Push polling in Mt. Juliet?

We’ve received several reports of push-polling going on in Mt. Juliet by Linda Elam someone. A push poll is a technique in which an individual or organization attempts to influence or alter the view of respondents under the guise of conducting a poll.

A push poll starts out sounding like an attempt to find out the political leanings of the voter, but the questions soon change to a format that is designed to plant negative (or sometimes positive) information with a voter.

In Mt. Juliet, the reports are that the questions include “Would it make a difference to you if you knew that Wendell Marlowe remained on the  County Commission for six months after he moved out of his district?” and “Would it make a difference to you if you knew that Kevin Mack was dismissed as the chairman of the Wilson County Republican Party for being too combative?” Also included are two questions about Linda Elam: “Would it make a difference to you if you knew that Linda Elam had been censured by the City Commission?” and “Would it make a difference to you if you knew that the City Attorney had conducted an investigation of Mayor Elam and cleared her of all of the ethics charges?”

The only candidate that the push-poller gives any positive information about is Mayor Linda Elam.

It’s pretty amusing, actually. Marlowe, Mack, & Bradshaw all have campaign signs out. Mack and Marlowe both have web sites up. Linda Elam Some candidate is building their campaign around push polling.

I think Linda Elam whoever it is is insulting underestimating the intelligence of the Mt. Juliet voters. Two of the reports passed on to us came from voters who challenged the caller and demanded to know which campaign was paying for the calls.

Oh, and the most interesting detail? The political hacks hired guns pollsters callers always ask for the “male registered voter” in the household. Someone’s stereotype is showing.

– Publius

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “Push polling in Mt. Juliet?

  1. Looking Toward The Future

    This almost sounds like a Ray Justice technique…

  2. Chris Sorey

    It is a company out of Virginia and most likely paid for by a PAC that has been linked to a local candidate in the past. The wording in the call had me convinced of the same conclusions as Publius. Bradshaw was not mentioned at all, and that might lead some to think it was him. I doubt Bradshaw had anything to do with this and they lef thim out because they do not see him as a strong candidate.

    If it was paid for by a PAC, then the candidate who stands to benefit has some deniability. Sound familiar?

  3. Lori Ruotolo

    I like the way this article was written…

  4. Butch Huber

    Here is my little push-poll:

    Voter: “would you be more inclined or less inclined to vote for Mayor Elam if you were to discover that she surreptitiously went to work for a local developer after she lost her bid for County Executive two years ago?”

    Voter: “would you be more inclined or less inclined to vote for Mayor Elam if you were to discover that she received a massive amount of money in her last campaign from the very developer, and other persons and/or entities surrounding the developer, that hired her after she failed in that election?”

    Voter: “would you be more inclined or less inclined to vote for Mayor Elam if you were to discover that, while working and acting on the behalf of her employer/developer, Mayor Elam called then City Planner under color of office and tried to use her influence as mayor to get the City Planner to remove a condition from the tech review committee agenda; a condition that was obviously undesirable to her employer?”

    Voter: “would you be more inclined or less inclined to vote for Mayor Elam if you were to discover that, when Linda was unable to illegally sway the City Planner, she called one of the best land use attorney’s in the state to represent her employer against the best interests of the city?”

    Voter: “would you be more inclined or less inclined to vote for Mayor Elam if you were to discover that she was trying to spend upward of $20,000,000 of hard earned taxpayer money on an aquatics center that she was going to then turn the keys to that center over to the YMCA so the YMCA could make profits off of it?”

    Voter: “would you be more inclined or less inclined to vote for Mayor Elam if you were to discover that she met with Pulte Homes employee Chris Ryan to discuss acquiring what would have been illegal building permits in return for Chris Ryan’s company donating another six figures toward a ladder truck fund?”

    Voter: “would you be more inclined or less inclined to vote for Mayor Elam if you were to discover that, the only developer in Mt. Juliet that was building buildings tall enough to need a ladder truck was Linda’s Developer/Employer”?

    Voter: “would you be more inclined or less inclined to vote for Mayor Elam if you were to discover that there were 6 city employees involved in that meeting with Mayor Elam and Pulte Homes and that 5 of the 6 employees eventually delivered damaging testimony against Linda in an investigation conducted in regard to a complaint against her, and that all 5 ended up either being fired, forced to resign, or forced to retire, while the only person not returning damaging testimony against her not only got a promotion to department head, he got a substantial raise that elevated his salary above the person vacating his position was making after many years with the city…oh and by the way, the mayor was trying to get him more money than even the new city manager makes, and that the new city manager started at a substantially higher salary than the previous city manager was making after 6 or 7 years on the job?”

