Sunday, January 31, 2010

January 31, 2010 David Purkey, Still Wanting To Be Tennessee Safety Commissioner, Latches onto Gubernatorial Candidate Haslam's Coattails

The local "news"paper had an interesting picture on its front page on Friday, January 29. Gubernatorial candidate Bill Haslam and his wife knocked on the door of Lynn Purkey in the Alpha Community, and a Tribune cameraman just happened to be there to record the event. 

The article then mentioned that Haslam was "flanked" in his door-knocking campaign by long time friend and supporter Hamblen County Mayor David Purkey.

[I'm not sure why, but the "news"paper forgot to mention that the Lynn Purkey who just happened to answer the door is Otto Purkey's wife and that Otto is David Purkey's big brother and that Otto is the former Sheriff of Hamblen County who lost his re-election bid in 2006 to current Sheriff Esco Jarnagin. Lynn Purkey's door was not randomly picked so an explanation of who Lynn Purkey is and her connections might be in order] 

I haven't decided whom I will support in the governor's race in Tennessee. This post is not about the governor's candidates but about the fact that David Purkey has grabbed onto Haslam's coattails with all his might in the hope that if Haslam is elected, David will finally get the dream job that he has always wanted---Tennessee Commissioner of Safety with power over the Tennessee Highway Patrol. 

To understand Purkey's dream, you have to go back to June 2006 when David was in the middle of what he had declared was his "last" run for County Mayor.  Although David had said that he wanted to serve one "last" term as mayor, ironically David ran off to Nashville and applied for Safety Commissioner right in the middle of that "last" campaign for County Mayor.

What was even funnier was that the local "news"paper either didn't know that David had applied for the Safety Commissioner job while in the middle of running for County Mayor OR the "news"paper knew and decided not to report this significant bit of news to its local readers.  Nope, the "news"paper never said a word about any of this until after I had a blog post based on a story in the Nashville Tennessean about David's application.

Click here for my June 26, 2006, post that was based on a June 22, 2006, Tennessean article. Then click here for the "news" story that the local "news"paper ran on June 27, 2006 (5 days after the Tennessean article and one day after my blog post).  Noe4accountability is a personal blog--not a newspaper with full-time reporters. There is something ironic about a local "news"paper that didn't know what the local Mayor was doing OR that chose not to report what the local Mayor was doing until five days after it had been reported across the state in the Tennessean. In fact, the local "news"paper only reported that the Mayor had applied for Safety Commissioner and had withdrawn one day after I finally went ahead and mentioned it on this blog.  How "news"y is that?

Of course, there is plenty of other "news" that the local "news"paper chooses not to report. The "news"paper decides what is "news" and how that "news" will be reported.   Bob Moore will cover up anything that Jack Fishman says to cover up.  Bob will slant anything as directed by his boss.  Bob will print just about anything that a government office or official tells him to ---without checking the accuracy of the information. Click here for one example of how Bob just publishes what government officials hand him and refuses to check on the accuracy of what he is provided. Some--but not all--front-page articles by Bob are little more than front-page press releases with a little flowery language added for that personal touch. Whether it's appropriate or not in a "news"paper article, I will admit that Bob's style of writing and word-choice are entertaining.

Frankly, I doubt that Haslam really knows much about David Purkey, the man who has always wanted-- and still wants--to have control of law enforcement in Tennessee.  I don't know the whole story about David.  I do know that he hates me because he couldn't control me while I served on county commission (2002-2006).  I know he hates that I brought in the state auditors to perform the county audit in 2003 when Hamblen County had more findings (29) than any other county in the state. Click here.  I know that he hates me because I pushed for openness and accountability throughout county government and for better control of spending.

This is a man who became upset and red-faced when I simply asked that a county decal be placed on all county taxpayer-provided vehicles (other than undercover vehicles or exempt law-enforcement vehicles). David wanted that county car, but he definitely didn't want a decal on it to let people know that it was a Hamblen County taxpayer-provided vehicle. The rest of the commissioners blinked.

And when I decided not to run again in 2006, one of David's first requests to the new commission was to ask for a car allowance of $7200/year---paid as a salary increase.  David had two goals in this. He would get the county to pay for a car that he could keep (no decal, of course) after he left office AND, by having his car paid for through a salary increase, his future government retirement pay would skyrocket since his retirement pay is partly-based on the highest five years of compensation.  With the car allowance/salary increase deal, Purkey upped his highest compensation from around the $83,000 he had been drawing as County Mayor to $90,000+ and upped his retirement for the next 20-30 years as well.

With David's continuing desire to be Tennessee Safety Commissioner, it's time to let the public know at least some of what the local "news"paper covers up about David Purkey, the lifelong politician and master of the cover-up, with help from friends in high places.

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