Friday, September 14, 2007

Mayor Herenton is a happier man right now

Why, you ask?  Because the Commercial Appeal did exactly what everyone expected, and endorsed Herman Morris for Mayor, proving the Mayor's point that the white business establishment wants someone nice and polite that they can control. 

I am willing to bet that as you are reading this, the Mayor's campaign staff is eagerly distributing copies of the endorsement to every African-American neighborhood in the city.  Hell, by the time they're done, John Willingham will pull more African-American votes than Herman Morris, given the distinct lack of popularity of the CA in that community.  the humorously ironic part of this is that I can just imagine Chris Peck, Otis Sanford and Wendi Thomas congratulating themselves on their marvelous choice.

Interestingly enough, the Stonewall Democrats and the Tennessee Equality Project both endorsed Morris, despite the fact that one of Morris' biggest supporters is that noted lover of gay rights, Leo "LaSimba" Gray.  Oh well, maybe they can all have a group hug on Herman's behalf.

Whither Chumney in all of this?  Glad you asked.  Given that they can't keep signs in the HQ because each order is gone within minutes and that most folks have figured out that the only real chance to have a new Mayor is to support Carol, she is rocking hard.

What do you think all those folks in East Memphis who have been trying to decide whether to support their old friend Willingham or go for Carol will think when their hated enemy, the CA comes out for Morris?  I'll bet the Chumney sign machine will explode from overwork, that's what.

Carol Chumney has a coalition of working people, middle-class people,retired people, all of whom have been hurt by the increase in crime and the devaluation of their property due to that crime, which has led to MIDDLE-CLASS flight from Memphis (it's black folks who are leaving in droves, now, people) and they know that this may be their last chance to turn things around.

Mayor Herenton neither has the energy nor the desire to turn things around, it's all become a pissing contest for him, and he knows Morris can't win; that's why he loves the CA endorsement.  All he has to do is say "Look at those white folks and the black folks who want to be white folks, look who they want to win, the guy I fired.  Can you believe that?" 

It also means he will continue to try and ignore Chumney, who is the only viable candidate with a real plan for change.  We can't let that happen, not if we want to see this city in which we have all invested pieces of our lives grow and change for the better.

Early voting begins today at the locations noted here; go, and take friends with you.  Carol needs your vote, your help, your money, whatever you can provide to ensure her victory for ALL Memphians on October 4.

I don't want to imagine the alternative.


mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mike said...

Hmmm.... Morris has, as you yourself state, a wide variety of folks supporting him, even including a mix of Republicans AND Democrats! (Something you avoided mentioning.) Carol has the traditional Democratic base -- again as you yourself just said.

And who has the broader support?

Really, reading these posts of yours about Carol is hilarious. Who knew you could be such a nimble contortionist?

Julie said...

I think I've finally settled on who I'm going to vote for (although I reserve the right to be a woman & change my mind): Herman Morris.

I made my decision for nothing other than the betterment of the city.

After watching Monday's debate, I decided that what's needed for Memphis right now is someone who unites, not divides.

I love Carol Chumney, and I think she would make a great mayor, but I think that if she were to win at this point, the divisiveness would continue, and the council wouldn't work with her as they should.

Another reason that really put me over the top is this: Morris is, above all, a businessman. For Memphis to move forward, we need someone with that kind of background to make tough (and sometimes unpopular) decisions. Phil Bredesen was a businessman before he became mayor of Nashville, and when I lived there my freshman year in college ('92-'93), Nashville was starting to make the moves to make them the city that they've grown to be today....

I don't want another year to pass by for Memphis to begin working towards the 1st class city it can be; one that retains their local talent, instead of watching them pack up & move to other urban areas that have more exciting things going on.

LeftWingCracker said...

First to Mike; if Republicans aren't supporting Carol, then just who the hell are all those folks on Park Avenue from Perkins to Ridgeway with Chumney signs? Poujadists? (look it up).


I like Herman as a person, he seems nice enough, but I would like to address your comments about Herman as a businessman.

I take the position that, even if Herman did not know all that was going on with Networx, he SHOULD have, given the amount of public investment. Simply put, although he was canned before he could do more with it, I believe there was a serious failure of oversight, which is deadly for a CEO.

Next, he was in charge of MLGW during Hurricane Elvis, and, since the Mayor chose that time to go out of town and fundraise, left Herman to deal with the aftermath. Although it was a daunting task, I realize, I cannot brand his handling of the aftermath as a success. It took a week for me get my services back, and it took friends of mine even longer.

Given that he also put his family on the VIP list, that means that at three of the most critical junctures of his service with MLGW as its head, he failed. With the current state of the city, this is hardly the type of leadership we can afford.

Regarding Bredesen, while I am not happy with his gubernatorial tenure, I concede freely that he was an excellent Mayor of Nashville, as he did rebuild the city's downtown, just as Herenton led downtown rebirth here in his first two terms.