    Voter: “would you be more inclined or less inclined to vote for Mayor Elam if you were to discover that she met with Rob Shearer to force him to resign under threats and intimidation. Included in your discovery you found that she had called Ray Justice and Ed Haggerty to determine if they would vote to fire him for cause, then, having obtained a “yes” answer from both of them, she used that information to extract a resignation from Rob under threat that he would be fired without a severance package and then have to fight to win a court battle if he hoped to get paid according to his contract. Also included in that discovery would be the evidence that she was once again acting under color of office, which is Misconduct, that she offered a severance package that was not authorized under the City Manager’s contract with the city, that she violated the state sunshine laws in order to obtain his resignation, that because of the fact that she violated the state sunshine laws, and because of the fact that his resignation was obtained under duress, the city commission should have, by law, not accepted his resignation and should have launched an investigation. Included in your discovery was the fact that I advised this commission of the behavior of the mayor and they did nothing to stop her. Would that discover make you more inclined or less inclined to vote for Linda?”

    Voter: “would you be more inclined or less inclined to vote for Mayor Elam if you were to discover that Linda abused her authority and violated city policy by publicly announcing that Former City Public Works Director Hatton Wright had yet another sexual harassment complaint against him. Included in that discovery was the knowledge that Mayor Elam “encouraged” (Her words, not mine) Ms. Cathy Reitz to file a sexual harassment complaint against the Public Works Director. Included in your discovery is Linda’s and Rob Shearer’s testimony that Mayor Elam was extremely angry at the Public Works Director because, rather than lay there like a lap dog when she was trying to get the illegal building permits for Chris Ryan of Pulte Homes, he stood his ground, which embarrassed Mayor Elam, and she was hounding City Manager Rob Shearer to force the Public Works Director to make a formal public apology. Included in your discovery was the fact that the original writing that led to that complaint of sexual harassment was a six page writing outlining many, many issues regarding public works, but nothing that would rise to the level of sexual harassment on the part of the Public Works Director. Included in that discovery was the fact that the investigating attorney agreed that there wasn’t sexual harassment on the part of the public works director. Included in that discovery was the knowledge of fact that the Mayor and City Attorney collaborated on the sexual harassment to determine just how to write it and that the mayor declared that she instructed Ms. Reitz on how to write her sexual harassment complaint. Included in that discovery was the assertion of Cathy Reitz husband, John Reitz, that not only did Mayor Elam instruct Ms. Reitz on “how” to write the complaint, she instructed her on “what” to write in her complaint. Included in your discovery was the fact that Mayor Elam made the unilateral decision not to submit the six page writing authored by Ms. Reitz to the city manager, which precluded him from addressing Mrs. Reitz concerns appropriately (Concerns, that if true, needed immediate attention). Would it make a difference to you if you were to discover all of that?”

    Voter: “would you be more inclined or less inclined to vote for Mayor Elam if you were to discover that, while Linda did wrestle land for free out of Providence and Paddocks, two of the three major developments that are ongoing at the intersection of Mt. Juliet Road and Route 40, she hasn’t wrestled any free land from the developer of Mt. Juliet Crossings, the third developer at the intersection of Mt. Juliet Road and Route 40 and the same developer she secretly went to work for?”

    Voter: “would you be more inclined or less inclined to vote for Mayor Elam if you were to discover that, while Linda testified under oath that she had no involvement in any projects for her developer/employer that were before the city, she in fact was involved and actually took action on behalf of her employer against the better interests of the city?”

    Voter: “would you be more inclined or less inclined to vote for Mayor Elam if you were to discover that, Linda voted for an ethics ordinance that makes it nearly impossible for you and I to hold her accountable for any misdeeds she has done or will do in the future?”

    Voter: “would you be more inclined or less inclined to vote for Mayor Elam if you were to discover that, while the Mayor and the former acting city manager were involved in firing Bobby Franklin on supposed charges that he was attempting grant fraud, they both signed a written bond statement for a $10,000,000 bond offering from the city that contained very similar, if not even more troublesome untruths. Included in your discovery is the fact that Bobby Franklin wasn’t even involved in the issue they fired him for, but the Mayor’s Signature and the former acting city manager’s signature on the written statement on the bond offering proves they were involved.”

    Voter: Would you be more inclined or less inclined to vote for Mayor Elam if you were to discover that Linda Elam’s first pick for city manager was an ultra-liberal, bow-tie wearing, gay rights activist from Province Town Massachusetts who was performing illegal gay marriages? Would that matter to you?

    I could do this all day.

    I am not going to say anything about Marlowe here.

    I am not even going to take this opportunity to champion Kevin Mack.

    All I will say about Jim Bradshaw at this point is:

    Voter: “would you be more inclined or less inclined to vote for Jim Bradshaw if you were to discover that, he voted against a complaint, even against the advise of his closest advisor, that would have brought everything out into the light of day for all to see what the mayor and commissioners were up to?”

    Voter: “would you be more inclined or less inclined to vote for Jim Bradshaw if you were to discover that, he voted for an ethics ordinance that makes it nearly impossible to hold public officials in Mt. Juliet accountable for their actions.”

    Voter: “would you be more inclined or less inclined to vote for Jim Bradshaw if you were to discover that, upon observing his voting record, it doesn’t appear that Jim doesn’t play well or get along with others?”

    Push polls don’t have to be true, they are simply asking the “what if” questions. Boy, if I started doing that it could really get heated. I am really holding myself back on some “what if” questions about Miss. Linda Elam.

