The Memphis Flyer posted the article, “Money Talk: A Look at Council Race Funding” by Jackson Baker featuring Charley Burch.
The article includes information about how Charley Burch called attention to the Cody Fletcher campaign may be in violation of The Little Hatch Act, alleging potential or actual conflicts of interest stemming from Fletcher’s association with a TIF project in the University of Memphis area. Even though State Officials want to sweep this one under the carpet, the Memphis Flyer it’s not going to as this is the second time they have published the unethical and likely illegal actions by the Cody Fletcher campaign. The Fletcher campaign responded in true deflective Trumpian fashion.
To begin with a correction: In the Politics column for Thursday, August 1st, it was stated that Erika Sugarmon was a candidate for the Super-District 9, Position 3 seat. That was an unfortunate typo. Sugarmon and Chase Carlisle are paired in one of the few one-on-one contests on the council ballot. And they are contending for the Super-District 9, Position 1 (one) seat.
The actual contest for the Super-District 9, Position 3 seat involves four candidates — Jeff Warren, Cody Fletcher, Charley Burch, and Tyrone Romeo Franklin. Most observers see that race to be one between Warren, a physician and former Memphis School Board member, and Fletcher, a development specialist at the University of Memphis who is making his first political run.
Burch, who has run for several previous offices and is a security officer at Memphis International Airport, has raised the only real issue that has surfaced so far, alleging potential or actual conflicts of interest stemming from Fletcher’s association with a TIF project in the University of Memphis area, administered by the non-profit d University Neighborhoods Development Corporation. and involving some possible indirect oversight by a council-funded body.
Paul Morris, Fletcher’s treasurer, has responded that the charge is “ridiculous, reckless, false, and defamatory” and that a state law cited by Burch as his authority does not apply to employees of the university.
Resource-wise, Warren is a clear leader, with $142,000 on hand as of his second-quarter financial report. Fletcher comes in at $42,000, and Burch and Franklin are not even blips on the screen as of yet.
The aforementioned Sugarmon-Carlisle race for Position 1 is equally lopsided. Carlisle’s second-quarter report shows him with $129,000 on hand, while Sugarmon has $820. She has the asset of name recognition, though. Her late father, Russell Sugarmon, was a distinguished lawyer and civil rights pioneer who later served as a General Sessions Court judge. Developer Carlisle’s father, the late builder Gene Carlisle, is a well-known name, too, for that matter.
District 5 is the site of another bona fide one-on-one. The incumbent, Worth Morgan, a sales executive with a social pedigree and significant business support, has a campaign balance on hand of $117,000, according to his second-quarter report. Though Morgan did not shy away from public campaigning in scheduled forums and the like during his 2015 race, he was assisted mightily by a well-funded advertising campaign, and a recent Facebook post has alerted supporters that his latest yard signs and ads for this year’s campaign are plentiful and ready to go.
The assets, financial and otherwise, of Morgan’s opponent, lawyer John Marek, are at this point something of an unknown quantity. Marek has ample political experience as a cadre in numerous Democratic campaigns and managed one of 9th District Congressman Steve Cohen’s re-election campaigns. And he is a cannabis entrepreneur, with a stake in a potentially profitable Colorado farm.
Up until now, Marek has been devoting considerable time to the Colorado matter and has done little campaigning. But he arrived Sunday as a visitor to the headquarters opening of candidate Warren with news that he is ready to be a full-time campaigner in his second try for the District 5 seat. Marek has abundant panache but has only just begun to raise money. He has made clear that criminal justice reform is a major concern.