Marijuana and hemp politics.

Moderator: administration


Postby palmspringsbum » Mon Oct 09, 2006 12:55 pm

The Memphis Commercial Appeal wrote:9th District rivals spar over war, pot, politics

By Alex Doniach
The Memphis Commercial Enterprise
October 9, 2006

Sunday night's debate among the Ninth Congressional District candidates wasn't exactly a show of friendship.

Independent Jake Ford attacked Democrat Steve Cohen's attendance record as a member of the state legislature, saying he'd missed 900 votes during his state Senate career.

Cohen, who defended his record in public office, struck back at Ford with an implication that Ford had once been arrested, unlike him or Republican nominee Mark White.

The three are vying to replace Ford's brother, Harold Ford Jr., who is vacating the seat to run for Senate.

"My public life has been out there," said Cohen, when asked to share events in his past that could mar his political record. "I've never been arrested and I think if you have been arrested and/or convicted that is something the public ought to know about, and I have not nor has Mr. White. Those are the kinds of things that can come back to embarrass the district."

Ford's rebuttal did not directly respond to the implication.

"I grew up in D.C. in a very public life," Ford said. "There were things that happened that we're all not very proud of from both sides, from a legal perspective of the government as well as a family perspective."

The Sunday night debate was the second time the three candidates shared a stage.

The hour-long debate was broadcast on WREG-TV and was sponsored by the station, The Commercial Appeal, Mpact Memphis, the Memphis Urban League Young Professionals and Comcast.

The questions posed to the candidates touched on Cohen's liberal record, Ford's decision to run as an independent, the war in Iraq and education.

Although he describes himself as a Democrat with a record of voting for Democratic candidates, Ford said he opted to run as an independent to take a chance and avoid the crowded Democratic primary.

White, a local business owner, said he was glad Ford was still in the contest, saying, "It makes for a great three-way race."

Running in a predominantly African-American and heavily Democratic district, White said the Ninth District needs to work to "bring the community together and not divide over superficial issues like race or political parties."

He said his conservative views and his background as a schoolteacher and businessman pose a fresh alternative for the district.

"We don't need career politicians," White said.

"We need people with fresh ideas."

Ford attacked Cohen's liberal record, accusing him of supporting the legalization of marijuana.

But Cohen said that accusation was in error, saying he had supported legalizing marijuana for medical use.

He added that he felt confident about his liberal platform.

"I think the Ninth Congressional District gives a person an opportunity to be a true Democrat," Cohen said.

The three candidates agreed that public schools need immediate attention.

White bemoaned the high dropout rate, implying that high school dropouts are prone to criminal activity.

Cohen agreed, advocating for higher teacher salaries and more focus on primary education.

High school dropouts become a "drain on society," he said.

When it came to the war in Iraq, White supported the war and the fight against terrorists.

"As a direct result of that (9/11) we went into Afghanistan and we went into Iraq," White said. "The terrorists are trying to kill us ... if we pull out now, the Iranians will move in and we'll have more terrorists."

Cohen advocated for an immediate withdrawal of troops.

"We need less soldiers on the streets of Baghdad and more cops on the streets of Memphis," he said.

Ford advocated a less abrupt end to the conflict.

"We have to realize there has to be a plan and an exit strategy to bring our soldiers home as soon as possible," Ford said.

The general election is Nov. 7.

-- Alex Doniach: 529-5231

User avatar
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 2769
Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2006 6:38 pm
Location: Santa Cruz, California

Family ties hurting Jr., says Cohen

Postby palmspringsbum » Sat Nov 04, 2006 7:51 pm

The Memphis Commercial Appeal wrote:Family ties hurting Jr., says Cohen

Ford: Singing from same hymnal as Corker

By Richard Locker
The Memphis Commercial Appeal
October 21, 2006

NASHVILLE -- Democratic congressional candidate Steve Cohen said Friday that Harold Ford Sr.'s work for his son Jake's campaign against Cohen is hurting Harold Ford Jr.'s bid for the U.S. Senate.

Cohen said Jake Ford's independent candidacy for the 9th Congressional District seat is "overreaching." He said he suspects that Ford Sr.'s heavy involvement in Jake's campaign, Ford Jr.'s failure to endorse Cohen as the Democratic nominee, and remarks Ford Sr. has made about Cohen will cost Junior votes in his Senate race.

The comments prompted a strong written statement from Ford Jr.'s campaign. It read, in part: "Now, it appears that State Senator Steve Cohen and Mayor Bob Corker are singing from the same Ford family attack hymnal. I know that Bob Corker is attacking my family because he has come up short on ideas and answers in this campaign. I didn't know that ... Cohen was suffering from the same problem."

Cohen, a Democratic state senator, held a press conference in Nashville Friday after a fund-raiser here Thursday night. In response to questions, he gave his assessment of the impact of his battle with Jake Ford and Republican Mark White on the Senate race between Democrat Harold Ford Jr. and Republican Bob Corker.

Cohen cited a speech that Ford Sr., Memphis' former congressman, gave last Saturday at a tent rally on Summer. Ford Sr. spoke on behalf of both sons on the Nov. 7 ballot.

"When you go to that poll, don't vote for no Steve Cohen. You vote for Jake Ford as your next congressman," Ford Sr. said.

Asked whether Ford Sr.'s involvement is producing a backlash against his son's candidacy for the Senate, Cohen said, "Unfortunately, I think that's true."

Cohen has endorsed Ford Jr. and said Friday he will vote for him and the Democratic ticket.

Cohen praised Ford Jr. as having "tremendous attributes. For him to come this far and to have the effort to overreach I guess, and to have his younger brother run in the 9th District, I think has hurt his campaign. I really think that if Harold Ford Jr. had run with me on a ticket, it would have been a 'dream team'...."

Cohen doesn't believe the "Ford machine" is as strong as it was. "The Ford machine used to have a lot of foot soldiers. I think a lot of the foot soldiers have not been kept part of the team. The top brass has moved away from the foot soldiers. It's hard to be in touch with your foot soldiers when you're on Fisher Island or the Hamptons." Fisher Island is an affluent enclave off of Miami Beach where Ford Sr. has a home.

The Ford Jr. campaign fired back late Friday: "State Senator Cohen and I disagree on several significant issues. He's for gay marriage; I'm not. He's for amnesty for illegals; I'm not. He's for legalizing marijuana; I'm not. He's for a cut-and-run strategy in Iraq; I'm for a new plan to partition Iraq into three regions to ensure that we leave it better than we found it."

Cohen says he supports legalizing marijuana for medical purposes. He believes partitioning Iraq should be left to the Iraqis and favors a quicker withdrawal of U.S. troops than Ford Jr.

Contact Nashville bureau chief Richard Locker at (615) 255-4923.

Copyright 2006, commercialappeal.com - Memphis, TN. All Rights Reserved.

User avatar
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 2769
Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2006 6:38 pm
Location: Santa Cruz, California

Return to politics

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests