Grand Divisions

Tennessee Equality Project seeks to advance and protect the civil rights of our State’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons and their families in each Grand Division.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Nikki Tinker attempts to salvage what's left of her reputation

The Commercial Appeal printed a guest column by the former Democratic primary candidate for the 9th Congressional District. Tinker tries to defend herself against the national criticism she received for the attack ads on Steve Cohen she released in the last days of her campaign:

Try as we might to have honest discussions on such important issues as education, health care, the economy and more, too often these conversations do not happen. Sometimes other issues -- race and religion, for example -- take precedence.

I believe that was the case in my recent campaign for the Democratic nomination for Congress from Tennessee's 9th District, which ended with my television ads at the center of the debate. I wanted these ads to focus on issues, but instead the ads themselves became an issue.

Through the ads, I wanted to respond to Congressman Steve Cohen's challenge to us to examine his voting record. The ads were never intended as an attack on race or religion, or as an attempt to divide our community. But, if they did, I want to take responsibility and sincerely apologize for any pain they may have caused.

Tinker goes to claim:
I wanted to be heard on the substantive issues of the campaign -- health care, Iraq, immigration and education, and I wanted to take the challenge offered by Cohen, to look closely at his voting record. Yet reporting on the congressional race came down to race and religion.

I can't blame Tinker for wanting make amends for the offensive ad campaign she ran, but her complaint about not being heard on the issues seems insincere to me.

During her one debate with opponents and in my own personal interview with her in the spring, she offered few details about her legislative agenda and objectives. This told me that she was either a policy lightweight who had no business running for Congress or she was being backed by supporters who could easily manipulate her into voting for the more privileged classes in our society, i.e., Big Business.

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