What Happened?


Let me state that an investigation of the election process has been instituted.

There is no nice way to put this… Last Thursday night Democrats got their butts kicked. Democrats lost race after race to Republicans.

These are people who have political names that are deeply rooted in Memphis history: Ford, Wilbun, and Johnican. These are skilled professionals: Wade, Newman, and Maclin. These are respected community leaders: Thompson, Dixon and Becton. How could they have all lost?

What occurred was what is called the perfect storm. Basically it was different elements coming together to create a major event. These elements were:
1. Strong Republican turn out,
2. White Democrats crossing over to vote for Republican candidates,
3. A low number of black Democrats voting.

Now that I have told you what happened I will now share with you why I think it did happen.

Strong Republican turn out…

Herenton decision to enter the race against Cohen was suppose to make this the “Battle of the Century.” Many Democratic candidates where hoping this would electrify the base and insure a heavy turn out. They were partly correct. Herenton’s entry did turn out the base – the Republican base. Resentment by whites and an opportunity to give our former mayor his first defeat motivated many Willie enemies to vote.
The Republican have been working very hard. For them the 2010 elections are the testing ground for the 2012 Presidential Race. If this is an example of what’s to come, we Democrats need to get our act together and fast.

White Democrat cross over…

Local Republicans have been toning down their rhetoric and have brazenly campaigned in what would have been considered strong Democratic areas. SCDP Chair Van Turner said, “We are at a crossroads in this community. The Democratic Party is the only political organization in this community which actually forces you to walk the walk when it comes to racial solidarity and unity. The Democratic Party is the only political organization in this county which by the very definition of its core values and principles, invites the Midtown or East Memphis suburbanite white voter to vote for a Whitehaven or Orange Mound inner city black candidate and visa versa. You are not merely allowed to talk a good game, but we ask you to walk the walk by putting your vote where you say you mind, heart and beliefs are. In other words, we put principles into practice.”

The Party put out a slogan “We all win if you vote for all TEN” the ten being the candidates above plus Steve Mulroy.

This was a real test of how committed the white Democratic base was to the Party. Would whites vote for an overwhelmingly black slate? SCDP is going to have to do more to win the trust and support of whites. At the same time there are some whites that have a problem with black control and they are just going to have to get over it. There is clear racial tension and mistrust within the Party must be addressed.

Low Black turn out…
We can blame white democrats who didn’t vote for black democratic candidates, we can blame lack of support from key candidates, we can blame problems with the voting system, heck we can even blame the heat – but in the end low turn out of black Democratic voters has to be addressed. I started ringing the alarm right after the Primary when over 80 percent of registered voters in my area failed to vote.

What I’m hearing is that many of these voters don’t know what to do. This City has been a political machine for so long voters are accustomed to being told who to vote for. Since the election of Herenton back in 1991 the machine system has been on life support and many will agree it has died. Personally I’m happy to hear this because for a political machine to work, voters can’t be free thinkers. Now there are some who are trying to make the Party the new machine where it will select which Democrats will run for office. I’m vehemently opposed to this.

I have contacted Van Turner and have expressed the need for the Party to focus on voter education, not so much voter registration, but truly working to civically involve the public. Say what you will about the Tea Party, but you have to give it to them when it comes to motivating the base. Going out with the sole purpose of registering people to vote does not insure they will. If we educate voters and engage them in the process not only will they vote but also make better choices.

Well that’s my opinion, what’s yours?


Anonymous said...

Whites didnt vote for these blacks because they didnt want them.

Ford - Luttrell was better
Wade - Oldham was better
Dixon - Moore was better
Johnican - Key was better
Wilbun - Touliatos was better
Becton - Boyd was better
Thompson - Leatherwood was better

Now Corey Maclin and Regina Newman should have won. They were the better candidates.

Anonymous said...

Are you joking, Corey Maclin does not compare to Regina Newman who is an attorney and well educated. Corey must have posted this comment himself. Check the commercial appeal or channel five for his qualifications.

Anonymous said...

Ford, Dixon, Johnican, Newman and Wilburn are all qualified with higher educational degrees and proven experience. Thompson has an Associate degree. Wade has excellent credential and is an honorable man.

