January 29, 2005
Incumbent, "Twofeathers," and Mr. X
I'll start with the two candidates I am quite sure are running. Governor Phil Bredesen is being talked up all over the place as a contender for the White House in 2008, so what does that mean in terms of his re-election campaign? Will it be energized enough (and not too distracted) to withstand the attacks that some want to see launched against it?
I'll come back to that later, maybe even tomorrow, because I want to get right to Carl Twofeathers Whitaker. In 2002, Mr. Whitaker (or does the "Twofeathers" always go with the "Whitaker"?) ran for Governor as an Independent and, according to his recent press release, finished fourth of eighteen candidates. (The way to verify this is to check the Secretary of State's page.) In 2006, Carl will be running for a party: the Independent America First Party of Tennessee. The issues that will be his focus are "Tenn Care, illegal aliens, ,jobs, workman's compensation, hunger and poverty."
The unknown of this race continues to be the GOP outcome. Are they being nice to Bredesen and essentially letting him beat their guy (could it be Fred Thompson?), or are they really really busy coming up with the perfect plan to unseat him? Oh, the excitement.
Coming around again to Bredesen: what is the impact of the TennCare reform plan? What about the identification issue (for undocumented residents)?
January 27, 2005
Mayoral Forum on BTH - Commentary
Beware, there is only self-edited commentary below.
Who watched the whole forum? I only got to tune in just about halfway through it. I guess I should wait until I can see the whole thing before commenting, but here are my initial impressions of the candidates who appeared:
Angela Clark -- Ms. Clark brings an enthusiasm and a certain humble dignity that likely stem from her being a relative political novice. These are deeply refreshing qualities, and she has youthfulness on her side. I hope we see Angela in future electoral cycles, and that "politics" do not infringe on her genuineness. She gave a solid performance against the "big shots" and had the most energetic closing statement of all the candidates.
Ann Coulter -- Miz Coulter is bold and concise. She seems to exude urbane style, which is, depending on the set to which you belong, either a welcome step into the "twenties" (2000s) or a looming culture cataclysm. I must applaud Ann Coulter for helping us avoid another shoo-in, for she is a great alternative to the otherwise given. She is experienced and educated in just the sorts of things that would seem to come in handy to an enterprising municipal executive. Her responses to Kevin West on last night's broadcast were convincing. Lastly, I have to mention once, and only once, my initial cringe at her having the same name as a very well-known entertainment personality.
Karl Epperson -- There was an overall lack of clarity to his comments. In addition, I felt scolded by most of his responses, even though I probably wasn't the intended target. Near the end of the forum, one of his chances to "score a point for the little guy" was damaged by his sudden admission that his thought had, of a sudden, gone "way out there somewhere." Sure, that happens to anyone, but I've seen better recoveries.
Dan Johnson -- I am unimpressed. I do not even have much content on which to comment. To be fair, I haven't viewed the entire forum.
Ron Littlefield -- Litttlefield appeared polished, confident, poised, positioned, typical, groomed, next-in-line, heir-apparent, you're-getting-sleepy, vote-for-Ron-Littlefield,.... That said, hats off to him for putting in so much cumulative effort for this city and for getting his time to run for the head honcho spot. I don't get the impression that he would do a bad job at all. He is running a good campaign and deserves his top-contender status.
Thomas Smith -- "Yeah." Mr. Smith goes to Lindsay Street? This is a man on a mission -- only, he's not telling what the mission is. It has some vague connection to catastrophic wealth re(dis)tribution, yet promises glowing, happy times as its result. I'm always glad to see people run for office who represent different views, and I'll leave it at that.
January 26, 2005
Who Will Be the Next US Senator from Tennessee?
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) is not seeking re-election after his second term. The going story is that he will likely throw his proverbial hat into the ring for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination.
Open Senate seat season is declared! The state's Democrats have their frontrunner already identified: Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. of Memphis. Perhaps the thought is that his "blue dog" credentials will help him play statewide. Another name that has garnered significant energy in Democratic circles is that of Clarksville State Senator Rosalind Kurita (D-22). Finally, there is at least a "wishful thought" that Congressman Lincoln Davis (D-4th, another Blue Dog) will join in the fun.
The Republicans might have a more interesting primary. Two names being touted are familiar from past campaigns: Ed Bryant and Van Hilleary. Bryant lost to Lamar Alexander in the 2002 Senate primary. Hilleary won his 2002 primary, for the Governor's race, but of course lost the race to Democrat and former Nashville Mayor Phil Bredesen. Speaking of mayors, Bob Corker (Chattanooga) has created quite a buzz for himself with regard to this Senate seat. Former GOP state chair and current state House member Beth Harwell is another potential contender in this race.
Update: possibly scratch Van Hilleary's name from the GOP set, but leave Ed Bryant's in, according to Tennessee GOP Political Director Randy Stamps, who also confirmed Mayor Corker's and Representative Harwell's declarations.
In addition to the two parties that always put up candidates, I will be covering the parties whose funding levels and degrees of organization only allow them to recruit candidates for selected races. Be sure to check back here for thorough coverage of these candidates as well. The intent here is to have a non-partisan site (not just a bi-partisan one).
January 25, 2005
2005 Municipal Election: Mayor
There are important choices facing Chattanooga voters in the 2005 municipal election. Chief (in a way) among these is the selection of the next Mayor. From all appearances one would think that there are three candidates in the race: Ann Coulter, Dan Johnson, and Ron Littlefield. As many as nine candidates qualified to run for the job. Who are the others? Who represents the people of Chattanooga in the right ways to lead the city for the next four years?
One publication that is attempting to find some answers is The Pulse. The current edition features candidates Angela Clark, Karl Epperson, and Eddie Eubanks, Jr. Check it out, as they are including all the candidates and not merely the "funded" ones. Each candidate answers the same short set of questions. It appears that a few more will be featured each week.
What are your comments on this race? Are party politics a big factor, a small factor, or a non-event in this ostensibly non-partisan election? Who has the inside scoop on the best polling? (Really, forget that last question. We all know that almost all polls are garbage. Wait. Strike the "almost.")
January 24, 2005
Municipal Election 2005: District 6
According to an online poll, Julie Chamberlain appears to have a comfortable lead over former Council member Marti Rutherford. The latter is seeking to regain the seat she held prior to her unsuccessful bid for the Mayor's office in 2001. Ms. Chamberlain is a realtor and has served on the City Beer Board since January 2003.
I find this to be the most interesting City Council race in this election, but perhaps that's because it is my district. I do need to know more about the candidates and their plans for District 6. Please feel free to provide me this information!