Emails show Littlefield's frustration with recall efforts - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Emails show Littlefield's frustration with recall efforts

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CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) – A series of emails from Mayor Ron Littlefield, acquired by our news partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press show the mayor's frustration at recall efforts.

The emails take place over a three day period in mid –August between Mayor Littlefield and Chattanooga Tea Party president Mark West.

In the emails, West says the Tea Party became involved in recall efforts only after Littlefield's proposed property tax increase.

Mayor Littlefield, in the emails, argues that West's motives were more personal in nature. "Suffice it to say that you have raised the hate level in Chattanooga to "red" and contributed to a very toxic situation among the population in this community.  As a Christian brother that you have never met, I believe that you are in violation of the laws of God and man."

The mayor went on to say, "Finally, let me respectfully suggest that you need to decide today what is more important to you: politics or Jesus."

 

You can read more about this story from our news partner The Chattanooga Times Free Press.

 

READ THE EMAILS HERE:

We have removed the email address of non-government officials to protect private citizens.


From: "Littlefield Ron" <littlefield@chattanooga.gov>

Date: August 16, 2010 11:01:26 AM EDT

To: <mark-west>

Cc: < >, "Lanis Littlefield" < >, "Chapman Al" <chapman_al@chattanooga.gov>

Subject: RE: Going with God

 

Mr. West: 

If we have ever met, I do not recall.  Not to play on that word, but all that I know is that as this present "recall" issue unfolded, I frequently asked who was responsible and the answer was always "Mark West".  Actually, the answer usually included the fact that you have a lot of money and that you are willing to finance conservative causes of your choosing. Friends active in the Republican Party tell me that you began to talk months ago about some sort of local recall campaign against local officials.  I have also been told that your workers have told people that the intent is really "intimidation" and not directed so much at the mayor.  One worker told a friend of mine (who did not identify himself as a friend of mine – but no one asked) that "if we can pick him (the Mayor) off, the others will be frightened into doing what we want".  I understand that both you and Charlie Wysong (who I have known for decades – but that ‘s another story) have said that this is not "personal".  Well I do take it as a personal matter when your effort attempts to paint me as corrupt and then uses all sorts of twisted lies to support the allegation.  My friends and my family have been hurt and offended.  I have a thick political skin.  I have regularly been attacked by the secular left, but I am a bit more sensitive when I am attacked by the Christian right. You cannot deny that you have intentionally supported such a smear campaign.  Further, you have gone so far on your "Chattanooga Tea Party" web site as to urge people to use their churches in circulating the recall petition.  Suffice it to say that you have raised the hate level in Chattanooga to "red" and contributed to a very toxic situation among the population in this community.  As a Christian brother that you have never met, I believe that you are in violation of the laws of God and man.  Your political tactics are unacceptable in both respects.  It is important that we meet – and as soon as possible.  Margaret Arant suggested a couple of Christian brothers from your church should also be present:  Jim Hammond and Bill Knowles.  I have known them both forever and they are certainly acceptable to me.  In fact, I have already called Sheriff Hammond and he is willing to attend.  I have a call in to Bill Knowles.  If you wish someone else, that's fine and I'm sure that neither Jim nor Bill will mind.  I will bring Al Chapman.  You are wrong, my brother, and this has to stop.  Where do you wish to meet and when?

Ron Littlefield

 

 

From: Mark West [mailto:]

Sent: Monday, August 16, 2010 11:26 PM

To: Littlefield Ron

Cc: Margaret Arant; Lanis Littlefield; Chapman Al

Subject: Re: Going with God

 

Mayor Littlefield:

 

Thank you for your email and your offer to sit down to meet.  I apologize for the delay in responding to you but I have just been swamped today.  

 

I am in the process of consulting with a couple of my key, personal counselors and as soon as I have been able to speak with them I'll be back in touch to suggest a time and place to meet, if that appears to be the proper approach.  I am also making this a matter of prayer and seeking the Lord's direction and will in this matter.

 

Respectfully...

 

Promoting Liberty & Restoring Values...

 

Mark West

Ooltewah, TN  37363

 

 

 

From: "Littlefield Ron" <littlefield@chattanooga.gov>

Date: August 17, 2010 8:20:06 AM EDT

To: "Mark West"

Cc: "Margaret Arant" < >, "Lanis Littlefield" < >, "Chapman Al" <chapman_al@chattanooga.gov>

Subject: RE: Going with God

 

Very well, I will wait.  If you are speaking of ìpersonal counselorsî in Biblical terms, I certainly understand.  Lately I have been reading, once again, in Nehemiah – my favorite Old Testament book because it so accurately describes the physical and spiritual difficulties encountered when trying to rebuild a city.  It is very current.  Also, this morning I happened to read Psalm 35.  God just gave it to me. I also suggest that you and your counselors consider Romans 13.  If you are speaking of political counselors, let me warn you that you should be wary of the rabble that is surrounding you in this ìrecallî endeavor.  I know most of them very well.  The list for the most part is a roll call of Chattanooga's lunatic fringe.  That's how it became obvious to me that someone more substantial was behind it all.  Others are just opportunists looking for some personal gain – usually financial.  Finally, let me respectfully suggest that you need to decide today what is more important to you: politics or Jesus.

Ron

 

From: Mark West

Sent: Thursday, August 19, 2010 12:18 PM

To: Littlefield Ron Cc: Margaret Arant; Lanis Littlefield; Chapman Al

Subject: Re: Going with God // Response

 

Mayor Littlefield:

 

(I only copy Margaret, your wife and Al Chapman because you included them in your email.)

