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VOL. 131 | NO. 202 | Monday, October 10, 2016

Dries

Bill Dries

Last Word: Haslam on Trump, Midtown Apartment Blitz and Beyond Parks

By Bill Dries

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Trump vs. Clinton or Giants vs. Packers? America Chooses.

While there is so much discussion – and rightfully so – about the unprecedented direction this Presidential campaign as a whole has taken in so many ways, the speed of the conduct of the campaign and news cycle reaction has also become a factor. Many of you are probably reading this at a point in which the reaction to what happened over 90 minutes before 10 p.m. on a Sunday night has already made parts of the debate irrelevant or old news.

At some point, you have to wonder whether those locked into such real-time coverage – candidates, campaign and media – are gauging whether voters are able to follow every twist and turn even if they want to.

Not that there aren’t an endless number of places that will gladly catch you up on what they thought was important. It’s called “spin.”

When is the University of Memphis going to host a Presidential debate?

Tuesday is the last day for you to register to vote in the Presidential general election if you are not already registered to vote.

As we’ve pointed out, voter registration is really not a problem in Shelby County where an estimated 80 percent of the county’s population that is 18 and over -- by the 2015 U.S. Census estimate – is on the rolls.

End of the business day Tuesday is also the deadline to change your address if you have moved recently.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam was never on the Trump train in this campaign. He backed Florida Senator Marco Rubio in the primaries and has specifically refused to endorse Trump since Trump became the party’s Presidential nominee.

Even with that, his written statement Sunday afternoon calling for Trump to give up the party’s nomination and for vice presidential nominee Mike Pence to move to the top of the GOP ticket is a startling moment.

First, here is Haslam’s statement in its entirety:

“In the past I have expressed my concern with Donald Trump’s policy positions. Like many others, I have also objected to many of the things he has said during his campaign. Those concerns have kept me from endorsing him.

I want to emphasize that character in our leaders does matter. None of us in elected office are perfect, but the decisions that are made in the Oval Office have too many consequences to ignore the behavior we have seen.

It is time for the good of the nation and the Republican Party for Donald Trump to step aside and let Gov. Mike Pence assume the role as the party’s nominee. If he does not step aside, I will write in a Republican for the Office of President.

Finally, I want to urge Republicans to vote. Now more than ever, who we elect to Congress and our state and local offices is critical to the future of this country and state that we love.”

Haslam becomes the first major Republican office holder in this red state to call on Trump to separate himself from the party.

The 2005 audio of Trump talking in lewd terms about women hit Friday. It hit as U.S. Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee was announced as a national security advisor to Trump and Corker termed Trump’s comments “inappropriate” and “offensive.” But Corker remains an advisor to Trump.

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander has not offered any comment on Trump. Earlier this year, during the primary season, Corker and Alexander were the keynote speakers at the Shelby County Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Day Dinner.

The state party’s establishment at the time was mostly in Rubio’s camp along with Haslam -- a few backing John Kasich. And most were adopting a strategy of ignoring Trump and the possibility that Trump would be the party’s nominee. Corker cautioned however against those leaders trying to ignore or go around the will of Republican rank and file in the state no matter who most of those voters got behind.

However, neither he nor Alexander were willing at that point to even say Trump’s name.

To Corker’s point, there has existed for some time a gap in who the party’s establishment backs for President and who carries the state in the Republican Presidential primary.

In 2008, the establishment backed John McCain and Mike Huckabee carried the state as well as Shelby County. McCain was ultimately the nominee.

In 2012, the establishment backed Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum carried the state as well as Shelby County. Romney was ultimately the nominee.

This year, Trump carried the county and the state. The day Trump rallied his supporters in Millington in February, Haslam released a statement through the Rubio campaign saying it was time for the state’s Republicans to keep “the party of Lincoln and Reagan” from being “taken over by Donald Trump.”

More Midtown apartments – one set at Madison and McLean along with the apartments previously announced at Union and McLean as part of the Midtown Market development make 300 new apartments about a block apart from each other.

The apartments at Madison and McLean will be a significant change in Midtown’s landscape taking out the one-time movie theater at 1819 Madison Avenue that was later in its life The Ritz, and POET’s Music Hall and The Music Hall nightspots. Many names for a venue that in the 1970s and 1980s was a vital part of a music scene that was going back to the clubs.

Gestalt Community Schools leaving two North Memphis schools at the end of the current school year that it moved into as part of the state-run Achievement School District.

The FDIC ranks local banks by the amount of customer deposits within Shelby County as of the end of last June, with First Tennessee and Regions – in that order – accounting for more than half of the total of $23 billion in deposits among all of the banks. There’s a big gap between First Tennessee and Regions and the rest of the field.

Don Wade’s cover story in The Memphis News is an overview of how the city has gone beyond a renewal of parkland to a broader greening of the city. It includes the leaders of the city’s three major conservancies who are part of our Newsmakers Seminar Tuesday at the Brooks.

In recent months, a Memphis Parks Advocacy group has been formed as a coalition of parks groups across the city.

On the way to the Tuesday seminar, the Atlantic’s City Lab site with a piece on inequality in American public parks that is making the rounds among some of our speakers. The piece talks about some of the discussion we’ve heard locally in a city where parks are a very important issue about priorities – which parks get improved and when.

More reaction to the state’s crowded social studies curriculum and what that means for Tennessee history. Reaction from the Legislature’s Black Caucus.

The Memphis News Almanac: Strickland upsets Wharton, Nirvana plays the New Daisy and the first Shelby County Mayor.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 59 232 11,757
MORTGAGES 80 254 13,681
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 19 1,877
BUILDING PERMITS 93 480 24,644
BANKRUPTCIES 61 179 7,652
BUSINESS LICENSES 41 100 4,007
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 34 118 4,799
MARRIAGE LICENSES 10 48 2,592

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