Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Early Voter Numbers are IN

- 93,736, or 15.6% of 600,349 registered voters

Breakdown by Party
Democrat - 52,645, 56.2%
Republican- 40,347, 43.0%
No Party - 744, 0.8%

Breakdown by Gender
Female - 55,390, 59.1%
Male - 38,341, 40.1%

Breakdown by Race
Black - 31,525, 33.6%
White - 38,350, 40.9%
Other - 23,861, 25.5%

Now, I happen to believe that OTHER is probably close to the same % as Black/White, so extrapolate away.  I mentioned ten days ago why I thought African-Americans were not voting in the same percentages as 2006 or 2008, but I do see that it picked up a little toward the end of Early Voting.  There had better be a REAL uptick on Thursday, or Democratic candidates for County offices might be in trouble.  There was a motorcade today, one tomorrow, one for Wednesday, and there are meetings going on to prepare for Election Day.

However, unless you can get those folks who just can't bring themselves to vote for or against our former mayor to come out and vote for the rest of the ticket, there might be a lot of eggs on a lot of faces Thursday night.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Shorter Tri-State Defender: We DO Need Just One, But Herenton is NOT That One

The Defender endorses Cohen after a long and thoughtful article.

Here are the money quotes, first on the Doc:
So here is the question: Does Dr. Herenton represent the galvanizing leadership that will spur the organization and aggregation of talent and resources needed in the African-American community in Memphis to demand its place at the aforementioned tables through the role of 9th Congressional District Congressman and in doing so improve the quality of life for all Memphians?  Given the damage that has been done to his image and the relationship with other leaders and voters in the community it would prove difficult for him to be that guiding and galvanizing force. Additionally, consider the fact that he would be a freshman Congressman at 70 years of age with no seniority and little political capital in Washington. The answer to the question is NO.  Dr. Herenton remains a significant and relevant leader in our community and we believe he has a tremendous role to play in fostering positive change for Memphis and Shelby County. However, his most effective place to affect change is not necessarily as an elected official but as a steward and agent of change within the community.

Dr. Herenton’s candidacy is important and should serve as a wake-up call to current and up-and-coming African-American leaders that we must get it together and move together in the “house” towards strengthening the “family”. 
 Then, about Cohen:
Congressman Cohen clearly has been an effective legislator over the course of his two terms and certainly during his tenure in the Tennessee General Assembly. He has been a champion for causes and policy intended to positively impact the African-American community. He has built relationships and worked across racial and political aisles as a masterful diplomatic statesman. Ultimately he has done everything he could do to best represent the broad interests of the constituents he represents.

Congressman Cohen’s positions, relationships and proposed legislation are all on point towards bringing to bear a climate that will allow for positive changes in the 30 percent poverty rate, double-digit unemployment, negligible business revenues, high rate of illness and health challenges and 40 percent dropout rate. Ultimately to truly improve the plight of Memphis, we must have leadership derived from within the African-American community that identifies with and intrinsically understands the “family”.  No matter how empathetic, Congressman Cohen will never be the direct catalyst to initiate and foster the change necessary for the African-American community in the 9th District and beyond to make significant strides in meeting the challenges that we face. In fact it can and will only come from within. 

Roy Herron is about to kick things off in Big Shelby

North Shelby County, especially the western 2/3 of it, is in TN-08.  All those crazy GOP commercials you've been seeing from Fincher, Kirkland and Flinn? Those folks are fighting for the right to lose to Roy Herron.

Roy is opening his Shelby County Headquarters on Monday, August 9 at 5:30 P.M., and it's located at
8052 US Highway 51 North in Millington.  Of course, all are invited, and the candidate himself is expected to appear and meet voters.

For more information about the campaign, go to

THIS is what I want to see from Democrats in Congress!

Congressman Anthony Weiner of Brooklyn takes no prisoners on the floor of the House:

I am so freaking tired of Democrats being pushed around and being namby-pamby, finger-in-the-wind types, more of this, please.  We are right, they are wrong and it's PAST time we stood up and said so.

A DIFFERENT Feel Good Friday

Thanks to @FunkyWhiteGirl, here is a Welsh parody of Jay-Z's Empire State of Mind.  Yes, I sent the link to JR Lind, thanks for asking!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Basil Marceaux Dot Com has a NEW Video out!

With a doff of the chapeau to Mr. Lance of Chattanooga, we present the latest video of Basil Marceaux Dot Com.

Actually, that idea about making all candidates start with the same amount of money is on target; we just need to overturn Buckley V. Valeo, which started us on the road to ruin by saying that political contributions equated political speech.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

As If You Hadn't Figured This Out Already

From the DNC, with hat tip to AMERICABlog:

The News We Did Not Want To Hear

The Commercial Appeal reports that former U of M star and Grizzlies starter Lorenzen Wright's body has been found near Hacks Cross and Winchester.

Obviously, there will be more details later, let us all remember his family and friends in our prayers; as Fox13's Greg Gaston has noted, six children have lost their father.

Not one, but TWO Convos With Mario!

