Monday, January 07, 2013

A few notes on what's happening now...

I just realized I hadn't written anything since before the holidays, and Trace gently reminded me of this on the phone last night, and she is right, as she always is.  

Truth is, I have been busy with my personal life; more on that by the end of the week, I hope.  Don't worry, it will be good!

Enough on that; you want to read something substantial.  As Trace and Joe Powell have noted, the GOP-dominated General Assembly begins tomorrow, with all the usual madness since the Democrats became an endangered species.  It appears that House Speaker Beth Harwell, who, unlike her Tea Party Republicans, actually believes that they are in Nashville to GOVERN and not showcase insanity, is trying to place limits on the number of bills a legislator can introduce.  Good luck with that.

Meanwhile, it appears that the race to succeed Chip Forrester as captain of the Titanic, er, chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party, has gotten a jolt or two recently.  What started out as a race between TNDP Treasurer Dave Garrison and former Communications Director Wade Munday has expanded and contracted.

Rep. Sherry Jones of Nashville joined the fray, as did attorney Ben Smith of Nashville as well as labor activist Jane Hampton Bowen of Chattanooga.  Then came former State Senator and Congressional candidate Roy Herron of Dresden, and Jones and Smith dropped out, with Jones indicating that she thought a female could not be elected (really????) and Smith endorsed Herron, stating that he (Smith) could not win.  I met Smith at the DWSC Christmas Party, nice guy, but I was never sure how he thought he could win in the first place.

On the one hand, Roy has positives, in that A) he is NOT from Nashville, although he still spends a LOT of time there and B) he is from rural West Tennessee (Dresden) and would presumably be able to help the party rebuild in rural areas.  However, if he still had pull in those areas, 1) wouldn't we still have his State Senate seat (we had a great candidate in Brad Thompson) and 2) wouldn't we still have the 8th District Congressional seat?

I like Roy personally, and people like his ministerial background and his ability to connect, but we need someone, IMO, who can raise money and build an infrastructure to get the County parties active and moving.  It has been estimated, privately, that only 25 of the 95 counties in this stating have active, functioning Democratic Parties.  I am not necessarily certain that Roy can do that.

Believe me, I GET the concept of having someone, ANYONE, outside the 440 Loop as Chair, because the navel-gazing and focus on Nashville and Middle Tennessee has helped facilitate our downfall.  However, we need to ensure that whomever is Chair needs to get everyone moving throughout the state and bring in newer, younger people.  Without that, we are doomed.  We will ALWAYS be outspent, but we have to find ways to offset that through organization and rebirth in the rural areas.  

If you care about this race, and if you are a Tennessee Democrat, you SHOULD, you need to contact your TNDP Executive Committee member (Shelby County has Districts 28-33 until 2014) and ask them about it, because they are the ones who will choose the new Chair.  Talk to them about who has the best chance to revitalize the County parties and who can build the infrastructure that we need to elect a majority of Democrats to the General Assembly, Congress and the US Senate, not to mention the Governor's office.  You will be glad you did.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

In addition to doing the things you mention, we also need a TNDP that has good values, not just more of the RepublicanLite crap that helped put us where we are.