Sunday, April 15, 2007

All right people, let's pay attention here..

Like most of you, I was initially dumbfounded when my councilor, Carol Chumney, abstained on Jack Sammons' resolution to remove Joseph Lee as MLGW CEO. WTF?

Well, as Carol's letter to the CA points out, the Sammons resolution amounted to, to steal a phrase, a tale told by an idiot, filled with sound and fury, signifying NOTHING.

Sammoons' resolution would have asked Joseph Lee to resign. Hey, Jack, did you forget that LEE ALREADY RESIGNED??? It's our pigheaded Mayor who REFUSED TO ACCEPT LEE'S RESIGNATION. So, your answer is to ask him to do something he already did?

Sammons' resolution was there to A) take the pressure OFF the Mayor, B) try and trap Carol in to piling on to Lee, and C) make Carol look bad, because he's in the pocket of the developers who want to keep Carol out of the Mayor's office.

Carol's resolution, which didn't get a second, would have put the pressure back on Herenton to accept Lee's resignation. Seeing what her fellow Councilor was trying to do, she wisely backed off and abstained, preventing this meaningless piece of crap from passing. As Carol noted:

My resolution asking the mayor to accept Lee's resignation puts the responsibility where it belongs -- back on the mayor, whose lack of leadership has perpetuated this politically and racially charged controversy. Under the city charter, without written charges, a trial and a judgment, the council has no power to remove Lee. All of this is orchestrated to take the heat off the mayor.

It's difficult in an age where we are besieged with meaningless information to see below the surface as to what's REALLY happening, but this is one of those times where you have to look, or you'll miss the real story. Carol was right, there's a right way and wrong way to do things; Sammons has done them wrong for so long, he's forgotten the difference.


polar donkey said...

We may have to disagree on this one simply because of how much political damage she did to herself. Jack Sammons articulated a common anti-Chumney frame which includes; that she is calculating, does things either her way or no way, can't build a consensus, and thin skinned.

By not explaining her position earlier in the week to counter him, she allowed Sammons to nail her on most of those points and it looked like the truth. Chumney stepped right back into that frame when she wrote that letter. The tone of that letter was not good. She looked petty and thin skinned. It doesn't help that after she wrote the letter to the CA, she tried to get it back and remove the criticism of CA. People get tired of her grandstanding and playing the victim at the same time. (Remember the Flyer article awhile back. The tone was:Stop picking on me.) To add insult to injury, she sat there in that council meeting and eat that big plate of shit served up by Edmund Ford. And that is going to tie into the major talking point against her. Leadership.

For all his countless faults, do you think Herenton would have taken 10 seconds of Edmund's diatribe. No. What happens when he and his surrogates start lighting into her? They will go right up to her and say what has Chumney acomplished besides saying no? Is she going to sit there quiet and then write a half thought out letter to the CA too.

That poll showing her in the lead for mayor was as much a curse as a benefit for her. She is now the frontrunner and has all the attention focus on her. Influencial people are already joking that this was the first step in her self-immolation.

But back to that resolution, even if she didn't like Sammon's resolution was it really worth abstaining. Both her's and Sammon's resolutions were symbolic. If she would have voted for the resolution it would have been 7-6. Nothing would have happened, and it would have been just another footnote in the MLGW saga. Unless there are indictments, there isn't going to be anymore hurt inflicted on Herenton. But now it is several days later, we are still talking about how Chumney blew it, and she's in damage control mode.

Damn, she makes it hard to support her.

leftwingcarolinablue said...

Any word on Carol's mayoral website yet? If nothing else, she has guts. If she somehow manages to win, she'll make a terrific Mayor. God--or Buddha--knows Memphis needs one.

vibinc said...

The focus and responsibility for a change in leadership at MLGW must be placed squarely where it belongs: on the mayor, or at the ballot box in October's city elections. Then the public will have the opportunity to elect a leader who will make the right decision even when it may not be popular.

Unfortunately, I feel that this may be an instance where Carol is right on the technical side, but wrong on the practice side. If this was how she felt at the time of the vote, then she should have run down one of the many reporters at the meeting, and made her feelings known right then. While this action may not have totally fixed anything, it would have at least put her on record, for all to see in the morning paper, and may have stopped some of the brou-ha-ha.

Memphis may not be on a 24 hour news cycle, but there is still something to being on top of your game, and framing your own position, instead of reacting to someone else's frame. Unfortunately, this letter is a reaction to a frame set into action by a savvy politico.

