Monday, July 20, 2020

Recommendations for August 6

So, I am ok, no tests for me yet, no symptions, either. 

I was asked if I was going to do any recommendations for the Primaries and the GS court clerk race, so here we go.

I agree with some of my friends that neither Paul Boyd (R) or former councilor Joe Brown (D) deserves the job of General Sessions court clerk, considering how great a job the outgoing Ed Stanton Jr. has been doing in the position.  That said, since it is almost impossible for a write-in to win, one of these two will be the next Clerk.  Simply based on the hope that the former Councilor will have less of a turnover in that office, I held my nose and voted for Joe Brown. 

Sigh.  Can't help but wonder how many people in our March Primary thought they were voting for the former state and TV judge.

Ok, then, onto the state and Federal primnary.   James Mackler should have been our nominee against Marsha Blackburn, except that Chuck Schumer and others in Tennessee had the bright idea to force him out and replace him with Phil Bredesen.   So, how'd that work out for y'all?  Not sure that Mackler would have been closer, but I would have felt better about my vote.  There are other good people in this race, but only Mackler can (and HAS) raise enough money to compete against what ever the GOP throws up at us.  What can you say about a primary where George Flinn is the closest thing to a voice of reason.  EWWWWWWW

TN-09.  Steve Cohen still up and at it?  Ok, good enough for me.  Especially now that we have the ,majority in the US House, Nancy Pelosi is going to be Speaker, and that is why we need Steve Cohen to stay there.  He has fought for his constituents since 1984 in either the State Senate or Congress, and he does what a Congressman is supposed to do, great constituent work and keeping that Federal grany money rolling in.

Corey Strong is a good dude but when I see his commercials, I wonder if he knows what a Congressman is supposed to do.  (It looks like he is running for Mayor, not Congress).  Any way, Cohen until he decides he doesn't want to do this any more.

HOUSE 90  - TORREY HARRIS .  I am in 31 so no Senate race on my ballot this year.  The race to replace the removed John DeBerry as our Democratic nominee should go to Harris, who has government experience and and understands what is needed in our district.  The other two candidates, Catrina Smith, boasts an endorsement from TV Judge Greg Mathis (and that helps anyone how????) and Anya Parker have not really impressed me, so Harris it is.

I voted to retain the Appeals Judge, Carma Dennis McGee.

So, those are the races I voted in.  Now, to the rest of the primaries.

There are some races with no primary opposition, here they are:

Senate 32 - Julie Byrd Ashworth
House 83 - Jerri Green, our best hope to knock off Mark White.
House 87, our terrific Leader, Karen Camper!!!
House 91, our up and coming star, London Lamar
House 93, the venerable GA Hardaway
House 95, Lynette Williams, who is challenging Kevin Vaughn out east
House 96, the man you can blame for getting me into all this, Dwayne Thompson!  :)

And now, the primary battles:

SENATE 30 Senator Sara Kyle has LaTroy Williams against her in the primary.  Sara Kyle has been a public servant as long as I can remember.  She is tough as nails, a fighter for her people, and has never tried to bilk candidates into supporting a sample ballot.  no contest, Sara Kyle!

HOUSE 84.  Joe Towns, our friend of many years, has primary opposition in Dominique Primer.  I have to confess, I know nothing about her, but she seems to have some support.  Joe, yes, I will support you BUT WILL YOU HIRE A DAMN TREASURER TO DO YOUR DISCLOSURES???  Rant over.

HOUSE 85 - First term Rep. Jesse Chism has opposition from former SCYD Chair Alvin Crook.  Based on what I have seen so far, I am of the opinion that if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

HOUSE 86.  Why the hell does BARBARA COOPER have opposition in the primary every two years?  I see she has three candidates against her again, and I will bet all of them combined won't get to 40%.  She stays connected to her community, they love her and will re-nominate her.

HOUSE 88 - Larry Miller, because, again, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

HOUSE 97 - ALLAN CREASY.  He busted his butt two years ago against Jim Coley, and he made a major dent, but it is tough to unseat an incumbent.  Even though it is tough with COVID to do door to door, he has made major headway in the areas of the District, even in the giant red blob that is Bartlett.  ALLAN IS OUR BEST SHOT TO FLIP THIS SEAT.  Yes, we all love Gabby Salinas and she has raised a ton of money, but I think it would be tougher for her in November.