Last, night, Mario Latilleon and I spent two hours talking on a podcast discussing Memphis politics, so it was broken into two segments.

Segment One

Segment Two

The first is 57 minutes, the second runs roughly one hour and 9 minutes.  We talked about Memphis politics, the 2000 election, the 2007 Mayoral election (on which we never quite convinced each other of our own candidates electability, Mario supported Herman Morris, I supported Carol Chumney), the (so-far) lower turnout of African Americans in Early Vote this election, and Cohen versus Herenton.

Go listen to it, thanks to Mario for a fun two hours!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Mike McWherter has a commercial out.

Watch it and tell me what you see that's missing, and put it in comments!

Who do YOU trust for TRUSTEE?

Who do YOU trust for TRUSTEE?
Republican candidate David Lenoir and the Republican Party seem to be obsessed with throwing stones at our current Trustee, Regina Morrison Newman, about things of which they are ignorant.  The truth is – what Lenoir doesn’t know about the law and this County would fill a library – or two.

  • While Lenoir may not know the law, he’s certainly had a brush or two with it. Lenoir was previously President of First Mercantile Capital Management, his daddy’s company, which existed until October 2002. It handled benefit programs for employers like Corky’s.  The activities of First Mercantile under Lenoir’s leadership resulted in Corky’s filing a class action lawsuit alleging racketeering activity, misrepresentation, ethics violations, and breaches of fiduciary duty for having been massively overcharged for years, without proper documentation, for fees on funds which Lenoir’s company was supposed to be holding in trust for its clients like Corky’s and all their employees.  (Memphis Business Journal, 1/10/2003) Lenoir’s clients ultimately settled for $18 million dollars (Triangle Business Journal, 4/2/2003) First Mercantile’s slogan was “Someone you know, Someone you trust.”  (No, we aren’t kidding.)
  •  Plus, despite the Republican Party claiming all its candidates came out clean in “background checks” it sponsored, Lenoir has a criminal conviction for Disorderly Conduct. Maybe the Republican Party should have checked closer.

  • Lenoir never even bothered to vote in a County election until he was on the ballot this year. Just how ‘invested” he is in the future of our county?

  • Based on his own financial disclosures, Lenoir has violated the law governing campaign contributions by taking at least $12,000 above legal limits. A complaint is pending with the State Registry of Election Finance. Lenoir needs to brush up on the law before trying to handle billions of our County tax dollars.

  • Let’s face it - Lenoir just doesn’t let the law get in his way.  
    Lenoir’s clients TRUSTED him with their money, had to sue for RACKETEERING,
    and now he wants to handle OUR money. WE don’t think so.


    If you want to know more about Regina, check out
    Friends of Regina Newman
    P.O. Box 40025
    Memphis, TN 38174

    Thursday, July 22, 2010

    Interesting Trends Developing in Early Vote

    You can find the daily totals updated here.  To this point, let's see what the voter trends look like:

    More women than men? Check
    More Democrats than Republicans? Well, yes, but not to the same degree as 2006 or 2008.
    More Blacks than Whites? NO.

    Que?  In a County that's majority African-American?  What gives here?

    I think it's a conundrum for many in the community.  For those who feel no loyalty to former Mayor Herenton, it's full speed ahead for Cohen and the Democratic ticket.  For a lot of people, though, they are happy with Steve Cohen and want to keep him in Washington as their Congressman.

    And yet.....    

    They remember that Dr. Herenton is a historic figure, a man who brought hope to a beleaguered people years ago.  In their heads, the community can't conceive of the Doc in Washington, but in their hearts, it would be a betrayal to vote against him.  When they see him on the street, they give him the love and respect due a figure of his stature, but they know he would be a disaster in Congress.

    What do you do when you can't vote for OR against someone?  You don't vote, you stay home, and that's what appears to be happening here so far.

    While that's terrific for Steve Cohen, for the rest of the Democratic ticket, it could be a disappointment of epic proportions.  The Democratic County ticket HAS to have a good turnout, because the GOP is motivated, and I suspect that many Republicans, having determined that Bill Haslam will be their gubernatorial nominee, have jumped into the Democratic primary to vote for Steve Cohen, and then vote for the GOP County ticket.

    Which, of course, stinks for Joe Ford, Randy Wade, Regina Newman and the rest of the ticket.  SCDP, if you've ever pulled out the stops, you had damn well better do it now.  Steve Cohen's ballot won't do it alone, it's time to have phone banks going full steam from now to August 5, or we're going to be saying Hi to Mayor Luttrell, Sheriff Oldham, and other GOP officials.

    That's NOT something I want to see now, or in the future.

    New Video from the DGA

    Yes, welcome to Video Day at LWC.

    Hat Tip to Salon, this is a great video.  Of course, I presume that when they made this that they had no idea that Mike McWherter would be our nominee, but still, their hearts are in the right place:

    Strengthen Social Security, Don't Cut It

    hat tip to Digby.  Remember, if you're told that Social Security is in danger, the person telling you this is either mistaken, or LYING.  Don't let Wall Street get their hands on your money!

