Friday, October 31, 2008

BallotWatch-Update 10/31

It seems that the Republican ballot fiasco has reached a conclusion. Three Germantown candidates for alderman — including two incumbents — acknowledged today that they mailed a fake Republican endorsement ballot to 7,000 voters.

Checkout the full details Here

Well, these guys could have come clean BEFORE early voting ENDED....but..on the's still a better response than their Democratic counterparts.however it seems to be pretty clear that these rogue democratic ballots will be distributed on election day.[KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR ROGUE BALLOTS AT THE DEMOCRATIC GOTV RALLY THIS SATURDAY, AND TURN THEM IN.] In fact I would not be surprised if there were more than twenty thousand of these ballots out there by the end of election day.The gulf between the various camps and factions within the Shelby County Democratic Party is widening, and given the response to to the Ballot-gate situation ,I doubt that this breach of trust will be healed easily or soon. It's things like this that turns away people who want to make positive contributions to THEIR party. It's also this sort of thing that makes it much harder for the SCDP to raise money for future campaigns. I sincerely pity the next Chairman and Committee, because they will have a heavy task before them to try and fundraise and regain the credibility the party has lost over this issue.

This is tragic and sad, and Commissioner Steve Mulroy is owed a public apology and SHOULD BE FULLY REIMBURSED FOR THE MONEY THAT CAME OUT OF HIS OWN POCKET TO CORRECT THE PARTIES ERROR.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

BallotWatch Update-10/30

Two new reports of false SCDP ballots being distributed as Early Voting draws to a close. Yesterday there was a confirmed report of bogus ballots being handed out by a unspecified group at the DAVE WELLS COMMUNITY CENTER. These individuals are no longer at that location.

Today there has been a confirmed report of false SCDP ballots being handed out at GLENVIEW COMMUNITY CENTER. It seems clear that there has been no effort made by the SCDP's leadership to retrieve these false ballots.The ballots in question were to be rounded up and sent back to the printer's shop so that they might be corrected. The language listed on these ballots contain the phrase. "VOTE ON REFERENDUMS, VOTE NO ON REFERENDUMS". This statement is an unauthorized addtion to the ballot and was never approved by the SCDP executive committee.

So now we have two Shelby County Democratic Parties, maybe we always have. Each with it's own ballot...



751-7154 (home) 830-0601 (cell)

751-0156 (fax)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Ballotwatch-Update 10-29

There has just been yet ANOTHER confirmed report of bogus SCDP ballots being distributed. There are two individuals at the GREATER MIDDLE BAPTIST CHURCH at 4982 Knight Arnold today.

My question is what was the point of Steve Mulroy paying to have ballots fixed, if the old ones are still out in circulation. This is a failure of increasingly embarrassing proportions. Somethings gotta give here and if the current Shelby County Democratic Leadership cannot perform a simple task like this then donors to the party should really ask themselves if the SCDP is still a wise investment in the pursuit of Democratic values. WE ENCOURAGE EVERYONE YOU KNOW TO KEEP A WATCHFUL EYE ON WHAT BALLOTS ARE BEING DISTRIBUTED AND AT WHAT LOCATIONS. PLEASE POST ANY OTHER SIGHTING HERE SO THAT THE SCDP CAN HAVE THE CHANCE TO LOCATE SAID BALLOTS AND "FINALLY" CORRECT THIS "OVERSIGHT"



751-7154 (home) 830-0601 (cell)

751-0156 (fax)

White Power Conference to be held right outside Memphis


We have learned that David Duke and other White Power groups are holding a conference near Memphis on November 7-9. The location is the Whispering Woods Conference and Retreat Center, located at the intersection of Hacks Cross and Goodman Roads in Olive Branch, literally just over the state line. Whispering Woods claims that they were tricked into signing a contract to host this White Power Conference, and cannot get out of it without risking a million dollar lawsuit.

Please call Whispering Woods now and let them know that while canceling the contract might result in a lawsuit, that the local business they will lose if they host this despicable group will be even greater. Please call Whispering Woods at 662.895.2941, or email, and ask to speak to their General Manager Travis Murray. Thank you. It is important that we stand up and say that racists and bigots are not welcome in our community.

In Peace,
Jacob Flowers
Mid-South Peace and Justice Center
1000 S. Cooper St.
Memphis, TN 38104
o 901.725.4990
c 901.517.8689

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ballotwatch-Equal Time

Hat Tip to Tom Guleff

It also appears that the Shelby County GOP have something of a growing ballot controversy as well. It appears that sample ballots were mailed out to Germantown residents with endorsements of three Germantown Alderman candidates. These ballots were marked as the "Germantown Republican Ballot" and are being distributed to voters at polling stations.

Check out all the details at Tom Guleff's blog

Monday, October 27, 2008


There have been confirmed reports of Rogue ballots being distributed at DAVE WELLS COMMUNITY CENTER TODAY. There were also confirmed reports of false ballots being distributed at GLENVIEW COMMUNITY CENTER, AND at MISSISSIPPI BLVD. CHURCH, THIS PAST SATURDAY. This is an unacceptable situation. These Charter items are important and require careful consideration, and so, we will be keeping an eye out for other ballot sightings, and ENCOURAGE EVERYONE YOU KNOW TO KEEP A WATCHFUL EYE ON WHAT BALLOTS ARE BEING DISTRIBUTED AND AT WHAT LOCATIONS. PLEASE POST ANY OTHER SIGHTING HERE SO THAT THE SCDP CAN HAVE THE CHANCE TO LOCATE SAID BALLOTS AND "FINALLY" CORRECT THIS "OVERSIGHT"



751-7154 (home) 830-0601 (cell)

751-0156 (fax)

It's Now or Never

It’s down to the wire for the election season. If you’re a progressive then this is likely to be the best shot in decades to move the country to the left. Don’t let this chance pass you by.