HOUSE 98 - Rep. Antonio Parkinson always faces primary opposition because he fights FOR public schools and AGAINST charters and vouchers.  Stick with him District 98, he always fights for you!

SCS BOARD positions.

My District, 1, is not up this time.  I was for Mauricio Calvo in 5 but he withdrew over the weekend in favor of Sheleah Harris, so I will trust him here.

I had not one but TWO friends who were planning to run since Kevin Woods had not planned to run for re-elecion.  He changed his mind and ran, they pulled out and supported him, so I will go with Kevin Woods in 4.

Re-elect Stephanie Love in District 3 and Miska Clay Bibbs in 7 and that rounds out my suggestions.

EITHER REQUEST AN ABSENTEE BALLOT OR EARLY VOTE!  You have until 4 PM on Saturday, August 1.

As always, be careful out there AND WEAR A DAMN MASK WHEN YOU LEAVE YOUR HOUSE!

Friday, February 14, 2020

Elizabeth Warren for President and other thoughts

Of course I am supporting Elizabeth Warren for President, she REALLY knows how to get things done.  If she had run four years ago, she would be running for re-election now and Donald Trump would still be begging NBC to let him stay on the air. 

But she didn't run, Bernie did, and I voted for him in the primary.  I voted for Hillary in the general, like all of the DEMOCRATS who voted for Bernie in the primary did.  The Bernie or Bust crew were NOT Democrats, so what happened happened.  He is not going away, in fact, most of his 2016 platform has been scooped up by the other candidates, except "Mayo Pete", as Duncan Black at ATRIOS calls the Mayor of South Bend.


Now, do I have your attention?  We have so far only had votes in two of the whitest states in the Union, and some really good people couldn't even get there, like Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), who was my #3 choice after Warren and Sanders.  I do believe Joe Biden is sinking, and unless he wins BIG in South Carolina, he is toast.  That expectation, no doubt, is why former Republican NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg jumped parties and is spending $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ in Super Tuesday states, when he will finally appear on ballots.   I know a lot of people who are working for him.  I am not upset, bills gotta get paid somehow.  That said, I sure as hell am not going to vote for him IN THE PRIMARY and I hope like hell I don't HAVE to vote for him in the general.

Yes, I will in November if I have to.  That even goes for Mayo Pete.

But I really want our Democrats to find someone they like IN THE PRIMARY and help them.  Vote for them, give them money, do your best to help them but don't get pissed off if they lose.  THAT MEANS YOU TOO, BERNIE PEOPLE, THERE IS NO DAMN ROOM FOR ANYONE OR BUST.  CAPICHE??? 

But we will get to the general soon enough.  Frankly, I believe the Obama/Trump people have already returned to the fold, based on what we saw in 2018 in the Congressional races.  I feel better about the Midwest than I did 4 years ago. 

One last thing.  I know most all of you hate Trump.  I pity him more than anything else.  Just remember, he FEEDS on your hatred.  Do me a favor and IGNORE HIM.  Do NOT give him what he craves, which is the satisfaction that he can make your life miserable.  Don't hate, ORGANIZE behind the Democrat of your choice AT EVERY FREAKING LEVEL of government.  HELP THEM.  GIVE THEM MONEY.

Do that, and we will do the laughing on November 3.

Reginald Milton for General Sessions Court Clerk

As Jon noted back in January, Ed Stanton Jr. has decided not to seek re-election as General Sessions Court Clerk.  What is interesting is that the first person he informed of this decision was my friend and my County Commissioner, Reginald Milton.

After giving the matter great thought, as he does whenever he is considering such decisions, he decided to run for the Democratic nomination for that seat.  As he has spent the majority of his adult life serving others, whether it is through his non-profit South Memphis Alliance or with the Shelby County Democratic Party, or as he has since 2014, as District 10 County Commissioner, Reggie puts the people he serves first. 

He is not just a great servant, he is an even better human being.  I have no doubt that he will keep everything in great shape, hire great staff when needed, and serve the lawyers and other users of that office with the same strength and wisdom that he uses at the Alliance and on the Commission.

