Monday, October 15, 2018

These recommendations are solidly on point, and I agree with all of them

Every election year, I am fortunate to receive a list of endorsements from my friends Paula Casey and Jocie Wurzburg, along with Dottie Jones, daughter of their late great friend Happy Jones.

Usually, there are a couple of endorsements that I don't agree with, but not this year.  I received this earlier, and I found them to be so on point that I asked if I may post them, as I concur with every bit of this, and ask that you consider these before you go vote.  By the way, Early Voting starts at ALL SITES this coming Wednesday.  Without further ado:

Dear Friends:

Early voting for this important election begins on Wednesday, Oct. 17. The first thing you need to do is make sure you are registered. It takes 30 seconds with this link:

Do this before you go to the polls. If you're not shown as registered and you know you are, call the Election Commission at 222-1200 and ask where is your registration. Be sure to take a photo ID to the polls. PLEASE VOTE EARLY. Early voting locations are at

Also, we are recommending you vote NO on all the ballot referenda which appear at the end of the ballot. Our buddy, Dan Conaway, explains it beautifully in his Daily Memphian column:

We recommend the following:

Governor - Karl Dean is the obvious choice. Medicaid expansion is his top priority and pre-school education. We need someone in the governor's office with governing experience. We need Karl because he understands how to govern. He also believes in separation of church and state unlike his opponent.

U.S. Senator - Phil Bredesen. He is far superior to his GOP opponent who opposes everything we believe in. Phil's opponent believes in snatching small terrified children from their panicking parents., many of whom were seeking asylum. Who believes in that? We don't. Vote for Phil Bredesen.

U.S. House -District 8 - Erika Stotts Pearson. We need to change the House and Erika is a much better candidate than the incumbent.

U.S. House District 9 - Steve Cohen, of course. He always makes us proud. 

Following are recommendations for the state legislature. Too many of our current legislators have been supportive of ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) far-right model legislation. We don't want our legislators joining ALEC; we want ALEC's legislative agenda opposed. 

TN Senate District 29 - Raumesh Akbari. Raumesh is a star.
TN Senate District 31 - Gabby Salinas. Gabby's healthcare background will be an asset.
TN Senate District 33 - Katrina Robinson. Vote for Katrina and thank her for running since she defeated an anti-choice ALEC-supporting incumbent Democrat. 
TN House District 83 - Danielle Schonbaum. She can take Craig Fitzhugh's place as the financial guru in the legislature.
TN House District 84 - Joe Towns, Jr.
TN House District 85 - Jesse Chism
TN House District 86 - Barbara Cooper
TN House District 87 - Karen Camper
TN House District 88 - Larry Miller
TN House District 90 - John DeBerry, Jr. He is unopposed, but we hope his constituents will let him know they are displeased with his conservative votes.
TN House District 91 - London P. Lamar
TN House District 93 - G.A. Hardaway, Jr.
TN House District 95 - Sanjeev Memula
TN House District 96 - Dwayne Thompson - He has done a great job and has been supportive of healthcare expansion. 
TN House District 97 - Allan Creasy - We can't say enough about this bright, committed Democratic candidate who would bring youth and energy to the legislature. 
TN House District 98 - Antonio Parkinson
TN House District 99 - David Cambron - We love Dave Cambron and everything he has done for progressive causes. 

Your vote is critically important. It is not hyperbolic to say we are saving our democracy. Please share this ballot with your friends and family. Encourage everyone you know to vote. - 

Jocelyn D. Wurzburg, Paula F. Casey, Dottie Jones

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Democratic Candidates, can you help me out here?

Could you list, in the comments, where your victory parties will be tomorrow night? 

I know that LEE HARRIS FOR COUNTY MAYOR will be meeting at The Columns at One Commerce Square, located at 1 South Main downtown.

Other campaigns, can you please note in the comments?  thanks!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

For the State House in the Democratic Primary

I am only looking at the contested primary races here.

State House - District 85 - Ricky Dixon The veteran activist and brother of former State Senator Roscoe Dixon has the most experience in service of the candidates seeking to replace the retiring Johnnie Tuner and has my support.

