Saturday, July 09, 2005

In the quiet, the battle ensues....

The open warfare has begun, as noticed in the flaming that took place in the post below. It appears that the new folks, led by Desi Franklin of MSDIA and Brad Watkins of DFM, are under attack because they're new to the process. Or, more importantly, because they are distancing themselves from either faction.

The humorous suggestion that Ms. Franklin is a Republican because she apparently works for the Baker Donelson law firm is patently ridiculous; at one time, one of its' partners was George Lewis, Jr., better known as Buck and a former TDP Chair. By the way, folks, Farris Hancock has been known to employ Republicans, and I sure as hell am not about to question John Farris's credentials because of that.

No, the reason for this is that the emergence of these new groups has scared the living hell out of the old guard, and not just the Ford/Uptonites. I am hoping that these folks will stay away from either group and pick either my good friend Joe Young or someone completely different.

I say this with a heavy heart, because David Cocke is one of the good guys in Shelby County politics, and, under any other circumstances, I would probably be out front
leading cheers for him.

Bush is fond of saying that 9/11 changed everything; for we Big Shelby Democrats, OPERATION TENNESSEE WALTZ changed everything. Even if John, Kathryn and Roscoe are all acquitted, this was the sign that things needed to change and change
dramatically.

Yes, the party machinery needs to be able to help the ticket win elections every other year, I have not completely lost my mind. However, we need to be MORE than that. We need to be the beacon for this county, to set the agenda for the party, and have the people control the elected officials, and not vice versa. You know, the average worker doesn't really have time to lobby their elected officials to do the right thing; that's OUR job.

One of the signs that signified change to me was in 2004, when I saw people that I had NEVER seen before helping Mike Kernell and the Kerry-Edwards ticket all summer long.
Without them, Mike might not have been re-elected. Many of them are now asking for a voice in their party, and we're accusing them of being Republicans?

The MSDIA/DFM contingent needs a BIG say in the new party structure; right now, I wouldn't mind seeing them build it from scratch. If my buddy Mike Brester gets on the Committee and is able to implement an automatic contribution plan, maybe we'll finally have enough money coming in so that won't be a constant focus.

Flame away!

6 comments:

Jody Hurt Patterson said...

Steve,
With all due respect, the people who showed up on Saturdays to help Mike came from vast e-mails that you sent out and from our door to door campaign. Granted some of these people were at Kerry/Edwards meetups, the vast majority came out to help because they believed in Mike.
Congressman Harold Ford,Jr. also added to the number of canvessers by making an appearance at the U of M. This was due to the dedication of hard workers like David Upton and John Freeman, they worked in conjunction with Jim Vandiveer (President of the College Democrats). This netted us several volunteers.
I however don't remember seeing to many members from these new coalitions there on Saturdays- with the exception of Ann Sandberg, Don Sandberg, Mike Freeman and his wife Cindy Hazen, I believe David Holt came a couple of Saturdays. Desi Franklin was never there nor do I remember seeing her at the Democratic HQ, she may have been there and I didn't see her, if so I apologize for my ignorance in this matter.
We worked hard in this campaign, and that is how and why Mike Kernell won. As a member of the old guard, I for the betterment of District 93 need to be back on the committee. I challenge anyone who is in D 93, running for the Committee to say they know this district better than I do.

LeftWingCracker said...

Well, I, for one hope that you ARE re-elected, even if we differ about who ought to be chair. You have certainly earned that through your devout efforts for Mike and on the Committee the past four years.

Desi Franklin said...

Hi, Desi Franklin here.

Thanks, Steve, for your calm and common sense post. I would agree that the success of the Convention Coalition seems to have "scared the hell out of the old guard", or something like it. How else to explain all the misinformation that I hear being spread around?

Being a lawyer (and, yes, a partner at Baker, Donelson, but absolutely NOT a Republican), I tend to take the personal attacks in stride. You know, "first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers."

