Sunday, October 31, 2010

Me and Guleff talk about Consolidation

Of course, I'm right and he's wrong, but...   Heh, it was a great time, it always is!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

I'm just about there myself...

This comes from a post at MyDD written by Jerome Armstrong, who co-wrote CRASHING THE GATES with Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos.  It's come to the point that the Democratic Party has left ME, and maybe it's just time to move on.

Part of this comes from realizing that, outside of Shelby County and parts of Davidson County, no one has the faintest clue what the Democratic Party IS, or was SUPPOSED TO BE.  Read that clip from Rep. Henry Fincher:

"I'm not advertising or trumpeting the fact that I'm a Democrat. It's a bad year to be a Democrat. The brand has been damaged by the left wing of the party. They have really screwed up things for guys like me."
Why even bother with the Democratic Party when you have morons like that?  There are people IN the party worth supporting who actually FIGHT for Democratic principles, like Cohen, Kernell, Beverly Marrero, and Jeannie Richardson.  They, however, are a minority in a state party that is determined to just be barely to the left of fools and racists.

Let the monsoon come, let's protect our own and then worry about building a MOVEMENT.  The Democratic Party is no longer it, folks. Obama blew the biggest chance we ever had by not being a strong enough leader to fight for people and not strong-arming Congressmen and Senators IN HIS OWN PARTY to stand up for people.  He hired the Wall Street crowd to run the economy, the very same people who ran the economy into the ground.

And he wonders why his base is not turning out?  When you are fighting Republicans, you have to FIGHT them.  Kick them in the balls and then stomp on their heads when they are down, because that's all they understand.  Instead, he wants to reach out to them.  What happens when you shake hands with a werewolf?

Well, I've voted, and I'll show up at Cohen's event on Tuesday night to congratulate him on his victory.  After that, though, I'm done, i'm not even sure what I'm going to do with this blog yet.  Stay tuned.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Well, we may well BE in John Jay Hooker territory

The Tri-State Defender endorses Bill Haslam for Governor.

I think I need another martini or three, I'll see you tomorrow.  Sigh........

Pro-Consolidation News

First, your humble Cracker is going up against our buddy Tom Guleff on the post-World Series game FOX 13 news tonight speaking in FAVOR of consolidation. UPDATE: our segment will be shown on the Saturday night news, we found out when we got there.

Next, an event will be held this weekend talking about the Charter, from our friend Bonny Kinney of Rebuild Government:

Commissioners Reunite for Final Push to the Polls

Memphis, TNCommissioners who helped draft the new charter on the ballot November 2nd will meet together this weekend to talk to the community about the importance of a new, more efficient government structure.  It will be the last time they meet before Election Day on Tuesday.

Date:   Saturday, October 30, 2010
Time:   11 a.m.
Place:  Bloomfield Full Gospel Baptist Church
             123 S. Parkway West
             Memphis, TN  38109

Bloomfield is the home church of Reverend Ralph White, who also served on the Charter Commission.   Other civic leaders, including Dr. Maxine Smith, are also scheduled to attend.

Rebuild Government is made up of concerned citizens who organized in 2009.  The purpose of Rebuild Government is to create public awareness and foster a county-wide conversation about the need for a new government.  You can learn more about Rebuild Government at

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Um, NOW will you go vote?

mike matthews
On Informed Sources this week, both Norm Brewer and Jackson Baker say Charlotte Bergman could get up to 40% of vote vs Steve Cohen.

Now, the Watchdog and these folks are saying this NOT because of a groundswell for Bergmann, but because DEMOCRATS AREN'T VOTING.  Get off your butts and get out there! Do you WANT the Republicans in charge?  How'd THAT work out last time?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Want to Help Democratic Turnout? Show Up At One of These Events!



Date:  October 22, 2010               Time: 5:30 p.m.

          Please make note of the following dates and activities to date:

1.            October 23, 2010, Get Out The Vote Rally, Orange Mound Satellite Headquarters, 1404 Airways, 10:00-12:00 p.m. and 2:00-4:00 p.m.

2.            October 23, 2010, Get Out the Vote Rally, Herron for Congress Headquarters, 3518 North Watkins, Memphis, Tennessee, 12:00-2:00 p.m.