State House - District 86 - I am torn.  Barbara Cooper has represented the downtown and South Memphis areas for years and has done a pretty good job.  that said, newcomers like Amber Huett Garcia have given energy and fire to the SCDP that it has desperately needed.  I am truly torn in this race and believe either would be a good choice.

State House - District 90 - Torrey Harris Just as I supported Tami Sawyer's insurgent campaign two years ago, now I support Torrey Harris in his primary challenge of John Deberry, a Democrat in Name Only these days.  Harris has worked his butt off and will be a terrific state representative, so let's give him that chance.

State House - District 91 - London Lamar I can't pretend that I am impartial here, having watched her come up through the ranks of the SCYDs to lead it and then the TYDs, having watched her work for various campaigns.  Now, it is her time, and I believe she is worthy of the support of District 91.

Oh, and I forgot the City Council SuperDistrict 9 race.

I voted for GIRLS INC. Chair Lisa Moore to get the full time slot to replace Philip Spinosa.  I am sure Ford Canale is a decent enough guy, but I don't really know him well enough to give him that seat.  Just my .02.

That is it until the fall, people, thank you as always for asking me for these, I am flattered that you think that much of them.  Keep reading!

And now for the Democratic Primary at least through the State Senate

US Senate - Phil Bredesen  You have no idea how weird it is for me to write those words, but I do, because he is going to kick Marhsa Blackburn's ass back to Brentwood this November, and it won't be close.  I will even put up a sign for him, causing long-time readers (and possibly me as well) to faint at the prospect.

Like I said, we are in triage, people.  I digress.

Governor - Craig Fitzhugh  The outgoing House Democratic Leader, from nearby Ripley, is the BEST chance that we have to beat whichever one of the horrible GOP Candidates that wins their primary.  Simply put, the last time we as Tennesseans had a candidate for this office who knew state government this well, it was 1986 and his name was Ned McWherter.  I do not throw that name around lightly; few Governors made this government work as well as Ned, and Craig Fitzhugh can do that.

What's more, Craig Fitzhugh can do something his opponent, former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, can't: he can go into rural areas and get them to vote for Democrats at every level.  If we can't flip rural seats in the legislature, folks, we are doomed as a Party in Tennessee.  Outside of Davidson County, no one cares about Nashville, and I can say that as a Memphian, because the rural folks don't like us either.

But Craig Fitzhugh, who lives 50 miles from here, DOES. If you want to save our Party and get the best Governor we have had since McWherter, vote for Craig Fitzhugh.

Congressman - 9th District - Steve Cohen  He has done a great job for us for these dozen years, and who would not want to see him preside over impeachment trials?  What else is there to say except KEEP GOIN WITH COHEN!

State Senate - District 29 - Raumesh Akbari.  The outgoing Representative from District 91 looks to step up to replace soon-to-be County Mayor Lee Harris in the District along the Big Muddy, which also includes Cooper-Young.  She is beloved by pretty much anyone who has the fortune to know her or be represented by her.

State Senate - District 31 - Gabby Salinas We have two fine candidates in the race to defenestrate current incumbent Brian Kelsey, who isn't even like by his own party that much these days.  In addition to Gabby, David Weatherspoon, a chaplain at LeBonheur Children's Hospital, also seeks the nomination and is a good guy who would be better than Kelsey.

However, the amazing story of Gabby Salinas is the story of a 3-time cancer survivor who came to Memphis to beat cancer at St. Jude, where she eventually went to work and became a scientist.  Along the way she survived a horrible car accident that killed two members of her family and crippled her mother.  However, she and her family have fought through these problems like warriors, watching with pride as she worked on her Ph.D and helped in Democratic campaigns.  Gabby Salinas is the best choice to beat Brian Kelsey, and I ask you to vote for her for Senator.

State Senate - District 33 - Katrina Robinson  This nurse, educator and single mother of two is a powerhouse who believes in Democratic values, which is more than I can say for the incumbent she wants to knock off, Reggie Tate.  Look, Reggie is a nice fellow but he has taken ALEC money and has been a weak Senator.  Robinson shares our Democratic values and is the best choice for this race,

For the rest of the County races

For Sheriff, Floyd Bonner has a sparking 34-year career, serving now as the Chief Deputy to Sheriff Bill Oldham, a Republican who endorsed this Democrat rather than the GOP nominee, Dale Lane.  Bonner is a clear choice.

