Sunday, November 30, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
As Jackson Baker has reported, we raised more than enough money to re-pay Steve Mulroy for the new ballots he had made, and as you can see above, we had a ceremonial burning of the old, bad ballots (that were UNSUCCESSFUL, by the way) and we managed to raise extra money for the Inner City Outreach Center.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Democratic Solidarity Event-Tues. Nov 18th
What-Democratic Solidarity Event
When-Tuesday, November 18th
Where-Memphis Pizza Cafe. 2087 Madison ave.
Suggested donation-All Donations Welcome
First of all I wanted to tip my hat and extend my sincerest thanks to all of you who got out there and worked during this historic election season. From the incredible grassroots efforts of the local Obama campaign, to the campaigns for Steve Cohen, Bob Tuke, Paul Shaffer, and Freda Williams, to the Yes on Five campaign and to all the hard work done by staff,interns and volunteers here at Change Memphis, you and your efforts win or lose did make a difference.
......But before you take a well deserved rest, there is one tiny little piece of bookkeeping that I feel we all as Progressives and as Democrats need to address.
This election was not without it's share of controversy, however as we have seen there has been much discord over the printing and distributing of ballots from the Shelby County Democratic Party brand bearing the now infamous "VOTE NO ON REFERENDUMS" box. This "misprint" misrepresented the official position of the Shelby County Democratic Party executive committee and was an unauthorized addition to the official party ballot. This event cause great confusion and had the potential to mislead the public and tarnish the democratic brand for years to come. Fortunately a loyal democrat stood up and paid money out of his own pocket in order to correct this "mistake". That Democrat was County Commissioner Steve Mulroy.
Despite this generous gesture on his part, and the efforts of other loyal Democrats these bogus ballots were still being distributed all the way to election day. Thankfully these actions were not in vain as the will of the people was clearly demonstrated on election day. Dwayne Thompson, a member of the executive committee proposed a resolution, that the SCDP would reimburse Mulroy for his efforts to correct this "mistake" made by the party. This resolution was blocked by the current leadership and never allowed to reach the floor for a vote.
This is an insult,and it's an insult to each and every one of YOU, who have donated YOUR time,YOUR money and YOUR energy to the cause of helping to elect good democrats and to advance progressive causes. It's an insult because the current leadership of the party has chosen to set itself above and apart from all of those who labor in pursuit of Democratic goals and values. It's an insult because we now have a democratic party, that does not believe in democracy. It's an insult, because it flies in the face of everything we all believe in. This is not about ideology,or personalities. This is not about Faction vs. Faction...it's about RIGHT Vs. WRONG.
So, We would like to extend to you an invitation to attend a Democratic Solidarity fundraiser for the purpose of correcting this "mistake". TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 18th,at the Memphis Pizza Cafe, 2087 Madison Ave. 6:30-8:30pm. All funds raised will go to reimbursing Steve Mulroy for the 700.00 dollars that he paid out of pocket to correct the SCDP ballot.
If any additional funds are raised,those donations would go to support the efforts of the Inner City Outreach Center, located in the Foote homes area. this program provides young people in the area a safe place to exercise and play. they also have basketball camps and serve as mentors to boys and young men who have few options in their neighborhood.
We hope to see you all there.
The Progressive Bloggers of Shelby County.
Brad Watkins and David Holt Confessions of a West Tennessee Liberal
Steve Steffens- Left Wing Cracker
Derek Haire-the flypaper theory
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I want to say that I don't blame Gray Sasser for all the problems that have befallen the TDP and our legislators, but since this happened on his watch, he does have to answer for them.
He apparently attempted to do so in this podcast with LIBERADIO, which I have yet to listen to, but will as soon as I can.
Part of the problem is that the state party is usually led by a hot-shot Nashville lawyer looking to make a name for himself on the way to higher office. This leads to having Chairs who don't want to offend the elites of Nashville or Memphis or the rural areas, and as such presents no real progressive agenda.
This, of course, leads to people who barely run to the left of the Republican, or, as in Harold Ford Junior's case, to the RIGHT of the Republican. This is one reason why we've only won TWO statewide offices since 1994, twice with The Honorable Phil Governor.