The Presidential race looks good, but if you want to help hold onto that, Virginia seems to me the most likely pickup to lock us in to 270. Pennsylvania seems the place most important to play defense in (although it could hardly look better.) Give a hand there or in one of the other swing states.

If you want to help give us 60 seats in the Senate (or even better, 61, so that Reid can conduct a daily game of “Stuff Lieberman in the Caucus Toilet”) the seats that would put us over are Georgia (getting revenge on Saxby Chambliss for calling amputee and veteran Max Cleland unpatriotic,) Kentucky (taking down the Republican leader,) or Mississippi (so that Memphis can at least be close to a few Democratic Senators.) If you’re more worried about holding on to the seats we lead in, the closest race is Minnesota (where we can take Paul Wellstone’s seat back.

If you want to solidify our gains in the House, check out here for some ideas.

If you want to take back the state legislature, help us hold onto Wilder’s seat next door.

If you want to work locally, elect a labor-leader in Paul over a GOP chair. Or you can find a referendum to work for or against.

What ever you do, DO SOMETHING!!! This is once in a lifetime people.

The Incompetence Astounds Me...

I’ve had reports from 6 different sources that uncorrected SCDP ballots are still being distributed. Heads need to roll in the local party. Apparently (again from multiple sources), this is now being spun as whites (Brad, people have often confused us. You are one scary cracker.) trying to force through instant run-off voting and “bullying black volunteers not to pass out the old ballot.” That’s a load of BS. I nominally support IRV, but don’t really care. It doesn’t have much chance of passing, and I haven’t lifted a finger for it. I also OPPOSE term limits because if voters want to keep electing these same incompetent morons then that’s their own right. This is a question of whether the local party spends it’s money to support the party’s positions or if people go off and spend the party’s money on their own issues without repercussions. It’s about whether the party addresses its mistakes or continues down the same path of incompetence it is barreling down.

As for race, that's just something the incompetent and corrupt hacks out there throw around to cover their own butts. (oh brother... I said HACKS! People! That's an h... Read before you email. Sigh...)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

BALLOTWATCH-Here We Go Again...

Well it seems that all is well in Demoland as Steve Mulroy, "God knows why" had to pony up somewhere to the tune of six hundred bucks to fix a "mistake" on the Shelby County Democratic Party's sample ballot. That "mistake" for those who still do not know was a statement saying "Vote On Referendums, Vote NO on Referendums." This statement was unauthorized as the SCDP's Executive Committee, never met to consider such a position,nor vote to approve said statement's addition.It has never been fully revealed by party officials the exact details surrounding the alleged "Printer Error". In fact it has been stated that the Print house in question denies any error on their part stating that they only print what is on the customer's disc and that an error like the one claimed by the party would be impossible, on their end. Many eyes cast their suspicion on reported party boss County Commissioner Sidney Chism. These allegationS stem from the fact that Chism openly has endorsed a similar stance urging voters to VOTE NO on all of the prosed referendums for the City and County Charter. This coupled with the fact that SCDP Steering Committee member John Bratcher, "the person tasked with printing the ballots," is a long time Chism ally and like Chism member of one of the Teamster locals increased tensions. Fuel was added to the fire as the Party leadership seemed to take a very long time to react. All the while reports came in about Teamster members handing out these incorrect ballots at a polling location, most likely unaware of the ongoing controversy. This was exacerbated when Chairman Norman called a press conference to discuss the growing controversy, and did not show up.
OK, so after a week long frustratingly slow process, filled with political insider nonsense, Chairman Keith Norman, had a second press conference with County Commissioner Steve Mulroy,a strong proponent for the Instant Runoff Voting Amendment
Norman has claimed that all the ballots have been recalled and are in the process of being fixed.So all is well,right? ...well maybe not.

Today at the DEMOCRATIC COALITION GOTV RALLY at the Whitehaven entertainment center, a push was made by the entire slate of Democratic nominees, to catch the Obama wave and motivate their supporters to get out and vote early. Yet after all this there were several reports of the "Bogus Ballot still being distributed there TODAY! This is ridiculous, and simply beyond logic. This long nightmare could have ended over a week ago if the SCDP leadership had just moved quickly to make sure all the ballots were back in their possession.IF it was just a mistake, They could have called on the Obama campaign and various clubs and campaigns for volunteers who could have corrected the ballots in a few days.

The only thing that gives me pause in my criticism is that this like the original scandal might be going on without their knowledge. Or even worse...what IF there is a "CONSPIRACY" and they have simply printed up more "VOTE NO" ballots? I'll be watching some of the polls this week for any "Rogue Ballots."




751-7154 (home) 830-0601 (cell)

751-0156 (fax)

Friday, October 24, 2008

The next cycle is coming...

From Kerry Hayes:

I'm sure you all saw this item earlier this week:

While I'm gratified to know the DGA is already looking ahead to 2010, I was dismayed to see that Tennessee was totally overlooked. It's no secret that Bill Frist is going to run, and Republicans, as they are often wont to do, are already dutifully lining up behind him. I know that Kim McMillan is aggressively trying to get her name out there as the Dem front-runner, but I'm sure she will face opposition from Lincoln Davis and others, and I don't anticipate our path to a consensus candidate necessarily being a smooth one.

