published Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Chattanooga mayor Ron Littlefield seeks donations for recall defense


by Cliff Hightower

For $250, Mayor Ron Littlefield will set you up with a dinner and a movie.

And he'll pay his recall debt while he's at it.

On Sept. 15, the mayor plans to hold a $250-per-person reception at the home of Capital Toyota dealer Bob McKamey to raise money for his ongoing legal battles with recallers. It's all in an effort to pay off more than $50,000 in legal costs.

"I am not a wealthy person, but I do have a sense of responsibility to make sure that these costs are covered," Littlefield wrote in a flier announcing the event.

The event will include the short 16-minute film, "Recall Fever," produced by the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Littlefield is shown prominently in the film, along with the mayors of Akron, Ohio, and Omaha, Neb.

Littlefield could not be reached for comment Tuesday because he was out of town.

Jim Folkner, with the group Citizens to Recall Mayor Littlefield, said he was a bit surprised when he first heard the mayor was holding a fundraising event.

"It mystifies me that anybody would want to give money to stop an election," Folkner said.

Hal North, attorney for Littlefield, could not be reached for comment late Tuesday.

The mayor faced a recall effort last year when three groups -- Citizens to Recall Mayor Littlefield, Chattanooga Organized for Action and the Chattanooga Tea Party -- gathered more than 15,000 signatures that could have forced a ballot question under state law to recall the mayor.

Littlefield sued the Hamilton County Election Commission to stop the ballot question and Circuit Court Judge Jeff Hollingsworth sided with him, saying recallers did not have enough signatures under state law.

Folkner, with Citizens to Recall Mayor Littlefield, has since appealed, and the case is now awaiting a decision in the Tennessee Court of Appeals in Knoxville.

On Aug. 20, Littlefield sent out a flier saying his friend McKamey would be holding a reception and would be showing the recall movie. He states in the letter he will answer questions and talk about the remainder of his plans.

The literature of the event also includes a New York Times article about other recall efforts across the country.

Littlefield states he has established a legal trust to accept contributions and make payments. He said he has arranged for any money collected in excess of the legal fees to be given to the United Way.

He states in the letter the recall came from him raising property taxes and stormwater fees in order to maintain acceptable police and fire services and to address federal mandates.

"We are being punished for doing what had to be done," Littlefield said.

The latest campaign filings from Jan. 31, 2011, show the mayor having $32,700 in his war chest.

Richard Beeland, spokesman for the mayor, said Tuesday that Littlefield could not use that campaign money for the personal expense of fighting a recall effort. Beeland said the mayor has been paying on the attorney fees.

"He's incurred some costs and taken care of them," he said.

Folkner said Tuesday the recall effort was more than just about taxes and fees. Many of those involved said they were fighting what they felt was ongoing corruption within the administration and out-of-control problems with crime.

"He's going to some rich folks he knows to continue to stay in power," Folkner said. "It's sad to see money used in this fashion."

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timbo said...

Littlefield is another career government worker/politician who wants to stop an election. He needs to go.

Jim Folkner deserves a lot of thanks from the citizens of Chattanooga for having the guts to pursue this guy.

As a little protest, we should refrain from buying a car at McCamey's place of business. If he wants to get involved in politics this way, he doesn't deserve our business.

I wonder what the quid pro quo is for McCamey.

September 7, 2011 at 12:55 a.m.
Facts said...

How awesome! I met Mr. Bob McKamey while he worked to put Chuck Flieschmann in Congress. How absolutely perfect to make the political set complete by helping Ron Littlefield, Chattanooga's Worst Mayor EVER! It should be so very comforting to all of Chattanooga that backroom politics is alive and well. I hope VW, Alstom, etc. just don't look too closely at what a lack of leadership exists in this county.

September 7, 2011 at 9:41 a.m.
harrystatel said...

Don't forget that Littlefield and Wamp at joined at the lip.

September 7, 2011 at 10:15 a.m.
eastridge8 said...

$250 dollars??!! Are you kidding me??!! I'll give him a "boost" by kicking his a** up around his shoulders!

...and just where IS Zach today??

September 7, 2011 at 10:35 a.m.
nurseforjustice said...

$250??? that is about how much my property taxes went up. I don't think so....

September 7, 2011 at 12:01 p.m.
fedup350 said...

This is simply amazing that Littlefield will ask for money from the people who he has ruined their city, oh wait, maybe some rich folks wanting to use him to get richer while he is still in office will help him. I sure would like to see what bozos show up for that dinner and a movie. It blows my mind that anyone from around here would give Littlefield the time of day let alone $250. I bet Manny Rico, Jack Benson and Pam Ladd have already paid their money and will be front and center at this fiasco. I wonder what McKamey is getting out of this? You can bet he is not doing it out of the goodness of his heart. I myself am going to contribute to any group that is supporting Littlefield’s recall, yeah, that’s it, someone post where we can send contributions to help the recall effort and lets all send them some money.

Littlefield has ignored every major problem that came up in Chattanooga. He and his flunky council members (see above) have spent millions on "studies". They have so crippled the Police Department that crime is out of control in downtown Chattanooga, just like the rest of the city now. I would never go downtown and I warn my out of town family and friends to stay away from downtown Chattanooga unless they want to get robbed or shot or murdered or all three. Maybe the next mayor can turn that around if we are lucky. It certainly won’t happen with most of the people that I saw in a story that were interested in running. Pam Ladd? Give me a break, she has done enough damage as a council person, can you imagine her as mayor? It would be like re electing a female Littlefield. Let me see, Police Dept. crippled, crime out of control, roads in a mess (potholes and quick fixes done), toxic dump waste sites bought up by Littlefield and the council ( at a huge profit to the sellers I might add) and here is Littlefield and his council flunkies (see above) fiddling while Rome (Chattanooga) burns......

September 7, 2011 at 6:10 p.m.
MasterChefLen said...

The citizens of Chattanooga, and Hamilton County for that matter need to keep a close eye for sweetheart deals as Ron Littlefield's term finally ends. Metro rule is not going to happen anytime soon as long Littlefield is spearheading the effort. His political career is over. He is fool to think anyone would vote for him ever again. He couldn't get elected dog catcher. However, pay close attention to any potential appointments he may get in exchange for favors, and hold those people accountable either in voting them out, or choosing to buy elseware.

September 7, 2011 at 11:44 p.m.
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