Category Archives: TNDP

Charlie Brown, He’s A Clown


Welcome, Wonketteers!


Pith reports that state Dem leaders saw this debacle coming but were powerless to stop it (why I have no clue. How about a campaign that says “DON’T JUST VOTE FOR THE FIRST NAME ON THE LIST THEY’RE PROBABLY DUMBASSES. THINK BEFORE YOU VOTE.” Whatever). Anyway, Mary Mancini’s name is being floated to replace Roy Herron, and I think it’s a damn good idea. She’s probably tuckered out from the state senate race though.

Unless this is some kind of scam, this is the guy who won the Democratic nomination for the Governor’s race in yesterday’s primary. His “maine intention” is to bring the Bible back to schools, he wants to raise the state speed limit to 80, tells everyone to join the NRA, and wants to “buy hugh deers for our Wild Life areas.”

His was the first name on the ballot; as we’ve seen in the past (*cough*cough*Mark Clayton*cough*cough), the first name on the ballot is usually the craziest mo-fo hoping to scam state Democrats into the nomination. Looks like it’s working. (No, I did not vote for him. I would not be scammed.)

This is a ginormous embarassment for the TNDP. Another illiterate clown running on the TNDP ticket. I don’t understand why we can’t find a decent Democrat for these races. Yes, Bill Haslam will most likely win but for crying out loud, a campaign now lays the groundwork for future races.

I just don’t get it. Why does the TNDP want to be associated with illiterates and buffoons?


Filed under Tennessee, Tennessee government, TNDP


Meet the guy who just got elected chairman of the Tennessee Democratic Party.

They just don’t get it, do they? And they’ll just keep losing. If the Tennessee Democratic Party is going to look like the Tennessee Republican Party I really see no reason to support them.


Filed under Tennessee, Tennessee politics, TNDP

He’s Not Our Nutjob

In case you didn’t hear, a homophobic right-wing nutjob ran for the Tennessee Democratic Party nomination for U.S. Senate in last week’s primary, and actually won. Now Tennessee Democrats are a national laughingstock.

Let me jump in here and point a few things out. First of all, Tennessee is an open primary state. Second of all, with incumbent Bob Corker on the Republican side assured of winning the actual seat, not too many people were willing to be the sacrificial lamb and offer themselves to the cause. No Republican had a serious hope of beating Corker in that primary, either. So of course the wackjobs ran as Democrats, and Mark Clayton — whose name appeared at the top of the alphabetical list — won. I don’t know if any Republican voters crossed over and voted in the Democratic primary, since there were some hotly contested Republican races that kept those folks voting in their own primary. But if you didn’t live in a district with such a race, crossing over might have been tempting to some folks “in the know.”

I’d never heard of Mark Clayton before walking into the voting booth. The Democratic candidate we all knew to vote for was Park Overall. But interestingly enough, Clayton wasn’t the only wackadoodle on the list. When I went to vote in our Democratic primary, there were a lot of names I didn’t recognize. For example: Gary Davis, who wants to do away with all foreign aid and “restore rights to the state by giving people full control of their own health care,”; and then Benjamin Roberts, who wants to return us to the gold standard because “inflation is grossly out of control,” despite it being only 1.7% right now. Neither of these people seems to espouse Democratic Party values, yet they ran for the Democratic Party nomination.

Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester explains how this happened:

Well, Tennessee has a very low threshold of 25 signatures to get on the ballot. So it’s not difficult to offer yourself as a candidate. We have a very small window of five days after candidate paperwork is filed and there are 99 House seats, 33 Senate seats, nine congressional seats. So we have five days to withdraw or not allow a Democratic candidate to be placed on a ballot. And it’s also a slippery slope to keep a candidate off the ballot. And frankly, we didn’t expect him to win … he had spent no money. But with turnout so low and [him] at the top of the ticket and his ballot placement as a “C”, it gave him, because nobody knew who these candidates were, an edge to win the primary.

I dunno, seems like you could get some College Democrats to sit down with a laptop and the Google for a weekend and do some research on who these candidates are. Shouldn’t be too hard. And in a state where just 25 signatures are required to get on the ballot and there’s an open primary just begging to be freeped, it seems like some due diligence is in order. If you aren’t going to “protect the brand” and keep people who are members of hate groups off the Democratic ballot for some weird reason (hey, it’s not like they can’t run as independents), well then at least support the candidate you have decided is the “real” Democrat. At least get the word out. I mean, why did it take until after election day to find out that Mark Clayton is the member of an anti-gay hate group? Maybe a press release or e-mail before the fact? Something? Ya think?

