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Consistency Isn’t A Hallmark of the Dean Machine

July 21, 2011

I was just reading Joey Garrison’s story in the City Paper about Karl Dean’s active opposition to the re-election of Robert Duvall and Duane Dominy in their respective council seats out in Antioch. While I have worked with both guys and consider them friends and colleagues who care deeply about their community, I’m not surprised that Dean is actively endorsing their opponents if for no other reason than Robert and Duane’s politics are certainly right of center.

No, what amazed me in the story was the quote at the end:

Dean re-election spokesman Tom Hayden said the mayor’s involvement in council races is about putting independent thinkers on the council.

“It’s important that we continue to elect independent-thinking leaders that want to move our city forward and continue the progress we’ve made,” Hayden said. 

Uh . . . excuse me? Didn’t I recently read a flyer with Dean endorsing Sarah Lodge Talley in District 24 because Jason Holleman was an independent thinker and only voted with the mayor 85% of the time? Isn’t the entire basis of the Talley campaign, supported by the Dean machine, that she will walk in lock-step with the mayor’s agenda? Talley has said several times that she is running against Holleman because he opposed several of the mayor’s proposals — most notably the Music City Center and the fairgrounds projects.  Apparently, being independent of the mayor’s agenda 15% of the time is in fact too much independence — for true independence means that one will follow Mayor Dean’s lead all the time?

Look, there are valid arguments to be made in opposition to Duvall and Dominy, although they could make equally valid arguments that their positions on the fairgrounds and the Music City Center were in fact in keeping with the desires of their constituents (have you ever talked to folks along Hopson Pike or in parts of blue collar Antioch Karl?). But let’s not pull out the independence card when you are making the exact opposite pitch in endorsing Sarah Lodge Talley over Jason Holleman. Otherwise, you come off as a cynical politician who appears to think that no one is paying attention.

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