Early voting started on Wednesday and goes through February 25, with the regular election day at your polling place on March 3.  Please join me and so many other citizens of our County, like City Court Clerk Myron Lowery and our Mayor, Jim Strickland, in supporting Reginald Milton for General Sessions Court Clerk!

Thursday, January 30, 2020

I am donating to Allan Creasy for House 97 and hope to get another campaign going as well!

I hope that you will also donate to Allan, whatever you can.  On Wednesday, I signed up to give him $25 a month through the end of what I am anticipating will be a successful campaign for House District 97.

As you know, Allan campaigned hard for that seat in 2018, knocking on doors and contacting voters for over a year, only to lose a close race to longtime Representative Jim Coley of Bartlett.  As you may know, Representative Coley has decided to retire at the end of this term, making this an open seat. 

Allan has been working hard getting to know the voters over these years, and I trust him to do the right job for this District.  I supported him in 2018 and will again this year.  He understands the issues of the District, and he is supported by our good friend, Representative Dwayne Thompson (D-96, Cordova), as well as many others.

Because the seat is open, it has attracted Republicans, who want to keep their supermajority in Nashville, and also by Democrats. One of the Democrats is apparently being supported by Charter school interests, which is never a good thing.  Allan is PRO-PUBLIC EDUCATION and is against charters and vouchers, which weaken public education funding.

And, there is also someone in the race who most, if not ALL of our readers, including me, have a deep and abiding respect for, Gabby Salinas.  She won a hard-fought primary campaign in 2018 for Senate 31 over David Weatherspoon, and then nearly unseated Brian Kelsey in November.  She is terrific, a solid campaigner and a terrific fundraiser.  I have no bad things to say about her because it just is not possible, and I know Allan feels the same way.

To be honest, I think Gabby is setting her sights way too low.  The Senate seat she sought is not up this year unless Kelsey is indicted and convicted, but that has not happened yet.  By the time it is up again in 2022, due to redistricting, it may well have moved much further east.  So, what should she do?

I believe this is going to be one of the highest turnout years in history.  Anything can happen, and someone with her wonderful story and work ethic can attract volunteers and money for a bigger race yet.

District 8 in the United States House of Representatives, in fact.  45% of House 8 is Shelby County.  In this year, if Democrats are going to do as well as I believe they are, David Kustoff is more vulnerable than you might think, even if he has spent the last three years with his head firmly up Trump's sphincter.  This is a race Gabby can win, and I promise to support that campaign, and I suspect most of you would as well.

Gabby would be an amazing addition to the Democratic ticket that would help to increase our turnout not just in Shelby County, but from here to Tiptonville to Dresden to Jackson and back again. 

Gabby, you can do this, we believe in you.  Please seriously consider this, because that would give us TWO great local candidates on our ticket. 

I am in, what about the rest of you??

Friday, January 10, 2020

What's new is old again

Ed Stanton is retiring as General Sessions Court Clerk. An important position here in the land of the Grit n' Grind. 

Reginald Milton (the likely winner) will run for the seat against a crew of fellow challengers that represent the problem here in Memphis. One is John Ford who delusionally thinks that he can run as a convicted felon whose rights have not been restored and also, really? Fellow commissioner Eddie Jones is also running. There's also Thomas Long, the former Clerk and perennial loser, Dell Gill. Dell is up there in the why are you running when no one will listen or take you seriously lane with Boudini Brown wannabe, Latroy Williams.

I want to stress this, I think Reginald will do an excellent job. I think he is the most qualified and up there on the list of qualified people that I know. That aside, my problem with the candidates we have is that they never seem to change. We have council people jump to the commission and vice versa due to term limits. Once they exhaust that, they run for clerk positions in the city or county. The state Representative and Senate seats turn over less often a car with a dead battery.

Combine the lack of open positions with lack of sheer opportunities due to lack of positions and you see the problem. We have too few positions that are too large in both the city and county. The commission could be twice as big honestly, the council-eliminate the super districts, and the Education Board- double it. 

