Cohen and Other Officials Implore Bredesen to Accept Stimulus Funds: "Do the Right Thing." 

Hosting a collection of other local public officials Friday, 9th District congressman Steve Cohen led them in imploring Tennessee governor Phil Bredesen not to follow through on recent hints that the will turn down federal stimulus funds for extending unemployment insurance.

Challenging Bredesen to “listen to his heart,” Cohen said, “It’ll tell him what’s the right thing to do.” The congressman said the money in question, some $143 million, is destined for “the purple hearts of this recession,” that the disbursement of the funds would be “temporary, targeted, and timely,” and that “if Tennessee doesn’t use the money, it’ll be spent somewhere else.”

Not to take the funds, said Cohen, would be “wrong—socially, morally, and economically.” Drawing an implicit comparison to Southern officials of an earlier age, Cohen suggested that those Southern governors (few so far, and so far all Republican) who have declined to accept federal stimulus funds for the unemployed are acting in the tradition of “”Jim Crow,” in the mold of former separatist-minded officials like the late Alabama governor George Wallace.

Asked if he would so characterize Bredesen in the same light, should the Tennessee governor also turn down the unemployment funds, Cohen declined to do so, but he said, “It is odd that all of the governors who’ve turned down the money so far are Southerners. Southern governors aren’t the only ones who care about fiscal solvency.”

State Rep. Jeanne Richardson addressed the concern stated by Bredesen, that accepting the unemployment funds would impose long-term obligations on Tennessee after the two-year term of their use expired, if unemployment totals should rise or continue at the present high level.

“That’s perverse logic not to help people right now. You can’t predict the future,” Richardson said.

Others supporting Cohen in calling for Bredesen to accept the federal funds were city council chairman Myron Lowery, county commission chairman Deidre Malone, state Senator Beverly Marrero, state Representatives Richardson, Ulysses Jones, Larry Miller, and Joe Towns, and Memphis Labor Council official Howard Richardson.

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
    • Shelby County Democrats to Revive

      Mancini forms group to begin reorganization for defunct local party; Cohen holds town hall.
    • Commission Gets It Together

      Consensus for medical marijuana; against school vouchers and county social media policy.
    • The Abortion Divide, Again

      An HIV prevention grant to Planned Parenthood is narrowly approved as the County Commission splits along party lines.

Blogs

Tiger Blue

Houston 72, Tigers 71

Politics Beat Blog

Surprises Galore at Local GOP's Lincoln Day Dinner

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Sun Records Episode 1: A Positive Note

Exhibit M

Art Stuff To Do this Weekend

Hungry Memphis

The Beer Bracket Challenge heads to the Round of 8

News Blog

Bike, Pedestrian Projects Win $2.2M in Grants

The BruceV Blog

Your Weekly Danziger

Tiger Blue

#15 Cincinnati 87, Tigers 74

Fly On The Wall Blog

Conservatives Have an Identity Problem. It's Called Their Identity

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Jackson Baker

Readers also liked…

  • Filling the Space

    For all the in-fighting, we’re all looking for the same thing, and sometimes we can realize it.
    • Jul 14, 2016
  • Politics or Government in Shelby County?

    It’s hard to tell the difference, as the Shelby County Commission and the Luttrell administration continue their power struggle.
    • Aug 27, 2015
  • Democratic Discontent in Philadelphia

    After WikiLeaks revelations of DNC efforts favoring Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders moves to tame the tempest.
    • Jul 26, 2016
ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2017

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation