The Ford Dynasty in Memphis is Over

That’s right, I said it, it’s over. Between convictions, crazy rants, and the fact that the two main brokers of this political block have abandoned Memphis, the Ford family should be allowed to wither away into nothing like political dynasties of the past.

It started in 1996 with the election of Jr. He was not really a local, and represented the district as such .His decision to run for Senate last year just proved that his primary interest was upward mobility in the beltway punditocracy more than anything else. Add that to Sr.’s continued absence and who’s left to lead the family forward? Jake? Edmund Jr.? Ophelia?

As reported in this morning’s CA, Sr. used a homesead provision of Florida’s Tax law to limit his tax liability on his $2.5M home on Fischer Island in Miami Beach, FL. In doing so he effectively told the state of Florida that he is a citizen. As the article in the CA asks, can Sr. even vote here any more? Methinks not.

Jr. on the other hand, has chosen Nashville as his residence here in Tennessee, though he splits his time in DC as head of the DLC. This is not terribly uncommon for members of the political class, but clearly indicates that Jr. doesn’t view Memphis as his home.

John Ford is going to jail, after they convict him in Nashville on state charges. Ophelia has something wrong with her that one can only characterize as “persistent weirdness syndrome”, and soon to be former City Councilman Ed Ford. is going to jail on bribery charges. That leaves the kids and County Commissioner Joseph Ford to carry on the family name in politics. I just don’t see that happening.

The Ford dynasty in Memphis didn’t come to life on it’s own. Lots of people in the 70’s helped make it happen. Many of those people are dead now. With all these and other factors, it’s easy to say that so is the Ford Dynasty in Memphis.

This gives up and comers a great opportunity to lead. If Herenton is defeated, God willing, we can expect several years of jockeying before any one group or family comes to prominence in Memphis. I look forward to fresh blood that the City Elections will surely bring and those that will come forward in the state elections next year. This is a positive thing for our community that will hopefully lead to better governance in the future.

Still, don’t be surprised if we see another Ford running in 2010. The dynasty may be dying in Memphis, but it lives on in the minds of those who profited from it for so long throughout the state and the nation. Here’s to hoping we get a good primary candidate in that contest, or we could end up with another late Ford meltdown that hands the office of Governor to the Republicans.

0 thoughts

  1. So the big question is, “what will be out there to replace it?” There is a power vacuum in the black community now. Those who were formerly allied or at least had a temporary affiliation with the Ford organization dominate most offices. The Herenton/Chism organization would love to fill that void but most of their candidates lose in head to head races. Even Sidney himself won because of the greed of the former incumbent who thought he could skirt the term limits and run anyway. When he was ruled ineligible, Sidney coasted into the County Commission, as the only other candiadte in the race.

    Before Ford was a variety of neighborhood based clubs in the black community. Will that model return? Will we see another personality centered organization appear? The next few years will be interesting.

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