Wednesday, December 8, 2010

An Opportunity Missed

Posted By on Wed, Dec 8, 2010 at 1:32 PM

Sara Lewis
  • Sara Lewis
Message to New Path, MPACT Memphis, and the creative class: You guys missed a golden opportunity to make a lasting difference in Memphis this week.

Cherry Davis, a promising political newcomer and Memphis school board candidate, lost the runoff election Tuesday to Sara Lewis, an unpromising political veteran and former school board member with a demonstrated flair for bullying and histrionics. If there was ever a choice, not an echo, this was it.

And it was a very winnable election. The upside of a runoff election with a 2.6 percent turnout is that an underdog candidate can win. Davis got 781 votes to 900 for Lewis. There are more than 60,000 registered voters in the district.

This is where the vaunted creative class comes in. New Path hit up a friend of mine who owns a downtown business for a political contribution which it used to buy an ad. What a waste. What a superficial political gesture.

What supporters of Davis should have done was raise money to "Beat Sara Lewis" by paying people $20 an hour to drive District 6 voters to the polls yesterday and listen, enroute, to a sales pitch that left no doubt about who they were supposed to vote for. Davis could easily have garnered 120 more votes and won the election by smart spending of $1,000 in contributions.

Take a lesson from the Ford machine of yore. Elections are won by people who try hard to win, play rough, and are not afraid to get in the dirt and use their elbows and their motor vehicles. And policy is made and Memphis is defined by Sara Lewis and others who know that.

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