Quick updates

What do you know? They’re acting like they’re having an actual congressional race in the 9th District Memphis. (HT: @Kontji)

The Green Party often attracts self-described progressive Democrats. And about as often, it seems, they return whence they came. (HT: NPP)

Blogging is dead. Long live blogging! There is a new conservative voice on the scene, subtitled “Political Commentary from Fly-Over Country.” Oscar Brock is a Republican State Executive Committee member and served as former party chair Robin Smith’s congressional campaign treasurer in 2010. He is also a regional coordinator for the Romney/Ryan campaign.

Will the joke that keeps on giving, start taking away? Opinions vary on how offensive the joke actually is, but most agree that it was a stupid move on Paul Smith’s part to include it on an official meeting agenda. The Chattanooga Times editorial page is as incredulous as I am about any connection between printing the joke and comments made previously by U.S. Rep. Todd Akin about rape. What??

The list of candidates for Chattanooga City Council keeps growing. It’s still very quiet over here in my part of town, though.

Chattanooga municipal election season officially open

Incumbent Chattanooga City Council members Russell Gilbert (5th District) and Peter Murphy (9th District) were among those who dropped by the Hamilton County Election Commission Friday morning to pick up qualifying petitions to run in the March 2013 City of Chattanooga elections.

In District 2, where Sally Robinson has opted not to run for re-election, George Jackson has announced his intent to run. Jackson is chairman of the Hamilton County Young Republicans.

District 3 Councilwoman Pam Ladd had been somewhat publicly considering a mayoral bid, but instead has decided to pursue re-election to her Council seat. Ken Smith is also running for the District 3 spot.

Chattanooga’s elder statesman, Councilman Jack Benson, will face multiple challengers to his attempt to serve another term.

Chris Anderson is running in District 7 against incumbent Councilman Manny Rico, and Moses Freeman is likely to run in District 8, which is currently represented by Councilman AndraƩ McGary.

Murphy may face a challenge from Yusuf Hakeem, who represented the 9th District before leaving for a state parole board post.

There has been little to no mention of challenger activity in District 1 (Councilwoman Deborah Scott) or District 6 (Councilwoman Carol Berz). Additional announcements are sure to follow in the coming days.

UPDATE: John Wilson has more. Guy Satterfield is running for mayor, Deborah Scott has a challenger, Tramble Stephens is running in District 7, and Demetrus Menifee in District 9.

UPDATE 2: Chris Carroll reports that Rob Healy may run again.

Open seat in Council District 2 presents strategic opportunity

This Friday, September 21, is “opening day” for those on the hunt for a seat in Chattanooga’s next government. Qualifying petitions may be picked up at the Hamilton County Election Commission off Amnicola Highway.

While most incumbent members of the Chattanooga City Council apparently are planning to run for reelection, Councilwoman Sally Robinson has announced that she will not. The timing of her announcement gives would-be replacements the full 90-day qualifying period to work on their campaigns.

One cannot help but speculate that there is someone waiting to step right up. This scenario, by the way, is much preferable to one wherein the incumbent waits until late in the qualifying window to step down, and in swoops the well-connected “heir apparent.”

But were I running for mayor (hypothetically!), I would look for a strong ally from this district, and work to get such a person set up to take this open seat. So don’t be surprised by any announcements you might hear in the coming days.

Announcement: Chattanooga candidate forum Oct. 2

The Brainerd Unity Group invites you to a countywide candidate meet-and-greet on Monday TUESDAY, Oct. 2, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at Eastgate Town Center in Chattanooga. The event will include an overview of current voting laws given by the Hamilton County Election Commission, as well as a forum featuring the state legislative and congressional candidates in the November election.

Candidates and those considering running for office in the 2013 Chattanooga municipal elections are also invited to meet with the public from 5:00-5:45 p.m.

The Hamilton County Election Commission will present a guide to voter identification laws and related information from 5:45-6:15 p.m.

The candidate forum will begin at 6:15 p.m. I am honored and humbled to have been asked to moderate the forum. Questions will be submitted by the public.

Here is a flier that you may post online or print.

Click to embiggen.

I hope to see you there.

Young Guns and butter?

Congress on Thursday approved a stopgap spending bill that keeps the federal government running for another six months while arguments over the so-called “fiscal cliff” continue.

Many news outlets reported on vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan’s affirmative vote on the measure, and that got me to thinking: what about the other members of the Young Guns group? Here is a partial list. These Republican U.S. House members all voted for the bill.

  • U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (VA-07)
  • U.S. House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (CA-22)
  • U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy (LA-06)
  • U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins (KS-02)
  • U.S. Rep. Pete Olson (TX-22)
  • U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney (FL-16)
  • U.S. Rep. and nominee for Vice President Paul Ryan (WI-01)

Cantor, McCarthy, and Ryan are the original “Young Guns.” The others won election in 2008 against Democratic Party opponents, with the help of the Young Guns program.

Now to bring it on home to Tennessee. How did our delegation vote? Here is the tally:

Voting Yes

  • U.S. Rep. Phil Roe (R-1st)
  • U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-3rd)
  • U.S. Rep. Diane Black (R-6th)
  • U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-7th)
  • U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-9th)

Voting No

  • U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr. (R-2nd)
  • U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-4th)
  • U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (D-5th)
  • U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-8th)

Source of votes: The New York Times