Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Gray Sasser, TN Dems are void of virtue; Nashville's news media lacks talent to call out the powerful

Nashville Scene writer Jeff Woods is the only talent left of a credible staff writer at the once edgy and truly alternative media source.

The Scene now makes The Tennessean read profound. The corporate guy recruited to replace Liz Murray Garrigan ran a Cleveland alternative newspaper that folded. He is well on his way to doing the same with the Scene. And Nashville will be the poorer for it.

The Nashville print media is shockingly inadequate as watchdog and an informative source of news people need.

But Woods in a post on the Scene's Pith in the Wind blog site takes Tennessee Democratic Party leadership (yes, that's oxymoronic) and kid disaster Gray Sasser. The guy has better hair than Donald Trump, and that's the only good thing to say about the person.

His appearances on Bob Mueller's "The Same Ol' White Guys" political show on Sunday mornings are incredibly laughable. You'd never know from watching Mueller's show that an African-American was about to become president and Nashville has an African-American population of 25%.

And in keeping with the show's delusional theme, Sasser actually believes Gov. Phil Bredesen and Sen. Barack Obama belong in the same political party. Really.

Woods rightly takes Sasser to task for putting out a ridiculous press release criticizing Republicans for taking money from former Gov. Don Sundquist for their legislative campaigns. Incredibly, Sasser is playing the same old state income tax card that raised the likes of Marsha Blackburn to higher office and radio entertainer Steve Gill to prominence. And they're Republicans.

Democrats have no real, virtuous and progressive identity here -- from Bredesen to Sasser to Nashville Mayor Karl Dean to congressman Jim Cooper to House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh. The exceptions are former Vice President Al Gore, U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen of Memphis and the best lawmaker I've ever covered, state Rep. Frank Buck of Dowelltown.

This state needs an income tax, and this blog has recently endorsed as much. The alternative is Bredesen doing to the state what he did in gutting TennCare.

The Wall Street Journal shows that Tennessee is in the worst fiscal condition of any state in the Union. Washington State has experienced the sharpest drop in tax revenue. But it has an income tax to make up for deficits and put the burden on those with the means to pay.

Tennessee has experienced the second largest drop. But our state depends mostly on sales tax that falls heaviest on the poor. And those revenue numbers are going to decline more severely as Tennessee falls deeper into a recession. That's why Tennessee is facing at least a $600 million deficit in the current fiscal year.

But Sasser prefers to fiddle as Tennessee's finances burn for political gain.

Woods quotes his press release about the Sundquist donations:

“This is yet another example of candidates like Dolores Gresham, Ken Yager and Vance Dennis saying one thing on the campaign trail and then doing another in real life,” said Democratic Party Chairman Gray Sasser. “They run around their districts claiming they’re against the income tax. Then they turn around and pad their pockets with Don Sundquist’s leftover campaign cash.”

Sasser added: “We can draw either one of two conclusions: Either they support the income tax, or they’re hypocrites. Either way, Tennessee voters deserve to know the truth.”

The real hypocrites are Sasser, Bredesen, Naifhe, Dean and Cooper, who have betrayed Democratic Party ideals nationally for senseless, anti-progressive ones locally. And Woods again shows he is one of the last voices left in Nashville's news media to write the difficult truth about the powers that be.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Although you were quoting someone else, Washington state does NOT have an income tax.