Thursday, April 14, 2022

You asked for it and are you going to get it!

 At the request of several, and I thank you for still wanting to know, I am presenting my choices for the Democratic County Primary to select nominees for the County General Election in August.  Early Voting begins at the satellite sites on Monday, April 18 and continues through Thursday, April 28.  There was EV at the downtown location ONLY on Wednesday and Thursday this week.  This was because most of the sites were churches.  (NOTE: with as many SECULAR, GOVERNMENT RELATED FACILITIES such as SCHOOLS and FIRE STATIONS, why are we still renting churches?  I feel a post coming on about that, but not now.)

I am not getting into the County Commission races except for the one I have been redistricted into, the new District 13, which will be represented by Commissioner Michael Whaley, the Democrat formerly from District 5, which was moved to Cordova.  He is unopposed, so I will vote for him.

I am not picking in the Republican Primary because I never vote in that Primary and if I DID choose anyone, they would be called RINOs get beaten badly.  So, there is that.

Also, as Democrats hold all but one County office, my watchword, for the most part, will be to support incumbents.  If it isn't broke, don't fix it.  Since the only one that IS broken is the one the Republicans hold, and since it appears to be first on the ballot, let's go pick a good Democrat for that seat, shall we?

DISTRICT ATTORNEY GENERAL, 30th JUDICIAL DISTRICT

 First, all three of the candidates running in our primary would do a much superior job that the current incumbent, who has held her job for 14 years and worked as a prosecutor there for over 30.  Simply put, let me ask you this question: ARE YOU SAFER NOW THAN YOU WERE 8 YEARS AGO?

Of course not.  That's because what that entire office has done for half a century HAS NOT WORKED. We have to try a different approach, and each of the candidates would try a new approach and give the County a chance to move into the 21st Century.   

The candidates are former County Commissioner, former Assistant US Attorney and current UM Law professor Steve Mulroy, attorney Janika White and Linda Harris, also a former Federal Prosecutor and former Memphis Police officer.

That means the question at hand is, which one?  As a Democrat who wants change, the question I ask is this: Which of the candidates is best positioned to defeat the current incumbent in August?  I believe it is former County Commissioner Steve Mulroy.  

Not only has Mulroy proven knowledgeable about what the job entails, he knows how to run the race necessary to defeat the current incumbent and take the job and the office in a better direction.  As he CAN win, I support STEVE MULROY for this office.

COUNTY MAYOR

If this office did not have a Democratic incumbent, I would very much be inclined to vote for Ken Moody, special assistant to Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland.  I have voted for him before when he ran for a clerk position.  I know he had some issues when working for former Mayors Willie Herenton and AC Wharton.  However, under the Strickland Administration, he has really shown to be a solid leader who gets things done for the City.  Personally, I think he is terrific as a person and as a public servant.

Having said that, we DO have an incumbent County Mayor in Lee Harris, and Mayor Harris understands the differences in the jobs of County Mayor and Memphis Mayor, which is a much more hands-on position.  This allows Mayor Harrs to take a different tack in the County Mayor's office, taking more partisan positions for what IS a partisan office.  Just as Mayor Strickland's style of management fits City government like a glove, Harris is perfectly suited for the office of County Mayor.  He will be leading the Democrats into battle in August, and he is just the person I want to be there this year.  I support LEE HARRIS for our nomination for County Mayor.

ASSESSOR OF PROPERTY

MELVIN BURGESS has done a fine job as our Assessor, in addition to keeping the appraisals current, he has a project to raise values, leading to more investment, in one of the city's most depressed areas, Orange Mound.  Again, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.  Four more years for MELVIN BURGESS.

COUNTY TRUSTEE

Not just because she has been my friend for (muffled sounds) years, but because her work has been recognized as one of the best in Tennessee, REGINA MORRISON NEWMAN is unopposed in the Democratic Primary for good reason, and she has earned your vote and mine now and in August.  Enough said.

SHERIFF

I know that a few Democrats may not be happy with incumbent Sheriff FLOYD BONNER, who has no primary opposition and only a few Independents in August.  Republicans knew better than to send up a sacrificial lamb and waste their efforts.  He received more votes than ANY OTHER CANDIDATE in the August 2018 county elections, and will again this year.  He is a veteran of the SCSO and understands what the job requires.  Again, four more years!

