Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Freedonian scoops us all!

Rick has a copy of the Richard Fields letter that is going to be an ad in this week's Flyer, and it is NOT complimentary of Robert Spence.

Great work, Rick!


yellow dog dem said...

Important information regarding


State Senate District 30

Election Day: January 25th

January 19, 2007

“NO ONE IS SUCH A LIAR AS THE INDIGNANT "MAN" Nietzsche, “Beyond Good and Evil”

Dear Friends and Neighbors:

You may have been the recipient of a hate-filled letter from Richard Fields purportedly informing you of the danger of electing me to the State Senate from District 30 and seeking your vote for my opponent in the Democratic primary. Since the release of this pox on each of us, my family and I have been humbled by the overwhelming response from so many of you expressing your sadness that we had been attacked in such a vicious way and rejecting the obvious unmitigated lies – and for this we are extremely grateful and forever in your debt.

It is disheartening that those of us who seek to elevate and uplift our community and have an honest and open debate regarding the real problems that confront our daily lives – record crime, the spiraling cost of health care, the absence of a living wage for many and providing a quality education for our children – to devote precious resources and time to address unsavory and completely false accusations lodged by people motivated by hate and whose livelihood is totally dependent upon their ability to create rancor and division among us.

Unfortunately, the type of attack spewed forth upon me and my family has become all too common in the political arena. Time and time again good, hard-working men and women who seek public office are routinely and unfairly vilified by mean-spirited people who on many occasions, as is the case here, cannot even cast a vote in the election. The people who launch these attacks often believe that they can cleverly cloak their true malevolent motives in some benevolent purpose.

For instance, we saw it in the alleged “whitewater” investigation of Bill and Hillary Clinton by attorney Ken Starr and the Republican controlled Congress. We saw it again during the 2004 presidential election when the “swift-boat” folks published lies all over this country assailing the military record of John Kerry. The one common theme throughout each of these attacks and many others is that the people doing the attacking have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. A status quo which, in our community, is unfortunately becoming synonymous with corruption.

One of the lessons I have taught my children, as you perhaps have taught yours, is to have the courage of their convictions. My convictions, faith and hopes for this City are strong. I believe that we can elect public servants who place the public’s interest ahead of their personal interest; I believe we can solve the challenges preventing us from providing healthcare to all children and the uninsurable; I believe we can provide a quality public education to our children that equips them to one day lead this City; and I believe that our City has its best days ahead.

It is said that you have to “answer a fool according to his folly.” So here is a brief response to the allegations.

During my tenure as City Attorney, Fields harbored the mistaken illusion that his “support” of my appointment to that position entitled him to freebies, gifts and favorable dealings from the City. He was wrong. When he came with his hand out, I sent him away empty handed. Ultimately, because of his repeated unethical requests, and frankly, his unstable behavior, I was forced to call building security and permanently ban him from my office.

The decision I made not to allow Fields to use the City for his own distorted purposes and to not pay him for work he had not earned was the right decision. The City Attorney’s office was not for sale when I had the privilege of leading it. That was my conviction then and it is my conviction now.

Fields claims that I am dangerous because of “bad legal advice.” The obvious question is: How would Fields know what legal advice I have ever given to a client? Lawyers give privileged and confidential advice to clients. Since Fields has never been my client and I refused to hire him as a lawyer for the City, he knows absolutely nothing about the private discussions I have had with clients. Therefore, his claim that he “knows” what legal advice I have given clients is a total and complete fabrication.

Additionally, the specific accusations he makes in his letter are either out-right lies, half-truths, or fabrications.

1) When I was the City Attorney I did not lose the BellSouth litigation – I WON IT;

2) I had not been appointed as the City Attorney when the Cook Convention Center expansion project began and had no involvement in selecting the architect or making the architectural contract;

3) When I retired from the City I had already been in private practice for almost twenty (20) years and I did not solicit any legal work from the City – the City sought the legal services of my law firm; and

4) I had no direct involvement in the construction of the garage at the FedEx Forum, as it was built by the Public Building Authority and the State of Tennessee.

Because I have demonstrated the highest ethical standards throughout my legal career, I serve as a hearing panel member on the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility and have the responsibility of policing other lawyers to ensure that they adhere to the ethical standards that govern the practice of law in this state. Fields intentionally neglected to tell you this.

