism, to the over-the-top text--"Mayor Littlefield Opportunity Knocked. He Answered"--it's really shocking how grasping and desperate Ron is to seize credit for VW.

The copy inside was clearly copy-and-pasted from some other guys brochure. I mean, there's no way it could be about Ron. In fact, that guy would appear to be Senator Bob Corker, since it describes 'determination and leadership.' But then goes on to say 'Mayor Ron Littlefield worked with local and regional leaders to steer the 1.9 million sq ft VW factory here."

He's shameless and he'll likely get away with these lies, but I simply must repeat the truth. One more time: Ron Littlefield had NOTHING TO DO with VW choosing Chattanooga. Governor Phil Bredesen and Senator Bob Corker, and all the economic recruitment professionals did all the heavy lifting on that project.

If you've ever met Ron-at a civic event say or a business meeting--you know very well that he just doesn't have the wherewithal to do something of that magnitude. The thing is that he really, really wishes that he could swing pipe with the big boys, but that's just not who he is.

His out-of-town campaign strategist has got to come to town every once in a while and actually meet the candidate. Either that or he has got to remember that some of us actually know this guy and this crap he's writing is not going to ring true.

Beyond the outrage of the lie that Ron Littlefield brought VW to town is the brazen, unauthorized use of the VW logo. VW was forced into issuing a statement that they weren't endorsing Littlefield, because the use of their globally iconic logo on political campaign literature is a huge gaffe and put the VW execs in a very awkward position.

Here's the thing; Littlefield didn't mean to upset VW, because he didn't have any idea that using their logo would cause a problem. His campaign strategists knew very well what they were doing, but they're in the habit of asking for forgiveness, not permission. My point is that the reason Ron didn't know he was causing issues is that he isn't the business man or business recruiter that he would have us think he is.

Anyone who deals with large corporations regularly knows that you don't touch their logo without their permission. In fact, each and every usage usually requires the approval of the PR department and the legal department. These are things you know when you deal with large corporations. Never occurred to Ron.

He's an embarrassment to us all and I can only hope that the Germans aren't too angry about his country-ass politics. More importantly, I wish that Chattanoogans were, but I'm afraid that we've come to accept mediocrity. Four Mo'Ron years.

Comments to:

| By Billy Blades | 10:57 PM

November 14, 2008

An Honest Man.

First the good news: Joe Lance, he of the excellent, has picked up papers to run for Mayor of Chattanooga. Huh. I didn't see that coming. While I have no idea if Joe has executive skills, I do know that he's a good person who respects the legislative process and, more importantly, respects other people.

Now the bad news: If Joe does this, I already regret what Ron and his minions will do to Joe's good name. Is there a Mrs. Joe? If so, she should stop reading the paper or watching TV sometime in early January.

On the other hand, after the amazing election of Barack Obama, we have a new model for serious candidates running against those who will say or do anything to win. Barack treated McCain with respect even when McCain's people were smearing him with lies and innuendo. The country seemed to respond pretty well to that. Just sayin'.

Good luck, Joe. You'll need it.

| By Billy Blades | 8:25 AM

July 15, 2008

Thank You, Gov. Bredesen.

Today was a very, very good day for Chattanooga, Tenn. and we owe it, almost exclusively, to the efforts of Gov. Phil Bredesen and his Dept. of Economic Development. Generations of Chattanoogans will benefit from the unbelievable full-court press that he is responsible for putting on the VW execs, and anyone behind the scenes will tell you the same.

Senator Corker worked hard and was certainly there when needed, as were Claude and Ron. But, believe me, it was all masterminded by Phil Bredesen and I'm so bummed that we're about to lose him because of term limits. God knows what he could do for our state with another four years in office. I hope the story gets fully told, but the business community in Chattanooga came together in an unprecedented way to show the VW executives that Chattanooga means business and it won the day. That effort was coordinated by Phil. Sadly, our mayor played almost no part in that effort and if not for our hard-working governor, it wouldn't have happened.

Ron Littlefield was just a bystander, and given his poor leadership abilities, that was for the best. I said it about the efforts to bring Kia and Toyota to town and it applies here as well: Ron has no ability or knowledge in this area and he neither helped nor hindered the efforts to woo VW. He showed up when he was told to and made bland comments when necessary.

So, thank you Gov. Bredesen, you've helped us immensely by stepping in when we needed it. Our children and their children thank you as well.

Say, since you're term-limited in the governor's office, would you consider being mayor of the city you just helped succeed in the 21st Century? Thanks to you, it's going to be all the rage and everyone's gonna wanna live there. Hell, you're already doing the job our mayor is supposed to be doing. Why keep that big brain on the sidelines? Unless, you have something bigger in mind...

Comments to:

| By Billy Blades | 11:15 PM

July 7, 2008

I'm Billy Blades. You're Billy Blades.

HelloShirtPost.gifHello. Billy Blades here. I'm back. Actually, I never went anywhere. I had simply slipped into a deep, deep sleep waiting around for Ron Littlefield to do anything. But since his management style so closely resembles doing nothing at all, I just lost a few weeks or months there. I'd stared into the nothingness for too long and it took me.

But the prospect of the coming mayoral election has woken me up and I am confident that Ron Littlefield--the man known far and wide as the Worst Mayor Ever--will indeed be challenged by someone with energy and integrity. I am, as the song says, holding out for a hero.

The problem is, what role should Billy Blades and all the staffers at WME play in the election? We certainly can't work on behalf of any of the legit contenders--Ron would just use us to discredit them.

No, we won't be advocating for anyone. We, as per our prime directive, will be working the other side of the equation. It's what we do.

So the art department and the editorial department here at Ron Littlefield: Worst Mayor Ever have come together and started thinking about how to address the issue at hand. The issue of ridding Chattanooga of the creative energy-sucking, civic momentum-killing, vortex of directionless slack that is Ron Littlefield. Being Americans of a certain age, we've come up with the only logical answer--a t-shirt.

It's out with the old swag and in with the new. The WME store is now featuring the first of our new line of shirts. The front of the shirt addresses something that comes up in emails that we receive here at WME all the time: Who is Billy Blades?

Who indeed. Well, I'm a concerned Chattanoogan who wants good things for this city and wants honest people in leadership positions. If that's you, you're me. So why not declare your solidarity with the resistence in cotton! Be among the first to be seen at NightFall wearing the new 'Hello, My Name Is Billy Blades' shirt. They're sure to be all the rage in the River City as the Mayoral Campaign heats up. The back has a message that I think we can all agree with. Well, all except incumbent do-nothing politicians.

Politicians are like diapers. They both need changing regularly and for the same reason.

Time to change that dirty nappy folks.

BTW. We don't make any money on any swag from the WME store. We've priced it as low as Cafe Press will allow. It's about the message, not the money for us.

See you on the hustings.

Comments to:

| By Billy Blades | 8:00 AM

April 20, 2008

Dirty Deals Done Dirt Cheap.

Today's Times Free Press features a well-researched expose of Worst Mayor Ever Ron Littlefield's unbelievably corrupt back-room deal that gave his long-time buddy Dale Mabee the keys to City Hall, and apparently the city coffers as well. The highlights from the newspaper read like a subpeona:

1. Ron Littlefield and Dan Johnson gave Dale Mabee (Ron's campaign manager) an interest free loan to finance the $1.07 million dollar land purchase. Huh?! That has never been done in all of the downtown development that has revitalized our city. It'd be one thing if this was the first downtown construction project and it needed to succeed to build the market--like the old Riverset Apartments. But I think the ball is pretty well rolling on downtown residential and the marketplace can regulate itself. I'm not at all surprised that Ron Littlefield, a man so devoid of ethics he'd have to climb up to the bottom of the skuzzy barrel, gave his campaign manager a free loan. After all, the man has to be paid back for all the lies and character assassination he's responsible for.

2. Then they gave Dale and the Moon boys the option on the rest of the block. That wasn't even in the request for proposals (RFP) released by the city to bring in bids by competing developers. In the paper Dan 'Bankrupt Doesn't Just Describe My Morals' Johnson said it just made sense because any developer would want to control the rest of the block. Well, that may very well be the case grandad, but that developer should compete with everyone else for what gets developed on that block. It's called free enterprise. Except it's not when it's not competitively bid. Folks, this is just plain wrong.

3. Then they gave him a free alley for access to the luxury condos, which was valued at nearly $100,000. Seriously, this is amazing. This wasn't offered as part of the original RFP either. Why not just have city work crews cut down the trees and pave the alley for free as well?