    Here's a new Cohen ad!

    Tuesday, July 20, 2010

    Come to the Peabody tomorrow morning!

    Joe Ford is getting a bunch of endorsements tomorrow, one from someone he knows well!

    Having trouble viewing this email? Click here
    TNDP Header Image

    Mayor Joe Ford   Harold Ford, Jr.

    EVENT: Press Conference and Early Vote Reception
    Harold Ford Jr. and Mayor Joe Ford, Democrat for County Mayor

    Wednesday June 21st @ 10:30 AM
    The Peabody Hotel - Forest Room Mezzanine Level
    Join Former Congressman Harold Ford Jr. and Mayor Joe Ford for a Press Conference & Reception, 10:30 AM at the Peabody Hotel Forest Room.

    Let's unite as Democrats and build a future on "Hope" not "Fear".

    Both candidates have very different plans about how to "invest in our future":

    Democrat Joe Ford wants to build a "state of the art", new Med Hospital that will be a model for National Health Reform.

    Republican Mark Luttrell wants to build a $400 million dollar, brand new jail.

    Republican Mark Luttrell has admitted to attending "TEA PARTY" events and was the local campaign chair for Sarah Palin, John McCain, George W. Bush and Bob Corker. We can't afford to let Shelby County move backwards with their conservative Republican agenda.

    Join us tomorrow as we choose Democrat Joe Ford and future of "Hope" over "Fear"!

    Paid for by the Tennessee Democratic Party, David Garrison, Treasurer. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

    Monday, July 19, 2010

    R. Neal Argues For Dems to Get Behind McWherter; Aunt B, Not So Much

    R.Neal, my inspiration for blogging, has a thoughtful post about why progressives should suck it up and vote for Mike McWherter for Governor:

        While presumptive GOP nominee Bill Haslam has been neglecting his duties as Mayor of Knoxville and flitting around the state on private jets, Mike McWherter has been out working hard, literally, shoveling mulch, busing tables, and installing HVAC equipment to get to know Tennessee's small business owners and listening to their concerns.

        McWherter has kept his media powder dry, while Haslam has spent over $7 million trying to convince Republicans and teabaggers that he's just as crazy as Wamp or Ramsey. That's more than Gov. Bredesen spent on his primary and general election campaigns combined in 2006. And Haslam's only just getting warmed up.

        McWherter has a head start and is using it to his advantage. The more I learn about him the more I like him. (See Tom Humphrey's "day on the campaign trail" article from yesterday.) Sure, he's said some things that don't sit well with progressives. Just like Harold Ford Jr. But our advice to Democrats is to put away the knives and get behind our guy. Unless you want a less qualified, less accomplished Bob Corker clone running the state.

    Well thought out and rational, I gotta admit.  However, our favorite Aunt B. has read this and says Randy is right, but she just doesn't care:

        The Democratic strategy this silly season, instead of even tossing an occasional bone to the progressives, has been to make it as clear as possible that the progressives can go fuck ourselves. And not just the progressives. It’s not like immigrant communities or science teachers are well-known progressive constituencies. Our Muslim community is not a bastion of progressive beliefs.

        So, it’s not just progressives Democrats have asked to suck it with McWherter.

        There are a lot of people in this state who need the Democrats to stand up (and I would hope stand up proudly) for them and the Democrats, McWherter especially, has signaled that our problems are not his problem.


        Then his problems aren’t mine.

    Ouch!  I actually understand her point, as a progressive Democrat who feels ignored this PRIMARY season.  If it is true that there are not as many Democrats as Republicans in Tennessee (and I do NOT actually believe that, by the way) then he needs every Democratic vote he can get, and that means moving OUR direction for a change.

    Let me let B. sum it up:

        But everyone has some place beyond which they can’t follow a politician, just because he has a D behind his name.

        For me, we are at that place. If McWherter had spent a quarter of the time he’s spent hanging out with folks who are like him hanging out with people who are not like him–listening to gay people or immigrants or Muslims or science teachers or people from Memphis or hell, people who aren’t working–if he showed any interest in the experiences of people who are different than him, instead of constantly signaling that he’s the candidate (along with the other three) of people just like him, I might feel differently.


    Sunday, July 18, 2010

    My picks for the primary, with a letter to Mike McWherter thrown in

    MOVED TO THE TOP, with something added.

    These are the folks for whom I AM voting, and for whom I WOULD vote if I lived in their districts.


    Thanks to A) Ward Cammack bailing because he was too new a convert, B) Roy Herron bailing to run for  the 8th District, C) Jim Kyle bailing because he realized, eight months in, what he should have realized at the beginning, that Bill Haslam has a gazillion dollars and D) Kim McMillan realizing that the assholes with money in this state weren't givin' it to no uppity WOMAN and deciding to lower her sights and run for Mayor of Clarksville, we are left with E) Mike McWherter.

    Nice guy, he's trying, but after stumbling, he seems to have forgotten the primary in which he is running, namely, the DEMOCRATIC primary.  Now just wait, you say, he's WON the primary by being the last one standing, so he can run now like it's the general election.