I just sent an email to the DGA via their website, and would humbly request that you do the same, and then get everybody you know to do likewise. I asked them to PLEASE consider Tennessee a priority race in 2010. FRIST CAN BE BEAT, but it will take resources and help early in the process.

The DGA submission form is:
I would like to think that conversations are being had by the state party leadership that are making this same case, but I really don't know. I'm probably interfering with business that is above my pay-grade, but I can't stand to think that 2010 will echo DSCC's disappointing failure to support Bob Tuke this year. I say that not as a Tuke acolyte (which I'm not) but it agonizes me to see Senate candidates to immediate south and north of our borders pulling national dollars while we hand another 6 years to Lamar Alexander.

If we want national Democratic leadership to recognize what we have to offer, we're going to have make a grassroots push that they can't ignore. It starts by getting the local party back on track, but in the meantime, they need to hear from us.
Thanks, and please forward this to anybody you think would be willing to take 5 seconds and help push this forward. KJ

Ballot Mess Post 2922

First a note, if you want to call or email me to rant or rave about something I wrote on my blog, you might want to check to see if I wrote it or not. There are several writers on this blog. Literacy is a fairly important skill in this country.

Norman had a press conference yesterday in which he announced that the ballots were being fixed at a cost of $600 paid for by Mulroy. All better? Hardly. This has been going on for over a week. Nearly 20% of registered voters have voted. That's nearly a third of the people who will likely vote. I would expect the party has $600 in the bank and they could have fixed this when it was discovered. If they don't have that much money left then they could have called in the troops to have volunteers sticker over the ballot and had it done well before today for free.

Some of you are angry that I dare to suggest this was purposeful. I don't know if it was or wasn't, and I never said I did. If it wasn't purposeful then the incompetence shown was almost as bad.

I was accused of "not-knowing-the-facts" on this issue. If that's the case then it's still the party's fault. They have an obsession with secrecy.

Norman's initial comment to the press was according to WMC:
Norman declined to say who is responsible for the referendum language on the ballot, and he would not say where he stands on the issue.

He also failed to show at the first press conference he called, and did not keep the executive committee or public informed during this process. I have served on the steering committee for several years, and this isn't an uncommon process. There is a tendency to keep everything within the steering committee and not to let it get out. Even things like the results of public straw polls for mayor are kept secret for no apparent reason other than secrets are fun. I have been through many meetings where the statements of members are "we might disagree in here but outside of here we are in agreement" although in truth people rarely bother to voice disagreement inside the meetings. There is also a desire that information about what is discussed only come through the chair. This is not democratic or open.

Many people also seem to be outraged when they face criticism. If you run for ex-com (and even more so steering committee) you are a public figure. Your meetings should be public. Your positions should be public. And you're subject to public scrutiny. If you don't want that, then don't run.

I'm disappointed in the party for failing to live up to its potential. If I've angered friends in that criticism, I'm sorry. But if you want to help run the party then you need to do so. I won't stop calling out the party when it fails Democrats.

Paying Your Dues (Literally)

We're in the midst of what could be a massive political realignment. A chance like this might not come back around for decades. As such, we have to give everything we've got into building a massive Democratic (and progressive) majority. Steve Cohen, is a great Democrat and remarkably influential for a freshman. He has already won a well-deserved reelection and has plenty of money to spare. He also hasn't paid his dues to the DCCC. Pay up Steve. The party needs you.

And on a more selfish note, the Congressman is unlikely to end up in the Senate or as Governor. But, he could well move up the party ranks which is both good for him and for his district. Paying your dues and helping your fellow members goes a long way towards building that sort of good will. As much as we liberals criticize John Tanner, he does this sort of party building. Here's hoping Cohen will too.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Beyond Ballot-Gate.

First of all let me share my continued disappointment at BOTH POLITICAL PARTIES deciding to Endorse or Oppose Ballot items. I personally think it risks reducing serious questions that require scrutiny, and replaces it with a Pavlovian response. MOST OF ALL I am saddened by the mishandling of this SCDP Ballot scandal by Chairman Keith Norman. I learned that the ballot was STILL being passed out as late as Tuesday afternoon, and one was obtained at the Anointed Temple of Praise poll location. Enough already, as this drags on and on and as I put my anger and outrage to the side for just one moment several things were revealed.

One. This is an act of sheer desperation by the Conspiracy.To do the hard work of running an honest campaign, would required reaching out to the voters and treating them like adults. Asking them to think critically and then convince them that your opposition to these items based on the power of your IDEAS.
It would require educating the voters so they knew WHAT they were VOTING AGAINST and WHY. It would require a ballot that THEY would have to PAY for. It would also require that their argument was so strong that they could acquire volunteers to canvass, phonebank, and work the polls.
Now, why would you go to all that trouble, when you can just STEAL the SCDP'S money and the energy and dedication of the Obama supporters?