So I tend to ignore the comments about my being a Republican mole. (If anyone would like the email addresses of a half dozen or more of my Republican Wall Street Journal reading partners who can vouch for my long standing liberal bias, just let me know. They would be pretty amused to hear anyone suggest that I'm a conservative or a Republican.)

What bothers me are comments like "who are these people who haven't been around before to try to get so involved - we never saw them before?" Or "they're just a bunch of ladies from East Memphis." Or "they're 99% white." For God's sake, let's don't encourage any growth or diversity in the local Democratic party - doesn't that attitude sound just the tiniest bit Republican?

But most pathetic are the attempts by the Ford/Uptonites to spread misinformation about the goals of Midsouth Democrats in Action and their Machiavellian strategy of divide and conquer with Coalition members leading up to the convention. Karl Rove really has nothing on them.

Which reminds me of why our coalition formed in the first place. The stakes are high for the Democratic party in the next election cycles of 2006 and 2008, nationally and locally, and we believe the party would be better off spending its energies working towards success in those elections that in shutting out large numbers of progressives with new ideas and new energy - just so some of those who have manipulated the party in the past can hold on to their backroom muscle.

Anonymous said...

WORKING TOWARDS A TRUE DEMOCRATIC COALITION:
Why I support David Cocke for Shelby County Democratic Party Chair.


Regardless of Ms. Franklin’s past voting proclivities, she and Ms. Carson have certainly given the Republican’s a reason to rejoice. What could make Republicans more gleeful than to see fellow Democrats denigrate each other in public. First of all, I don’t think it is unfair for Democrat’s to ask that their leadership be, oh I don’t know . . . Democrats. And apparently there is a process in place for ensuring that is the case. Thus, it would appear to the outside observer that any such challenge is merely a procedure for ensuring the legitimacy of Convention delegates. That is where this matter should end.

Secondly, Candidates for the position of Shelby County Democratic Chair certainly will campaign for the position and differentiate their candidacy from the other candidates. As an attorney, one would think that Ms. Franklin, would understand the difference between private advocacy for a candidate and public defamation. I have yet to read published accounts of David Cocke or any of his supporters publically criticizing Ms. Franklin, questioning her legitimacy as a delegate to the Convention or impugning her integrity. However, it seems she herself is unwilling to show the same restraint and courtesy. Surely, any Democrat would question the wisdom of publically comparing fellow Democrats to the likes of Karl Rove. From Ms. Franklin’s comments, it is safe to assume that anyone who supports a candidate, either for public office or for Party Chairman, whom Ms. Franklin does not agree with must be part of a “mean-spirited,” Machiavellian/Rovian, conspiratorial faction.

I guess I was under the misguided impression that MDIA was established as an independent group of energetic, committed Democrats who would think for themselves and act according to their convictions. Instead, much to the disappointment of many, it would appear that MDIA has merely become what they purport to disdain: a faction.

A “coalition” is defined as a “union,” but a “faction” is defined as “a group of persons forming a cohesive, usually contentious minority within a larger group.” Well, if the “Anti”- Ford, “Anti”- David Cocke shoe fits . . .

I for one am looking for “pro”- active Democrats and will be voting for a Chairman who has proven to be a pro- active fund-raiser, a pro-active developer of winning Democratic coalitions, and pro-active in fighting for Democratic causes. And I still hold out hope that Shelby County Democrats will form a true “coalition” to build a new party.

As for my part in the process, I want to continue to work for my party; I want help elect Democratic candidates; I want to register voters, knock on doors, make phone calls; I want to organize my precinct and energize new and old Democrats; I want to stand up for Democratic causes. And because of that, I will no longer be afraid to speak out for or endorse the Candidate for Shelby County Democratic Party Chair that I believe can help make those goals a reality. If that makes me a “mean-spirited/Rovian” factious conspirator- well then that’s a label I’ll just have to live with.

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