Friday, March 30, 2007

All right, potential public servants, listen up.

I want to preface this by saying to some of you who know me, do NOT assume that this post is what or who may you think it's about. Well, maybe, but only partially.

If you want to run for public office in Shelby County, but ESPECIALLY if you are running in a partisan race as a Democrat, or in a non-partisan race with primarily Democratic support, I have some rules I want to lay down.

1. Do NOT run for office if your main purpose is to obtain employment. I am serious, look at Roscoe Dixon, for crissakes. he never got a REAL job until he left the Lege, and he lost that because of crap he pulled while he was IN the Lege. I like Roscoe, folks, and I don't want to kick a man while he's down, but would-be candidates need to pay close attention. I spent six years on the ExecCom and saw candidate after candidate run for office for that reason, whether they wanted to admit it or not.

2. Make sure you are in good enough financial shape that you can handle giving up your job for a while in order to run. Also, see #1.

3. Make sure that your spouse or significant other is OK with this and is ready to help; this can be VERY trying on relationships.

4. If you have a spouse or a significant other, make damn sure you don't have BOTH simultaneously; this can lead to disaster. PERIOD.

5. Make damn sure that you understand that when you run for office, you are NOT running to help your donors or workers BEFORE you help your constituents. PERIOD.

6. You ABSOLUTELY have to watch how you act in public, even when it's just you and your friends or family or campaign workers; you NEVER know who's watching you.

7. Democrats in Shelby County, regardless of race, creed, or color, are tired of being made the state's laughingstocks by the action of their public officials. In short, candidates and/or officials, let me sum it up for you:





I am reminded of a saying by the late, liberal, and lamented
Speaker of the California General Assembly, Jesse Unruh:

"If you can't drink a lobbyist's whiskey, take his money, sleep with his women and still vote against him in the morning, you don't belong in politics."

That's been slightly doctored, of course, but you get the picture. Oh, and don't screw around unless you're single. PERIOD.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

NOW, do you believe?

Every now and then something will happen out of the blue to restore your faith in humanity, and I had that happen this morning.

Jackson Baker is reporting that not one, but TWO independently commissioned polls show that Carol Chumney has a significant lead in the 2007 Mayor's race over all challengers. it also shows that she is doing far better than expected among African-Americans, who appear to be just as eager as anyone else to remove Mayor Herenton from office.

Here's a clip:

Businessman Karl Schledwitz, who commissioned one of the polls (from veteran pollster/strategist John Bakke), acknowledged that Chumney seems to be in first place as of now and - to answer something that political junkies have wondered about incessantly - is doing well among the city's black voters as well as among disenchanted whites. Herman Morris, still working on his name recognition among voters at large, lags behind, and Willingham is further back still.

Another poll, reportedly taken by lawyer Richard Fields, is said to contain similar findings.

I am telling you that Carol CAN win, WILL win because the City wants her and needs her. The city is rancid, and she is the only electable candidate willing to put on a yellow suit and clean up the mess that has been left, especially in the last eight years.

This is great news for the City of Memphis.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

This is chilling......

Newscoma tells an amazing and courageous story about battling domestic violence, and you should absolutely go and read it, I'm not even going to excerpt it.

Please, just go there now.

Hat tip to ACK.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

From Confessions of a West Tennessee Liberal...: Thank You, Joe.

Confessions of a West Tennessee Liberal...: Thank You, Joe.

Joe asked me to post this here as well, it speaks for itself:

I rarely post comments on blogs. In fact, I've posted only one blog previously on my friend Steve's Leftwingcracker. There's always an exception and I recognize this as an exceptional exception. I can't and shouldn't be mute on this matter. I've known David for a few short years but recognized his value asa human being when I first met him. Through him a optimistic preview of what hopefully lies ahead for political leadership and community activism is possible. There are honest,dedicated, servant-leadership oriented, and hard-working young people outthere. Such a person is found in my friend, comrade, and ally, David Holt.

