Sunday, August 25, 2002

Watch Out--That Attention Has Another Edge

Someone should warn the Reverend Ed Sanders, independent candidate for Governor, that getting an interview from the Commercial Appeal, a half-page story with picture, isn't necessarily what it seems.

Paula Wade, possibly the CA's most blatant and unrepentant propagandist, does the honors, beginning with this:
Rev. Ed Sanders is a progressive black Republican running
for governor as an independent, advocating a graduated income tax and
better funding of education, health care and environmental protection.

And he thinks he can win.
Notice, she's connected him to the Republicans, helping to promote strife, and used his positions to make it appear that Bredesen and Hilleary don't support "education, health care and environmental protection." Nice!
"Look, as far as these issues are concerned, I'm the only
non-Republican in this race," said Sanders, who mocks the sameness of
Republican Van Hilleary and Democrat Phil Bredesen on issues and
non-issues alike. While Hilleary and Bredesen oppose income taxes,
support the death penalty, limit their talk of education initiatives to those
that don't cost much money, and support cutting TennCare's rolls and
benefits, Sanders is the opposite.
Clever again, allowing Sanders to do her work for her, except where she editorializes at the end but attributes it to Sanders.
He supports a graduated tax on incomes coupled with reduction of state
sales taxes and removal of sales tax from food. He also supports a
moratorium on the death penalty and additional spending on education,
environmental protection and health care.
Who's gonna pay for it?
Sanders, 55, appears to be running a credible independent campaign
with yard signs visible in Memphis and Nashville, working coalitions with
progressive groups in the state, and a small all-volunteer staff. But he's
reported having raised only about $56,000 for his campaign, and is
fighting to be included with Bredesen and Hilleary in any future televised
gubernatorial debates.
For years, the CA has ignored candidates like Sanders. So why the attention now? She qualifies herself with "appears," but her list of what make him credible means the Tennessee Libertarians are even more credible! But will she talk with Ray Ledford?

And 56,000 dollars? That's a mid-sized fundraiser for the two front runners. But then Wade talks with Bredesen's spokeswoman:
"At this point, we don't see Rev. Sanders as a factor in this race," said
Bredesen spokesman Lydia Lenker. "But Rev. Sanders has been a
Republican his whole career, and Mr. Hilleary does seem to have a
sudden interest in what Rev. Sanders can contribute to the process. So
there may be something going on there."
No! You think? Oh, wait, I thought she meant Wade. Sorry. Still, see how Lenker uses this to her advantage, too. I am becoming even firmer in my belief that she's a Clinton Democrat--highly partisan, willing to say anything, out only for the win regardless of anything else. In a word, despicable.
Some Democrats even go so far as to suggest Sanders is being backed
by Republicans for the express purpose of drawing off black and
progressive voters from Brede sen. His Web site - ed - copies several opinion pieces critical of
Bredesen and favorable to Hilleary.
Notice the "some" construction, even though she just talked with Lenker, who said the same thing! Notice the claim, which she never backs but makes nonetheless.
Sanders's Republican credentials are sterling - he served on the state
Republican Executive Committee in the mid-1990s, votes consistently in
Republican primaries and worked for Winfield Dunn's gubernatorial
campaign in 1986. In March, President Bush appointed Sanders to the
President's Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS.
And this means--what? John Jay Hooker was the official Democratic nominee last time, but he couldn't get a serious hearing even from the CA! Now, suddenly, these things are important?
"When you have so many conservative right-wing Democrats, you can
have at least one progressive left-wing Republican, and I was it. In the
meetings, I was always able to make a motion; I just wouldn't get a
second," Sanders said.

However, he said, "If they're backing me, they're sure not doing it with
In other words, refuting Wade's claim earlier. Hmmm....

Notice, too, that the CA doesn't yet seem to have cottoned on to the reality that Tennessee is a much more conservative, and Republican, state today. I know, inside Fort CA it's all liberalism and micro-brew, but the rest of the state has changed. Reflect your readership, not your dreams.
Sanders says he entered into the race at the urging of a group of black
ministers around the state - a loose coalition that has been meeting and
talking together for years on issues touching their communities. Last
year, the group decided to come up with a list of their concerns so they
could discuss them with gubernatorial candidates, "but then we looked
at the people involved who were in the race at that time and decided we
were whistling in the wind."

He decided to run as an independent, he said, because he figured
Hilleary and Bre desen had their respective nominations locked up.
Again, refuting the "secret Republican backing" claim she made. But it didn't stop her, did it.
"The issue of the tax structure was just a byproduct of the needs in
education, health care, the economy and everything else. You have to
say how you're going to pay for it. And then of course there's the issue
of fairness and equity," Sanders said.
Pure, undiluted socialism. Wade must have shivered when she heard this. But before you discuss how to pay for it, you must first ask, "Can we afford it?" That's what Tennesseans have been doing, against the bulwark of the CA and politicians who want the gravy train to keep flowing. Why do we need the endless expansion of our government? When does cost exceed benefit?
Sanders said it's no coincidence that Tennessee ranks high nationally in
rates of illiteracy, poverty, hunger, obesity, smoking, heart disease and
bankruptcy and among the lowest in education spending and educational
attainment. He's convinced there are more Tennesseans who agree with
his views than most politicians recognize.

"I'm convinced that at least 35 percent of the people in this state are
progressives, and that's all I need," said Sanders, citing poll results of
41 percent in support of tax reform. He expects that the state's culling
of TennCare rolls may also energize those who'll soon find themselves
stripped of their health coverage.
I'll agree with his first point--education should be far more important than it is. But we can't just continue to have our money taken from us, without question, by folks who never seem to be held accountable. What does Sanders say about that?

Notice that last sentence, which repeats the heinous claim of "culling" from TennCare, as though the people who want to make TC work are social Darwinists. I suspect she's found her word and will keep repeating it for some time to come. How heartless and mean. How Wade.
Sanders, the son of a Methodist minister, was born at the old John
Gaston Hospital in Memphis and moved frequently with his family until
his father died when Sanders was 11.

At 13, he and his mother moved back to Memphis, and he graduated
from Melrose High School. After graduating with a degree in
anthropology from Wesleyan University, Sanders attended Yale Divinity

But a succession of job offers in higher education kept him from
completing the divinity degree. Years later in Nashville, he returned to
the pulpit as Fisk University's dean of chapel and later as founder of
Metropolitan Interdenominational Church, with a membership of about
700 and an active outreach ministry to people with HIV/AIDS and
victims of domestic violence.
Let's rewrite that as the CA would for the usual independent candidate: "Sanders, a teacher and minister, helped found Metropolitan Interdenominational Church, a small socially active church."

I suspect that what Wade is up to here, and maybe the CA, is to try to push Bredesen back to the left, from his center-left position. By ginning up the "real" leftie, she can give Bredesen enough to sweat about that he works to shore up his left flank, just in case. It's not needed, as many already know he's a leftie waiting for the economy to pick up to fund his ideas. In the meantime, he plays fiscally responsibility.

Until next time,
Your Working Boy

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