Friday, February 03, 2017

Why are ANY Democrats co-sponsoring VOUCHER Legislation?

Representative Antonio Parkinson is the staunchest defender of public education in Tennessee, perhaps, and that is why pro-charter and pro-voucher groups went after him in last year's Democratic primary.  However, because the citizens of District 98 knew that he was on THEIR side, having led the battle to keep Raleigh-Egypt High School from being taken over by the inept ASD, they re-nominated him in August and re-elected him in November.

He was right yesterday to call out Senator Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) for his bill to give out vouchers to parents who want to put their children in private schools, the second time he has done this.  The constitutionality of this bill has been questioned by SCS Superintendent Dorsey Hopson, and with good reason.

However, what I don't understand is why Rep. Parkinson seemed to overlook the fact that one of Kelsey's Senate co-sponsors is Senator Reggie Tate of Memphis, a nominal DEMOCRAT, and one of the House co-sponsors is another so-called Democrat, John DeBerry of Memphis.  Tate, who has ties to the Koch-based ALEC, and DeBerry, whose right-wing leanings were unleashed by the GOP takeover in 2010, vote as often with the GOP as with the Democrats.

So, here's my question: Why do we continue to allow them to run as Democrats?  We do control who has Democratic bona fides, or at least the TNDP does in this case. so why do we allow them to run as Democrats?  Look, I understand it is tough to beat an incumbent, and Tate will have lots of ALEC money in 2018, but at the very least he should be forced to run as a Republican or an Independent if he runs for re-election,.  That's a Democratic District (Senate 33) and it will be tough for a non-Democrat to win there.

As for John DeBerry in House 90, who here thinks he would have beaten Tami Sawyer if this race had been run in the General Election rather than in the Primary?   Not me, that is for sure.

So, we need to get past the idea that just anyone can run in the Democratic Primary and ENFORCE some standards here.  It's time to start building the case that Tate is not a Democrat and that while pre-2010, John DeBerry may have voted with us, he does no longer, and needs to run as an Independent or a Democrat.

Your thoughts?

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Want to meet the next chair of the Democratic National Committee?

Well, here is your chance.  In conjunction with the Young Democrats of America and the Tennessee Young Democrats, Representative Keith Ellison of Minnesota will appear at a Welcome Reception this Friday, details below.  There is no cover charge.


Friday, November 18, 2016

Some Friday Notes

First, I haven't written about the election because I have been too enraged and would have likely have pissed off more allies than enemies, so there is that.

What you need to do today to get ready for the weekend:  Read Steve Ross today at VIBINC about what the Democratic Party needs to do everywhere, particularly here.   Then, at 1 PM, go to Radio Free Nashville to hear the first radio show from our friend Trace Sharp, AKA The Artist Formerly Known As Newscoma, for her takes at THE SHARP EDGE.  If you forget, I believe it can be downloaded as a podcast.  My understanding is that this will be a weekly show, so give it a listen!

WRT to state politics, I see where Bill Freeman called for Mary Mancini's head since we only were able to flip one House District this year.  Well, I kind of understand, but I do want to note that the TNDP was crucial in Dwayne Thompson's victory over Steve McManus.  And, of course, is this really about her performance or does it have more to do with getting someone in charge of the TNDP who would be more supportive of Freeman's race for the Democratic nomination for Governor?

Ok, First, Mary is a friend and my inclination is to support her. All I know about Holly McCall is that she ran a tough race in Williamson County, where Democrats are not likely to win for the foreseeable future, and that Will Pinkston has said she is tied to the charter school industry, which is not good if you are a Democrat.

Frankly, I could really give two hoots in hell about the 2018 governor's race.  If we can't find a way to flip more GOP seats while holding our own, and while not giving up on our core values of economic justice and equality for all, the governor's race doesn't matter a diddly damn.

Ok, that's enough for one day, enjoy your weekend!