    Um, right.  What they're REALLY saying is now he doesn't have to pay attention to those pesky liberals in Memphis and Nashville, who now have to vote for him anyway to keep from having Bill Haslam as Governor.

    As Lee Corso would say, not so fast, my friend.  While it is indeed true that if Memphians who are liberal and/or Democratic in nature bother to go vote this fall, they are more likely to vote for McWherter than Haslam, McWherter has evidently NOT been told that getting them to the polls may be the hard part.

    Look at Big Shelby for the fall.  Not enough of it is in the 8th District for people to get worked up over Roy Herron versus whichever crazy person wins the GOP Primary, the TN-09 race will be a fait accompli for whoever won the Democratic primary, and no local state legislator is in jeopardy of losing to the other party's nominee, barring death or indictment.

    So that leaves the governor's race as the primary driver for turnout in November, and if local Democrats see Mike McWherter as just a DINO running as a half-assed Republican, they won't vote in that race.

    Ah, but wait again, you retort, they turned out for Phil Bredesen, didn't they?  Yes, they did.  In 2002 we were getting over the 8 years of Don Sundquist, the choice was Philly B or Van Hilleary, and Bredesen was at least CAMPAIGNING like a Democrat, even if he would rarely govern like one.

    in 2006, there was a huge turnout for some other reason; wasn't there a Senate race that year ? Not to mention that the GOP abandoned their gubernatorial nominee, Jim Henry, since who could be a more Republican Governor than Philly B?  And they wonder why Bredesen carried 95 counties.

    All right, Mike, let's cut to the chase: if you don't want Shelby Countians voting in your race in November, you keep running to the right, ignoring your base.  I can always write in Mabel for Governor, and everyone else in Shelby County can pretend you're John Jay Hooker.

    However, YOU WILL NOT TAKE MY VOTE FOR GRANTED. I DO NOT HAVE TO VOTE FOR YOU, AND NEITHER DOES ANYONE ELSE.  You can keep chasing votes you will never get, especially if Haslam is the GOP nominee (the Republican Bredesen) and you will get your ass handed to you.

    Start throwing red meat to liberal and centrist Democrats NOW.  Stop this nativist bullshit because they won't vote for you any way (and Mike Turner had better figure that out quickly or he will lose, and that would be a DISASTER for Tennessee, by the way).

    Rant over.  Let's move on, shall we?


    Ok, so Greg Rabidoux is unopposed in the primary, but he needs all the help he can get, because he is taking on Marsha Blackburn in the fall in one of the most Republican districts in this country, where tea-baggers thrive like maggots on a roadkill corpse.  Bad analogy?  Well, you get the point.

    Needless to say, the man needs our help if he is going to climb Mount Marsha and plant the Democratic flag in TN-07, because she has $$$ and support, considering that TN-07 has the reddest parts of Big Shelby, Montgomery and her own Williamson County in the district.  Please go here and throw him some coin, ok? If you can volunteer, sign up on the website.  Once we get past August, what else could you do for the fall?


    Who the hell is Kimberlee Smith?  She's apparently running against Roy Herron, who will beat her like a drum and then do the same to whichever of the Three Stooges wins the GOP Primary.  Next!


    I'm voting for Willie Herenton because Thaddeus Matthews told me to.  Say, did I mention I'm going to play for the Miami Heat with LeBron, Dwyane and Chris Bosh, too????

    Several months in and Doc's race against Steve Cohen still makes no sense, and other than the people closest to the Doc, I honestly do not know anyone who claims to vote for him.  Everyone I work with, regardless of race, creed or color, that lives in TN-09 is PETRIFIED of the prospect of a Herenton victory, but I see no way that it will happen.  The race could fall anywhere from 55-45 to 80-20 and I would not be surprised, but Steve Cohen should win this race, and I support him completely.

    My Senator, Beverly Marrero, is not up this year, but I would vote for her any day.  My Representative, Mike Kernell, is unopposed in the primary; he'll face Tim Cook again in November.

    My State Democratic Executive Committeeman, David Upton, is being opposed by another friend of mine, Kevin Gallagher.  So as not to piss off either of them, I'll write someone in!!!!

    Congratulations in advance to Maura Black Sullivan, who will be unopposed as the new State Committeewoman for Senate 30, as Hazel Longstreet did not seek re-election.

    So, that's it for my races, but here are some where there actually are primary races.

    HOUSE 84

    The incumbent of many years, Joe Towns Jr. is facing Mitzi Turnage, and it appears that she is working hard out there, but I have not determined a groundswell to replace Joe.  He has my support for re-nomination and re-election in the fall.

    HOUSE 85

    The appointed incumbent, Johnnie R. Turner, who was appointed to fill the seat of her late husband, Larry Turner, faces Eddie Jones in the primary.  However, Ms. Turner, who is quite a powerhouse on her own, moved into the seat like a veteran this spring, and her leadership is something we want to keep in Nashville, so I hope you'll vote for her in the primary.

