Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Nashville Business Coalition (NBC) makes their endorsements for Metro Council and Vice Mayor in the August 6 election.

Press Release, NASHVILLE, Tenn. (July 7, 2015) – The Nashville Business Coalition (NBC), a political action Committee made up of business leaders from across the City, announced today its support for candidates seeking Metro Council and Vice Mayor seats in the August 6 election.

“We applaud all the candidates who are offering themselves up for public service and were pleased to see so many candidates supportive of issues important to our business community. We are especially committed to supporting local candidates who understand the importance of creating a government environment for businesses and workers to succeed in Nashville,” said Nancy Stabell, NBC Board Chair.

“Based upon our extensive candidate vetting process that included face-to-face interviews, surveys and an assessment of candidates’ platforms related to issues such as land use and zoning, economic and community development, infrastructure development, support for public education, and workforce housing, the NBC is pleased to announce its slate of endorsements for Vice Mayor and Metro Council as those candidates best positioned to lead Nashville for the next four years.

Twenty-four of the endorsed candidates are current or past district Metro Council members who, by their voting records and past performance have proven to clearly understand and consistently support the city’s large and small businesses. In some races, the NBC endorsed more than one candidate because of both candidates demonstrated their commitment to support and work collaboratively with business. In select races the NBC has chosen to delay endorsements until the September run-off election.”

The candidates endorsed by the Nashville Business Coalition are:

Vice Mayor Endorsements

  • David Briley
  • Tim Garrett
At Large Endorsements
  • Buddy Baker
  • Karen Bennett
  • Erin Coleman
  • John Cooper
  • Erica Gilmore
  • Frank Harrison
  • Jason Holleman
  • Walter Hunt
  • John Lasiter
  • Lonnell Matthews
  • Bob Mendes
  • Sandra Moore
  • Jim Shulman
District Council Endorsements (* are incumbents)
  • Robert Swope, District 4
  • Scott Davis, District 5*
  • Peter Westerholm, District 6*
  • Anthony Davis, District 7*
  • Nancy VanReece, District 8
  • Bill Pridemore, District 9*
  • Douglas Pardue, District 10*
  • Larry Hagar, District 11*
  • Steve Glover, District 12*
  • Furtesha Carter, District 13
  • Mark Cole, District 13
  • Kevin Rhoten, District 14
  • Jeff Syracuse, District 15
  • Tony Tenpenny, District 16*
  • Chris Cotton, District 17
  • Colby Sledge, District 17
  • Burkley Allen, District 18*
  • Freddie O'Connell, District 19
  • Mary Carolyn Roberts, District 20
  • Leah Dupree, District 21
  • Sheri Weiner, District 22*
  • Mina Johnson, District 23
  • Allen Grant, District 24
  • Russ Pulley, District 25
  • Jeremy Elrod, District 26
  • Davette Blalock, District 27*
  • Tanaka Vercher, District 28
  • Karen Johnson, District 29*
  • Jason Potts, District 30*
  • Fabian Bedne, District 31*
  • Jacobia Dowell, District 32*
  • Sam Coleman, District 33
  • Steve Butler, District 34
  • Angie Henderson, District 34
  • Dave Rosenberg, District 35
About the Nashville Business Coalition

Nashville’s business community is a driver of the local economy. Business creates jobs and
prosperity; government leaders create the legislative environment for that to occur. The
Nashville Business Coalition applauds community leaders who choose to serve Nashville
residents and businesses through elected office. Since 1999, the Coalition, a pro-business
political action committee, has dedicated itself to electing business-friendly candidates who
have made the long term economic vitality of Nashville a priority. These candidates understand
the partnership that exists between the public and private sectors.

My Comment: 
Today I had the pleasure of meeting with  Ms Nancy Stabell, the Board Chair of the Nashville Business Coalition. She spoke briefly at the First Tuesday Group and then we chatted after the meeting. She said that the NBC vets candidates by sending them a 75 question questionnaire and then scoring them on how well their answers conform to the Core Values of the NBC.

One thing Ms Stabell said that impressed me is that NBC would not support any candidate who advocates a local minimum wage or a "living wage" for Nashville. That is something I feel strongly about and something that is being proposed by the more progressive candidates running for Mayor and by some other progressive elements in our community.

I was looking forward to getting the NBC list of endorsements. I thought that finally there was an organization scoring candidates from the same perspective I would score them from.  After receiving the list of endorsements however, I am somewhat disappointed. Of course, I have not seen the questionnaires submitted by the candidates and there may have been some candidates who did not even return the questionnaire, and some candidates may not tell the truth. Some politicians are masters at parsing words or phrasing things in such a way as to make one think they are in agreement with you when they really are not, and some will just tell you what you want to hear in order to get an endorsement.  Whatever the inputs were that went into the NBC's endorsements, they got it wrong in many cases. I have studied the candidates carefully and know many of them.  The NCS certainly did not select the most conservative candidates running. In some cases they selected very liberal candidates over conservative candidates.

For Councilman at-large, the NBC selected people like Erica Gilmore, Jason Holleman and Sandra Moore, but not people like Ken Jakes or Robert Duval.

In the district races, the NBC selected Anthony Davis in district 7 over challenger Stephen Clements. Stephen Clements is a principled fiscal conservative who understands the issues and risk of Metro's increasing debt and someone who is thoughtful and smart. In evaluating these two candidates, Stephen Clements is by far the superior choice.  In district 17 they endorsed Colby Sledge and Chris Cotton but not Tony Watson. In district 28 they endorsed Tenacha Vercher instead of Melissa Smithson. I do not know Vercher and cannot find much information about her but I know Melissa Smithson and known her to be a fiscal conservative.  And, in district 35, the NBC endorsed David Rosenberg, a political ally of Bo Mitchell and Amy Frogge over a strong conservative like Lonnie Spivak. I suggest that one take the NCS recommendations with a grain of salt.

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