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Harold Ford Jr.'s Family Problems
The Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | December 20, 2005 | Oliver Staley

Posted on 12/20/2005 3:39:13 AM PST by mcg2000

Some See Kin as Baggage, But Attacking May Backfire

Of all the obstacles facing Rep. Harold Ford Jr. in his race for Senate, the most vexing might be his large, complicated and controversial family.

The latest incident involves Ford's father, former representative Harold Ford Sr., who last week alleged that voting irregularities in a state Senate race featuring his sister were engineered by Republicans in an effort to discredit his son.

On Monday, Ford Jr. said he did not share those views, nor has he discussed them with his father.

"That's my father's opinion," he said. "We talk every day but we really haven't gotten into that."

Emphasizing that his family had nothing to do with the votes cast in the names of two dead people, Ford Jr. said an investigation was nonetheless warranted.

"I do believe that these allegations are serious," he said. "If people are manufacturing votes, I want to know about it. If dead people are voting, it could affect the outcome of my race."

Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Bob Davis denies Ford Sr.'s charges and said the accusations will only harm Ford Jr.

"Congressman Ford (senior) has a history of making irresponsible statements," said Davis.

"What I do know is that every time he opens his mouth is 100 less votes for his son."

The controversy arose out of the tightly contested special election Sept. 15 between Ophelia Ford and Terry Roland to replace John Ford, Ford Sr.'s brother. John Ford was indicted in the "Tennessee Waltz" sting just days after Ford Jr. announced his Senate bid.

Ophelia Ford won the election by 13 votes, but the results are being examined by a special state Senate committee.

An investigation by The Commercial Appeal revealed that votes were cast in precinct 27-1 in the names of two elderly voters who died weeks before the election. Ford Sr. said that was the work of a Republican poll worker, Martha Hensley, to frame Ophelia Ford.

"It's nothing but Harold's race," Ford Sr. said Friday. "That's what this is all about."

Hensley called the charges false and slanderous.

It's unclear if Ford Jr. is damaged by the allegations of his aunt committing voter fraud or by his father's accusations.

Davis said any tumult involving Ford's family will stick to the candidate.

"It's a pattern for people to think about," Davis said. "What we're going to be doing (in the campaign) is talking about the congressman's record, but you can't help but think about it. At the end of the day, people are going to be thinking about whether Harold Ford Jr. is like his father or (uncle and convicted tax evader) Emmitt or Ophelia."

But State Democratic Party Chairman Bob Tuke said that while the Ford name might have certain connotations, Ford Jr. is dispelling them with his vigorous campaigning across the state.

Attempts to link Ford Jr. to his family could backfire, Tuke said.

"Tennessee voters will be offended if (the Republicans) try to visit upon one the perceived sins of his family," Tuke said. "Tennesseans don't go in for that."

In general, Ford Jr. has been reasonably successful at distancing himself from the embarrassing elements of his family, said Middle Tennessee State political science professor John Vile.

The latest flap "is hardly anything new," he said. "He's probably in a better position than anyone else who has to deal with it."

And while the Ford name carries with it some baggage, it helped him get elected in the first place, Vile said.

"He's profited from it and the downside is that you're sometimes hurt by it as well."

-- Oliver Staley: 529-6515


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events; US: Alabama; US: Arkansas; US: Georgia; US: Kentucky; US: Mississippi; US: Tennessee
KEYWORDS: blacks; corruption; fords; haroldfordjr; memphis; tennessee; thp; voterfraud; waltz
I have a friend who works for the CA. During breaks, many of the staff employees complain about the need to continually write about the Ford family.

"It's not fair they receive so much bad publicity without anyone highlighting all the good work they've done."

Prediction - The CA will step up to endorse Jr in the Senatorial race. The positive article will begin hitting several times per week with anything negative ignored.

1 posted on 12/20/2005 3:39:14 AM PST by mcg2000
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To: mcg2000
They love this guy on Fox and Friends and have him on all the time. He seems reasonable, for a black Democrat, at first blush, but in reality he is just a clever, power-hungery, politician.

I hope his career goes nowhere.
2 posted on 12/20/2005 3:48:13 AM PST by Ninian Dryhope ("Bush lied, people dyed. Their fingers." The inestimable Mark Steyn)
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To: Ninian Dryhope

Whose seat is he hoping to win? Lamar Alexander?
I can't stand the little creep. I hear him on Imus. I think he's a weasel of the first order.


3 posted on 12/20/2005 3:55:14 AM PST by Past Your Eyes (Some people are too stupid to be ashamed.)
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To: Past Your Eyes

Bill Frist is vacating ...


4 posted on 12/20/2005 3:55:51 AM PST by mcg2000 (New Orleans: The city that declared Jihad against The Red Cross.)
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To: Past Your Eyes
"I think he's a weasel of the first order."