We at have decided to leave the not-very-lucrative protest Website business and move into real estate development. The first order of business for Billy Blades & Company, LLC is to donate to the Littlefield re-election campaign. That should guarantee that we get these kind of sweetheart deals. And as a bonus, when Ron is re-elected, it'll guarantee the corruption continues for four more years!

4. Then they accepted a promissory note instead of, ya know, actual money! Excuse-the-hell-out-of-me?!? I know he's your friend and all, but if he didn't have the money to finance the project, maybe Mabee (hee! I made a funny!) should go back to building crappy McMansions in the suburbs. It's not like our country's in a credit crunch or anything, so Ron & Dan's Favors For Friends Machine can just keep cranking out the graft, with no consequences at all.

The really sweet part of all of this (Hey, it's the stinky part too--that's weird.), is that all of this started because Ron Littlefield hired a bunch of auditors to sic them on RiverCity. They found only piddling things--none illegal or unethical--less than you'd find on your average new WalMart construction project. But somehow Ron & Dan's auditors completely ignored all of this in their report. Not until the Times wrote the story this morning were the shady Deals For Dale revealed. So Littlefiend's vindictive nature has come back to bite him in the ass. Make's a person believe that justice can prevail. Sorry, a little optimism about our city government slipped through. I'll get a handle on that.

For the record, hiring auditors to look into those who use the public's funds is a good thing. But the city charter dictates that they report to the City Council, not the mayor. The City Council controls all the money, so why would you have the people who check the books report to the person whose books they are checking? So you can control what they look at and report, obviously. This reporting structure has been wrong for a while, it just took someone of Littlefield's (lack of) character to misuse it.

It's time for the City Council to look into all of this. It's time for the City Council to bring the auditors under their purview. And it's almost time for a serious candidate to step up and declare that this kind of thing is going to stop.

p.s. I [heart] Dave Flessner.

Comments to:

| By Billy Blades | 11:04 PM

March 30, 2008

Littlefield Takes On Corker's Legacy. Good Luck With That.

I guess I'm not the first to tell you, but the 2009 Chattanooga mayoral race is already underway and Ron Littlefield's first tactic has been launched.

It's clumsy and cheap, but Ron Littlefield, Chattanooga's Worst Mayor Forever and Ever Amen, has launched a public letter-writing campaign against former Mayor Corker. [Yes I know he's a US Senator now and that would make a foolish target in your mayoral campaign, but I'll unpack the whole case in a sec, trust me.] Thanks to my amazing team of field reporters, I've got the scoopage.

If you're an involved Chattanoogan--and face it, if you're reading this, you are--you've probably seen these letters to the editor on John Wilson's

On March 26 Renee McIntosh wrote the following:

Waterfront Was Completed In Time For What?

In reference to the 21st Century Waterfront project, Ken Hays, who was President of the River City Company at the time of the construction of this project, was credited in a recent Chattanooga Times editorial as “coordinating the unimaginable complex task of finishing the riverfront and related civic projects on time.”

My question is on time for what? The end of Bob Corker’s term as mayor? On time for Mr. Hays to promote his assistant at the time, Ann Coulter, as the one responsible for completing this project in her bid for mayor?

We are now seeing the results of fast tracking this project in terms of construction repair costs.

Renee McIntosh

Renee's just a tax-paying citizen, like you or me, right? Why wouldn't she resent Corker for working his ass off to accomplish a decades work in three years? How dare he. She just hates that gorgeous waterfront of ours and preferred when it looked like a loading dock on the Jersey shore. So what that Corker spent months and months making the civic rounds raising much of the money from the private sector? Renee resents that kind of thing, as would any right-thinking person, ya know? I mean that's what moved her to write a letter about $150 grand in cracks in a $120 MILLION dollar project, yes?

No. Renee's not an average, unconnected citizen. Renee McIntosh is Lanis Littlefield's best friend.

On the same day, another watchdog hero among us was similarly compelled to write this fact-deprived missive:

Questions On The Sinking Slabs

Sizable money is being spent to repair defects in the construction of the 21st Century Waterfront Project that was to be completed before the end of the Bob Corker mayoral administration. One defect cited was the sinking of concrete terrace steps that required an $80,000 repair.

I was amazed to read in a Times newspaper account that Jeff Pfitzer, who was the director of capital planning under that administration, was quoted that this was "an anticipated expense".

If it was anticipated that the steps as designed and constructed were going to sink, why didn't he and/or others in charge of the project step in and make the necessary corrections before construction? With this level of project management ability, I can now see why the 700 Market St. project that Mr. Pfitzer has been heading, as the River City Company's director of special projects, has yet to become a reality.

Ben Brychta

Such righteous indignation! Such engineering knowledge! Such total BS! Because Ben Brychta is a certified Friend of Ron and you can check it out for yourself a couple of times a month when they can be seen at the IHOP enjoying a short stack of pancakes while concocting a giant stack of crap.

Notice all the names listed in the letters. This wasn't about the waterfront so much as it was about denigrating Corker-era works.

You see, Ron's team of evil genius' (Hi Dale!) have decided that one election tactic that will be really hard to fight is when a competitor picks up the theme from this Web site and points out how poorly this administration has performed when compared to the last one. And the one before that. (Actually, you can keep going ad infinitum. That's what being the worst ever means.)

You would think they'd have learned about the foolishness of the staged letter of outrage by now.

So Ron Littlefield thinks that if he can smear Corker for having the audacity to work hard and quickly to make big, bold civic improvements that will benefit this community for decades, he can lower the public sentiment about Bob Corker enough that he won't look so bad in comparison. And then of course they can start in on people who might actually be running against them next spring.

First of all, with or without cracks, the Waterfront is a thing of beauty and it's been embraced as Chattanooga's front yard. Just go down there on any Friday night or sunny Saturday. Secondly, the investment in the waterfront has already had a positive return on investment, and you can ask anyone at the CVB or a south shore business owner. Engineers will fix whatever's wrong and kids will be hoppin' around in the water in no time. Really dumb tactic. I'm sure worse is coming.

Ron, it's not gonna happen this time like it did last time. When you pull dirty tricks, we're going to expose them. The tricks may still work, but people are going to see behind the curtain and understand the depths you'll plumb to stay in power.

Oh, btw some people in Guy Fawkes masks asked me to deliver this message:

Hello Littlefiend. The past was prelude. The Internet has come for you.
Love, Anonymous.

Comments to:

| By Billy Blades | 9:25 AM

March 20, 2008

Tomorrow! Tomorrow! Ron Loves Ya, Tomorrow!

[ responds to the Ron Littlefield's State of the City speech in song, to the tune of Tomorrow from the musical Annie.]

The jobs'll come out
Bet your bottom dollar
That Tomorrow
There'll be jobs!

Just thinkin' about Tomorrow
Helps avoid The Awkward
That there's nothing
Going on!

When I'm stuck with a mayor
That's lame,
And sleazy,
I just stick out my finger
And linger
To say,

Not a thing will come out
Not a train to Georgia
Or new Downtown retail
Hear what I say?

Tomorrow! Tomorrow!
Ron loves ya Tomorrow!
You're always
An election cycle a-way!

Comments to:

| By Billy Blades | 10:12 PM

March 10, 2008

Yes Ron, It's Exactly The Same. Except Totally Different.

Well, the Homeless Hilton project is falling apart around his ears and Ron is trying the oldest trick in the book (the book of double-talking politicians, that is)--the talking cure.

Today's Times Free Press story had a lot of interesting information. Like Councilman Pierce saying that he gives up trying to work with the Mayor on the project because when dealing with Ron, it's "my way or no way."

The most outrageous bit was when Ron "compared the homeless project to the three-year, $120 million waterfront revitalization effort overseen by his predecessor, Bob Corker. He said the riverfront endeavor required extensive preparation, and so will this one."

Uh. Where to begin. Littlefield's homeless debacle is to Corker's riverfront project as Britney Spears is to responsible motherhood. How can Ron be foolish enough to compare his hairy turd of a project to Corker's shiny riverfront diamond? Wow. Can he be so clueless as to believe he can spin his Homeless Hilton crap into Waterfront gold just through the power of his words? Sorry Ron, the whole thing was ill-conceived and poorly executed and someone will soon be using it (and the suspicious financing and favors-for-friends related to the land acquisition) against you during the upcoming mayoral campaign.