So it is now of little surprise that this occurred, after all, with the public weary of Career politicians, and the economic woes locally and nationally. It makes sense that a group of clearly terrified and desperate people would try to manipulate, STEAL and con the Voters into simply voting no because a ballot with Obama at the top of it says so. The Charter Amendments by virtue of their very existence represents the one thing this Conspiracy clearly fears the most. An informed and thinking BLACK voter. For if this Conspiracy did not fear such a thing then they would not try to DENY voters..mostly BLACK voters the chance to consider each amendment on it's own merits, using logical arguments. Logic...Thinking...that's the CORE issue here. Any group of people who would attempt fraud on such a level, make their political fortunes not through ideas and plans, but from stoking the flames of intolerance, Fear, Race hatred, and false appeals to emotion. To allow the people an honest choice would reveal to the voters to the power they possess. That's like Krptonite to people like this.The sad part is that these people support Senator Obama, a candidate that claims to be against things EXACTLY like this. So to those responsible for this nightmare Karl Rove would applaud your efforts.

TWO. Many people have asserted that the root political motivations for this action is in opposition to term limits, for the County, and Chiefly for the city. I think this has been overstated. After all if Term Limits was the only issue. The SCDP EXEC COMM DID in fact approve opposing term limits for the County elected offices. Frankly speaking, their might have been the votes for the CITY term limits item. So, we must look beyond the surface and look elsewhere on the ballot, if we are to understand the motives for this crime. Well, let's take a look over at
Referendum Three . This amendment would put the potential sale of our public utility into the hands of the voters as no sale of the utility would be final without a referendum vote by the residents of Memphis. It does not take Adrian Monk to see the potential financial windfall in kickbacks and gifts that would fall from the sky from power companies into the laps of Politicians. Now lets look over at Ethics amendment, Now, personally I have concerns about the issue of lost representation but,it's a no brainer why the conspiracy wanted it gone. Now, there are ALOT of potential shortcoming with this amendment that they could have explained to the public,but ..hey why waste time talking to people? The stealth amendment, the one they want to kill quietly is Referendum six, This ugly duckling, could be a swan of an issue. Consider...just for example, that Mayor Herenton had in fact resigned earlier this year,as it stands now, the Council Chairman will become Acting Mayor, for twenty day and if the Council could not pick a replacement, then the CAO would serve out the rest of the term. For the purpose of this example, that means Keith McGee could have become our Mayor. If Referendum SIX passes, then it would fall to Myron Lowery, the current chair, of the Council to serve as acting Mayor for a maximum of six months if there was an election on the calender. OR 90 days if there was not. This clause could really shake things up if the nigh constant rumors of a Federal indictment against Mayor Herenton are true....of course that indictment rumor like Santa Claus, comes around every year.

So I think there is much more to all this, more than term limits anyway.
I also wanted to mention that since October 15th,Change Memphis has had teams of poll workers handing out information on the ballot, encouraging people to think for themselves. For the past Three weekends we have been Canvassing neighborhoods and leaving sample ballots. Since Oct 2nd, we have been phone banking FOUR nights a week in order to spread the word about these amendments, and I am swarmed with calls to the office made by people who want honest answers to their questions about these items.Our second piece of direct mail just went out. We have distributed over 10,000 sample ballot materials, and I am expecting my next shipment of ten thousand more early in the morn. All your little plot did was give us a head start, a head start that increases as this process rolls on.
So play your little games, destroy the very party you care about, betray the ideals of your own nominee's platform, lie to the faces of your own colleagues....
It does not matter, because your rash show of "power" only reveals your weakness. Your inability to appeal to anything but negativity,divisiveness and discord will taint and overshadow any of the good works that you might have done. This is how great falls often begin. The bitch of it is, that you by your own actions have angered and energized the base supporters of your own opposition. In fact you created your opposition.

No matter how the votes fall,You lose, because you revealed just how small you really are.You have set in motion the deconstruction of the Status Quo, and like the song says,"It may seem a million miles away, but it gets a little closer every day."

You Lose



751-7154 (home) 830-0601 (cell)

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Acting Like John McCain

From Keith Norman SCDP Chairman:

I have been in contact with Commissioner Mulroy as of about 9PM on Tuesday night and I have left 1 message for him as of 8 AM Wednesday morning. I have charge of the ballots (i.e., with respect to their location) and I am waiting for his team to set the date for the press conference so that any misleading statements regarding the ACTIONS of members of the Party can be clarified.

However if I have not heard from him by a reasonable hour I will proceed with releasing the ballots as they are with a written statement on our position to the media.

Keith Norman

Erratic, grumpy, and exceeding his legal authority. That's change you can believe in. He wants to release the ballots with no change without an ex-com vote? Every minute this ballot isn't changed increases the odds this was done on purpose. If that's the case, just who do you think could be doing that?

Drinking Liberally

We're still working on getting the email list for DL going again. In the meantime, come by R.P. Billiards on Highland tonight for some drinks and politics.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Besmirching the name...

Apparently, the steering committee spent its time attacking Steve Mulroy for having the gall to angrily call Keith Norman to complain and "besmirch the party's name." Rather than doing anything to fix the problem, they said that he could pay to fix the ballot. This has been going on long enough that the party could have gathered up volunteers to fix this for free. The chair could have made a few phone calls and raised the money to fix the error. Instead, these ballots are still being passed out. I am inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt that it was an error. If so, they should apologize, fix it, and go about their lives. If not, it looks increasingly like something done purposefully. If that's the case then it's misuse of the party's funds and the people to blame (and I include in that list everyone on the steering committee who doesn't act to fix this) for it should resign or be removed if they don't act to fix this situation now. To those of you still on the committee (my wife and I resigned months ago because of the baby on the way) stand up and take some leadership to save this party from the joke it has become.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Ballot-Gate UPDATE!!

IT seems that EVEN NOW while the Steering Committee of the Shelby County Democratic Party prepares to discuss the matter of these "Rogue Ballots". That these false ballots are still being DISTRIBUTED!