Monday, October 31, 2016

I know, I have been quiet the whole season

First, I should not have to tell you to vote for Hillary Clinton when the only real alternative is Donald Trump.  I voted for her on Saturday, along with Steve Cohen for Congress, I wrote in Tami Sawyer for House 90 (Sorry, John Deberry, you aren't getting my vote as long as you keep taking that Charter School money), and I voted NO on the County charter amendment and YES on the City Charter amendment.

It's hard for me to get excited about the Clinton campaign when I realize that it is nothing more than a defensive vote for me.  How excited I get about her Presidency will be determined by her willingness to push as much of the Sanders platform as possible.

I cannot possibly know what it feels like to have a woman President, since it should have happened long before now, and I wish I could share that excitement now that it's about to happen.  I know, you cis-white-straight-male privileged bastard!  Well, it's who I am, so get over it.  I think she realizes the state of things enough to know that she has work to do to prove she's not a triangulator like her husband and like her 2008 campaign indicated.

I still am not convinced that she will be able to do anything with a GOP House and she will only get judicial appointments approved if we get the Senate back and Schumer does what he has needed to do and kills the filibuster.  It needs to happen, people.

It's been 8 years since she served in the Senate and Congress has changed.  The Republicans that ARE there and WANT to govern are petrified of the Koch-fueled Teabaggers who simply want to destroy our form of self-government and turn it all over to corporations.  I have my doubts about all of it.

Sorry to be Debbie Downer here, but I am voting for her for no other reason that I am about to turn 58 and I don't want the country destroyed, which is what will happen if Trump wins the Presidency.

So, you say, Trump is going to win the state any way, why not vote for Jill Stein?  Because she is an unqualified idiot, that's why.  I agree that the Greens, the Libertarians and the Constitution parties should all be on the ballot at ALL levels without having to jump through hoops.  It would show the two major parties that they don't have as much pull with the electorate as they once did, and that we are a nation are ready for a multi-party system.  (If we can be honest here, a stronger Green Party here would wake up some of the complacent Democratic office holders that only have to worry about winning primaries.  I am not naming names; you KNOW who you are.)

So, that's why you haven't seen me out and about this year.  I still haven't really gotten over Sanders losing, even though I completely understand why he lost; he simply could not break through with non-whites at a high enough level to challenge Clinton.  That is on him, she won fair and square.

My main concern in Shelby County as a Democrat this year is Dwayne Thompson, who is going hard at Rep. Steve McManus in House 96 (Cordova).  If we are going to get anywhere again in Tennessee, we have to flip GOP districts.  Period.  So, if you have any time between now and November 8, go help Dwayne, this is a winnable district.

After having another stent put in my heart a month or so ago and then having the Cubs make their World Series run, I just haven't had the energy to do much.  However, I voted, and took two people with me, and met two more for a voting event, so there is that.

I want, more than anything else, for the Cubs to win the next two games, for Hillary to get 400 electoral votes, and then prove that she can do what she says she will.  If she can't, we are all doomed in the long run.

So, VOTE EARLY if you can, you have now through Thursday at 7 PM to do so.  If you are still undecided, I don't have the faintest clue what to tell you because I cannot possibly imagine what you still need to know.

Go Cubs, Go Hillary, and I will talk to you soon.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Thank You, Madame Chair!

Today, TNDP Chair Mary Mancini did what we have been urging her to do, decertifying the Shelby County Democratic Party, sending it to a farm where it could run and play with other defunct institutions.

It had ceased to function as a political organization a long time ago, unable to deal with the Bryan Carson situation.  No matter what you may think of the Bryan Carson situation, it is August 2016, we have a Presidential campaign and legislative campaigns this fall, and they need help.  It's not Michael Pope's fault; at this point, there's really NO point in assigning blame, because there is work to be done and this Executive Committee is incapable of doing any work other than arguing, so it is time to move on.

They appear to want to have a re-organizational meeting soon; however, I think that we have the people here to get through the election without it.