Now, I'm not suggesting that we campaign on social issues; I know how that will go. However, if Obama and Congress do as they should, and lower MIDDLE and WORKING CLASS taxes, I am presuming some of these rural folks will figure out that what they call "socialism" is pretty good when it goes to them instead of some CEO who ran his financial institution or auto company into the ground.
And we have to be ready with a REAL message, a COORDINATED message that ignores all the anti-abortion, anti-gay-marriage stuff that's going to wind up being decided by the Supreme Court anyway. We have to find candidates, especially in the rural areas, who can communicate with people who are scared shitless of change, since they have not experienced POSITIVE change in a hell of a long time.
And, in order to do this, we need a Tennessee Democratic Party (as well as a Shelby County Democratic Party) that is stable enough and organized enough to lay the foundation for this to happen, whether President Obama decides to throw us money or not.
For too long, both the local and state party has waited for the national campaign and the national party to throw money at them before they were willing to do anything. Hell, battles for control of the local party were about this very thing in the 1990s (and you old-timers like me know damn good and well that was what it was about!), and where are we now?
The one exception to this was 2004, when Kathryn Bowers got several folks together, along with the ExecCom, and said, by God, we're going to do it on our own, and raised enough money for a Headquarters and a coordinated campaign that, until this year, produced the highest vote total ever in this County for a Democratic presidential campaign. Kathryn, I miss you.
We need to think about this as A) we approach the 2009 local re-org, and B) the impending race for TDP Chair.
At the state level, above all else, WE NEED A FREAKING COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR 24/7, 365, even if the Chair and Executive Director have to take a damn PAY CUT. For all the vile crap put out by Bill Hobbs, the TNGOP director of propaganda, the saddest fact of all is that it WORKED.
Yes, old Hobbsie is as responsible for this debacle as anyone at TDP HQ, because we never had a coherent response for his messages, because they were still running a 1992 playbook. We saw what that did for Hillary in the primary; what made you think that would work in a general election in 2008?
REMEMBER YOUR BASE! Most of us are, well, I don't know any other way to say it, WILD-ASS FLAMING LIBERALS! LIBERALS! LIBERALS!
There, did I say it enough times? And, remember, since this is Tennessee, a WILD-ASS FLAMING LIBERAL is just someone who doesn't believe in mandatory gun ownership, and who doesn't believe in public floggings of all non-Christians.
Really, most of us are opposed to the last eight years of neo-feudalist economic policy, we want a NEW NEW DEAL. Tell me again why the people in the rural areas would be opposed to this, since, if you've been paying attention, you know that they are hurting from job losses from exported jobs worse than anyone else. We saw this in Pennsylvania and Ohio and Michigan this year, people who told our field people that they were voting for the "N-----" because they thought he would do a better job. As the commentator said, if McCain couldn't get THOSE people, he was doomed.
Appalachia is Appalachia, and there's no reason it can't happen here. WE, (and that means ME TOO) have to MAKE IT HAPPEN. EVERY TENNESSEE DEMOCRAT NEEDS TO BE INVOLVED, and the TDP needs to get off its collective asses and go to its base and ask for their help. Most of them would be glad to oblige.
More on the local stuff later, it's time to save the TDP while we still can.
Jackson Baker has reported that AC Wharton, with some 30 months to go before the filing deadline, and with just under two years to go in his term as County Mayor, is having a $500-a-pop fundraiser on November 19 at The Racquet Club. I had heard about this Saturday night from another source, but not with this detailed a report.
Mayor Herenton presumably approves of the Wharton candidacy, which should give some of Wharton's supporters at the County level some pause for concern. It has appeared for over a year now that Hizzoner has wanted to anoint his successor, presumably having to do with his legacy.
I'll leave THAT alone for the moment.
It seems that, while everyone expects that Wharton will win handily, I offer my slightly contrarian suggestion that it is not as cut and dried as you might think. No, I'm not necessarily talking about Carol Chumney, either.
What Wharton has now that he didn't have in 2002 is a record on which he may be judged. In 2006, he had minimal opposition and walked over for victory; however, he may face SEVERAL candidates who are less scared of the Wharton mystique than they once might have been.
While I fully expect Carol to run in 2011, barring accident, let's not forget that Councilor Myron Lowery earlier this year was prepared to run if Herenton had resigned, Chumney or no Chumney, Wharton or no Wharton.