I went to work immediately when I heard the rumor that David was considering this step. When I called him and confirmed what I heard was true, I went to work in support of him that same hour. All readers of this blog should do the same. Find out what you can do to help David and Just Do It! No hesitation, nogames, procrastination.

David Holt has a great mind and moralcompass. He's reliable and sees a thing through to completion. He is well-respected and has a quiet and unassuming dignity that I respect and admire greatly. He is a man of courage and honor. We have a blessing, gift, and advocate in David Holt!

Yours in service,
Joe Wm.Young, II

I am honored to have Joe as my friend as well.

The Endless Blogroll expands AGAIN!

Today, we add Superman Dam Fool to the blogroll, I had gone there on a tip from ACK, and enjoyed the work. I also noticed that they had linked to me, so I want to reciprocate!

Roy Turner

Sad news today; I have confirmed through two different sources that longtime Steamfitters Union leader and Democratic activist Roy Turner has passed away.

Please keep Roy's family and the Steamfitters Union in your thoughts and prayers.

A new entry on the Endless Blogroll

That would be BlogNetNews, which tracks blogs from all over the USA on a state-by-state basis.

The link over there goes to Tennessee blogs, and you can refine them by setting to ALL blogs, conservative blogs only, or liberal blogs only, and they provide a good cross-section.

I invite you to try them out!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

All right, get those heads up!

Last year, after going 33-4 and losing in the Elite 8 to UCLA, I was genuinely disappointed with the Tigers, as I thought we were better than UCLA, even if they did make the Championship Game. We then had Shawne Williams and Rodney Carney drafted, and Darius Washington, Jr. made the mistake of going pro.

This year, I thought, would be not nearly as good. Was I ever wrong.

CUSA Champions, winners of 25 in a row, we made it back to the Elite 8 and lost to a team that has a great chance to win the National Championship in Ohio State, a team that may have the man that saves the Grizzlies, Greg Oden. We went 33-4 again, due to a GREAT coaching job by John Calipari.

I wouldn't change a thing. Great year, fellas, you just lost to a better team, and there's no shame in that.

I have a candidate for the 89 interim appointment

Ya know him, ya love him, ya know he'd do the job well until the replacement was elected, and even better, he WANTS to do it.

Not only that, David Holt proceeds to make a compelling case for his appointment, just as Freedonian did the other day. Read a sample:

I’m passionate about politics, as my long-suffering wife knows all too well. I’ve been involved in politics at all levels since before I was old enough to vote. I’ve knocked on doors, helped raise money, called voters, and generally worked myself ragged for issues and candidates I believe in for years. I’ve been called a liberal, a progressive, and a populist. I don’t shy away from any of those labels, although my politics is not necessarily bound by any label. Although I realize that as an interim representative my powers will be limited, I do want to use my time in Nashville to push for improved access to healthcare, strengthening our education system, protecting our environment, and keeping our spending within our means. I am passionate about these issues and hope to be able to affect them in Nashville. In reality, I doubt that my voting record would be much different from what that of Sen. Marrero and Councilperson Chumney would have been.

All righty, then. County Commission, here's your interim choice. Come on, whaddaya want me to do, gift-wrap him? David Holt is your best choice.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Dave and BCD have a GREAT point here...

David Holt posted a comment at WTL from one of our regulars, Brave Cordova Dem, about an anonymous mailing sent to the convention delegates detailing problems SCDP Chair candidate Jay Bailey has had with the Bar Association's Board of Professional Responsibility:

It looks like some anonymous individual (I have my suspicions) is trying tohelp us choose the next leader by mailing out some crap about one of them to all who attended the Ward and Precinct caucuses. No matter who you support, every good Democrat should denounce this action. Actions like this have set a bad tonewithin the Party for the last several years.I challenge the individual to stepforward and let us know who he or she is and why they are sending this out.Also, if anyone knows who is behind this, speak up.

I know that every SCDP Chair election is a knockdown, drag-out brawl, but BCD nails it. It's one thing to call a press conference, lay this out for the public, and say that, for these reasons, I can't support Jay Bailey.

However, to put this out anonymously makes you nothing but a PUNK (or PUNKS), in my opinion. Don't have the cojones to put your name on it? Don't do it, PUNK(S).

