Sunday, September 1, 2019

Where Briley and Cooper stand on the issues

The Tennessean recently published a good piece comparing the stand on the issues, the bios and qualifications of the two candidates for mayor (link). For a concise comparison of the two candidates, follow this link for a  spreadsheet showing Briley and Cooper's answers side-by-side.

I am supporting Cooper because I believe he is the candidate most likely to get us out of the financial mess we are in, most likely to curtail corporate welfare, most likely to reduce our debt load and least likely to raise taxes. While I think Cooper is, like Briley, a progressive on issues like gay rights, illegal immigration, abortion and other issues.  I don't think I will see Cooper looking goofy in a "pussy cap."  I suspect Cooper will focus more on real issues of governance rather than engage in symbolic actions and social justice warrior campaigns. That does not mean I am not critical of Cooper's approach to several issues.  He is the best choice, but he is not the kind of visionary conservative I wish we had as mayor.

As an example, on the issue of affordable housing, Briley touts his phony Under One Roof 2029 initiative. It is smoke and mirrors and a dog and pony show that will have minimal impact.  Cooper rightly calls the Under One Roof plan, "sound bite and no substance."  Cooper promises a real plan and some reforms that are needed such as more transparency at MDHA. As far as he goes, good. I wish Cooper would have went further.  I wish Cooper would have pointed out that Metro can have minimal immediate impact on affordable housing,  but what Metro can do is to stop the practice of decreasing density and Metro can drastically reduce red tape on developers.  He could have pointed out that the actions of the city often kill affordable housing developments even when the property owner does not require a zoning change to develop affordable housing. I would have liked for him to have pointed out that it is Metro policies, as well as market forces, that lead to a lack of affordable housing.  Every time Metro rezones a neighborhood from a zoning that now allows duplexes to a zoning that is single-family only, we drive up the price of housing.  Cooper didn't say that.

While Cooper is by far the best candidate, he is not the idea candidate. Living in a liberal city like Nashville, Cooper is the best that could get elected.

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