It has come to my attention that a group of men from the TEAMSTERS UNION, Local unknown are working today at the Polls at Bishop Byrne in Whitehaven and distributing the bogus ballots.There were also a group of men handing out copies of this ballot Saturday at White Station Church of Christ. This has to stop, until the SCDP has decided the fate of these ballots they should NOT be allowed to spread out.

In my mind this is a pretty compelling case of an organized effort to try and circumvent the authority of the Executive Committee and to use the Democratic Brand for a narrow, selfish and personal agenda.

These issues are important, and could potentially change the shape of our Government for decades. There are those who fear change, those who of small minds and petty ambitions feel threatened by anything that does not first serve the needs of their small political agendas. The Democratic Party should be encouraging people to understand these issues and to be responsible stewards of our democracy, but all that is being torn away.




751-7154 (home) 830-0601 (cell)

751-0156 (fax)


Please, Raise Hell

I've been told that:

There is going to be a Steering Committee meeting tonight at 6 at the Whitehaven Library, not the IBEW.

Keith Norman: The Paris Hilton of Party Chairs

Continuing his tradition of no-showing to his own executive committee meetings, never responding to emails or phone calls, and generally being the most ineffective do-nothing imaginable, Keith Norman today seems to have missed his own bloody press conference over the party ballots. Congrats, Mr. Norman. You almost make Bush look competent.

Oh, and a reminder from the Flyer a couple months ago:
And current Shelby County Democratic chairman Keith Norman, a delegate, allowed as how he might be interested in running for mayor in 2011.

For all you Libertarians out there, I recommend him as a guarantee that government will stay off your backs.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

"Caught between Scylla and Charybdis"


polar donkey said...
It seems as though Mr. Norman has two options. 1) Embrace incompetence. Say it was a horrible mistake/misunderstanding, the ballots will be destroyed, and new ballots will be printed. 2) Shock folks and hold people accountable. Call out the person(s) responsible for this and say it will not be tolerated.

Neither of these makes Norman look good, but I'm pretty sure he will go with option 1 since we're not really into the accountability thing here.

I do have one question. How did the person(s) involved in this ballot conspiracy think this would just fly under the radar and not cause a stink? The scandal broke Thursday and by Monday the chairman of SCDP has to have a press conference. It doesn't seem the conspirator(s) really thought this out.

In that case let me vote for option 2. This issue is too far gone,too volatile, and has the potential to do LONG TERM damage to the SCDP's authority. The SCDP does not have the best reputation that is why Norman must seize the moment to finally stand up and assert some real authority here. You are right PD, Shelby County is not big on accountability. All the more reason for the SCDP to lead by example and...

1. Get down to the bottom of all this.

2. Round up all those ballots, still out there.

3.IF it is found that this was intentional. Publicly rebuke those responsible, call for resignations.

This one is important,If there is a Ballot Conspiracy, "Which I think is transparent." be upfront about it all. There is alot of chatter about these events and alot of eyes watching. Any attempt to brush past or in anyway do anything that resembles a "cover up" and everyone will know it. It will kill any momentum that the local party has worked hard to build. It will further unstabilize the local political sphere and worst of all,IT WILL ONLY EMBOLDEN THOSE RESPONSIBLE,AND ENCOURAGE THEM TO DO OTHER SUCH ACTS IN THE FUTURE.

The stakes are too high, Do the right thing....


Shelby County Democratic Party Chairman Keith Norman will hold a press conference at the IBEW Union Hall at 1870 Madison Avenue At 11:30 AM, Monday October 20th, to publicly address problems with the official Democratic Party ballot. The published Shelby County Democratic Party ballot erroneously opposes all city and county charter amendments.

An image of the front page of the ballot is attached. Please join us for this event.

Derek Haire
Fair Vote Memphis Campaign Director
(901) 371-8468

Friday, October 17, 2008

The plot thickens....

So it seems that the Executive Committee of The Shelby County Democratic Party is
NOT responsible for the "VOTE NO" ballot debacle. In fact from what Auto says, there is possibly something far more sinister and disturbing going on here.

For British Eyes Only

So it seems that most if not all of the Executive Committee and possibly the Chairman himself were unaware of the ballot's "VOTE NO" box and that the addition of said statement was completely unauthorized, and did not in fact represent the feelings of that body.That is a relief...It also begs several questions, of course, like Was this a simple mistake?...I personally doubt it, but it's a question worth asking. Who was in charge of printing these ballots? Who, if anyone approved this addition? Were these the actions of a lone individual or....or, the actions of a group? Has this happened before? Most importantly IF these "rogue ballots" have already been distributed..What now?

I hope the Party leadership really steps up to the plate and does the right thing here, especially as they are victims of this.."Rogue Ballot Conspiracy"
I predict that this will be Chairman Keith Norman's defining moment as Chairman.
...and I sincerely wish him luck.

Do the right thing...and good hunting.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Fall of the Shelby County Democratic Party

Today I saw something that saddens me, and disappoints some of the hopes I had for this November's elections. I had hoped that the residents of Memphis and Shelby county would be engaged in a honest and spirited debate over the Ten amendments to both the City and County Charters. I also hoped that both political parties would stay out of the process. I feel that alot of these issues have been used and twisted for the personal political advantage of a few, and thus lies have been spread, opinions taken out of context, facts have been blurred and unkind motives have been assigned to some innocent. However, for the most part I have been happy with the reactions we get from the public,I've seen some really thought provoking debates and discussions, most of them dominated by normal people who are concerned about THE ISSUES. and while things do not always go smoothly, at the end of the day,people are in good spirits and I know that we are providing a service to this community, in our own way.

