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Randy Goes Off

December 10, 2009

Randy Rayburn, restaurant impresario, has been trotted out as the attack dog in the continuing conversation and battle over the Music City Center project. Earlier today he took after Nashville’s Priorities, the group that has been leading the opposition to the project (or at least not trusting the assumptions offered by the Mayor’s office). He accused them of being puppets for Gaylord and engaged in practices that are less than kosher. Earlier in the week, at a debate on the issue, he spent as much time denigrating Emily Evans, the councilperson from Belle Meade, as he did making arguments for why this is such a good idea.

It seems clear to me that the rhetoric has been dialed up a bit in trying to portray the opposition as less than pure in their motives for more and more information continues to come out that is making council people nervous, especially since the consensus at the grass roots level is that building this thing during the current economic times is a bad idea. Earlier today, SEIU, the service workers union, released the results of a poll they did among Metro Employees regarding the MCC project. After sharing their methodology, they offered the following conclusion:

In any case, the results we saw were conclusive. We found in our poll that 72% of the respondents were against the Music City Convention Center project. And while we only polled our Union’s members, we can safely say that this result would be consistent among all Metro employees, regardless of whether they are in the union or not, based on past polling and experiments we have done with voting patterns, elections, and other referendums.

While they’ve not fully released their separate polling data, I have been told that the Nashville Priorities poll saw well over half the respondents saying up front that they didn’t support the project.

The Music City Center Coalition, of which Rayburn is a part, has lost the momentum, and so the natural response in that situation is to lash out. What they don’t realize, however, is that they undermine any confidence they might have with the general public even further when they make wild accusations without documented proof. And, since one of their major arguments is that we should trust the gurus who like Rayburn with our money based on projections from a company that has bounced all over the map, maintaining confidence should be a key component of their advocacy in favor of the project.

So here is a suggestion. If you trust Mr. Rayburn on these accusations and on the MCC project in general, show your appreciation by visiting his restaurants. However, if you don’t, why don’t you express your displeasure by passing by the Sunset Grill, Cabana, or the Midtown Cafe. It’s democracy in it’s purest, most capitalistic form.

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