Spotlight 

Fast Talkin' with Thaddeus Matthews

The talk-show host turned repo man turned community activist is no stranger to the limelight. This time he's set his sights on Willie Herenton, and with the help of 10,000 signatures, hopes to unseat the mayor before his run for a fifth term. The Man: Thaddeus Matthews, 47 (born on April Fool's Day), is owner of Gotcha automobile repossession company, a 20-year talk-radio veteran, and a political activist with an interest in local elections, most recently as a campaign organizer for Memphis City Schools board member Stephanie Gatewood.

His Plan: Matthews has singled out elected officials before for inappropriate behavior and bad judgments. In his latest move, Matthews has begun a grassroots recall campaign of Mayor Willie Herenton. "I have taken a stance against the arrogance and the domineering nature of [Herenton]," he says. "On the radio I talk to people who live in the city, and there is a growing number of them who are tired of the [mayor's] antics."

His Platform: Matthews has taken Malcolm X's "by any means necessary" to another level in his quest for political accountability. With the recall campaign, the media-savvy reformer is outlining his intentions to radio, television, and newspaper outlets. Call-in lines are flooded when he makes guest appearances on radio shows, reporters abound at his impromptu press conferences, and the list of his informants gets longer every day.

While no signatures have been collected yet for the recall, Matthews says he has put the mayor on notice that his days are numbered. To help with his project, Matthews has enlisted the help of fellow activist John Lunt, who also gathered thousands of signatures in attempts to put a city charter commission resolution on Memphis ballots.

His Purpose: Before the recall campaign, Matthews was facing popularity extinction. His radio show on a Flinn Broadcasting station had been replaced by elevator music. He was, and still is, in litigation with the owners of his last station for curtailing his contract in November. Matthews blames each station conflict on his political stance against "business as usual."

About seven months ago, Matthews says an executive-level city government employee gave him city charter information about recalling the mayor. "That person just told me to read it and one day I would need it. Well, that day has come," he says.

His Path: Although off the air, Matthews still tracks Memphis politics. He claims to know the personal relationships of politicians and can produce financial documents on most transactions involving city funds. No matter how grandiose, his stories usually pan out.

It's not clear if he will get enough signatures for a recall, but he's gotten a lot of attention doing it.

Favorite

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
    • Flying High

      TVA investigators say millions spent on new airplanes not justified.
    • Climbing Rox

      Gym brings rock climbing to the heart of Soulsville.

Blogs

We Saw You

Drew Erwin opens downtown studio. Plus party news.

Music Blog

Keith Sykes Leads Ardent Into a New Era

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

"1,300 Men: Memphis Strike '68" To Screen At Main Library

Politics Beat Blog

Weekend Review: Confederate Statues Loom Over GOP Debates

News Blog

Haslam Signs Bill for Sunday Wine, Liquor Sales

News Blog

GoFundMe for City Draws Dollars, Criticism

Music Blog

MonoNeon Featured in Bandcamp Daily

Hungry Memphis

Parade Kicks Off Hot Wing Festival

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Janel Davis

  • Eye-Catching News

    David Stotts knows how to get your attention.
    • Jul 29, 2005
  • Spotlight

    Ganging Up
    • Jul 29, 2005
  • Cars Pulled

    City puts brakes on vehicle allowances.
    • Jul 22, 2005
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Tale of Two Plans

    Art Park developer excluded from new plan for Downtown promenade.
    • Sep 22, 2016
  • Birthing A Center

    Choices to bring births to Midtown.
    • Oct 6, 2016
  • Pint Night

    Civil Pour series couples discourse and beers.
    • Oct 13, 2016
ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2018

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