Fri
Sep 21 2007
08:51 pm

In the post entitled New Mayor brings Fresh Ideas for Nashville, the citizens of Nashville were congratulated for bringing "new blood" to the mayor's office.

Turns out that the mayor's bringing in fresh Republican blood:

Legislative director Toby Compton, who will be Dean's liaison to the Metro Council and state legislature. Compton managed Buck Dozier's mayoral campaign this year, then served as a senior adviser to Dean during the runoff campaign.

Left out of this biography in the fair & balanced Tennessean - the paper that would have you believe that fact-checking is something that's up to the reader - are his stints as campaign staffer for Bill Frist and Lamar Alexander. Unconfirmed reports have him working as a former staffer to Marsha Blackburn.

Word around the campfire says that this development is hardly welcomed by the Metro legislative delegation, which currently splits about 80% Democratic, 20% Republican.

Perhaps this is why so many Belle Meade Republicans embraced the notion of a Dean mayoral win. Going into the Dean administration, the official liaison between the mayor's office and Metro Council has strong ties to movement Republicans.

And...

Senior adviser Jim Hester. Hester ran Dean's campaign for mayor. He is a former top aide in Harold Ford Jr.'s 2006 U.S. Senate campaign and former executive director of the Tennessee Democratic Party.

The article fails to mention that Hester was, um, "let go" (read: fired) in August of 2006 from the Ford campaign.

"New blood," indeed.

Sean_Braisted's picture

Toby

Not to be a pain here, but I've gotten to know Toby Compton since he was working for the Republican Buck Dozier, and I was supporting the Liberal David Briley...he always went out of his way to be warm and welcoming, even though he knew full well I was a liberal Democrat who didn't support his candidate or his party.

I think Dean and his team chose Compton for his ability to work with other people, regardless of partisan affiliation. Besides, he will ultimately be following Dean's leadership on legislative issues...and we can judge those actions in the future as they come forth.

I think Toby deserves a shot to show that he will do a good job as legislative director, and he would have to be really bad at his job to have a worse relationship with the Council than Bill Purcell did with the previous one.

Andy Axel's picture

Did you know him while he

Did you know him while he was working for Frist, Alexander, or Blackburn? Seems an odd choice to bring to the top of the advisory team, and it seems doubly odd that progressives are eager to embrace (or at least to be defensive about) this choice.

My eyebrows were raised as I drove through Belle Meade and saw Karl Dean signs on every lawn. To me, this looks like a little bit of give-back. Like you say, we'll have to watch to see as things progress, but you hardly get a full picture from the coverage in the Tennessean. The City Paper (a genuine conservative fishwrapper) was a lot more forthcoming. People should know about this guy's bonafides.

...he would have to be really bad at his job to have a worse relationship with the Council than Bill Purcell did with the previous one.

If that's your standard for measuring success, I'm even more troubled.

Being marginally better than the worst would hardly constitute a ringing endorsement.

At any rate, I see that you signed up for KnoxViews simply to respond to this post. Welcome to "Progressiveville," as that troll #9 used to call it. (He's MCB's problem now. Y'all are welcome to him.)

____________________________

I'm a guy in a Reagan mask -- and I'm running for President!

Sean_Braisted's picture

Did I know him?

Nope, I sure didn't know him back in the day. But I don't think that all Republicans should be banished from Metro Nashville Government, simply because they are Republicans. Now, he may be an anti-gay, anti-immigrant, anti-liberal Republican like Clement's Jon Crisp...but I personally haven't seen any outwardly evidence of this. So if he does have these ultra-conservative views, he is reserved about them. Frankly, so long as he keeps them to himself, and is good at working with both the liberal and Conservative members of the Council at promoting Dean's policy agenda, than he was the right person for the job.

As for being better than Purcell being a measurement of success, I didn't say that...I was simply saying that it would be hard for him to have a worse relationship than the previous Mayor. I personally think he will be good at his job, but I can't know that for sure until he actually begins...nobody can.

If he were hired on as a policy adviser (like the Liberal Democrat Jim Hester was) perhaps this appointment would be a problem. But he was hired on as Legislative Director (essentially Dean's lobbyist in the Council) for his ability to get along with all sorts of people. I've personally experienced this, regardless of his previous jobs, he is working for Karl Dean now, and if he can't adequately represent Karl Dean, than he'll have to find a new job.

As for signing up for this comment, I used to have an account, but I either couldn't remember the user name or it was deleted...so I created a new one.

Andy Axel's picture

Caveat lector

But I don't think that all Republicans should be banished from Metro Nashville Government, simply because they are Republicans.

Nor was that ever stated here, nor was it implied. However, perhaps they shouldn't be given patronage positions by self-styled reformers. That's my position.

I personally think he will be good at his job, but I can't know that for sure until he actually begins.

My only comment: Caveat lector. The speaker beware.

If he were hired on as a policy adviser (like the Liberal Democrat Jim Hester was) perhaps this appointment would be a problem.

I would dearly love to take a "first, do no harm" stance as regards our beloved state and local Democratic Party establishment, but c'mon. Democrat, I'll buy. "Liberal" Democrat? Since when?

I used to have an account, but I either couldn't remember the user name or it was deleted...so I created a new one.

Huh. I don't recall seeing you here before, but I'm sorry you had trouble with your old account. Welcome back. This is now a #9-free zone.

____________________________

I'm a guy in a Reagan mask -- and I'm running for President!

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