Who's your choice for Mayor in 2015?

Friday, July 07, 2006

My county race endorsements

It may anger many of you to know that there are some Democratic candidates that I am endorsing, and some that I am not. I am NOT endorsing any Republicans, since the only good ones (Lincoln, TR, Ike, Everett Dirksen, the Rockefellers) are all rotting away in the cold, cold ground.

However, in good conscience, there are some people running under the Democratic banner who deserve our support, and some who have no business running a county-wide office. With that in mind, here we go...

County Mayor - AC Wharton. Come on, he's going to win, he's the most popular politician in Big Shelby and he is trying to fix the mess left him by Jim Rout. Yes, I know he's part of the BLP (the Bobby Lanier Party) but still, you think Willingham will do better?

Sheriff - NO ENDORSEMENT. Mark Luttrell has managed in four short years to piss off almost every single employee he has to the point of mutiny, and I wish I could point to our nominee, Reginald French, and say he would be better, but I can't. I will probably write in John Harvey here, but YMMV.

District Attorney General - Gail Mathes. This race is critical, because Bill Gibbons has been an unmitigated disaster as AG and he has to be held accountable for the meteoric rise in crime in Memphis. Gail Mathes has plans to work every day and not just be a figurehead as Gibbons has. No Deals my ass.

Trustee - Rebecca Clark. Since Bob Patterson seems to live under the delusion that he is a state, and not a county, employee, let's go one better and make him an INVOLUNTARILY RETIRED employee. Rebecca Clark will make that office run like a top!

Register - Coleman Thompson. I have worked alongside Coleman Thompson in Democratic circles for years, and I know his capabilities, and I heartily endorse his candidacy. After what happened to John Freeman in 2000, I want this back BAD.

Circuit Court Clerk - NO ENDORSEMENT. Come on, we don't want Jimmy Moore, of course, but Roderic Ford?? He's 24 years old, what the hell does HE know about running a downtown clerk's office? The ONLY reason to support this kid is to give my friend and brother Del Gill a job, and that, sadly, is not enough.

Criminal Court Clerk - NO ENDORSEMENT. Don't even ask.

Probate Court Clerk - Sondra Becton. If for no other reason that she is persistent and would be a DRAMATIC improvement over Chris Thomas.

Juvenile Court Clerk - Shep Wilbun. I said I would support him in the general, and I am. He's at heart a good and decent man; we'll see if the voters give him another chance.

County Clerk - NO ENDORSEMENT. Now it's time for ME to get petty and pissy. After what Otis Jackson did to John Freeman in 2000, I wouldn't vote for him for street-cleaner. I don't care if he played for the U of M; after 2000, he might as well be wearing the red and black of Louisville for all I care. Yes, this is personal.

County Commission, District 5 - Steve Mulroy. YA THINK? this guy has a FUTURE, he's bright, he's sharp, and he will give the County Commission to the Democrats. On the other hand, let's look at...

County Comission District 2 - Henri Brooks OR Novella Smith Arnold. Look, I STILL don't understand why Novella Smith Arnold is a Republican, because she is one of the most progressive people I've ever met, and she is an absolute delight. Still, Henri Brooks has come a long way from the point where she used to piss off people in Nashville. After what happened last year in the District 29 race, she deserves this, too, but I can't pick against either one. Yeah, call me chickenshit if you want, but I like them both.

Flame away!

14 comments:

dwayneearl said...

LWC, please reconsider on the sheriff's race; Harvey is NOT the "swell and good" guy he makes himself out to be.

I would ask you why a "lawman", somone who SHOULD KNOW BETTER, would post social security numbers and dates of birth on his website, INVITING identity theft.

Harvey claimed these 10,000 plus people were "dead" people registered to vote; whether they were live or dead, his posting their names and addresses along with social security numbers and dates of birth was a BROADCASTED invitation to STEAL IDENTITY. And this man is running to PROTECT and UPHOLD the LAWS of SHELBY COUNTY.

Give me a break! Someone who is capable of LEADERSHIP in law enforcement doesn't violate privacy rights so indiscriminantly and PUBLICLY.

Give this vote for Sheriff another consideration LWC. Do you want to promote such behavior?

John Harvey said...