  5. ~robyn

    I take it you are disenchanted with the public service provided by Mayor Elam? A bow-tie wearing ultra-liberal gay rights activist? No kidding? I wonder who let some scoundrel like that into TN (or worse – Mt Juliet!) ? No, don’t tell me … Mayor Elam extended a personal invitation, right?

    I’m glad I’m at the beginning of information collection regarding who I want to represent me in running the city I live in. Thank you for your opinion on this matter … it helps me build the bigger picture I am seeking about our local politicians and the constituency who love them.

  6. Bozo

    ~robyn, are gays scoundrels?

  7. Nathan Clariday

    Did Elam actually ask to put her signs in yards?
    or did she just put them in the right-away

    Since they just voted a sign ordinance that will not allow signs to be placed in the right-away anymore without owner approval

  8. Butch Huber

    Robin,

    I am disenchanted with Mayor Elam. She masqueraded as a conservative to get elected to Mayor and then she took a hard left. She effectively gutted this city of the best leadership it has had, possibly from the beginning. She managed to do that by getting people to trust her and then turning on them.

    Case in point. She had Rob Shearer working hard on her speech she was going to do before the chamber of commerce. At the meeting she sang his praises to the Chamber. Then, two days later, she meets with him to force him to resign?

    She can’t be trusted. We trusted her with the office of mayor and she then went to work for a local developer without letting us know what she was doing. She abused her office. And she performed services for her employer against the best interests of the city. In the meantime, she is twisting arms of other local developers and doing special favors for those who can help her politically. Robyn, ask yourself, is that the type of person you want representing you in local government?

    Marlowe moved out of his district as a county commissioner and still served as the commissioner of that district. He may be a lot of things good, but that is a serious breach of trust. He had to know that it wasn’t legal or appropriate for him to move to another district and still represent the one he was elected from.

    Bradshaw voted to illegally dismiss a legitimate complaint that I had filed (he was named in the complaint as well) and then voted to make it nearly impossible for anyone to file an ethics complaint against him.

    Mack, if we elect him, will work hard to reverse the damages done by this commission and reopen this government to the public scrutiny and he will put the city back on track with healthy, responsible growth and prosperity. Vote Mack!

  9. Butch Huber

    For the record, I never said Mr. Keith Bergman is a scoundrel. He is however, a bow-tie wearing ultra-liberal gay rights activist. Google Keith Bergman and follow the trails and you will see that I am right.
    What you think about him and what he stands for is your business. However, West Wilson is still a very conservative leaning (hence Mayor Elam’s masquerade as a conservative to get herself elected. BTW…she actually fashioned herself as a fiscal conservative while she was trying to foist a $20,000,000 gift to the YMCA on us. Who does she think she is, Bill Clinton? Only Slick Willy can thumb through your wallet and convince you that he isn’t trying to steal from you.), and being very conservative she should have had the respect not to try to bring him here. Go read the links, I believe you will find that Keith Bergman was willing to violate the law and the orders of the governor to illegally marry gays. This was the best that Linda could come up with?

    When she couldn’t get Keith, she settled for Randy. Randy is a very abrasive, public records hiding, stubborn headed, hot headed person who seems to be trying to hide something from the public. It doesn’t appear that he was very well liked where he came from. It appears that Randy wanted to set policy in the last city he was a manager in just like he is trying to set policy here.

  10. ~robyn

    Hi Bozo –

    I can’t say that I would characterize any of the gay folks I know as a scoundrel, but it sure sounded to me as if Butch was saying such about Mayor Elam’s “first pick for city manager”. My comment was tongue in cheek, because after reading his ad hominem attack I considered much of the rest of his commentary to lose integrity. (And some of his other points may be valid!)

    I am just trying to educate myself before exercising my privilege to vote. I don’t know much about Mayor Elam or those who are challenging her in this election.

    I’m glad to have newly discovered this site and can read about others experience while trying to make my own decisions through this election process. I may even include a thought or three of my own along the way. (-:

  11. ~robyn

    Hi Butch –

    Thanks for your additional comment regarding your experience and perspective. I did as you suggested, googled Keith Bergman. The first “hit” i read through was titled, “A laudible legacy”, and went on to include that no matter how folks felt about Bergman, all would agree he is smart, effective, organized, and works harder than anyone else in town. Hardly what i would call negative attributes of someone in public service. I’m not a big fan of bow-ties though, so you might have a point there.

    Thank god Slick Willy didn’t need to make a plea for $700B to bolster a non-regulated, diseased financial infrastructure or suffer the peril of its collapse. That would have really emptied my wallet! (-:

    It looks like I need to keep looking for more information about both Mayor Elam and the city manager (Randy?) to make sure my vote will be a fully informed one. Hopefully, continuing to read through the discussions here, and elsewhere if available, will be helpful. Thanks again! I’ll be looking for more information on your man Mack, as well as others up for the job.

  12. ~robyn

    p.s. i agree that government transparency is paramount, regardless if it’s city, county, state or federal level. the people are not served when that transparency is compromised.

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