Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Where Was That "Progressive" Candidate When Metro Council Was Subsidizing the Church of Christ?

I've already said that I believe that she is going to trounce her opponent. A story this morning bears that out; except for the possibility that she may not have enough votes to forestall a run-off. I wonder how many more votes she could have gotten from some of us by just dropping her sponsorship of a conservative, pro-growth bill? And might those votes have made all of the difference?

And look here: nobody, but nobody, has been as watchful or as critical as I have of "slush-fund appropriation[s] to the church-of-Christ sponsored inner-city-ministry." Nobody has to preach to me the evils of certain candidates. I understand them and write about them.

But this is not simply a straight up comparison of the minor evils of one wayward bill vs. all of the ills of social conservativism that might spew forth on Nashville should one side win. It is a comparison of the main responsibility of Metro Council members (balanced planning and zoning), their accountability, and the highly visible controversies (English Only or gay/lesbian benefits) that as lightning rods have more bang than buck to them in the context of the Metro Council.

And while we are on the subject of religious-based slush funds, I have one simple, admittedly rhetorical question that dissects the whole "lesser of 2 evils" rationalization: where was Diane Neighbors' vote against, for instance, Carolyn Baldwin Tucker's bill to send over $13,000 in public funds to the Inner City Ministry? Where was her hypothesized socially progressive voice shouting her opposition then?

While we are stretching for answers on who is the lesser of two evils, bear this tally in mind; it is the list of recorded votes from the April 17 Council minutes on the bill that added to the Council's Church of Christ "slush-fund":
“Ayes” Dozier, Neighbors, Tucker, Briley, Dread, Gilmore, Isabel, Hunt, Craddock, Murray, Jameson, Cole, Hart, Forkum, Ryman, Brown, Gotto, Burch, White, Loring, Page, Greer, Pepper, Wallace, Walls, Whitmore, Evans, Summers, Shulman, Adkins, Foster, Alexander, Wilhoite, Hodge, Toler, Coleman, Duvall, Williams, Tygard (39); “Noes” (0).
The two candidates' names are right next to each other in support of this bill. My argument against some other progressives is simply that they may be as close to one another on the matter of committee appointments. We have no indication from the Neighbors campaign to the contrary. There is no "lesser evil" on that score.


  1. As disappointing as Neighbors' vote on Tucker's C of C fund, I notice a lot of other names who voted 'aye' that I admire, trust and for whom I would vote: Briley, Shulman, and Jameson, to name just three.

    A better comparison would be to examine how Neighbors allocation was distributed.

    I do think that Neighbors stumbled mightily in the 'car wash' episode, but based on her past history and her endorsements, I'd like to think there is more to Ms. Neighbors than this one episode.

    The winner of this election will be presiding over City Council meetings. I shudder to think of Tucker's (who probably isn't going to win) unsteady hand on that rudder.

    Occasionally, people we admire make strange choices, or align with less-than-wonderful bedfellows. That's part of the political process. I think Neighbors had a lapse in judgment, but I just don't see why this lapse overcomes a lifetime of service and a steady administrative hand.

    Finally, I would never say or mean to imply that you don't know what goes on in the council or that you haven't dogged council members for their misuse of allocated funds. You are the only person I know who is watching all of this closely and writing intelligently about it all.


  2. The inner city ministry works to help people who desperately need help. Apparently the Council understands that.

  3. Dear anonymous: My mom is a volunteer for the Inner City Ministries. I know many people who are involved and I know they do help folks out, but I don't want tax payer money going to organization whose primary purpose is promoting religion and evangelizing.

    HOw would you like it if the Muslim Temple on 12th Ave south got 40,000 to run a youth center where the kids had to pray to Allah three times a day?

    I really wouldn't be too keen on that either.

  4. I understand what you are saying. However, a very inadequate amount of our tax dollars are spent to help the homeless. Bless your mom for helping. Even with unwanted preaching (Christian, Muslim or anything else), help is better than no help IMHO.