I dunno, this really pisses me off. These excuses just sound so weak to me. Mr. Beale tells me to quit whining. “If you can’t get the word out who the real candidate is, then get over it,” he says. And then he says, “Tennessee Democrats can out-wackadoodle anybody! We’ll put up someone so far to the right of the Republican Party in Tennessee that next year, we’ll get the NRA endorsement!”



Filed under Tennessee politics, TNDP

>Get A Job! If You Can!

>Today David Sirota was on the Bill Press Show discussing the heinous practice of employers checking job applicants’ credit history as a condition for hiring. It was an interesting discussion and one which has been long overdue; I have never, ever understood why this practice is done, or why it’s even allowed. Indeed, this is just another reason why my blood boils when Republican politicians talk about the unemployed as “lazy” or luxuriating in the welfare state hammock and unmotivated to work because they’re supposedly living large on unemployment benefits — laughable claims in and of themselves, as anyone who collects unemployment knows. But even more ludicrous when one realizes how the deck is stacked against those trying to find a job to begin with.

I first heard about this practice a few years ago. An acquaintance had her credit ruined after she suffered cardiac arrest and actually momentarily died during a very minor surgical procedure. Unable to work during recovery, she lost her job — and with a medical malpractice lawsuit pending, the medical bills piled up. She was forced to declare bankruptcy, which haunted her during her subsequent job search. I was astonished that something like this was even going on.

Dear employers: why in God’s name do you think it’s okay to, a) search someone’s credit history before you will hire them and, b) not hire someone because of bad credit or a bankruptcy? Doesn’t it seem obvious that people work because they need to? How are people supposed to climb out of the debt hole if you won’t give them a freaking job because they’re in debt? Hello?

This is reprehensible and just another example of the way business dicks working people around. We hear about the war on working people, well this is Exhibit A. How adversarial is it to assume someone with a bad credit history is going to steal from you, for example? If that’s the case, do you check the credit histories of those whom you currently employ? No? Well why not, then? It’s not like only unemployed people get into debt.

It’s like there’s a conspiracy of business interests trying to get as many people in desperate straights as possible so they’ll take the crappiest deals thrown their way. Get people desperate enough and they’ll work for peanuts and no benefits. And while we’re at it, let’s make sure they can’t unionize and try to level the playing field. No, what this country needs is a permanent underclass, amiright? We need some really desperately poor folks to do our dirty work for nothing — especially since that whole illegal immigrant well is starting to run dry. Hey, too bad we abolished slavery, maybe we can have de facto slave labor, how about that? “Right to work,” my ass.

Seriously, that’s how it looks from where I sit. It’s almost like they planned it or something.

I was happy to see that our own Tennesseee Rep. Steve Cohen filed a bill back in January to outlaw this practice. I’m sure the Republican-controlled House will get right on that [/sarcasm]. I also understand several states are looking to ban the practice as well. Tennessee should be one of them.

Come on, Tennessee Democrats: show the working people of this state you understand the issues they face. While Tennessee’s Republicans are more interested in peeping inside women’s vaginas and battling the non-existent threat of Sharia Law, here’s an issue where you can really stand apart from the do-nothing opposition and show you stand for helping people get back to work.

Just a thought.


Filed under bankruptcy, employment, Rep. Steve Cohen, Tennessee, TNDP

American Morans, TNDP Edition


The TNDP regrets the error:


This cracked me up. From a TNDP e-mail:


(h/t, Post Politics)

1 Comment

Filed under American Morans, TNDP

>McWon’t. McCan’t Make Me

>There’s been a good bit of talk in the Tennessee blogosphere about Mike McWherter, our Democratic candidate for governor. For my readers not in Tennessee, McWherter is the son of Ned Ray McWherter, who became governor right after I first moved to Nashville.

So now we have his son Mike running for the same office. He “won” the Democratic primary simply by hanging in there while all of the other candidates dropped out. He hasn’t said much, preferring to sit back while the Republican gubernatorial candidates suck up all the air in the room in advance of their August primary. But what he has said hasn’t pleased Tennessee’s liberals. Last fall he came out in support of a ban on gay adoptions, which sparked an uproar among lefties here. And now he has decided that the Obama Administration is wrong to sue Arizona over its immigration bill, citing a right wing argument about state’s rights (and see Aunt B for a classic response).

He’s even, for crying out loud, against selling wine in grocery stores. Not a big shock, since he’s Mr. Beer Distributor. But still, his exact words were:

“I support the current state law with respect to wine sales.”

Everyone knows our current state law in respect to wine sales is antediluvian, designed to protect distributors not serve consumers. Heck you can’t even buy a freaking corkscrew in a wine store in Tennessee. How stupid is that? You’re not open to a minor bit of tweaking? Anything?

