Metro Council Run-Off Races: District 13 and the Case of the Questionable Address

(Editor’s note: With the Metro run-off election less than two weeks away and early voting in its second week, The Tennessee Holler will take an in-depth look at several of the hotly contested Metro Council run-off races. In the first of the series, we take a look at District 13, which runs from Nashville International Airport south to Antioch.)

The rumors about Andrew Dixon’s residency began circulating during the heat of the summer general election campaign.

Dixon, one of three candidates for the District 13 seat being vacated by Holly Huezo, listed his address on financial disclosure forms and in voter files as an apartment building in the district. Nothing wrong with that: Plenty of people live in apartments.

But Dixon, married and with two young children, has purchased two houses in the last year – in District 15.

Dixon and his wife closed on the purchase of one house in the McGavock area, a three bedroom, three bath, in October 2018.  That house is appraised at $304,000. They closed on the purchase of a second home, also a three bed, three bath valued at $269,000, in March 2019.

The apartment building in District 13 in which council candidate Andrew Dixon reports he lives.

So, why, several sources asked when they contacted the Holler, would a guy with two roomy houses choose to move his family into an apartment in a different council district and run for office there, instead of his home district?

The questions about Dixon’s residency are relevant because the Metro Election Commission specifies a candidate for a district Metro Council seat must be a resident of the district in which they run for a minimum of six months. 

We called Dixon twice to clear up confusion but got his voice mail and no return call.

As the Holler reported in July, Dixon is supported by Davette Blalock, a two-term Metro Council member and 2016 Trump backer as well as conservative former council member Roy Dale. The pair started a PAC together, the generic-sounding Good Government PAC, which has spent no money except on mail pieces supporting Dixon.

One of Andrew Dixon’s two houses, this one purchased in October 2018.

Russ Bradford, who placed first on August 1 in the three-way council race, is openly gay and has earned a number of endorsements from organizations as diverse as the conservative-leaning Nashville Firefighters Union (IAFF Local 140) and Victory Fund, a national organization focused on electing people from the LGBTQ community to office.

Bradford also declined to make any comments on this story.

Dale has a history of anti-gay comments. In his 2003 Metro Council At-Large race, he sent mailers disparaging his opponents for supporting measures to protect LGBTQ Metro workers.

Without comment from Dixon, we are left to speculate on why he lists an apartment complex in District 13 as his address despite owning two homes in District 15 and why he didn’t run for office in his home district.

Draw your own conclusions. If Dixon calls us back. the Holler will update the story with his response.

Founder of Tennessee Star Steve Gill charged with domestic abuse by wife

Steve Gill, founder of the far-right wing publication, The Tennessee Star, is an abusive husband who carries weapons at all times, his wife alleged in a request for a temporary restraining order in Williamson County.

Dana Hunsinger Gill, who has been married to  Gill since 2014, filed for the restraining order Aug. 22, the same day she filed for an annulment of the marriage.

In her request, Dana Gill states “the respondent is abusive, he threatens me, chases me, has a weapon always on him, long history of these issues, he is currently in jail.” A handwritten document attached details the abuse and begs the court for relief: “Please protect me from him returning home to attack me. I need protection, I am terrified . . . Steve at all times carries a gun (He owns many) he makes it known and says as long as he declares ‘I am in imminent danger’ he can use his gun.”

A page from Dana Gill’s application for a temporary restraining order lists the weapons Steve Gill owns.

Both legal documents were filed the day after Dana Gill testified on behalf of  Gill’s former wife, in a contempt of court case stemming from his failure to pay $170,000 in child support to Kathryn Gill.

As a result of the court’s finding Gill guilty of 27 counts, he has been incarcerated in Williamson County Jail since August 21 and will be back in court for another hearing Thursday at 1:30 p.m.

Gill, whose Twitter biography describes himself as, among other titles, a Christian conservative author, co-founded The Tennessee Star with two other Tea Party activists in 2017. In March, Snopes.com exposed the Star as a “little Breitbart” and says the publication disguises conservative activism as journalism. Dana Gill is listed as the Faith Editor of the Star.

The story was first reported by the Tennessean.

VIDEO: Johnson’s Resolution To Expel Rep. David Byrd Voted Down By TN GOP

The TN GOP just voted to send Gloria Johnson’s resolution to Judiciary Committee, keeping an admitted child sex abuser in the legislature longer, electing to send the matter to the judiciary committee where they say an investigation will take place.

This should’ve been done a long time ago. It’s time for Byrd to go. Tell Rep. Michael Curcio, Rep. William Lamberth, Speaker Sexton, and TN Attorney General Herb Slatery to START THE INVESTIGATION NOW and remove Byrd now.