Regina Morrison Newman wants the job she once held as County Trustee, and she did a great job at it which is why we need her now to go do any cleanup needed after David Lenoir leaves.  She was recognized for her great work in 2010 after she succeeded the late Paul Mattila.

Temilka Gipson was endorsed by the CA for Circuit Court Clerk, and we agree that she would be a great fit for the job, with over 25 years experience in clerk offices in this county.

Heidi Kuhn is the best candidate for Criminal Court Clerk as she has worked in County Government for 17 years, most of which is in the Criminal Justice field.  She believes in working with the Expungement movement, which incumbent Richard DeSaussure cares nothing about.  Heidi represents our values and DeSaussure, well.........

Bill Morrison wants to be your next Probate Court Clerk, and I want him there too, so please vote for him.  We need Democrats across the board, people.

My friend Wanda Halbert is clearly the best choice to succeed Wayne Mashburn as County Clerk.  People don't realize that, in addition to serving her community on the MCS Board and the Coty Council, she has years of corporate experience as an administrative professional at FedEx for many years.  She knows how to run an office and run it efficiently.  That is why you should vote for her.

If there is anyone I forgot, go look at Ross's post.

 There are 3 judicial races also.

For Circuit Court, Division IX, I support Yolanda Kight. 

For Circuit Court, Division X,  I support Jennifer Johnson Mitchell over current incumbent and former prosecutor Jennifer Nichols.  Too damned many former prosecutors on the bench these days, Lee Coffee excluded.

And for me, the most important is for Environmental Court Division 14, where Judge Patrick Dandridge, who was recently appointed to succeed his mentor, retired EC Judge Larry Potter, is the clear choice.  He was Judge Potter's right hand for many years, and a terrific public servant.  Please vote to re-elect Patrick Dandridge.


Alright aready, it's time for the picks for Mayor and the Commission

if you couldn't wait, you could have gone straight to Steve Ross and gotten almost everything I am going to give you,

He is right that this is the best Democratic countywide lineup and, while there may be one I didn't go with, I am NOT telling you which one it was in the sake of unity.

We will start straight up with the head of the ticket, LEE HARRIS for County Mayor.  He has a clear understanding of what the county needs and unlike the GOP Nominee, David Lenoir, he KNOWS that, population-wise, Memphis IS Shelby County, comprising 2/3 of its population.  He understands that the problems of poverty are NOT character-related but RESOURCE-related, and intends to do something about it.  Lenoir, on the other hand, keeps making dog-whistle noises to the SC residents outside the city limits, suggesting that he will direct as little as possible to those LAZY (INSERT SLUR HERE) who live in MEMPHIS.

Now, the new County Mayor (hopefully, LEE HARRIS) is going to need a County Commission that will work with him to achieve his goals.  This is why I implore you to vote for the Democratic nominee in EVERY DISTRICT.  Even 7, people, but more on that in a minute.

Our Nominees are as follows:
District 1- Racquel Collins
District 2- Tom Carpenter
District 3 - Monica Timmerman
District 4 - Kevin Haley
District 5 - Michael Whaley
District 6 - Willie Brooks (unopposed)
District 7 - Tami Sawyer
District 8 -Mickell Lowery (unopposed)
District 9 - Ed Ford Jr.
District 10, my friend and Commissioner Reginald Milton
District 11, Eddie Jones
District 12, one of the true heroes of statue removal, Van Turner
District 13, George Monger.

Before we move further, I need to say something about Tami Sawyer.  Ross gave her a glowing tribute, much of which I agree with, but it needs to be said that while the protestors helped bring new people into the statue removal movement that she named #TakeEmDown901, This had been in the works since January 1, 2016.  That is also the day Jim Strickland took office.

(NOTE: Our pal Hunter Demster seems to be of the opinion that none of you loyal readers are aware that since April of 2016, my lovely wife Susan has worked on the 7th Floor for Alan Crone, Dabney Ring, Ursula Madden, and oh yes, Jim Strickland.  Take any caveats from that you need to take.)