This is public information, Google any the above names to verify their credentials.

Anonymous said...

Corey Maclin lost support because he start hanging out with Republicans. You see they didn't help you.

Anonymous said...

One things for sure Derrick Bennett better never show his ass around the democratic party again. That fool cost Regina Newman the race. He knew he wasn't going to win. The Republicans probable sent him in to take votes from Regina. Also, LeTroy Williams can go to hell too.

Anonymous said...

Jimmy Moore went to Black functions with Corey Maclin. Jimmy Moore went to Black Churches with Corey Maclin. The million dollar question is why didn't Master Jimmy take his slave to the white establishments? Looks like Jimmy pimped the Black community again and this time with the help of his slave, Corey Maclin along with his convicted personal assistant, Bret Thompson . I do believe Bret Thompson and Joe Cooper have a lot in common.

Anonymous said...

The rumor is that Herenton took a lot of money from the republicans to run so it would bring out white voters. Why did he run? He had to know he wasn't going to win. This could be his final screwing of Memphis.

Anonymous said...

Start by finding candidates who actually pay their bills and haven't declared bankruptcy. They DO exist.

Next, weed out the ones who claim the be "the voice of the people" or "real Memphians". Everyone knows what that is CODE for.

Then, apologize to the White Democrats who were forced to vote for better candidates that, in this case, happened to by Republicans.

Anonymous said...

12:03 said...

'Corey Maclin lost support because he start hanging out with Republicans. You see they didn't help you.'

How? Isn't this what the Repub were doing?

Anonymous said...

The Republicans did a great job of turning out their voters, who were motivated to vote the ticket.

The Democrats were not organized and did a poor job of turning out their voters. Those who did turn out were not motivated to vote the ticket. If you have to ask why, you must have just recently moved into Shelby County.

sbanbury said...

For folks that don't know me, I'm a white guy, a community activist in North Memphis (I walk south to get to Wild Bill's) and a Cub Scout leader to Idlewild, Snowden and, starting this year, Vollentine Optional Schools.

I worked my ass off (unpaid) on three campaigns this summer and helped a couple others when I saw the opportunity.

Randy Tolley is one of my Cub's dad and the guy that helps me out when I don't see eye to eye with authority. He ran for GS Div 7 on a very substantial civil rights, due process and diversion based platform. He got whooped by money and, it appears, the winner was really decided by being first on the ballot.

sbanbury said...

Joe Ford is a tireless public servant that I've known since advocating before him in the City council in 1995. He never got a fair shake from the media--little mention of his role in more than 15 years on City Council and County Commission and little, or no, attention to the initiatives that he launched while Interim Mayor. Instead, much of the media parroted about his "broken promise", an anonymous accusation of County employees campaigning on the job and a lot of blather about his finances. As if anyone wouldn't have money problem working full time on a Council or Commission salary--and he did.

Joe lost because he and the SCDP, didn't do enough, if anything, to actually get voters to the polls before or on an extremely hot summer day.

I know this because I walked and talked to my entire North Memphis precinct Thursday and the only folks going to vote were the ones on the list of promised but not yet voted folks that Cohen gave me. The rest of the potential voters leaned back under the fan and said "why bother?"

Cohen and Mulroy did so well because they had energetic, pavement pounding volunteers out beating the street both before and ON Election Day.

Randy Wade was a victim of very strong Republican turnout.

One highlight of the season was a party I had for should be judge Tolley at my house that was attended by Ford, Wade and just about every democrat on the ticket, as well as a bunch of Cohen volunteers and interlopers, including Jimmy Moore and Billy Bonds (who I had to keep engaged for almost an hour since he was running against Tolley).

Maybe if Joe had gone out on the Midtown Summer Party circuit more, or done a little Porch to Porch in the ‘Hood, things might have been different.

Anonymous said...

Strange as it seems... Republican Jimmy Moore had at least two strange sources of support!

1. State Democratic Executive Committeewoman Hazel Moore (D33) attended some event and posed for the same campaign literature picture series with Jimmy Moore that included known Black Republican operatives Stevie Moore and Rev. Dwight Montgomery!!!

