Friday, October 24, 2014

Taylor Berger and the New Memphis Democrats

Yes, he's back with more ideas, he wants people to re-energize and re-focus the SCDP.

The reaction to his initial post, which I sent to my email list and which was linked here, was sadly predictable.  If you know Party people, you will know that some loudly cheered what Berger had to say, and some berated him for bailing on his CC5 race against Heidi Shafer, leaving us in the lurch.

Bryan Carson, like Van Turner before him, has spent his Chairmanship trying to juggle these two distinct groups and viewpoints, and both received undeserved criticism for not pulling it off to the extent we would have liked.  Those two distinct viewpoints must come together and be worked out for a unified vision, or the GOP will own a majoity-minority County for years to come.

Taylor Berger, like him or not, seems to get that.  I believe he wants a conversation, which we need.

If you are interested, join the New Memphis Democrats on Facebook and on Twitter, and send them an email at newmemdems@gmail.com  to get involved.

We need the conversation to start as soon after November 4 as humanly possible.

Being in charge of the county is not about patronage, it's about governance and providing the best services possible.

Period.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

This is BLOCK PARTY FOR PEACE Weekend in Frayser

One of the ways State Rep. Antonio Parkinson works for his district is the annual Block Party For Peace, held at the Ed Rice Community Center on North Watkins in the heart of Frayser.  There will be a Jobs Fair, a College Fair for students and a Health Fair for all comers.  It's FREE, best of all, for more information, please visit their website!



The 2014

Presented By
October 24-26, 2014
Ed Rice Community Center & Park
2907 Watkins
Memphis, TN 38127

Bigger, Better and Hotter than ever!Thank you to our sponsors and supporters!Please click on the logos below to visit their websites for great information.
      


   


Come Join Me Saturday for the Celebrity Chef Cook-Off celebrating NATIONAL SEAFOOD MONTH

They even ASKED me to be a JUDGE. I LOVE Seafood, so come on out, this should be a lot of fun!


Saturday, October 18, 2014

So I haven't written for a while in the middle of campaign season

One, I have been sick as a damn dog for 3 weeks now, even at my family wedding in Illinois and at last week's social event of the season, the wedding of Steve Ross and Ellyn Daniel, and I can't hear out of my left ear and am on steroids and antibiotics at the moment.

That was pretty run-on, wasn't it?

My beloved Susan has taken good care of me and has not beaten me, so there is that.  :)

We have suffered losses, with the passing of our beloved Zippy the cat, and we also mourn the greatest dog we never owned, Mabel Sharp-Sturgis, whose campaigns inspired us to vote for her for Governor in the 2010 Democratic primary.  So, in this season where the leaves turn and fall, I suppose that is all sadly appropriate.

This morning, I got a tweetout from restauranteur and entrepreneur Taylor Berger with a link to his latest blogpost.  As Trace likes to say, we need to start a conversation, and this post should do that.  If you will, go read that post and comment over there, and then, if you so choose, comment here as well.

I hope that this wakes up some folks in the Democratic community here, because they need to wake up and understand why we're not winning County elections.  It's not the fault of any one person, and it has been going on for a long time now, so there's no need to bash any one person for any of this.


Oh, and Early Voting has started.  If you live in House 96, go vote for my friend Dwayne Thompson, who won't try to sell Cordova to the highest bidder as the incumbent, Steve McManus has done over the years.

NO on all state Amendments, One is self-explanatory, Two because I have come to the conclusion, as my Congressman has, that John Jay Hooker is right as usual, Three because we NEED an income tax for all the reasons they say we don't, and Four because I lived through TENNESSEE WALTZ, which you need to Google if you don't know what I am talking about.

Locally, vote YES on Wine In Grocery Stores.  My wife was stunned when we went to Illinois and found that A) you could get wine, beer AND booze in a grocery store, B) that locally-owned liquor stores were THRIVING and C) that prices were lower that back here.  Truth is, NO stores are going to close, that is just not true, we need to blow up our liquor laws and re-do them, especially regarding wholesalers, who have a racket here the Mafia would envy, with help from the churches.

One final thought:  I saw where my Congressman received criticism from other Democrats because he asked people to vote for John Jay Hooker for Governor rather than Charlie Brown, our nominee-because-we-couldn't-find-a-real-candidate-to-run.