Coffee County GOP Chair Posts Pro-Gun Meme Threatening “Civil War”, Hanging

Coffee County Republican chairman Richard Brooks has posted – and now deleted – a meme on Facebook threatening “civil war” and to “hang corrupted politicians in front of the White House” if any politicians continue to talk about gun control.

Coffee is the same county where controversial DA Craig Northcott – who has been openly Islamophobic and Homophobic and refuses to recognize the authority of the Supreme Court – presides. Brooks has been a vocal supporter of Northcott in the past.

Brooks has removed the post. He owns a gun shop and range in Manchester.

In response to it, the Coffee County Young Republicans have already released a statement to distance themselves from it, saying:

“This post does not reflect the views of the Coffee County Young Republicans. While we share the same goal of promoting conservative values and are a part of the larger GOP organization and an affiliate of the County Party, we maintain a separate executive committee and membership from the County Party.”

We will update this story as it develops.

CHANNEL 5: What Did Gov. Lee Know About the Vouchers Bribe?

Channel 5’s report on Governor Lee’s possible involvement with disgraced speaker Glen Casada offering a military promotion to Rep. Windle as a bribe for a key vote on his public school-harming vouchers bill. ‬

‪Lee’s office claims to have ZERO texts from the day, won’t share emails either.‬ 🤔

Casada Ex-Chief Cothren “FOR” Independent TBI Email Investigation

Speaker Casada’s Chief of staff Cade Cothren has just joined twitter, and has responded to us on Twitter saying he welcomes an independent investigation into the possibly falsified emails he’s suspected of sending to Nashville D.A. Glenn Funk to get civil rights activist Justin Jones thrown in jail.

As you know by now, speaker Glen Casada is stepping down among a whirlwind of scandals, and will soon be replaced by Cameron Sexton in a special session August 23rd.

Aside from the lying, racism, sexism, cocaine-snorting, misuse of campaign funds, the list goes on… the one thing that has stood out as potentially the ugliest of all was the possibility Speaker Casada’s office had falsified the date on an email they received from civil rights activist Justin Jones in an attempt to revoke the terms of his bail and have him thrown in jail.

This came on the heels of an incident where Jones threw an iced tea cup at the speaker in frustration after Casada’s aide Cade Cothren had lied and said Jones was getting his email wrong when requesting a meeting (he wasn’t).

Casada’s office was asked about the discrepancies in the email dates by Channel 5’s Phil Williams, and were silent at first, before then saying the confusion was the result of the emails being stuck in the SPAM folder at the legislature – odd considering even the font seems to have change in the screen shot presented to the District Attorney.

Nashville D.A. Glenn Funk recused himself from the case since he was the recipient of the email, which is when Coffee County D.A. Craig Northcott entered the picture. We have since revealed that Northcott is an open Islamophobe and Homophobe who refuses to recognize the Supreme court’s authority and won’t treat LGBT people equally under the law.

Jones and his attorneys have tried to get Northcott removed from the case because of his clear disdain for the constitution, but so far that hasn’t happened.

In the meantime Northcott has used his prosecutorial discretion to not take the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation up on the offer to perform an independent investigation into the possibly falsified emails, instead taking the IT department at the legislature’s word for it – a group that serves at the behest of Speaker Casada.

If indeed the issue was something as simple as an email being stuck in a SPAM folder, why not call for an independent investigation? Why not clear the names of Casada and Cothren and let Tennesseans know that those two may be liars and sexist and crude and in Cothren’s case (at least) deeply racist, but they may not have actually tried to used their power to get Jones thrown in jail?

This shouldn’t be a partisan issue. Knowing what really happened to those emails from an impartial source would be a step toward healing for Tennessee, and judging by his tweets Cothren himself seems to agree, at least on the surface.

He has just joined Twitter and has taken time out from answering months-old mentions of himself with Taylor Swift memes…

….to say that he is “FOR” an independent investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

So what’s the hold up?

If you believe Northcott should take Cothren up on that offer, holler at him HERE: 931-723-5057

Jones’ next hearing is August 15th at 9AM. Watch our new VIDEO from the last hearing:

VIDEO: HUMAN CHAIN IN HERMITAGE

Watch neighbors form a Human Chain in Hermitage yesterday to protect a father and son from ICE and allow them to get from the van they were trapped in for hours into their house.

The family then gathered their belongings into plastic bags and fled.

Read the Newsweek story.

