Tag Archives: Kim

Looper Death Brings Emotional Times for Burks Family

Wednesday was an emotional day for the Burks family as they learned the about the death of the man convicted of the murder of one of their influential family members, reports the Cookeville Herald-Citizen.
Byron “Low Tax” Looper was found unresponsive in his jail cell late Wednesday morning in Wartburg in East Tennessee, where he was serving life in prison for the 1998 murder of state Senator Tommy Burks.
“We’ve got a lot of different emotions running right now,” Kim Blaylock, Tommy Burks daughter, said Wednesday afternoon a few hours after the news broke.
Blaylock found out when the TBI came by her office when they couldn’t reach her mother, state Sen. Charlotte Burks.
“They wanted to tell her before it came out in the media,” she said. “It’s been an emotional day for all of us.”
Charlotte Blaylock Looper, granddaughter, said on Facebook, “I would like to say thank you very much to everyone for the calls, messages and prayers. It is very nice to know my family and I have been blessed with so many supportive friends.”
Bill Gibson was the district attorney at the time of the murder and prosecuted Looper.
“It was the highest profile case that I ever handled as DA,” he said. “I’m just feeling a lot of mixed emotions at the news of his death. We lived that case for many months. We knew he would die in prison one day.”
Deputy District Attorney Tony Craighead was on the prosecuting team with Gibson and feels this is the closure of one of the most tragic cases in Tennessee history.
“I’m proud of the fact that I had a part in putting him in prison, although I can never take satisfaction in that because of Senator Burks’ death,” he said. “I knew Tommy. He was a wonderful man. It was a horrible tragedy. I’ve been prosecuting cases for 21 years now and I’ve done dozens of murder cases, and this was one of the most well-investigated and complete cases I’ve ever been involved in.”
Now that Looper’s dead, Craighead said maybe it will be a time to remember all the good that Burks did.

On Giving and Receiving Political Donations in ET

Excerpt from a News Sentinel story on leading political donors in East Tennessee:
In a national campaign, fundraising is a process that starts years in advance and is often assisted by professional experts — people like Kim Kaegi.
The Tennessee fundraising guru has worked for Romney and Bob Corker during the current election cycle, and while she declined to speak for the Romney campaign, she did provide insight to campaign fundraising generally.
Candidates hire Kaegi to gain access to her vast network of contributors, and the consultant said her role includes writing, organizing and implementing a fundraising plan. It also includes a more fundamental task — dialing for dollars.
“I’m on the phone all day long,” she said. “It’s what I do.”
Asked how she appeals to a high-level donor, Kaegi cited the importance of fundraising events. In September, for example, a Knoxville fundraising luncheon that included Ryan raised around $1 million.
“Donors are event-driven,” said Kaegi. “If not for any other reason, it’s a timetable. It’s a deadline to make a contribution.”
In recent decades, the ranks of East Tennessee’s elite political contributors have been led by the Haslam family, which built the Pilot Flying J chain of truck stops. Besides opening their own wallets, company founder Jim Haslam and current Chairman Jimmy Haslam have worked to drum up financial support from their own networks. (Jimmy Haslam’s brother, Bill Haslam, is Tennessee’s governor.)
The next generation of Pilot leadership may take a different approach, if previous habits are any indication. In September, former PepsiCo President John Compton took over as Pilot’s CEO, but Compton has little history of political giving. According to the Federal Election Commission, Compton’s only contributions during the current election cycle were to PepsiCo’s Concerned Citizens Fund.
A statement on behalf of Jim and Jimmy Haslam said they are supporting candidates that share their belief that the federal government is too large and inefficient, and that the country is better served by giving more rights back to the American people. The statement said Compton would not have a comment
.

Kim McMillan Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan announced she has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, but said she is in excellent health and can continue working.
During a news conference on Tuesday, the former state lawmaker said she can manage her condition with no change in her job.
The Leaf-Chronicle reported she was admitted to a hospital last week for tests. MS is a chronic disease that attacks the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves, and symptoms can vary from one person to another.
McMillan was first elected to the House in 1994 and was the first woman in Tennessee history to become majority leader in 2002. She retired from the Legislature in 2006.
She dropped out of the 2010 gubernatorial race and was elected as first female mayor of Clarksville.