In Michael Davis' excellent story, Ron Littlefield, Chattanooga's Worst Mayor Ever, admitted that there's no plan to make his homeless complex actually happen, but that he hoped that if he bought the property an opportunity would come along to bring his unformed dream to reality. That's the kind of mayor we have folks - a wing and a prayer. Except the wing cost Chattanooga's taxpayers $775,000. Good news though--prayers are still free.

Comments to:

| By Billy Blades | 11:58 PM

February 26, 2008

23 Skidoo! Ron Steals the Other Team's Mascot!

Ron Littlefield today issued a mayoral proclamation, that basically gave the middle finger to the City of Atlanta on our behalf. Today is Give Our Georgia Friends A Drink Day, per our mayor. You should take a minute to read the proclamation, because it really says a lot about who Ron is and the direction our city is(n't) going.

To address the first part, Ron Littlefield gets all giddy about this kind of made-for-tv-news gesture because politics is all a game to him. It certainly isn't business and that's why NOTHING IS GOING ON AT CITY HALL.

I'm assuming he found a way to pay for a truck full of bottled water to be delivered to Atlanta through some private means (though not his own pocket--never that.). But this isn't the lead up to the big game versus our rival school. His gesture is an embarrassment and I'm shocked that he'd be so short-sighted as to do it. It doesn't address the real issue of Georgia trying to steal St. Elmo from us, but it does stand a chance to piss them off enough to keep trying. And the bit where his assistant is delivering the water wearing a coonskin cap and head-to-toe buckskins is jaw-droppingly stupid. We're trying to sell Chattanooga as the hippest new spot to plant your new-media, high-tech company and he's making us out to be hillbillies? I know he can't seem to do anything to proactively help our city, but does he have to make it hard for those who are actually working? Astonishing.

Remember the dress-up party Ron threw to re-open our modernized City Hall? This is the same thing. It's always the week of homecoming for Ron Littlefield and he's the head of the float committee. Except that this isn't a Mickey Rooney movie, and we deserve more than a head cheerleader as our mayor.

After you read the smart-alec proclamation, did you laugh? Were you amused that your civic leader had pulled so childish a stunt? Maybe you were, or maybe you rolled your eyes. What I wonder is, if you voted for Ron Littlefield in 2005, do you regret your vote?

Comments to:

| By Billy Blades | 11:46 PM

February 20, 2008

Potential Mayoral Candidates: You've Been Warned.

I'm sure you all saw Michael Davis' article in the Times last week titled 'Littlefield Currently Faces No Challenge For Re-election."

Like they taught him in journalism school, Davis put the good stuff up front. In the 2nd graph he quotes Ron saying:

“I would like not to have to devote so much attention to a potentially divisive and difficult campaign,” he said. “I’d like to keep working with the county and the Chamber and not have my attention drawn away to deal with diversions like a tumultuous and difficult campaign.”

He never even considered that the campaign could be a contest between two intelligent, well-meaning people who both have the good of the community at heart, but might disagree on how to go about making their vision for a well-run city come to pass.

Nope. Ron Littlefield, who is, make no mistake, the Worst Mayor this town has Ever seen, is letting all potential candidates know right up front that he'll get just as down-and-dirty as he did the last time. If you want your reputation smeared beyond recognition, go ahead, run for mayor. His Rovian minions are just dying to go to work on the fool that would dare to try to unseat him.

Ron Littlefield is the Hillary Clinton of Tennessee Valley politics. He will do and say anything to get and keep power. Why? Why did he want to be mayor so desperately when he's done nothing to show for it? Power. Right Billy Long? Isn't power it's own reward? Well, plus the money. Don't forget the money.

While the national democrats seem to be rejecting the win-at-all-cost Clintonian tactics, it's because they have a different, better choice. Will Chattanooga find an 'Obama' to run against this man? I know I need some Change I Can Believe In, right here in River City.

By the way, David M at Rabbit Valley Road wrote something about the shame of the Hamilton County Democratic Party. He's right and I hope they arrest every single official--democrat or republican--that sees public service as some kind of right to line their pockets while gleefully violating the public trust and more to the point, the law.

Comments to:

| By Billy Blades | 12:59 PM

November 9, 2007

We're Number Three!

It's almost like he's come over to my side and is actively working against himself. Ron Littlefield says such stupid things, that the headlines in the mainstream press are reading like headlines in this website. Yesterday a Times Free Press screamer head announced that Ron admitted to scheming to gerrymander Marti out of District 6. Yeah, sure, I said that weeks ago, but he seems to forget that that kind of sleazy backroom maneuvering--while common--is why people hate politicians and don't trust their government.

It reminded me of the first time I read the Crutchfield/Littlefield transcripts: disgusting on its face and because the 'playing' is so clearly an everyday occurrence. He doesn't see his duties in re-districting as a civic obligation to allign districts with population movement, it's just a great chance to push a possible future opponent out of the way. If you didn't read it, you need to go back and look it up.

Now today's paper has a quote from Ron saying that it is his lifelong goal to be the number three city in the state. Leaving aside the grammatical issues, I think we really must stop to ponder a leader of a city that claims a lifelong aspiration to THIRD PLACE!

I mean, it's great that Chattanooga is finally gaining population after years of decline. Frankly a lot of hard work went into that--none of it by this poser. But as I read it, I imagined Chattanoogans sitting with their morning paper wondering about the psyche of the man who is supposed to be leading the way to the future, glowing about being the third largest city in Tennessee.

I can imagine the ad agency that handles the Chamber of Commerce account went right to work on a big, "We're Number Three!" campaign.

The punch line here (well, one of them) is that we aren't number three. We're still the fourth largest city in the state. Ron, on behalf of all 168,000 of us: just shut up.

On a personal note, I really believe that Chattanooga is far, far better than Knoxville, a city I find to be ugly and a blight. I like Chattanooga better than Memphis as well. If it weren't for the Titans, the Preds and the amazing Ryman Theater, we'd be pretty damn close to Nashville too. However, I look forward to getting back to making Chattanooga the best it can be by standards somewhat higher than Ron seems to have. I just wanted to remind all of us that a better mayor is crucial to building on the momentum of past great mayors. As Tony Soprano might say, "Don't Stop Believin'."

Comments to:

| By Billy Blades | 6:36 AM

November 4, 2007

Kenardo Curry, Come and Get Your Love!

Well, now that Worst Mayor Ever, Ron Littlefield is giving out free retirement benefits to disgraced Chattanooga public servents,--because of all the compassion he has growing in the fertile ground of his heart--I'm very happy that former city worker Kenardo Curry will be able to collect retirement benefits from the City.

Now, I know Kenardo did a bad, bad thing (or five), but the man has ten years of service in at the city (or nearly that), so I know Ron wants to do the right thing here and put him back on the payroll long enough to help the man get a retirement package to support his family. I mean right is right. Fair is fair. Not.

I doubt Ron wants to start parsing the moral and ethical differences between committing voter fraud by lying on an election document (as Marti Rutherford did) and buying a little bling-bling for the ladies (as did Kenardo).

So, now that the Rule of Law is being set aside and the Let Love Rule is in place, I'm sure this is good news for former Neighborhood Services employees Mark Kleiner, Jennifer Maddox Center and Jeremiah McGill as well (though I'm not sure where they are on their retirement track).

I'm guessing that Marti left some work yet to do on the Hamill Road extension 'work' that she was doing during her 3 days of employment for Ron. If these other employees can walk and chew gum, they've got all the skills that Marti brought to the 'job' and I feel sure Ron wants to 'do the right thing' for them too.

Can you feel that, Chattanooga? That warm feeling in your heart? Yes, that's what being a City of Compassion, Littlefield style, feels like. Enjoy it (just ignore that rotten smell). I hope it compensates for the light feeling in your wallet as Ron reaches in to finance his 'compassion.'

Comments to:

| By Billy Blades | 12:49 PM

October 28, 2007

Littlefield Gives Middle Finger To Citizens, City Council & Logic.

Folks, I've always assumed that those reading these web postings have a certain level of knowledge about the workings of their government, because why else would you be reading a web site about a government official.

So, I assume when Ron Littlefield says that he's giving Marti Rutherford a job for two days to sort out the issues of extending Hamill Road in Hixson that you automatically know he's saluting you with a Bronx Cheer.

But, maybe you are unfamiliar with how the inner-workings of a city operate, so pardon me if I offend, but believe me when I tell you that residential realtors have nothing to do with road planning or building. There are no transferable skills between the two professions.

