Friday, August 8, 2008

The People (About Five of Them Actually, But Still) Have Spoken: Mike Stewart Is Your State Rep

Posted By on Fri, Aug 8, 2008 at 10:26 AM

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So. Unimpressive. Since when does a 3-1 landslide victory seem like a flop? When you outspend your opponent 15-1 with your corporate law firm subsidizing nearly half your campaign. Despite all his money, Mike Stewart, who we might have mentioned once or twice is an attorney at Waller Lansden, persuaded only a few more than 1,600 people to vote for him. We here at Pith could run our favorite bartender at Red Door East and collect at least 2,000 votes. We’d have our candidate plant a few trees along Fatherland and 11th, memorize three or four liberal platitudes and--voila!--here’s the next representative of the supposedly progressive 52nd district. Metro Council member Mike Jameson is too nice to even wonder what might have happened had he run for the seat, so we’ll do it for him: He would have kicked ass. Jameson, whose witty and eloquent speech against the May Town Center is now the stuff of legend, could have gone on a 10-block crime spree before the election, thrown a hammer through the window of Bongo Java and traded in his Prius for a Humvee—and he still would have picked up more votes than Waller's candidate. I should add that, by all appearances, Stewart is a good guy. He says he's quitting Waller. People who’ve put their heart and soul into reviving East Nashville really like him. And he’s far more intelligent than the house plants who occupy the legislature now. If he works to improve public education in Nashville and brings some environmental stewardship to the legislature, we wouldn't be shocked. But then there's another scenario: Some time next winter, Waller’s lobbyists will be at the Capitol, plying their dark arts in support of some obscene pro-biz pig bill. They’ll pay a visit to Stewart's office, breeze through the door, sit down across from the representative at his desk, look him in the eye and ask for his vote. He'll look back like a frightened rabbit. We’ll see what happens next.

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