(Video from Occupy Democrats & Nashville Noticias)

MORALLY INEPT: Byrd Lies to A Reporter, Lee Avoids Doing the Right Thing (again)

There was a sequence of events yesterday that was so ridiculous we just wanted to make sure to connect the dots for everyone.

As you all know by now, here in Tennessee we have a state representative named David Byrd who apologized on tape to one of 3 women who say he sexually abused them when he was their basketball coach in high school.
Despite hearing the tape, and hearing Byrd apologize for what he had done, Speaker Glen Casada helped Byrd get re-elected by attacking the victims as “fake news”, and then promptly made Byrd chair of an education subcommittee after he won.
Casada would later remove him, only after a group of brave women relentlessly pointed out that it was a disgusting thing to do (and only after Byrd went against Casada on a key vote to help Governor Lee privatize public schools dollars through his school voucher program).
During the ordeal, Speaker Casada lied to The Holler about meeting with the victims. Governor Lee actually did meet with one of them, and then finally, 70 days later – only after Speaker Casada went up in flames and agreed to stop being speaker – Governor Lee said he believed the victims… but stopped short of asking Byrd to resign.
That brings us to just this week, when brave Tennessean Anna Grabowski confronted Lee, asking him to get Byrd out of the legislature. Lee told her it would happen “soon”, seeming to imply Byrd would be expelled at the upcoming special session to remove speaker Casada in August.
WATCH:

Wonderful! Better late than never, right? Finally it seemed Governor Lee was going to do the right thing and get the Tennessee Republican supermajority to expel David Byrd (aka Tennessee’s Jeffrey Epstein) during the special session in August.
Not so fast.
The same day we posted that video (yesterday), Governor Lee then spoke to the Tennessean and told them he wasn’t asking Byrd to resign, and Byrd wouldn’t be expelled at the special session. Instead, Lee told them he had called David Byrd and asked him not to run again… in 18 months.
In other words, Governor Lee believes the victims, and believes David Byrd did sexually abuse those children, but he’s willing to let him stay in office for nearly TWO MORE YEARS. 
Not only that, but Lee also told channel 5 news that when Anna Grabowski asked him to get the “child molester” out of office, Lee thought she was asking him about Speaker Casada, and he says he was talking about removing him as speaker, not expelling Byrd.

This is literally impossible to believe. Anna was 1 foot from him. The exchange is clear.
On top of that, when AP reporter Kim Kruesi reached out to Rep. Byrd to ask him if Lee had in fact asked him not to run again, Byrd told her that wasn’t true.

Byrd then immediately tried to backtrack and say it was a “private conversation” he had had with Lee. But it was too late. He had already outed himself on the record to a reporter as a liar, while also essentially calling Governor Lee a liar.
So, TO RECAP: Governor Lee almost did the right thing, only to find a way to do the wrong thing, then lied about why he seemed to almost do the right thing… while Byrd lied about Governor Lee doing the wrong thing and essentially called the Governor a liar.
Got all that?
Bottom Line: The truth does not matter to these people.
Meanwhile, Byrd is still in office, as is Speaker Casada, and Governor Lee manages to show us his true colors daily, putting his moral incompetence and inability to actually do the right thing on full display.
This one should’ve been easy all along. Child sex abuse should not be a partisan issue.
Byrd must go. And he should take speaker Casada with him. Holler at Governor Lee if you agree.

VIDEO: Lee Says Byrd Will Be Gone “Soon” (But Didn’t Actually Mean It)

Here’s Governor Lee yesterday telling Anna Grabowski Rep. David Byrd will be gone “soon”.

He has since said he didn’t mean soon, he meant he asked him not to run again – meaning he believes Byrd to be guilty of the child sex abuse he’s accused of, yet is willing to let him serve out his term anyway. Wonderful!

Meanwhile Byrd told a reporter Lee did NOT ask him not to run again… before then trying to walk that back.

So. Much. Moonwalking.

So. Little. Leadership.

FLASHBACK: Speaker Candidate Rep. Jay Reedy Fails Basic Civics

Rep. Jay Reedy (R-Erin) has thrown his hat in the ring to replace Glen Casada as the next speaker, so let’s take a quick trip down memory lane to remember a few of his greatest hits.

First, there’s the time Reedy used the derogatory term “wetback” multiple times in a committee meeting about a sanctuary cities bill.

Then there’s the time Reedy posted incredulously (and Islamophobically) about “Muslim Day On The Hill”:

And then there’s this – an ad from Reedy’s challenger in 2016, Andy Porch, in which Reedy fails to answer 2 basic civil questions: What is America’s economic system? (capitalism!) and how many Supreme Court Justices are there? (9!)

Watch the VIDEO:

Needless to say, Reedy isn’t ready.