After a glorious Saturday morning/early afternoon of shopping with the family, I was checking my email when my dog started barking. Typically this means, “Hey! There’s a dog walking down the road!!! Dog! DOG!!!” I usually still peek out the window, though, to make sure there’s not really an ax murderer or band of Jehovah’s Witnesses heading for my door. This time I actually saw a pickup truck in my driveway, and Todd Smith walking down my sidewalk.

We both expressed surprise at seeing each other – Todd clearly didn’t realize at whose house he had stopped, and I certainly didn’t expect door-knocking this early in the election season. Todd’s reaction was something along the lines of, “Well, I guess I know who you’re voting for, but it can’t hurt to ask for you to vote for me!” I appreciated his candor and ability to laugh at himself. I’ve run into folks who take my political criticisms entirely too seriously, so I always appreciate those who can smile and take my punches.

Todd and I actually chatted for a couple of minutes before my husband came out on the porch to see who in the world had me conversing at the front door. My husband asked his standard political questions: “Where do you go to church?” and “How do you feel about the Second Amendment?” Todd’s answer to question #1 was “Central Christian in Jonesborough” and to question #2 was that his first gift was a rifle from his grandfather.

Our conversation was friendly and light-hearted (as light-hearted as a political conversation can be, I guess) which I, again, appreciate considering the fact that Todd reads my blog! We did discuss the Smith/Patton poll scandal. I asked Todd about it because I know what is going around (that Smith and Patton were going to do a poll together, and whoever could beat Matthew would stay in the race) and I also know what a recent Johnson City Press article reports. I wanted to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth. Todd’s version of the story is that Patton approached a friend of Smith’s and mentioned that he was interested in doing a poll together. They would split the cost and whoever had the greatest name recognition would stay in the race. Once Smith got word of the proposal, he said that he was not interested in spending his money doing a poll, which would, in all honesty, reflect that Patton has the greater name recognition, and could better spend $2000 on campaigning and getting his name out to the community.

While I’m certainly not Todd’s biggest fan (mostly because of the company he keeps, which indicates some questionable character), I am more likely to believe his side of this story. For one, Smith has never given me reason to doubt his word – he hasn’t lied to me yet, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. Further, Bob Patton has a shown a pattern of dishonest, self-serving behavior that would make me question his conclusion if he reported to me that the sky is blue. For me, this is the end of the issue. Patton wanted something, didn’t get it, and is now trying to make Smith look like he agreed and backed out.

Finally, my husband asked Smith why he felt he would be a better representative than Matthew Hill. Todd’s response was that he could “get things done in Nashville” (hmm…where have I heard that before?). His first order of business would be to allow veterans access to the lottery scholarship (a noble cause, indeed).

Once we went in my hubby asked me “Alright, what’s wrong with him?,” knowing, of course, that Smith had been the brunt of some harsh posts on this very site. My explanation as to why I won’t be supporting Todd, I told my husband, came down to the company he keeps. Why is it that Todd could “get things done in Nashville?” Because he’s being controlled by the big-money, political power players in Washington County.

I’m not naive. I know that you have to have money from somewhere in order to survive in politics, but the money behind Todd isn’t the money I want controlling this county. My guess is that Todd has political ambitions all his own (which I certainly don’t hold against him), but has been nabbed by the type of folks that would sell their firstborn in order to control the future of Washington County. Gives me the creeps.

Now I just wait for Bob Patton to come a-knocking…I can’t wait to finally meet that old curmudgeon.