Really?  One iconoclast endorsing another??  You're shocked?  Give me a freaking break.  Some of the same people who bitched about this HELPED Don Sundquist when John Jay was our REAL nominee in 1998.  Go read Taylor Berger and then think about it.

Peace, love and vote Democrat (and for Hooker!),

Steve

Friday, September 26, 2014

Thank you, John Marek; your work is paying off

Most of you know John Marek as the man who rebuilt the College Democrats at the U of M and as the Campaign Manager for Congressman Steve Cohen in 2012 and this year.

Marek, a local attorney, is also on the new citizens law enforcement review board, and has made it his mission to require body cameras for local police officers to wear while on duty.  He has pointed out that not only will it help defendants, it can also protect local officers who may have unjustly been accused of malfeasance.

Today, we learned in the CA that Marek's work has apparently convinced Mayor Wharton (Link here) to ask the consultant working for the city on obtaining dashcams for police cars to inquire about bodycams for officers.  This is great news and would not have happened without Marek's tireless efforts, and I want to salute him.

He is temporarily on a job in Colorado, but when he comes home in November, congratulate him and buy him a beer for his efforts, I know I will.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Nepotism

All I'm going to say on some rumors I've heard floating around is two things.

1.  It doesn't matter who your mommy and daddy are, YOU have to earn the voters trust, there may be some benefit of the doubt, but if you have ZERO track record other than working for them.  GTFO and do something to show why you deserve to serve.

2. Learn from Drake, start at the bottom.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

This is one of the FUNNIEST and DUMBEST things I have seen recently

Because, the TNGOP says Gordon Ball is a LIBERAL who will vote for OBAMA!!!!!

RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!!

Jesus H. Christ on a pogo stick, what person with a fighting chance at a triple-digit IQ would believe this nonsense?




  Ball, of course, was ready with a response, about which I will comment afterwards:
"Sen. Lamar Alexander has voted with President Barack Obama 62 percent of the time.  I have voted with him 0 percent of the time."U.S. Senate Candidate Gordon Ball said after learning that the TNGOP had launched a website and video attacking him as 'another vote for Obama.' "I have said consistently that Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell and Lamar Alexander should be replaced.  If we want to change Washington, we have to change the people in Washington.
"The bottom line is that in the primary I was painted as far right and now in the general, the partisan attack is that I'm a liberal," Ball said. "It's apparent I fall in the middle in the same mold as Ned Ray McWherter and Phil Bredesen."

"As the Knoxville News Sentinel's Tom Humphrey wrote on his website, they are concerned enough about our campaign to take the time, energy and money to come after me," Ball added. "I find it to be encouraging and energizing as we reach out to Tennesseans who are tired of career politicians like Alexander. We must be doing something right." The facts speak for themselves, Ball has sued health insurance companies over their refusal to compete with each other which causes health care costs to be higher.  Ball is a gun owner and pro second amendment. He has said across the state that everyone is pro-life, but that voting no on Amendment 1 allows women to make their health decisions."Women's healthcare should not be dictated by the government and elected officials," Ball said.  Alexander will vote to allow the Tennessee legislature to make those decisions for women. 
Ball, who has been campaigning this past week in Memphis and upper east Tennessee will be in Nashville this week for the Tennesseans Against Common Core rally as well as hosting a breakfast for the executive committee that represents the Tennessee Democratic Party across the state.

I support Ball because he is not a panderer, as the once-moderate Alexander has become to the Tea Partiers.  I also, as I noted earlier this year, do NOT want to see the Senator Bill Haslam, Governor Ron Ramsey scenario take place.

I DO wish, however, that he would work on his messaging.  One reason that Democrats have problems with their messaging throughout the South is that they run away from who they really are.  I REALLY WANT Democrats to be everything that the GOP says we are, because we are correct in how we view this country and what it should stand for, and they haven't had a clue what America is supposed to stand for since Ike left office.

Embrace the right-wingers' hatred and turn it against them.  Ask people in rural areas how voting for the GOP has worked for THEM.  Make them take RESPONSIBILITY for their votes and see if they don't realize that they have made poor choices.  Then, if they can't figure it out, they DESERVE whatever comes to them.

