Thursday, April 14, 2022

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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


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

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

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

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


Friday, March 25, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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