Thursday, September 28, 2006

Wonder how many Chattanooga police officers and firefighters you could squeeze into Corker's 30-room mansion?

A new campaign ad in the Tennessee senate race informs voters that man of the people Bob Corker is anything but. A 10,000 square foot, 30-room worth of $200 million...owner of six SUVs.
The key message in the ad though is not simply Corker's high roller lifestyle. Success in and of itself is the American dream.
The key message is that while serving as Mayor of Chattanooga millionaire Corker froze the pay of the city's police and firefighters but took three pay raises himself.
The question in the new ad is dead on target - "as senator, who do you think he'll look out for?"

Monday, September 25, 2006

"The low road" is already litttered with Corker campaign trash

On the same day Bob Corker's Senate campaign emails out a Chattanooga News Free Press editorial that claims Harold Ford Jr. is taking "the low road" by pointing out in a tv ad that Corker's construction company got popped by INS for allowing illegal immigrants to work on one of their construction jobs, word is that Corker's camp has begun a "push poll" attack in select counties that mirrors what was done by George Bush's camp against John McCain in the 2000 presidential campaign. In this instance the caller asks a serious of questions meant to plant unrelated and unsubstantiated negative impressions about Ford disguised as legitimate survey questions.
Anyone taking "the low road" at this point would find it already littered with Corker campaign trash.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Ok..since you asked...

Some who read this blog (btw, if you read this blog you should consider other hobbies to entertain yourself) have asked me off line why I care a lick about the Mae Beavers - Bob Rochelle state senate race now in full bloom (see my earlier posts about Angry Beavers).
There have actually been FOUR reasons why I care about the 17th Senatorial District race:
1. I am a graduate of Watertown High...yup...a Wilson Countian...not by birth but by pedigree
2. I used to work at Lebanon's WCOR radio station...yup...gospel DJ while going to MTSU...obviously they didn't bother to do background checks on religious broadcasters in those days
3. I still have family scattered about Wilson County and they keep me posted from time to time on what's up in political circles
4. I love politics in general
Now I have a FIFTH reason:
A right wing blogger named Mark Rose has become the open wide Beavers mouth in the proverbial blogsphere and this week has begun pushing out bogus "internal polling #s" from the Beavers camp that he claims shows Beavers ahead in the race.
Rose opens wider by saying that because the Rochelle camp won't share their internal polling #s with him, that proves that Beavers is ahead and Rochelle is desperate.
Yea, right.
Let's see class...anyone care to weigh in on why they think Rochelle's camp should share internal strategic information with a right winger blogger who is a self-professed "hack" for Beavers?
I'll go out on a limb here and make some bold assumptions.
No matter how loud Rose screams for Rochelle's camp to dilvulge strategy and internal info to him, Rochelle's camp will not listen to or oblige him.
No matter how loud Rose screams that their refusal to do so sends a message to voters that Rochelle is losing, Rochelle's camp will still not listen to or oblige him.
My bet is that Bob Rochelle is going to continue to run his campaign on his terms and not let the Angry Beavers posse run it for him.
But hey, what do I know?

So what's a candidate to do?

On the one hand Bob Corker wants voters to take him seriously when he says he's tough on illegal immigrants. But now he's facing very public facts that illegals once worked on one of his construction projects in Memphis. The facts surrounding the hiring of illegals is well documented (unlike the dudes who did the work for Corker on the project).
Harold Ford, Jr. takes the posture that employers who hire illegals should be held responsible. Corker seems to be a tad soft on that argument.
So what's a candidate to do?
Seems to me Corker's got three options:
- act as if no one is paying attention, and hope to God that no one is paying attention
- fess up to the facts and ask for forgiveness from voters
- attack Ford for being "a liberal" and try like hell to change the subject.
Any guesses on what option Corker will take?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Wow...that was easy!