CIRCUIT COURT CLERK

The candidates are incumbent Temiika Gipson, who surprisingly won the primary 4 years ago and was swept into office that August.  While I have heard nothing about how the office has been run (admittedly, a very good sign for a clerk's office) she has drawn opposition from City Councilor Jamita Swearengen, who is in the next to last year of her last term.  She is also from a very prominent political family; her father James Swearengen was a well-respected judge in Shelby County, and her aunt Barbara Swearengen Holt Ware was a legendary Councilor who could get seven votes on almost any issue she wanted.  I have yet to decide, I need to do more research, I will let you know how I voted after I make up my mind.

CRIMINAL COURT CLERK

The incumbent, Heidi Kuhn, is seeking a second term in the office, and is opposed by Maeve Briggs Bernard, who either has or still does work in that office, and Carla Jean Stotts, who lost to Kuhn four years ago.  I am supporting HEIDI KUHN for re-nomination and re-election because she has done a fine job, particularly for one of her great projects, working to expunge criminal records for those who have paid their debts to society, helping them become more attractive to employers and reducing recidivism among them.  Four more years!

JUVENILE COURT CLERK

REGINALD MILTON is far and away the best possible choice for Democrats to succeed the outgoing Janis Fullilove.  He is a term-limited County Commissioner who is and has always been the ultimate public servant.  Before being elected to the Commission in 2014, and since, he is the founder and creator of the non-profit organization South Memphis Alliance, which has worked to assist lower income residents of the area, and has been tireless in his efforts for his District, the City and County as a whole.  He will be the type of leader we MUST have to reform the Juvenile Court system, as he understands County Government like very few.  REGINALD MILTON is my choice.

PROBATE COURT CLERK

BILL MORRISON is the incumbent and has done a solid job in that position and is deserving of another term.  He is opposed by outgoing District 12 Commissioner Eddie Jones and former candidate William Chism Jr.; however, neither have provided solid reasons to replace Morrison.  Four more years!

COUNTY CLERK

I have ALWAYS voted for Wanda Halbert for an office when the opportunity presented itself.  Her office helped implement the system where you can pay for your vehicle registration online and have tags or license plates mailed to your home in Shelby County.  I am a little troubled by the fact that there seems to be confusion on the funding of her office, but I think she has otherwise done a good job.  She face tough opposition in the primary in William Stovall, the Chief Administrative Officer for General Sessions Court Clerk Joe Brown, who has solid experience and is more than capable of running an office.  In addition, Arriell Q. Gipson, daughter of Circuit Court Clerk Temiika Gipson, joins Stovall and Mondell Williams in attempting to oust Wanda Halbert.  UPDATE: Thanks to Gale Jones Carson for coming to my rescue to let me know that Arriell Q. Gipson is not Clerk Temiika Gipson's SISTER but her DAUGHTER.  My apologies to all involved.

All in all, I am going to vote for her this time, so four more years for WANDA HALBERT.

REGISTER OF DEEDS

Like Circuit Court Clerk Temiika Gipson, Shelandra Yvette Ford was a surprise winner in the 2018 Primary and General Election, upsetting incumbent Tom Leatherwood.  Like Gipson, I have heard little about her operation of the office, which is a good sign.

She has fierce opposition from outgoing District 6 County Commissioner Willie Brooks, who has been raising a large campaign chest, with impressive lists of supporters.  Wanda Logan Faulkner is also seeking the nomination,   While Brooks has had an impressive eight years as a Commissioner, I am not sure why he is running.  So, unless someone provides solid reasons to do otherwise, I am going to support SHELANDRA YVETTE FORD for a second term as REGISTER OF DEEDS.

Like my choices?  Say so in the Comments!  Think I am full of crap?  You better give a defensible reason in the comments.  Like some, hate some?  COMMENT!!!!

All right, going to sit back and see what you think, and as always, thank you for reading.


 



Friday, March 25, 2022

A waste of the TNDP's time is at hand. Let's not do this, shall we?

 So, if you have wandered into this wondering why I have suddenly reappeared after almost two yesrs, please read this fine article from the Daily Memphian's Bill Dries.  Go ahead, I can wait.

