Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Tennessee Democrats Put Republicans On Notice

I'm joining with a host of other Tennessee bloggers today to encourage you to help create a statewide effort to support the Democrats in Tennessee. While I have seldom been a party promoter - the recent rise of GOP numbers at the state and federal levels has brought nothing of value to residents of the state.

Constant bickering, hateful comments, and obstruction for it's own sake serves none but the GOP power structure. We face grave issues regarding a wide range of real-life problems for residents. So far the state GOP officials have offered deeply divisive legislative ideas with few useful programs useful to Tennessee residents - instead we see plans where such needs are outweighed by the political games of their thirst for power for its own sake.

Recently elected TNDP Chair Chip Forrester hopes to change that by reaching out across all levels of the spectrum to emphasize creating a better and more responsive state government. Two recent emails from Chip lay out the hopes and plans:

I want to continue the effort of bringing everyone into the Party and ask those of you who have not participated in the past to join me now. It is easy. Just go to and contribute, $5, $10, $15, $20, $25 or whatever is most comfortable for you. Just make the commitment to participate

I’ll keep you apprised of how this effort continues with reports from time to time.

Chip Forrester
Tennessee Democratic Party

As he said in comments just after he was elected as Chair of the state Democratic Party:

"First and foremost, I want to renew my pledge to you that we are going to open up this party to everyone who believes in the ideals of the Democratic Party, the party of hope and change. We are going to make this the most inclusive political party in the state of Tennessee, which will enable us to build the grassroots organization necessary to elect a new Democratic governor and regain the majority in the House of Representatives and add Democratic seats to the state Senate in 2010. Beginning Monday I will start by setting up meetings with every stakeholder in our party to begin gathering your thoughts, your ideas, and your suggestions on how we need to move forward to unify and expand our Democratic party.

I want to learn from the Governor, our Democratic congressional delegation members, the members of the House and Senate Democratic caucuses, members of Democratic organizations like the Federation of Democratic Women, labor leaders, teachers, professionals, community organizers, local officials, political activists, campaign workers from the Obama campaign and other campaigns, county chairs, the members of this state Executive Committee, and anyone else who wants to help us build a more effective Democratic party here in Tennessee.

Early this year, I want to convene a Campaign Summit to examine the results of the 2008 elections. We need to look at what we did right and what we did wrong, and begin incorporating what we learn into a comprehensive strategy for 2009 and for 2010. Clearly we cannot continue to do things as we have in the past. Everyone and every group I mentioned earlier will be invited to participate in this Summit.

From this Summit, we will emerge with a program of fundraising, new technologies, and grassroots organizing to truly build this party from the precinct level up. We need to quit talking about organizing and actually begin doing it; the successes and failures of 2008 have clearly demonstrated that fact. And we will organize in all 95 counties. We are going to run a 95 county campaign for Governor in 2010 with rejuvenated, rebuilt and re-energized county parties that will serve as the foundation upon which we build that victory.

From this Summit, we will develop a clear message for what this party stands for here in Tennessee and better ways to communicate it. President Obama has demonstrated the power of message. We need to clearly express our values and ideals as a party if we hope to attract others to support those values and ideals. And from this Summit, we will develop a unity of purpose and a unity of vision which will guide us for the next two years and hopefully in the years to follow.

Finally, I want to put the Republican Party on notice. The Democratic Party will no longer sit quietly by while the Republican Party runs racist, demagogic falsehoods against our values, our principles, and our candidates as they did this year against President Barack Obama, Nathan Vaughn, and other legislative candidates. When you lie about our candidates, our office holders, we are going to call you out as liars. There is no place in politics for such conduct. Robin Smith, Jason Mumpower, Bill Hobbs, and Chip Saltsman I tell you now: You are put on notice. As Chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party I will not stand by and see this happen without a full frontal attack on the racist, smear tactics that you have used in these past campaign. Decent men and women in Tennessee are demeaned by your racist bigoted attacks and I will not stand for it and neither will the Tennessee Democratic Party. Be ready --I am putting you on notice now--Republicans in Tennessee who support these tactics!!

The Democratic Party has always stood for the average man and woman against the forces of power, privilege, and elitism. We have stood for fairness and safety in the marketplace and in the workplace, we have stood for individual rights and freedoms, we have stood for equal opportunities for all Americans, we have stood for equality and justice for all."

So I, along with many others in the state, are asking you to help build a better state of affairs in Tennessee.

As R. Neal wrote in his post today:

To support that effort, progressive bloggers across the state of Tennessee are this morning launching the "Chip in!" online fundraising blogathon to support the Tennessee Democratic Party during this critical rebuilding phase.

We have set up an ActBlue fundraising page where you can "chip in" a little or as much as you can to support this netroots effort and help the Tennessee Democratic Party hit the ground running for the critical 2010 elections for Governor and House of Representatives. Your secure online contribution goes directly to the Tennessee Democratic Party's FEC regulated committee fund.

"Please note that the "Chip in!" blogathon is an independent effort by Tennessee progressive bloggers and is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Tennessee Democratic Party. Online processing, disbursement and regulatory compliance are handled by ActBlue, which has facilitated raising more than $87 million online for progressive candidates and committees across America."

So just click on the banner above, or the one on the right side of this page, and you can and will make a difference to clearly establish leadership which halts the often mean-spirited tactics of the current state Republican party.

SEE ALSO: (more will be posted later)
Silence Isn't Golden
Russ McBee
Progressive Nashville
Sean Braisted
Sharon Cobb

UPDATE: KnoxViews reports the goal of raising at least $1,000 was reached in a matter of hours. Thanks to all who helped!!

UPDATE II: Donations have approaching $3000 thanks to the efforts of bloggers and donors statewide - more than triple the goal set today.

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