Bob Corker - who has up to now refused to make public his federal income tax returns, raising questions about what he's hiding from voters - yesterday told a radio audience listening to WGOW's Live and Local show that he would release his FULL tax returns to the station if they wanted him to. He said - "The 1040 says exactly how much I've made and if you'd like me to I'll send it over here and give you a schedule all the back to 1976."

Can I get an amen?

In today's, Bob Corker's former rector The Reverend Dr. H. Hunter Huckaby, Jr. writes that his former parishioner's refusal to debate Harold Ford Jr. on NBC's Meet The Presss "raises serious doubts as to Mr. Corker's ability to represent the people of Tennessee." The Reverend goes on to write that "Mr. Corker's reason for refusing, namely that he wants to devote more time to campaigning in Tennessee, is a flimsy and transparent excuse."

WTF was Bryson thinking?

Rule #1 in politics - if you ain't funny, don't try to be.
If Jim Bryson's goal in rolling out his one and only campaign tv ad was to earn a late night gig on Nashville's Channel 19 - the community access channel - then he succeeded. But he wanted Tennessee voters - voters who are looking to strong, competent leaders to run our state - to take him seriously, then he completely missed his own big bus.
My,my how the mighty of ego do fall.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Last time I checked Corker's the only former mayor running for the U.S. Senate around here

Bob Corker's camp, forced to defend his record as Mayor against the backdrop of a new democratic party ad that spotlights the failures of Chattanooga's emergency 911 call system on his watch, today began circulating a Nashville City Paper editorial that points out that other Tennessee cities have also suffered from breakdowns in their 911 call systems. The City Paper made an editorial stretch that because it has been a problem elsewhere, raising the issue in this U.S. Senate race with Corker is somehow off base. The City Paper even suggested that raising this important issue calls into question Democrats' values.
What a load of horseshit! A failure is a failure is a failure. Just cause someone else screwed up on their watch does not make Corker's screw up any less a failure.
The way I see it the problem did happen on Corker's watch, and since Corker is the only former mayor of a Tennessee city running for the U.S. Senate, the issue must be raised and Corker must be held accountable.
Here's what's ultimately at stake:
If Corker screwed up as Mayor, just imagine what he would do as a U.S. Senator.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Beaver alert

When I wrote the post about mae "angry" beavers and her hissy fit last year demanding a bigger office and other choice committee perks and appointments and threatening to resign and abandon her constituents if she didn't get her way, I didn't realize just how desperate she might get in her re-election bid this go around. That is, until I stumbled across a blog post by mark a. rose who shared info on her democratic opponent Bob Rochelle that rose attributed back to angry beavers.
I responded directly to rose's blog, but in the event that my comment never makes it to the front end of his you go:
- rose said angry beavers is claiming that rochelle is speaking out of both sides of his mouth when he criticizes rising gasoline prices since he supported state gas tax increases when he previously served in the state senate...the truth is rochelle is right to criticize big oil companies who are raping the american public with price hikes designed to feed record corporate profits...he was also right to support increases in the state gas tax to pay for better roads that help to create better jobs for Tennessee...huge conflicting message here
- rose said angry beavers is claiming that rochelle is on the payroll of all 3 utility districts in his neck of the woods, hinting that this is a sin...the truth is that rochelle's law firm does some legal work for only one of the utility districts...not a sin, and certainly not what she claims it is...rose added that angry beavers claims rochelle is profiting from being the legal counsel for the joint economic development board back home...the truth is that rochelle is a "volunteer" attorney helping the board...volunteer as in "unpaid"
- rose ends his post by stating that angry beavers claims rochelle took cash from an indicted lobbyist in a previous campaign...the truth is that rochelle fully disclosed any and all contributions to every one of his races in accordance with state election laws, and that the contribution she references was not cash, but a check, which was disclosed and was made to rochelle's campaign years before the lobbyist got in trouble with the law.
So why would angry beavers stoop so low as to feed garbage and baseless lies to a blogger instead of being more forthright and above boards with her attacks? Did she really count on the blogger revealing her as the source of this trash? Hmmm...let's see...maybe she has nothing else to say to voters that would really matter in her race. Maybe she is so desperate at this late stage in the election cycle that she will say or do anything to win her re-election.
On that point, we'll just have to leave it up to voters in her senate district to speak their mind on angry beavers' brand of politics.

