November 11, 2009
The truth is, no one who lives in District 5 has asked this question of us, because they understand. The question has been asked, however, and deserves an answer. The simple answer is concerns about retaliation.
Why? Well, if you have been paying attention, you will note that there have been allegations of harassment against Ms. Murray, even prior to the beginning of this recall election. CM Karen Bennett had concerns for her safety after she stepped up to assist District 5 residents that were not getting adequate representation from Ms. Murray and filed a police report. Additionally, as tempers flared during the rezoning debate about Cleveland Street, a rash of cars parked in and around the condominiums where her opponent lives came up with broken windows. Meeting participants that challenge Ms. Murray have found R-rated comments written in the dust on their vehicles when they exited to the parking lot. As juvenile as this seems, it does send a profound message about the personal level to which Ms. Murray takes disagreements and raises concerns about how rational future responses may or may not be.
Ms. Murray has, of course, filed counter claims. One of her claims is that a constituent called her employer in Detroit about her. Nevermind that a constituent has little other option than to call Detroit if they want to try to reach Ms. Murray.
Interestingly, Ms. Murray has actually engaged in the very behavior she accused others of. One constituent reports that both the boss and the Board of Directors at that individual’s employer have been contacted by Ms. Murray to discourage the constituent from speaking out against the Council Member.
These intimidation tactics can be effective. It is our hope that anonymous blogging can be, too. We’ll see…
November 11, 2009
Please note that the previous blog post has been updated to include links to Pam Murray’s Campaign Financial Disclosure Statement.
Now, we don’t claim to be experts in the world of campaign finance rules and regs, but we’ve got to ask: Aren’t there some things missing from these forms? Where is the expenditure for the commercials running on WVOL accusing her opponent of hanging out with drug dealers? Even if the station comp’ed her the time, wouldn’t she have to report that as an in-kind donation?
In addition, while being interviewed on WVOL, Council Member Murray claimed that her campaign office was located at 625 Main Street, home to Pride Publishing, a bastion of literary excellence that puts out quality journalism such as described in a recent City Paper article:
Underscoring the cultural and racial demarcation in the district was an Aug. 28 story about the political contest in Nashville Pride newspaper. “Carpet (bagger) bugs invade Metro District 5,” the headline read. “There has been an infestation of Carpet (bagger) bugs (CBB) in the 5th Council District,” the story began.
“This infestation was spotted by Councilor Pam Murray who mentioned that these bugs may be ‘coming from the rotting remains of opponents she defeated in the last two Council elections,’ ” it continued.
She later reported in her Campaign Financial Disclosure Statement that her campaign office is her home address. Which is it? If it is Pride Publishing, there should be some expense there, right? If not, why did she say something different on the radio?
November 11, 2009
As you may remember, a prior post, The Beer Board Story, referenced the BP located at 701 Dickerson. In that post, the owner enlisted Ms. Murray to assist him to restore his beer license after selling crack pipe craft kits. The owner also indicated to neighbors that he had given her money for her previous campaign, though he did not appear in her campaign financial disclosures that year.
This time 701 Dickerson is back along with some other businesses. Council Member Murray filed her campaign financial disclosure statement on Monday (why, yes, wise reader, that IS after the deadline). It turns out, many of her supporters are owners of businesses that have a less than stellar record when it comes to maintaining a safe neighborhood. For each property, we took a look at the calls for service to the East Precinct police for the period of her tenure, 2003 to now.
Here is a sample:
Donor Address: 701 Dickerson Rd.
Amount Given: $500 (She also got an additional $500 from the FORMER owner of 701 Dickerson Rd).
Calls for Service: 1,477
Donor Address: 803 Dickerson Rd.
Amount Given: $250
Calls for Service: 1,984
Donor Address: 2202 Dickerson Rd.
Amount Given: $250
Calls for Service: 578
Meanwhile, how’s she doing on grassroots support? Out of the $3075 she reported in campaign contributions this period, only one donor gave less than or equal to $100. The rest of her contributors are all from gas station and hotel owners that don’t live in the district (except the $475 Ms. Murray gave herself). Her competitor reports $2720 in contributions that were $100 or less.
