Friday, August 3, 2012

Tennessee Democrats Are Very Sorry About Mark Clayton

Posted By on Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 1:57 PM

Mark Clayton beat a crowded field of, apparently, unknown Democratic candidates in yesterday's primary election for the right to face GOP Sen. Bob Corker in November. And now, the Tennessee Democratic Party has disavowed him.

But let's back up. Who is Mark Clayton?

Well, in 2008 he ran an unsuccessful campaign for the Democratic nomination, hoping to challenge Sen. Lamar Alexander. His video announcement of that campaign, posted above, served as his (re)introduction to the state this morning.

That was followed by this story from Mother Jones' Tim Murphy, who has been keeping a rather close eye on Tennessee's eccentric political scene as of late.

A sample:

Mark Clayton believes the federal government is building a massive, four-football-field wide superhighway from Mexico City to Toronto as part of a secret plot to establish a new North American Union that will bring an end to America as we know it. On Thursday, he became the Tennessee Democrats' nominee for US Senate.

And another:

On his issues page, Clayton sounds more like a member of the John Birch Society than a rank-and-file Democrat. He says he's against national ID cards, the North American Union, and the "NAFTA superhighway," a nonexistent proposal that's become a rallying cry in the far-right fever swamps. Elsewhere, he warns of an encroaching "godless new world order" and suggests that Americans who speak out against government policies could some day be placed in "a bone-crushing prison camp similar to the one Alexander Solzhenitsyn was sent or to one of FEMA's prison camps." (There are no FEMA prison camps.)

And so now, the state Democratic party has released a statement disavowing Clayton and declaring that they will not support his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat once held by Andrew Jackson, Estes Kefauver, Cordell Hull and Al Gore Jr.

The party's (sort-of) explanation:

"The only time that Clayton has voted in a Democratic primary was when he was voting for himself. Many Democrats in Tennessee knew nothing about any of the candidates in the race, so they voted for the person at the top of the ticket. Unfortunately, none of the other Democratic candidates were able to run the race needed to gain statewide visibility or support.

“Mark Clayton is associated with a known hate group in Washington, D.C., and the Tennessee Democratic Party disavows his candidacy, will not do anything to promote or support him in any way, and urges Democrats to write-in a candidate of their choice in November.”

Update: We should note, the hate group the TNDP refers to is the Public Advocate of the United States, of which Clayton is the vice president. Their website is here, for your perusal.

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