So this is the Democrat we’ve been given for governor. Needless to say, a lot of us Democrats are none too pleased. He hasn’t told us much about himself but what he has told us offends some major Democratic Party constituencies (I’m thinking gays and immigrants, not wine drinkers, though we liberals have been known to love our elitist swill.) All we need now is to learn he supports SJR 127 and we’ve hit a home run.

Look, I realize it’s still early. Lots of things can change between now and November. But here’s my sense of things. Not only are the Dirty Fucking Hippies on the internets not jazzed by McWherter, but some far more moderate folks than myself aren’t psyched either, and they’re talking about voting Republican. They’d like to vote for a Democrat, they really would, because with all the culture war crap coming out of the state legislature last year they think the Tennessee Republican Party has jumped the shark. But with McWherter looking like a TNDP sacrificial lamb, they’d just as soon vote for Bill Haslam, assuming he gets the GOP nomination. I’m not sure I get the logic, I think it has something to do with sending the message that Tennessee is a moderate state, not the wingnut Mecca we’ve been portrayed as. Maybe it’s an attempt to send a message to the Zach Wamps and Ron Ramseys of the TNGOP. I dunno, I don’t get it, but there it is. People like to back a winner, not a loser. And McWherter has that unmistakeable stench of fail wafting around him right now which turns off that segment of voters who can go either way.

Left Wing Cracker writes:

Look, if Mr. Pilot Oil becomes Governor, he’ll be the GOP version of Bredesen, except that it will be the wingnuts screaming for 8 years that Haslam has betrayed them, which he will, which could be real fun to watch.  I would still rather have a DEMOCRATIC governor, if Mike will just stay away from the the right-wing bullshit, this could still be salvageable.

Well, I don’t want to see Mr. Pilot Oil become governor either (that’s Haslam, for my non-Tennessee readers). Can’t imagine Mr. Pilot Oil will support things like the smart grid solar-powered EV charging stations TVA is planning across the state, for one thing. So maybe McWherter can step it up at this late date. I don’t know. A lot depends on who his opposition is going to be.

But I can tell you, I’m not excited about voting for someone who seems to think he can win by running as a Republican, without the big money the TNGOP brings in. I really don’t get that logic, either. And it occurs to me that maybe there is no logic. We bloggers tend to overthink these things sometimes, but perhaps it’s possible that Mike McWherter really does believe that having two gay parents is bad and maybe he really does think that Arizona was right to pass a racial profiling law targeting Hispanics. In which case, dude, I’m so never voting for you.

I’ve never been a believer in third party candidates, ever. It’s a nice idea but most of the time third party candidates, if they are at all competitive, end up being spoilers. That’s just the reality of our winner-take-all elections. Personally I’d love to have some kind of election reform, instant runoff voting or some such, which I imagine would appeal to people on the right, too. Maybe those Tea Party candidates might actually win a few elections for a change.

But we go into the voting booth with the elections we have, not the elections we wish we had. On top of which, Tennessee’s third party candidates can be a little nutty. Not voting in a race is simply not an option. So, what to do?

Election day is four months away but I’m thinking we’re going to have a Republican governor. I can’t be like my “mushy middle” friends who see the writing on the wall and prefer to back the winner, provided he’s not batshit insane. I’d sooner cut off my arm than vote Republican, at least in this political climate. Good grief what a thought.

I’m thinking we lefties need to write in a candidate. We need to put our heads together and figure out who our ideal candidate would be, maybe Sen. Andy Berke or Rep. Steve Cohen — and don’t worry guys, you won’t win, so no fear, carry on with your day jobs as usual. But just write that person’s name in on the ballot in November to — and I shudder as I write this — “send a mesage.”

I know it sounds lame, “send a message,” who am I kidding. I used to laugh at people who said they were casting a vote of conscience to “send a message.” Oh how the worm has turned. But honestly, I don’t see McWherter having a chance anyway and I’m pissed off. What is wrong with the Tennessee Democratic Party that it can’t seem to find any Democrats to run for office? Hello?

I won’t not vote and I won’t vote Republican or Green. And if no one I like has a chance of winning anyway, then maybe this is the one time I really should cast a vote of conscience.


Filed under Mike McWherter, Tennessee politics, TNDP

>Tennessee Democratic Party Hall Of Shame

>Really? Reps. Lincoln Davis and John Tanner voted against repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell? Why? Afraid of that “furthering the gay agenda” label, guys? Think it will cost you your seat in November? Good riddance if you don’t have more spine than that. If you can’t figure out how to articulate why a gay person should be allowed to serve their country the same as a hetero person, I have no use for you.

Honestly, Tennessee Democrats wear me out.

1 Comment

Filed under Don't Ask Don't Tell, TNDP

>Tennessee’s March Of Fools

>If you thought our state legislature was finished wasting time on the guns-and-God agenda, think again:

Would the creation of a new specialty license plate, asserting that “Jesus is Lord,” violate any federal or state constitutional provisions, especially the provisions against the establishment of religion?

