Chipping Away at Democrats' Leadership

The Tennessee Democratic Party's executive committee ignored the request of Gov. Phil Bredesen, big donors, and the state's Congressional delegation and instead picked Chip Forrester as its chair. Forrester picked Bill Freeman to be the party treasurer in charge of fund-raising.

Freeman ran into a brick wall in fund-raising—the elected Democrats and big donors ignored his appeals. Bredesen told the Chattanooga Times Free-Press he didn't feel inclined to help a guy who had opposed his election. A major criticism of Freeman was his frequent contributions to Republican candidates. Freeman has resigned and the effort to recruit enough committee members to oust Forrester continues.

Forrester, possibly resentful of being beholden to major donor Doug Horne (who supported Forrester's opponent, Nashville attorney Charles Robert Bone) is moving the headquarters from Horne's building in downtown Nashville to a union hall in Antioch.

The battle demonstrates the division between traditional conservative Democratic officeholders and the Barack Obama supporters that make up the activist ground troops for a Democratic campaign.

The Republicans are united, except of course for the state chair's efforts to throw the Republican Speaker of the House out of the party and the leader of the Republican caucus in the House trying to get Speaker Kent Williams thrown out of the caucus.