Tennessee state Rep. Timothy Hill remains committed to his legislation banning Bluff City’s speed enforcement cameras despite criticism from the town’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen, reports Hank Hayes. “I’m disappointed with the name calling,” Hill, R-Blountville, said when asked for a response to that criticism occurring at a board meeting Thursday night. “That doesn’t advance any discussion. … I’m surprised that if the city is that concerned with my legislation — I figured they would be — I’m surprised they have not reached out to me at this point. I’ve never been invited to a BMA meeting. I have yet to have one of their aldermen reach out to me in any form or fashion to have a discussion on this.”
Bluff City aldermen warned that losing revenue from those speed cameras will hurt funding for various projects, including a Sullivan County-supported library in town.
The speed cameras, located on Highway 11-E are not in Bluff City’s downtown area and also catch motorists moving through business areas of the Piney Flats community.
From the Kingsport Times-News: A Kingsport woman is accused of stealing nearly $50,000 from a Bristol-based non-profit, which funds a Bluff City Christian radio station and is directed by Kenneth C. Hill — the Tennessee Regulatory Authority director and father of local representatives Timothy and Matthew Hill.
An affidavit filed in Bristol General Sessions Court states Quyen Renee Quillin, 37, of 613 West Valley View Circle, Kingsport, was arrested Jan. 22 by Bristol, Tenn., Police. She was charged with theft of more than $10,000, booked into the Sullivan County jail and released after posting $3,000 bond.
“It’s a difficult thing, and it’s a very difficult and very sad thing for her,” Hill told the Times-News of the arrest, adding an investigation is continuing. BTPD Det. Brian Hess says Quillin had been an employee of Hill’s non-profit approximately four years, with AECC continuing to follow paper trails and suspecting the total theft could be close to $300,000.
Court records state Quillin was an employee of Hill’s Appalachian Education Commission Corporation, which broadcasts WHCB 91.5 Christian radio out of Bluff City, Tenn. Hill reportedly contacted investigators on Jan. 14, two months after attempting to obtain a loan for the ministry and being denied.
He reported that a subsequent check of records discovered Quillin, a bookkeeper and administrative assistance with his non-profit, had opened a joint American Express card on his account without permission. Hill told police Quillin had charged approximately $47,000 on the card and then paid it off with money from the Appalachian Education Commission Corporation, which is funded through donations from the public.
A good bit of the Tennessean setup story on the 8th District Congressional race concerns incumbent Rep. Stephen Fincher’s sponsorship of a bill that eases regulations for IPO offerings by some businesses — a move praised by President Obama and business, but criticized by consumer advocates. There’s also a rundown on Fincher’s opponents. Fincher, meanwhile, has shown himself to be one of the House’s most prolific fundraisers as well, having raised $2.03 million for his re-election and his personal political action committee combined through June 30.
…His Democratic opponent is Timothy Dixon, 53, of Germantown, who has 25 years’ experience in various aspects of the automotive industry, including work with both Chrysler and Cummins, the engine manufacturer.
Dixon decries the gridlock that has engulfed Congress on most matters over the past two years and says he wants “work on the problem rather than working on being a partisan.” He added: “It’s time for serious discussions and collaboration.
“Republicans,” he said, “have gone so far to the right they have become obstructionist in the House and in the Senate.”
Dixon also vowed to work on the economic potential of West Tennessee, saying its prime location in the middle of the country continues to make it a potential hot spot for businesses if Congress provides more certainty about budget and tax decisions. Dixon has raised $15,602 through June 30.
Fincher also faces two independent candidates, Mark Rawles of Jackson and James Hart of Buchanan.
Rawles, 53, a business communications consultant and sales manager, said Republicans have spent the last generation selling out the nation to “economic globalism” through unfair trade agreements, while Democrats have become advocates for “social globalism” that calls for surrendering American sovereignty to the United Nations.
“This country is in crisis,” he said, adding Fincher lacks “the strength of consciousness” to judge the long-term effects of congressional actions.
Hart, 68 and retired, says he wants a congressional seat so he can “bury the counter culture” and liberal ideas such as gay marriage, especially in the nation’s schools. He said he wants to restore the nation to “a traditional moral compass.”
