District 7 Residents Deserve Better

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

As a casual observer of politics locally and nationally, I’m always amazed how politicians denounce “dirty” politics, yet engage in some of those same tactics when it offers an advantage. Also, I’ve always believed that true character has a way of slowly revealing itself in a thousand small ways – sometimes imperceptible to those not paying close attention.  The recent actions by the Sabrena Turner campaign (East Hamilton debate and anti-Mormon Facebook post) should give pause to the voters in District 7.  The incidents have, at the very least, exposed a lack of judgment and “win at all cost” strategy.  However, I’m afraid it reveals a bit more. 

Consider for a moment what we are asked to believe in regards to the religious posting that has been “disavowed” (by Ms. Turner – not by Mr. Mason who is her campaign manager):  (1) Mr. Mason argues his post was not anti-Mormon, but rather part of his “Christian walk” to understand other religions.  Really?  I wonder how many Mormons he spoke to, or worship meetings he attended in trying to enlighten himself?  If I want to learn about the Baptists, I don’t go ask the Catholics or Presbyterians.  When deciding which Ford truck to purchase, do you ask the Chevy dealer for his opinion?  The video link was clearly anti-Mormon and filled with some outrageous claims.   

(2) This was his “personal” Facebook page and not affiliated with Ms. Turner’s campaign.  Has anyone checked out his “personal” Facebook page – it’s filled with political attacks against Perry Perkins and Phil Smartt.  He is most certainly the “attack” arm of the campaign, throwing as much dirt as he can.  

(3) Finally, this was all just a big coincidence and not directed towards Mr. Smartt because after all, it didn’t mention his name.  This one takes the cake.  The Facebook post by Mr. Mason just randomly appears a few hours after the contentious East Hamilton debate, and Mr. Smartt is the only Mormon candidate running for office in Chattanooga or Hamilton County.  What a remarkable coincidence and incredible timing. 

While Ms. Turner privately “disavowed” the post, her campaign manager defended it.  Is this the kind of leadership, character, and integrity we can expect from Ms. Turner and those that would surround her as county commissioner?  I think the residents and voters of District 7 deserve a little better.  

Paul Gardner
District 7 Resident


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