Highly-trained professionals at the Regional Planning Agency work with the Dept. of Public Works on those matters. You may get upset when your daily commute takes too long and think that you could do a better job of designing the roads. You couldn't. Me either.

The professionals at the RPA have years of high-level education and real world experience under their belt before they start working on complex matters like road-building and infrastructural connectedness.

To propose that Marti Rutherford is just going to jump into the Hamill Road extension project and give any meaningful input in 16 hours is beyond insulting. It's beyond ludicrous. It's uncharted territory for brazen, backroom Chattanooga politics.

You might be able to say that Marti is willing to get involved for her constituents. I'll give you that. Of course, only the ones she particularly likes (there are Brainerd Road merchants who could tell you stories on this matter). But no one who's involved in city government will say that she's whip-smart or a quick study. Or anyone you'd want in a planning capacity. In fact, everyone who knows her knows she's just a busy-body (this word stands in place of another 'B' word) in a mu-mu who thinks that if she pushes hard enough she'll get her way. The last two months of newspaper headlines will back that up.

Of all of the fake jobs for Ron to throw up as a sham to cover for his attempt to cheat the system to help a should-have-been criminal*--this was a bad choice. It's the capper of the monumental mistakes that he's making with his city hall career.

But still, unless someone credible steps up to run against him, the disgusting games will continue into his next term at city hall. And our city continues to tread water with no champion at its helm.

Of course, we still don't have the real reason Ron is doing this. Perhaps someday he'll think us worthy of an explanation.

*Is it just me, or does anyone else think that the city attorney should have moved forward with a legal case against Marti for the crime of deception that she intentionally committed? Something feels fishy about stopping the proceedings just because she resigned. I wonder if she'll try to sue and we will regret not letting a judge and or jury sort this out.

Comments to:

| By Billy Blades | 10:34 PM

October 25, 2007

Spiteful, Small & Mean.

Man, this just keeps getting better. The speculation as to why Ron Littlefield, known far and wide as the Worst Mayor Ever (and thanks to this little web site, it's getting farther and wider), would re-ignite this ridiculous Rutherford residency ruse is all over the map. City hall, the gym and my email are abuzz and the guesses are all over the place. It's well known that Ron and Marti can't stand each other and that Ron's involvement in gerrymandering Marti out of District 6 is what led to this to begin with. Everyone keeps asking if I know what Marti has on Ron. No clue. He wants to take care of disgraced ex-polilticians. Maybe he's hoping for the same treatment one day.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Spiteful, small and mean” and “vindictive.” If I had to pick four words to describe Ron Littlefield, and couldn't use hyphenated vulgarities, those four would do just fine. The unbelievable, truly stupefying thing is that he called the city council--the whole council, mind you, because that vote to block the Mayor's gifting of benefits to Rutherford was unanimous--those names. Called them names in the media, no less. I don't mean to break this down too far, but when you're the mayor, nothing happens for you unless you have five votes. Five votes from the city council that you just called, "spiteful, small, mean and vindictive." Well, done. Good luck getting anything done now, you hotheaded [hyphenated vulgarity meaning moron that rhymes with truck-tard].

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

You may have noted in yesterday's WME entry on this subject that I mentioned that Ron Littlefield giving Marti Rutherford unearned access to the city's group health plan was 'no small gift.' Well, I chose my words carefully because of a question that lingered in my mind. The issue is this: We all know that Marti isn't an employee of the Mayor's. City Council people are not hired, they're elected. And they certainly don't report to the mayor (especially not this one and especially not now). So how do Ron and Dan Johnson simply extend benefits? Hire her as a temp? City Hall has been buzzing, but basically, we think that it will have to be officially classified as a 'gift' in the budget. However, there are very specific rules in the state code about gifts. I don't think that Littlefield can do this legally. But, I'm not a lawyer, and Roger Dickson is a damn good one. We'll find out soon enough.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

On August 30, Ron Littlefield said, "I've never questioned where her legal residence was. I don't desire to get involved in that."

Today, Ron said, "As this issue began to unfold a few weeks ago, there were a number of individuals – myself included – who attempted to work between the various interests to try and resolve things."

Which is it? You weren't involved, or you were? I'm no longer sure if Ron knows the difference between how things happen and how he wants them to have happened. It's a lie either way, but he does it so much, I wonder how he justifies the lies in his mind when they're so easy to google.

On the same note, I'm so glad that no one is falling for Ron's attempt to take the moral high ground on this issue where he's actually down in the gutter. Every time he says, 'It's the right thing to do,' I am exasperated at how dumb he thinks we are. Cheating the system to help a liar is not the right thing to do. He said he was ready for the fallout of his actions. I wonder if he'll regret that arrogant attitude.

Make no mistake Chattanooga--this is the man you elected mayor. These are his ethics. This wrongheaded abuse of the system that he's been trusted with is his true heart.

Comments to:

| By Billy Blades | 1:00 PM

October 22, 2007

Oh. No. He. Di-int.

Oh, yes he did! Ron Littlefield is, quite simply, giving Marti Rutherford access to group health insurance and we all will be paying for it for years. The fact that she broke the law and his own attorney put together a rock-solid case against her is irrelevant to him. He thinks public servants deserve special treatment. This is no small gift. I don't know if you've shopped it lately, but individual insurance is not cheap, and this action gets her into the city's group health plan.

Ron Littlefield, the Worst Mayor Ever, claims that it is only a three day extension of her benefits. As usual, he's really wrong. No, Ron. It's a three year extension, because she committed a crime by intentionaly lying about her residency, deceiving her constituents and falsely representing herself as qualified for office. SHE SHOULD NEVER HAVE HAD THE BENEFITS TO BEGIN WITH! Does anyone remember Randy Nelson using the term 'felony' regarding her actions? Is that investigation ongoing?

Ron is perpetrating a scam on Chattanoogans, just like Marti did and he should be ashamed. But he isn't because he believes there are different rules when you are in public office. Which is why he loves being in public office. It sure beats workin'.

The other reason he's doing it is because he doesn't care what you think. Or more to the point, he doesn't think he can be beat because of the power of incumbancy in America. Therefore, the outrage over this will flare up, die down and go away with no lasting harm to his re-election chances. And the sad thing is that he's probably right. And that is a shame on us.

The only good news is that the Council, whom Ron thinks he controls, is appalled that Ron would inflame this issue that stopped our city government in its tracks for a full month. The Council was very deliberate and they did the right thing. Now Ron has completely disregarded them by taking this highly unethincal action. He's just going to declare it and so it shall be. So says King Ron.

Didn't the ethics legislation that was passed a couple of years ago address this? If not, remember how Chris Newton admitted he'd committed a crime and refused the insurance, because he felt he didn't deserve it? I happen to think Chris Newton is scum, but he's a scum with a conscience. Same can't be said of Ron.

Comments to:

| By Billy Blades | 10:24 PM

September 26, 2007

Arrogance: Personal and Corporate.

I couldn't help but make the connection yesterday between Marti Rutherford's arrogant lawsuit against the city (which is the same as suing the people of Chattanooga) and Comcast's arrogant lawsuit against EPB (which is the same as suing the people of Chattanooga).

Marti believes that a city council seat is her birthright and doesn't see why she shouldn't be able to perpetuate a scam and get away with it. Did you read the details of Randy Nelson's filing against her? Dude has nailed her to the wall--even involved the dog and cats! That Marti doesn't bow her head, apologize to the citizens she's deceived and resign is a shame that will follow her name from here on out. But her arrogance, pride, and not a little bit of delusion, have caused her to file a lawsuit. A lawsuit that we, the citizens of Chattanooga, will pay to defend.

Comcast believes that an unfettered monopoly is their right and refuses to acknowledge that the law now allows someone else to offer 'cable' service. A unanimous vote of the city council has allowed EPB to bring us electric, phone, cable and next generation broadband. So Comcast (through their lobbying arm) is suing the City of Chattanooga (sure it says EPB on the papers, but it's really the City and that means you and me) to keep their monopoly.

The arrogance of Comcast is astounding. Even if what EPB is doing were illegal, what's it to them? If their service is so comcastic, all they have to do is undercut EPB's price by a few bucks and problem solved. It's clear that Comcast knows that their service is going to be far inferior and this is the beginning of the end, unless they install fiber as well. How in hell they think they can sue the citizens of this city and then expect them to continue to buy their service is a marketing technique that is ill conceived, to say the least.

Marti Rutherford and Comcast: arrogance in the face of common sense--which we will be paying for in court. I predict that the citizens of Chattanooga will be victorious in both matters. I hope a judge makes Marti and Comcast pay us back when we win.

