Rex: Carnies need love too

Sunday, September 27, 2009 at 11:45pm

There are 365 days in a year. The Tennessee State Fair runs for 10 of those, or about 2 percent. The mayor’s office decided to use one of those days to kick carnies in the tooth.

It makes it hard for Rex to enjoy his annual chicken on a stick and fresh squeezed lemonade when you guys let Mayor Karl Dean announce the death of the fair, during the fair.

Rex can only imagine how hard it was for the fair staff to get up and go to work in the rain on Sunday after the news showed up in Saturday’s fish-wrapper.

Sure, everybody loves the Wilson County Fair, and it is fashionable to throw mud on the State Fair. Remember though, there are people who have worked there for years and put a lot into it. The mayor’s folks could have at least waited until the Tilt-a-Whirl was packed away and carted off and the barns were cleaned up.

That way any lingering smell would come only from Metro offices.

Rex smells an opponent for Evans

Councilwoman Emily Evans has done enough to annoy Mayor Dean’s office that mayoral aides apparently are fishing for candidates to run against her in 2011.

The Council member from Belle Meade has served as agitator on issues such as the convention center, the stormwater fee and the refinancing of a bond through the Tennessee Municipal Bond Fund last year.

She’s been quoted in the New York Times criticizing said-deal, and generally engaged in a steady back-and-forth with Finance Director Richard Riebeling over the last two years.

In return for all the ‘love’ she has shown, Evans can expect a challenger, who may be backed by Dean and or his staff. One Dean aide was pitching the idea of an opponent for Evans at the Eagle Forum a few weeks ago, Rex hears.

What’s weirder? Evans having the audacity to go against the grain has earned her a Dean-backed opponent? Or that the mayor’s staff is searching Republican waters for one?

If Evans were going to be voted out of office it likely would have been in 2007 when an entire private school — Davidson Academy — was furious at her.

Rex wants to remind the Dean team what happened the last time a mayor got in the middle of other Metro races.

In 2002, then-Mayor Bill Purcell backed Eileen Beehan over Vic Lineweaver for Juvenile Court Clerk and Leo Waters over Daron Hall for Sheriff and got beaten in both races.

Purcell paid for it, taking a public relations hit that caused him to never endorse again.

Not the singer nor a member of Kiss

Rex wants to congratulate State Sen. Jack Johnson of Williamson County on his recent appointment to the post of chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee.

The position became available when former State Sen. Paul Stanley succumbed to a zipper problem.

Jack, little reminder here, despite what you may have heard from your predecessor the position does not come with a staff photographer.

Speaking of new jobs…

Rex has heard that Steve Brophy, former chief of staff for Congressman Marsha Blackburn, didn’t exactly leave her office to become the new vice president of government affairs for Dollar General as much as he was pushed.

Marsha as you recall has had a number of issues in the past where her campaign finance disclosures weren’t up to snuff and it caused great embarrassment to the self-proclaimed fiscal watchdog. Heck, a bank almost foreclosed on her family home because of a supposed “address problem.”

When all of these reporting problems went down, either banks or family members were blamed for the “small oversights” and she kept on trucking.

Now, Rex’s sources say that Brophy has taken the hit and blame internally which landed him at Dollar General, which really isn’t a bad place to land. It’ll be interesting to see if Marsha’s dollars will add up in the future.

A majority of one

Speaker of the House Kent Williams spoke recently to a group of Republicans in Shelby County — that’s Memphis for the geographically impaired — and Rex’s spies were on hand for the scuttlebutt.

As you recall, Williams is the “Carter County Republican” who is not very popular with “real Republicans” because he was installed into office by Democrats. It was a big deal at the time and you can Google it if you don’t remember.

Anyway, Williams has made a point of trying to be recognized as a “real Republican” but they don’t seem to be softening their position. Comments Williams made in Shelby County are a likely reason why.

According to Rex’s spies, Williams said that he would not campaign against an incumbent Democrat. That makes sense because they were the ones that put him in office, and it is probably a message Williams is sending to GOP State Rep. Brian Kelsey, now running for State Senate, who campaigned against him in the Republican primary before all this mess started.

Despite all this, Williams’ words shot through the GOP rumor mill and added fuel to the fire for those working to bring him down. It’s one thing to have a Democrat support you, it’s a whole other thing to not try to beat them for Republican flaks.

5 Comments on this post:

By: dogmrb on 9/28/09 at 6:52

Your cutline on-line mentions Megan Barry as having an opponent but I think you meant Emily Evans. Of course, they are both women so it might be hard to tell them apart.

By: govskeptic on 9/28/09 at 7:19

The city's purchase of the former "Bob Frensley Ford Dealership" on
Charlotte is another overly costly center of bigger and brighter
city government. Why is a hugh piece of prime real estate necessary
for a police precinct/forensic lab? Need for high visibility by the
city or police seems rather silly and overly expensive to me.

Money(bonds)for 4-star government facilities seems always available.
Hopefully the chief can get 4 tanks to place across the front for
maximum affect.

By: idgaf on 9/28/09 at 8:02

dean thinks he is barry (BO) the way he spends money.

By: anniem on 9/28/09 at 11:38

Unbelievable! I live in the 23rd district and appreciate Emily's prompt attention to any of our neighborhood issues. I will firmly back her and do absolutely anything I can to keep anyone NOT in our district from having a say in who is elected FROM our district!

By: B. C. Powder on 9/28/09 at 3:26

Push me overboard too please! Steve Brophy had a tough decision to make, huh? Let's see, if i had a choice between being a congressional aide for an out of power high maintenance republican or landing a job with DG just months before market wizards KKR take Dollar General public in a likely successful IPO - what would I select????