Tom Young Endorsed by Three Former State Legislators

Did you know Tom Young was recently endorsed by three former state legislators who held House Seat 81?



  1. Ken Fleming says

    My wife and I attended your gathering at Woodside last week because Kay and Henry Holley had provide us with an invite. We’ve been in Aiken since Oct ’06 (from Knoxville), still work (contrary to the predominant demograph in Woodside), and have no kids at home to raise anymore (both graduating, as my wife and I did, from Clemson). My wife came away from the gathering with a very positive impression since you were addressing issues such as having the ability to save money for college, save money during our working years for retirement, and the ability to retire with enough money. (The latter two items effect where my familty currently stands.) Though we arrived a few minutes late, the two main issues that I focused on were: the ability for families to acquire educational vouchers and the negative ads that have been lodged against campaign which I’ll try to address individually.

    My short history is: born-and-bred in upper east Tennessee, graduated twice from Clemson, lived in Cincinnati, Lynchburg (VA), Knoxville, and now here. When I was growing up and when we were in Knoxville, I can remember seeing the annual studies that identified Tennessee as the 45th or 46th ranked state in the union for education (thank God for having Mississippi, Alabama, and South Carolina I thought). So we came from a state that, overall, had an atrocious educational system statewide. The problem with using these studies is that the larger urbanized school systems in Memphis and the many of the smaller (agriculturally related) systems in the sparsely populated areas, biased the studies. The school systems in west Knox county and Oak Ridge were consistently ranked in the top 5 systems in the state primarily due to a fairly thriving business climate fueled by families with much higher than median income levels. Though our schools were primarily funded through county property taxes, there were many unseen taxes (i.e., chemistry lab fees, math lab fees, english lab fees, etc.) that other schools within the county typically did not pay. Many families within Knox county recognized the better education that was provided in west Knox county and “moved into addresses that were not their true living address” to also get the benefit of sending their kids to better schools. Consequently, the average class size continued to grow in west Knoxville (anywhere between an average of 32 to 35 students in a class, when the state law requires no more than 25 +/- 10%) and the educational system was showing signs of going the wrong way. (A long story, but due to the Knoxville City school system going bankrupt in the late 1980s, the county was then left holding the bag to educate both the city and county, Immediately after bankruptcy the NAACP filed a civil rights claim with the Federal government that required “fair and equal” schools. So the county tax base which had fled the city and moved west of the city was then funding the city schools. It went so far as several county schools that had had swimming pools for swim teams had to fill them in since that would not be considered “fair and equal.” Magnet (elementary, middle, and high) schools were built downtown (some 20 miles from our home) where individuals who wanted to bus their kids from the county to a Magnet school could do this and also get the luxury of having class sizes that were ~15 students per class.) There were several good private schools that were close by and that I looked at sending my kids to due to that reason. Being an engineer type (middle class), I couldn’t afford the $8k/yr price tag to send even one kid. If a voucher system had been provided, it would have provided me with additional money that may have allowed me to send them there. In the long run, each daughter turned out fine, graduating and receiving fairly significant scholarships to Clemson, but it is an opportunity (sending them to private school) that I as a parent did not get and honestly would have liked to have had that opportunity.

    Second, I met your opponent several times at the pool last year and had several discussions about kids, what he did, etc. I don’t know him well and don’t know enough about him to have developed an opinion either way … and, no disrespect, I’d say the same about yourself. At the Woodside gathering, the horse was beaten to death 3 to 4 times more than necessary about negative campaigning. Other than many of the over 70 crowd that attended the gathering that may have needed the nail to be driven through the plank, I’d suggest you back off on the number of times that you even allude to negative campaigning. To me at least and I believe to most educated members of a society; make a point, move on, and don’t go back to it. Having been a Clemson person since the mid-to-late 70s your discussion of the negative campaign against you came off to me similar to the way in which a USC fan takes another loss to Clemson; “but if we hadn’t jumped offsides,” “but if we hadn’t thrown 3 interceptions,” “but if half our team didn’t have to spend Friday night in the Richland County Detention Center,” …

    I will be seeing Henry tonight at a Luau and will get insight about both candidates and make a decision based upon some research I plan to conduct.

    Ken Fleming

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