Off Limits 

Pollsters Say Snickers Has It. Mayor Bill Purcell spent Halloween night sitting on his Stratton Avenue front porch (dressed like a mayor in button down and khakis) with daughter Jesse watching groups of ghosts and goblins marvel at all the bubbles coming from his second-floor windows. Scene sources say Purcell (who can be really scary when he's got sugar shock) commissioned a poll to determine the most popular Halloween candy among East Nashville kids who will be eligible to vote in the 2008 gubernatorial election. Unfortunately, the Scene's undercover operative, dressed as Bill O'Reilly's loofa, overdosed on candy corn and Miller High Life and passed out in a nearby yard before he could examine Hizzoner's goodie bowl.

According to a Recent Study.... Tennessee is the ninth fattest state in the country, as we are, um, sandwiched, between Michigan and Ohio. Unfortunately for us, the survey was not conducted while Phil Fulmer was out of town.

Results Are In. For all the negative press attention around the Davidson County Election Commission over the last year, the city's most maligned body presided over a remarkably smooth early voting period. One Off Limits contributor fulfilled his civic duty last Thursday and, while the lines looked long, helpful employees moved everyone along nicely. Off Limits was particularly impressed with former-defense-attorney-turned-commission-staffer Lionel Barrett patiently funneling voters to the right—whoops, make that the correct voting machine. (Cue West Wing theme music.) He and his colleagues turned what could have been a frustrating ordeal into an affirming civic experience. Like anywhere else, there have been problems. Some voters, for example, claim they haven't received registration cards in the mail, so we're not ready to say that the commission has fixed its long-running problems of managing voter files. The agency has come a long way under interim administrator Ray Barrett, and here's hoping he'll stay on the job. Worst case scenario: the majority-Democrat board picks Democratic Rep. Sherry Jones to run the election commission. Jones, who is close to two of the five board members, has taken advantage of her position to lobby for the job and is about as qualified to run elections as Paris Hilton.

Punt. If Vanderbilt gave football coach Bobby Johnson a 10-year contract extension, as George Plaster has reported, this will not be one of the prouder legacies of Vanderbilt Chancellor Gordon Gee. If Johnson is a good football coach, then it stands to reason that his team would win some games. As it is, the Commodores have just clinched their third losing record in Johnson's third year and will be lucky to finish with a 3-8 record. But he doesn't curse, so gosh darn it, this guy's a keeper.

Hey, Larry Trail and Lincoln Davis: Zell Miller called. He said he saw your television ads. Loved 'em. Keep up the good work.


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