Why? Because the seats being so large means they don't represent their areas properly. It costs too much to run, leaving candidates beholden to lobbyists and special interests. It makes districts unwalkable. 

Further, too many of the elected officials we have try and pass on their seats to their son or daughter or hire family members to work in their offices, giving them a leg up when that seat comes open. We don't need this. We need fresh people in there running. 

Hell, the Republicans do it. Why can't we? You know how they took so many seats from us throughout the South in the 70s through the 2000's? Replacing their members frequently. Notice how very few of them transitioned laterally or down? No, it was always up or out. Nepotism was cut way back until the Trumps with the exception of the Bush's. 

We'll never progress unless we start making the new the new.

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

THIS IS 2020

However, I am not Barbara Walters, as you know.

After receiving encouragement from my co-blogger and semi-adopted son, Jon Carroll, who will also be writing here again (as you have noticed), and from my friend and legendary reporter, Jackson Baker, I have decided to come back for this year.

As Jon has already noted,  we know who we are and what we are called to do, we need to do it.  ALL of us.    We have a great deal of work to do to register voters and get them to the polls. NON-VOTERS, more than the Russians, more than the Jill Stein voters, more than any other sector of society, are the reason we have Donald Trump today.

Millennials and Gen Z are saddled with heinous debt and lack of real opportunity and are naturally pessimistic with the state of things, and with good reason.  Boomers who fell for Reagan's schtick in the 80s have turned into the Trumpites of the teens.  (NOTE: WE ARE IN THE FINAL YEAR OF THE TEENS.  ENOUGH SAID.) 

However, no matter how much you complain, I can only say this to you:  NO ONE WILL GIVE A DAMN UNTIL YOU SHOW UP TO VOTE.  PERIOD.   Frankly, this starts NOW.  (Yes, I know a lot of millennials and Zs who have been doing that, but it is only a start). 

You have a lot more to worry about that I did when I was becoming of legal age to vote.  My predecessors fought for 18-year-olds to have the right to vote so we could elect people that would get the US out of Vietnam.  It worked!   You are not alone, and those who are active can help you get active, because you need to do so for no other reason than self-preservation as individuals and as a society.

We saw some signs of this in 2018 around the country, not as much in local and state elections in 2019.  Here is another thing: THE MORE LOCAL YOUR ELECTION, THE MORE LIKELY IT IS TO AFFECT HOW YOU LIVE.  (I can hear it now: Cracker, I notice that you didn't mention this when we went into city elections a year ago, why not?  BECAUSE YOU SHOULD ALREADY KNOW THIS.)

Another thing that I will NOT tolerate in this, possibly the most important year in the history of this republic, is whining about POLITICS.   Politics is defined, literally, as "THE ALLOCATION OF RESOURCES".   The market CANNOT DO THIS EQUITABLY, IT IS NOT SET UP THAT WAY.  Markets are set up for people to exploit for profit, not help anyone, and we need to understand this.

People who complain about politics are too lazy to do the very things they need to do to survive and thrive.  What people say when they complain about politics and say that "politics" cost them something they wanted are really saying they were not willing to work with other people to get what they needed. 

I get that people who are introverted (as I once was myself), will get steamed because it is difficult for them to get involved in what is going on around them.  However, if you don't, you will not get what you and your community needs in this day and age.  Stand up, and others will stand with you because you are showing courage.  I have already seen that in the Presidential Primary campaigns, and I think it is a great sign.  We need to keep seeing this wherever you are.

This is called leadership, and as the Artist Formerly Known as Newscoma, our beloved Trace Sharp, is fond of saying, LEADERS JUST LEAD.  As more people stand with you, you will understand the joy of common purpose.  We need leaders who can bring people together for a common purpose, which is what GOVERNMENT IS SUPPOSED TO DO.

Private entities can only do so much due to limited resources, GOVERNMENTS CAN ALWAYS DO MORE BECAUSE OF THE POWER TO TAX.  The first person to say TAXATION IS THEFT means that they want YOU to pay THEIR fair share of governance, so the hell with them.  You don't like how your government is spending your money?? GET INVOLVED.