 

After reading your last two emails, while I would have welcomed a meeting under certain circumstances, I don't believe a meeting between the two of us will be beneficial or accomplish anything.  There are many misunderstandings and misconceptions in your emails to me.  Further, the approach taken in your emails appears to be one of demands and insistence rather than a sincere interest in understanding the reasons for the Recall and why it is that 9,000 people have already voiced their support for the effort through their signatures.  I would contend that to insist that this is a "rabble" or a "lunatic fringe" (to use your words) is to disparage a significant portion of the populace that you represent.

 

To be clear though, I have attempted and I believe have consistently focused my objections to policies not personalities.  Sir, I have not focused on or attacked you as a person.  The issues are your policies as a Mayor.  The Petition clearly lays out the Grounds for the Recall and they deal solely and exclusively with Policy.

 

Contrary to your assertions, I was not and am not the one who was "responsible" for the Recall.  You certainly must be aware of the fact that Mr. Jim Folkner began this effort many months ago and it was he that led the charge for the effort.  Jim has consistently been the mouthpiece for the Recall.  

 

In fact, the Chattanooga Tea Party's initial opposition was to your proposed 33% property tax increase.  Surely you are aware that the 1,000's of tea party organizations across America (which represent millions of mainstream Americans) share a common message of "TEA" -- Taxed Enough Already.  We in Chattanooga also hold to this belief and so it would only be natural that we would oppose policies that would seek to increase taxes during the worst economic climate in 80 years.  Following the successful passage of your 19% property tax increase many Chattanoogans were energized to send the TEA message to our elected officials.  It was for this reason that the Chattanooga Tea Party joined the Recall effort.  

 

As to your assertions that I have intentionally supported a smear campaign, this is totally false.  On the contrary, I have consistently steered clear of the assertions that some groups (outside the Chattanooga Tea Party) have made concerning your character and/or corruption charges.  And even this week, when interviewed by News Channel 9 and the Times Free Press (which by the way is the first time I have been interviewed by the media about the Recall) I made it abundantly clear to the reporters that I have had absolutely no issue with Ron Littlefield, the man. Rather, what we are opposed to are the policies of the Mayor.  Period.  Plain and simple.

 

So, I would encourage you to check your assertions concerning my involvement in smear campaigns.  I don't deny that there may be individuals and/or groups who may be using words that are harsh or tactics that are questionable but when and if I am aware of them, I have denounced them and encouraged folks to take the high road and simply focus on the Petition.  In my thinking those are grounds sufficient for the Recall.

 

Finally, let me address the attempt to "spiritualize" this matter and to question the rights of ordinary citizens to exercise those powers that are granted to them legally.  In consulting with several pastors, mentors and godly men (who are seasoned and grounded in the Word), we can find no basis for the statement that you have made asserting that I am "in violation of the laws of God and man."

 

Based on the Chattanooga City Charter, the Recall effort is a fully legal mechanism as granted to ordinary Chattanooga citizens to respond peacefully to elected officials who in their judgment are deserving of such removal from office.  So I fail to understand how the passages you have quoted (that are not in the context of a republic or democracy) have any application to this process.  We have not advocated resistance, violence or any such action of rebellion but are simply following the peaceful process afforded to us by law.

 

In closing, let me reiterate my continuing position that I hold no animosity or ill-will towards you as a person.  The issue at hand is a disagreement over policy not personality.  I have not launched any attack on your person or character.  Our message will continue to be that which is delineated in the Recall Petition -- factual statements.  And we will allow the people to decide.  We continue to believe that it is "We the People" to whom elected officials must remain accountable.  Whenever this reality ceases to remain true in our city, state or nation, America as we know it will cease to exist.

 

Respectfully,

 

Promoting Liberty & Restoring Values...

 

Mark West

Ooltewah, TN  37363

( 

From: "Littlefield Ron" <littlefield@chattanooga.gov>

Date: August 19, 2010 1:09:36 PM EDT

To: "Mark West"

Cc: "Margaret Arant" < >, "Lanis Littlefield" < >, "Chapman Al" <chapman_al@chattanooga.gov>, "Frank " < >

Subject: RE: Going with God // Response

 

Mark:

 

 I have reached out to you twice as a Christian brother.  You obviously are so overcome with political fervor that Biblical standards have taken a back seat.  Your attempt to maintain that your differences with me are not "personal" is not convincing in the least.  The canvassers that you have employed are using talking points painting me as "corrupt" and then using the most twisted lies to convince people that they should sign the petition.  You cannot separate yourself from this tactic.  The petition language that you cite contains lies, as well.  You were on camera yesterday with Chris Brooks – a 26 year old man who apparently has no job other than "paid political consultant".  When I have asked people the question "who is financing this effort" the answer was "Mark David West".  Others went on to tell me how much money you have and how you obtained it.  I have contacted people that we know in common and I know that they have urged you to sit down with me.  If one of your spiritual advisors is Charlie Wysong, I question the honesty of your motives – and his. Frankly, I am not surprised at your conclusion, but it does tell me what I wanted to know about your character.  Finally ,this morning, I was given this verse through a totally unrelated channel, but no doubt intended by God for you to consider:  

 

"Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned" (Titus 3:10-11).           

 

I have asked my pastor to reach out to the leadership of your church. 

 

Ron 

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