The insane law that the Mayor's legal team had to work around were passed in response to an ordinance that then-Councilor Strickland voted FOR to remove the statues.  Our Mayor had to keep a low profile and keep the statues up UNTIL THEY COULD DO IT LEGALLY.  If those protestors had managed to take down Forrest too soon, they, and you and me, all taxpayers of this city would have been forced to pay for putting them back UP.  So, this bullshit (and it truly is) that our Mayor wouldn't have moved without the protests is simply wrong.

Frankly, I am not thrilled that Tami and the protestors acted like the Mayor was the enemy, when his team were the only people in town who could get the damned things down FOR GOOD, which he did.

Having said all that, I supported Tami 2 years ago when she ran against John Deberry in District 90, and I wouldn't have changed that for anything.  She can be a bulldog, and we are going to need her to do that on the Commission, either working for Lee Harris or being the biggest PITA possible in the unfortunate event David Lenoir is elected.  We are in triage, people, at every level, and we need all hands on deck. 

Now, some day, Mr. Mayor, we need to see a damn BOOK from you about how all this went down.  Tell your story, because it is not mine to tell.

So, enough on that.

Tuesday, May 01, 2018


Early Voting starts on Wednesday, April 11 for the Democratic and GOP Primaries for the August general election.  Early voting locations and times can be found here.

As far as the County Commission races go, I vote in District 10, and my friend and incumbent Commissioner Reginald Milton is unopposed in the Primary, although he has a Terry Roland-supporting independent (who tried to run as a Democrat at first) in August.  It goes without saying that I support him.

As for the Countywide races, let's take them one at a time.

COUNTY MAYOR - This pits former County Commissioner, State Senator and SCDP Chair Sidney Chism against outgoing State Senator and former City Councilor Lee Harris.  While Chism has been around for years and has worked in County Government as a Commissioner and in the Sheriff's Department, if we are going to go for new blood in Democratic politics, Harris is the guy.  I believe that Lee Harris has the best chance to elect a Democratic County Mayor this year, and I am supporting him.  This is especially true if Terry Roland surprises everyone (but me) and wins the GOP Primary for Mayor.   I just don't believe that Chism can get crossover votes, and Harris can, while turning out our base in August.

ASSESSOR OF PROPERTY - Sadly, Cheyenne Johnson is term-limited out and cannot succeed herself.  That leaves outgoing County Commissioner Melvin Burgess and Lorie Ingram, who challenged Ms. Johnson in the primary 4 years ago, IIRC.   While Ms. Ingram has worked in that office (I do not know if she still does), Commissioner Burgess has (as I have been told privately) people from that office helping him to prepare for the job.  I think Melvin Burgess gives Democrats the best chance to win this office, so I am voting for him.

COUNTY TRUSTEE - This is an open seat, and three Democrats are seeking the office: Derrick Bennett, who has run before unsuccessfully, former MLGW executive Joseph Lee III and former Trustee Regina Morrison Newman, who was named in 2009 to succeed the late Paul Mattila.  She lost her bid for re-election in 2010 to current, outgoing Trustee David Lenoir.  Newman has actual time in the job and has received awards for her work as Trustee, and I believe she is the best candidate not only to turn out votes in August but to flip some GOP votes.  I am voting for Regina Morrison Newman.

SHERIFF - We have two Sheriff's Department veterans in this race, retired Deputy Bennie Cobb (our 2014 nominee) and current Chief Deputy Floyd Bonner, who has been endorsed by his outgoing boss, Sheriff Bill Oldham, a Republican.   They both make strong cases for themselves, but Bonner has 37 years in the department and the chance to flip GOP votes.  I am supporting Floyd Bonner.

CIRCUIT COURT CLERK - The race to succeed outgoing Clerk Jimmy Moore is between veteran Democratic activist (and former General Sessions Court Deputy Clerk) Del Gill and Temiika Gipson, who is a 25 year veteran of county offices such as  General Sessions Civil Court Clerk's office and currently working in the Criminal Court Clerk's office as a Court Coordinator.    I am voting for Temiika Gipson, as it is time for younger candidates to step up here.

