|As the Memphis Commercial-Appeal explained earlier this year:
Race-baiting in the 9th
No comment from Tinker: The worst kind of rhetoric didn't get a reaction from the candidate who could benefit.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
What does Nikki Tinker think about anti-Semitic literature being circulated that might help her unseat 9th District Congressman Steve Cohen in the Democratic primary next August?
A fair question, which Tinker declined to answer this week after a flier stating that "Steve Cohen and the Jews Hate Jesus" began circulating in Memphis.
The question goes to the character of the woman who wants to represent the 9th District, and 9th District voters deserve an answer. But Tinker declined to return a phone call about the flier.
A spokesperson did deny any involvement. But Cohen has long suspected her behind-the-scenes involvement in fomenting attacks on him by conservative black clergy (he defeated her in the Democratic primary in 2006.)
For example consider this story from WMC-TV, last September:
"We are people of God who ought to be compassionate," says Rev. Dwight Montgomery.
But critical is how he describes the behavior of some fellow ministers during a meeting Tuesday night between Congressman Steve Cohen and the Memphis Baptist Ministerial Association.
"I felt rather uncomfortable at the time, in relation to what was happening," says Montgomery. "And I must admit, I felt for him," he adds.
Instead of discussing a federal hate crimes bill, the sanctuary filled with accusations that a white man cannot adequately represent a primarily black district.
"I left the meeting felling rather down," Cohen says by phone from New Orleans. "That I was not in a place that the Lord was in," he adds.
Cohen suspects the ambush may have been orchestrated by the Nikki Tinker campaign. She came in second to Cohen in '06 and is running against him again in '08.
"She has been to the minister's association several times soliciting their support," says Coehn. "And through her airlines (Pinnacle Airlines), she's given them and members of their church free airplane rides around the city," he claims.
We went to Pinnacle to try and track down Tinker on the job. Reporter Jason Miles also stopped by her Harbor Town home. Phone calls to a Washington DC based spokesman were not returned.
Black Agenda Report--in the person of no-nonsense Executive Editor Glen Ford--is all over this, going way beyond the orchestrated attacks:
The unfinished African American journey out of Jim Crow and its narrow political mindset has reached a critical juncture in Memphis, Tennessee. There, in the city's 60 percent Black Ninth Congressional District, a first-term white incumbent whose voting record would place him solidly in the political bosom of the Congressional Black Caucus, is challenged by a young Black female corporate operative - an acolyte of Harold Ford, Jr., the worst Black congressman in modern history.
Nikki Tinker is backed by the full flatulence and awesome gluttony of the MemphisMemphisTinkerExplains Baptist Ministerial Association, greasy-fingered clergymen who have descended into homophobia so foul and raw it must embarrass the White Christian Right whose behavior they mimic. These politician-pastors oppose federal Hate Crime legislation because it includes protections based on sexual orientation, while claiming moral and racial authority over the secular lives of Memphis Blacks.
It is a perfect storm of corruption: Nikki Tinker, a physically attractive but intellectually vapid lawyer for regional boss-man Northwest Airlink/Pinnacle Airlines - whose principal duty is to keep unions in check - backed by a gang of gay-baiting preachers who never saw a Republican Faith-Based Initiative check they wouldn't cash. If elected, Tinker can be expected to act as a surrogate for her sponsor, Harold Ford, Jr., the Bush-loving former representative of the district, unsuccessful candidate for U.S. Senate, and now nominal chairman of the corporatist Democratic Leadership Council (DLC).
Glen Ford is on fire, as per usual. Go ahead, read the whole thing. You'll be better for it.
And then there's this, from egalia at the Tennessee Guerilla Women blog, back in 2006:
Emily's List vs. Pro-Choice White Males II
What follows is a clarification of the central point of my earlier, admittedly hastily written, rant about the attack on pro-choice State Senator Steve Cohen by Emily's List.
The central point being: Emily's List should spend its considerable resources supporting pro-choice women who are actually running against anti-choice candidates. Believe it or not, it is not hard to find anti-choice candidates in this state!
Instead, Emily's List is alienating this state's progressives by throwing its support behind newcomer Nikki Tinker and against a pro- choice man with a 24 year record as a progressive state senator.
Meanwhile I still cannot find a word about Nikki Tinker's pro-choice stance on her website. Compare that with Steve Cohen's plainly stated, and documented, pro-choice position.
If Steve Cohen were a woman, Emily's List would be behind him 100%. Instead, Emily is attacking this state's best and most viable progressive candidate for Congress.
If Emily claims a victory in next week's primary, progressives in this state will call it a loss. And we will be seriously thanking Emily for that loss.
I have tossed this together rather quickly, after seeing this diary frontpaged at Dkos. So pardon me that it's a little disjointed. One things' for certain. But I will be following up, I promise you.