If Carol wants to be Mayor, she needs be aware that there are a lot of people that want to drag her down. Polar donkey is right about the polls that were released last week being both a blessing and a curse. As the "front runner" people expect her to be nimble and savvy. Unfortunately, this week she seemed neither.

It's a long campaign, and there's a lot of opportunity for redemption, but the performance (and that's REALLY what it is) HAS to be better if she wants to win.

Breckrider said...

I didn't see any leadership in her move. It's fine now to put some sort of explanation out there AFTER it happened. Why didn't she explain her position before the vote? All she does now is come across as a 5 year old pouting because nobody on the playground wanted to play by her rules.

I can't support that. Mavericks don't make good mayors and that's all she comes across as now. A lone goer. There is no consensus builder here. She could have gotten with Sammons and worked out some sort of compromise but she didn't. Neither did he. He's not any more fit to sit on the council than she is now.


Dabney said...

That must have been a pretty big glass of kool aid, LWC.

I think she is trying to hard to explain her actions and it isn't coming off well.

mike said...

First things first: The CA poll did NOT show Carol in the lead. It showed AC Wharton in the lead. Since he's not a candidate, people glide past him and look at number two -- Carol. They mistakenly thinks she's the leader now. But AC's numbers equaled Chumney and Herenton combined. That poll was a clever bit of anti-Herenton propaganda and the CA seems to be getting away with it. Shame on anyone who repeats it. Shame on LWC, Mr. "All right people, let's pay attention here."

Same for Jackson Baker's pimping of the Schledwitz "poll." It's never been released, so we only have Schledwitz' word for its results. Baker merely carried his (and Chumney's) water by printing that "story." I say that because the normally scrupulous Baker deceptively called Schledwitz, a life-long Democratic activist and presumed Chumney supporter, merely a "businessman." Twice.

Polar Donkey and vibinc are right. The time for Chumney to demonstrate leadership was at the Council meeting. Did she stand up and point out the differences between the two resolutions right there and then? No, she did not. She waited days, after most folks have already seen or read the news and hence the impression is already made. She may be right but it's too late.

For heaven's sake! In both this instance and the Flyer flap, she wrote letters instead of standing up and speaking out! Who in Memphis is impressed by sternly worded letters to the editor? Good grief, Carol Brown.

She could have easily voted for the Sammons resolution and then added her own as a screw tightener. It would have put pressure on both Lee and Herenton at the same time. Or she could have noted that the language in Sammons' resolution be changed to ask Lee to "re-submit" his resignation, highlighting his past actions and Herenton's roadblocking. But she didn't; she sat there and looked foolish.

Voters also saw Chumney sit there while Ed Ford heaped a ton of abuse on her, and do nothing. She didn't stand up for herself, much less smack that fool back down. Don't think Herenton didn't note that! You can bet he'll do more of the same in the months to come.

Stuff like LWC's indignant explantion just look like after the fact damage control. She had her moment catch her unprepared and she blew it. (Personally, I think she showed the real Chumney in how she handled the moment and its aftermath. Not at all impressive and certainly not "leadership.")

LeftWingCracker said...

Schledwitz is NOT, to my knowledge, a Chumney supporter; I have been told that the purpose of the poll was to put pressure on Wharton to get im the race, that Chumney would WIN if he did not enter the race.

LeftWingCracker said...

I was NOT told that by anyone connected with the Chumney campaign...

mike said...

My bad, then. Schledwitz is a Democratic activist and Chumney is the only acknowledged Democrat in the race. I assumed he was a pure party man.

LeftWingCracker said...

True enough that he supports only Democrats, but he wants ONE MORE Democrat in the race, the one who is already a Mayor....

He's still a developer first...

B said...

Whenever I see her interviewed, Carol always seems to me to be reciting something she's rehearsed in front of a mirror. Her actions during the council meeting, and subsequent attempts to explain herself via a letter to the CA, seem to confirm that. She can't think on the run. A good leadership quality is the ability to express one's views extemporaneously. I'm not sure she can do that. I don't want a mayor who can't think on his/her feet.

kiljoyhardluck said...

Carol did explain her vote to several reporters tuesday they didn't report it that way, either on purpose or because they didn't fully understand it. I was at the meeting and saw and overheard her explaining it but Konji
looked like a deer in the headlights while Carol Talked.