2. Republican Circuit Court Clerk Jimmy Moore had an empty CAMPAIGN HQ in Whithaven located in the back portion of the same campaign HQ of Mayor Joe Ford. Everybody knows the Fords calls Jimmy Moore "Uncle Jimmy."

PS: so far, has anybody "heard" Mayor Ford complain yet???

Reginald Milton said...

Dear Readers,

A needed correction was kindly pointed out to me so I felt it was necessary to made a change in my post. I stated that some candidates were contesting the results. Truthfully there was talk by candidates that they MIGHT do just that, but it would have been more accurate to have stated that there will be an investigation in how the August 5th election was handled. So the change was made.

This investigation is clearly justified. While attempting to vote I was told that I had already voted and would not be allowed to vote again. Now my memory isn't the best but I knew that was not true. So I asked for a Provisional Ballot. This allows you to cast your vote even if there is a disagreement with your eligibility. Some might not know they have this right and left without voting. I only knew because of my involvement with the Party. It should be pointed out that by using a Provisional Ballot your vote will not be counted until 7-10 days after the election and only if the results are contested. So I did vote but my vote was not counted. A hollow victory.

Now I could have used a "Fail-Safe" (something I did not know) which was pointed out to me by a friend. Requesting a Fail Safe vote means you know that the information barring you from voting is incorrect or not complete and you are prepared to vote and accept any legal action that might occur if it is found out that you are incorrect. In this case your vote will be counted. (At least that is the way I understand it.)

If there is someone out there that can better explain Fail-Safe please do so.

sbanbury said...

See you tomorrow night, Reginald.

Anonymous said...

Actually the best candidates won! It is not a matter of black versus white. We need to get out of the idea of white versus black and pick the best candidates. I think that is actually what happened this time. We will have a better Memphis!

Anonymous said...

You were on the spot with your assessment Reginald. The SCDP was in shambles. There was no phone bank and only 12000 ballots mailed out. A few candidates were too confident, believing victory was near. Republicans like Moore, Luttrell, Mashburn, Key, and Boyd were sleeping with democrats on a daily basis.

Anonymous said...

Reginald you are the Man!!! Run for Mayor Dude!!!!

Reginald Milton said...

9:41 P.M. said...
"Reginald you are the Man!!! Run for Mayor Dude!!!!"

Doesn't the City have enough problems! LOL

Anonymous said...

Reginald this was not the perfect storm. This was the perfect strategy. The GOP took the offense in this election. They labeled Joe Ford as a liar saying he promised not to run. They labed Corey Maclin as a deadbeat, who will not pay his creditors or taxes. Coleman Thompson was labeled a crook who will not pay his rent at Pyramid. Shep and Sondra were labeled as recycled candidates along with Johnican. The labels stuck with white democrats and thus defeat.

Reginald Milton said...

To 8:22 A.M.
The truth is no one is perfect. We all have our problems, that's life. I think if you shook anyone's closet hard enough something would fall out.

Yes, the Party needs a vetting process for candidates; you won't get an argument from me on that. We should meet with candidates and have them state there is nothing in their past that could be a problem for them or the Party. We should check and double check their financial history and be prepared to call them on possible issues.

Anonymous said...

I demand a re-vote!! this was a bogus election... Who knows who really won!!!!

Anonymous said...

Luttrell is only 13

Anonymous said...

In addition to the turnout factors, Democrats just got outcampaigned.

Chairman Turner has not controlled the Party and had no real knowledge of what a consolidated campaign was like. The co-chairs were amatuerish and relied on an ineffective "ballot" and attending meaningless events. There seemed to be no response to the obvious...that Republicans were marketing their candidates effectively with lots of skill and taking advantage of external factors.

Of course the top of the ticket hurt Democrats. We had a Democrat with lots of baggage trying to appeal to suburbanites and a Republican with a good image appealing to both city and county voters. Ford helped drag the others down.

The best that can happen is that Van Turner let the pros take over for November, let his term ride out, and Democrats choose a competent leader next time.

Reginald Milton said...

To 12:07 P.M.

Please read my response in the post, A Good Leader.