I would expect that a good and decent man like Keith Norman would quickly denounce a treacherous act like this, and I expect a response before the G-Town Democratic Forum on Monday night. If not, I expect someone to GRILL him about this.

Rant over.

We were THISCLOSE to Armageddon.

Courtesy ESPN/AP

If the Tennessee Vols had held on and beaten #1 seeded Ohio State, Armageddon would have taken place in the Alamodome Saturday, as it would have been a Tiger-Volunteer South regional final, and San Antonio might not have been left standing by Saturday night.

However, 'twas not to be, and Ohio State survived to play our Memphis Tigers on Saturday for a berth in the Final Four at 3:40 CDT, live on WREG-TV 3.

Good luck to the Vols, who blew a 20-point 2nd-half lead to lose to the Buckeyes.

The Tigers AGAIN hit critical free throws to beat a decidedly pro-Aggie crowd in San Antonio, 171 miles from their College Station campus.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Luther Ingram 1937-2007

Luther Ingram, best known for his 1973 hit IF LOVING YOU IS WRONG I DON'T WANT TO BE RIGHT, has died at the age of 69 at a hospital in Belleville, IL. The song, which was covered by Millie Jackson and Barbara Mandrell, went to #1 on Billboard's R&B charts, and was one of my favorite songs ever released by Stax.

Ingram also co-wrote the Staples Singers megahit RESPECT YOURSELF with Sir Mack Rice in 1971 and was a stalwart at Stax until it went into bankruptcy in 1975.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A Working-Class Hero will be honored Sunday evening

As you may have seen in yesterday's CA article, the annual Women of Achievement reception will be held at the U of M Holiday Inn this Sunday from 4-6 PM.

While all of the recipients are terrific, I will be in attendance for one reason: Barbara Lawing. She was the political godmother of so many of our Democrats of the past and present; go ask Harold Ford Senior OR Junior how much she meant to them, and the same can be said for Mike Kernell and Carol Chumney, and lots more Democrats that you can imagine.

Despite being a full-time wife (after having been widowed with two young children) and mother, she marched with the sanitation workers, and was one of six Memphis housewives who confronted Mayor Henry Loeb in the middle of the strike to demand that he pay them a fair wage.

Then, she went out and got a master's degree and went to work for the County; however, that was only the start. There are lots of U of M athletes that she tutored over the years, and they loved her and remembered always. I had the great fortune to accompany her to U of M football games, and "her boys" came right to her, sometimes with parents in tow, to show their folks who was helping them, but NOT coddling them.

The term in the title was used by Mike Kernell at her funeral, and she was just that, someone who helped everyone and was known and LOVED by everyone, especially in the U of M, Democratic Party and Labor communities.

She basked with obvious pride when her daughter Jackie joined the staff of then-Senator Al Gore in the 80s, and went on to a senior position at HUD in the Clinton Administration. She loved all of her children equally, though, and as I am fortunate to know them all, I can state first-hand what a wonder ful job she did raising them.

I hope that those of you who knew and loved Barbara (if you knew her, you couldn't help it) will join us at this event Sunday at 4 PM at the U of M Holiday Inn.

It should be a great time.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Bishop G.E. Patterson has passed away....

Gilbert Earl Patterson, the sixth Presiding Bishop in the history of the Memphis-based Church of God In Christ (COGIC), passed away this afternoon at the age of 67.

As a great many Democrats in this city, county, state and region are parishioners of COGIC churches, please keep the Patterson family and the COGIC members in your thoughts and prayers.

You ever had the writer's block?

I admit that I've been obsessed with the NCAA Men's AND Women's Basketball tournaments these past few days, and I just haven't been able to bring myself to write. I find that I'm more concerned with the Tigers and CDR's injury more than I am with the SCDP goings-on.

Thaddeus had a post yesterday (sorry, he doesn't link to us, I don't link to him) suggesting that David Upton was working behind the scenes on behalf of Keith Norman, which I believe about as much as I believe that I will be doing beefcake shots for women's magazines next week.