However, when Bredesen left office, there was a sense that the downtown development had been at the expense of the neighborhoods, such as the position we find ourselves in Memphis today.

Just as Nashville needed a Bill Purcell to work with the outlying neighborhoods, we in Memphis need someone who has been in those neighborhoods for the last 17 years, someone who can restore trust in government.

I, too, understand the concerns of those who say she is difficult to work with. First, she is hardest on herself, because she is that determined to do the right thing with every decision.

Second, many of those who are claiming she won't work with them are the good ole boys who have run the city for their own benefit, and are desperate to find someone who will do what they want, now that Herenton has become untenable for them.

The city is at a crossroads right now; do we continue as we have, or do we take critical, tumultuous steps to root out corruption and make the city safe again?

The next four years are going to be difficult ones, regardless of who wins on October 4. The question is who steers us in the right direction, and for me, the only answer is Carol Chumney.

Jim Maynard said...

I'm sorry, but I have lost respect for Carol Chumney. She is another Hillary Clinton!
Stonewall Dems and TEP endorsed Herman Morris because he responded favaorable to our questionnaires, which Carol didn't even bother with, and he came to Mid South Pride AND the TEP candiatge meet and greet and has spoken out in favor of LGBT rights. He supports a non-discrimination ordinance AND domestic partnership benefits for gay city employees. Carol Chumney has said that there is no need for an ordiance becuase gays are already protected from discrimination (WRONG!) and she has opposed DP benefits becuase of the costs. So there.. if you want to support her go ahead, I think Morris is a better candidate and he certainly cares more about the gay community than carol.
Just because the idiot preachrs endorsed Morris, dosen't mean he supports their views on gays, he has in fact said he does not. they probably did not even know he was a supporter of LGBT rights when they endorsed him.

Jim Maynard said...

And... if you really do not want Herenton to win, you should be supporting Morris. There is no way Chumney will win, and supporting her will split the anti-herenton vote and re-elect him. More African-Americnas will vote for Morris over Chumney, so I think Morris is the best choice to beat Herenton.

Memphis For Morris said...

Cracker, the more I read of you and your warped sense of reality, the more I believe that you are just a loyal sailor going down on a sinking ship. I don't know if you are just ignorant to the black community, or if you think that most black Memphians are not intelligent enough to understand the points presented in the Commercial Appeal's endorsement of Herman, but I am going to share your comments about my fellow African-American Memphians with as many people as I can to show what the Chumney camp thinks of us good ole black folk.

You think that black people don't like the Commercial Appeal? So if Chumney was endorsed, would you have the same opinion? Did Willie Herenton shun the endorsement of the Commercial Appeal in 1995 and 2003 when he had a minimal challenge and in 1999 when the mayor's race was heated? Did the white business establishment think it could control Willie Herenton at the time? Maybe the white establishment that owns WDIA-AM (which is definitely pro-Herenton) and WREC-AM (which oddly enough isn't talking much about the mayor's race despite being "King Willie" central for years) still believes control of Willie Herenton is within their grasp.

What do you really know about the black community? You drive through black neighborhoods so now you can go on the Dave Chappelle game show singing the theme song to Martin?

You think getting endorsed by the only major newspaper in the region is a turn-off? The CA's endorsement is probably the most unbiased and well-researched endorsement this side of the Coalition for a Better Memphis, (which gave Herman better ratings than Carol in every category as well), and if Carol Chumney didn't want to pursue the endorsement, why did she talk to the Commercial Appeal's people?

The endorsement is a turn-off for East Memphis white folks too? They won't read the editorial and ponder the points made? Did they hate the editorial yesterday critical of Willie Herenton?

So basically, you are saying everyone hates the Commercial Appeal. So why are they still in business? Is it just for the s ports and classified ads? Whether the CA is a relic or not, educated people on their editorial board believe Herman Morris to be a better candidate for mayor than your friend Carol Chumney. You can have sour grapes if you want, but whether you believe it or not, more black people will vote for Herman than Carol, and more white people will vote for Herman than Carol. Carol is not a leader. Memphians are smart enough to realize it.

And you, regardless of how hard you try, are not Thaddeus Matthews. Please do not make African-Americans out to be ignorant lemmings; it is offensive and makes me think you might be a bigot.

Thanks Cracker.

P.S. Thanks for not mentioning Herenton indirectly calling Herman a house "negro" yesterday. I know you are happy he is not concentrating on Carol for some odd reason, but maybe you are right about Herenton using Ford-esque buffoonery to prevent Herman Morris from grabbing more votes from African-Americans.

LeftWingCracker said...

MFM, while your loyalty should be appreciated by Herman, You need to be clued into the fact that I have been doing politics in this community, white AND black, since before you were born (yes, I'm an old fart).