What does disappoint me is that the Shelby County Democratic Party's Executive Committee at some point voted to urge voters to vote NO On Every Single Referendum On The Ballot. To take such a stance and agree to such a policy is rash and myopic and reveals a frighting bit of thoughtlessness. It reduces complicated questions about our government into a appeal to sheep thinking and voting no, to perhaps some worthy issues simply because you were told so. The Democratic brand is a strong , noble and enduring. It stands for the values of FDR, for the courage of Kennedy and Johnson. To some it represents Civil Rights and worker's justice. To some it means being a force for human rights. The Democratic brand communicate these ideals to their voters, that is why it is sad to see this brand tarnished with the cynical maneuverings of those involved with this matter. What does surprise me is how did anyone convince the Executive Committee to go for this? Why would the Exec Comm even consider such a broad and unarticulated stance? In fact last time I checked, the Shelby County Democratic Party had only one stance as it applied to the Charter Amendments and that was a resolution to oppose County Term Limits, this was at the September meeting, and that was the only Charter item addressed. Perhaps this happened at the October meeting..I am not sure. But someone....anyone who is on the Exec comm, please, make me understand how this was allowed to be the official position of the Shelby County Democratic Party? Have things really fallen so far, that the Dems found fault with EVERY ONE OF THE AMENDMENTS? If so, then I doubt that such a vote could come from a real, fact based discussion of the issues. Maybe I am wrong, perhaps there is a reasonable explanation for this. Someone explain why the Democratic Party is killing it's own credibility?

Our friend Autoegocrat has an update and a theory about this event. The Executive Committee may not be to blame.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Devil's Advocate-Amendment Four

While Change Memphis is not currently endorsing or opposing any of these amendments, I do feel that it is important to note some of the possible unforeseen consequences that the passage of this amendment could bring about.
On the positive side,Amendment Four could create a healthy element of fear that might compel higher ethical behavior in our elected and appointed officials.Fear is a powerful and effective motivator, and it is clear that the people of this city, black and white are tired of corruption and cronyism.Plus the passage of such amendment would cut the Mayor and City Council "out of the loop" as it pertains to ethics violations, as the suspension would be automatic, not subject to council approval or review.This too could help this city build an atmosphere of lawfulness that will also curb the more blatant acts of corruption we've seen in recent years. It would certainly raise the profile and power of the office of District Attorney General for decades to come, which may result in people taking more of an interest in elections to that office.

However, The instant suspension with pay of any elected or appointed official charged with wrong doing, potentially opens doors to politically motivated witch hunts. Bogus charges can be raised and then dropped to eliminate a possible rival before a particular vote is to be held.
It is also possible that a potential door may be opened that will leave the constituents of said suspended council person with unequal representation. Now I realize that due to our Super District system of government that each person has four city council representatives. However, I also understand that while these Super district council members represent half the city, that that does not mean that they live all across their districts.Thus, this could still leave areas like Frayser,Raleigh,Berclair,Bighampton,and others underrepresented.EXAMPLE- As if Bill Morrison,"just for example" were to be suspended for some charge, then while the people of district one could call their super district members, it would also mean that Frayser, Raleigh and WolfChase would now have less voting power on the council than Midtown.East Memphis,Cordova and other areas. "Again, just for example."
Lastly, the open ended timeframe for how long the suspension last is also potentially troublesome and raises many questions.Afterall, the justice system takes time,some of these suspensions could possibly go on for years.

I think the public could also be served by all of us keeping a vigilant eye on the"NEW"Memphis Ethics Commission just now being appointed by the Mayor and the Council. This action was approved over two years ago, and is just now getting started.
....Hmm, of course this also could work to the advantage of anyone running against said incumbent next election cycle, as guilty or not, that suspended official will have little record to run on and a cloud made of weeks if not months of negative press. At any rate I hope that everyone really takes the time to consider these items calmly and rationally.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Beer and Sleep Deprivation

If you didn't already know that campaigns are ran on beer and sleep deprivation, this documentary about the Kerry campaign will educate you.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Press Release Rehash!!! Help Paul Take Down Kemp!!!

Press Conference 1:15 PM Friday Oct. 10th
Hunt Phelan House 533 Beale @ Danny Thomas

Mayor Wharton and Congressman Cohen
endorse Paul Schaffer for Council

Paul Schaffer will receive a major boost in his bid for the City Council seat left vacant by the resignation of Scott McCormick. The special election will be held on the same day as the presidential election. Schaffer, who has received the endorsement of the local Democratic Party is in a hotly contested race with former Republican Chair Kemp Conrad.

Statement from Congressman Cohen

" I join A.C. Wharton, Mayor of Shelby County, in endorsing Paul Shaffer’s candidacy for the Memphis City Council. I know Paul will put people and neighborhoods first. That’s why I support Paul Shaffer."

Steve Cohen

Election Dynamics Changing with Presidential Contest

Early on, pundits were predicting a win for Republican Kemp Conrad. This major boost from Wharton and Cohen, along with what is predicted to be a huge Memphis turnout for Barrack Obama, has got people taking a second look.

Super District 9 covers the eastern half of the city. Nearly 57 % of its residents voted for John Kerry 4 years ago. Obama is expected to carry the district by over 60% . The local Republican Party is supporting Conrad, who attended the past 2 Republican conventions, a contrast that Schaffer is pointing out at forums all over the city.

