Friday, June 24, 2011

About those TEPid endorsements

I doubt very seriously that Tennessee Equality Project places much stock in my opinions of their political moves, but I'm thankful to have a blog to be able to note the curious logic of some of their endorsements. According to the Tennessean, they endorsed Karl Dean for Mayor (no surprise given that they held a campaign fundraiser for him long before his re-election campaign even launched). The curiosity here is that Karl Dean has made no effort to have Metro government join TEP's lawsuit against the state's suppression of the Metro non-discrimination ordinance (even more curiously, Tennessean blogger Michael Cass made it sound like the ordinance was initiated by the council under the influence of TEP when it seems to me that there were at least a couple of CMs leading the charge in the wake of Belmont).

Dean stated emphatically that Metro would not pursue legal avenues to overturn state action. Cutting private groups loose to protect nondiscrimination in Nashville is consistent with his MO: Dean has said before in other contexts that private volunteers are better responders to crisis than government is. So, maybe his skittishness over fighting this is part of that puzzle, but given the way they went after Belmont, why isn't TEP lobbying Dean to back up their lawsuit with the force of Metro Legal? Dean barely made it to NDO, and yet they laud him like he's their champion. I honestly cannot see what the Mayor has done to kindle this love affair. He has made it clear that outside of signing a bill, he won't commit Metro resources to waging a war on the General Assembly for forcing Nashville to write discrimination into its official contractor policies.

TEP's endorsement of Sam Coleman for at-Large is even more perplexing. I've observed how Coleman's record on Metro Council is barely distinguishable from that of Jim Gotto, one of the most outspoken opponents of NDO. I frankly cringe at the thought of Jim Gotto as an at-Large CM, and I feel the same way about Sam Coleman, but TEP is too honed on a single issue to see past their blinders on Coleman. Maybe TEP assumes it is perfectly acceptable for Coleman to screw up the rest of Nashville as long as he falls in line on GLBT issues. I don't know. I'm outsider looking in, but I sure can't wrap my mind around their political logic.

1 comment:

  1. When say TEP is too focused on one issue, you appear to understand the very idea of issue advocacy groups.

    TEP's goal is, more or less, to fight discrimination against and support positive measures for the GLBT community. Of course they base their decisions on a limited array of issues. I wouldn't expect the NRA to endorse based on a candidate's stance on abortion, or the Sierra Club to endorse based on labor issues.

    While I tend to agree with your analysis regarding Dean, it is simply ignorant to suggest that a group whose stated purpose is narrowly focused to endorse based on a broad set of issues.