3.            October 26, 2010, 2:00 p.m., Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church, 70 North Bellevue Blvd, Memphis, Tennessee, Get Out The Vote Rally and Press Conference with Elected Officials and local clergymen

4.            October 28, 2010, 6:00-8:00 p.m., Strategy Session for Election Day Voter Protection and Poll coverage, Whitehaven Headquarters, 4118 South Plaza, Memphis, Tennessee

5.            October 30, 2010, 12:00-4:00 Election Day Rally, Whitehaven Headquarters, 4118 South Plaza Drive, Memphis, Tennessee!!!!!

6.            November 2, 2010, ELECTION DAY, Transportation, Poll watching, and Voter protection!!!


Van Turner, Chair
Shelby County Democratic Party
4118 South Plaza Drive
Memphis, TN 38116
Phone:  901-283-5017

Ed Stanton and the USA's office are NOT playing around, people!

Thanks to Van Turner for this information!

Department of Justice Press Release

white spacer
For Immediate Release
October 18, 2010
United States Attorney's Office
Western District of Tennessee
Contact: (901) 544-4231
November 2010 Elections
MEMPHIS, TN—United States Attorney Edward L. Stanton, III announced today that Assistant United States Attorney Justin L. Bailey will lead the efforts of his office in connection with the Justice Department’s nationwide Election Day Program for the upcoming November 2, 2010 general elections. AUSA Bailey has been appointed to serve as the District Election Officer for the Western District of Tennessee, and in that capacity is responsible for overseeing the District’s handling of complaints of election fraud and voting rights abuses in consultation with Justice Department Headquarters in Washington.

“Every citizen must be able to vote without interference or discrimination and to have that vote counted without it being stolen because of fraud. The Department of Justice will act promptly and aggressively to protect the integrity of the election process,” said Mr. Stanton.

Eight years ago, former Attorney General Ashcroft established a Department-wide Ballot Access and Voting Integrity Initiative. The goals of this ongoing Initiative are to increase the Department’s ability to deter election fraud and discrimination at the polls, and to prosecute these offenses whenever and wherever they occur. The Department’s long-standing Election Day Program furthers these goals, and also seeks to ensure public confidence in the integrity of the election process by providing local points of contact within the Department for the public to report possible election fraud and voting rights violations while the polls are open on election day.
The franchise is the cornerstone of American democracy. We all must ensure that those who are entitled to the franchise exercise it if they choose, and that those who seek to corrupt it are brought to justice. In order to respond to complaints of election fraud or voting rights abuses on November 2, 2010, and to ensure that such complaints are directed to the appropriate authorities, Mr. Stanton stated that the District Election Officer will be on duty in this District while the polls are open. Mr. Bailey can be reached by the public at the following telephone number: (901) 969-2920.

In addition, the FBI will have Special Agents available in each Field Office and Resident Agency throughout the country to receive allegations of election fraud and other election abuses on election day. The FBI can be reached by the public at (901) 747-4300.

Complaints about ballot access problems or discrimination can be made directly to the Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section in Washington at 1-800-253-3931 or 202-307-2767.

Mr. Stanton said, “The effectiveness of our Election Day Program depends in large part on the watchfulness and cooperation of the American electorate. It is imperative that those who have specific information about discrimination or election fraud make that information available immediately to my Office, the FBI, or the Civil Rights Division.”

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The SCDP Needs YOU!

Just got this from Barbara Williams of the SCDP:

There is local Dem GOTV activity in progress - just wanted you to know we need more volunteers. Please ask people to call the party at 323-3290.

 All right then, give them a call and find out how YOU can help!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

All Righty Then! US District Judge Issues Injunction on Consolidation Vote

Hat tip to Steve Ross for this, here's a part of the CA story:

A U.S. District Judge has signed an injunction delaying the certification of the Nov. 2 consolidation vote until he rules on whether the state system for requiring majorities inside the city and outside the city to approve a metro government is legal.

Judge Thomas Anderson signed the injunction, which was agreed to by the plaintiffs and defendants, this morning.

The ruling means that voting will proceed as normal, but the results of the election would not be certified until Anderson rules on the case, which claims the state system is unconstitutional because it violates the one-man, one-vote principle. Early voting for the referendum began last week.
 Holy moly.  If the judge rules in favor of the plaintiffs, this kicks the consolidation vote up a notch.

