Republicans, Craddock say vote 'yes' on fairgrounds referendum

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The Davidson County Republican Party is zeroing in on the upcoming referendum to decide whether to keep the status quo at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds, with party officials Tuesday announcing recent straw poll results that indicate 93 percent of participants support its preservation. “That’s what’s going to bring these people out to vote,” Davidson County Republican Party chair Kathleen Starnes said. “Our conservative people want to save the fairgrounds.” Party officials conducted the poll at last Saturday’s party picnic held at Centennial Park. An estimated 250 Republicans were in attendance, with more than 200 taking part in the straw poll, Starnes said. Metro’s early voting begins July 15 and Election Day is on Aug. 4. Several council candidates — both at-large and district — are running on pro-fairgrounds platforms. With Mayor Karl Dean lacking a formidable opponent, many Nashvillians consider the fairgrounds referendum the most intriguing draw. The referendum seeks to amend the Metro Charter to keep all existing uses intact on the 117-acre property. Because voting is just days away, it’s seems likely Dean — who supports redevelopment of the fairgrounds — doesn’t plan to wage a “No” campaign to defeat the proposed amendment.  On Tuesday, a well-crafted video narrated by Metro Councilman Michael Craddock also surfaced. In it, the term-limited councilman appeals to the preservation of the fairgrounds. Craddock, a pro-fairgrounds favorite who pulled out of the mayor’s race at the last moment, begins the 7-minute video addressing a small crowd: “I want to talk to you today about the history of the Tennessee State Fairgrounds,” Craddock begins. “Because we have a mayor that’s trying to destroy it. And on Aug. 4, we’re going to be faced with a decision to vote ‘yes’ for the fairgrounds or ‘no’ for the fairgrounds.” The video has some connection to the Republican Party, but not a financial one. Starnes said the county’s Republican party did not pay for the video; rather, one of the party’s supporters paid for it out of his own pocket. “He’s a friend of ours, yeah,” Starnes said. “It was just an idea that we had, and this guy jumped up and said, ‘I’ll do it.’ ” 


Mag, if you say "republican"

Mag, if you say "republican" and "half a brain" well, you've said it all.


Funditto, Davidson County


Davidson County residents pay Bud Adams about $6,000,000 a year (in taxes) to maintain his stadium.

Also, he realizes revenues from the first ten or so musical concerts/events that are played there each year. Let's say the Rolling Stones play there. Adams will get the money.

On Bridgestone Arena, Davidson County residents pay about $2,000,000 a year to maintain it.

On the fairgrounds, Davidson County residents pay nothing.

I for one, live two miles from the fairgrounds. I have lived in the same place for 25 years. I'm a Vandy grad. I attend the car races. I attend the flea market. I have attended trade-shows there, etc. I have also been part of a trade show there on behalf of a locally-owned company. It was VERY affordable.

You need to find an argument that has some feet.

well Funditto, they probably

well Funditto, they probably support the fairgrounds because they realize that it's totally self-supporting, and has been for over 100years. It's never cost the taxpayers a penny.

They probably also realize that even in it's dilapidated condition, it brings in $50-$60 million each year in economic benefits for Davidson County. Republicans are big on economic benefits.

They're also big on business, even small ones, and the fairgrounds supports hundreds of small business through not only the flea market, but various other events that are mainly put on by small businesses.

It's also possible that they realize that metro has been systematically raping the fairgrounds funds for the past 10 years with such unlawful charges as LOCAP fees (the metro charter specifies that all funds generated by the fair be retained for "fair purposes), overpriced maintenance fees for the fairgrounds golf carts, overpriced accounting fees, etc. In fact, metro is not supposed to even touch the fairgrounds funds-- the charter specifies that the county trustee handle the funds from the fairgrounds, *not* metro finance-- probably somebody knew what would happen if metro finance had their hand in the till.

Or maybe they hark back to Teddy Roosevelt-- maybe the greatest Republican ever-- who invented our National Park System with the idea that everyone needs a place for recreation and play-- especially the common folk.

Perhaps they realize that the fairgrounds, in any condition, bring in more economic impact that un-leased office space or un-sold condos, two things that Nashville needs about the same as Custer needs another Indian.

Maybe they just realize that this is truly a non-partisan issue, and that the fairgrounds is a public institution that belongs to all of us, and if we ever lose it, it can never be replaced. It's a place for kids, and adults, and old folks.

It's a place for the State Fair and those funky little shows that could not play anywhere else. It's where we have a historic racetrack and an eclectic flea market. It's home to over 250 events each year. It's a place to use for emergencies like abused horses and dogs. It's where we took the buses when the river rose. It's where we passed out emergency water then, and yesterday when the weather soared over 100. It's part of our heritage and it reminds us where we came from. It's part of Nashville.

And why would Republicans

And why would Republicans support something that costs the taxpayers money? It doesn't make sense - at all.

