The local Fraternal Order of Police has called out Knoxville mayoral candidate Mark Padgett. Because some members don't think he told the truth.
You see, the FOP – when they were looking to endorse candidates in the primary and in Tuesday's election – asked them all the same question: “Have you ever been arrested?”
Padget said he was never asked. (You can read the original story by clicking right smack here.)
The organization said he was. And that he answered “no.”
As you might recall, Padgett got bagged for some pissant reckless driving, speeding ticket, whatever in Florida back in 2003.
He basically blew past a cop. Not a big deal really. Until someone says ya lied about it.
“To be fair to everyone, we asked all of the candidates the same questions,” said Mark Taylor, president of Knoxville Fraternal Order of Police, Volunteer Lodge No. 2 “One of those questions was, 'have you ever been arrested?'”
He said FOP officials had no official information that either candidate have ever spent any time in the clink before they conducted the interviews.
The FOP's Pac Committee met individually with each candidate on Aug. 25. Prior to that, they each received a questionnaire, just so the organization could get a better picture of where they stood.
“Everyone who came in front of us was asked the same thing – even the judges – just to be fair,” said Charlie Bundren, the FOP's financial secretary and manager of its fund raising arm. “He (Padgett) said he had not been arrested.”
Bundren said the committee is comprised of the organization's 14-member executive board. He said there were probably about 10 members in the room that day.
I talked to Padgett about the accusations. His response was somewhat shaky.
He first said he “didn't remember” whether he was asked. He said he asked Mark Taylor recently whether he had been. “I'm pretty sure Mark said they didn't (ask that question),” he told me.
Then he said: “My answer, Mike, is 'no they never asked me that – not in the questionnaire or in the interviews.'”
“He's not being truthful. Either that or he forgot.”
Bundren, who spent almost 32 years with the Knoxville Police Department and retired as a top-ranking criminal investigator, said “it's a natural question that a law enforcement officer asks.”
I figured I'd give Padgett another chance. Ask the question again. Cause I'm a nice guy.
“I don't remember them asking me that,” he told me. “I wouldn't have lied about it. There was nothing to hide there.”
He said pretty much everyone knew about the driving incident, which he called a “silly, stupid speeding ticket.”
He reiterated: “That's not my recollection” about the direction of the interview questions.
Anyhoo, Bundren said regardless of the answer, the FOP still would have endorsed Padgett's opponent, Madeline Rogero.
(Rogero, by the way, got busted in 1974 and 1989 for acting like a hippie.)
Bundren said the FOP's main concern is that they don't want to endorse someone who has a major crime. Yeah, the whole egg-on-the-face thing.
In this case, “it wouldn't have made any difference, although we got some answers (from other candidates) that shocked all of us,” he said.
Rogero declined to weigh in on the issue, other than to say that she was asked about her prior arrests and didn't have a problem discussing them.
The rain tax, the plan, the (wo)man. Or whatever.
OK, now I've had a few people ask me about the so-called “rain tax.”
Why haven't you written about it? Why haven't you reported it? Why haven't you . . . Whatever.
I don't cover the city. I cover the county. Posts about the city are just gravy for the ole blog. And cause I'm a smart ass, I throw up a few. (Along with the beer I drink when no one is looking.)
Others have also chimed in about this thing. Click right smack here for the rogue's take on it.
But, I'll do Padgett a solid. Since I just spent a few sentences, rambling on like a mental patient about whether he told the truth.
Padgett says no one has written about his 28-page plan. Er, not exactly. I touched on it during a follow-up story after the primary. And I've made fun of it – along with everything else in the world that makes me laugh cause I love entertainment at the expense of others – on the blog.
But, if you click right smack here you can read the 28-page Padgett Plan.
(Oh yeah, and Mark wanted me to tell you that he's on his sixth pair of shoes cause he's been knocking on a lot of doors.)
And man, I digressed.
Back to the “rain” whatever.
If you click right smack here you can check out Padgett's spin release about the tax. He calls out Rogero. He says she's not telling the truth. (Or that's what he told me, anyway. I don't actually read these things. Unless they come from Michael Grider over at the county because I really like to make fun of those.)
According to the big spin:
In several radio interviews, Madeline Rogero stated that she has not proposed a rain tax and that she does not want one. However, according to her Metro Pulse questionnaire, “As mayor, I will implement the Energy and Sustainability Plan produced this past year by Mayor Haslam’s Energy and Sustainability Task Force, which I co-chaired.”“Talk about misleading people,” Mark told me.
I asked Rogero about this.
She said: “I said before and I'll say it again: I have not proposed nor do I favor a user fee. I was a co-chair the last year with (city policy maker and overall bad ass) Bill Lyons and there were different subgroups that met on different issues. And one of the subgroups proposed that the city leadership look at that, and the city leadership has not proposed to do so and neither have I.”
Final wrap; left over crap. I mean, stuff
Because I got some leftover scribblings, I'll just post them here, clear out the notebook.
Since I mentioned that Rogero received the FOP's endorsement, it's fair to mention that Padgett has snagged a few, too, including support from some of the Haslams, the Realtors and Home Builders Association and Jim Clayton over there at Clayton Bank and Trust.
I don't know whether endorsements will make or break an election, but they probably do help.
As Padgett noted, people don't have a lot of time to sit down with each candidate, so they look to an organization or a friend to find out where they stand. It's good “word of mouth advertising,” Padgett said.
Well, that's certainly the truth.