All right, Democratic voters, NOW are you ready to get out and VOTE?  DO IT TODAY.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

McWherter Comments on Haslam's Endorsement of Wild West-Style Gun Laws

Bill Haslam Will Work to Legalize Carrying Guns Anywhere

Pledges Support for Total Firearm Deregulation

NASHVILLE – At a meeting of the Tennessee Firearm Association, Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam told a crowd he would sign a bill legalizing the carrying of firearms in all public areas. After shortly being pressed by members, Bill Haslam committed to signing a bill to allow citizens to carry a concealed firearm without a permit and said, “If the legislature passed it and brought that to me, I said I would sign it.”

Official statement from Mike McWherter
"While I am a strong supporter of second amendment rights, I am shocked at Bill Haslam's lack of common sense and total disregard for public safety. This is irresponsible” said Mike McWherter. “Bill Haslam is willing to put the safety of Tennessee families in jeopardy, this speaks to the core of his character."

If You're Pro-Choice and You Have Thought Of Voting for Haslam, THINK AGAIN

From my friends at Planned Parenthood:

Tennessee gubernatorial candidate Bill Haslam is quoted in today's Commercial Appeal as saying that he is "opposed to spending state dollars on contraception and routing any state funds through Planned Parenthood."

Below is a link to the Commercial Appeal article:
Please forward this message to your friends and contacts and help us get the word out!
 Need I say more?  THIS is yet another reason I am voting for McWherter, he has made no such claim (and better not, either).

Hey! Have you voted yet?

Well, I haven't, either, but that will be rectified soon.  Look, you seriously need to get off your butts and vote, because EVERY right-wing nutjob is A) lining up to vote and B) trying to figure out a way to keep YOU from voting.

No, I'm not excited either. However, if Democrats DON'T vote, DEMOCRATS LOSE.  And yes, ANY of them on the ballot could lose if YOU don't vote.  So, do it NOW, or as early as you can.

NOTE: Thanks to @faintgraylines for the edit; how DOES one get off their votes and butt?  Could one get arrested for that? :-)

Ladies and Gentleman, I am Delighted To Announce That...

Trace Sharp has now returned from sabbatical to Speak To Power, and soon I will do likewise, although she had better reasons than I did.

go check out what she's writing about, a GOP state House Candidate who wantonly ignores campaign finance laws.

Monday, October 18, 2010


If YOU are a Tennessee Democrat, GO READ THIS NOW.

Amen, brother, preach it!

Won't You Come Clean, Bill Haslam

a little birdie sent me this one...

I Would Run This Ad Every 5 Minutes On Local News!!!

The best ad yet from Mike McWherter, hat tip to Pith In The Wind.

