Newspaper to local lawmaker: ‘Answer the question’ on no-bid contract

Rep. Micah Van Huss (R-Jonesborough), standing,, confers with colleagues as they await Gov. Bill Lee arrival for his second State of the State address in Nashville on Feb. 3, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

The Johnson City Press is taking state Rep. Micah Van Huss to task for refusing to answer its reporter’s questions about a no-bid facemask contract.

The state spent $8 million for North Carolina sock maker Renfro Corp. to produce the masks. The see-through material used for the masks has raised questions about their effectiveness in preventing the transmission of COVID-19.

The Jonesborough Republican instead cast Republican Bill Lee as the victim of negative news coverage. Van Huss said the Johnson City Press should spend its time “reporting on news that gives Tennesseans hope in our humanity instead of dividing them with a political hit on Governor Lee.”

Van Huss then boasted about his response on social media. According to the paper’s editorial:

If Van Huss actually read this newspaper, he would know that we have published numerous articles about “hope in our humanity” during this crisis. Our reporters repeatedly have written about relief projects, volunteers, creative coping efforts and inspiring people amid this pandemic.

State Sen. Jon Lundberg (R-Bristol) said he supports granting the governor some latitude during times of emergency.

“During a pandemic, we have expectations that things will need to happen that won’t have that usual check and balance of bids, submissions, requests for comment, requests for quotes in that process,” Lundberg told the paper.


14 Responses to Newspaper to local lawmaker: ‘Answer the question’ on no-bid contract

  • Donna Locke says:

    I don’t even wear socks on my feet in the summertime.

  • Stuart I. Anderson says:

    Ah, Micah Van Huss (ACU-90%) and Jon Lundberg (ACU-87%)! This is a nothingburger of a story, but what a wonderful opportunity appreciate those two great General Assembly legislators.

  • James White says:

    I guess Lundberg doesn’t support the constitution.

  • WhitesCreek says:

    I guess the GOP sees nothing wrong with spending $8 million of taxpayer money for medical equipment that doesn’t work. Using the pandemic as an excuse for corruption is dastardly at best. People need to know that every effort is being taken to keep them safe and healthy. This sorry episode fails every test on every level.

    • Lance Persson says:

      Its never been shown that the masks don’t work! You seem more focused on attacking Republicans than seeking the truth. The first step is to confirm whether or not the masks are effective. If not, then I would agree the purchase of the masks should be questioned. Don’t ASSume.

      • Lance. You have been told time and time again to stay away from keyboards or any other access to the internet. You need to quarantine your opinions with yourself please. They are a clear and present danger to conservatives everywhere. Please, Lance. Learn from the past and stay away from any device that will allow you to communicate your thoughts

    • Stuart I. Anderson says:

      WORK!?! WORK!?! WhitesCreek, these stupid “little people” cloth masks do almost nothing to protect the wearer from the Chinese Flu and stop little of the outgoing viruses that will infect others. As I said, this is a “nothingburger” of a story but if the liberal media has people running around shrieking at officeholders “DO SOMETHING!!!” “DO SOMETHING!!!” you will have a lot of money rapidly thrown at the problem which does not make for good sound government policy or spending.

  • Someone just told me Joe Carr got fired. Wonder what that’s all about. Most likely too conservative even if whines a lot

    • Cannoneer2 says:

      If he did get fired, does this mean we will be subjected to Perennial Candidate Carr again?

    • Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Whoever that individual was Phil, he is a terrible source of information so please don’t take him seriously ever again because he is WRONG.

  • Cannoneer2 says:

    I think this mask issue is probably just another example of crony capitalism.

  • LeeAnn C. says:

    An insane waste of money. Governor Lee has handled this situation carelessly, disregarding personal freedoms of citizens and sidestepping the General Assembly. Congats to Representative Van Huss. He should be the recipient of the brown noser of the tear award.

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