However, something in there interested me, especially when one of my sources confirmed it for me seperately: Sidney Chism may actually STAY OUT of the chair race, because A) Bailey has Upton with him and B) he can't support Norman because Norman is anti-Herenton (another point in his favor, IMO!)

Well, even though Bailey claims to have the numbers to win, if one splits Bailey's numbers, Norman/MSDIA's numbers, and Chism's numbers, NONE of them has the necessary seats on the ExecCom to win, and deals must be cut somewhere. Where, though? That's the rub, and the intrigue now begins.

Well, that seems to have loosened me up, so to speak; I should have more later!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Mike Williams Goes Indy, Leaves Goopers!

Hat tip to Kleinheider!

State Senator Mike Williams (I-Maynardville) gave his R back and added that I this afternoon by leaving the Senate Republican Caucus, leaving the State Senate at 16-16-1.

According to the article, Sen. Paul Stanley (R-Germantown) made this not-so-subtle threat: "He has given us a hunting license to go into his district and I intend to go there," a visibly upset Stanley told reporters. "He's looking for attention and has put himself on an island, I hope he likes it there."

Now they know how WE felt when Don McLeary jumped.

Before you ask, no, there will be no leadership change and no committee changes for this General Assembly. It WILL make things interesting next year when Williams is up for re-election, though.

UPDATE: The Morons at the CA put the WRONG headline on this; Williams is going INDY, not to our side!!!!

UPDATE @ 5:03 PM: The CA fixed the headline on the front page AND the article, I'm glad they read this site!

MORE on this from JB at the Flyer, great insight as usual....

Come on, they were BOTH closer than you thought.

Call me Cassandra if you will (and HAVE), but you have to admit that you were startled when the early voting numbers came out, and secretly said, OH SHIT, Cracker was RIGHT.

I was surprised at the House 92 numbers being that close, but let's give the devils their due, the Goopers made a real run at us during early voting, and it scared me, and should have scared YOU, too. Props to David Upton for the Election Day GOTV effort, but why not have that kind of effort all along???

We need to be more organized for the whole race, as we now have yet one MORE special election to fill Beverly's soon-to-be-vacated House 89 seat (like, probably, TOMORROW), and we need to be ready.

I have a thought; what are the chances that, with session at the halfway point, the Honorable Phil Governor decides to have the special election coincide with the Memphis city elections in October, in an attempt to save money? What are your thoughts?

Also, do you think that the interim appointment should go to someone who is NOT running for the seat, as was done with Senate 30 and House 92? Let's hear what you have to say, folks!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I TOLD y'all, Dammit!

Early vote is in, and here it is:

Marrero 1389 52.45%
Parrish 1257 47.47%

Even scarier is House 92:

Hardaway 439 50.00%
Morton 439 50.00%

As of 7:32 PM CDT

UPDATE: Desi is right, it's too damn close, but we won:

All unofficial results are posted on the election commission website.

Marrero 56.82%
Parrish 43.04%

Hardaway 58.11%
Morton 41.89%

The Dems won but it does seem like too much of a nail biter.

go HERE for more.

it's deja vu all over again!

I think back five years ago when Carol Chumney decided to run for County Mayor. At the time, her primary opponents were State Senator Jim Kyle and former State Rep Harold Byrd.

Kyle got out first, and then after polling below 20%, Byrd got out. When the local developers saw that their only choice for County Mayor would be someone who they could NOT control, they went to the bullpen and summoned Shelby County's most popular public figure, AC Wharton. You know the rest.

So, here we are five years later with an unpopular City Mayor in Willie Herenton, the downtown business crowd wants him out (with AMPLE reason), they put up Herman Morris, a thoroughly nice and decent fellow who excites no one, and now they are figuring out that, once again, a person they cannot control (Chumney) is the leading candidate to unseat Herenton, which petrifies them for some reason.

