Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Neighbors for Hypocrisy

Remember how 35 members of Neighbors for Progress stood in a Metro Council public hearing last January and stipulated that their opinions of how redevelopment should occur at the Fairgrounds count for more than those of anyone else who lived farther away?

Well, it takes a lot of nerve for Colby Sledge and his gang to go outside of the Fairgrounds area to try and influence the re-election chances of a West Nashville CM simply because he did not agree with their opinions (or maybe they realize they can't beat the referendum and they're trying to pack the council with Deaniacs like Sarah Lodge Tally):

The group’s home is the council’s District 17, but a Neighbors for Progress-drafted mailer ... that arrived in the mailboxes of West Nashville District 24 residents reads as follows:

“Mayor Karl Dean had a plan to create a better quality of life in our neighborhood ... But Councilman Jason Holleman stood in the way.”

Comparing Holleman to oft-controversial Councilman Eric Crafton, the letter urges constituents to call Holleman to tell him to “stop listening to special interests” and support Dean’s fairgrounds redevelopment plans.

.... “we were dismayed to run into opposition led by your councilman, Jason Holleman.”

Holleman, who called the mailer a “mischaracterization,” said ...

“To my knowledge, it’s unprecedented for a neighborhood association or an entity that is based in one council district to get involved in another council race .... I’ve never seen that happen.”

Holleman is running for re-election against challenger attorney Sarah Lodge Tally, who has raised $50,000 in campaign cash and enjoys the support of some of Dean’s most well-connected supporters.

That "well-connected" referent is key. Neighbors for Progress continues to confirm to my mind that it is more astroturfed cover for the Mayor's Office and powerful political interests in state government than a broadly representative, community-based effort. Facing defeat via a popular referendum that will require a few more votes to bring Karl Dean's dream of selling off the Fairgrounds to wealthy developers closer to reality, they have must have decided to target other people's districts to shave off the votes that the referendum will require for leveling the Fairgrounds.

But the contradiction between the privileges they command for themselves in planning and privatizing redevelopment and the gall of trying to influence other neighborhoods' representation could not be more cynical or hypocritical.

Stay classy, Neighbors for Progress. (And "Eric Crafton"? Really? You guys crack me up.)


  1. Colby Sledge, via his attorney, George Barrett, sent me a cease and desist letter several weeks ago because of comments I made on Enclave and Facebook.

    At the bottom of the cease and desist letter (I have copies available to those who are interested), Mr. Barrett notes:

    "It is worth noting that although you falsely accused Mr. Sledge of drunken criminal conduct, records on file at the Davidson County Criminal Clerk's Office show that a Boyer Hendrick Barner, born on November 6, 1962, was convicted of DWI in 2003."

    The "accusation" Barrett speaks of refers to a comment I made on a Facebook thread with regards to the raceway's sign apparently being vandalized. I jokingly mentioned that Mr. Sledge "probably got drunk" and did the work himself.

    The fact that Mr. Barrett would bring up my supposed DWI in the cease and desist letter, demonstrates to me that Mr. Sledge and Mr. Barrett were hoping to "threaten" me with making such "knowledge" public.

    Why else would this language be inserted into a cease and desist letter?

    It had NOTHING to do with the matter at hand.

    It's obvious the letter was sent to intimidate me. If the letter were filed as part a lawsuit, Mr. Barrett could likely face charges for attempting to intimidate me for political purposes.

    The United States Attorney's Office pays attention to such matters. Mr. Sledge would likely be party to such a case.

    To this date, Mr. Barrett, nor Mr. Sledge have filed a law-suit against me (libel and defamation, according to the cease and desist letter).

    I'm sure Mr. Barrett knows better.

    I present my statement to the public so that it may know, the lengths that Colby Sledge and his backers will go to in order to intimidate citizens such as myself.

  2. I've been told that, at the district 24 candidate's forum, Tally voiced her strong support for the fairgrounds master plan which passed the council. Anyone who has followed this issue knows that the master plan was Holleman's proposal. Does this indicate: 1) That she's of the same mind as Holleman regarding planning for the fairgrounds site? or 2) That she's not very informed on the issue? Has anyone followed up with her on this for clarification?

  3. And Neighbors for Prograss is not the only outside group shilling for Talley. Yesterday we received a similar glossy mailer blaming Holleman for the much discussed plans to cure the Whitebridge / Harding interchange...from a group of our "neighbors" on Woodlawn. I don't agree with everything that Holleman has done, I can appreciate his efforts to interject a little reasoned thought into the council.

  4. Here is the definition of "shill" from Wikipedia:

    A shill, plant or stooge is a person who helps a person or organization without disclosing that he or she has a close relationship with that person or organization.

    Shill typically refers to someone who purposely gives onlookers the impression that he or she is an enthusiastic independent customer of a seller (or marketer of ideas) that he or she is secretly working for.

    The person or group that hires the shill is using crowd psychology, to encourage other onlookers or audience members to purchase the goods or services (or accept the ideas being marketed).

    Shills are often employed by confidence artists. Plant and stooge more commonly refer to any person who is secretly in league with another person or organization while pretending to be neutral or actually a part of the organization he or she is planted in, such as a magician's audience, a political party, or an intelligence organization (see double agent).

  5. " . . . Yesterday we received a similar glossy mailer blaming Holleman for the much discussed plans to cure the Whitebridge / Harding interchange...from a group of our "neighbors" on Woodlawn. . . ."
    Tally worked in Rep. Jim Cooper's D.C. office for a couple of years. His brother John lives in that neighborhood and is one of the leaders against the connector. There's always a "connection"!

  6. Clarification from Holleman regarding his opinion on the connector:


  7. Dean appears too busy with Tally he has left his friend Ronnie to fend for himself.