Wharton would not have as large a number of white voters in this city race, and it is they as much as black voters who have propelled him to victory in 2002 and 2006. Lowery could seriously cut into Wharton's totals among all voters regardless of race, and Chumney would hurt Wharton among women and older whites. That would leave Wharton with just Herenton's base, and there's no guarantee that he would get all of that, either.
While Wharton's style certain does not have the grating and sometimes infuriating form as Herenton, his record, frankly, hasn't set the world on fire. He has been faced with the fact that Memphis has suffered job losses and increased poverty, which has been beyond his control, just as it has Herenton. However, adversity is when you test the mettle of an executive, and I leave it to you to judge just how successful he has been.
With all that in mind, Wharton may feel that he needs to get out and get a lot of money in order to pre-empt potential candidacies for 2011. However, I'm not at all certain that will work this time.
It's not just the country as a whole looking for change, people, it's right here in River City!
Sunday, November 09, 2008
We're mighty damn frustrated, because I see what happened in Tennessee in 2008 as a reflection of what happened to Congressional Democrats in 1994. Especially in the House, the Democratic leadership had just been in power so long they forgot why they were put there, and were reduced to fighting endless series of holding actions to preserve their power, which they then did not use enough to protect the people.
I understand that if you took out Shelby and Davidson counties, this state would lurch so far to the right it would be uninhabitable, but you cannot be just Republican-lite and expect to stay in power here. You have to fight back, to be aggressive, and to do what's RIGHT rather than what your big-money donors (who will leave you now that you're no longer in power) want you to do.
So, am I suggesting we all move into yurts, take up co-op farming and withdraw from society? Hardly. We have to rebuild FROM THE GROUND UP.
For now, stay away from wedge issues (as the Goopers are now going to try to ram them down our throats). Work on ECONOMIC ISSUES, and GET YOUR MESSAGE OUT. Nobody really cares about the inside-baseball reasons you kicked out Kurita (which, while I eventually agreed with it, I also know that on some levels it hurt us), they want to see real action taken to help their lives.
I'm not going to bash Gray Sasser for his shot at bloggers, which our Blogfather, Randy Neal, so eloquently refuted, I just want to say that we want to help, but we are not just going to parrot the message if we don't think it addresses the situation properly. We write what we believe, and we are not just shills. Work with us, as we have all worked in elections and campaigns repeatedly.
As I said the other day, we need to ORGANIZE. We can't get into campaigns where all they do is out-negative each other; I wouldn't have voted for EITHER candidate in the Camp-Gresham race based on their commercials. Vicious attacks are the Republicans' game, and we need to tell people why they should vote FOR our candidates.
So, while I am deeply happy about the Obama-Biden victory, I know that it is only a sign that our work has just started. We in the blogosphere want to help this party rebuild from the ground up, because that's the any way it can be sustainable.
And, I offer this invitation: All of you who seek the TDP Chairmanship, come to Memphis for Drinking Liberally and we will do our damndest to have a crowd for you. Be prepared to answer tough questions, but we want to move this state to the left where it belongs, and we are prepared to work with any of you, if you are willing to work with us.
My email address is sjs1959 at gmail dot com if you are interested.
Friday, November 07, 2008
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Bring your “retired” cribs to
THE GREAT CRIB ROUND UP!!!!
Saturday, November 8th
10 am-2 pm
Germantown United Methodist Church
OLEC Parking Lot
2323 West Street, Germantown
Thanks to YOU more babies will have a safe place to sleep!
Sponsored by: The Maternal League of Memphis
Safe Kids . The Neighborhood Christian Center
Memphis & Shelby County Health Department
Elfo’s . Ronnie Grisanti & Sons
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
So, Democrats are in the minority in the State House of Representatives for the first time since, when, Andrew Jackson? My friends, for Shelby County, this is a horrific situation, because all we've really got is Jim Coley (a terrific guy, by the way, he DOES a great job and he's not like the folks outside Shelby) standing between us and complete destruction.
Speaker Jason Mumpower? If that doesn't make your blood run cold, people, it's because you don't know what's coming. Gone are chairmanships for our local legislators, and don't think that they won't try to screw Shelby County as much as possible in redistricting if we don't get this back in two years.
Friends, as the late Branch Rickey used to say, the arrow is pointing DOWN for the Tennessee Democratic Party. What pisses me off is that the response I have heard from the TDP seems to be, well, gee whiz, Obama wrote us off and didn't send us any GOTV money.
