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Re: “Failing the Test

"Steve, you are absolutely correct and I agree wholeheartedly with your comments. I am a veteran of the US Navy and my husband served 24 years and both of us during the Vietnam War. To accept Mr. McCusker's excuse for leaving the party is disingenuous because to me it suggest the same rhetoric as the Republicans' talking points that dictated Democrats or "Liberals" are less patriotic and did not support the war while thousands of Democrats went to battle and gave the ultimate sacrifice and never losing respect for their Democratic creed. They went to war, served proudly, voted Democrat and returned as Democrats.

Let me say that one issue (the Elephant in the room) is that this vote went down racial lines. Why? Because there is a history of white Democrats voting for Republicans because they do not have confidence in the ability of black Democrats whether perception or racist views or simply because there are truly some unqualified and incompetent black candidates. I am proud of my relationship with most of the white Democrats on the Executive Committee and pride myself on working vehemently to prove that diversity makes us stronger, however I have grown weary of the constant comments from my white Democratic friends that the justification to let Mr. McCusker run on our ballot is because we "may not be able to find a good (white) candidate." This is a fact that everyone is aware of but won't discuss the merits. So first, we understand that there are bad "white and black" candidates so we need to at least agree to the standard to elect Democrats! Second, we have a two party system that does not threaten a "one memphis" but enhances it. Third, in the article, Mr. Gillon argues about President Obama vs. Hillary in the Primary but lets remember that President Obama was a Communitiy Organizer, an elected Senator and a bona-fide Democrat before he ran against Hillary. In the case of Arlin Spector, he was already an elected official and simply switch his alliances. You can not compare this scenario with someone just entering the political arena via a competitive primary.

What has Mr. McCusker done other than support Adrienne and that was during his own campaign. There are more problems with Mr. McCusker, in fact, he was not forthcoming with the information about his At-Large (State Level) Delegate status for Mr. Romney. I had him on my radio show and he conveniently did not reveal that information and did not admit it until after it was discovered and reported to the Shelby County Steering Committee. Consider this; from 2005 when Mr. McCusker returned from the Afghanistan war throughout 2008 when he still was voting Republican and participating in activities within the Republican Party. This was a lot more than a short term. Mr. McCusker justifies this by saying that it was a "long healing process." (So I think he should understand the long process to run on our ballot!) Also suspicious is the fact that Mr. McCusker began his journey after the presidential election when it did in fact become obvious that Republicans would have difficulty getting elected. That is not a far fetched consideration as is suggested by Mr. Gillon.

Finally, I agree with Steve in that we commend Mr. McCusker's military service and embrace his decision to revert back to his Democrat roots but we did not create this rule to reject him. It was already in place. I find it extremely troubling that Mr. Gillon does not mention the other Republican who was also denied to run in the Democrat Primary. You see, he is a black man who is also a Veteran that admits that he voted for McCain. He is as qualified if not more qualified than the Democrats' anticipated candidate for the position for which he wants to run and the party did not allow him to run because he simply did not meet the criteria as is the case with Mr. McCusker. Why is he not being defended in the article as well. I can't say but I have to assume that it could be because his opponent in that position is a white Democrat.

The article attacks the party members that voted against Mr. McCusker. The Democratic Party rule that denied Mr. McCusker was correctly stated in the article that you must not have voted in a Republican primary within the past four years. Coincidentally, nearly all of the individuals that were supporting Mr. McCusker voted for that rule which defines a bona-fide Democrat. They now want an exception or waiver to be made for Mr. McCusker. That is part of the problem here. Republicans have similar policies and exercise the rights to control their Primaries as well.

The case of Rosalyn Kurita in Nashville (for those who are familiar) proved that the Democratic Party has the right to vet it's candidates even after election. If the issue is simply Mr. McCusker running in a Primary (with no respect of a party) then he probably does meet the criteria to run in the Republican or Indepent primary and if he wins he can still compete in the General Election. If the voters feel strongly that he is the best candidate then he will be our next Crinminal Court Clerk.

Posted by Grammy on 01/21/2010 at 3:08 PM


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