The problem is, of course, that they will take people like you and I down with them if too many of them fail to realize what the GOP has done.   That doesn't mean we should not try.  Ladies and Gentlemen, it's not 1992 any more and what worked then will not work now.  We need to stand up, be loud and be proud that we stand for the good things in life and not for selfishness, for common working people and not for Wall Street and union-busters.  We need to be who WE ARE, DEMOCRATS.

Enough said.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Out of three great choices, one emerges

Not the one I voted for, mind you, but one I can live with easily.

I am referring, of course, to last nights #SCDPSenate30SmackDown, in which Beverly Marrero, Carol Chumney and Sara Kyle were to face off for the SCDP nomination to replace former Senator and now Chancellor Jim Kyle.  And, yes, for you newbies who may have stumbled here, Jim Kyle is the husband of Sara Kyle.

After three solid speeches by the candidates, including a barnburner by Chumney, capped off by her withdrawal in favor of Marrero, the vote was taken.  This blog provided two proud votes for Beverly Marrero; however, Sara Kyle received the nomination on an 18-16 vote.

As Carol reminded us in her speech (which we will talk about a little later in the post), there were NO bad choices here: Jon and I just believed Beverly was the best choice, having had actual experience in the State Senate.

However, as we know, Sara Kyle is a 20 year veteran of state government with her years on the Public Service Commission and Tennessee Regulatory Authority until she was unceremoniously dumped by the Governor.  She is no slouch, and I can and WILL support her against Dr. George "Al Kapone Supports Me So I Can Carry North Memphis" Flinn in the November election.

It's easy to forget, as Sara has been out of the limelight, that she was raised in a campaigning family, with one uncle (Frank Clement) having served as Governor, one aunt serving in the State Senate (Anna Belle Clement O'Brien, during whose service Sara was introduced to Jim Kyle), as well as  campaigns on her own.  In fact, I would like to talk about that for a minute.

It is my hope that, upon her election (which I believe is not only possible but highly probable) to a Senate where she may have as few as four Democratic colleagues, that she does not become frustrated to the point where she leaves office in two years.  If that were to happen, then I believe last night's vote would be seen as a waste of time.

The truth is that Sara Kyle CAN and SHOULD be a dynamic force, not only here but statewide.  This is really needed at a time when the TNDP appears to be lost and not fully aware of its 'staggering lack of influence.  If she leaves office in two years, I hope that it will be for a bigger office, because she has the gravitas to lead a comeback for this party.  There's a REASON a groundswell took place last year for a possible Governor's run this year; while it didn't happen for various and sundry reasons, one hopes that something like this would be possible for her in the future.

Last night should be a new beginning for the Party, and for Sara Kyle.

Now, to Carol Chumney.   It is no secret that she wants to make another run for mayor of Memphis, and last night's speech about the power of women, despite the apparent refusal of Shelby Countians and Memphians to elect one to an executive office, highlighted that desire.

Whether it's AC Wharton or Jim Strickland carrying the water for the business community, no doubt Carol will be facing an uphill battle, unless she can unite the pro-labor and anti-corporate forces that want to see a change on North Main Street.   Considering that there could be SEVERAL candidates in that race, including Rev. Kenneth Whalum (always a bet to pull a sizable share of the vote), City Councilor Harold Collins (can he get votes outside his Whitehaven base?) and MPA leader Mike Williams (who is making a HUGE mistake if he runs, he will get no traction), it appears to me that all of the candidates who want to challenge the pro-business and pro-corporate forces need to meet and agree on a consensus candidate that may NOT be themselves.

I think of 1999, when all of Mayor Herenton's opponents could not unite, and 2007, when Herman Morris got in and split the anti-Herenton vote and kept Carol from being elected Mayor, and see that it could happen yet again if the anti-administration candidates are numerous.

In short, people, we need a backroom meeting.  (GASP!  QUEL HORREUR! MON DIEU! , Queue the fainting spells!)

I believe there should be a poll commissioned (preferably one done either by the CA or one by all the candidates together) to get an idea of who has the best chance to win.  The question that each candidate needs to ask themselves is this: IS THIS ABOUT ME OR IS IT ABOUT MEMPHIS AND ITS DIRECTION?  Are you willing to get out and support someone who has a better chance of winning, or are you going to stay in, split the vote and have four more years of Status Quo?

I hope that by January, things will be more settled in this regard.  Your thoughts, readers?