Paul Schaffer is the Business Manager for IBEW 474. They have over 400 employees and over 2 million in annual revenues.


David Upton 315 9707

Paul Schaffer 833 1156

Congressman Cohen's Press Contact Rick Maynard 275 - 4467
Mayor Wharton Contact - Bobby White 378 - 1791

I Didn't Do It...

With the "trooper-gate" (don't you hate this use of "gate" for everything?) report coming out today, the McCain team has issued their own report to clear Palin of any wrong-doing. With that in mind, I'm working on a report to clear me of the spurious allegations my mom made that I was sneaking out of the house to see Margo ten years ago. Another report will place the blame firmly on my cat leaving my shoes in the hall for Margo to trip over last night. The accusation by Ms. Holt that I did it because I was a slob is an overtly-partisan attack that has no place in this campaign during a time of war.

God-hating, America-hating, Hippie Republicans...

Both sides in politics tend to suffer from believing their own talking points. Republicans lately have seemed to have taken it a step farther and started believing their own crazies. In a conversation about the Presidential race today, I was informed that Acorn is a communist organization, Obama will force us all to become Muslims, and that he knew someone Hillary had a lesbian affair with. The sad part is, I think he may actually have believed that crap instead of just trying to piss me off.

Republicans love to create a boogyman of imagined God-hating, gun-stealing, evangelical-atheist, butt-sex-having, terrorist-loving hippies to attack liberals. If you look hard enough, you can find some left-wingers who can almost fit the bill. The difference in the Republican party of late is that their version of that person has become their base. If they don't watch themselves, it's going to take decades to undo the damage they're doing to their brand.

It's so bad that racists are now undecided. I can paraphrase people I've heard going "I don't want no n.... as President, but God the economy sucks and McCain will make it worse." When we might get that guy's vote, it's going to take more than the weather underground crazies to get this campaign back. We might get 60 votes in the Senate this time... I thought we'd have to wait for the rapture to get those sorts of numbers... Now off to force socialized medicine on people...

David Holt for President!!!


For making me President and emailing it to me, Meg gets to be my fictional VP. She's at least as qualified as Palin.

Feel Good Friday Take Two

We're all looking for ways to make ends meet in these crazy economic times... Lefty Frizzell singing "If You Got the Money."

Feel Good Friday-sorta

Another Scott Bowden classic....this guy could have been the next Jimmy Hart.
The "spoiled rich kid" is a long standing wrestling persona, but what made Scott Bowden so great was his over the top Germantown angle. I also think he and Dave Brown had really good chemistry, kinda like a Dennis the Menance/Mr Wilson thing.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Drinking Liberally is Back!!!

DL is making its return during the final Presidential debate on Wednesday, October 15 at 7:00 PM. Our new home is at RP Billiards at 525 South Highland. There's a parking lot just beside the place next to CK's coffee shop. We have a great, recently renovated room, happy hour prices, and delicious food. A word to the wise, though, take "my friends" off your drinking game list or you'll likely suffer alcohol poisoning.

If you happen to get bored taunting Republicans, you can always pass the time by asking me about my baby and hearing about the wonderful heartbeat and how my fetus is far and away superior to all other fetuses (feti?) in the world. :-D

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

They Make Me Share Margo's Morning Sickness

I heard yet another pundit today call the Presidential race close. Given the financial stake these talking heads have in keeping the election close, Obama could be up 20 points, while McCain chewed off the head of an undecided voter and the race would still be “close” and the debate a “draw” because “McCain seemed to be on the attack more.”

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

"The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine"

"Picture of a woman looking at a picture. Movie great of another time, once-brilliant star in a firmament no longer a part of the sky, eclipsed by the movement of earth and time. Barbara Jean Trenton, whose world is a projection room, whose dreams are made out of celluloid. Barbara Jean Trenton, struck down by hit-and-run years and lying on the unhappy pavement, trying desperately to get the license number of fleeting fame."

In the classic Twilight Zone episode The Sixteen Millimeter Shrine, Barbara Jean Trenton plays a former movie star who is haunted by the passing of her once bright stardom. Unable to adjust to that transition,she retreats deeper and deeper into the the past. Watching reels of her old films in the end despite the help and concern of those around her she leaves reality to live in the fantasy world of her past.

Submitted for your approval, I contend that Former State Representative and City Council member Carol Chumney has just entered the Twilight Zone. I was a constituent of Ms. Chumney's and I liked her as my City Councilman. I even voted for her in her race for Mayor last year. I hoped that she would shake up the status Quo, and at least for a time curb corruption and cronyism. I liked her because she was a fighter.
Well she lost that race, and like alot of folks I assumed that she would remain a figure in local politics. Perhaps a run at the seat vacated by Scott McCormick, or perhaps becoming an advocate for some of the issues she fought for as an elected official. There are a host of local organizations that could benefit from her leadership,experience, expertise and contacts. From the Women's Action Coalition, with their very worthy efforts funding for the Family Safety Center. To the efforts of The Worker's Interfaith Network, as they fight for economic justice for temporary workers, and working class people in general, and of course The great voter education, voter advocacy work done by those folks over at CHANGE MEMPHIS, "Shameless plug" At any rate with so much work to be done, I find it shocking that Ms. Chumney has decided to embark on this the second in a apparent series of attacks against her apparent 2011 Mayoral rival A.C. Wharton. See below...