    HOUSE 87

    Karen Camper is AWESOME.  Period.  She has great energy, takes no guff from anyone, especially Republicans, and is a terrific asset to our delegation in Nashville, and it would be a TRAGEDY if she lost to Justin Settles in the primary.  He may be a decent guy, who knows, but Karen Camper is badass and deserves all the support we can give her.  Not only that, she apparently makes the best catfish in town, per our buddy JoanVixen!

    All right, that's how I'm voting, your mileage may vary.  Just get your ass out there and VOTE!!!!

    Friday, July 16, 2010

    Feel Good Friday: Aretha Franklin

    Written by Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham for Aretha Franklin, Do Right Woman was a favorite song for someone for whom I used to play it regularly on the jukebox at Garibaldi's.  Enjoy.

    Thursday, July 15, 2010

    You Need To Read This

    As those of you who have read this blog for the last few years, you know that I have avoided the Israeli-Palestinian situation like the plague.  I have my own view, but, to be blunt, I will alienate large portions of my readership no matter what I write, being made to looking like either a patsy for hyper-Zionism or the bastard child of Martin Bormann.

    However, my friend Ilissa Gold has written a post that I agree with, and I believe it's important and reflects my views.  Please go there now and read it.

    It's Time to Look At The Judicial Races

    Here they are, in Alphabetical order:

    CIRCUIT COURT, Division 4

    Lorrie Ridder was appointed by Governor Bredesen; however, I have met and talked to Gina Carol Higgins (as she's listed on the ballot) on several occasions, and she has impressed me with her knowledge and her sharpness.  I am voting for GINA CAROL HIGGINS for this position.  Michael G. Floyd is also on the ballot.

    CIRCUIT COURT, Division 8

    The incumbent, RHYNETTE NORTHCROSS HURD, is also a Bredesen appointee, and I got to speak to her while I was cooling off in her tent at the Chism Picnic.  She seems to have a solid knowledge and understanding of the position, and I am voting to retain her for this position.  Also running for this judgeship are Joe Dae Jenkins, Venita Martin and Robert "Bob" Weiss.

    CRIMINAL COURT, Division 3

    There are several good candidates in this race, such as Bobby Carter and Glenn Wright, whom the Commercial Appeal endorsed.  However, my choice is GERALD SKAHAN, a longtime criminal defense attorney with vast experience in death penalty cases.  Yes, he is the brother of current Division 1 Judge Paula Skahan, whom I have known and supported for several years.  However, it is his experience in criminal defense that brought me to choose him.  In addition to the candidates listed above, Latonya Sue Burrow, Claiborne Ferguson and Larry H. Nance are seeking this office.


    Ok, there's too damn many people running for me to list them all, go here if you want to know who is running.  TWENTY of them, in fact.  There are several people that I like here, such as former judge Mischelle Alexander Best, prosecutor Billy Bond, civil attorney Derek Renfroe and prosecutor Bryan Davis.  However, my choice for the position is attorney RANDALL TOLLEY, as I agree with his platform to reform the court system, which may be found here.  I talked to him tonight at an event in his honor at Scott Banbury's home, and that sealed the deal for me.


    This is between incumbent LEE WILSON and former legislation and General Sessions Clerk Chris Turner, and Wilson is my choice.  Turner has not practiced law in the courts in many years, and Wilson is very well respected and liked by the attorneys with whom I have spoken.  I am supporting LEE WILSON for re-election to this position.

    Ok, as always, your mileage may vary.  Tomorrow, I tell you for whom I am voting for Congress! Oh, wait, you kinda figured that one out already, didn't you?  :-)

    What if The Tea Party Was Black?

    From Oliver Willis via Southern Beale:

    Tuesday, July 13, 2010

    All right, my picks for the County General Election (except Judges)

    First, I will pick for whom I will vote, then I will tell you who I think will win, your mileage may vary. Understand that I am not opposed to writing in people when I am not satisfied with the offerings.


    You know, I was not for any of the three candidates; I was a supporter of Commissioner Deidre Malone in the primary.  I have met Sheriff Luttrell and asked him questions, and, while he's a nice man, he lost me when he said that Shelby County was not business-friendly.  Um, what?  Businesses (especially BIG ones) get all kinds of tax breaks from the Economic Development folks, as if they don't know how to run a business without sucking at the government tit. Then they whine about PEOPLE getting welfare.

    In any event, he may know how to run a jail, but, despite popular opinion, Big Shelby is not a jail.  Yet.

    So, that means I am voting for Mayor Joe Ford for a four-year term.  He has, in fact, surprised me with his abilities, and, while I am not thrilled that he is anti-consolidation, he has done a better-than expected job.

    WHO WINS?  Ford if Democratic turnout is high, Luttrell if it is not.  You have been warned.


    You gotta ask?  Come on, how could I not vote for Steve Mulroy?  He's a bulldog for his district, he's always on the correct side of the issues, and he sings karaoke like a madman.

    WHO WINS?  Mulroy, of course, even in low turnout.


