It’s been a tough couple of days for Democrats here in Tennessee. We lost the State House and Senate. Our US Senate candidate was soundly trounced. Our Presidential candidate lost the state by a greater margin than John Kerry in 2004. I’ve pointed all the fingers I’m going to point on this thing, but he buck stops with you sir, that’s not meant to assess blame, that’s the reality of leadership responsibility.
But maybe I come on too strong, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Steve Ross. I live in Memphis, TN. I grew up in Little Rock, and Osceola, Arkansas, and have been involved in Democratic politics on some level since I was 16 when I walked the picket lines in 1988 with my mother and her fellow LRCTA teachers.
In recent years (the past 10) my level of direct involvement with the party and campaigns in general has been far less than I would like it to be. I travel some 200-250 days a year. This has relegated me to the role of a simple donor, rather than the boots on the ground guy I would like to be. Still, despite the challenges, I remain a faithful and loyal Democrat.
I suppose if I was doing something more that just “sitting on the sidelines” as you suggest, I would find some way to emerge from my business travel and immediately thrust myself into an activity that would somehow support the party, other than merely financially supporting Democratic candidates here in Tennessee and across the country. Instead, I sit here in front of this computer screen, some 5000 miles from Memphis, anonymously (well not anymore) engaging in a conversation, via my blog, with you and Democrats throughout Tennessee, in search of a strategy to return a Democratic majority to the Tennessee Legislature in 2010.
I write this blog, not because I want to anonymously attack people, but because I care deeply about Democratic ideals. My hope is that perhaps my words can inspire people to action in my absence. I can be critical, even brutal at times, but that criticism is rooted in a “tough love” that I have for institutions that support my ideals, but are, for whatever reason, underperforming.
The TNDP, and my local SCDP are underperforming in my view, and I feel that this is evidenced by the losses we experienced statewide on Tuesday. Candidates in Shelby County often win despite the SCDP, not because of it. There is a lack of strategic vision from both institutions. There is a lack of communication to the base from both institutions. Just this morning, I subscribed, again, to your email newsletter, and, as of yet, have not received even a confirmation email. I even checked my spam box to make sure it didn’t get misplaced.
At this point it’s too late to undo the losses we experienced on Tuesday, but it’s not too early to start working on a strategic plan for 2010. So let me make this pledge to you. I will give the TNDP 50 days over the next year, that’s over $15,000 out of my pocket, if you will give me something to do. I don’t want any payment for this, I just want to help make a difference. Here are the conditions, I need regular updates, I don’t do toilets, if there is travel involved, a per diem to cover my expenses and a place to stay overnight would be necessary (if it requires an overnight stay), and finally, because my business schedule is somewhat crazy, some flexibility on my assignments may be required.
Chairman Sasser, I’m serious about this and I hope you will take me up on my offer. You can contact me here, on my anonymous blog via the open comments section. From there I will reply to your email address with my upcoming schedule. I look forward to your reply, and to working together to turn Tennessee blue.
A Formerly Anonymous Blogger