CRIMINAL COURT CLERK-  Vying for the Democratic nod against GOP incumbent Richard DeSaussure are Carla Stotts Hills, Heidi Kuhn and Amanda Scott Hill.   Heidi Kuhn has over twenty years experience in County Government, working for the Commission and currently working in the Sheriff's Department.  She is a seasoned candidate and someone that I believe gives us the best chance to unseat DeSaussure.  I support Heidi Kuhn for Criminal Court Clerk.

JUVENILE COURT CLERK.  The three candidates on the Democratic side are Harold C. Smith, of whom I know very little, Morrie E. "Jimmy" Noel, of whom I know even less, and veteran City Councilor and legendary radio star Janis Fullilove.   Councilor Fullilove has been through a lot during her Council years, overcoming a very deep illness to return to her seat.   She clearly is the biggest draw here, and while I have concerns about her health, she remains the best candidate of the three and I will vote for Janis Fullilove for JV Court Clerk.

PROBATE COURT CLERK - outgoing City Councilor Bill Morrison is unopposed in the Primary and I will support him now and in August.

COUNTY CLERK - This is very tough for me.  The three Democratic candidates are former MCS Board Member and District 4 City Councilor Wanda Halbert, Jamal Whitlow, who is a former employee of the County Clerk's office and current job Developer for the Workforce Investment Network, and Mondell B. Williams.   Wanda Halbert has given more than just the 15 years of representative service in government to her community, she is loved and respected throughout this city.   However, Whitlow is part of the up and coming group of new candidates bringing new vitality to the Shelby County Democratic scene.    I have ALWAYS voted for Wanda Halbert when I had the opportunity, but Jamal Whitlow has made me look at this race carefully and differently.   In the toughest call I have had to make this year, I am going to vote for Jamal Whitlow for County Clerk in the Primary.

REGISTER OF DEEDS - This seat is being vacated by Republican vet Tom Leatherwood, and the Democratic race is between Shelandra Ford, a 20 year veteran of County Government,  and Democratic activist Adrienne Pakis-Gillon, who last ran in 2014 against State Senator Brian Kelsey.  Ok, I am all in for Adrienne, whom I have known for many years and for whom I have knocked on doors in Cordova in her last race.  I confess I do not know Ms. Ford, and I have linked to both of them, but I am voting for Adrienne Pakis-Gillon.

COUNTY COMMISSION DISTRICT 13.   Now, I don't have a vote here, but if I did it would be for George Monger over Charlie Belenky.   Monger was one of the youngest ever to run for City Council back in 2007 at the age of 18.  He has worked in the music business in many area, most notably for David Porter at MMT Consortium.  However, it is his work as a Shelby County Election Commissioner  (he was the youngest in history when named in 2011) and served two exciting years involved on the Technology and Operations Committee.  I am still not pleased that he was not renamed two years later.   I think he has an excellent chance to unseat incumbent Republican Steve Basar (if his primary opponent Brandon Morrison doesn't do it first).  I highly encourage you to vote for George Monger in District 13.

COUNTY COMMISSION DISTRICT 7 - Nope, not going there, no recommendations, I don't have a vote there and I am staying out of it completely.  Your call.

The following seats only have one Democratic candidate, but vote for them any way if you live in these Districts:

DISTRICT 1 - J. Racquel Collins

DISTRICT 2 - Tom Carpenter

DISTRICT 3 - Monica Timmerman

DISTRICT 4- Kevin Haley

DISTRICT 6 - Incumbent Commissioner Willie Brooks

DISTRICT 12 - Incumbent Commissioner Van Turner

Now, back to the contested CC races (other than 7, anyway):

DISTRICT 5 - This race is between Democratic activist and unsuccessful HD 83 Candidate in 2016 Lawrence Pivnick and newcomer Michael Whaley, who has worked in education for many years.  In keeping with the NEW BLOOD theme here, I am supporting Michael Whaley for this race.

DISTRICT 8 This race has former interim Commissioner Edith Ann Moore,  Daryl L. Lewis (he has his platform here),  newcomer JB Smiley  and FedEx sales manager Mickell Lowery, who lost a tight City Council race to Martavious Jones in 2015.    This may be the best race of all of them, and I really like what I am hearing about Smiley, but if I had a vote, it would go to Mickell Lowery, who has the skills to do a great job on the Commission and he gets my recommendation.