While Timothy Hill runs for a Tennessee House seat, his business is making thousands of dollars off political campaigns, according to Hank Hayes’ review of quarterly campaign finance disclosures filed with the state.
Hill’s Blountville-based Right Way marketing firm has been paid to do polling for his GOP 3rd House District campaign as well as the campaigns of his brother, Republican state Rep. Matthew Hill, and House District 6 GOP nominee Micah Van Huss.
Timothy Hill gave his company $7,869 out of his campaign account for political research, according to the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance (TREF).
When asked how his campaign contributors would feel about the move, Timothy Hill said in an e-mail: “My contributors have placed tremendous trust in me and my campaign by giving their hard-earned dollars to someone who will make a difference in Nashville, and I do not take that for granted. … The campaign believes it is best to use a tried and tested provider that could deliver results. I’m very blessed to employ local folks that provide the best results in their field, and my goal is to spend contributions wisely and locally when possible.”
TREF Executive Director Drew Rawlins indicated Timothy Hill’s action is completely legal.
“There is no law that restricts someone from buying services from their own company. Yes, he can do that,” Rawlins said.
Matthew Hill, a five-term Jonesborough Republican who represents House District 7, gave $1,500 to his brother’s marketing firm for polling.
Van Huss, who defeated incumbent state Rep. Dale Ford of Jonesborough in the August GOP primary, reported spending $3,000 with Timothy Hill’s marketing firm for polling during the general election campaign, in addition to $5,100 for work done during the primary.
Three Tennessee 3rd House District GOP candidates addressed jobs, tourism and K-12 education during a Bristol Chamber of Commerce forum Thursday night, reports Hank Hayes. Blountville businessman Timothy Hill, former Mountain City Mayor Kevin Parsons and Bluff City Republican Thomas White fielded questions drawn from a glass bowl during the event held at Bristol Motor Speedway.
All three are seeking to win the Aug. 2 GOP primary, defeat Democrat Leah Kirk in the November general election, and take the state House seat held by retiring state Rep. Scotty Campbell, R-Mountain City.
When asked how they would strengthen K-12 education, Parsons indicated he favored tying teacher pay to performance.
“I think more needs to be looked at in what the teachers are actually producing,” Parsons explained.
White said the state needs to attract higher quality teachers.
“They should shine like a new penny. … Unfortunately we can’t afford to pay for that,” he said.
Then White changed the subject to talk against red light traffic cameras.
“In 2008, all the Democrats and all the Republicans decided we needed red light cameras. … Then during election time in 2010, the same fellows that made the law decided someone had implemented a bad law and wanted to get to the bottom of it. … I thought that since this is an election year, they would want to look at it again. … To me, it’s still a major issue,” White said.
Hill stuck to the K-12 question and said lawmakers need to continue to look at teacher evaluations.
“We’ve got to look at bold ideas where the money is sent with where the children go (to school),” Hill said. “We don’t need to be afraid to look at those types of options. … We need to look at vocational training. … A university education is not for everybody.”
From Hank Hayes comes this report on the race in state House District 3:
Timothy Hill has been down this road before.
Hill, a Blountville businessman and former press secretary for ex-U.S. Rep. David Davis, looked like the front-runner to win the GOP primary for Tennessee’s 3rd House District seat two years ago.
Hill, the brother of GOP state Rep. Matthew Hill of Jonesborough, had name recognition in Sullivan County, a number of campaign donors, and a conservative message to go with his candidacy.
But Mountain City Republican Scotty Campbell’s base of Johnson County voters in the district showed up in droves, and Hill came in second to Campbell after splitting the rest of the primary vote with five other candidates. Campbell, a former legislative aide to ex-House Speaker Kent Williams of Elizabethton, easily defeated Democrat Joe Mike Akard and two independents in the November 2010 general election.
After one term, Campbell isn’t seeking re-election, and Hill is again seeking the seat.
And now Hill is facing another GOP candidate with considerable Johnson County name recognition — former Mountain City Mayor Kevin Parsons. Also in the primary race are Karen Greene Morrell and Lee White, both of Bluff City.