Comments to:

| By Billy Blades | 11:26 PM

Marti, Money, Missy, etc.

mailbag.gifTime to dip into the old mail bag, and as usual, you people have a lot to say.

Mu-Mu-Move On Down The Road
We've gotten a butt ton of email asking about Worst Mayor Ever's take on Marti Rutherford's run in with an angry electorate (that's equal to two metric ass-loads). What is there to say, really? Everyone in Brainerd knew she never left Hemphill. Her competitor said it everytime she spoke during the campaign, "I'm the only resident of District 6 in this race," but our media never followed up on it.

It took Robert T. Nash to bring this about, and it all started when she was rude to him on the air. She's an embarrassment--has been for years--she thinks she's above the law and I'm glad justice finally caught up with her. I think you know I'm a fan of justice, even if it moves at a glacial pace. By the way, does this mean Julie Chamberlain won that election? She seems to be the qualified candidate with the most votes.

Oh, one other aspect of this worth noting is that the person working hardest behind the scenes to build the case in the community against Marti was none other than our favorite former city employee MichMich herself. The email on this matter was from a source so rock solid that every Chattanoogan in the know would acknowledge this persons credibilty.

I'm not surprised MichMich and Marti didn't get along--they're the same person, separated by 30 years and a pink floral mu-mu. If you know both of them, you know what I mean. The important thing to note here is that Ron Littlefield maneuvered behind the scenes after the '01 elections to get Marti jerrymandered out of his district, just in case. Which 'drove' her to establish this non-residence residence in District 6. And he's the one that has been feeding MichMich her ideas to get the citizens to file their petition. The way you can know for sure that Ron is behind the move to oust Marti, is that he said he's not. But to be fair, many people came together in a moment of cleansing synchronicity to bring this beautiful moment into being. Just enjoy it.

Campaign Finance Questions
Now, the serious stuff. Another writer with credibility wrote to point out another bit of suspicious Littlefield campaign accounting.

The essence of this story is that at a crucial point in the campaign, Ron was out of money (but not out of tricks). The call went out for money and Steve Leach made a 'large donation' to the campaign. The letter writer reports that the donation never showed up on a Littlefield financial report. Of course, the punch line is that Steve was then made head of the Public Works department, because that's how you get a job in the Littlefield administration: quid pro quo.

But irregularites about Ron Littlefield's disclosure form came up during the election, protests were filed and nothing happened. Why would it now? Wonder if anyone affiliated with that campaign will grow a conscience and step forward at any point in the future?

Shampoo Shakedown
OK, fine, a third e-mail (from a variety of sources) has put me over the edge on this. I'd held off, because it's really quite serious and hard to believe that someone could be so arrogant and stupid.

So, according to several e-mails, Missy Crutchfield went to her 'glitzy' hair salon in Brainerd in the not-too-distant past and declared that she wouldn't be paying the usual $120 fee for doing her hair, but that she would be paying $60 and leaving these tickets to events at the Tivoli theater to make up the difference. Go ahead, pick up your jaw and we'll continue.

Honestly, I didn't believe this when I got the first email. Or the second. But, three's a charm here. Clearly, this is a serious abuse of her position, and I suspect that those auditors that Ron's got running around need to take an accounting of the ticket distribution to city events.

Obviously, it's an appalling abuse of power if it's true. But, how, after her father's conviction, could she actually do this? I mean making a soft-core movie in your early 30's is dumb, but this is just stupid. And wrong.

Etc, etc, etc...
Another letter writer felt that Ron's cozy relationship with the unions immediately after his election is what chased Toyota away. While it's true that Japanese automakers are anti-union (Nissan has been fighting UAW here in Tenn. for years) and Ron's union-sluttery can't have looked good but, I think there was more than that involved.

Finally, one writer found it impossible to comprehend that Ron Littlefield could utter these words:

China is a growing and expanding country and just as we have had product recalls in this country, they are learning how to have product recalls there. [Aw! Isn't it cute when a burgeoning manufacturing economy learns to recall? I just love 'em at that age! BB] We've certainly had our share of breakdowns of process of production [but we don't have any manufacturing base left Ron, what can you mean? BB], and they are establishing safeguards in China as we have in this country.

Since when does particpating in a Sister City program make you an apologist for communist China and a lead paint controversy affecting millions of toys nationwide? You seriously need to work on your 'no comment,' Ron.

Well, that's just a handful of letters, but that'll do for now.

Comments to:

| By Billy Blades | 9:31 AM

August 27, 2007

Who I'm Not.

Billy Blades/ is not:

1. Bill Colrus or anyone at the Chattanooga Pulse
2. Anyone at the Times Free Press
3. Josiah Roe or anyone at Coptix
4. Any of Missy Crutchfield's former lovers
5. Any of Missy Crutchfield's directors, producers or body doubles
6. Missy Crutchfield's hair dresser
7. Ron Littlefield's former political opponent(s)
8. Ron Littlefields former allies, who have been screwed over by him and want revenge

Though all of those people may have problems with this administration, I'm not them. They're not me.

Billy Blades is a pissed-off citizen who is disgusted by corruption and abuse in government, especially the administration of Ron Littlefield.

Comments to:

| By Billy Blades | 5:30 PM

August 11, 2007

Mission Accompliced.

The Times Free Press has followed up the Worst Mayor Ever Worldwide Exclusive report on the Littlefield Transcripts (TM Billy Blades) by publishing a story about, er, the Littlefield Transcripts.


When the TFP asked him about the situation, Alberto Gonzales, Ron Littlefield claimed that he couldn't recall if Ward introduced him to the union bosses at SEIU. Mind you, the transcripts reveal that this union connection had never 'played' in Chattanooga before, so Ron would have been meeting him for the first time in 2005. It's not like it would have been years ago in some smoky union hall. It would have been recently and in the transcript Ward says he was going to handle this introduction himself. That might ring a bell with most people.

When asked if they believed Ron's tale of Instant Onset Amnesia, even a little bit, Everybody In The World Since Forever, said 'No.'

Former SEIU boss Don Driscoll 'couldn't be reached.'

Can you imagine poor Ron, when he got the phone call from the reporter scrambling to come up with something to distance himself from the government documents linking him to convicted felons?!? Of course, all he could only come up with was the "I Don't Recall" gambit.

That tactic, which, since its rise to glory with Reagan during the Iran-Contra hearings to its pathetic death from overuse recently in Congressional testimony by Alberto Gonzalez is now tantamount to an admission of guilt.

Things are looking bleak for Littlefield. He used the unions for money, votes and volunteers during the campaign. Then he gave them lip service, so he could appear to be paying them back quid pro quo (I'll detail an example in a future post), and then he moved on when he didn't need them. Now the unions are feeling they were set up and they're not happy about it. Well, at least they know how the citizens of Chattanooga feel.

Comments to:

| By Billy Blades | 1:26 PM

August 10, 2007

The Littlefield Transcript: Hate the 'Player' and the Game.

Well, here it is--the transcript we thought we’d never see is now a public document. Apparently, you just have to ask and convince the court that the public will be served by its release, or so said the person who sent it to me. I believe that standard was met here.

So the scenario, as best I can tell from the transcript, is this: the FBI Guy, Chris McGrue, is sitting in Ward’s office and he calls Charles Love, who’s out of town. FBI Guy then hands his mobile (I assume) to Ward. The hilarious aspect of this is that the call takes place on an FBI-owned mobile phone. Sometimes a dirty politician just can’t catch a break. Then again, maybe we the people finally caught one. The call takes place March 7, 2005, which falls between the March 1 election and the April 12 runoff. Strategery was afoot.

I want to be clear that Ron Littlefield is not a party to this call. He is, however, it’s primary topic.

The Players:
Charles – Convicted felon and notorious bagman, Charles ‘Year-and-a-Day’ Love
Ward – Former Senator and convicted felon, Brushy Mountain Ward 'I-Meant-To-Say-Guilty' Crutchfield
FBI Guy - Federal agent and hero to the masses Chris 'Here-Use-My-Phone' McGrue
[…] - unintelligible
{…} - Billy Blades comments or edits. All bold type is my emphasis.

