I wondered why the hell either would WANT to show up for this event, until I realized that the numbers have changed in Shelby County, and the Goopers DESPERATELY NEED Democratic votes. It is the height of arrogance to buy a ticket to this event for a Republican elected official (gee, imagine THAT) and it is the height of stupidity to allow this to go on any longer, yet SCDP chair Matt Kuhn sits and does nothing (to my knowledge, as of 12:52 AM Sunday).
The County-wide Democratic nominees for office took matters into their own hands Saturday, delivering an ultimatum to the Chair. The text of this letter follows below:
May 20, 2006
As the Party's Chairman for the Shelby County Democratic Party, we, the below nominees, who are seeking to be elected on August 3, 2006 to public office in Shelby County Tennessee, are writing you regarding our position concerning the inclusion of Bill Gibbons and other Republican office holders in the Kennedy Day Dinner. You, as Chairman, have an obligation to all the Democratic candidates of absolute support and loyalty. In fact, the purpose of a political party in this country is to propose a candidate and elect that candidate, as the candidate should and must represent the values of the party as a whole.
It is our understanding that you have been fully informed of the above situation and of the unhappiness of many true members of the party regarding this problem. By this letter you are herewith being notified formally of our strong request that you immediately contact these Republican officials to inform each that the party does not wish for them to attend the dinner. We believe the party and you are truly obligated, both morally and legally within the Bylaws of the Party to show complete and open commitment to your nominees. It is dishonest to the principles of the party and misleading to the public to allow the inference of approval to be extended to these Republican officials who are currently in office.
As nominees, we believe the Republican Party relies on lies, deceptions, and dishonesty in manipulating public opinion. The inclusion of these Republican officials in one of the seminal Democratic events held in this county lends such an air to the Democratic Party itself.
Accordingly, we will not cease our efforts to oppose this hypocrisy and the cowardness of these elected Republican officials to our party as a whole. A prompt response from you is essentially being demanded by us by Saturday 5:00pm . You can telecopy or e-mail your response to the above noted number. We will await that response.
Shep Wilbun Gail Mathes Coleman Thompson
Rebecca Clark Sondra Becton Vernon Johnson
Not available for signature
Not available for signature
In fact, our nominees have tentatively scheduled a press conference for 2;30 P.M. Sunday at Neil's Restaurant at Madison & McLean. If the chair has not responded positively by then, I expect we'll hear more from our candidates, who, frankly are being thrown under the bus with this non-action.
Let us remember that, lest the Goopers accuse us of partisanship (which I plead GUILTY), THEY were the ones who forced our hand in 1994 when they held their OWN primary for County offices. The SCDP Executive Committee of that time handpicked a slate of endorsed candidates, all of whom went down in flames.
We thus had no choice, and in 1996, we started our own, which led to the election of Assessor Rita Clark. Yet, the Goopers now want to act all lovey-dovey and bipartisan, when they started this freaking mess to begin with!
Matt, if Bill Gibbons and Mark Luttrell bought tickets and say they are coming, tell them you will reimburse them and refuse entrance. This night is for DEMOCRATS ONLY, even for those who may have strayed and initially supported them; now is our time to bring them back.
If you can't do that, well...............