Briefs from the Political Week

Rallings downplays homicide numbers; Commission prepares legislative package, includes medical marijuana, not in agreement yet on MLGW issue; Cohen gets new leadership post in Congress



*Speaking to a pacled audience at the University Club for a Rotary Club of Memphis luncheon on Tuesday, MPD director Michael Rallings insisted that the city’s official homicide totals of 228 for 2016 are misleading, because Memphis’ homicide numbers account for "every single homicide," which includes justifiable homicides, negligent homicides and sometimes an old homicide wrapped in the number, leaving the city with a more accurate figure of 194.” Rallings said the average homicide figure in recent years has been 153.

* At its Monday meeting, the Shelby County Commission prepared a package of legislative desiderata to present to the General Assembly, including support for medical marijuana and division of the state's movie and film incentives equally between the state’s four largest cities. Amid city/county disagreement on the matter, the Commission is still grappling with a resolution seeking support from the state for expanding the MLGW board to include county representatives or, alternatively, to allow county residents to contract with another energy vendor.

* From a brand-new press release from U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen:

"Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) was appointed by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi to serve on the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee. The Steering and Policy Committee sets the Democratic policy agenda and nominates Democratic Members for committee assignments. In 2008, then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi referred to Congressman Cohen as the “conscience of the freshman class.”

Congressman Cohen is the first Congressman from the Ninth District of Tennessee to serve on the committee since Harold Ford, Sr. served from 1988-1990 and the first Tennessean to serve on the committee since John Tanner served from 1996-2004."

Cohen was teasing a forthcoming "leadership" appointment at his annual "issues" meeting with constituents on Monday. That was the one at which he foresaw the United States entering into a new "Dark Ages" because of the Trump/GOP ascendancy in Washington.

*Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke will be having a "Beers wth Berke" fundraiser in Memphis on January 31 at levels of $50 and $100 a head. Some observers think Berke has a doujble purpose, to help fund his ongoing mayoral race and to scout out support for a later gubernatorial race.

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