    Even if Regina Morrison Newman hadn't been my friend for years, I would vote for her.  Appointed to the position last year after the untimely passing of Paul Mattila, she has done a magnificent job in  short period of time, winning awards for her office.  She has been a bulldog in collecting delinquent taxes, something desperately needed for the revenue-starved county.

    Her opponent, on the other hand, David Lenoir, seems to have a lot of problems for a man who wants to be in charge of your county's money.  No way should you vote for this man.

    WHO WINS?  Regina Morrison Newman, but a large Democratic turnout will be needed.


    Well, just look over on the side there, who do you think? Randy Wade is a 25-year veteran of the Sheriff's Department, a military veteran, and most recently, Steve Cohen's director of his Memphis office.  I know him personally, and trust him to to a terrific job as the County's head of law enforcement.

    WHO WINS?  Wade, but it could be tight if there is low Democratic turnout.  Notice a theme here?


    Jimmy Moore has held this position since 1990, and I've never heard of a bit of trouble out of this office and his employees seem to like him.  Yes, he deserted our party for the GOP in 1994, but he has done a fine job.  Ricky Dixon is the Democratic challenger and a nice guy, but I'm not sensing a groundswell to toss Jimmy Moore.  I don't feel one, anyway.

    WHO WINS?  Jimmy Moore regardless of turnout.


    Only one of the two candidates have held the position, and that's Minerva Johnican, and she should hold it again.  She is an excellent administrator and gets along well with her employees.  Her opponent, Kevin Key, is the son of the outgoing clerk, Bill Key, but his experience are in other County offices, not this one.

    WHO WINS?  Minerva should win, but a big Democratic turnout will help.


    There are three candidates, Shep Wilbun, who held this before, Joy Touliatos from the GOP side, and Julia Robinson Wiseman, an independent of whom I've not heard.  I know there are those of you who have problems with Shep's earlier term; hell, I supported Wanda Halbert in the primary against him four years ago.  Wilbun STILL nearly won re-election, losing to the now out-going Steve Stamson.

    I believe in second chances, and I think Shep has earned that chance.  He understands the office and will do a great job, if given the opportunity.

    WHO WINS?  Wilbun, with the non-Democratic vote split between Touliatos and Wiseman.


    The two candidates are Sondra Becton in her fourth race for this office, and Republican Paul Boyd.  However, I agree with the Commercial Appeal here; time to break out the write-in for this one.

    WHO WINS?  Becton, she's been too close too often to lose this time, unless Democratic turnout is even lower than I think it will be.


    The GOP candidate is Wayne Mashburn, (OOPS, I was mistaken in all of the relations here, thanks to Paula Casey for correcting me!).

    The Democratic candidate is Corey Maclin, a nice fellow who you may remember from Studio Wrestling on TV5 and Memphis Wrestling on TV30 and TV50.  He's a wrestling promoter, and how that qualifies him for this office is beyond me.

     I can't call this race, and I'm not sure I want to.  Time for the write-in button!

    WHO WINS?  I think Mashburn pulls this out on name recognition.


    If my friend Coleman Thompson weren't our nominee, I would endorse Tom Leatherwood.  I never cared for him as a State Senator, but he's done a fine job as Register and he's ok.

    I believe, however, that Thompson will do an even better job in the office, and I support him.

    WHO WINS?  Leatherwood, probably, unless there is a monolithic Democratic turnout, as more people are familiar with Leatherwood.

    All right, other than the judgeships, which I will pick later this week, that's it for the General Election.  As always, your mileage may vary, and no wagering, please!

    Monday, July 12, 2010

    Just. One. Leftie.

    Brothers and sisters of the progressive movement, if you look at a map with pictures of all the Tennessee Congresspeople, what do you see?  We have four hardcore GOP righties, three Blue Dogs, one guy who can't decide whether he's a Blue Dog or a weak progressive, and we have Steve Cohen.

    That's right, folks. Just. One. Leftie.  And there are people in our district who want to take him away from us, even though he has worked harder for his district than anyone since Harold The Elder.

    Please, people.  All I want is Just. One. Leftie.

    Yet there are those who say we have no diversity because we have no one of color representing Tennesseans.  Well, brothers and sisters, need I remind you that our last Representative prior to Steve Cohen was a Dog who was Bluer than Blue?  How'd that work out for ANYONE?  He was only out for himself; thankfully, he's New York's problem now.

    All Steve Cohen has done is do the best job possible for his constituency, and, for the most part, they are pleased with his work.  They know (and HE knows) that he HAS to deliver, has to do better than anyone else doing the same job (and how's THAT for delicious irony, eh?).  All so we can have Just. One. Leftie.

    You think you can find a Leftie in East Tennessee, or at least, one that can get elected?  What about the rural areas, where you only find Democrats who try to sound as much like Republicans as possible.  That leaves the 9th District, where we have Just. One. Leftie.

    And that, my brothers and sisters of the 9th Congressional District, is all I really ask for this year.  We know that the Doc has no real campaign other than to remind every one that he was the first elected mayor, the first superintendent, and now he wants to be the THIRD Congressman of Color. He'll be just as bored in DC as he was here, and we don't need him.