Gee dwayneearl, all I did was post the information that, that awful Rootsweb.com website has put out on the web. If you do a search on a person and they are dead, that awful website will show what there social security number and date of birth was. Of course, that information IS public and can be useful in fraud PREVENTION, because you can verify that a SSN belongs to a dead person. Additionally, the ssn of a deceased person can't be used for fraud because it has been flagged by the Social Security Administration as belonging to a deceased person. If that weren't the case, there would be nothing precluding one from simply making up a series of numbers. Exposing the dead people was a GOOD thing and it should have been done by the local Election Commission. I am told since my efforts exposed them, the entire state now receives a list (daily) from the state election commission instructing them to purge the accompanying list. Rail against me if you will, you have the right to be wrong.

Now that I've dispensed with "Social Security Numbers for Dummies", thanks for your support LWC! Whether I win or lose, my ideas are coming. It is the natural evolution of law enforcement and information technology, with a smattering of common sense mixed in. (How did it ever get the name Common Sense) How can anyone be against getting an email from the cops the day after your stuff was stolen, that tells you the case number, the case officer and his/her email address? The real question is why isn't that done right now? Leaders with no vision and no clue in the realm of technology. I've already been discussing this concept with MPD officers and my ideas will happen. The bottom line is the city will be safer because citizens and police will be able to collaborate and/or communicate much more efficiently. In the near future, information will be pushed out to citizens on crimes and warrants issued in your neighborhood. The court docket will be called via telephone a day in advance and people who miss court will be contacted via email and/or phone before the Sheriff's Office wastes valuable resources chasing those people over the more serious criminals. Mark it down. It will happen.

LWC, once again thanks for the vote of confidence.

Mike said...

John

Two wrongs don't make a right.

Posting SSNs is an invitation to identity theft, and although you think a dead person won't care, his heirs might. It also helps the CRIME of identity theft.

BTW, SSNs are used by illegal immigrants, another group you don't seem to care for. Did you see what Pesky Fly wrote? Putting local police and sheriffs to the task of enforcing immigration laws encouragies racial profiling by our law enforcement people, something that should give pause to any upstanding member of our community that "looks Mexican". Best to leave such things in the hands of INS.

You may have some terrific law enforcement ideas that deserve our attention and possible implementation. But you also have at least a couple of really lame ones, which might give people to wonder whether you are ready for Luttrell's job. Don't get me wrong: The County needs your brain somewhere in the organization - maybe not at the very top, though.

autoegocrat said...

Of course, that information IS public and can be useful in fraud PREVENTION, because you can verify that a SSN belongs to a dead person. Additionally, the ssn of a deceased person can't be used for fraud because it has been flagged by the Social Security Administration as belonging to a deceased person. If that weren't the case, there would be nothing precluding one from simply making up a series of numbers.

That is exactly right, on both counts. There is no harm in reprinting information that already enjoys a wide distribution,

I've been programming computers since I was nine years old (that adds up to TWO DECADES for those of you keeping score at home), I have been a subscriber to 2600 magazine for ten years, and I have worked for and implemented security for IBM, the U.S. Navy, and the Department of Defense. While working for the latter two, I held secret clearance. Computer security is something I know an awful lot about.

In my humble professional opinion, John Harvey knows EXACTLY what he's talking about when it comes to information security and data integrity. His command of the nuances and finer points of IT security demonstrates an understanding of these issues that is both deep and broad.

John Harvey said...

Mike,

I want to see the logic of your statement, I swear I do, but it doesn't compute. The SSN of a deceased person is flagged by the Social Security Administration and cannot be used for fraud purposes like opening a bank account, etc. There is no guarantee that the SSNs that are posted by Rootsweb are actually valid. So . . . if you want to use someone's identity, you can simply make up a series of numbers - using your logic. I think it is a good thing to have a resource where people can see that the ssn is linked to a dead person. Why hide it?

Any way you look at it though, it is public information. If a criminal is going to steal someone's identity, they will steal a living person's identity so they can use their credit. They will not be able to do anything with a dead person's ssn that they couldn't do with one they generated by themself.

Your logic breaks down when you look at the facts.

John

Mike said...

Banks, credits gantors, and others have legitimatre access to applicants' SSNs and to other databases that contain (supposedly) valid SSNs. I do not dispute that. And, if they take the trouble, they can use the dead-SSN-data to help thwart ID theft. But they don't always do so, and the system isn't guaranteed anyway.

And yes, people such as illegal immigrants do make up SSNs. Why do they not get caught? As I said above, the appropriate companies and agencies do not always take advantage of every tool to screen applications, and the tools are not perfect.