First things first, Mayor Strickland, in addition to taking care of our city, has also been raising money for and contributing several local Democratic candidates, just as he has every two years for as long as I have known him.   As I do have sources in that office, it is my understanding that the first time the Mayor was even aware of Ruby Powell-Dennis's campaign for State Senate District 31 was after she complained that he endorsed Republican Brent Taylor for the seat.  She had, to my knowledge, made no attempt to contact him to ASK for his support, which I thought one does out of common courtesy.

I feel for Dave Cambron, the hard-working TNDP male rep for District 31, who has a complaining candidate on his hands.  I even get their frustration, but it is past time to point out some background here.

First, as Dave points out himself, this has NO EFFECT on Mayor Strickland.  Unlike his colleagues in Shelby County. Mayor Strickland has a NON-PARTISAN office.  He has never run in a Democratic Primary and has had to seek votes from everyone regardless of partisan lean.  So, WHAT THE HELL IS THE POINT OF THIS?  Shouldn't we trying at the TNDP to actually flip FLIPPABLE SEATS (more on that in just a minute)?

Ms. Powell-Dennis (whom I have met and think highly of, despite this action out of frustration) pointed out that Gabby Salinas nearly won the seat in 2018.  Let's have some background, shall We?  She nearly won that seat because even then, a lot of Republicans detested Kelsey for his lack of concern for anyone except his donors.  Many of them rallied behind Democrats like Gabby and David Weatherspoon, and then gravitated to Gabby after the primary.

Sadly, even that was not quite enough.  Republicans are many things, but dumb (at least some of them) they are not.  They knew as this election approached that they had to gerrymander, er, REDISTRICT Senate 31 to shore up their candidate, whomever they may be.  As a result, according to the new map (which I located at DAVE'S REDISTRICTING; GOOGLE IT) the voters of the precinct that NOW comprise Senate 31 voted for Republicans 77% of the time between 2016 and 2020.  

I was one of the Democrats moved to another district, I got very lucky and was moved into Senate 33, where my new Senator is our up and coming STAR, London Lamar!  Guess who else got moved out of Senate 31?  You guessed, Ms. Powell-Dennis, who was drawn into Senate 30, where we already have a great Senator in Sara Kyle.

Undaunted, Ms. Powell-Dennis announced she was selling her home and preparing to move back into Senate 31, where her intended battle was going to get much harder.  Look, I understand why the Mayor did what he did.  It;s likely going to stay Republican, and Taylor, by all accounts, is nowhere near the whackadoodle the outgoing Kelsey was. That should be good for a Mayor who needs all the help in Nashville he can get with a GOP-dominated legislature.

Truth be told, I would still vote for Ms. Powell-Dennis if she were the Democratic nominee and I still lived in Senate 31.  I just don't vote for Republicans.  But I completely understand why Mayor Strickland endorsed Taylor and I support his decision.

Now, let's get down to brass tacks here.   I know that a lot of you for various reasons don't like the Mayor.  That is fine, whatever.  I want you to look me in the eye, though, and tell me what difference this action makes other than flipping off a mayor that was re-elected by 2/3 of the city and a majority of Black voters, who was never elected as a Democrat, even though he is and has been one his entire life.

Still don't like him?  Fine, he leaves January 1, 2024, to ride off into the sunset.

However, if you really want to prove him wrong, why don't you do something that actually HELPS Ruby Powell-Dennis in her dramatically uphill battle for Senate 31.  HERE is a link to her campaign website. HERE is a link to her donation page. Quit bitching about how Jim Strickland isn't a Democrat when he has done more than most of the complainers (I said MOST) and actually DO SOMETHING THAT WILL ACTUALLY HELP. Promise and then make calls or knock on doors for her.

Hell, after we finally get past the May and August primaries and she is the actual nominee, I can send some money too.  I challenged one of my strong Democratic friends who doesn't like the Mayor to do this, and HE DID.  See, that is what needs to be done rather than get the TNDP to pass a meaningless resolution.  They have other work to do right now.

Thanks for reading and I will be back closer to the start of Early Vote for my picks in the May primary.



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.

Democrats, can we talk for a minute?  WILL YOU CALM THE HELL DOWN???   NOTHING CAN BE DONE LEGALLY TO REMOVE DONALD TRUMP UNTIL NOVEMBER 3. EVEN THEN, WE WILL STILL HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL JANUARY 20 FOR HIM TO LEAVE.

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:

DO YOUR JOB.


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.