In a move I have not seen since the Recall of the Mayor, both the so-called "progressive" and extremist right-wing side of the Chattanooga Times Free Press editorial pages came out against the current ballot referendum changing the city charter to create an independent audit office. What were the major concerns? That the auditor is too insulated from "accountability". Funny that. This is the same paper that has consistently refused to publish well-founded accusation of corruption in city government. After millions of tax-payer dollars spent in sweetheart land deals, noncompetitive contracts to preferred vendors, backroom dealings, patronage positions to cronies and family members of the powerful - all of which this paper has refused to truly take a courageous stand on - am I really suppose to buy into the hand-wringing about an independent audit office not being accountable enough to "the people" or the crocodile tears being shed over the supposed high threshold for removing the auditor from office? If removing someone from office is such an important and integral aspect of accountability (which I agree it is), then why are these same editors supporting the changes to the recall provision increasing the difficulty for removing elected officials, who have far more power than the auditor? What are the real motives and reasons here?
Here is what I know about the Chattanooga Times Free Press editorial pages: they largely reflect the dominant opinions of the dominant class that runs this city.
And just in case you think I might be laying it on a little thick, look over this handout (download HERE) I made a while back that highlights just some of the corruption by the current Mayoral Administration of Ron Littlefield and ask yourself - which is the greater mistake at this point, the paper tiger audit that we have now with the provable level of deep corruption, or a more robust and independent audit that is insulated from political reprisal and attacks from the networks of political insiders and ruling class elites that run this city?