Corker's "Hail Mary" doomed to fail

I was not surprised to see Bob Corker's camp call in reinforcements from the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee (RSCC) with negative ads designed to counter Harold Ford Jr.'s barrage of upbeat, powerful ads on issues that seem to be connecting with Tennessee voters - national security and education. After all, this week the Washington Post had an insightful piece about how the RNC and its tangled web of "committees" plans on spending virtually every remaining cent they have left on targeted negative ads aimed at tearing down Democrats, rather than talking about real issues. They clearly have embraced the old "if you ain't got nothing to say, just spit" philosophy.
But the timing of Corker's tactics to go so deep down the negative path only made more sense to me after hearing the results of a recent succession of statewide big sample polls - one internal by Ford's people and one independent of any camp (WBIR-TV)- that shows the Senate race in a virtual dead heat, with Ford given the edge in growing favorability by voters across the board.
While the desperation from Corker's camp is obvious even to the most novice of pundits or armchair analysts, and while their strategy to distort and attack Ford so viciously is textbook GOP, I do wonder if Corker's gurus understand that every baseless negative attack they make only serves to increase voters' negative perceptions of their GOP candidate. The stats in both recent polls clearly show a steady climb in Corker's negatives since July, and upping the anty with more negative attacks from Corker and his GOP consortium of committees will only fuel the climb.
Maybe this approach is Corker's attempt at a "Hail Mary" of sorts. He's heading into the fourth quarter (35 days away from the start of early voting), he has no momentum, his gameplan is not gaining him any, he decides to go for broke. Throw principle and dignity to the wind, and hope voters will forgive him later.
Granted this approach has worked for some in the past. But given the serious distain voters have this political cycle with "more of the same" and "politics as usual," I'd characterize Corker's "Hail Mary" as a bad call in anyone's playbook.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Do voters really want to re-elect "Angry Beavers"?

While surfing news archives the other day I stumbled across a priceless article that chronicled a pathetic hissy fit just last year by GOP state senator Mae Beavers. It got me thinking - can I still get by with labeling her "Angry Beavers"? Is there a statute of limitations after a few months on spotlighting the absurd behavior of an elected official?
Beavers is running for her political life this November against a strong, well-financed and definitely "on message" and "on point" Democratic opponent Bob Rochelle. In the event the people of the 17th senatorial district (Wilson, Sumner, Clay, Smith, Dekalb, Cannon counties) have forgotten (or more likely tried like hell to get the image of "Angry Beavers" out of their proverbial minds), I offer up this just last year archival morsel to remind them once again of the character embedded in the very soul of their GOP candidate choice.
Back in early 2005 Beavers threatened to quit the state senate just before the start of a legislative session because - I am not making this up folks, I'm not - she did not get the plum committee assignments she expected and because she did not get a bigger senate office.
While I do adhere to the "size does matter" philosophy for most things in life, size of one senate office shouldn't matter to those we elect to serve our interests in the General Assembly.
In defense of her "hissy-ness" and threats to abandon her constituents in the middle of her senatorial term, "Angry Beavers" was quoted in the Lebanon Democrat (1/18/05) as saying that her seniority earned her the privileges she believed she deserved.
Fast forward to 2006 - just a few weeks before voters in the 17th senatorial district go back to vote again on who would best serve their interests in the General Assembly.
Seems to me the question is clear - does an elected official who threatened to abandon their post and turn her back on her constituents in the middle of her senate term days before the start of an important legislative session just because she believed her seniority in the legislature meant she should have a bigger office and plum assignments deserve their support?
Seems to me "Angry Beavers" thinking then - and I assume her thinking today - re-defines the term "cut and run."