Friday, January 18, 2013

The TNDP Chair race takes interesting turns

This has not been that good a week for progressives who want to see new direction for the Tennessee Democratic Party.  First, this piece from Andrea Zelinski of the City Paper documents Roy Herron's run for the Chairmanship, which dramatically has affected the race.  I have made points about why I think Roy is not the best possible choice, looks like I may have to make a few more.

Then, I received this news from Wade Munday, whom I wanted to win:

Dear Friends, 
In politics, the same as in life, situations change rather quickly and it is often difficult to have clear eyes for what is truly in the best interest of a party such as ours.  As a candidate for Tennessee Democratic Party Chair I have argued that I am ready to listen, ready to lead, and prepared to fix some of the things many of us so desperately want to change about our party. I believe I can accomplish that best by achieving some measure of party unity and by serving as your next Treasurer. I hope you will support me in this endeavor.
I will approach the position with the same enthusiasm and commitment I have always had for our party. I will not be sitting on the sidelines, but I will be actively involved in our strength building. I will help raise the money we need to compete. I will oversee party expenditures and hold us to a higher standard than ever before. And I will remain a vocal advocate of Democratic values and principles in Tennessee. 
What has changed in the race for TNDP Chair is the debate over which direction our party should now turn. We are fortunate to have many  candidates, and I will work with whomever you see fit to elect. Please allow me, however, the chance to state the case for Dave Garrison. 
Dave has spent considerable time thinking about the party rather than the politics of this race. With clear eyes and vision, he knows what must occur every step of the way for the next two years. He has provided a thoughtful framework to operate our party, created state and national ties, and shown considerable ability to bring people together. He has supported our party in good times and in bad, like so many of you. Dave Garrison is more than capable of serving our candidates, our campaigns, and our party. I am excited to work alongside him, and I am excited for the unity we represent. 
I humbly ask for your support for TNDP Treasurer, and please consider Dave Garrison as your next TNDP Chair.

Wade Munday
Needless to say, I was saddened, but Wade is sharp and knows how to count.  Since I have heard little about Jane Hampton Bowen from anyone, it appears the race is between Dave Garrison and Roy Herron.  I understand concerns you may have about Dave and his connection to Chip Forrester, but Chip is going to be GONE, as he is a lightning rod.

As I said in the other post, I like Roy personally, but I question how his election will move this party FORWARD.  If he still had juice in rural areas, then his campaign of 2010 would have been successful, like his announcement that he would not vote for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker.  We would also still have his State Senate seat, which he decided not to run for in 2012.

Friends, the era of Blue Dogism is over.  If Tennesseans want to vote for a conservative, they will vote REPUBLICAN. Period.  Roy is a nice person, but his candidacy is yet another attempt by those who make money off the TNDP campaigns to pretend that it's still 1992 and we are still in control.  Why the hell should THEY care, they make money either way!!!!

For all that we worry about Chip, he will be GONE.  While he was a lightning rod, he had some good ideas, ideas that are being put in play as we speak.  We need someone who can execute these plans, and I believe Dave Garrison is that person.

At the end of the day, do we as Democrats want as our Chair someone who voted to allow Guns in State Parks, Guns in Bars and Restaurants, and campaigned as a Blue Dog?  Look, I know a lot of you want rural outreach, but maybe we need to realize that A) there aren't as many rural Tennesseans as there once were and B) the ones who are still there tend to vote culture over economics, against their own best interests.

We need people who can fire up the base and lead.  While I would have preferred Wade Munday, knowing that he would be a part of a Garrison administration shows that Dave Garrison will move us forward, not backward to a past that is gone forever.  Let's prepare for 2020, not 1990.

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