Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Democracy For America Training

Democracy For Memphis is going to have their national campaign training March 25-26 here in Memphis. This is a great chance for us to gain campaigning skills, get more people involved, and make people sit up and take notice of the progressive activists Memphis has. At the moment, Memphis has the least people signed up of any of the 13 trainings. Let's fix that! Sign up now!!! http://www.democracyforamerica.com/training.php

Monday, January 30, 2006

State of the Union Watch Party

Make sure to come to one of these parties to watch His Royal Idiocy work hard, on a night no less.



9th District Congressional Race

Here are my thoughts on the various 9th District candidates so far.

Pratcher: My favorite so far. Pratcher has practical political experience that the others lack. On almost every issue he not only showed he understood it and had a plan, but he also laid out how he had already worked on the issue with his work as a Hillary staffer. He had so much to say about so many issues that he started to come off as too wonkish. A plus in my book, but not neccesarily with the electorate. I'm sure that will improve as the campaign progresses.

Kyles: Great speaker. I could be naive here, but I really feel that he is a progressive who would stay that way in D.C.

Stanton: Impressed me both nights. He obviouslly has some grass-roots support. I believe he was the first one to bring up the infant mortality rate, mega points with me there. His winning of the straw poll (as well as Pratcher's 2nd place without being able to be there because of a plane delay) were impressive although not a huge deal yet at this point.

Redwing: Hasn't really shown me a lot at the forums. I believe he and White were the two going off on the whole "Mexicans taking our jobs" rant at the forum. Ignoring the political fact that the Hispanic electorate is growing rapidly, Democrats should not be in the buisness of attacking poor people for trying to find jobs. Also, although there were definite cons to the straw poll, attacking it in his speech, after agreeing to be on the ballot prior to the event was a turnoff.

Tinker: I'm not going to publiclly trash Tinker before I even hear her speak in depth in person. Not showing up to the first two candidate forums concerns me greatly, though. She better start making her case soon or everyone will have already chosen sides without her no matter what the Roll Call article said.

Harris: Well-spoken and bright. If I recall properly from the article about him announcing from the CA he supports charter schools, vouchers, and is pro-life. I'm conflicted about abortion myself, and don't care a lot one way or another about charter schools so he doesn't lose points there. Vouchers are a huge mistake because they take money away from already struggling public schools to give to private schools. In practice, vouchers would end up being enough to send rich and middle class kids to good private schools but poor families would still be unable to afford it. Harris will have to prove to me that he is not already going rightward as so many Democrats do when they are elected.

Whitman: Unlike the other candidates, Whitman did not have the questions in advance because he had just jumped into the race. Nevertheless, he presented himself well, and brought up the important issue of our outrageous infant mortality. That won him points with me.

White: I had high expectations hearing from a preacher in a debate. The expectations were not met. How can anyone miss the softball question "Do you support legislation making it easier for unions to organize?" He went on a "corruption in unions tirade." Even if you want to give credence to his complaint, he was in a union hall. Use some common sense. Plus, he wouldn't answer the question about Iraq. "He needed to study it more." I'll give him a freebee on a complex, wonkish question, but even my students can all give me a basic responce to the war.

Cohen: I am a big Cohen fan and would have a quandry if he ran. He would have the best shot he will ever have now, but I hope he doesn't run. I'm sure he's tired of butting his head against a wall in Nashville but we need him there. Plus, the younger candidates will be able to spend the time gaining seniority that Cohen won't have (not saying you're going to kick the bucket anytime soon Steve, but I also doubt that you'll want to pull a Robert Byrd and be there until you are older than dirt)

There was another guy who sent someone to speak to us. Don't remember his name or anything about the candidate so shows how impressed I was I guess. We'll see.

It's still early but if I could do instant run-off voting I would go: 1. Pratcher 2. Kyles 3. Stanton 4. Harris 5. Whitman