This week in the Scene, I wrote about Mayor Karl Dean's uncomfortable quietude on a polarizing bill that's fate will say a lot, one way or the other, about whether Nashville has come to be a place of welcoming or intolerance.
The bill, shorthanded CANDO (Contract Accountability Nondiscrimination Ordinance), has already provoked an outsize response from the Christian-right and some like-minded business people who fear that requiring those contracting with Metro government to include gays and lesbians in their protections against discrimination might lead to an outright government takeover of the private sector. A couple weeks back, about 40 of them held a closed-door strategy session where they tossed about anti-gay rhetoric and salivated over businessman arguments so mighty they may well win the day.
And now, the group's de facto leader, David Fowler (former Hamilton County state senator and current honcho of the Family Action Council of Tennessee), has unleashed his latest strategy email, which was obtained by the Scene and sister City Paper.
According to this morning's story from CP's Joey Garrison, in which he reveals that Fowler's agenda includes targeting five council members whom he believes are persuadable:
Anticipating that a vote before Feb. 15 —— the subsequent council meeting —— is unlikely, Fowler points specifically to five council members whom he seems to believe could play a pivotal role in deciding the fate of the ordinance. He provides reasons why he believes three of them may oppose the pending bill and posts their phone numbers.
• Coleman —— “He was a ‘no’ on the 2009 ordinance and probably cast a courtesy ‘yes’ vote on Tuesday.”
• Hunt —— “Initially opposed/expressed concern about ordinance in 2009 in committee but then switched”
• Evans —— “She represents part of Bellevue and could be open to pro-business argument”