Edmund Ford, Jr.
Ian Jeffries
Pamela Williams Kelly
Adrian Killebrew
Jonathan M. Lewis
Roz Nichols
Jonathan Lang Smith
are the candidates to succeed Justin Ford here, and I confess to only being familiar with Councilor Ford, Reverend Nichols and Jonathan Lewis.   As longtime readers of this blog know, Councilor Ford has been a favorite of mine for his years on the Council.  He has done great work on the Budget Committee and is a seasoned legislator.

All that said, I was downright pissed off when he convinced his fellow councilors to un-do the stated will of the people when our citizens approved Ranked Choice Voting years ago, and put a referendum on the city ballot to reverse their earlier decision.  This action suggests that citizens are not bright enough to figure out how this works when it has been successfully used in other locales.  They were bright enough to elect you TWICE, weren't they?   For this reason, I do NOT recommend him for a seat on the County Commission; my recommendation goes to Reverend Roz Nichols, who will bring a new voice to the seat.

DISTRICT 11 - No recommendation.

Ok, look at them, make up your minds and MAKE SURE YOU VOTE!!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Hey Memphis! Want to meet your next Governor?

And it's not any of those schmucks you see on LOCAL 24 tonight, I am talking about the real deal, House Democratic Leader Craig Fitzhugh!  

Craig is opening his Memphis Headquarters this Saturday, April 21, at 2 PM at 2881 Poplar Avenue, at the corner of Poplar and Humes in fabulous Humes Heights!  (yes, it's fabulous because I live there, why do you ask?)   

Craig posted the following at the event page:

Thanks to the support of folks like you, we've expanded our operation and opened a new headquarters in Memphis! We'd love to see you there.

I want to see you there too!  Come on out and meet this great leader, who has done his best to help our city during his years in the Legislature!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

You may want to attend the Germantown Democratic Club meeting on March 28

I like to believe that our readership is a pretty savvy bunch, or why else would you be here?  :)

This is to remind you that we have a County Primary on May 1 (Early Voting to start on April 11) to determined our Democratic candidates for the August County General Election.  There are several races on the ballot that are contested, and the list can be found here (scroll down for the Democratic primary candidates).

Now, if you are unsure for whom you will vote in the primary, or even wondering who some of these folks are, then you need to come to the Germantown Democratic Club meeting on Wednesday, March 28 at 6 P.M. at Coletta's on Appling, which is just south of Stage Road.  Here's more information:

Germantown Democratic Club Meeting
Wednesday, March 28, 2018 – 6:00 PM
Democratic candidates for local races in Shelby County who will be appearing on the May primary ballot will be invited to speak a few minutes and mingle with guests before and after the meeting.

All regular meetings are held the 4th Wednesday of the month at Coletta’s Restaurant, 2850 Appling Rd, Bartlett (just south of Stage & Appling). Dinner starts at 6:00 pm, meeting starts at 6:30 pm.  We will be ordering from the menu, with individual checks. Our meetings have been very well attended, so if you want to be able to enjoy your meal before the speaker begins, you might want to arrive a little early. Dinner orders will be taken starting at 5:30. The program will start at 6:30.

I hope you can make it!

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Drinks With Dems Goes CountyWide

Drinks With Dems, which had started out as an outgrowth of Indivisible Memphis, meeting primarily at Mellow Mushroom in East Memphis, has taken on new venues and new sites for 2018.  Thanks to Kalyna Hanover for the information, which may be found at the Indivisible FB page:

East - Mellow Mushroom 1/4 5:30 - 8:30 (THU)
Cordova/Bartlett- Tekila 1/8 5:30 - 8:30 (MON)
South Memphis - HalfShell, 7890 Winchester 1/10 5:30 - 8:30 (WED)
Collier/Gtwn - SkyBox Bar 1/16 5:30-8:30 (TUE)
MidTown - Alchemy 1/18 5:30 - 8:30 (THURS)
Downtown - Brass Door 1/24 5:30 - 8:30 (WED)