10/04/2004: Interesting assessment....
As a member (at least tangentially; I get their newsletter but haven't been able to make a meeting for donkey's years, if not longer) of the Memphis Freethought Alliance I received word last week of local gay activist Jim Maynard's write-in candidacy opposing the re-election of local congresscritter Harold Ford, Jr. Jim's beef with Ford is that Ford has apparently come out in favor of supporting the Federal Marriage Amendment (there appears to be some question over whether he's reneged on an earlier pledge to oppose the FMA or not).
Just received another email from "Maynard for Congress" World HQ announcing the availability of "Jim Maynard for Congress" merchandise (via Cafepress, of course). The marketing blurb introducing this offering intrigues me:
Jim Maynard, a veteran progressive activist in Memphis, Tennessee, is mounting a surprisingly strong write-in campaign challenging the conservative Democratic incumbent, Harold Ford Jr.What intrigues me about this is what, in this context, constitutes "a surprisingly strong write-in campaign" (usually, anything on the order of 10-25 votes or so qualifies as "surprisingly strong", as it indicates a power base outside of the candidate's immediate circle of family and friends) and "an impressive following" (i.e., not just his mom, Aunt Frieda, and the local Ladies Sewing Circle and Terrorist Cell)?
Although Congressman Ford is the favorite of Democratic insiders, Jim Maynard has an impressive following. [my emphasis --LRC]
Still, Harold's pretty well come down on the wrong side of a number of issues (the FMA is just the tip of the iceburg for me), and I've pretty well decided that I'll vote for him about the time it can be conclusively proven that hell has frozen over (actually, that holds true for so many local politicians it isn't even funny; until Jim announced his congressional candidacy it was quite highly likely that the only vote I'd cast this year was for Kerry-Edwards; now I'll probably throw Jim a vote just because I've met the guy in person, and as well as being closer to my views on most issues than Ford is (which isn't saying much) he's marginally amusing in carefully rationed doses).
Unless I get bored when I get around to casting my ballot. If you hear of a few TN state races in the West Tennessee area or Memphis local area races registering votes for Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Peter Parker or Howard the Duck, you'll know what happened....
Len on 10.04.04 @ 09:10 AM CST