Regina Morrison Newman responds to my earlier post

Without further ado:
I have already done a lot of breathing and a lot of work.  The fact is that our current election commissioners are knowledgeable of nothing regarding the tabulation of votes...all of them.
It was not necessary for Myra (also my long-time and good friend) to file an affidavit with the court in support of the SCEC's motion to dismiss the election contest (not granted but argued before trial).  It was not necessary for her to write a letter to the editor trashing the process.
I don't care who is out-numbered on the EC, the Democratic Party asked our Democratic election commissioners to vote NO to certify and they had time left to allow continued inspection rather than blocking it.  They certified a mess of an election and they did it early, with all 5 votes. 
This is supposed to be a public process and those are our votes, without regard to partisanship, race or anything else.  Even with court orders, we STILL haven't received important info we asked for and it is PUBLIC information.
I have read Dee Nollner's report.  Apparently there is a lot of misinformation going around about what was said and testified to in the lawsuit. The only thing the judge ruled on was that we didn't prove fraud or illegality, but the law says we don't have to
What the SCEC did do, was engage in abuse of the discovery process.  The information requested in the inspection was public information yet they covered it up or didn't supply it.  We then formally requested the same information in the lawsuit, yet SCEC didn't supply anything until ordered by the judge on the morning of 10/4 to give us everything by 4:30 that day.  They told the media they had already given us everything, but around 4:30, they supplied 5 boxes and 2.5 terrabytes of information (that is 8.3 million pages) and trial was scheduled to start a day later.  They still did not supply some crucial items and those items are still public information.  Evaluation is continuing on the data received because the process must be improved and specificity will be helpful.  An appeal is likely.
The Dem party asked for Federal monitors in May and did not get them.  They asked for them 30 days before early voting started for August, due to the May problems, and did not get them.  In point of fact, observers are quite worthless for the problems incurred in the August election.  The problems are in the software and vote tabulation process INSIDE the computer system.  Although observers might be able to assist voters at the polls, the SCEC computer system is not properly handling the tabulation of the digitally uploaded votes....and there you have the problem with this whole issue.  It is way too technical for the local media or most voters to want to understand. 
SCEC is supposed to run a Logic & Accuracy Test (L&A) on the whole computerized set-up after the election is built for a coming election day.  In August, they only checked the Republican candidates and only partially.  We also 'accidently' received on 10/4 the test which was run for November's election.  Again, the test was only partially done.  This is the age of computers and unless we have people on the EC who understand how computers function, we will continue to have problems.  Unless the SCEC performs the proper testing, we will continue to have problems.  Unless they properly train the election workers, we will continue to have problems.  Despite Giannini's immediate response to the inspection we initiated and the TBI investigation, where he said everything was fine and no one would turn anything up, the moment we listed all the issues on August 24, he said he had to contact the vendor.  The SCEC had no idea how to respond to the issues raised by us in the lawsuit and actually asked the computer system vendor, ESS, how to respond. Attached is a copy of that email. (LWC here: I am working on trying to attach this so you can see it).  You will note that the correspondence parallels Giannini's rebuttal eventually printed in the Flyer.
We discovered that the SCEC staff does not actually build the election in their computer system even though they think they do.  They testified they don't assign the candidate IDs, the vote export IDs (determine where a candidate's votes get tabulated in the software), the various race IDs or really anything.  They think the software does it.  As far as I can tell, the election must have been 'built' by the vendor and without proper testing, the systems will continue to run inaccurately.  There were August problems with all those parts of the election tabulation system.
On 8/19, when the August election was certified, SCEC knew that the number of votes was 3221 more than the number of voters their records showed.  They knew on August 5th that the 'error' they admitted potentially affected 5390 voters, not the 210 or 300 that Giannini kept harping about.  2024 of the 5390 voted but that left 3265 hard-core voters who didn't vote.  Not likely by choice.  They also knew on August 19th, that they only audited 10% of the precincts for certification purposes (out of 236, that's about 24), but 11 of them didn't reconcile.  That's about half.  Yet they certified this mess of an election.
Bottom line: they have a lot of issues which need to be corrected and couldn't verify those election results from August if they tried.  The same thing will be happening in November.  This is really a non-partisan issue but the media was determined to make it partisan.  A lot of work needs to be done and help from any quarter is appreciated but observers are not the only answer.

There seems to be a lot of panic in the air

I have heard that, in the aftermath of the clusterf*ck that was the August elections, that there have been calls for both Democratic commissioners, Myra Stiles and James Johnson, to be replaced immediately.

Um, no.  First, no matter who our commissioners are, they will be outvoted 3-2, no matter how long and loud they scream, so it would be pointless. Because Democratic leadership in the legislature never conceived that they would ever be out of power, they failed to ensure that Democratic-leaning counties would always have Democratic-leaning commissioners in charge.

Next, Ms. Stiles (full disclosure, a dear friend of many years and I am not at all impartial here) has spent several terms on the Commission, and Mr. Johnson was formerly the Executive Director of the Commission, so where would you find two more knowledgeable people on such short notice?  Step back and breathe, folks.

Now, if you have concerns about the upcoming election (and I am not saying that you SHOULDN'T, given the unsecurable machines that we are forced to use), what those of you NEED to be doing is getting and TRAINING as many potential pollwatchers as possible for EVERY POLL for November.

Be effective, let's get as many folks as possible and SHOW A DEMOCRATIC PRESENCE at the polls.  This will send a message to those who might be discouraged that we are determined to protect their votes and ensure that they will be counted fairly.  This needs to happen TODAY.

If those of you who want to toss Myra Stiles and James Johnson will work on this project instead, I will support this; otherwise, it's just mindless talk and will achieve nothing.

