Annual Manual 2001

Government: Cast of Characters

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Citizen Activists
These are people who do public work for rewards other than money. They don't always win, but when they lose, they regroup and keep on trucking.

Jack Barnes, Republican activist, city employee and Friend of Don (Sundquist). Need a political rally with barbecue for 800 set up on three days' notice? Barnes is the go-to guy.

John Bynon, past president of the West Hills Homeowners Association, founding member of Community Forum (City).

John Emison, anti-annexation activist, disputed president of Citizens for Home Rule (City and County).

Jim and Ann Harter, billboard watchdogs (City and County).

K2K, an email list with some 500 subscribers who profess an interest in downtown Knoxville. Its most active participants have had their appetites for public debate whetted by county government, having been on the winning side of the justice center debate.

Lynn Redmon, president of the Norwood Homeowners Association, past president of Community Forum (City).

Barbara Simpson, Fourth & Gill neighborhood leader and freelance hellraiser (City/County/State).

Mark Williamson, Fountain City Town Hall (City).

Gwen Winfrey, Morningside community (City)

Once and future leaders
These are former elected officials who have voluntarily stepped back from political office, but may be candidates again one day.

Bud Gilbert, former state senator biding his time with good works like the Nine Counties, One Vision process before re-entering public life, possibly with a run for mayor in 2003.

Mike Ragsdale, former county commissioner, biding his time before re-entering public life, almost certainly with a run for county executive in 2002.

Wayne Ritchie, former state representative. also mentioned as a potential mayoral candidate.

Madeline Rogero, former county commissioner, now heading the local chapter of America's Promise.

These are paid representatives of special interests who are affected by county commission and city council, Zoning matters, billboard regulations, and cell phone tower placement are among the issues with which they are concerned.

Attorney John King (represents mostly developers, appears before both city and county boards)

Attorney Wayne Kline (represents homeowners groups in both city and county issues).

P.R. guy Joe May (former state legislator, county commissioner, Ashe employee, represents corporate interests and often works with above-mentioned attorneys, primarily influential with county interests).

Attorney Tom McAdams (mostly works city council, and represents a number of influential clients, including the Public Building Authority. Friend of Victor).

Moxley Carmichael Communications, a public relations firm that represents numerous influential clients with interests affected by local government, including Pilot Oil and the Knoxville Utilities Board.

Attorney Steve Roth (zoning issues, cell towers, influential with County Commission).

Attorney Arthur Seymour Jr. (primarily represents developers and commercial interests, influential with both city and county governments. Friend of Victor)

Attorney John Valliant (particularly influential with Democrats on County Commission, appointed member of the county efficiency panel).

Heavy Hitters
These are the financial contributors and influential citizens.

Mike Chase (owner of the Copper Cellar restaurant chain, big contributor to the Democratic Party and to selected Republicans).

Anybody named Haslam (Pilot Oil family, fund-raising phenoms)

The Twelve White Guys (a loose label applied to a small group of wealthy business leaders who sometimes unite to support selected causes. Their track record isn't always successful, e.g. the ill-fated consolidated government movement).

Pat Wood, real estate developer and breeder of horses. A nominal Democrat who supports many Republicans.