Fields is correct about one thing. If the voters of Senate District 30 give me the privilege of serving them as their Senator, Richard Fields and others of his ilk should be very afraid – afraid that backroom political dealings to manipulate elections in District 30 to benefit their own self interest over public good will be over; afraid that the spigot of dollars and other favors will be turned off; afraid that the unfettered access they have enjoyed in the past will be denied; afraid that more men and women of good character and high moral values will run for public office; and afraid that an honest day’s pay will require an honest day’s work.

Again, I wish you had not been subjected to the illogical rantings of Fields and that this diversion had not occurred. However, it did afford me the opportunity to have this heart-to-heart discussion with you and to show you that the undersigned highly respected attorneys are just a few of those willing to attest to my integrity and character in the practice of law in the great State of Tennessee.

May God continue to bless each of you.


Robert L. J. Spence, Jr.


Attorneys for Robert Spence

We the undersigned attorneys, licensed and practicing in Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee, hereby state that we know Robert Spence as a highly competent and ethical attorney who is well qualified to serve in the State Senate from District 30.

Bill Anderson
Lenal Anderson, Jr.
Jeff Atchley
Danese Banks
Richard D. Bennett
Michelle L. Betserai
William Bomar
Patti C. Bowlan
Virginia P. Bozeman
Louis P. Britt, II
Retired Judge George Brown
John R. Cannon,Jr.
Keith Carlton
Charles E. Carpenter, Sr.
Miriam L. Clemons
Christopher H.Crain
Sam L. Crain, Jr.
Chandley Crawford
James Curry
Melanie H. Curry
Peter J. Dauster
Michael G. Derrick
Marc Diaz
Gerald F. Easter
Alex C. Elder
Shannon Elsea
John M. Farris
Gaylan C. Fitzpatrick
W. Bradley Gilmer
Regina Guy
Rob B. C. Hale
William H. Haltom, Jr.
W. Timothy Hayes, Jr.
Gwen Hewitt
Gina Higgins
John A.Irvine
Curtis Johnson
Florence Johnson
Christopher Jones
Les Jones
Malandria King
Karen S. Koplon
Jeannie Kosciolek
Sandra Loy
Milton Magee
George W. Maiden
Reed L. Malkin
Jonathan T. Martin
Bruce McMullen
Warren McWhirter
Michael Montesi
Charles F. Morrow
Evan Nahmias
Brandi Parrish
Lori H. Patterson
Jerome Payne
Reid R. Phillips
Jerry O. Potter
Michael Rafferty
Jeffrey S. Rosenblum
Steffen Schreiner
Teresa J. Sigmon
George E. Skouteris, Jr.
Michael C. Skouteris
Edward Stanton
Christopher L. Taylor
Carrie C. Thomas
Nikki Tinker
Shannon Toon
Bradley E. Trammell
Allan Wade
William B. Walk, Jr.
Charles G. Walker
Art Wells
Scott Willhite
Ricky Wilkins
Stacey Winkler
Kristina A. Woo
Gregory A. Ziskind

yellow dog dem said...

Another testimonial to the character and abilities of Robert L.J. Spence, Jr. and a basis to support his candidacy in the Democratic Primary for the office of State Senator from District 30.

Dear Voters of District 30:

Last week you received correspondence from Richard Fields which unfairly criticized and maligned a good friend of mine, Robert Spence.

Richard Fields does not know Robert Spence. I know Robert Spence. By virtue of having worked closely with him as CAO of the City of Memphis, I know that Robert’s legal skills are superb, his judgment is sound, and his intellect is keen.

I also, by virtue of 22 years in city government, have had an opportunity to observe many lawyers who worked as City Attorney and in my opinion, Robert Spence was clearly one of the best our city has ever had. The City of Memphis was lucky to have him and the residents of State Senate District 30 will be fortunate to have him in Nashville representing their interests.

Beyond that, I want to tell you that I know for a fact that the things Richard Fields asserts in his letter are not only erroneous, they are outright lies. Robert’s credibility is above reproach. His efforts helped move Memphis forward in a positive direction and I am pleased to have served with him.

Further, I do not understand why Robert’s opponent has not disavowed the letter unless, in fact, she was complicit in it. It offends me to see political campaigns run in this fashion. This vindictive public attack is enough to turn any fair-minded person’s stomach. Her silence on the matter speaks volumes.

I urge you to look at the good things that Robert Spence has done in and for our community and vote for him this Thursday, January 25th as your choice for State Senate District 30.

Thank you,

Rick Masson