BOO FUCKING HOO. That sure didn't stop that lovely little band of rebels over on Park Avenue from raising money ON THEIR OWN (thank you, Desi!) and creating the biggest Democratic margin in Shelby County history, did it?
Obama looked down here and saw disorganization and no chance to win, so he smartly said to hell with it. The fact is, the TDP leadership still can't figure out that 1994 happened, so they are running the campaigns of 15 years ago, and they got their asses handed to them.
ORGANIZE, TDP, it's the only way you'll get anywhere now. The good ole boys with money no longer have to pretend they like you, as their REAL loves, the Republicans, can go about the business of doing for them what the GOP Congress did for business in America from 1994-2006.
YOU HAVE TO BUILD FROM THE GROUND UP. The Clinton Model no longer works in Tennessee, and you need to figure out a way to do this. To be honest, the fact that Bob Tuke got his ass whipped shows that if we had had a real state organization in place, we would be looking at Senator Tuke and not six more years of LAMAR! Sorry, Bob, I don't mean to pile on here, but you know it's true.
Gray Sasser? It's time to walk the plank, son. Somebody has to fall on his sword for this, and you're one of them.
As for Jimmy Naifeh, well, sir, you can't continue to be in hunker down mode all the time and expect to avoid this. I feel sad that you will not be Speaker, but you need to figure out how we're going to get this back.
As for my local TDP reps, I don't blame you for this, I know how hard you work here. The folks in Nashville in leadership, though, have to go. If we don't rethink our party, and SOON, we are doomed to backwardness for the foreseeable future.
As America celebrated their historic victory, giving full control of America to President-Elect Barack Obama, Tennessee embraced backward change by giving control of both houses of the General Assembly to the Republicans.
Part of me is delirious with joy, because now we can put an end to Reaganism now and forevermore. Part of me says WTF? How did we lose the House? We have put ourselves in a position to be overlooked (except of course, for the 9th District and our stellar progressive, STeve Cohen) by the new Administration.
I should go to bed, but I am still confused.
Monday, November 03, 2008
Tomorrow will determine if this country gets back on the right track and begins to restore its place in the world, or continues to degenerate into a backwards third-world banana republic.
YES. WE. MUST.
I salute my Democratic brothers and sisters fighting here and in battleground states to save this republic with the election of Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
We need to win BIG, to obliterate, eviscerate and destroy the sick creature the once-proud Republican Party has become. We need to get to 60 in the Senate (NOT counting Joementum, thank you) and have a 75-seat margin in the House.
We need to maintain our Democratic majority in the State House and take back the State Senate from Ron Ramsey and his ilk.
We need to elect a real leader like Paul Shaffer to the City Council.
And, YES ON THREE and YES ON FIVE.
Nothing is impossible, we just have to do it.
YES. WE. WILL.
Attention Democratic Party / Obama Campaign Poll Watchers and Voter Protection Team:
We want to remind you that persons declare U.S. citizenship when registering to vote. Accordingly, if a person's name appears on the poll book on election day, there is no basis for any poll worker or poll watcher to challenge a voter's citizenship status.
Voters who ask for translator help have an absolute right to assistance – no matter what any poll official or other poll watcher may say.
All our poll watchers Tuesday should be on the lookout for either poll officials who deny a voter the right to have someone help them vote, or for poll watchers who try to encourage poll officials to do so. We suspect this will come up in the area of voters who appear Hispanic or Latino, or perhaps with other first languages and some difficulty with English so they want and need help from a translator.
Anyone who spots this problem – please get the particulars – names, location, voter contact info – and call in immediately. Try not to let the voter take "no" for an answer. But even if they go ahead and vote, get their name, address and contact info, and call the Democratic Voter Protection Hotline at 901-922-6000 immediately.
Again, if you witness any of this activity tomorrow please call 901-922-6000 to provide our legal team with (1) the name of the voter and his/her contact information and (2) the polling location where the voter tried to or did vote.
Thank you for your hard work on behalf of Barack Obama and all of our Democratic candidates for office and for taking time out of your busy schedules to serve as poll watchers and on the voter protection team on Election Day. The number at the Obama volunteer office is 767-8331 if you have any problems using the other number.