So, here we go again. Mike Matthews is reporting over at Channel 3 (check the video list) that these business leaders are approaching the County Mayor, Mr. Wharton, to PLEASE, PLEASE save us from that idiot on the 7th floor and that scary woman on the council who won't do what we tell her! PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's so damn sad that the answer to their problems, Chumney, is staring them in the face, but they don't have the cojones to work with her. They are SCARED of her because she refuses to put up with bullshit and stays focused on problems like a rabid badger, and she is NOT a good ole boy.

Mayor Wharton, I voted for you twice; however, may I remind you that you ALREADY HAVE A JOB! You have contracted with the citizens of the County to remain as Mayor until September 1, 2010, and I expect you to live up to that.

Put an end to this and tell us where your priorities really are, so that we can move on and get rid of the current mayor.

Monday, March 12, 2007


It seems our friend Mr. Kleinheider in Nashville thinks I may have sounded a wee bit alarmist when I suggested that Larry Parrish was poised to become our new Senator tomorrow.

Follow the link to see how I reminded him of the tale of Ophelia Ford and what overconfidence in a low-turnout special election can do.

By the way, have you called your friends? Are you going to vote? I'll be watching!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

I don't want to alarm you, but....

Beverly Marrero may be in trouble. Yes, you read that right.

The Goopers have put on a stronger campaign than expected, and there have been more early votes from Republican areas than OUR area. It is no longer unthinkable to suggest that the term SENATOR LARRY PARRISH could be heard in the most Democratic and liberal Senate district in Tennessee.

Why? As much as we all love Beverly Marrero, she is at best a mediocre campaigner, and it has seemed since the primary that many in her camp thought that her name would carry her through, just as it has in the smaller (and more liberal) District 89, where no Republican has reigned since 1972.

This is clearly NOT the case, as the Goopers smell blood in the water. Why not? Once they were given the Senate as a gift in January (thanks again, Ros!), they have wanted to solidify their hold.

Now, with Senator (and former Lt. Governor) John Wilder in the hospital bouncing back and forth between serious and critical condition like a 2 year old child on Jolt cola, and Marrero sleepwalking to a possible defeat, they are ready to put a stranglehold on the upper chamber.

Now, then, if you live and vote in District 30, you need to do the following:
2) CALL EVERYONE that you know who votes Democrat and lives in District 30 to remind them to vote for Beverly on Tuesday.
3) If you can take Tuesday off to come and help her, please do so and then contact David Upton to see how you can help. (I will verify that's it's OK to put his number and email addy up first).

NO, the Cracker is not crying wolf, folks, this is possible, and it's time for the cavalry to ride in.



Saturday, March 10, 2007

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm finally posting again...

And I need to post on a more normal basis.

Desi Franklin has announced her support for Rev. Keith Norman (D-First Baptist-Broad) for SCDP Chair; he is opposed by Jay Bailey, who has been around a while, as a local attorney who has also worked in his father Walter's numerous County commission campaigns.

I was impressed by Norman's candor and his willingness to get to the point about how he would lead the Party and the Executive Committee, a job akin to herding cats. I was a little nervous with the idea that he supports the ExecCom endorsing in non-partisan races, but that's really the only problem I had with him.

He looks like the type of person who would not hesitate to call bullshit on anyone (yes, even Commissioner Chism) who was putting the heat on him if he thought he was right. That's an admirable trait.

He is used to working with large organizations and BUDGETS and boards of Deacons, so he may be ready for this office. However, some will ask (and already have), how much actual elective experience does he have? A correct question to ask, to be sure; however, let me remind you that the person he is replacing had not just a local, but a REGIONAL reputation as a campaign manager, and, maybe that didn't work out as well as we (or he himself, for that matter) had hoped.

I don't have a vote, so it doesn't matter, but let me suggest to you that if you care about how this will turn out (and if you are a Shelby County Democrat, you damn well OUGHT TO CARE), come to the Pickering Center at 7771 Poplar Pike in G-town on Monday, March 26 at 6:30 P.M. Ask them the questions that you have, everything from whether Norman is too close to Sidney Chism to just what kind of disciplinary procedures have been applied to Jay Bailey.

