Sunday, January 16, 2011

Deanieleaks #5: Mayor's Office e-mail correspondence on the State Fairgrounds

I thought it was evident from the first sequence of Deanieleaks e-mails that the Mayor's Office was playing Channel 4 news to maximize its PR about the plan to move Fairgrounds vendors to Hickory Hollow mall. Buck Dozier even thanked Channel 4 in those e-mails for helping him "relax the troops." The latest release of unreported e-mails exposes more talking-points management of Channel 4 to the point that Dozier writes that he expects a "benign" report.

I find it curious that a Metro attorney was copied in this action-coordination correspondence. Why would legal attention be needed in a discussion about media reports on the Hickory Hollow plan, if not to keep Metro legal on message?

Most importantly, take note that the Mayor's Office specifically directs Dozier to contact his good "buddies" on the Metro Council who have "concern" about Hickory Hollow and to "sow some seeds of doubt" among them.

[Original Message]
From: Dozier, Buck (State Fair)
Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2010 12:21 PM
To: Compton, Toby (Mayor's Office); Sloan, Doug (Legal)
Subject: Channel 4

The main area she [Channel 4 reporter Sara Dorsey] hit on was: Would the impact of the legislation [Duane Dominy's bill to Save the Fairgrounds] slow down the move? Are the vendors happy to go? Would the Council and the Mayor butting heads slow the process down? She did mention that she had "polled" by email the Council and there was a lot of concern. I really don't know how to interpret that. I get the first two points in on the beginning and had to insert the third point intentionally. Should be a benign interview. I don't believe she will use much.

[Reply Message]
From: Compton, Toby (Mayor's Office)
Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2010 12:24 PM
To: Dozier, Buck (State Fair)
Subject: RE: Channel 4

Thanks. Rich got the question about the Council too [appeared in Dorsey's report].

Make a few Council calls to the folks we discussed to see what they are saying and sow some seeds of doubt. We need some of those guys to stand firm on this. Point out that there are clearly problems with [Dominy's] legislation too.

Toby Compton
Office of Mayor Karl Dean
Legislative Director
(615) 862-6000

[Reply Message]
From: Dozier, Buck (State Fair)
To: Compton, Toby (Mayor's Office)
Subject: RE: Channel 4
Date: Tuesday, September 28, 2010 1:07:19 PM

I will begin calling some of my buddies. Thanks.

This handling of Channel 4 during the Mayor's failing autumn attempts to exile the Fairgrounds Expo to Hickory Hollow is particularly interesting today in light of an announcement Channel 4 reporter Nancy Amons made this morning on Twitter regarding a report on the Mayor's current attempts to demolish the Fairgrounds Speedway:

I have to wonder whether similar e-mails were flying between the same power brokers during this interview process and whether more cynical Mayor's Office marching orders were given to "sow seeds of doubt" among council members who could vote on both Dominy's Fairgrounds bill and the Mayor's demolition plan this Tuesday. Will Rudy Kalis and Channel 4 give the Mayor the same "benign" interview tonight that Buck Dozier and Rich Riebeling enjoyed from WSMV last September?

I will continue to publish more e-mails in the run-up to Tuesday's council consideration of the Fairgrounds bills. (Jump to Deanieleaks #1. Jump to Deanieleaks #2. Jump to Deanieleaks #3. Jump to Deanieleaks #4.)


  1. How convenient that Dean recently hired a permanent police chief without interviewing anyone else. If Dean controls the new chief, there could be protection from prosecution.

    I call on Council members Dominy, Gotto, Craddock, Evans, Jameson, and all of the strong voices to speak up for the people. It will be interesting to see if Craddock and Gotto will take part since they are such good friends of Buck.

    Mike, can you find emails from Carl Burch and his elevator company to Dean's boys? I believe that Carl has negotiated his vote on the fairgrounds with a deal for the city to buy elevators for the Music City Center.

  2. This is becoming more explosive with each post! Mike, you are doing Nashville a great service with your blog. For past, present, and future Nashvillians alike! Eagerly awaiting #6...