    Why?  Because we have Just. One. Leftie.

    Let's keep it that way, shall we?

    Sunday, July 11, 2010

    Why can't I get excited about the August elections?

    I'm not the only one noticing that there is a definite apathy about the upcoming election, for which early voting starts downtown on Friday and a week from tomorrow in the satellites.

    Doc Herenton actually bothered to go out and start campaigning this weekend, and I am glad of it.  No, I'm obviously NOT supporting him, but maybe he will get Democrats cranked up to vote, either for him or against him.  The irony of this election cycle is that for Democrats to win, there needs to be a big honkin' turnout, and that can't happen if people think that Steve Cohen has the 9th District race locked up.

    Sure, Cohen is supporting every Democrat that supports him, but people do NOT seem to be enthused over the Joe Ford-Mark Luttrell race for County Mayor.  Nor am I, for that matter.  That said, I will probably vote for Mayor Ford at the end of the day because as nice a man as Mark Luttrell is, he's still a Republican, and at least in Shelby County, that still means something.

    Mayor Ford has to wonder now that Luttrell has come out against consolidation (and gee, what a shocker THAT was) if all that consolidation-bashing he's been doing will pay off in the non-Memphis part of the County now.  I'm not sure it would have mattered to begin with.

    I think Randy Wade should do quite well in the Sheriff's race, as his campaign has crossed all lines of party, race, class and all those other things that usually set us apart in this County.  Regina Newman should be in good shape as well, as her office keeps winning awards, and Shep Wilbun has enough name recognition and is well-liked enough to regain his seat as Juvenile Court Clerk.

    After that, however, who cares?  If you're a Democrat, after the top 3 County races and the TN-09 primary, who cares?  THIS is where voter apathy could kill Democrats in August, because down-ballot races always suffer in low-turnout elections, and that's why our side does so poorly in the County elections.

    Too many of our folks are low-income, low-information voters who simply will not vote when you have to choose between Democrats, and they also get confused because this state is stupid enough to have primary and general elections occurring simultaneously.  (And no, I don't give a flying shit that it works great in rural counties.  It doesn't work for US, and we're the biggest in population AND area, so that is what matters!)

    This is why Herenton's campaign, late though it may be, matters.  I think the likelihood of his victory is small, but if people think he can win, there will be a much larger than expected turnout, and that helps the ticket.

    I will have my picks as to whom I will vote for, and whom I WON'T, later this week.  I'm getting the judge races sorted out in my head, so I will have something rational to say about this later.

    The sad thing is that, after TN-09 and the top or 4 county races, this election is not the big one, November is, but the way McWherter keeps tripping over himself, it may not matter.  THAT may doom the state, and ESPECIALLY Big Shelby, for a generation.

    Your notice of early voting

    AUGUST 5, 2010
    Pursuant to Sec. 2-6-103, Tennessee Code Annotated, notice is hereby given by the Shelby County Election Commission of unrestricted early voting for the August 5, 2010, Federal and State Primaries & County General Elections as follows:

    Site Locations, Dates and Times
    157 POPLAR AVE., SUITE 121

    Beginning, Friday, July 16, 2010 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
    Saturday, July 17, 2010, 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
    Weekdays, July 19, 2010 through July 30, 2010, 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
    Saturdays, July 24 and July 31, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

    Satellite Sites

    Beginning, Monday, July 19 through Friday July 30, 2010
    Weekdays 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
    Saturdays, July 24 and July 31, 2010, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

    Agri Center (Rotunda Hallway)
    7777 Walnut Grove Rd., 38120
    Anointed Temple Of Praise (Youth Room)
    3939 Riverdale Rd., 38115
    Baker Community Center
    7942 Church St., 38053
    Bellevue Baptist Church
    2000 Appling Rd., 38016
    Berclair Church of Christ
    4536 Summer Ave., 38122
    Bethel Church
    5586 Stage Rd., 38134
    Bishop Byrne High School
    1475 E. Shelby Dr., 38116
    Bridge at Lakeland, ste. 106
    3570 Canada Rd., 38002
    Collierville Church of Christ
    575 West Shelton Rd., 38017
    Dave Wells Community Center
    915 Chelsea Ave., 38107
    Glenview Community Center
    1141 S. Barksdale St., 38114
    Greater Middle Baptist Church (Fellowship Hall)
    4982 Knight Arnold Rd., 38118
    Mississippi Blvd. Christian Church - Family Life Center

    70 N. Bellevue Blvd. 38104

    Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church (Fellowship Bldg)
    3045 Chelsea Ave., 38107
    New Bethel Baptist Church - Family Life Center7786 Poplar Pike, 38138

    Pyramid Recovery Center
    1833 S. Third St., 38109
    Raleigh United Methodist Church
    3295 Powers Rd., 38128
    Riverside Baptist Church
    3560 S. Third St., 38109
    Shiloh Baptist Church
    3121 Range Line Rd., 38127
    White Station Church of Christ
    1106 Colonial Rd., 38117

    Wednesday, July 07, 2010

    I want to talk more about this TNDP stuff

    Look, I actually LIKE Mike McWherter, despite the idiotic press release sent out earlier today.  He is in a difficult position, and there are those who believe that he is being set up to lose as a sacrificial lamb.

