So, you will excuse my jadedness about the spate of "neighborhood gatherings" the Mayor has suddenly scheduled in 2011 to boost his re-election campaign and to gloss the thin veneer of grassroots. The first one was held in March in Madison under the auspices of a "food drive." Here is the Twitter exchange between me and one of the Tennessean reporters' feeds on the subject:
Michael Cass: Dean planning "neighborhood gathering" in Madison this weekend, asking supporters to bring food to donate to Second Harvest Food Bank
Me: Isn't that "neighborhood gathering" actually a fundraiser for the Dean campaign?
Cass: The announcement I saw only mentioned bringing food for Second Harvest, but I'll check.
Cass: Campaign says it's not a fundraiser; people can give if they want but aren't expected to.
emperor's new clothes), but to help him fund-raise and get out the vote. The latest press release:
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There is some poetic justice here: the community that the Mayor's Office nearly screwed over the Fairgrounds plan serves as a prop in the "neighborhood gathering" parody, which never really had anything to do with neighborhoods outside of a means to re-election. And the bait-and-switch food drives will continue to recede to the back as we draw closer to the elections. Once the Mayor has been re-elected neighborhoods will once again be on their own to fend for themselves and the emperor will move on in his new clothes.