Carol is well-known in the African-American community for the work she's done since entering public office 17 years ago. go into Binghampton and ask what they think of Carol. go into the areas around Dixie Homes (or what's left of it) and ask those folks.

Then ask them what they think of Herman Morris. why have I STILL not seen any Morris signs in the African-American community (I haven't been to Hickory Hill in a while, so I can't speak for that area)?

We've seen what Herman has done when given the opportunity; he's been ineffectual at best, and we face a crisis here.

So you say Carol can't lead? Who rallied the community to ensure that Day-care centers were finally regulated and steps were taken to reduce the chance that children would be left in day-care vans?

Who stepped up to block the toy-Towns law that would have resulted in a hundred incorporated subdivisions sitting on the city's edge like so many parasites?

It wasn't Herman, it was Carol Chumney.

That is REAL leadership, because it's EFFECTIVE leadership. sometimes you have to stir the waters to get things done, and Herman will be too worried about offending anyone to do that.

He is the Mike Cody of 2007; Everybody loved him but not enough people voted for him, and he kept JO Patterson from becoming Mayor in 1983.

I fear that Herman's presence will ensure another term for Herenton, something this city cannot afford.

Memphis For Morris said...

Yeah... Leading a billion dollar company is not leading anything. And forget seven years of high customer service marks, few rate increases, and high morale of MLGW employees. Forget leading the NAACP, Chamber of Commerce, etc. etc. That doesn't compare to being a state representative. I guess Katherine Bowers would make a great mayor too!

How big of a budget has Carol created again cracker? How many employees have worked for her? When has she had to deal with a crisis (and the Tennessee state shutdown doesn't count)?

It still doesn't change what you said and how insulting it is. All black people hate the Commercial Appeal according to you.

While you fear Herenton is going to slip to a victory, I am confident that the people will rally to Herman Morris. It's not about being "well liked," it's about getting support from blacks and whites, Democrats and Republicans, rich and poor.

If you don't see any Morris signs in black neighborhoods, you must not be going into them. I've personally put out signs in Whitehaven, South Memphis, Frayser, Raleigh, and North Memphis. And a sign doesn't vote.

Herman's getting at least 35% of the black vote. Herman's getting 45-50% of the white vote. That would be enough to win unless black voters make over 70% of the voters (which will not happen).

So while you focus on non-issues and deny Herman Morris is a more experienced leader than Carol Chumney, just remember what you said the endorsement you wish your candidate received.

Saw that first Carol Chumney commercial, but I must tell you, it has nothing on Herman's fourth commercial. When it was over, I loved that video that showed how Carol doesn't realize the mayor is the CEO of the city!

mike said...

LWC wrote: o you say Carol can't lead? Who rallied the community to ensure that Day-care centers were finally regulated and steps were taken to reduce the chance that children would be left in day-care vans?

Who stepped up to block the toy-Towns law that would have resulted in a hundred incorporated subdivisions sitting on the city's edge like so many parasites?

That's not leadership, that's tinkering! Even in her ad, it's "When I was in the legislature...." What is this obsession with fine-tuning laws to produce desired outcomes?

In the debates, she responded to a crime question by noting that in the legislature she passed a variety of laws. Well, that was about five years ago and crime has gotten worse since then! So, in other words, she failed.

And reams of laws to not a peaceful, prosperous city make. It takes the quality that is most markedly lacking in Chumney, which is leadership.

LeftWingCracker said...


Just what is the purpose of a legislature but to pass laws that produce mutually desired outcomes? In that context, your comment makes no sense.

the only way we will ever have no government is if there are no people.

If you want to be free of government, go buy your own island like Raymond Burr did...

overit said...

It occurs to me that Herman Morris is just all too convenient for this election.

I know the brand of corruption I get with Willie Herenton. I don't want to be surprised by the new corruption that I'm going to get with Herman Morris.

Everyone says that he's a "family man" with "roots to this community."


He maintained the VIP list at MLGW. In doing so, he showed (if anyone paid any attention) EXACTLY what he was made of. He showed that he approved of such a system - I already have that at City Hall and, to me, unless you want it to continue, Carol is the only way to vote.

I refuse to vote for more corruption, but if I had to choose between Herenton & Morris, I'd pick Herenton. At least he doesn't try to pretend he's something he's not.

Carol is the only choice to lead this city - it may only be for four years, but I belive it will be 4 years free of the lies and hypocrisy that we've seen for the past sixteen.

overit said...

Oh yeah...and the LAST thing I would ever do is vote for ANYONE endorsed by the CA.

Jenny said...

As to severance, Herman Morris got the same package which was approved several years prior to his leaving for all employees of MLGW. It was negotiated by the employees and the union for the employees. He didn't get any more or any less. He also didn't get any pension. He got what he paid into the retirement/pension plan and nothing more.