    Why else would someone advise him to chase after votes he cannot possibly win?  The teabaggers, birthers and xenophobes who are scared of the swarthy brown people will not vote for Mike, or ANY Democrat, for that matter.

    They are of the belief that liberals like us will have to vote for them, because, after all, you wouldn't vote for a Republican, right?  Well, dumbasses, if there is no real difference, why bother to vote in that race at all? As Ross noted at STP, if McWherter has any hope of winning, he has to excite his base this November.

    And you and I are the base.  Yes, LIBERALS are the base, you can't win without us, and if you don't give us a fucking reason to vote, we will NOT VOTE in your race.  Seriously.  Mabel will be very easy for me to write in on Election Day, and I wouldn't even think twice.

    You people in the TNDP (and all of you Bredesen assholes, ESPECIALLY) seem to forget something: YOU are beholden to US, and not vice versa.  At a time when Democrats need to be EXCITED about something, the people running the show for McWherter and the TNDP seem to be finding new ways to DEPRESS the turnout.

    Look, if Mr. Pilot Oil becomes Governor, he'll be the GOP version of Bredesen, except that it will be the wingnuts screaming for 8 years that Haslam has betrayed them, which he will, which could be real fun to watch.  I would still rather have a DEMOCRATIC governor, if Mike will just stay away from the the right-wing bullshit, this could still be salvageable.

    Just remember though, you have to come to US, not vice versa.

    Unless you like the idea of Governor Haslam.

    The Tennessee Democratic Party 1824-2010

    It is my sad duty, friends and neighbors, to report the passing of the Tennessee Democratic Party this morning, dead of an press release at the age of 186.  

    This party, founded by the National Democratic Party's founder, Andrew Jackson, succumbed to a debilitating long-term illness called RUN-AWAY-FROM-LIBERALISM. This tragic malady led to its demise this morning in this press release from its gubernatorial candidate, Mike McWherter, son of Ned, who would presumably have smacked him in the head had he known Mike's campaign would have released this tripe, sent to me by Jackson Baker:

    NEWS RELEASE                                   
    Contact: Shelby White
    Phone: 615.321.1590
    McWherter Denounces Federal Lawsuit Filed Against Arizona Over Controversial Immigration Law
    Cites Federal Government’s Absolute Failure to Secure US Borders as the Real Problem
    NASHVILLE, TN – Mike McWherter, Jackson Businessman and Gubernatorial Candidate, issued the following statement today in response to the US Department of Justice's lawsuit against the state of Arizona over its controversial immigration law:
    “I think the administration is wrong on this one. Arizona’s trying to get a handle on the immigration policy because of Washington’s total failure to deal with the real problem,” said Mike McWherter.  “Immigration has become another political football in Washington and this lawsuit only continues the game, rather than solve the problem. We need to control the border, crack down on businesses that employ illegal workers, and give businesses the tools to quickly and reliably verify a job applicant’s status.”
    About Mike McWherter
    Mike McWherter, the only candidate in the race who is not a career politician, is a successful small business owner in West Tennessee. A native of Northwest Tennessee, he now lives in Jackson with his wife Mary Jane and their children Walker and Bess. 

    The McWherter for Governor campaign can be found online at

    Sam Claycombe
    Press Secretary
    Mike McWherter for Governor
    P.O. Box 331815, Nashville, TN 37203
    Office: 615.321.1590
    Cell: 615.294.5074
    Yes, dear friends, this is real, and it's NOT spectacular.  The state's de facto Democratic nominee is attacking the President of the USA, of his OWN party, for fighting against a racist law in Arizona.  

    Yes, you read that right.
    Our own Democratic nominee is taking a nativist position on immigration, OF WHICH HE WOULD HAVE NO CONTROL AS GOVERNOR OF TENNESSEE. 
    I have few words, except to say that I am done with the TNDP, and will shortly remove the link from THE ENDLESS BLOGROLL.  Other than helping local friends like my Shelby County representatives and Senators, who still remember what it means to be a Democrat, and local Democrats like Steve Mulroy, Regina Morrison Newman, Steve Cohen (the last liberal standing, it appears) and Randy Wade, I am done.  

    OK, maybe Andy Berke, too, but he sure seems to be outnumbered as well. If you're outside Shelby County, and you're to the left of the Tea Party, you're on your own.  

    The murder of this party that began with the election of Phil Bredesen was completed this morning with this press release.  Funeral Services will be held July 16 at 4:30 P.M., with Vice President Joe Biden presiding.  He's a helluva speaker, but he's not Lazarus.
    Survivors include liberals and progressives, who have been abandoned for some time and who have been preparing for this death for a while now.  However, one knows you can never really prepare for something like this when it occurs.