Backroom Deal

In a conversation with a top Shelby County Democratic Party (SCDP) member, unsuccessful mayoral candidate Carol Chumney let it slip that Jay Bailey has promised to support her in what will be her third attempt to become the City of Memphis mayor.

Jay Bailey who is seeking to become the next SCDP Chair is more than aware of the policies governing the role of executive members, and such behavior is clearly a breach of protocol. How can Bailey become chair of the Party while already in bed with a potential candidate for Mayor of Memphis. I guess other democratic candidates who have stated their interest in running for mayor should forget about turning to SCDP for fair and impartial assistance. "No thanks Myron Lowery, no thanks AC Wharton the SCDP Chair has already been bought." How can this Party represent ALL democrats when backroom deals like this is going on!

It should be noted that Ms. Chumney is featured prominently on several of Baileys campaign fliers and has provided her voice in recent robo-callings supporting said candidate. Clearly she is one who believes in, "You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours."

These types of shenanigans are exactly why I steered clear of the Bailey camp. As I have said earlier it is time to end these deceptive tactics that divide the Party and pit democrat against democrat. In fairness, I welcome a response from Mr. Bailey.


Anonymous said...


Brad Watkins said...

Hmmm....well I'm neutral in the chair race, but in fairness, did Jay mention that his help would be in the capacity of SCDP Chair?

If not then this is largely a non issue.The Mayor of Memphis is a nonpartisan office afterall. So the Party as a body could not, and due to the faction wars within would not come out and officially support any one candidate.

Very rarely is the SCDP Chair person in anyway shape or form relevant in the election of a Memphis Mayor.Equally rare is a Chair or Executive Committee that is truly neutral on municipal elections.

That Protocal is rarely followed by anyone.

If that were true Exec Comm members would not get involved in primary campaigns.

Just to be fair here.

Anonymous said...

Chumney that girl does not give up! She's going to be mayor one way or the other.

Anonymous said...

Who's your daddy?

Anonymous said...

Like Brad said, Mayor is non partisan. Who cares what heresay is between Bailey and Chumney. I'm sure Chumney took part in the caucus and can choose to support anybody she wants. Plus, what can Chumney offer Bailey anyway?

Anonymous said...

Come on now, they've both been around for years, and I think Bailey helped her out on prior campaigns; why wouldn't she help Bailey now?

If you knew Carol, you'd know she's so clean she squeaks.

Anonymous said...

Anon said Not Surprised.

Me neither. Memphis is just one corrupt politician after another. Jay Bailey is knee deep in it.

Reginald Milton said...

Brad, it’s always nice to hear from you. Though I am not neutral, I feel I can be fair.

I never said Jay Bailey would use his position if he became SCDP Chair to support Chumney. The reason I didn't was because it didn't matter. When you take on the position of Party Chair you're the chair no matter what you are doing.

At this critical juncture SCDP needs someone who is committed to the Party, first and foremost. How is Bailey going to do that while aliening himself with one of the candidates for what is shaping up to be one bloody mayor’s race? With people wondering daily, “Will Herenton step down?” or “Will the FBI arrest Herenton?” The Party Chair needs to stay as far away from this mess as possible. Bailey is a smart guy and this was one bad call. I give you my word if Van Turner had done this I would be saying the same thing. All I can see is this being a distraction that will further divide the Party if Bailey becomes the next chair.

Because a protocol is rarely followed is a hollow excuse for not doing what is right.

To 4:00 P.M.
"Mayor is non partisan."
I feel you are missing the point, this has nothing to do with Party affiliation but everything to do with egos as big as a house.

To 4:21 P.M.
Thanks for the comment, but this is not about Chumney or any of the other possible candidates for mayor. I'm concern that if we don't bring this Party together, my God we might not have a Party.

The next SCDP Chair is going to have to walk very carefully. In my view this was a misstep for Bailey.

Reginald Milton said...

While I'm still up let me retract something that was said in this post. It is a rule of mine to never write when I'm upset and I was upset.

Though I stand by most of what was stated. I regret saying Bailey was bought. This was a cheap shot and I apologize. But I still stand by my argument that using Chumney was not a politically sound move.

CSPAN said...

A blogger that corrected himself...the world must be coming to an end. Nice touch.

Anonymous said...

Chumney lost some votes for herself. First that as an attorney she would support Jay knowing his record. It would have been much better to have stayed out of this entirely.

Second those robocalls went to county, state and federal offices, that is not good.

There were too many annoying calls from her and it just irritated people. We do tend to remember these things.

Brad Watkins said...

Hey Reg.

I think it was very classy and mature to retract the statement about being "bought". Alot of people, on both sides of this race have said far worse than anything you posted here and should take things down a notch.

Just so there is no misunderstanding, when I asked about if the alleged support was in his capacity as Chairman it was in the context of your question in the post.

"How can Bailey become chair of the Party while already in bed with a potential candidate for Mayor of Memphis. I guess other democratic candidates who have stated their interest in running for mayor should forget about turning to SCDP for fair and impartial assistance."

So If I misunderstood you I am sorry. The fact remains that neither AC Wharton, nor Myron Lowery would need, want, or at this point have much or any desire to come to the SCDP for assistance. If they did it would be an equal violation of protocal afterall.

However, I still really don't see the issue here. As I said before the SCDP Chair is pretty much a non factor in the race for Memphis Mayor. On top of that it's triple heresay unless Bailey has confirmed it. Which I don't know if he has, maybe he did, maybe he did not.

