Editorial Response

To the Editor:

It is too bad The Memphis Flyer feels that none of the candidates for the 7th congressional seat vacated by Ed Bryant has enlightened you regarding his or her intentions if elected. In response to your editorial ("Unanswered Questions," July 25th issue) admission that "[t]he fault may lie in ourselves for not looking dutifully enough under every stone," I am reminded of Shakespeare's admonition "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in [your] stars, But in [your]selves."

Of all candidates for Congress, Mark Norris is the only one who has addressed not only why he is running but what he hopes to accomplish once elected.

Mark Norris' experience in law and legislation as a county official and state legislator, as well as a community volunteer of long standing, has resulted in accomplishments almost too numerous to mention. In fact, he received The Commercial Appeal 's endorsement precisely "because of his experience and valuable public service on the state and local levels." Similarly, The Collierville Herald also endorsed Norris because "[h]e is a good lawyer who digs into public problems to find reasonable solutions."

Your editorial concludes with a whimper: "[L]et's not even bother asking anything of the boys now competing with Marsha Blackburn (whose simplistic government-bashing positions are all too well known) for Congress in the 7th District."

If, as you conclude, "there are too many mysteries left for voters to consider as they prepare to vote for a series of crucial positions on August 1st," it is, indeed, because you did not ask. Or listen.

Curt Cowan


To the Editor:

I appreciate the many questions raised in your recent editorial "Unanswered Questions." I must point out that part of the reason voters are left to make a largely uninformed decision is the lack of insightful coverage in local media. The other part of the problem is the lack of substance offered by career politicians.

As an independent, grass-roots, and community-oriented candidate for county commission, I've striven to bring substance to the process by addressing the real issues of everyday importance to the residents in my district. In this race, my opponents and I have remained civil and thoughtful throughout.

In my literature and on my Web site, I offer specific proposals and positions on a wide range of county issues. In my submittals to the publications that do make endorsements, I've offered an even more detailed platform. Unfortunately, it seems the media are more interested in who said what about whom and personal or party intrigue than the issues at hand.

Want to put the brakes on urban sprawl and our ballooning county debt? Stop subsidizing people running away from the city and create greater incentives to reinvest in our older communities. Want to clean up and revitalize our neighborhoods? Put the power and resources in the hands of the people who care and stop wasting public resources on projects that primarily benefit the wealthy. Want to improve the overall quality of life in Shelby County? Get informed, get involved, and, for goodness sake, stop supporting the self-serving interests of politics as usual. And, of course, vote on August 1st!

Scott Banbury


To the Editor:

I applaud the Flyer for its policy of not endorsing candidates for public office. I only wish the morning newspaper would educate the voters on the candidates and not push its endorsements over and over again.

I think most citizens of Shelby County favor the concept of one mayor and a single governing board. We should demand a referendum on this. We need tax reform now, before we go bankrupt.

Chas. S. Peete Jr.


To the Editor:

The Flyer does not endorse candidates for office? That's a good one. A side-splitter. There must have been muscle pulls from the winks and nods and laughs up the sleeves when you wrote it.

Your true positions are abundantly clear even to us great unwashed. Two similar Democrats are described by you as "like-minded" or "solidly progressive" while two Republicans are "redundant." A Democrat in-house fight is called "disagreement on issues" while a Republican argument is called "a dangerous schism."

Be what you are. You're not fooling anybody.

Mike Crone


The Memphis Flyer encourages reader response. Send mail to: Letters to the Editor, POB 1738, Memphis, TN 38101. Or call Back Talk at 575-9405. Or send us e-mail at All responses must include name, address, and daytime phone number. Letters should be no longer than 250 words.

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