Aug 09 2012

Bridge Building

Posted by Steve Ross in activism, State Politics

Building Bridges
via Wikipedia Commons

There’s been a lot of talk about the whole Mark Clayton imbroglio. I’m not going to talk about that right now.

From my perspective that whole thing is a distraction.

Do I want him on the ticket? No.

Will I vote for him? No.

Were we ever going to beat Bob Corker? No.

End of discussion.

What’s more, talking about whatever is or isn’t going on at the TNDP right now is also a distraction.

The election of TNDP Chair is at least 5 months away. Let’s table any discussion about all of that until November 7th.

There will be plenty of time to sharpen pitchforks, light torches, and storm that castle after the election.

We need to focus on the here and now.

Not 6 months from now.

Not 2 years from now.

All of those things can and will get addressed after Nov. 6th.

Our fellow Democrats need us now. We need to step up to the plate and help them get elected.

Getting Focused

There are candidates that need help. 60 by my count that are running for state office in contested elections.

If you want to make sure we don’t have another Mark Clayton incident in two years, building bridges to build a bench is one way to do that.

There’s plenty to do in the 13 weeks between now and the election in November that CAN make a difference to the state. Shelby Co. lost 2 House and 1 Senate seat…all of which were solidly Democratic. If Democrats don’t want to be completely irrelevant, we’ll have to keep those and several other seats.

We don’t, however, have any competitive races in Shelby Co.

Col. Billingsly isn’t going to beat Jim Kyle.

Neither George Edwards nor Harry Barber (best name ever) have a chance at unseating Barbara Cooper or Larry Miller.

Dr. Flinn won’t be able to spend enough money to unseat Cohen.

So the question you have to ask yourself is where can you do the most good?

Making a Difference

The best way to make a difference in this state is to get behind candidates for State House and Senate outside of the urban areas. We’ve got all the seats we’re going to get in Nashville and Memphis, period.

We’ve got to fight to keep some of what we lost to redistricting.

We’ve got to work to help Democrats running for the first time be successful (chances are they’re low on resources and can use the help).

What’s more, one look at what happened to House GOP Chair Debra Maggart…$75,000 dropped in her race from outside groups and one of the most powerful members of the GOP Caucus…and the TN State House…lost.

The hard truth is that if groups are willing to drop a couple hundred grand on school board races, how much are they willing to drop on State House and Senate races?

A lot.

This makes keeping what we have hard. It means gaining ground is harder.

We don’t have a stable of money organizations to drop scads of independent expenditures to combat these folks. Why we don’t will be the subject of an upcoming post. (Consider yourself warned)

What we do have is people who are committed to making our state better. What we need is those people making a choice to make a difference. That means spending your time and money (if you have it) helping these folks win in November.

How you can help

Below is a list of contact information for every Democratic campaign for state office from the TNDP.

Pick one. Contact them. Commit to giving at least 20 hours of your time.

You don’t have to live there. You don’t necessarily have to travel. You can make phone calls from anywhere.

We may not be able to flood these campaigns with money, but we can flood them with volunteers.

Next week I’ll have some information about a couple of these candidates who are near Shelby Co. and work out from there. If you would like to have your race profiled, Contact me.