AS Democrats (which I presume most of you who are reading this happen to be, or even further to the left), this year is critical because the GOP is Trump and Trump is the GOP.  Republicans will NOT revert back to being kindly old curmudgeons who will suddenly care about governance once Trump is out of office.  Neither Howard Baker or Fred Thompson are walking through that door, people.  Even if they were alive and in their prime, neither could win a primary because they would be called LIBERALS.  Think about that, Joe Biden, OK??

We need to win at EVERY LEVEL of government, not just the White House.  That will not happen unless people who either have never voted or quit voting return to the practice.  You don't know about state House and Senate races and who is running?  LEARN. Your very lives may depend on it.

I am not going to say a lot about the upcoming Presidential primary except that, at the moment, I am voting for Elizabeth Warren.  I agree more with Bernie Sanders but I am skeptical of his ability to get done what he wants.  I could vote for him in the general, though.

Toward this end, Jon and I are in the process of developing a podcast, which you will hear more about in the coming days.  I am grateful to Jon and Jackson for getting me up and running again.  I have to remember what Jon said in the prior post, because it applies to our elected officials, as well as to each of us:


Happy New Year, and let's get to work.

Do your job

It's a mantra that I have always stressed. It's stolen from the greatest NFL coach of all time, Bill Belichek.

Belichek is not warm and fuzzy. He is if anything, the exact opposite in public and with the media. With his players he tends to be different, more warm (to a point), joking, and caring. But always with the belief and desire to do his job and have you do yours.

That is what we want our representatives to do. The job we elected them to do. Be it a city councilman, a court clerk, or a county commissioner or someone who works directly for them. No matter what, we want them do their job. 

Congress has ultra low approval numbers, but individual congresspeople have high ones. Trump has sky high approval for Republicans, dumpster fire low with Democrats. 

Why? Because they are seen as doing their job by the people who elected them. We think Jim Jordan is a fast talking obstructionist carrying Trump's water. They see Jim Jordan as a fast talking truth finder defending the president. 

Guess what? He's doing his job as the people who vote for him see it. 

We change this by changing the people who vote for him/her. We change this by registering voters in districts. We change this by electing representatives who will change the district's maps. 

We do this through the grind. Future901 for example is not concerned with just 2020, they are concerned with all the elections leading up to 2030 as well. They y want to change the narrative here. We need to work on this state wide. Look at Virginia for an example for us. Look at North Carolina in 2010 for them. The grind went in to change the people voted in. 

We do our job of the grind. We do our job of changing the people. We do our job of changing the people's lives.  

Monday, December 30, 2019

Respect The Grind

Memphis, the Grind City.

It is what we are, it is who we are. Grit n' Grind was the Grizzlies, our beloved NBA team for many years. Mark Jones called us that in the Cotton Bowl this past week.

It is what we want our representatives to do. Grind out the work needed for their constituents. Make their lives better. Do it over a period of time that shows your commitment.

We respect and honor those who make it to the top by putting in the work and earning their way to success. We don't like flash, we love substance. We love people who earn the love.

Memphis has two favorite sons. Jerry Lawler, the wrestling King of Memphis. He did the grind to take the torch from his mentor, Sputnik Monroe. Penny Hardaway would be the second, he took the torch from the previous basketball god of Memphis, Larry Finch. Hardaway has come home to continue the grind. A lot of fans wish Penny had continued to be a viable player when the Grizzle came from Vancouver.

We are due for a torch passing of sorts within the next 4 or so years in two major areas. Jim Strickland, a man who has grinded out working on making the city better, has four more years in public service. Steve Cohen, a Memphis icon who will never get the respect and honor he deserves in this state and this city, has fewer years left ahead of him in office than behind.

There will be a rush to fill their voids. Who will get your vote? My only recommendation. Respect the grind.

Friday, October 04, 2019

It has been a while, and I have a lot to say.

I am very happy that my friend and Mayor, Jim Strickland was overwhelmingly re elected with 62.1 percent of the vote.

Why, some of you will ask, didn't you vote for a real progressive?  And then referred me to the third-place finisher, the County Commissioner who could not even wait to finish ONE YEAR in office before she ran for City Mayor.  I would have written in Pamela Moses before I would ever vote for Tami Sawyer, now or in the future.

