Thursday, November 12, 2009

Why blog about council members anonymously?

The polls closed in the Nashville's first recall election several minutes ago, and we're waiting to see the results of the challenge to Pam Murray's tenure on Metro Council. In the meantime, consider the Districtfive blog, which is dedicated to addressing Murray's foibles and vices. The latest post answers questions on why its authors prefer to remain anonymous:
if you have been paying attention, you will note that there have been allegations of harassment against Ms. Murray, even prior to the beginning of this recall election. CM Karen Bennett had concerns for her safety after she stepped up to assist District 5 residents that were not getting adequate representation from Ms. Murray and filed a police report. Additionally, as tempers flared during the rezoning debate about Cleveland Street, a rash of cars parked in and around the condominiums where her opponent lives came up with broken windows. Meeting participants that challenge Ms. Murray have found R-rated comments written in the dust on their vehicles when they exited to the parking lot. As juvenile as this seems, it does send a profound message about the personal level to which Ms. Murray takes disagreements and raises concerns about how rational future responses may or may not be.

Ms. Murray has, of course, filed counter claims. One of her claims is that a constituent called her employer in Detroit about her. Nevermind that a constituent has little other option than to call Detroit if they want to try to reach Ms. Murray.

Interestingly, Ms. Murray has actually engaged in the very behavior she accused others of. One constituent reports that both the boss and the Board of Directors at that individual’s employer have been contacted by Ms. Murray to discourage the constituent from speaking out against the Council Member.

These intimidation tactics can be effective. It is our hope that anonymous blogging can be, too.

BONUS: An Enclave retrospective of coverage of Pam Murray's tenure on Metro Council.

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