Thursday, September 12, 2013

Advertisements for Myself, and other happenings

Remember my post about Jim Cooper that noted that he should run for the Senate in the event Joe Carr knocks off LAMAR! in the primary?  Jackson Baker saw fit to run it in the Flyer this week, for which we are grateful.  He is as good a friend as this blog has ever had and he champions it at every opportunity, for which I offer him a heart-felt THANK YOU.

Next, I hesitate to write about this, but WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON AT THE TNDP THESE DAYS?  After what was noted to be a highly-successful Jackson Day fundraiser on Saturday night, we were greeted with the news that Kevin Teets, TNDP's Executive Director, had resigned his post.

How surprising was this news?  So much that it caught our friend Gale Jones Carson, the longtime TNDP Secretary, completely offguard.  I am here to tell you that if GALE didn't see this coming, no one else did, either.  Then, to compound matters, Steven Hale of the Nashville Scene, who broke the Teets story, then broke the news that staffers Allison Jones (office manager) and Cortnye Stone (deputy finance director) ALSO resigned.  This left the TNDP with TWO paid staff members, Brandon Puttbrese, the terrific communications director, and chief fundraiser Jake Dunavant.

How in the hell are you going to run ANY campaign with  ONLY TWO paid Staffers?  And why also did Finance Committee Chair Jerry Maynard and Finance Committee member Mary Patterson resign their positions on that committee (they chose to stay on the Executive Committee)?

ExecCom, it's YOUR JOB to stay on top of Roy.  What the hell is going on there, and why should anyone have any confidence in his leadership?  With the exception of the potential Sara Kyle for Governor campaign, why should we support the TNDP, if it is not effective?  I am asking YOU to investigate this matter.

Enough on that.

While all that's going on, a young fellow named Clay Crownover, who apparently has his own firm in Knoxville called CFC Strategies, LLC, (first I have heard of it, to be truthful) wrote a piece about what ails Tennessee Democrats.  Allow me to summarize this:


Well, you read it yourself; go ahead, I'll wait. This fellow, who I thought was actually quite thoughtful, just came to inaccurate conclusions in defense of the aforementioned Roy Herron.  What Mr. Crownover doesn't seem to understand is that Blue Dog Democrats are no longer electable in this state (Ask Bart Gordon, Jim Cooper, et al).  2010 drove the last nail in that coffin.  People who quit voting for Democrats after 2008 when we elected that, well, YOU KNOW, to the Presidency are not coming back to this party.  I really don't care about whether they do come back because I don't think racists should be welcome in our party.

It's their children and grandchildren that I want to bring into this party, those open to a message of equality in opportunity and in ALL matters, to ensure that the megacorporations are broken up to give small businesses a chance, and to ensure that workers receive a fairer percentage of the bounty they produce.  Mr. Crownover seems to fall into the trap that we have to chase older white folks who turned their backs on the New Deal message once they understood we meant to be for more than just white folks.  They're not coming back.  EVER.

Younger Tennesseans will be more open to our message, and we need to be working on them NOW.  We need to bring them into the party, and LISTEN to them, and encourage them to work in campaigns, and to get them to RUN, even if they might lose at first.  I hope that Mr. Crownover, who seems like a good person that cares about his party, will take part in this, because I don't want to run him off, I do want to have a conversation.  I just think that if we forget who we ARE as a party, that we stand for equality, small business and the working man, we might as well not exist.

What are your thoughts?


Tennessee Democrat said...

I'm glad you get that Clay is a good person who cares about his party and his party's future in TN. I've known Clay for a while now; since we both cut our teeth in the decidedly non-conservative offices of Sen. Ted Kennedy. He's a smart man with a level of experience and broad exposure to national party politics that I welcome here.

Sure, I disagree with some of his points. But I think the conservative vs. progressive debate is a legitimate one. It's clear that the energy, activism, organizing (and future; i.e. our mayoral dominance) is progressive, but the large donors and establishment in the state leg. and party are still chasing the white, "Reagan Democrat." Or else, Herron would have never been elected party chair. Sadly, what we have instead of debate is a divide in which donors seeking to fund an "electable" candidate won't draw the progressive troops, and vice versa.

Meanwhile, I'm grateful to you, Steve, and folks like Trace Sharp who have brought me into the fold instead of instantly dismissing me as an outsider who "doesn't get it." And I hope you guys will do Clay the same way.

Steve Steffens said...

Much appreciated, TD. We have to look down the road, because we are not going to turn this around overnight and we need all the help we can get.