The announcement reads that “The event is free and open to 5th district voters, their families and all current and former employees of Knox County Schools.” The announcement goes on to say that “All other 5th district and Knox County-wide candidates, along with representatives of all Presidential primary campaigns, are invited to come, meet and greet attendees, and distribute campaign information. Light appetizers and beverages, along with a cash bar, will be provided.”
First up a voter is anyone 18 or older. The legal age for consumption of alcohol is 21. It is a Public event not a private reception. 5th district voters are being encouraged to bring their families, which would include and not limited to minor age children. Where cash bars are being provided with individuals partaking. This isn’t New Orleans, it is Knoxville, TN. The buckle of the Bible Belt. This issue provides a moral question for the Carson campaign.
However, there is a legal question in regards to this event. The announcement specifically invites “current and former employees of Knox County Schools” The ethics policy that became policy over a year ago and covers every employee and governmental official in Knox County and Knox County Schools forbids any Knox County employee from accepting any free gift. The light appetizers and beverages will put every Knox County employee that accepts it in violation of the Knox County Ethics policy.