I have lived in Memphis, Tennessee since June 17, 1972.  I have lived under Wyeth Chandler, J, O, Patterson, Wallace Madewell, Dick Hackett, Willie Herenton, Myron Lowery, AC Wharton, and the gentleman who will now serve us through 2023, Jim Strickland.

ONLY ONE MAYOR has used the term Black Lives Matter in the way it was meant to be used, for real and unironically.  ONLY ONE MAYOR has attended Pride in Memphis and marched in the parade and hired a LGBTQIA Liaison (by the way, that Liaison does a damn fine job!).  ONLY ONE WHITE MAYOR has ever, to my knowledge, been a life member of the NAACP.   ONLY ONE MAYOR has, to my knowledge, served as the Chair of the Shelby County Democratic Party.

And that is the fellow who got 62.1% of the vote of the city tonight: JIM STRICKLAND.  Do I agree with him on everything?  Of course not.  When I have disagreed with him in the past (and I used to call him up when he was my Councilman), he would hear me out and then explain why he disagreed.  He would not placate me, which is one of the reasons he won four years ago.

Tami Sawyer is still butthurt that she didn't get credit for the statues coming down.  I think the voters of the city, if they had ANY question about that, settled that this evening.  He had started working on that while he was on the Council, about the time you were bragging about outing one of your teachers at St. Mary's.   I don't think you had many LGBTQIA voters left by the time your 6,666 voters were counted.  (No, I am not making that up.)  That adds up to 6.9%, single digits, as I had forecast some weeks ago.

You know who understands that we still have a long way to go when it comes to income inequality? JIM STRICKLAND.  Everything that you claim to want, Commissioner, they have been working on since he took office in 2016.  Just what do you think would have happened if you had gotten elected and attempted to do what you said you would do?  Look at whom we have in the General Assembly from outside Shelby and Davidson Counties, do you really think they would let you do that?  They would be salivating to crush a Mayor who is a woman of color, and by the time you won in the courts your term would be up and people here would be tired of the drama.

You have slandered our Mayor for the last three years, and the voters told you tonight what they think about that.  Your base is not North or South Memphis, Frayser or Raleigh, Whitehaven or Hickory Hill.  It is the western end of the Poplar Corridor, it's made up of cranky old Midtowners.  You got mad about Jackson Baker mentioning that in the Memphis Magazine story, but it is the TRUTH.  It is time to pay attention to the people of Commission District 7,  Commissioner.  Whoever talked you into running against a popular Mayor did you no favors.

Most of all, if you had stuck to your plan of getting elected and then re-elected to the Commission and THEN running for Mayor in 2023, you would have been in a better position to establish yourself legislatively, raise the funding necessary to get elected, and, in all seriousness, had time to clean up your social media.  After tonight, who knows?  Sure, you say you are going to keep doing what you have been doing, but if only 7% are listening...............

Enough, it is time to address the media coverage, in particular, the Commercial Appeal, who especially on Election Day had Daniel Connolly and Sarah Macaraeg talking to every voter who apparently had decided THAT VERY DAY to vote for the Commissioner.  Well, CA, way to play to 7% of the voting populace!  That should help with subscriptions!  Oy.  Jackson Baker GOT IT RIGHT.  Otis Sanford GOT IT RIGHT.  Bill Dries GOT IT RIGHT.  And to be fair, Ryan Poe GOT IT RIGHT in Election Day's 901 column.

I also understand that, especially with the CA, they wanted to portray the race as being closer than it ever really was, in order to get clicks and subscriptions.  (NOTE: Until someone local owns the CA, I am not subscribing.  I feel bad for the good people who write there, but I cannot subsidize what Gannett and their new partner is doing to the paper and the website, which is, and has been, hideous).

It will be fascinating to see how the Mayor is covered by the CA from this point forward, considering that the Millennials could not be bothered to show up to vote.  You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink.  Meanwhile, old farts like me will always vote every election!!  I am going to soak all this in and enjoy every moment of this overwhelming victory.  By the way, if you still don’t understand why Jim won, go read Poe’s 901 from today (Friday).  If that doesn’t explain it, I can’t help you!  Enjoy your weekend, I sure will.