Charles -Hello, Charles
FBI Guy - Charles, this is Chris McGrue. How are ya?
Charles - Hello
FBI Guy - Charles?
Charles - Yes,
FBI Guy - This is Chris McGrue
Charles - Hey, Chris.
FBI Guy - How are ya?
Charles - I’m doin’ fine.
FBI Guy - Ah, got us a meeting, ah, with the comptroller at eight o’clock on Wednesday morning. {I’m assuming this is Operation Tennessee Waltz related business.}
Charles - Good.
FBI Guy - Here in Ward’s office.
Charles - That’ll be good.
FBI Guy - And hold on. He wants to speak with you just a second.
Charles - OK
Ward - Charles?
Charles - Senator.
Ward – How you doin; buddy?
Charles – I’m doin’ fine. How are you doin’?
Ward – Well, I’m tryin’ to figure out where the situa…, what is the situation regarding this goddamn mayor’s race? {Is that kind of language OK, here on, Josiah? Then again, what’s worse, god-swears, or bribery and corruption? Toss up.}
Charles – (laughs)
Ward – I, I’m not askin’ you who’s gonna win or lose. I mean what…
Ward – How are we, how are we playin’ is what I wanna know.
Charles- Well…
Ward – I’m not mad about anything. I told, I told you I’d help you. I’m not, you, you{re} not obligated to do a damn thing. I just wanna know where the players are.
Charles – Well, the, the players are kinda’ split.
Ward – Okay
Charles – You know there’s {former city councilman, Yusuf} Hakeem and, ah…
Ward – I went down, I went down to the damn, you know that dedication to the gym, made a speech…
Charles – Yeah, yeah. Hakeem and , ah, Duke {Franklin, current city councilman} stayed out of it till after the elections, so I don’t know where they are now, but I think that…
Ward –Well, Duke’s still lookin’ for money. I tell you where he is.
Charles- Yeah.
Ward – I didn’t say that.
Charles – (laughs)
Ward – I didn’t say that.
Charles – (still laughing)
Ward - Duke was down to see me. {Well, if you need some money, you go to the bank.}
Charles – Okay.
Ward – Alright.
Charles – Ah, but, ah, yeah, you got {Irv} Overton and, and, and, ah…
Ward – Overt, Overton and what?
Charles – You got Overton, Joanne {Favors}, and, ah, Debra Matthews…
Ward – Do, Donut, what?
Charles – And Donut, they’re all in Ann Coulter’s camp.
Ward – Wait a minute, now run this through me again now. I, I know that…
Charles – Do…Donuts…
Ward – I know Donut’s there.
Charles – Irv Overton.
Ward – Irvin is over there, and so is, ah, his buddy Ruben Lawrence and Lamar Partridge…
Charles – Kruger
Ward – And, ah, the other…
Charles – yeah, they’re, they’re all in the Coulter camp. You got…
Ward – Got, got, go, go whatever his name is, you know Mason, Gerald Mason.
Charles – Yeah, Gerald Mason. Then you have, ah…
Ward – What’d you say, Debra Matthews ain’t there though.
Charles – Yeah, I thought she was.
Ward – I don’t think so. Well, maybe she is. You tell me that, I don’t know.
Charles – And then you have…
Ward – Debra, Debra’s got, havin’ some more problem with her heart, but she’s doing alright. She’s okay.
Charles – That’s good, that’s good.
Ward – She’s runnin’ her race. I, I wouldn’t…
Charles – Yeah, she’s yeah, she runnin’ her race, so I guess whoever helps her, she’ll help them, I guess.
Ward – Yeah, I, I think that’s about it. I think you analyzed it well.
Charles – Yeah. But, ah, ah, but you got Moses {Freeman}, and he got Cotton. You got Leamon {Pierce}, and those are the kinda, the major players to beat. They’re in {the} Littlefield camp. Yeah.
Ward – Are you playin’ in the thing? {They use the term ‘playin’ a lot. It’s like some creepy shorthand and my stomach rolls every time I read it. Guess that's what they mean by 'player.' So that would make me a Player Hater. Ya heard.}
Charles – I’m not playin’ yet. I, I’m gonna have a discussion with Littlefield when I get back in town.
Ward – Well, Littlefield really needs you.
Charles – Okay.
Ward – I’m gonna recommend to Littlefield that he try to work somethin’ out with you. {So, what do you think? Did Littlefield 'work something out' with Charles Love? On Aug. 20, 2004 Charles Love mentioned to E-Cycle reps (that would be the FBI undercover) that he had worked in the past bearing gifts to legislators. My point is that this is what he did. It's who he was. It's not like he volunteered for campaigns and stuffed envelopes. He 'played'.}
Charles – Okay, that’ll work.
Ward – I think Littlefield can win the race because, mainly because I think the damn, ah, people up around Hixson, when you look at the deals, I, that’s where Littlefield can pick up. He ran good up there. I believe in playin’ strengths, not weakness. {‘Damn Hixson People!' Love it. Then again, they did help put Littlefield in office, so maybe that’s an apt name.}
Charles – Yes, yeah.
Ward – So he’s already pretty strong, and then {Dan} Johnson’s people, there, there’s where they’re strong.
Charles – Yep, that’s …
Ward – So I think they are, I think you oughta concentrate on strength.
Charles – Yeah, yeah.
Ward – Of course, Rayburn {Traughber’s} in there for, for, ah…
Charles – Yeah. Coulter.
Ward – Coulter, there was, yeah, anyway. So you know, I don’t, I, I, does he still…with Napoleon Dawson like he always used to be?
Charles – Yeah, yeah. (laughs)
Ward – Okay.
Charles – Yep, yep
Ward – You know I {was} chairman 14 years. I understand the deal.
Charles – Okay, okay.
Ward – I’m just, I’m tryin’ to figure up who might have a shot at it? You’re about it, tell you the truth, you’re…
Charles – Yeah, I’m, I’m, I’m ‘bout the only one out here ain’t doin’ nothin’.
Ward – You’re at a premium, and, ah, they, they oughta’ both be lookin’ for you, but I think, I ‘preciate you talkin’ to ‘em.
Charles – Okay.
Ward – I’m, I’m gonna’ talk to this, I’m gonna’ talk to this guy, we’ll work somethin’ out. Don’t tell them that though, ‘cause I’m workin’ this on my own. {Uh, huh. Is that 'workin' or 'playin', I can't keep up.}
Charles – Okay.
Ward – But I got this, I got this guy that’s got a lotta’, lot of, ah, labor funds.
Charles – Okay.
Ward – And he’s new. He hadn’t ever worked in Chattanooga before.
Charles – Okay, alright.
Ward – It’s uh he’s … a service worker. {Go here, and then go here. The union in question is undoubtedly the Service Employees International Union, or SEIU, that is now organizing city employees with Littlefield's blessing.} That’s the only union in the country that’s growin’.
Charles – Okay.
Ward - The only one.
Charles – Well, I can see why.
Ward – Rest of ‘em are sittin’ on their ass and losin’ members.
Charles – yeah, yeah.
Ward – So they gotta’ get in with money and muscles. They wanna’ play. {"Money and muscles." Do you really need a more graphic wake-up call?}
Charles – Yeah, yep.
Ward – I’m tired of just layin’ around and everybody else […] and I get all the hell, and and nothin’ else, so…
Charles – Yeah, yeah.
Ward – I just would like to know what you finally decide. I’m not tryin’ to tell you what to do. I’m just sayin’, when you decide, I need to know, ‘cause {if} you{'re} gon{na}’ be with him, then we can play together on some stuff. {Seriously. What do you think Ward means here.}
Charles – Okay.
Ward – If you’re gonna be Little…, I think Littlefield’s got a hell of a shot, but right now, I don’t, I don’t find a lot of people excited about either one.
Charles – I don’t either. You know […] was before the election. I don’t, did anybody do anything this weekend? I wasn’t in town.
Ward – I wasn’t involved either because, hell, they didn’t, they didn’t come talk to me. I just like Ron personally. I know him personally and I like him. His word is good.
Charles – Okay.
Ward – But hell, you gotta get his word. I don’t wanna talk to Dale Mabee. {No kidding. Ugh.} I wanna to talk to Ron.
Charles – Yeah, I do too.
Ward - That other guy, you know he’d, I believed if I can’t talk to the candidate, I ain’t real interested in playin’ the game.
Charles – Yeah, yeah.
Ward – So you need to be satisfied with your relationship with him.
Charles – Okay. Well…
Ward – And when are ya’ll comin’ over here—Wednesday?
Charles – Wednesday, yeah,
Ward – At eight o’clock.
Charles – Yeah
Ward – And you gonna come where?
Charles – We’ll come to your office.
Ward – Okay, good.
Charles – Yeah, yeah.
Ward – Alright, I’ll probably talk to you tomorrow. In the meantime, see what you can think over. We might have a meeting down there and bring this guy down as, that’s got the funds and everything.
Charles – Okay, I’ll do that.
Ward – […] If you don’t {get} nothin’ else, you get a friend for the deal next year. {There goes my stomach again.}
Charles – That’s right.
Ward – You oughta know him, then, hell, you work your own deal with him. {And we just slipped from the lingo to something more straightforward.}
Charles – Okay.
Ward – Alright.
Charles – Alright.
Ward – But I’m not, I don’t wanna run the whole show, cause then every son-of-a-bitch saw me, and I’m tryin to practice law and make a living.
Charles – Hopefully…
Ware – I, I, I don’t wanna do that. I just wanna figure out what we oughta do.
Charles – Okay.
Ward – I think I’ve about figured it out, but…
Charles – Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Ward – See we, we, we, ah, tell me about Debra. You worked okay with her?
Charles – Yeah, I work okay with Debra.
Ward - I believe we can get, I believe can get her because, hell, her race is down there where Littlefield ran fairly in the city. Only precincts he didn’t run real good in was St. Elmo. {Shout out to the ‘Mo!}
Charles – Well, that’s what I’m sayin’. Debra, if she can, if she’d line up right, she can win, she can win that City Council and carry somebody with her.
Ward – Right.
Charles – Yeah.
Ward – She could be very important in that race.
Charles – Yeah, yeah. That’s right.
Ward – In other words, he needs her.
Charles – Yeah, he does.
Ward – And the other people, don’t really need her.
Charles – yeah, yeah.
Ward – So I, I we’ll think about that and talk about it, ah, Wednesday.
Charles – Okay, we’ll do that. I’ll be over there tomorrow.
Ward – And we’ll get a meeting in my office down in Chattanooga, you and I and this guy.
Charles – Okay, alright.
Ward – We talk about now, and then we’ll talk about you in the future.
Charles – That works.
Ward – Okay.
Charles – Alright.
Ward – Bye, bye.