Find out for yourself, and then make a good decision. It's up to YOU to determine what that may be.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Breaking News: Calvin leaves, Greg moves UP

Breaking news: Calvin Anderson has decided to leave the State Election Commission, and will be replaced by Greg Duckett, who was the Shelby County Democratic legislative delegation's choice, apparently the ONLY choice.

The delegation is looking for applicants to replace Duckett on the SCEC, I will have more on that later. I believe I am breaking this story, cuz I gots SOURCES, and I'm not telling who they are.......

Watch this space for updates later this evening on how to apply, etc.

Uh, we have an ELECTION going on, people!

Just to remind you, we are LESS THAN A WEEK AWAY from the Senate 30 and House 92 Special Elections, and EARLY VOTING is going on as I write this. I voted today, and there was NO ONE in line when I went to vote. Here's the info; if you live in either or both districts, get off your bum and go vote:

Site Locations, Dates and Times

Beginning Wednesday, February 21, 2007, 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Thursday, February 22 thru Friday, February 23, 2007, 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Saturday, February 24, 2007, 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Monday, February 26 thru Friday, March 2, 2007, 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Saturday, March 3, 2007, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Monday, March 5 thru Wednesday, March 7, 2007, 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Last Day, Thursday, March 8, 2007, 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Satellite Sites

Beginning Saturday, March 3, 2007, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Monday, March 5 thru Wednesday, March 7, 2007, 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Last Day, Thursday, March 8, 2007, 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM


Berclair Church of Christ
4536 Summer Ave., 38122
Greater Middle Baptist Church
4982 Knight Arnold Rd., 38114
Mississippi Blvd. Christian Church
70 N. Bellevue Blvd., 38104
New Salem M.B. Church
2231 S. Parkway E., 38114
White Station Church of Christ
1106 Colonial Rd., 38117
Click to display map of the EV Sites

Pursuant to Sec. 2-6-102, TCA, a voter who desires to vote early shall go to the County Election Commission office or to any of the satellite locations listed above within the hours set out for the early voting period, sign an application for ballot and vote. Pursuant to Sec. 2-7-140 (c) (1) voters who are already registered can make address changes at an early voting site. For further information, call 545-4132.


Gregory M. Duckett, Chairman
Richard L. Holden, Secretary
Nancye E. Hines
O. C. Pleasant, Jr.
Maura Black Sullivan

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Liberate Tennessee!!!!!!

As you know, interim Senator Shea Flinn has introduced legislation to liberalize Tennessee's archaic liquor laws, which hurt liquor store owners and consumers, and make excess $$$$ for liquor distributors.

Nashville's own Sean Braisted (proudly found on our blogroll) has decided to start Liberate Tennessee, a blog about changing these laws, so that we can get a bottle of wine on Sundays, maybe even in our grocery stores!

It's one thing for the backwoods counties to stay dry or force people to the moonshiners; however, for those of us in the refined metro areas, we need RELIEF. You will find this site on the blogroll later today, go there and support this noble effort.

Go to the Hooks Central Library tonight

So you can ask questions of Rev. Keith Norman, who is running for the chairmanship of the SCDP at the MSDIA meeting; it's from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM.

I have LOTS of questions; let's see if I can get there to ask them, it's my first day back and all.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

OK, who is Keith Norman?

So, it's like this: I'm here at the Radisson Central Dallas, basking in the afterglow of the 25th North Texas Irish Festival when I see this Jackson Baker article that the two leading contenders for SCDP Chair were Jay Bailey and Keith Norman.

I am an Old Hack From Way Back, and I have never heard of this guy. Who is he, what does he do, and who has he helped get elected? Somebody got some 'splainin' to do when the Cracker gets back.

Unless i find out more, this site may become a Jay Bailey lovefest.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Yo, listen up!

As difficult as it may seem, you'll have to attend the Ward & Precinct Caucuses without me, as I will be at the 25th Annual North Texas Irish Festival in Dallas this weekend while the lawyer and the dogs and the cat guard the house.

I will be able to check email and other blogs, so I expect full reports from the rest of you1

Back Tuesday!