That question was apparently asked by State Sen. Eric Stewart, D-Belvidere, of our Attorney General Bob Cooper (apparently this was news last week and somehow I missed it).

I have no idea why Democrat Eric Stewart was asking the AG about this but I just want to say the last thing in the world any of you clowns need to be worrying about is a freaking Jesus Is Lord license plate. For crying out loud, people, have you not noticed that unemployment in Tennessee is still 10.6%? Heck, it’s 15% in Bledsoe and Van Buren Counties, both in Stewart’s district. Why in God’s name are you wasting our time with crap like a Jesus Is Lord license plate?

How is another culture war going to create jobs in this state? If anything, you are scaring the crap out of any industry that might consider locating here. And that goes double for you, Ron Ramsey: you and your phony “we’ll give ‘em the boot” nonsense, you’re making us look like a bunch of moonshiners ready to run off the revenue man.

And where is our governor? Why is there no leadership? Why isn’t our top executive telling everyone to cut the crap, we’ve got a crisis on our hands in this state, quit wasting your time on nonsense like Jesus Is Lord license plates and abortion clinic signage.

And let me add, I am furious to see this crap coming from Democrats. What is wrong with you people? Creating jobs should be number one for you folks. It should be your “brand.” Putting people to work should be what Tennessee Democrats are known for, especially since Tennessee’s Republicans can’t seem to find their way back from Bible study and the NRA meeting. Tennessee’s Republicans are handing you an opportunity to be grown-ups and you’ve completely wasted it.

Someone in the Tennessee Democratic Party needs to conk folks like Doug Jackson and Eric Stewart on the head every time they suggest a divisive culture war piece of legislation. It’s hard for us to say that Tennessee Republicans are wasting everyone’s time with bills that do nothing except get people riled up when you’re in there doing the same.

Cut it out, already. A Jesus Is Lord license plate? It’s time to get serious.


Filed under Tennessee politics, TNDP

>TNDP Responds To Racist E-mail

>TNDP Chair Chip Forrester is demanding Sen. Diane Black fire her staffer who sent the racist e-mail.

He says:

“Is this indicative of what Senate Republicans think about our Commander-in-Chief?” Forrester asked. “This email is reprehensible, insults the office of the President, and is embarrassing to all Tennesseans regardless of political party.”


“I am calling on Sen. Black to reject this racist smear and fire this staffer who, on state government time, on state government computers, using a state government email account, launched this bigoted attack on our president,” Forrester said. “Keeping her on the staff would send the message that this type of behavior is condoned by the House Republican Caucus.”

Here’s the kicker:

“We have hundreds of state employees facing the possibility of losing their jobs due to the budget deficit and no fault of their own. I think we could save at least one of those jobs by firing Sherri Goforth.”


At the same time the Tennessee GOP is dealing with a racism scandal, South Carolina Republicans are doing likewise. First there was the slur about Michelle Obama’s ancestors being gorillas; then we had this:

Green posted this, then deleted it some time later:


I think it’s abundantly clear that the Republican Party has a race problem. As someone who lives in the South, these kinds of things reflect very poorly on the region. If I were an international corporation looking for a new U.S. headquarters, why would I choose a place that seems to be going out of its way to portray itself as an intolerant backwater?

Republicans are in charge of our state legislature. Turning a blind eye to these kinds of racist slurs further cements the impression that the Republican Party endorses intolerant views. This is bad for the state of Tennessee, it’s bad for the Republican Party, and it’s bad for the South.

The progressive blogosphere has spoken out against these attacks. The Tennessee Democratic Party has spoken out against these attacks.

I am still waiting to hear from the Republican Party.

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Filed under racism, TNDP, TNGOP

>Party Pooper

>Via Sean Braisted, Bill Freeman is no longer TNDP chair:

“As I’ve made fund-raising calls in the last month, several long-time donors have expressed their concern to me that Governor Bredesen was not as supportive of me as I had hoped,” Freeman said. “By resigning now, I hope I can take away some of the criticism the Party has faced recently and give Chip Forrester a better shot at rebuilding a relationship with the Governor and taking the Party in the direction that it needs to go.”

If you’re late to the game, my previous posts on Freeman are here.

Freeman donated to Republicans and voted for Republicans. He shouldn’t have been TNDP treasurer to begin with. If he’d like to help out the TN Democrats because he now believes in Democratic Party principles, I hope he holds a nice, expensive fundraiser like all of those ones he attended for the TNGOP.

Resigning was the right call. Now let’s work to rebuild the TNDP. Chip: my check is in the mail.

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Filed under Bill Freeman, Tennessee politics, TNDP