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Hickman County declares war on candidate's website

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Hickman County declares war on candidate's website
Owner claims the move is an illegal attempt to stifle free speech, free enterprise in Hickman County

By Jim Moore
In February 2013, local news columnist and award-winning website designer Jim Moore informed the Hickman County Industrial Development Board (IDB) that its website was non-existent and that the domain name, idbhickman.org, was owned by a private individual, Daryll Phillips, who had since gone to work for Cheatham County and was diverting Hickman County industrial inquiries to his personal email, enabling him to snatch interested business and industry away from Hickman County to his new employer.

Then vice-president John Porch in effect called Moore a liar and said he was that second calling it up on Google. As it turned out, Moore was right, as Phil Wenneker, board member and the man assigned to maintaining idbhickman.org confirmed. The site and its domain had expired, Moore said, because of a human mistake involving a failure to read the fine print of the Domain-hosting contract for the Wordpress site.

Moore then offered the board a model website showing what could be done with a board website. The board was not interested.

Today, John Porch is opposing Moore as a 5th District County Commission candidate.

Shortly after Moore announced his candidacy April 5, 2014, the site was hacked and malicious code was planted into a relayed site which contained a link to Moore’s IDB site, which he clearly labeled as a private site, not an official government website.

The Hickman County Times in its July 14 issue (page A9), stated that Paul Aydelott, who was one of those Moore recommended as a potential web designer for the board, “was allowed to work with [new member] Stephen Graves to develop a website for the board, which has been a priority for some time.
“Aydelott suggested that the board should attempt to shut down a privately held website that carries a variation of the industrial board’s name, because it could damage the panel’s efforts at some point.

That private site is “idbhickman.com” owned by Moore.

Moore points out that Aydelott is a close friend of County Mayor Steve Gregory (as stated on Shaun Lawson’s Facebook page), and is opposed to Lawson, who is running against Gregory for the county mayor seat in the August 7th election.

“It seems curious,” said Moore, who is also a Lawson supporter, “that first the Industrial Board said they had no interest in the site I prepared, even though they had none of their own, and then days after I announce my candidacy for the County Commission, my site is hacked. Then, a short time later, a move is announced to try to illegally shut down my own site.

“I have to wonder who is really behind this and why. I will correct the hack attack and I will fight the board’s illegal move, which violates internet law and the First Amendment.”

Moore has been critical of the board’s gift of $10,000 to an alleged nephew of the board’s current vice-president, Tony Collins. That gift, to race driver Willie Allen, was also supported by Todd Collins, a county commissioner and Tony Collin’s son. After Allen failed to qualify in two NASCAR races, the gift became a countywide embarrassment to board members, some of whom now claim they did not support the action even though board minutes and newspaper stories claim otherwise.

Moore said a previous IDB member whose term recently expired has told him that board members were aware that Willie Allen was related to Tony Collins and that the vote was most likely an illegal conflict of interest.

Moore was a columnist for the Hickman County Times until he announced his candidacy for Hickman County 5th District Commissioner and Times editor Brad Martin refused to print any more of Moore’s columns. Moore said he understands Martin’s decision, in fairness to the other seven district candidates, and in his place would have most likely made the same decision.

However, because of Martin’s opposition to Moore’s support of the Second Amendment and his demand that “I don’t want to see any more of this gun rights stuff from you,” his column will probably not be resumed anyway.

Martin and his newspaper, owned by Jim Crawford, Jr., a resident of Lawrenceburg and also owner of the Lawrenceburg Union-Democrat, are liberals and staunch supporters of Gregory.

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