Election Day Endorsements
Yeah, I've been AWOL again. Moving, back injury, lack of inertia, extreme summer heat, and a general disgust with politics (as always). I haven't been following things like usual.
That said, let me throw out a few endorsements nonetheless. This isn't comprehensive, obviously; and I stay out of the Republican and Democratic party primaries since I'm a Libertarian. So here we go:
John Willingham for County Mayor. Given the choice of Willingham and Wharton, I have to go with Willingham.
Wharton's smooth exterior and polished performances are deceptive in that he uses them to keep the actions of County government not hidden, but out of scrutiny. I'm not saying he's bad (certainly not in the Herentonian sense) but he's doing business as usual, following the same old paths of least resistance for the most part in his handling of County issues. His primary approach seems to be to keep things on an even keel, pointed in the same old directions.
John Willingham seems to have the interests of taxpayers at heart, even if that means rocking some boats and overturning some stones to reveal the unpleasantness underneath. He's been bird-dogging the FedEx Forum fiasco for years.
Given that they are my effective choices, I go for the guy who wants to reveal how my money has been misspent, who considers such civic fiscal management an important thing.
Ed Bryant The only partisan primary I'll get into. If I were voting here, I'd vote Bryant for the Republican US Senate choice. Now, some of you are wondering how a Libertarian can possibly support a conservative Christian favorite. It's a conundrum, I'll agree!
Van Hilleary, bless his heart, is a loser and an also-ran. That he's hung on this long in the campaign, to me, speaks very ill of him. He couldn't beat -- hell, he couldn't figure out how to beat -- a faux conservative Democrat in the gubernatorial election and he's supposed to beat another faux centrist Democrat? I wouldn't bet on him doing it.
Bob Corker makes me nervous. He already had millions in the bank years before the campaing started. He's changed or repudiated a lot of his old positions this season. I fear he just wants the office, not the responsibilities. He may have a genuine desire for public service, but I don't pick that up from him.
Ed Bryant is who he was when he went into the House in '94. He has found his principles and adapted himself to them, rather than being a weathervane kind of guy. Stodgy, traditionalist me likes that, overall. Unlike Harold Ford Jr I can predict his vote on a range of issues and can be fairly assured that he'll keep that predictabilility in the years to come.
He's also not given to "prima donna disease" as so many politicians are. I don't have to worry that he'll enter the Senate and become another Kennedy or McCain or Specter or Biden. I think that's important. I'd much prefer a solid workingman than someone who's always got one eye for the camera.
Will he likely support legislation and political approaches that curtail the freedoms that libertarians like me so cherish. Yeah, probably so. But I'll take the devil's bargain that he'll also work to stop, slow down or (hopefully!) even reverse what decades of Democratism have wrought on this nation. That comes first, for me. Stop the socialist tide and then we can work on restoring the spirit of liberty in America I guess I look on it as prioritising and picking your battles. I can accept that some, even many, libertarians may not agree.
Bryant is the best, most stark and most effective counter to Ford and the Democrats. He's got the stature to stand up to the media template of "rising young political star and avatar of race reform in the backwards South" that will attach to Ford like free campaign advertising. Corker is too much the obverse of Ford -- to close to being a political mirror. Hilleary just won't cut it; he'll flounder and play catch-up straight through November.
Bryant is our best defense against the Democrats and their allies in the media.
John Harvey In this race I don't accept the conventional political wisdom that "A vote for John is a vote for Reginald French." Truth to tell, I despise folks who think that way. I think you should vote for the person who will achieve or represent what you want in government.
Luttrell is another in the County line-up of bland corporate-style executives. I'm not impressed by folks like him, for whom image is all. I like folks who lay it on the table, problems and all, and then tell you what's being done or should be done.
I also remember when the County had its big budget couple of few years ago, Luttrell supported Mayor Wharton's "armageggedon" predictions by claiming that various frontline drug and gang units would have to be closed first if that budget (and property tax) request didn't go through.
When compromise was reached that meant not getting all they'd wanted but not having to slash, what did Luttrell then do? He suddenly found cuts in other programs! It was possible after all. Well, I find that kind of politics -- all too common in Shelby County and Nashville -- reprehensible at best. Treating his duty to the citizens of Shelby County to protect them from criminals as a political tool for use, and being willing to join in with that abuse, automatically makes a man untrustworthy in my eyes.
Harvey strikes me as a man of duty and principle. I've met him personally on several occasions and feel comfortable with the idea of him as our Sheriff. He's been on the front lines of our County's ongoing opposition to criminals. He's also interested in bringing computers into a more integral role in policing. Yes, it will be expensive on the front end, but I believe it pays off in minimising "paperwork" for officers, putting them back onto the streets faster, and in giving them tools to track, collate and research criminal activity in Shelby County and beyond.
I think Harvey will be a good agent for needed change, while maintaining official integrity in the office.
As for writing in his vote? That's easy. Select the "Write-In Candidate" box. You'll be taken to a new screen with a keyboard. Make sure you correctly type in his name "John Harvey" (so it counts) and then press "Cast Ballot." That's it!
And there you are, if my opinion matters.