My point is that the protocal of Chair/Executive Committee neutrality, has always been dicey at best. Here what I mean.

Take out going Chairman Keith Norman. Norman joined with Congressman Steve Cohen in endorsing President Obama on the eve of Super Tuesday. A sitting party Chair endorsing a primary candidate is also a violation of protocol. Here is a quote from the Memphis Flyer Article

"Cohen was joined at the endorsement ceremony by the Rev. Keith Norman, the chairman of the Shelby County Democratic Party, who said his endorsement of Obama came from "Pastor Keith Norman, not from Chairman Keith Norman."

Now, was there anything wrong with this? Well technically, I guess, but who really cares? Being Chairman or on the Exe Comm does not mean that a person ceases to have opinions or forfeits their right to get involved in the process. It just means that they should not use their position to further personal goals or screw with the SCDP's Ballot.

What I am saying is the Bailey/Chumney thing is a really small thing compared to the really improper things going on at the SCDP.
Still I wish you good luck, and like being able to have a civil disagreement.

Reginald Milton said...


You make a fair point. My concern is that SCDP is awash with "clicks." It is a mined-field for anyone who takes the helm as chair.

Mistrust, and the inability of many to be able to listen without having a knee jerk attack attitude, is at the heart of why these groups exist. For Bailey to connect himself to such a high profile person in a race that is sure to be volatile will make it more difficult for him to be trusted by many within the Party. I still feel it was a bad move.

On the other hand Van Turner's one-on-one, personal engagement with different camps seems to me to be a much more effective way of bringing people together.

You said, "Now, was there anything wrong with this? Well technically, I guess, but who really cares?" Well I care. When you are trying to make up your mind on who you want to be your next Party leader and you don't own a mind reading machine you have to look at their actions and nothing is trivial.

Bailey's actions in this matter tells me a lot about his decision making skills and I am not pleased.

But heck, after Saturday all of this arm chair politics will be a moot point. I hope.

I'll see all of you this Saturday, noon at Airways Middle School. Don't forget to wear your boots it's going to get thick!

Anonymous said...


FYE (for your education), The current SCDP leadership was ordered on Friday March 27, 2009 by the TNDP to use 3000 vote increments to add committemen in house districts who votes for President Obama exceeded 14,000 or they will not certify their convention result!

If you need boots... it won't be owing to Jay Bailey's Team!

Arlette said...

This is the type of politics President Barack H Obama went to Washington to change, even as a Seneator. I believe the more that politicians are seeing that this type of pay to play behavior is not acceptable the quicker the ones that didnot get caught with there hands in the cookie jar will choose a more ethical way of doing things. Arlette Johnson

Anonymous said...

As I sat with with all the newly elected and returning executive committee members waiting to vote for chair, it was my hope that each person was planning to be an active and committed member. The best thing each committee member can do is to jump in with both feet and start working with the chair beginning with our first meeting at the IBEW, 1870 Madison on Monday, April 6.

Vist the party web site at wwww.shelby or call the SCDP at 323-3290.

Anonymous said...

Bad judgement on the part of Chumney. Would you like to buy a used car from her?

Reginald Milton said...

To 6:53 A.M.
The boot comment was not directed at either candidate. Just the process. You know the...Sausage and politics are two things you don't want to watch being made.

To Arlette
Welcome to my blog! Please feel free to come and share regularly.

To 9:21 A.M.
I truly believe we are at the start of a great change for SCDP. I am very excited.

To 7:21 A.M.
My comments about Bailey using Chumney in his bid to become SCDP chair was not an attack on her or her mayoral aspirations. I just felt it was more important for the next chair to not side with any candidate but to focus on making sure the process was fair, and the public was informed.

Anonymous said...

Reginald you said the reason you disagreed with Javier having Chumney support him was because you wanted the chair to focus on the party and make certain the mayors' race was fair.

Problem Number One: Javier doesn't know the meaning of the word fair.

Problem Number Two: Javier had no intention of focusing on the party he was there for what he thought it would do for him and his hoodrats.

Problem Number Three: Javier couldn't run the fu_ked up MDC how the hell is he going to run the shelby county democratic party?

Problem Number Four: Javier was NEVER going to be the chair of the party. Not NOW not EVER! That's why they tried to bus in all those people who didn't know what the hell they were doing. Half of them didn't even come back.

Javier, Del, Thaddeus, Chism, Jerry all are fools and if they had won would have destroyed the party.

Arlette said...

Well I would not be so narrow minded as to throw the baby out with the dirty bath water. Arlette Johnson

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:05 AM said...
"Javier, Del, Thaddeus, Chism, Jerry all are fools and if they had won would have destroyed the party.

Given your "foolish logic" they WILL destroy it if Van Turner believes he has a mandate and fails to reach out!

Anonymous said...

No they can't destroy it because they didn't win. That's the point I'm trying to make. You said it was "foolish logic" so you think Thud is a rational person... you think Del is a rational person... you think Jerry is a rational person. Chism walks around like he is the Godfather and don't do a damn thing for the party. This is the people Javier surrounded himself with!!!

Seems logical to me.

Anonymous said...

You going see more crap from them. Watch and see.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said: "If you knew Carol, you'd know she's so clean she squeaks."

Well, after supporting Bailey, she isn't clean any more ... If you lay down with dogs, you get up with fleas.

Good bye, Carol!