Monday, July 16, 2012

For Whom I voted, and why, and for whom I would vote were I in those districts.

I early voted today at Greater Lewis Street Church at East Parkway and Poplar.

As one can imagine, I voted in the General for Cheyenne Johnson for Assessor, Ed Stanton Jr for General Sessions Court Clerk, and Carol Chumney for District Attorney General.  If I lived in County Commission District 1, I would have voted for Steve Ross; I took two people who do live in 1 and they voted for him!

Oh, the School Board?  I read the information available at Coalition for A Better Memphis, each of the statements by the Candidates (Dr. Freda Williams, Chris Caldwell, and Dr. Noel G. Hutchinson).  After reading those, I decided to vote for Dr. Noel Hutchinson.  Surprised?  So was I.  I just was not happy with Freda Williams for her fight against the merger, and Caldwell had a lot of GOP backing.  I went with Hutchinson.

In the primary, I went with Park Overall in the Senate race; she may not have money, but she damn sure SOUNDS like a Democrat, and we need that if nothing else.  I will be proud to vote for her over the 1-percenter Bob Corker.

For Congress, who the hell do you think?  Steve Cohen is the best Congressman we could hope to have right now.  Tomeka Hart revealed herself to be a Blue Dog and a Junior wannabe in this godawful Daily News interview.  Enough said.

As I was redistricted out of Senate 30 (more later on that race), I at least got to stay in House 93 (but only by two blocks).  GA Hardaway's House 92 was moved to Middle Tennessee, and he got thrown into District 93 with 38-year veteran Mike Kernell.  I like GA, he has always been great to me whenever I have been in Nashville, and he's a nice guy.

However, he's not always been on the same side as I have (and yes, Mike voted for that idiotic bill that opens up intelligent design to our classrooms, I know), but at the end of the day, Mike has been one of my closest friends for 30 years.  At the end of the day, he has more experience negotiating the now-treacherous and unfriendly waters of Nashville.

Ok, enough about my districts.  There are other folks in Shelby County.

In the State Senate, thanks to redistricting, I was torn out of Senate 30 and placed in Senate 33, which is held by ALEC-linked Democrat Reginald Tate.  He's not up for another two years.  Back to 30.

Senator Jim Kyle's old Senate 28 was originally redrawn to include GOP Senator Brian Kelsey (R-31) of Germantown, which meant that they would have faced this year, and I was delirious at the prospect of The Stunt Baby's defeat.  However, Kelsey, whined, and 28 was shipped off to Middle Tennessee, and Kyle was thrown into 31, which meant that Kyle would be out of a job in January.

Somehow, the GOP redistricting crew allowed Kyle to keep most of his old district, now known as 30, which had very little of the Midtown area that elected Beverly Marrero.  I know Jim Kyle's been Democratic Leader for several years, and he has had several opportunities to move up, whether it was for County Mayor, Congress, or District Attorney General.   However, at every juncture, he decided to play it safe and stay where he was.

Beverly Marrero has rarely played it safe, taking controversial (if correct) positions on women's issues, marriage equality and child trafficking.  In short, she's got guts, and is not afraid of anyone or anything, even if she's vastly outnumbered now in the Senate.  That's why I am asking you to vote for her if you live in 30.  Jim Kyle should be running for something bigger, but, as usual, he's playing it safe, and we need people who are risk-takers now.  I support Beverly Marrero, and you should too.

In House 84, my friend Joe Towns Jr is facing opposition from Hendrell Remus, who started to run for City Council last year against Janis Fullilove, but then backed out.  I do encourage younger Democrats to run, but Towns is too valuable to lose right now, so I hope you'll support him for re-election.

Now, to House 90.  John Deberry has represented a district for 20 years that consisted of western Midtown reaching into South Memphis and Whitehaven.  John always voted with Democrats on economic issues; fortunately, when Democrats controlled the legislature, social issue bills were buried before they could reach the House floor, so his conservative stances never mattered.  I like John, he is a good person, but on these social issues, we do not agree.

And now that he has lost some of his South Memphis area to be replaced with more upscale and yes, more gay sections of Midtown, and since the GOP loves to vote against women and gays whenever they can, John's deeply-held beliefs have become a liability.

At the same time, Jeanne Richardson's House 89 was sent to Knox County, as her record for standing up for women, minorities and human rights put her at odds with the GOP and male-dominated legislature.  Yeah, I know Beth Harwell is Speaker of the House; she's still a Gooper FIRST.  Jeanne was encouraged by many of her Midtown supporters to run against Deberry, and after deept thoughts and discussions with Deberry, decided to run for House 90.

I hate to see two friends run against each other, but at the end of the day, women, minorities, and everyone who's not white, male and right-wing need all the help they can get in this legislature, and Jeanne will continue to fight for them if she wins the nomination on August 2.  I am supporting her, and encouraging all who live in that district to do so as well.  We need her there, just as we need Beverly.

Your mileage may vary, but please think before you vote.

1 comment:

JJay said...

I think you should have done a bit more research on the school board seat. Chris Caldwell has been hands on in trying to improve the school system for years and has a financial background which is an asset for the school board. Also,he has three children in the system. Your comment was that he has GOP support shows you dont really understand the issues.