If you (a bank) get an application with a SSN, are you going to check and see if it happens to belong to a dead person? Maybe not, because you know that it could (more likely) belong to nobody - and you wouldn't know because a "nobody" can't be dead. So what to do do? You check to see if there's a credit agency file on the person using that SSN. Guess what? There is, because the fraudster has already been using it elsewhere. But you won't know that. The application will look legitimate. If it is the SSN of a dead person, that too would ensure that a credit file exists, but there's no real assurance that the death will have been noted on the file.

The real issue is whether the general public should have access to names and SSNs (dead or not) - encouraging those who might misuse them to do so. It is very encouraging to know that John Q. Deadman very probably has a credit trail spread across dozens of companies and databases - even if there is one database (if someone takes the trouble to check) that says he is dead. Yes, give me the name and SSN of a dead person and I will more likely use that than a made-up identity. Call me stupid.

My point is that just because appropriate parties CAN look up a SSN and find out someone is dead is not a good reason to publish dead SSNs for the world to see. It does not actually enhance the system, it makes it all the more likely to be abused.

The whole SSN-based ID system could theoretically be made into something that actually works to prevent fraud...but that would probably entail creating a national identity card (and a different ID number) - which most readers of this blog would find even more objectionable.

John Harvey said...

My point is that just because appropriate parties CAN look up a SSN and find out someone is dead is not a good reason to publish dead SSNs for the world to see. It does not actually enhance the system, it makes it all the more likely to be abused.

Mike, I still fail to see the distinction between someone using a generated ssn and one from a dead person. Neither will pass muster when checked by the SSA. As for the other data, if I wanted I could post the ssn of most people in the state of TN because I asked for and received the TN Driver's License file several years ago. However, I accepted that data as a law enforcement officer and it is to be used for "law enforcement" purposes only. I also have access to many other databases that contain social security numbers and other personal data, but I would never reveal that information unless it was both legal and necessary. I have even been approached about purchasing some of this data. The questions were not intended as underhanded, but came from people with businesses who could use that type data. I simply replied that it was for Police business only.

Rest assured, the information I posted is available (world-wide) to anyone who runs a query on rootsweb.com's social security death index and the reason it was posted was to force the election commission to do their job. They are now getting their act together, so tell me where I went wrong!

mike said...

I have to wonder at Novella. Why do I have the unusually strong suspicion she's a stealth Democrat?

For that matter, what was she doing at the blogger's bash? She was in full campaign mode, for starters, not hanging out and meeting folks. And, most tellingly, the only folks she was talking to were the Democrats at your end of the table. She *never* made it down to my end.

Jim Maynard said...

I will NOT vote for homophobe racist Henri Brooks.
When gay activists visited her to lobby in Nashville, she said that gays were not a significant constituent to waste her time and she was representing "black churches."

Fuck her, I will vote for her WHITE "Republican" opponent.

Smart City Consulting said...

Thanks for the best posts by a Memphis blog over the past two weeks and for sparking great discussion. It's been an intriguing look behind the curtain, particularly because of your past contributions. We appreciate the insight.

Mike said...

I'll answer Mike's question.

Novella is probably better described as "not a party animal" (in that particular sense of the word "party"). In fact, she would prefer to see the commission races go back to being non-partisan as they once were.

She calls herself an "MLK Republican." (Bet you didn't know that about MLK? Not that it really matters...)

If you check her out on the Voter History site, she's voted in the Republican primary 8 out of the last 9 elections. Hmmm. I seem to recall some guy caught flack last primary for running as a Dem with a very Rep history...

She came to the bash at my suggestion. We tried to be restrained with the "campaign-mode." If we offended anybody we both apologize. I'm sure she's sorry she didn't make it down to your end of the table; the slight wasn't intended. We left way too early and missed out on love-fest between Jackson Baker and Mr. Half-Bakered, too. Darn.

Disclosure: I am her treasurer...and husband.

mike said...

I remember seeing you, too, Mike. Thanks for the clarification & correction. :-)

John Farmer said...

I am NOT endorsing any Republicans, since the only good ones (Lincoln, TR, Ike, Everett Dirksen, the Rockefellers) are all rotting away in the cold, cold ground.

I am crushed...really, really crushed. But I still love you :)

LeftWingCracker said...

I grew up watching Dirksen in Illinois. My father, who switched to the Democrats during Bush I, use to annoy my hard-core Democratic grandmother by saying he thought Dale Bumpers was terrific and reminded him of Dirksen...