Which candidate do you think is more focused on supporting the actual constituents in District 5, the constituents that are improving this community?
Her official Campaign Financial Disclosure Statement: http://www.scribd.com/doc/22412220/Pam-Murray-Campaign-Financial-Disclosure-Statement-11-09-09
The incomplete form the election commission accepted on Friday: http://www.scribd.com/doc/22412341/Pam-Murray-Incomplete-Financial-Disclosure-Statement-11-06-09
October 30, 2009
Yesterday, the church bus being used to help get out the vote for Pam Murray’s re-election campaign picked up 5 residents of Sumner County and brought them to the Davidson County Election Commission to vote for Ms. Murray. The Election Commission workers turned them away. Can anyone think of a plausible explanation for this situation that isn’t nefarious?
Unfortunately, voter shenanigans are nothing new to the Pam Murray campaign. During the previous election, poll watchers from the McFerrin Park precinct watched more than one odd character professing support for Pam Murray wander in and claim to live somewhere in the district when s/he clearly did not. One “voter” claimed to live at a physical address that didn’t exist (the poll watcher discovered this later driving down Hancock Street). Another claimed to live at an address occupied by a friend of the poll watcher. These individuals were allowed to vote. It has never been clear whether their ballots were counted or remained provisional.
Today, 2 individuals from out of the district have tried to vote in the District 5 race. One man was given the chance to give THREE addresses–none of which were in the district–before he was shown the door. He might have been given a fourth if a Hollin poll watcher hadn’t protested.
Now, imagine this was happening at the precinct level–where many volunteers are likely to gloss over problems to avoid conflict–rather than at the ELECTION COMMISSION, where people are supposed to know the rules and abide by them.
October 28, 2009
We have heard from some of you that there was a problem with making comments anonymously. We think that problem has been fixed.
If you tried to comment previously, please come back and try again. Let us know if you have any further problems.
Comments will be moderated. We will publish comments from supporters of both campaigns. We will NOT publish comments that are rude from either side. Stick to the facts.
October 28, 2009
You may have heard of convenience stores in some of the more troubled parts of town selling little roses in a vial and chore boys because together they can make a crack pipe. Some businesses on Dickerson Road went a step further. They sold little baggies with a rose vial, PART of a chore boy (yes, they actually cut it up) and a lighter. Just call it a crack pipe craft kit.
Community members were fed up with these practices. Their complaints to the business owners fell on deaf ears. The issue was brought up at more than one neighborhood association meeting (note: Pam Murray was not at these meetings). The police collaborated with residents to address the situation. Undercover police busted the stores selling crack pipes in February of 2007. A local neighborhood association contacted the Beer Board and filed complaints. Under TN state law, a business selling drug paraphernalia can lose its beer license.
There was considerable delay and frustration simply getting to the hearings for these cases. Attorneys representing the businesses kept filing motions for continuance at the last minute. On two occasions, this left a hearing room full of residents and police officers prepared to testify who had to go home and wait for another month.
Eventually, each side said its piece and the beer board deliberated. After considerable discussion, the decision was made to sanction some of the businesses involved in selling crack pipes. The BP located at 701 Dickerson Pike had its license suspended. The owner (at the time—it has changed hands within the same family) requested reconsideration and enlisted Council Member Pam Murray to argue on his behalf at the Beer Board. Interestingly, the owner also told neighbors that he had contributed to Ms. Murray’s re-election campaign (her financial records do not reflect said contribution).
And so it was that residents of the 5th District sat in yet another beer board meeting and watched their own Council Member tell the beer board that their decision was too harsh. When her constituents disagreed, she turned on them and chastised them for hurting business in the district.
If you are a member of the press, we encourage you to investigate this story. Talk to the Beer Board. Talk to the East Precinct Police. Please.
October 10, 2009
Why did neighbors decide to recall Pam Murray? Is it about a zone change? Is it about Detroit?
So far, we haven’t heard much else in the press. Our sources tell us there is much more.
We’ll be talking to constituents in District 5. Their stories will be posted here. Everything will be anonymous. That’s the way we roll.
Do you have a story to tell? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us all about it.