Tuesday, December 4, 2001

POLITICAL NOTES

POLITICAL NOTES

Posted By on Tue, Dec 4, 2001 at 4:00 AM

  • The Shelby County Republican Party hierarchy has not given up trying to call the shots on a hand-selected nominee for Shelby County mayor. After virtually every big name in the GOP has so far turned down chairman Alan Crone and his local helpers, their last hopes are being invested in State Representative Larry Scroggs of Germantown,who has so far proved receptive to the blandishments of Crone and company.

    If Scroggs says no, the party nominee is likely to be radio magnate/radiologist George Flinn, who has been trying hard to get party sanction for a run.

  • The long-anticipated opening fundraiser for the county mayoral campaign of Shelby County Public Defender A C Wharton took place Thursday night at The Racquet Club and went off more or less as foreseen.

    Wharton's business support proved reasonably wide and impressive (including well-known Republican consultant Mike Carpenter, who was there, however, in his role as director of the state Association of Builders and Contractors), and Democrat Wharton's receipts were being estimated by his main men as being in the $300,000 range.

    There were few real surprises among those present, however, especially among the pols who turned up -- most of whom (e.g., State Senator Steve Cohen, former Dem chairman David Cocke, assorted members of the Hooks family)-- had been ID'd previously as Wharton supporters.

    TV judge Joe Brown, clad in baseball cap and leather jacket, introduced Wharton, who spoke with his usual smooth aplomb.

    Best line of the evening was from Shelby County Commissioner Walter Bailey, the stoutest governmental opponent last spring of the commision-city council package that added public money to the NBA Grizzlies' kitty to attract them here.

    Said Bailey, after admitting he'd attended three Grizzly games: "I rooted for them all three times, just as I'm rooting for Duncan Ragsdale to beat 'em in court."

    (Lawyer Ragsdale has appeal litigation pending challenging the Grizzlies' deal.)

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