Thursday, January 06, 2011

An Open Letter to the Tennessee Democratic Executive Committee

Folks, you have a big vote this Saturday.  The Party is in the ditch, and we have to figure out who has the best chance to lead us out of that ditch.

Those of you who are leaning to keeping Chip Forrester, I understand how you feel.  I, too supported his candidacy when he was elected two years ago, thinking he would lead us out of that ditch.  And I agree that the good ole boys and Phil Bredesen hamstrung him at every turn, which helped lead to this disaster we had last year.  You feel loyalty to him, and I understand.

However, in my opinion, Chip is the candidate of the present, and he didn't drive us into that ditch, but he hasn't been able to find a way out of it either.  His response to the state YDs and College Democrats' endorsement of Wade Munday was not that of a leader, to be sure.  That was a horrible way to send a message to younger Democrats, who are only the FUTURE of your party.  I have to agree with my buddy Michael Lipe, who responded to Forrester.  So, no, I can't ask you to vote for his re-election.

So, What about Matt Kuhn?  Helluva nice guy, he's been around, run several campaigns, friends with lost of West Tennessee Democrats, a natural, right?  Well, not so much.  First, as Matt is supported by many of the people who DID drive this Party into the ditch, and who want to apparently keep it there by returning to a Blue Dog-friendly message, Matt, sadly, is the candidate of the past, despite his 40 under 40 proposal.

And, with Matt, you have a record to follow, as he was SCDP Chair from 2005-2007.  Other than re-electing Democrat AC Wharton as County Mayor, there's not much to note either way, except for a major faux pas in 2006.  For those of you outside Shelby County, around May or June each year, we have our major fundraiser, Kennedy Day.  In 2006, as we were getting ready to go into our County elections, Matt inexplicably was going to allow REPUBLICAN AG Bill Gibbons to come to Kennedy Day, and didn't seem too upset about it.  Even worse, he didn't seem to want to respond until the whole Democratic ticket sent Matt a threatening letter!  Finally, he relented, and disinvited Gibbons, but his lack of response was very troubling.  Folks, we can't afford another PR disaster like that.

I like all of these folks personally, but I am asking you to vote for the person I believe has the tow truck ready to go to get us out of that ditch, Wade Munday.  As shown with his endorsement by the State Young Democrats and College Democrats, Wade is the candidate of the future.  Wade was the communications director for Gray Sasser, as you remember, and has a great ability to lead and communicate, qualities desperately necessary when rebuilding a Party.

He is an accomplished fundraiser, and is the one person who can reach out to all groups in this Party and unite them as he leads us out of the wilderness.  He has a calm temperament and solid judgment, and I trust him to do whatever is necessary to get the Party out of the ditch and on the road to victory.

Folks, I know that it's a tough thing that you face, but I believe that there is a clear choice, and that choice is Wade Munday.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Steve Steffens
Democratic Activist and Blogger

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