Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Former council critic of populism now embracing it to help the Mayor?

Monday morning former council member and husband of one of Karl Dean's appointees sent out an email blast across Nashville encouraging a populist effort, even though in his last term as CM he criticized populism to aid a scuffling Dean project. Here is Mr. Cole's "Moving Nashville Forward" email:

This morning, you read in the Tennessean about the Mayor's plan to move Nashville forward with a budget that invests in our schools, our neighborhoods and our city. You also read about a few folks who say no to everything , without ever presenting a plan of their own.

Now, it's time to make your voice heard. Here’s how you can help:

1. EMAIL all Council members with the subject line : "Say YES to Moving Nashville Forward." You can email them at , or find members' individual addresses here.

2. VOLUNTEER to help us turn out calls and emails to Council members. Reply to this email with your contact info.

3. JOIN US Tuesday, June 5 at 6:30 p.m. at the Metro Council Public Hearing on the Budget. Come, wear a T-shirt and show your support!

Finally, please share this email by clicking the icons at the top of this message. Don't forget to Like Moving Nashville Forward on Facebook and follow @MoveNashForward on Twitter.

Thanks so much for helping out. Your support and hard work will pay off for Nashville!

All the best,

Erik Cole
Moving Nashville Forward

You may recall the WPLN interview late in 2009 where Mr. Cole insisted that he would be unbowed by the historic turnout against the Mayor's fairgrounds plan comparing his unpopular support of the Mayor to those who marched for civil rights and to those who fought Hitler. His criticism of supporters of the fairgrounds and community-based planning came across to me as condescending when I originally listen to it, especially when thousands wrote emails and eventually showed up for the public hearing in "Save the Fairgrounds" tees to speak against the Mayor's proposal.

Apparently, what was not good for the goose is now good for the gander. I'm not saying that the people who support a tax increase are wrong. However, Mr. Cole seems to have a double standard on the question of populism and its uses; he does not seem as quick to bludgeon populist support of his issues by comparing it to the slowness of Americans to support civil rights and to fight fascism. Nope. He looks comfortable mobilizing support for his cause absent a single reference to his own past "caveats" about the popular will.

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