Wednesday, February 21, 2007

We're 10 days out from the W/P Caucuses

and to date, we only have one ANNOUNCED candidate for SCDP Chair, Jay Bailey. Thaddeus reported that Commissioner Henri Brooks is also considering a run, and others who have indicated that they are thinking about running include Desi Franklin and, as of today, Jody Hurt Patterson.

Let's look at each of them and then I would like you to comment on each of them.

Jay Bailey

Strengths: in Democratic politics practically since birth, as the son of longtime County Commissioner Walter Bailey. He is probably the ONLY candidate considered to be friendly with both David Upton and Sidney Chism, no mean feat. He also represented four Party candidates for County office last year when they challenged the election.

Weaknesses: He has a history with the disciplinary committee of the bar Association; while he dismissed the infractions as small, others have charged it's worse than he says. Deemed by some to be too close to Upton; however, Chism has openly supported him for office, so, we'll see. I don't know how well he would fund-raise, a critical task for any Chair.

Commissioner Henri Brooks

Strengths: Commissioner Brooks spent over a decade representing House 92 after upsetting long-time legislator Alvin King. She was seen as a scrapper for her district. She had a life-changing experience over a year ago, surviving a fall in the dead od winter where she was not found for several hours; people who have worked with her say that she has become calmer and more easy to work with since that time. She is now making news investigating Juvenile Court, which she has likened to a "plantation".

Weaknesses: While this can also be a strength when dealing with Goopers, she is not afraid to offend anyone, as those who remember her refusal to recite the Pledge of Allegiance while in the General Assembly can attest. If she wants this office, is she the public face that a majority of the Party would want? I say sometimes yes, sometimes no. No clue as to how well she would fund-raise.

Desi Franklin

Strengths: As a relative newbie to Democratic politics here, she has nonetheless worked her ass off for our candidates while working with Women For Kerry, Mid-South Democrats in Action, and since 2005 on the SCDP ExecCom. She is NOT afraid to speak her mind (again, sometimes yes, sometimes no as a strength) and had legendary arguments with veteran Del Gill. She is a supporter of New Path, an association of African-American professionals whom she believes will strengthen the community and the Party. Fund-raising would be a strength; she helped Steve Mulroy's victorious Commission campaign.

Weaknesses: Because she works for Baker Donelson, she is perceived (unfairly, IMO) as a closet Gooper. Well, hell, Buck Lewis was there while he was STATE Democratic Chair, so what difference does it make? Not only that, you can find some HARDCORE Goopers in that legendary Democratic firm, Farris Hancock, so that SHOULD be a non-issue. Some say she is too easily swayed by Chism, only time will tell if that is accurate or not; I tend to think she is more savvy than that.

Jody Hurt Patterson

Strengths: Democratic operative who has been Rep. Mike Kernell's right-hand person for over a decade, and has worked hard in every major Democratic campaign in Shelby County since the mid 1990s. She is the only one of the candidates above to have held an officer position, IIRC, as she replaced Oran Quintrell as SCDP secretary during the term of Kathryn Bowers. She is well-known and well-liked by most in the party, as far as I know.

Weaknesses: Her health. When she is well, she is one of the hardest-working operatives in town, when she's not, she's down for a while. While she herself may not be a fund-raiser, she can call on those who can.

Let it rip and let's see what you think.


David Holt said...

Actually, Desi has held an officer position too. She was 2nd Vice Chair and is now on the steering committee.

Jay replaced Mal Hooker as District 29 (?) State executive committee member.

I'm still holding out for another candidate or two myself.

Anonymous said...

What does it mean to be "too close to Upton"?

polar donkey said...

If these are my three choices, I guess I'd go with Henri.

JB said...

With all due respect to Henri and those like P.D. who support her, is it really tenable for a major party to present as its public face someone who declines a pledge of allegiance to the flag?

I'd really like some feedback on that.

Kibitzer said...

Although Jay Bailey has been described as an "horrific" choice by some members of the party's reform element, he has impressive across-the-board strength otherwisel. I pesonally think Sidney is benevolently neutral on Jay, but if he should start pumping for him, look out!

Brassmask said...

Shea Flinn seems like a great idea to me.

I could be convinced to support Desi though she and I disagree on a number of points.