Are you in?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Go Help Mike McWherter Tomorrow

Date:  October 15, 2010               Time: 4:30 p.m.
          On tomorrow, October 16, 2010, Gubernatorial candidate Mike McWherter will be at the SCDP main headquarters located at 4118 South Plaza Drive, Memphis, Tennessee 38116 from 12:00-4:00 phone banking and transporting voters to the polls.  It is well-known that Shelby County is the Democratic base for the state.  If any Democrat expects to win, Shelby County has to show-up and that’s what we are working towards doing.  Let’s roll-up are sleeves and go to work!!!
Van Turner, Chair
Shelby County Democratic Party
Phone:  901-283-5017

I guess this means I'm against the SCDP

From Shaun Fossett's Tweet:

Has anyone seen thesr signs around Memphis? First time I have  on Twitpic 

Sad, isn't it. click on it to see it full-size.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Early voting started today, here are my votes

Early voting sites are found here; you have until two weeks from tomorrow.

As they appear on the ballot:

GOVERNOR - Mike McWherter  - Yeah, I haven't been excited about ANY gubernatorial candidate from ANY party since I voted to re-elect his father in 1990.  He's a nice guy when he's not playing to right-wingers who will never vote for him.  He's still better than the Pilot Oil guy, the guy that left Saks Direct abruptly.

THE RIGHT TO HUNT AND FISH AMENDMENT - YES - I was going to vote no, thinking it was a silly and unnecessary amendment until brother Neal provided some interesting reasons to vote yes, so please do so.

US HOUSE -DISTRICT 9 - STEVE COHEN - Like you hadn't figured THAT out a long time ago, right?  If I have to tell you why, then I presume that you just moved here.

TN HOUSE - DISTRICT 93 - MIKE KERNELL - He is second in seniority only to Lois DeBerry and knows the Capitol like few others.  Plus, he's my friend of nearly 30 years.  He is as liberal as I am, usually, but listens to EVERYONE, and I mean EVERYONE.  That is a good thing.

 REFERENDUM ON CONSOLIDATION - YES - I've already told you why, and that should be enough.  If it isn't, read the damn Charter yourself.  THEN make up your mind.

CITY ORDINANCE NO. 5345 - NO - I understand why Jim Strickland proposed this ordinance that partially reverses City Charter changes we passed in 2007; he believes that City elections will be ignored if forced to be held at the same time as the County and State elections in even-numbered years.  School Board elections give him some evidence on this.  However, people voted for this for a reason: to save money.  This would also repeal staggered terms, but keep the term limits.  I say no, because I like the staggered terms idea and this saves money.

CITY ORDINANCE NO. 5347 - YES - This extends the residency requirements for working for the City of Memphis so that they need only be County residents instead of just City residents.  I believe this is an acceptable compromise, even though I voted for the amendment in 2007 requiring City residence for City workers.  It has proved unworkable, as the pool is just not big enough, despite what Councilors Ware and Halbert would have you believe.  Vote YES.

MCS BOARD AT-LARGE POSITION 2 - REV. KENNETH T. WHALUM, JR. - I don't always agree with him (especially on paddling, that's too 1953 for 2010) but he seems to be the one member of the MCS Board who is willing to question Superintendent Kriner Cash.  He is the best of the three candidates running for the position.

In Races for which I CANNOT vote:

US HOUSE -DISTRICT 7 - GREG RABIDOUX - Look, we know he's up against it facing Blackburn, but he and his Shelby County crew are busting their butts.  Not only that, she may face a looser district in two years because it will have to get LESS GOP in order to make others MORE GOP if the GOP controls re-districting (which we hope does NOT happen).

In the local state House races, our Democratic incumbents facing a GOP opponent are, in addition to Kernell, JOHNNIE TURNER (85), BARBARA COOPER (86), JEANNE RICHARDSON (89), and LOIS DEBERRY (91).  Please vote for your Democratic Representative.

In the State Senate races, only OPHELIA FORD (29) is opposed among our Democrats, and her opponent, Robert Hill, is having legal problems of his own.  Yes, I want to re-elect the Senator.

Ivon Faulkner is challenging Senator Brian Kelsey (R) in Senate 31, but it is an uphill battle. There is so much I would like to say here, but suffice it to say that I would prefer that you vote for Faulkner in this race.

