Chumney Gets Party Boost in D.A.'s Race

Posted by Jackson Baker on Fri, May 25, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Turner and Chumney at press conference
  • JB
  • Turner and Chumney at press conference

In an effort to jump-start the campaign of Carol Chumney , Democratic nominee for District Attorney General, she and local Democratic chairman Van Turner held a joint press conference Thursday at the party’s new “resource center” on Poplar Avenue. As the chairman noted, it was the first press conference to be held there since the headquarters opened earlier this month.

Turner kicked things off by stating, “We called this press conference to sort of clear up some things that were recently said,” referencing a recent opinion column in the Commercial Appeal by Otis Sanford questioning both’s Chumney level of campaigning and the party’s commitment to her candidacy.

As Sanford had noted, Chumney’s Republican opponent, incumbent D.A. Amy Weirich, has raised a considerable campaign warchest and has been highly active on the stump, whereas Chumney had so far been less visible and has lagged far behind in fundraising.

Turner thereupon issued an unequivocal statement of support for Chumney, extolling her “25 years of legal experience,” such credentials as her having bee editor-in-chief of the University of Memp his Law Review, and her “17 years of public experience” as state legislator and City Council member.

As she herself would do, Turner noted Chumney’s longtime chairmanship of the legislative Children and Family Affairs Committee and said that experience was good preparation for dealing with the shortcomings in the operation of Juvenile Court that were recently publicized in a U.S. Department of Justice report.

Asked to what extent she held General Weirich responsible for Juvenile Court’s problems, including administrative foul-ups and alleged “race-based” procedures, Chumney noted that the DOJ study, requested by Shelby County Commissioner Henri Brooks, was commissioned in 2007 and documented problems “that were still there in 2010 and 2011.” Weirich was an assistant D.A. for years before being named to the top job in early 2011.

In addition to the usefulness of her experience with the Children and Family Affairs Committee, Chumney said she would also profit as D.A. from having enjoyed a good working relationship with current Juvenile Court Judge Curtis Person when both were in the legislature. In the DOJ report Person was credited with having initiated some reforms in the Court’s processes.

Chumney acknowledged that she would probably be unable to match Weirich’s campaqign expenditures butr said, “I have devorted my life to public service. I think that the people who have voted for me in the past will show up again. I am not soliciting special interest money.”

Unspoken to by either Turner or Chumney was the fact that several prominent Democrats, including City Council members Jim Strickland and Shea Flinn, businessman Karl Schledwitz, and lawyer/lobbyist John Farris are declared supporters of Weirich. Strickland and Farris are both former Democratic chairs. Schledwitz said this week he made his commitment to Weirich at a time when she was the only active candidate.

Comments (9)

Showing 1-9 of 9

Chummer looks overly enthused in that picture. She's already lost. It's just embarrassing now. SCDC has become a joke.

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Posted by lfine on 05/25/2012 at 1:20 PM

Give Carol a break. The herbal jazz cigarette she smoked in the car had just kicked in.

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Posted by Phlo on 05/25/2012 at 1:29 PM

The Democrats that are supporting Weirich are not really true Democrats. They are closet Republicans who have been supporting Republicans for county-wide office for years. Jim Strickland is a close associate of a Republican political operative named David Kustoff. Shea Flinn's father is a ardent failed Republican candidate for Congress and County Mayor, Dr. George Flinn. John Farris has not been a factor in Shelby County Democratic politics for years.

Why should Democrats who would vote for President Obama support a right wing candidate for District Attorney General? One who has no political record and was a puppet to another failed Republican politician, Bill Gibbons.

Democrats are unified in this election. They will show up at the polls. This race is heating up.

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Posted by stapletondia on 05/25/2012 at 3:57 PM

Here are three solid reasons for Democrats to vote against Amy Weirich for District Attorney General.

1. Weirich failed to publicly criticize Bill Gibbons for dropping the ball during the Mickey Wright investigation

2. Weirich has no record of a position on hate crimes against gay and lesbian citizens in Shelby County.

3. Weirich has aligned herself politically with East Memphis Tea party activists who oppose the reelection of Barack Obama for President.

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Posted by Anne Goldberg on 05/25/2012 at 8:54 PM

Here are three solid responses:
1) Only someone who doesn't want to be gainfully employed publicly criticizes their boss! Come on, that's crap.

2) Having no record of a position is not the same as having and adversarial stance. General Weirich has spent her adult life upholding the laws that the people's representatives have put into place. You can't really fault one of our prosecutors for NOT trying to punish people for laws that don't exist.

3) Weirich has been forced into the political game through her desire to continue to protect her neighbors. I have been an active member of the Shelby County Republican Party for years and never knew of Amy until Gibbons left Memphis. I can't imagine a less political animal, much less someone who "aligned herself with East Memphis Tea Party activists." Perhaps the Tea Party activists don't want a state legislator, or city council rep, or career candidate to be the one in charge of the prosecutor's office???

And Stapletondia, don't you think it's kind of ridiculous to say that "Democrats are united" at the end of a post that talks about three prominent Democrats that are obviously not united? I'm just saying.

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Posted by HCS on 05/28/2012 at 9:07 AM

The only chance Chumney has is to come out on a harsh punishment for crimes agenda. She actually has to run right of Weirich on this, which is something she won't do.

We need to see more punishments like the thug in Collierville who got over 300 years in prison for his crimes and the $15 million bond for the Memphis vermin who thought it would be a good idea to hold up the Walgreens in Collierville, only to be busted before leaving the parking lot. Ultimately, that is a judge's call, but advocating that kind of punishment will get the people to vote for you. If Chumney would take a no-holds barred approach to prosecution and punishment, I'd vote for her. Again, as a liberal, she cannot do that.

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Posted by bjc123 on 05/29/2012 at 9:15 AM

Chumney is more befuddled than she is a liberal. Or anything else for that matter.

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Posted by mad_merc on 05/29/2012 at 9:29 AM

I've always liked Carol, despite her blinking problem.

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Posted by Chris in Midtown on 05/30/2012 at 9:16 AM

I'm a fan of Carol's in her various legislative capacities, and think she would have made an excellent mayor, but putting her in charge of criminal prosecutions when she's had no experience with that is the equivalent of putting a hospital orderly in charge of its surgery department. And please don't cite Bill Gibbons' similar lack of experience for the job; he's got a history of holding positions he was unqualified for, including the one he currently holds. Political hackery is not (or at least shouldn't be) an acceptable substitute for experience in a job like the DAG's.

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Posted by M_Awesomeberg on 05/30/2012 at 12:21 PM
Showing 1-9 of 9

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