KNS Cuts Brad Hill’s Letter to the Editor

The Knoxville News Sentinel ran this letter to the editor yesterday from Brad Hill. It looks great, until it was discovered that the News Sentinel staff took a knife to Brad’s letter. Also, is it possible that the News Sentinel butchered up the letter to the editor because every Friday, Zach Wamp’s opponent’s family business buys 50,000 copies of the News Sentinel and gives them away?

Here is Brad’s letter in it’s entirety.

Weekend talking-heads, reporters, and editors seem to be casual Haslam for Gov campaign volunteers as dismissive stonewalling continues. “Trust us. Move along. Nothing to see here.” is the reply to any question of transparency. We know little to nothing about certain conflicts-of-interest ahead for the Haslam family, which could control this state. In addition to Mayor Bill’s “conservative” conflicts like raising taxes before cutting them, joining the Bloomberg gun-control campaign for 3 years prior to running for Gov., documented gambling license ownership, and allowing for insulting treatment of property owners (former owner of Transit Center property, TYP targeted communities, Midway residents, etc.)…he and his family has been given a virtual free pass by almost all local media.

This campaign for Gov is a Haslam family affair, so the non-disclosure responses fall flat. With considerable connections, intimidating calls for support (2 that I know of), and endless cash potential, this is a family mission. However, refusing to be transparent about financial relationships, income tax returns, business partnerships, and the depth of conflicts-of-interests is unacceptable. You don’t need to be a CPA to understand that most of Pilot Oil sales revenues and profits are generated from multiple state-regulated products (fuel, booze, and smokes), state-advertised “for the kids” lottery gaming, AND negotiable state and national contracts….trust us, move along, nothing to see here. Hiding business and state-regulated financial interests is an unbelievable insult to our collective intelligence and should disqualify any candidate for any state office.

Moreover, in a community where legitimate journalists and editors broke their backs for full-disclosure and transparency, pressed for the truth, and exposed corruption scandals of just a few years ago…a yawn of indifference is given daily to the most powerful family and their lack of full transparency. Every single media outlet must be paralyzed by the remarkable influence of Pilot Oil family interests and the many related businesses and business partners they have created and continue to bankroll. Most assuredly, the Pulitzer and Edward R. Murrow award folks probably won’t be looking at Knoxville’s coverage of this year’s campaign for Governor for honors and recognition.

I just cannot shake the words of the wise, old Haslam PR sage and weekend talking head, who was extremely prophetic with me when she said, “Brad, remember the Golden Rule…he, who has the gold, makes the rules”. In this media market, it seems that she was spot-on. However, I hope and pray that the lock for a distant 3rd place finish in gold and votes, Ron Ramsey, will see what is unfolding here and allow for a 2-man race that is decided by a majority of Tennessee Republicans. Then, Lt. Gov Ramsey can enjoy his renewed place as Lt. Gov of an innovative, fiscally conservative, leaner, and completely transparent state government next year.

Brad Hill

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2 Responses

  1. christy says:

    Dang.. that's ALOT left out..

  2. Yep, so remember that Scripps is the News Sentinel, Shopper, Metro Pulse, Knoxville Magazine and several other publications