That's it, everything else is up to YOU, so go vote, even if you don't feel like it.  Don't like your choices in a given race? WRITE SOMEONE IN. I do it more often that you might think.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I no longer have a candidate in the 8th Congressional District

What? Why?  Well, since you asked, it seems that Roy Herron has said he would NOT vote for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker, or John Boehner either.  This is a false choice, and seeks to undermine our best Speaker since Tip O'Neill.  If you aren't going to support Pelosi, then I have no further use for you, and I'm not putting your notices up here any more.

The Jackson Sun article notes the following:
Herron said he would be more middle of the road politically than Fincher.  Herron also said he would not vote for Democrat Nancy Pelosi or John Boehner, R-Ohio, as speaker of the house. "I think both of them are too extreme," Herron said.
One out of two isn't bad, I suppose.  The fact of the matter is that this won't matter TO ANYONE, no one is going to believe him, and he has just told what few liberals are left in his district that they don't matter.  Too bad the Conservatives won't vote for him, either, so he just finished his own campaign.

No, I don't live in TN-08.  If I did, I would have a new message: SEND MABEL TO CONGRESS INSTEAD!

UPDATE: Could THIS be why Roy did what he did?  Has the DCCC cut him off as a lost cause? That would explain a lot of things.

This Is NOT The Sort of Mistake The SCDP Needs To Make

First, full disclosure: I served with Cherry Davis on the SCDP, I like her and respect her, and if I lived in District 6, I would vote for her for School Board over Sara Lewis.

That having been said, Sara Lewis has EVERY RIGHT to be pissed off at the SCDP this morning for what is apparently a back-door endorsement of Cherry Davis, after the SCDP had indicated that they would NOT endorse in any non-partisan races this year.  Jackson Baker has the full details here.

When I served on the ExecCom, I also served on the Elections Committee, who interviewed candidates that sought our endorsement.  At the very least, ALL candidates for the position for which we would endorse were invited to come before the committee to make their case.  We asked all candidates for a given position the same questions relative to that position in order to make a fair recommendation to the full ExecCom.  This was NOT the procedure used in this race, per Van Turner:

Lewis’s objections to the SCDP endorsement in District 6 aren’t limited to her contention that the Party is violating its own official policy. She wonders why the Party executive committee chose to endorse in District 6 and not in the At Large, Position 2 race, which is also contested.

“They endorsed her because she asked them. But no one else was even informed that an endorsement was coming and was even invited to address the committee,” Lewis said.

Shelby County Democratic chairman Van Turner said Tuesday he was well aware of candidate Lewis’ discontent and had taken steps to address it.

“It’s true that generally we don’t endorse in contested non-partisan races involving more than one Democrat, but there is a precedent.” He cited the committee’s endorsement of School Board member Freda Williams in a previous election in which Williams, a party executive committee member, had opposition by another Democrat.

Turner noted that in both Williams' case and that of Davis, who is the Shelby County Democratic Party’s vice chair, the person endorsed had a prominent active role in the local party. He said the move to endorse Davis was made from the floor by member Howard Richardson at last Thursday night’s monthly meeting of the party executive committee and was approved unanimously.

As for Lewis’ other objection, that no move to endorse was made in the At Large, Position 2 race, involving incumbent K.T. Whalum Jr., Bob Morgan, and Richard Fields, Turner observed that no motion to do so had come from the floor.
 Ok, that's just screwed up, and Lewis should scream long and loud about this and make it an issue in this campaign, because NONE of those people, excepting maybe Turner, are rookies.  They KNOW proper procedure and they IGNORED it.  It makes the SCDP look cheap, petty and stupid, NONE of which they need in the middle of a general election season.

I may not be a fan of Sara Lewis, but fair is fair, and she got hosed.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I've Made My Consolidation Decision

I just realized that no matter what I do, I'm going to piss a lot of people off, so I may as well get at it.  If you DON'T live in Shelby County (of which Memphis is nearly 70%), feel free to go look at the cute bunnies.

Shelby Countians, are we alone now?  Good.

There is a hell of a lot I DON'T like about this Charter, and Tom Guleff and Ron Williams raised a good point when they said it was as if the wealthy elites got together to write this Charter.  I sure as hell don't like the 13-single-member-12-multi-member districts.  I don't like the fact that this Charter transfers a lot of power from the legislative branch to the executive branch. I don't like the condescending way Charter Commission Chair Julie Ellis responded to a letter advising against voting yes.   It smacks of elitism at most levels.  It doesn't even touch the schools, which MUST be merged someday.