"I am surprised by the attention given to the potential announcement by County Mayor Wharton that he will begin raising money for a City Mayor election over three years away. Perhaps he has some inside information from his good friend Mayor Herenton that he should share with the citizens.

The people of Memphis should keep in mind that Herenton has made it no secret that he intends to hand-pick his successor. However, the people now know after the last election where Herenton was nearly defeated, that they do have the power to elect their first choice as City Mayor from the many serious contenders who are well-qualified who have their eye on that position.

I do wish Wharton the best during the remainder of his term as County Mayor in addressing the county’s growing fiscal problems, getting the Med properly funded, working to save babies' lives and reducing our ranking as having the highest infant mortality rate in the country, reducing our growing poverty rate, and moving our county up from 11th in the state in terms of economic growth. These problems certainly deserve his full attention.

It’s a new day in politics. On the national level, we are seeing both the Democratic and Republican parties open the door for ground-breaking candidates that will bring real reforms and needed change, and reject the old time good old boy politics of cronyism and corruption. We can do this too in Memphis, and have energetic leadership with the passion, drive and dedication to bring reforms and positive change.

We must make our city safer for families, bring efficiencies to help bring jobs to Memphis, and improve education to help every child have a chance to succeed. We deserve better, and it’s now up to the citizens of Memphis to make their voices heard"

Carol Chumney.


By: Carol Chumney

In a recent interview Shelby County Mayor AC Wharton expressed support of the merger of the Memphis city and Shelby County governments. Yet, after six years with both a City Mayor and County Mayor who now say they are in full support of consolidation, the ball has not moved forward one inch. Instead, during their tenure, the consolidated library systems have devolved, as well as the metro gang unit.
In 2002, I ran for County Mayor on a platform of consolidated government. Yet, Wharton hedged on the issue of consolidated government. ( See article from Memphis Commercial Appeal "School Funding at fore of Debate" of 4/24/2002). He was even criticized at the time by Mayor Herenton who admitted that he was "disappointed" with the "failure" of Wharton to come out for city/county consolidation, and who praised my stance on the issue as "courageous and forthright". (See article from The Memphis Flyer "Herenton 'Disappointed' in Wharton" of 3/4/2002).
We need leadership that's tough enough to push the right agenda to move this community forward from day one of being sworn into office.
I told the truth in the 2002 County Mayor's election about the growing financial problems and the need to bring efficiencies through consolidation of the city and county government. As I said then, we need to work for a solution that creates a "win" "win" for the citizens in the city and the county, and allows the smaller municipalities to remain in tact if they so choose.
And as always, I'm available to work with Wharton, Herenton, or any other leader that is serious about tackling this difficult issue."

...Okay, so I understand, how Mayor Wharton's "headstart" announcement could be a difficult thing for other Mayoral hopefuls in 2011. It makes it harder to raise funds and creates a sense of inevitability, that might make it very hard for another candidate to gain traction...that's why he did it. ..but to come out guns a blazing for an election three years away...well it's kinda ..tacky..and just plain meanspirited.Worse still, It plays into the narrative that Carol's enemies have been saying for a long time, that Carol Chumney is a Haint.Also take note, that when the first press release was posted on Leftwing one, either pro or con replied. It was too tacky a subject for a BLOG!...and that alone speak volumes. Bottomline, it does not help her may in fact hurt them.

I want to urge Ms. Chumney to turn down the voltage. No one is questioning your commitment, your courage, or your tenacity. You stood up and fought for what you believed in, and right or wrong, I think you still have something really positive to contribute to this community...but not like this. A.C. is far from a perfect administrator, but is this really the BEST time to try and make that point? Show the public, the other side of Carol Chumney, the classy, dignified solution driven side. If not, then I advise you to heed the words of Rod Serling...

"To the wishes that come true, to the strange, mystic strength of the human animal, who can take a wishful dream and give it a dimension of its own. To Carol Chumney, movie queen of another era, who has changed the blank tomb of an empty projection screen into a private world. It can happen in the Twilight Zone."

Monday, October 06, 2008

Early October Surprise, or just the last month's slug fest?

McCain picked the wrong Presidential race to run in with this being his past scandal. I just hope his campaign's ridiculous claim of Obama "palling around" with terrorists doesn't strike a cord (since Obama was not even familiar with Ayers activities and was 8 when the bombings occurred).

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Possibility of an Electoral Tie?

Back when the polls were closer, I was predicting an electoral college tie (same results as 2004, except Dems pick up Iowa, New Mexico, and Colorado and lose NH; or same results as 2004 except Dems lose NH and pick up IA, NV, and NM). However, if the polls stay where they are at (*crosses fingers* and *knocks on wood*), then things are looking nice for Obama.

Besides that fact, it is still worth while to ask, "What if?"

The result would be that the election would go to the House of Representatives, and each state would get one vote (plus D.C. gets one vote). Each state delegation would vote on which way their state would vote, and if there is a tie then their vote is not counted. This situation would most likely lean our way (especially since the incoming House members would get to vote and not the outgoing), but I would be a little worried.

In this situation would TN vote for Obama since its delegation will hopefully remain majority Democrat, or would a Democratic Congressman (*cough* Lincoln Davis) vote for McCain and say it was for the sake of the constituents who voted for McCain over Obama in TN? How would this play out in other states with a majority of its Congressional Delegation in one party, and the popular vote of that state favors the other?

Hopefully enough "toss-up" states (we don't need many of them) will go blue to where we don't have to find out...