Friday, February 7, 2014

An Evening at the Library featuring Keel Hunt

Keel Hunt
The Brentwood Library Foundation is pleased to announce that its 2014 An Evening at the Library will feature Keel Hunt.

 Mr. Hunt is the author of COUP: The Day the Democrats Ousted Their Governor, Put Republican Lamar Alexander in Office Early, and Stopped a Pardon ScandalCOUP is the behind-the-scenes story of an abrupt political transition that was unprecedented in US history. Based on 163 interviews, Hunt describes how collaborators came together from opposite sides of the political aisle. In an extraordinary few hours, they reached an agreement that the corruption and madness of the sitting Governor of Tennessee, Ray Blanton, must be stopped. The sudden transfer of power that caught Blanton unawares was deemed necessary because of what one FBI agent called “the state’s most heinous political crime in half a century”—selling pardons for cash.  Putting aside political and personal interests, these politicians worked together to stop the release of these criminals and oust Blanton from office before another night fell.

Mr. Hunt is a native Nashvillian.  He is a graduate of MTSU, the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, and the Kennedy school of government at Harvard.  In his early career, Keel was a reporter, editorial writer, Washington correspondent, and City Editor of The Tennessean. In 1974, the Tennessee affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation named Keel their “Conservation Communicator of the Year” for his investigative journalism in 1972-73 that led to saving Radnor Lake, now protected by the state’s Natural Areas Program.  He left the newspaper to become an advisor to Lamar Alexander’s campaign for Governor and continued on as a member of the Governor’s staff.  He went on to consult for a number of years before becoming the staff director of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and eventually starting his own public affairs consulting business, The Strategy Group.

The Nashville Scene has called Keel Hunt the “facilitator’s facilitator.” He is frequently asked to organize and manage complex projects, planning retreats and community processes.  Mr. Hunt writes a regular column called “Metropolitan” for The Tennessean editorial pages and is a Trustee of the Country Music Foundation, a member of the Nashville’s Agenda Steering Committee, and serves on the CABLE Advisory Council.

An Evening at the Library will be held April 11, 2014 with cocktail dinner and wine at 6:30 p.m.  Mr. Hunt’s program begins at 7:30 p.m.  Tickets are $75 and may be obtained online  or by calling 371-0090 x8000.