Mark Harmon is running for the Knox County commission as a liberal Democrat. He is also a journalism professor at UTK (Hey, a journalism professor AND a liberal Democrat — what are the odds of that?). Apparently, he used to be on the commission but he was redistricted out of his seat back 2010. His brief tenure was marked by controversy and at least one voter referred to him as an “arrogant prick.” (Hey, a college professor AND a liberal Democrat AND an arrogant prick – what are the odds of that?).
Now he is trying to make a comeback of sorts. RTP hopes he loses his race for public office. Just on principle and the fact he is from Pittsburgh, PA and according to his former students, he really is an arrogant left-wing prick. (Check out some of the verbatim comments made by students who took his class at the bottom of this post).
But despite his political shortcomings, Mark Harmon has shown on occasion he can write some funny political satire. He recently did a piece on the Haslam administration’s approach to recruiting new business to the state. RTP is not in the habit of highlighting the musings of fuzzy-headed liberal bloggers, but when one of our Knoxville friends sent us the following link, we couldn’t resist sharing it with a wider audience. Enjoy:
Funny as it is, RTP does have a few problems with Harmon’s post:
1. Even conservatives can agree that much of the incentives provided by the state amount to little more the “corporate welfare.” Our Tea Party friend Ben Cunningham has had a lot to say on this issue. And the fact that many of those deals are kept “secret” from the public only adds to our suspicions. Not all such incentives are bad, but we do need greater public oversight and transparency.
2. Harmon thinks using incentives as leverage with companies like Volkswagen is wrong. We disagree – that is exactly what we should be using incentives for. This is one case where Haslam actually got something valuable in exchange for our money – a free and open workplace. Now if Haslam would only demonstrate some backbone and stand up to Pearson, Jones LaSalle, Tom Ingram’s clients, etc. then we might lay off our criticism of him. Or not.
3. Despite the whole “political prostitute” alliteration, we just can’t picture Haslam in fishnet stockings saying “Hey, sailor.” And we are definitely having serious trouble getting the image out of our mind of Bob Corker with a bullwhip and stilettos (although the heels would make him taller, so there’s that….)
Prof. Mark Harmon from the people who know him best — his students
Terrible grader. Terrible person. Avoid him at all costs!
Dr. Harmon is one of the most ignorant teachers I have ever had. His grading makes no sense and he fails to tell you how you can improve. He thinks much too highly of himself as well. DO NOT TAKE HIS CLASS.
He’s a former politician so you can’t win. Once he’s graded your articles, don’t expect clarification. His comments are rude and his grading is random.
He is an odd little man – not only does he believe the world revolves around his class, he also feels the need to bring his political views into almost every lecture. it’s the history of tv and radio, we don’t need to hear about abortion rights and gay marriage. Don’t waste your time on him – take someone worthwhile.
An all-around jerk. Your grade will be determined more by the extent to which you agree with his political views than your actual performance in the class. Take someone else.