Monday, May 09, 2011

It took a while but balanced minority opposition to the Mayor finally formed

Back in 2008 when it seemed like the only council member willing to take on Karl Dean publicly and assertively was Mike Jameson, I openly wondered whether this submissive Metro Council was even worse than the conservative-dominated previous council that battled former Mayor Bill Purcell at every turn. Then came the Dean plan (supersaturated with donor influence) for a convention center, which was not exactly popular, and more CMs stuck their necks out to oppose the Mayor. The Fairgrounds debacle, and the botched handling of it, finally made opposing Mayor Dean permissible and the council's minority opposition wing of liberals and conservatives solidified.

This morning's Tennessean ponders the unlikely coalition as it stands:

Hollin and Craddock are at the heart of a coalition of progressive and conservative council members who have regularly opposed Dean’s agenda on high-profile issues. It brings together pro-neighborhood, pro-environment council members like Emily Evans, Jason Holleman and Mike Jameson with social and fiscal conservatives like Eric Crafton, Jim Gotto and Robert Duvall, forming a vocal minority.

Evans said the pairing isn’t that surprising.

“The convention center (debate) was really about fiscal responsibility,” she said. “Being a fiscally responsible government tends to be a hallmark of both progressives and conservatives. I put myself in both categories. It’s just a common theme.”

The progressives Michael Cass lists in the story have generally been the ethical cream of the council bunch over time, even as unsubstantiated mud was slung at them in the print/online news media by the Courthouse innuendo hounds every time they dared to criticize a Dean plan. Cass also inventories the coalition--including the "progressives"--that appease and buckle to the Mayor's Office on every initiative that I can remember. Jerry Maynard and Ronnie Steine have had their ethical stumbles in the past and I'm not exactly inspired by the quality of their leadership even as the dogs of Dean give them a pass on any criticism.

That brings me to Dean spokesperson Janel Lacy's purported declination to "publicly criticize" the council's minority coalition. The Dean administration does not publicly criticize his critics because it does not have to. On just about every major policy initiative (the convention center being the most obvious), it has hired consultants and anonymous trolls to do the attacking for them. With a generally compliant news media, Karl Dean can take the high road and let the hatchet men do the dirty work. While the thugs and mercenaries have taken some below-the-belt shots at the council's independent progressives like Hollin, Jameson, Holleman, and Evans, the mud simply will not stick.


  1. Dean has built a house of cards. And it's been stuck together with the saliva of his PR mouths. Get ready for more spit.

  2. Hollin should spend time in his own district since he worked so hard to get it. But he has not been seen since the election. Who trust this guy? He reminds me of Lee Atwater.

  3. Why is it that anyone who ever questions the Dean Machine is scolded to spend more time in their own district? As if obligating the Metro funds that pay for infrastructure & services in the districts in order to back up the convention center construction has no effect constituents.

    The next step: accusing Hollin of being ambitious and aspiring to a higher office.