Politics » Politics Feature

Crowning the Political Season in Memphis

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If it is true that "a picture is worth a thousand words," then this week's column is 4,000 words, plus some.

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• Memphis native Charles Burson, who served Tennessee as attorney general and the nation as chief of staff for Vice President Al Gore, was in town last week to promote his new book, The Ground Game, at Novel Bookstore. The book consists of photographs from the 2016 presidential campaign, in which Burson functioned as a photojournalist. In his text as in his remarks to a raptly attentive crowd, Burson outlined his view that American politics has entered a new era in which progressive activism and traditional power politics will need to join forces.

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• The special-election campaign for state Senate District 32 is on in earnest. Rival Republican candidates George Chism (l) and Steve McManus enjoyed a Christmas party together at the East Shelby Republican Club last week. Candidate Heidi Shafer was also on hand.

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• As the grid-locked appointment process to fill three Memphis City Council vacancies entered a second week in search of, first, a council quorum and, second, some kind of compromise agreement, supporters of Rhonda Logan to fill the District 1 vacancy gathered on Austin Peay on Tuesday to reassert their contention that Logan, who received one vote short of selection in last week's prolonged — and finally adjourned — council session, is still their choice for the position. Logan's original rival, Lonnie Treadaway, has withdrawn his candidacy.

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• As other supporters of the proposed Union Row tax-increment-finding project, a $511,894,155 development, backed her up, Downtown Commission president Jennifer Oswalt made the case on Monday to the Shelby County Commission for expedited approval. She got it, with only one Commissioner, Reginald Milton, abstaining. Milton's abstention reflected his support for County Mayor Lee Harris' expressed wish to have extra time to review the project. But Harris also made clear that he had no intention of vetoing the TIF and continued in his already established course of cooperating with the County Commission's wishes to the maximum degree possible. See also Oswalt's Viewpoint, p. 9, elaborating on the Union Row project.

And consult the Politics Blog at mempisflyer.com for elaboration on all these points and more. Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, or what-have-you!

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