End of taped conversation.

By my reading, Ward Crutchfield was in league with Littlefield and they were recruiting Charles Love to help get the African-American vote for Ron. That in itself, certainly isn’t illegal. I’m sure the Coulter campaign had a strategy for the African American vote too. But all this talk of ‘playing’ by two men who were subsequently convicted of bribery and extortion, leads me to believe that all the talk of ‘rolling the inner-city vote’ that I’ve heard my entire life here in Chattanooga seems less like urban legend, and more like reality.

I come away from this transcript with the feeling that ‘playing’ happens all the time. I’m dismayed about the caliber of public officials that we have here in Chattanooga. This blog was started because of the sleazy, win-at-all-costs tactics that Ron Littlefield and Dale Mabee employed during the 2005 mayoral campaign. But Operation Tennessee Waltz has pulled the curtain open and the back room is now there for us to see. As embarrassing as the Waltz has been, I'm really glad it happened. I hope that Chattanogans are paying attention.

The raw, unedited document is here.

Comments to:

| By Billy Blades | 2:00 PM

July 26, 2007

From Each According To His Ability To Pay Taxes, To Each According To His Ability To Vote

CG1.gifHere at the World Headquarters of Ron Littlefield: Worst. Mayor. Ever. we recently received the July 2007 edition of Common Ground, "a newsletter from the Department of Neighborhood Services and Community Development."

The exact purpose of this eight-page, full-color, glossy publication is a little murky. One grammatically challenged headline reads, "North River Civic Center Host Volunteer Reception." I need to know this, why? I mean, I'm happy for them, to the degree that I can manage to care at all, but that bit of news is only slightly less useless than the story titled, "Mayor Littlefield Honors Local Tax Preparation Volunteers." Sure, It's nice that folks volunteered their time to help people with their tax return, but this is not the kind of information I really need from my local government. Especially, when I'm paying for the writers, production, printing and postal costs.

But then, as with most things Littlefieldian, you don't have to look far, to figure out the real purpose of this mailing. In fact, it was on page 2 under the heading "A Letter From the Administrator." Now, this is the second post that I've given Beverly Johnson a hard time, and for that, I'm sorta sorry. It's not that she isn't a nice person, it's just that she'd be so much more effective as the Administrator of Neighborhood Services if she were say, a librarian or a shop clerk.

CG2.gifCheck it out: 'We are pleased to begin mail distribution of our Common Ground newsletter to every registered voter household in the city." In the next freaking sentence, she says that the newsletter has information that will "benefit all of our citizens." WTF?

If it would benefit all the citizens, then mail it to all the citizens. But it's so obvious that Ron Littlefield's crew is using Common Ground as a re-election brochure by sending it only to those who can vote for them. Clearly, Beverly unwittingly spilled the beans, likely having heard someone in a meeting mention their voter-targetting tactic, but forgetting to use the word 'secret'.

What's most amazing (beyond the political hackery) is that some moron tagged the publication with the phrase "Building Better Neighborhoods...Block By Block." This wouldn't be so insulting, or ludicrous, if it weren't for the virtual avalanche of e-mail I've been getting about the precipitous drop-off in the quality of public service that our neighborhoods are experiencing since Littlefield took over.

I cannot believe the amount of mail--especially from St. Elmo, North Chattanooga, Highland Park, MLK and Brainerd areas--where citizens are really steamed that trash and brush are not being picked up, street drains are clogged with debris, 311 calls get no response at all and on and on.

In the opinion of this citizen, this will be Ron's undoing. Vanity/legacy projects that waste hundreds of thousands of public dollars but accomplish little are one thing, but people get ticked when it takes weeks to get a Trash Flash pickup in front of their house. Not to mention the recycling fiasco (oops, just did).

In his "A Letter From the Mayor" section Ron, syntax be damned, says that he has "always held a soft spot in my heart for our neighborhoods." He has a funny way of showing it. He must have a soft spot in his head, if he thinks he can just talk about neighborhoods while the delivery of public works services continues to decline. This is one instance where empty rhetoric will not fool most of the people most of the time. You can say that you've made a commitment to neighborhoods (a statement that the MLK district finds laughable) and that you don't take that lightly, (which he claims in the letter), but when you don't follow through on promises to neighborhoods and you also don't even maintain the level of service of your predecessors, you'll be found out.

Comments to:

| By Billy Blades | 7:50 AM

July 13, 2007

Tale of the Tape(d Transcript)

From the 7-12-07 Times Free Press story about Ward Crutchfield's decision to stop lying, which our legal system calls 'change of plea':

"Defense attorneys have been trying to exclude a transcript of a recorded telephone conversation from March 2005 in which Sen. Crutchfield and Mr. [Can't Get No] Love discuss local politics, including the then mayoral race."

I'm telling you, you overhear something at City Hall and you can take that sh*t to the bank: know what I'm sayin?

Insiders from the Littlefield campaign have come out of the woodwork lately with all kinds of accusations, all of which I'd love to share, but so far I don't have the kind of confirmation that I'm comfortable with. Which may seem ridiculous from a blog like this one, but at my end I know what I write is solid based on my relationship with my sources. These new relationships don't meet that baseline. Yet. I mean, come on, these people worked for Ron Littlefield, a man known far and wide as the Worst Mayor Ever. Clearly, they've had some judgement issues! But I believe that people can grow and recognize their mistakes, otherwise I'd have no hope at all for a new mayor in Spring of '09.

Nevertheless, these former Littlefielders all say that Ward Crutchfield, now guilty of Federal crimes, was in constant, daily contact with Ron Littlefield and his campaign, as was convicted felon William Cotton. I don't think that's the sewage from Moccasin Bend that I'm smelling, but it does smell fishy.

I've got questions about Ward's plea, the most important one is: since he changed his plea to guilty (TM Morrissey), there'll be no trial. Since there'll be no trial, will we ever see this transcript that Sher and Lazenby refer to in their story? Please let that be entered into the public record. I think a whole lot of questions might be answered when that happens.

Does anyone know if Federal evidence becomes public after a plea, or has Cheney put all that into the 'man-size' safe in his office? [Sorry, corrupt politicians at every level just have me sick to my stomach today.]

Comments to:

| By Billy Blades | 9:02 AM

July 6, 2007

Money For Nothing (and your Snark for free)

God love John Wilson and his love child The Griscom hates it and has tried his best to get a piece of online Chattanooga's attention, but John and his ability to post news fast and, more importantly, throw up weird info that wouldn't work in a newspaper's format, has made him the King of the Net here in River City. Oh, the fact that it's free doesn't hurt either. ahem.