Yet, even with the numerous flaws, ask yourself this question, residents of Shelby County: is what we have now REALLY better than this flawed charter?  Well, if you ran to the suburbs to avoid paying your fair share of social costs, you may well think so.  But for those of us in the city who are tired of subsidizing you, it's not.  Even WITH passage, you still get off the hook for three years, since taxes are frozen!

I was ready to vote no, but something the misnamed Save Shelby County kept saying stayed in the back of my head, nagging at me: "Memphis has to fix its OWN problems".  First, the idiocy of that is evident, since without a strong and vital Memphis, there is NO Shelby County, and no strong metropolitan area.  It's the same as telling a quadriplegic that there is surgery to cure him, but that he will have to perform it himself.

I am voting YES on Consolidation, because if it fails to pass Memphis will die, and so will Shelby County, and the other counties in our SMSA.  You really think that without a vital Memphis, you'll continue to exist?  You don't care, you say?  You're just trying to make it to retirement so you can leave?

I have two words for you, then: LEAVE NOW.  I'm serious, quit your job and quit leeching off the rest of us, and leave the area (Again, I'm only speaking to Shelby Countians).  This is no time for the weak-willed, and if you're not willing to help, take a hike.  It's come to that here.

Some of you folks piss and moan because you don't like certain members of the City Council.  Have you failed to notice that most of the ones you DON'T like oppose the new Charter as well?  Why do you think that is?  Because they know that under the new Charter, most of them will likely be out on their asses.  That's ANOTHER reason why I am voting yes.

Note to the SCDP: if you think you're showing leadership by opposing the new Charter, that leadership was recognized by the electorate in the August elections.  Good work, eh?  At this rate, we would have captured the County by 2038.  I'm just sayin'......

I'm going to catch hell from the right, because they didn't want to pay their fair share of the social costs and have the wrong view of government.  I'll be accused of discrediting the left (inside joke, sorry) and being a sellout whore to the MAN.  It wouldn't be the first time in either event, just spell my name right after each epithet!

Note to the Charter Commission: you are damned lucky I am voting for this.  If it weren't for Brian Stephens, Bonny Kinney, my friend and brother Steve Ross, and the original namesake of this blog, I wouldn't have re-read the damned thing enough times to make me realize it's the only chance we've got to save the city, the County, the region and, frankly, all of West Tennessee.

It's not perfect, but it's better than what we have now, and it is a good first step.  We either step forward now, or step into the grave soon afterwards.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Mike Kernell Fundraiser This Saturday 5-8



5-8 PM

Come out for food, fun & friends!
Donations Requested

Please make Checks payable to
111 S. Highland
Memphis, TN 38111

No corporate checks, please!


And she's writing about what she knows better than anyone else - the Fightin' 8th!  Go over there now!

Friday, October 01, 2010

From Rebuild Government

Again, I have not yet made up my mind here, but I thought you would want to know.

Young Voters Rally For the New Charter

Memphis, TNYoung voters in Memphis and Shelby County are stepping forward Monday at noon to support the new charter on the ballot November 2nd!  Please join us for a rally hosted by young leaders who want a new government that is more ethical, more efficient and will help spur the economic growth we need to keep young professionals here!

Date:  Monday, October 4, 2010
Time:  12-12:30 p.m.
Place: N. Second St. & Washington Ave. (in front of the Shelby County Election Commission)

Hear from leaders including Memphis City School Board member Tomeka Hart, Shelby County Commissioner Steve Mulroy and Rebuild Government Youth Organizer Shea Conaway about the need for a new government with a unified voice.  Following the speakers, we will march into the Election Commission to turn in hundreds of new voter registration cards! 

This rally comes on the heels of support from prominent business leaders in Memphis and Shelby County.  More than 70, including the CEOs from Methodist, ServiceMaster, AutoZone, and Pinnacle Airlines, now stand firmly behind the new charter as a means to improve our local economy.

Rebuild Government is made up of concerned citizens who organized in 2009.  The purpose of Rebuild Government is to create public awareness and foster a county-wide conversation about the need for a new government.  You can learn more about Rebuild Government at