I can say with CERTAINTY the

I can say with CERTAINTY the Ms. Starnes and her Mercedes have never crossed the threshold of the fairgrounds, much less watched a race - unless of course it was black tie with champagne. This is a wedge issue created by her party. And Nashville will be the loser. Oh well.

fair_minded - xcuse me! I

fair_minded - xcuse me! I wrote my opinion of the referendum before I saw yours, you stated it much better. Thank you.

Mag77 - no one with a half a

Mag77 - no one with a half a brain would miss the rest of the crap out there

That statement following your opening one, pretty much says, why you don't like the Fairgrounds! LOL

No demolition of the

No demolition of the premises shall be allowed to occur without approval by ordinance receiving 27 votes by the Metropolitan Council or amendment to the Metropolitan Charter.

That part should have been by "a referendum voted on by the people". Karl already has the council stacked and is only backing those that will do his bidding

It is actions such as this

It is actions such as this which caused me to lose interest in the local Republican party. The role of the local party is to help Republicans and conservatives get elected, not to step into policy debates or, as here, discussions about hot issues. I do not write this as a proponent of fairgrounds redevelopment. Frankly, I have not yet decided how I will vote on the referendum, but one thing is clear: the local party should not be involved in this sort of debate.

I can't figure out why

I can't figure out why anyone cares about the fairgrounds. I'd pay money not to go to the fair, and no one with a half a brain would miss the rest of the crap out there.

Just voting in favor of the

Just voting in favor of the referendum is not enough.

This referendum is really not strong enough, although it's a good first step.

The fairgrounds was created by a specific referendum and bond issue for the purpose of establishing "a permanent fairgrounds" on that property. Since it was established by the direct will of the citizens of Davidson County, it should require the same action to undo it in the future. Even a super-majority of the metro council should not be able to undo what the people have established.

As it stands now, even with the referendum in hand, the super-majority of metro can still vote to tear down the fairgrounds.

And you can bet your cornflakes that right now, Dean is spreading around his money and influence, doing everything he can to get *his* candidates voted in, and to continue the terms of his toadies already on the council.

He wants to be sure that he has a super-majority, not only for the fairgrounds, but to pass any other wild idea he may come up with in the next four years.

So in addition to voting "YES" on the referendum, please come out and vote for the metro council candidates, both new and incumbent, who support the fairgrounds. And this is especially true of the council-at-large members-- Dean's "gang of five" who tried so hard to take down the fairgrounds!

Even though this is an "un-opposed" election, it's even more important to insure that Dean does *not* get his super-majority, and that we have a metro council who does what it's supposed to do-- act as a check and balance against the mayor.

Many people feel that it's not important to vote in an un-opposed election. But that is far from the truth. Right now, Dean is doing everything possible to get his hand-picked candidates, and especially incumbant and at-large candidates, his "gang of five", voted into office. The only way to combat that is to make sure he's not successful.

Find out about the candidates in your district. Find out about the at-large candidates. Vote for the ones who support the fairgrounds. Make sure that they are elected by overwhelming majorities.

And since many people do not vote in unopposed elections, it's even more important that you urge your neighbors, friends, family, co-workers, club and church members to come out and vote in this election to support the fairgrounds. Do no let a small minority decide the election for the majority of citizens!

Thank you Smiley. The video

Thank you Smiley. The video was probably made before the ballot was released. Which brings up another question. Why is the question worded that way. Why didn't it just say YES or No.

Wait, I know, "it's all connected.

Lastly, localboy, what does it matter if you are an R or a D? I think there is support for the fairgrounds from both parties and all walks of life.

“That’s what’s going

“That’s what’s going to bring these people out to vote,” Davidson County Republican Party chair Kathleen Starnes said. “Our conservative people want to save the fairgrounds.”
Wait, I think I hear thunder..must mean a liberal's been found who wants to save the fairgrounds, too.;)

Thanks Smiley for the

Thanks Smiley for the clarification. It would have been nice if Craddock said vote "For ratification" if you want to save the Fairgrounds. The ballot doesn't have a yes/no vote on the amendment. The ballot amendment is written as "All activities being conducted on the premises of the Tennessee State Fairgrounds as of December 31,2010, including, but not limited to, the Tennessee State Fair, Expo Center Events, Flea Markets, and Auto Racing, shall be continued on the same site. No demolition of the premises shall be allowed to occur without approval by ordinance receiving 27 votes by the Metropolitan Council or amendment to the Metropolitan Charter." Choices after all this legal language are "For ratification" or "Against ratification."

It's common knowledge that

It's common knowledge that many of Dean's staffers were shocked when they heard of his plans to demolish the fairgrounds -- they knew he was going after something he had no business touching. They also likely foresaw what is happening now.

In face of all the growing opposition, Dean continues to behave like a Pit Bull and refuses to let go.

I'm sure those same staffers would like to get a leash around his neck and put him back in the yard.

But who's gonna mess with a mad dog?

Especially one that is always ready to bite you.

Everybody that votes "FOR"

Everybody that votes "FOR" ratification, should vote "NO" for Karl Dean!

A vote "FOR" ratification is

A vote "FOR" ratification is a vote FOR saving the Fairgrounds.