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VOL. 133 | NO. 34 | Thursday, February 15, 2018


Bill Dries

Last Word: Filing Deadline, Case & Vance In May and Paul Manafort at the Rivermont

By Bill Dries

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By our count, when the noon Thursday deadline for candidates in the May county primaries has come and gone, there could be -- could be -- four incumbent county commissioners who are effectively re-elected to their seats for another four-year term. And we already know the commission will have at least seven new faces in September. More interesting is that there are only four sets of primaries – all for countywide offices – that have multiple contenders in each primary. That’s out of 23 offices on the primary ballot.

That tells me that the leadership of both of the political parties are making more of an effort to keep the primary fields at least at a manageable size. Emphasis on “more of an effort.” If someone wants to file, there is not a whole lot the party can do about it. The folks running also included a marked departure from the usual suspects we’ve seen in past Democratic county primaries in particular. Lots of new faces testing the political waters. And the details will remain fluid probably right up to the deadline Thursday.

Two developments from Wednesday – Terry Roland has made it official and filed in the Republican primary for County Mayor, as expected. And former county commissioner and probate court clerk Chris Thomas wants his old job as clerk back. He filed Wednesday in a Republican primary challenge of incumbent Paul Boyd

Our web story on this is changing to reflect the Wednesday filers into Thursday since the story went to press Wednesday afternoon before the Election Commission closed for the day. And after the noon deadline Thursday, we will be updating that again via this website and @tdnpols, www.twitter.com/tdnpols, with the details of who is in and who is not. As soon as we get the new list, you get it.

The New York Times on Bob Corker’s ongoing reconsideration of the U.S. Senate race.

The Tennessee Comptroller says the city council did not violate the state’s open meetings law when it voted Dec. 20 to sell two city parks, including the Confederate monuments in them, to a nonprofit group that then removed the monuments. And the report released Wednesday said the game plan followed city ordinances. But the report signed off on by comptroller Justin Wilson makes it clear that the issue of whether the city violated state laws on the removal of such monuments is still a matter for the courts to decide. And Wilson wants the city to more properly formalize the arrangement with a memorandum of understanding between the city and Memphis Greenspace.

The leaders of the Revolution capital firm – Steve Case, the cofounder of AOL and venture capitalist J.D. Vance are coming to town in May to hear pitches from startups and invest $100,000 in one of them.

Confluent Development of Denver buys open land in the Poplar Corridor for $4 million. This is north of Poplar and Briarcrest, across Briarcrest from Regions Bank.

DCA, the communications firm, submits its plans for its new office in South Main, which will include other tenants.

Jazzercise in Germantown.

We’ve talked in this space before about the 1977 National Young Republicans convention held at the Holiday Inn Rivermont and the rise of Roger Stone at that convention to become president of the organization. From there he’s built a reputation as one of the more outrageous and colorful behind the scenes operatives in Washington. He’s also being asked a lot of questions about the Trump campaign these days and its connection to Russia during the 2016 campaign. An article in the new issue of The Atlantic goes even further behind the scenes at the 70s gathering at the Rivermont and a Stone ally there and beyond – Paul Manafort – yep, he was here too for the convention just after the bitter 1976 Republican primary battle between incumbent Gerald Ford and challenger Ronald Reagan for the party banner. The YR gathering was a battle among Reagan supporters and Stone played it pretty ruthlessly. I always wondered who flew in the alternate delegation from California for Stone – who carried that out. And now I know.

Evvie McKinney, the winner of the TV music competition “The Four” is at Handy Park Thursday at 4 p.m. for an official welcome home from the competition.

There were so many bills Wednesday in the Civil Justice Subcommittee of the Tennessee House that the subcommittee had what was referred to as a “gun calendar” to list the items.

Memphis Democrat Raumesh Akbari is House sponsor of a bill providing time off work for victims of sexual assault and domestic abuse to meet with law enforcement, get their lives back together and attend counseling. And the bill failed in Senate committee this week.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has a plan to shrink the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees that would be a transition on a timeline. Our Nashville correspondent Sam Stockard, in his “View From The Hill” column, says the plan to go to advisory boards for the four UT campuses including the one here in Memphis and a smaller board overall is meeting some resistance in the Legislature.

Here is our profile of the recipient of the annual Dunavant Award for a nonelected public official, county chief administrative officer Harvey Kennedy. We are a cosponsor of this award along with the Rotary Club of Memphis East. Kennedy and Drug Court Judge Tim Dwyer are the featured guests at the Feb. 28 awards luncheon with Greater Memphis Chamber Chairman’s circle chairwoman and businesswoman Carolyn Hardy.

Flights to and from Cancun are back at MEM in May. Can winter last much longer? 

PROPERTY SALES 23 23 1,365
MORTGAGES 21 21 1,068
BUILDING PERMITS 117 117 3,173