Of course, my rapture comes from the fact that Chattanoogans are pouring over his listing of the City of Chattanooga's salary structure. We all know it's public info and when you work at City Hall, you know that stuff could get plastered in the media, but it generally doesn't. Oh, the Mayor and his aides have to deal with it around swearing in time, but since they're making the big bucks anyway--too bad for them.

But this listing is sweet. Chattanoogans need to see this stuff--it's not secret, there's just never been anyone who'd put it out there like this. Rock on, John.

Here are some of the highlights from the list, with a little commentary from Yours Truly.

Ron Littlefield mayor $137,488 [Who would have thought you could do so much damage to a city's reputation and progress for less than 140K. Not bad for a C student. There's a lesson here kids. Don't do your homework, just network.]

Dan Johnson mayor's chief of staff $117,488 [That's Assistant TO the Regional Manager, my friend. Chief of Staff my ass. He's not even located in the same office as the Mayor. Ron, could you at least try to put on a show and pretend he's your #2 by putting his office in the Mayoral suite? We should have just put all the employees Ron had to hire to fulfill his campaign's back-room deals on one floor together. Or two. On the other hand, at 117K a year, I'm guessing he's dug himself out of bankruptcy.]

Beverly Johnson neighborhood services director $106,242
Steve Leach public works administrator $106,242 [$212,484 for the two of them?!? Appalling. One is virtually useless, the other a complete sycophant. I'll let you guess which is which. Actually, don't bother-they're both useless.]

Randy Burns management analyst $75,224 [Best bargain in the building. A genuine civil servant.]

Larry Zehnder parks and recreation director $103,746 [Probably worth that money.]

Missy Crutchfield education arts and culture administrator $98,470 [Does she still get that in singles and fives?]

Anita Ebersole deputy to the mayor $90,176 [Never in the history of campaign hangers-on has a campaign worker landed a better gig. Well played lady. Second place in this category used to go to MichMich. Hee! MichMich! Not on the list!]

Sandra Coulter manager civic facilities $56,656 [That last name can't help come promotion time. Kidding!]

Darde Long zoo supervisor $53,848 [Snake Lady! You go girl! I'd bring the snake with me for my annual review if I were you.]

Richard Beeland director of communications $50,485 [Dude! You got hosed! MichMich was bringing down like 20 Grand more than that!]

Hey! They forgot Rocky Raccoon! I believe the amount there is $100K.

Comments to:

| By Billy Blades | 11:59 PM

May 31, 2007

The L Word

The Memorial Day story in the Times Free Press (Welcome new readers!) about this Web site was interesting for bunches of reasons. The most important of which, for me anyway, was when Ron told reporter Herman Wang that 1) He doesn't visit the site and 2) his 'technology savvy friends and staffers' have offered to try to discover my identity, but he told them not to bother.

The first had us hee-hawing around here because **NEWSFLASH Ron** we have a web-site tracker attached to and have had from day one. We know who is visiting, for how long and how often they return. On any given day we have 15 to 20 visits from City Hall computers. Now obviously, those aren't all Ron. In fact, they are primarily my fellow citizens, who happen to work for the City and can't stand Ron Littlefield and his caustic staff and come to WME to get a little laugh.

But when Ron goes on out-of-town trips and we get hits from the city he's visiting, I'm inclined to believe it's him. When we get hits from a freaking foreign country, like Japan, at the same time Ron's on one of his patented Asian Vacations, I'm pretty much willing to bet the farm on it! Some of his 'technology savvy friends and staffers' should have warned him about web site monitors before he so glibly prevaricated.

As for the second point, Josiah blogged about it Tuesday morning: here. More than a year ago lawyers from the city approached Josiah trying to muscle him into turning over my identity. Josiah refused (he e-mailed me about it as an FYI after the fact). Josiah refused on principle, but he also refused because he doesn't know my identity. I don't for a second worry about Josiah giving me up, but I haven't revealed myself to him so that he doesn't put his business at risk, if Ron were to get vindictive. It wouldn't be the first time Ron Littlefield put a personal vendetta before the good of the community by making it hard for someone to do business here.

So when Ron told Herman Wang of the Times Free Press that he'd instructed his 'technology savvy friends and staffers' not to pursue discovering my identity, that is just not true.

I loved that he said, for the second time in print in the Times Free Press, that if only were funny, well, then he'd be a regular reader (nevermind the fact that you couldn't know whether or not something is funny without reading it, and that making the statement was confession that you did in fact, read it). Me thinks Ron doth protest too much. I defy anyone to deny the fact that Ron Littlefield dressed up in turn-of-the-century ladies finery isn't funny! It's like Little People wrestling or watching some dude getting smacked in the nards--it's just funny!

And finally, being called a purveyor of 'nontruth' by a speaker of 'nonwords' like MichMich was good clean fun for the whole family and made my Memorial Day holiday complete.

Let's take a look at this sentence--a direct quote--from the Times Free Press story: "It must be a very sad and miserable person who would have an existence bringing everybody down by publishing such nonsense and nontruth," she said.

Well said, Mr. President. "Have an existence"? "nontruth"? It defies belief, or should I say 'nondoubt', that a communications director would construct such a, to use her phraseology, 'nonsentence' like that. It's an embarrassment to our city and back to my original point here, pretty damn funny. I'm just glad that she's "having an existence" back in the private sector.

But the best part of the whole ordeal is how many new readers have come to visit since the story ran. The statcounter was spinning like a ceiling fan. And the WorstMayorEver e-mailbox has been full since Monday afternoon. Oddly, we've become a sort of repository for Chattanoogans who have issues with City Hall. The cure to all your problems is less than two short years away folks.

Comments to:

| By Billy Blades | 12:50 PM

May 24, 2007

Littlefield To Pierce's Posse: Bite Me!

Leamon Pierce's BlueRibbon panel on homelessness submitted their report and it was fairly straightforward. On the topic of whether or not it is a good idea to build the Homeless Hilton, the report said: "Through all the weeks of study, we were unable to find a rationale to support the idea." Essentially, they said, let's make some corrections to the system before we address any new buildings. Fair enough and basically what this blog has been saying all along.

Leamon himself, who having been fool enough to support Ron during the election gets what he damn well deserves with this mess of an administration, said in the Times Free Press, "We haven't had any input whatsoever as to the location. Who makes those hard decisions? The Council did not have the input we should have had up front going into this."

So, having been told, 'Stop, it's not a good idea' by informed citizens who spent weeks studying the situation and 'You've already insulted us, best not do it again' by a Councilman, what did Ron Littlefield have to say?

"We can't stop everything we're doing, any more than we can stop breathing as a community." Beyond the issue of the lazy mind where that metaphor originated (we don't 'breathe' as a community, especially not metaphorically), that statement is simply not true. Yes, you can stop what you are doing. Because if you stop implementing your bad idea, nothing bad happens. Those who help the homeless are already doing so and will continue to do so. How blind to what's going on around him is this man? I know ideas in general are hard for him to come by, but why does he cling so desperately to this bad one?

But the City Council holds all the cards here, right? Isn't it still true that the City of Chattanooga doesn't spend any money that the City Council doesn't approve? I mean if Littlefield chooses to ignore the Iraq Study Group Report...uh, I mean, Pierce's Posse's Report on Homelessness (TM Billy Blades), can't we rely on the City Council to put the brakes on and make Ron do the sensible thing and follow the reports suggestions?

UPDATE: Today's ham-handed 'retraction' of the report by Pierce's Posse is so bogus it's beyond funny. You just know that that version was what was supposed to go out until Ron saw it the day before. Anyone who knows how Ron Littlefield works, knows what happened behind the scenes. The minute that the Times hit the streets yesterday, and the paper chose to emphasize what they did, Ron started hollering and badgered Linda into her 'Oops wrong report!' apology.

Folks, I guarantee you that the statement yesterday was a toned-down version of their real opinion and today's version #2 is that much further from the truth. It obviously reflects division in Pierce's Posse between those who wanted to tell it like it is and those who want to smooth things over with the mayor. I'm guessing they really think Ron's Homeless Hilton idea is bad, but don't want to be hurtful to the cause of helping the homeless. Word to that. I bet the Times newsroom was fun yesterday. The funny thing is that the retraction helped tell more of the real story than the original story did on its own.

Ron Littlefield: Worst. PR Instincts. Ever.

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| By Billy Blades | 12:10 PM