Wednesday, May 02, 2007

A Loophole to Drive a Dozier Through

The Nashville Scene's Jeff Woods on a "big announcement" today from the Buck Dozier for Mayor Campaign:
Council member Buck Dozier put out a news release today pledging "total transparency from day one" if he's elected mayor .... Sounds like a great idea -- until you read the fine print in the last paragraph of the executive order that Dozier says he'd issue on his first day as mayor. It makes an exception for anyone meeting with the mayor who doesn't want anyone else to know what's said. In that case, Dozier says, the meeting is closed. So Dozier will be totally transparent except when he's meeting with someone who prefers total secrecy. How often do you think that will happen?
Mr. Dozier seems to have given himself quite a bit of latitude on the openness of such meetings.

His audience will be granted secrecy upon asking for it. Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge. Say no more, say no more.


  1. I tend to agree with your take, Mike, except that ACK said earlier today that Dozier is reportedly committed to disclosing who he is meeting with even when the other party has requested that the conversational details be kept quiet. That is a step forward, even if it isn't as bold as full transparency:

    If those he is meeting with on, say, a matter of personnel or security requests the meeting closed -- it shall be closed. The meetings existence will be made known and the party who requested the closed door will have to explain to those outside it why they were kept there but I am assured that that party will never be a Mayor Buck Dozier.

    I'm most likely not voting for Dozier, so I'm not coming at this with a bias in his favor, but I do think this is an ambitious idea. I'm curious to see how (if) other candidates respond.

  2. It is a step forward, but it is also a cynical strategy by an at-Large Council Member who sponsored a video sign bill that would have profitted one of his biggest campaign supporters, the owner of a sign company. If he would have acted like he's for openness all along rather than seizing a dramatic moment to help himself get elected, then I would counsel against jadedness. All I am attempting to do is meet force with like counter-force; to pop this balloon that has been sent up by the campaign, because let's not forget, it is a campaign first and foremost. (And ACK has been high on Dozier from the beginning; he's the only blogger listed on the Dozier Campaign site).

    It is in that spirit that I argue: Dozier's move is not a bold one, because boldness entails risk. What risk is his campaign taking? Alienating moneymakers who patronize him? Mr. Dozier's covering his bets with the loophole, so he's safe on that score. So, let's assume as Mayor he tells us that he met on one occasion with Bobby Joslin, but Mr. Joslin requested that the subject matter be secret. Is that prospect supposed to make me feel better about voting for him? Couldn't it very well engender a false general sense of trust that we don't have to worry about the Mayor because at least he's telling us who he is meeting with?

  3. Should it make you comfortable voting for him? You bet! He is doing what he can to reach out to the public and he can only do so much. I think his willingness to do this says a lot about who he is.

  4. Thanks for stopping by an leaving the unpaid political ad. I'll leave your shill blog URL up in the interest of balance even though it is the campaign equivalent of spam. I hope the next time you show up to defend your candidate, you'll express a little more balance yourself.

  5. Good thoughts, Mike. I'm glad to see the step forward, but you're right that it isn't perfect. It's certainly campaign driven, I agree.

    The shill blogging is truly sad, but it worked. I've totally decided to vote for Dozier early and often now that that last comment was placed. ;)