This is Charles V. (Charlie) Brown. After last night's state primary elections, he is the Democratic nominee for governor. Here is his platform, which he wrote up in the form of a letter to the editor that found its way to our colleague J.R. Lind this morning. (A sample: He wants to strap Gov. Bill Haslam to Tennessee's newly re-instated electric chair and "give him about half the jolt." Also, he will raise the speed limit to 80 miles per hour.)
As it became clear that Charlie Brown would win the nomination, and that his name is the least embarrassing thing about him, state Democrats — with the Mark Clayton debacle still looming over them, became increasingly distressed.
Here's an email thread obtained by Pith between some Tennessee Democratic Party members. Forgive the formatting — it's in reverse chronological order, with the first email from party chairman Roy Herron at the bottom. To protect the innocent, we've removed contact information from the thread:
From: Roy Herron
First, we know most of you were on the ballot yesterday.
To those of you who won,
To those of you who did not,
we still hope to work closely with you to elect Democrats
and to serve Tennessee and our country.
We will be in touch with all of you more and soon.
Secondly, and rather urgently,
our U.S. Senate Democratic nomination race is incredibly close.
Since this day began (i.e., since midnight),
I've talked with representatives of both campaigns.
And I've met this morning with our lead lawyer, Jason Holleman, Esq.,
about possible questions concerning this election.
Please continue to check your emails today,
so that if action by the Executive Committee is required,
we can act promptly
and our nominee can go forward into the general election!
Please understand that your TNDP staff
(which was here at the office till 11-something last night)
today is trying to work with candidates in many counties today.
We will get you more information about many things as quick as we can.
Thanks for all you do for Democrats and our state!
Roy Herron, Chair
Tennessee Democratic Party
On Friday, August 8, 2014 11:09 AM, sylviawoodsknox wrote:
thanks for the update.
Can you tell us who is Charlie Brown and is he a Democrat? we are getting that question in the field.
From: 'joan hill'
His letter to the editor. Per Blount County dems, "we are screwed."
In my opinion, this news is as bad as Mark Clayton.
On Friday, August 8, 2014 12:14 PM, "scdw_president" wrote:
I concur on that. He obviously did not learn how to spell or how to punctuate in school. Did he graduate from high school? This will just make us once again the laughing stock of the country. I don't remember a challenge from anyone on his qualifications.
From: 'joan hill'
Roy, are you out there? Can you please respond to the questions about Mr. Brown?
Yikes! Pith is told that Brown's victory and various losses in local races, where Democrats had no effective response to the TNGOP's Red to the Roots campaign, has Herron's chair even warmer than it already was. To make matters worse for him, several executive committee members who were loyal to him were defeated last night by candidates who, we're told, ran on ousting him.
So who would replace him? Well, after talk about it started up last night in the wake of her loss to Jeff Yarbro in the Senate District 21 primary, Pith is told that the Mary Mancini for state party chair talk has begun in earnest within the party.
Update 2:40 p.m.: Mancini doesn't say yes, doesn't say no.
"Right now I'm looking forward to spending a weekend at home after spending 8 months campaigning across the 21st District. After that I'm excited about helping elect Jeff Yarbro to the State Senate in the fall!"
Update 4:10 p.m.:
Herron responded minutes ago in an email to the group, which was passed along to Pith:
Thanks, Joan, for inviting me to comment.
Sorry for the delay as I've been dealing with the US Senate issues
and a number of other post-election issues and the start of the general election.
On the issue of the suitability of Mr. Brown as our apparent nominee,
I believe the time to challenge Mr. Brown
was when some challenged a number of candidates,
including another gubernatorial candidate and our apparent U.S. Senate nominee.
Quite frankly, I voted for John McKamey and I wish more had.
But I hope rather than "crying over spilt milk" we will get behind
our U.S. Senate nominee (whether it's Gordon Ball or Terry Adams),
our 4th District Congressional nominee (Lenda Sherrell),
and all of our nominees.