We need a lot of work with a new EC, but we need people who put the Party's needs ahead of their own agendas.  We need people who are not looking to profit from the Party.  We need people who are willing to do the hard work of organizing, registering voters, raising money, training candidates and campaign workers, and raising a new generation of leadership.

Without folks who are willing to do that, there is not much hope here, no matter what the demographics might suggest.  I am hoping for the best, because the now-former Committee had been reduced to meaninglessness.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Millennial Rally on July 28 and the rest of my picks



The rest of my picks for people who deserve your support are in the Democratic Primaries.

 First, let's get the toughest out of the way first. With regard to Senate District 30, I like both Beverly Marrero and Sara Kyle. If I lived in that district, I would vote for Beverly because I know her better and believe that her views are a tad closer to mine than Sara, because Beverly would not have voted for the Bible bill. That said, I also understand that the majority of Sara's constituents may not believe that that was a bad vote. They are both good people, but my vote would go to Beverly. 

 There are NO Democrats running against Mark Norris in Senate 32, so I have no dog in that hunt. 

 Now, for the House races; you might see that I tend to favor incumbents. Well, I know most of them and have for a while now, so yes, other than House 90, I tend to support our folks in Nashville. 

Larry Pivnick is unopposed for the nomination in House 83, he will challenge incumbent Mark White in the fall. 

 Joe Towns is unopposed, period, ih House 84 and I am happy for that. Congratulations! 

Johnnie Turner deserves re-nomination and re-election in House 85, she is a powerhouse. Also note that the Keith Williams listed as opposing her is NOT the Keith Williams who ran for City Council last year or County Commission two years ago. it wouldn't matter to me any way, no reason that Ms. Johnnie should not win! 

 Barbara Cooper is unopposed for renomination in House 86 and will face a Republican, probably George Edwards, in the fall. Barbara Cooper works her butt off for the district and is more than worthy of your vote. 

 No one was dumb enough to challenge Karen Camper for re-nomination or re-election in House 87, and she would have beaten them like a drum any way. She is one of our stars in Nashville. 

 Larry J. Miller, a veteran and one of the foundations of the Shelby delegation, faces Stephen Christian in the House 88 primary. Stephen is a good guy, but I am backing Larry Miller here. 

 Well, I know I buried the lede here, but Raumesh Akbari, the worthy successor to the late Lois DeBerry in House 91, was named yesterday as THE ONLY TENNESSEAN to speak at the Democratic National Convention next week. She will be one of the speakers on Thursday night before Hillary Clinton officially accepts the Democratic nomination. Huge congratulations to a true rising star in our city and state! 

 Congratulations to GA Hardaway for his renomination and re-election in House 93, he is unopposed.

 No Democrats in House 95, so I have no interests there. if the GOP insists on renominating Curry Todd, that's on them. 

In House 96, Dwayne Thompson has opposition in the Democratic Primary in charter-school advocate Earl Leflore. Even if Dwayne Thompson weren't one of my political godfathers, the mere fact that LeFlore advocates for charters, which I truly believe exist only to suck money away from public schools, that would be enough to endorse Dwayne for nomination. 

 House 97 has no Democrats, so Jim Coley is re-elected. I know him, if we have to have a Republican, he is the one to have. 

 Now, in House 98, Antonio Parkinson, another of our rising stars, has been targeted by the pro-charter community because he fights endlessly to save our public schools. He busts his butt for workers AND small businesses in Raleigh and Frayser, and that's before we even get to his annual Block Parties for Peace. IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT YOU SEND THIS MAN BACK TO NASHVILLE; we cannot afford to lose him. I am not even going to bother to tell you who his opponent is; just renominate Antonio Parkinson. 

 Republican Ron Lollar is unopposed in House 99, so no Democrats, no endorsement. 

 I hit the high notes in the first post, so there you go with the rest of them, and please come out to Celtic Crossing next Thursday, even if you are an old fart like me! Oh, and VOTE EARLY! You have until July 30 to do so.