Chumney was in the legislature when the deregulation of the electric industry was approved, thereby allowing utility companies to enter into the communications business. Networx was a direct competitor to Time Warner Telecom. Morris was fired before it took off, and it was mismanaged by Joseph Lee who traded off the controlling interest to private investors for a promise to pay Networx debt if Networx couldn't. But once they had the controlling interest and and interested buyer came along, the private investors saw the opportunity to make a profit and decided to sell leaving MLGW holding the bag. Once again, Willie's little buddy Lee proved he wasn't anywhere near the manager that Willie tried to make us believe.

Finally, "The List" is a contorted story made up of 3 lists. Carol Chumney knows this, yet she continues to publish the lie to the public about "The List."

List number 1 was a telephone list--nothing more. It allowed certain callers to not be screened. Morris' family members were on the phone list. Politicians who may have had constituents' problems to deal with were on it. Also on the phone list was a noted Memphian who was so beligerant with Herman's staff that Herman chose to take his calls himself rather than to subject his staff to such treatment.

List 2 was the Third-Party notification program that allowed a relative or friend to be notified that a loved one's utilities were in danger of being cut off in order to give them an opportunity to make payment rather than have that loved one subjected to extreme heat or cold. It did not allow for non-payment.

List 3 was the On-Track Program which a person in financial trouble could find help with paying his/her bill. They had to meet certain qualifications, make arrangements to pay AND keep the arrangement, and attend financial planning classes. Failure to comply resulted in the person's utilities being cut off until payment was made and they were not allowed to reapply for the program for 6 months.

Joseph Lee added Edmund Ford's name to the Third-Party and On-Track Program Lists.

The Glanker-Brown Investigative report found that Edmund Ford did not receive free utilities under Morris or interim president Netters, and that Herman and or allof his staff had participated in the cutting off of Ford's utilites on numerous occasions.

Ms. Chumney knows all this, but she is content to perpetrate the lie in accord with her own agenda... the Carol Chumney campaign. I don't need a mayor who wants to win so badly that she is content to base her campaign on a lie about someone else.

LeftWingCracker said...

Jenny, you posted the same crap at Bob's 55-40 blog; let me reprint HIS response, because it's on point......

I just want to address a key part of a comment a Morris defender made on my previous post.

Chumney was in the legislature when the deregulation of the electric industry was approved, thereby allowing utility companies to enter into the communications business.

"Allowing" is the key word here. That just makes it legal. It doesn't make it right for Memphis and MLGW.

Networx was a direct competitor to Time Warner Telecom.

It hoped to be, anyway. So what? That doesn't mean MLGW should have been in the business of competing for (or hoping to take over?) our cable/internet service, in addition to its monopoly on all our utilities.

Morris was fired before it took off,

"Took off" is an assumption. I rather doubt that, but it's irrelevant anyway. Evidently you're saying that it could have taken off under Morris's wing -- and then what? Made scads of money for whom? You? And whom else?

and it was mismanaged by Joseph Lee

Don't know, but I'm not not disputing that. On the other hand, if you're specifically talking about Lee's decision to bail, I might disagree.

...who traded off the controlling interest to private investors for a promise to pay Networx debt if Networx couldn't. But once they had the controlling interest and and interested buyer came along, the private investors saw the opportunity to make a profit and decided to sell leaving MLGW holding the bag.

Not really disputing that Lee executed the decision to bail. What I'm saying is that MLGW should never have been in that business to begin with. Playing sugar-daddy to an internet startup is not MLGW's proper role. Lee was cleaning up after it. Did he clean up the best and cheapest way possible? I don't know.

Once again, Willie's little buddy Lee proved he wasn't anywhere near the manager that Willie tried to make us believe.

I am no fan of Willie's, and I can imagine that Lee isn't much of a manager having been Willie's protege.

My bottom line is that MLGW, a public-utility monopoly, had no freaking business taking a flyer on an internet startup in the first place. Morris was wrong to do it. He was abusing a public trust. He was a fool to do so if he was talked into it by some Texas suits bearing slick PowerPoints. Or maybe he was inspired by self interest. Maybe he had visions of being the CEO of a fabulously powerful and successful private corporation -- once MLGW went private. Maybe he had options in the Networx, or maybe some of his cronies had options or investments. I don't know, but it was wrong in any case.

If MLGW were a private corporation it might have been different. I say might because I've seen private coporations get bamboozled in this way, too. In fact, I have been involved in cleaning up after one of these kinds of ventures myself. It costs money -- but it's really just recognizing a loss that has already occured.

So your argument really boils down to this: "If Morris has stayed CEO and MLGW hadn't bailed, he would have been vindicated because it would have been fabulously successful."

Someday, you will probably make the same argument about Iraq: "If the Republicans had stayed in the White House, and if we hadn't bailed, we would have won!"

Good luck with that.

Anonymous said...