Good description. Unfortunately, first order weasels have a history of having excellent political careers.
5 posted on 12/20/2005 3:57:20 AM PST by Ninian Dryhope ("Bush lied, people dyed. Their fingers." The inestimable Mark Steyn)
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To: mcg2000

The last Democrat who won a state wide race was Gov. Phil Bredesen. The reason being that he did extremely well in Republican East Tennessee. His race with Van Hilleary was characterized by a "me too" campaign in which not much distinction could be drawn between the two candidates. Towards the end of the campaign, Bredesen's promise to reform the Transportation Department and "the arrogance of TDOT" is what tipped the scales in his favor - especially in the Knoxville area.

There will be plenty of differences between Ford and whoever runs against him.

Harold Ford will do well in the Memphis and Nashville, which are traditional Democrat areas. But he will do poorly in the rural sections of Tennessee - especially in the eastern portion of the state.

No way is this guy going to win.


6 posted on 12/20/2005 3:58:26 AM PST by wingman1 (University of Vietnam 1970. Forget? Hell.)
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To: wingman1

Bredesen defiantly broke campaign finance laws and bought the election. Van Hilleary didn't have the $$ to keep up with his cheating.


7 posted on 12/20/2005 3:59:43 AM PST by fieldmarshaldj (Cheney X -- Destroying the Liberal Democrat Traitors By Any Means Necessary -- Ya Dig ? Sho 'Nuff.)
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To: mcg2000

The Commie Appeal has been the official water carriers for the Ford family for decades, I don't expect that to change at all. And the dead regularly vote for the Fords as do felons, as do the mentally defecient in nursing homes.


8 posted on 12/20/2005 4:04:54 AM PST by GailA (Happy Birthday to my Lord and Savior Jesus.)
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To: GailA

I remember that story the CA wouldn't touch ... how the Ford's had "questionable" voter rides given to elderly with mental conditions.

I can't remember the exact quote ... but, Joe Ford said something to the idea of "just because they are not as sharp as anyone else, doesn't mean they can't vote." lol

He's also the city official who made the biggest stink about losing his car allowance - he can't get a car loan without a co-signer ... and his wife didn't qualify either!!! LOL LOL


9 posted on 12/20/2005 4:09:07 AM PST by mcg2000 (New Orleans: The city that declared Jihad against The Red Cross.)
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To: GailA

But it is better than Wayne (sp?) Ford who was narrowly defeated last year. He flunked out (didn't quite) of HS in the 10th grade.

He called it a racist attack by the GOP to bring into focus his lack of an education. It wasn't quite as elegant as that past sentence! lol


10 posted on 12/20/2005 4:10:33 AM PST by mcg2000 (New Orleans: The city that declared Jihad against The Red Cross.)
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To: Past Your Eyes

No,Bill Frist. Lamar is up in 2oo8.I can't stand him either. He sure did stick with Lurch in 2004.


11 posted on 12/20/2005 4:16:01 AM PST by Jen from Tn.
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To: wingman1

I agree. Bredesen also won because of sleezy Rhino Sunquist.


12 posted on 12/20/2005 4:18:10 AM PST by Jen from Tn.
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To: Past Your Eyes

Ford is a weasel, and probably one of the most ambitious politicians in America today. At the ripe young age of 34 he ran for House Minority Leader against the eventual winner Nancy Pelosi, a move that did not endear him to the dem leadership. If I had to guess I'd say Ford is not well liked by his fellow dems, and not well respected by the Repubs. All in all I think it will be a big uphill fight for him to win Frist's senate seat next year.


13 posted on 12/20/2005 4:23:04 AM PST by moose2004 (You Can Run But You Can't Hide!)
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To: moose2004

Ford does tend to vote fairly conservative or what one would perceive as a true Dem voter. He's by no means a hardline socialist or fringe communist as many in the Dem party have become.

He'll carry urban areas in the state and that's it. He'll go down and then appear on FOX News as a host.


14 posted on 12/20/2005 4:42:13 AM PST by mcg2000 (New Orleans: The city that declared Jihad against The Red Cross.)
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To: Jen from Tn.

"Bredesen also won because of sleezy Rhino Sunquist."

Hilleary lost alot of RINO voters because of his contempt for Sundquist and some key legislators who were running for re-election and were in favor of the income tax.

Anti-income tax Republicans have done well lately and should provide a good base of support for the GOP Senate campaign. Most of the RINOs have been voted out of office. I can name at least 5 from the upper eastern part of the state.


15 posted on 12/20/2005 4:42:21 AM PST by wingman1 (University of Vietnam 1970. Forget? Hell.)
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To: wingman1

Corruption involving:

Gov Bredesen
Tennessee Waltz
Voter Fraud

Combining:

Income Tax Talk
Less Moralistic Legislation
Increasing Crime

If these can't spell a sweep for the GOP ... it's a an embarrassment to the state.


16 posted on 12/20/2005 4:47:51 AM PST by mcg2000 (New Orleans: The city that declared Jihad against The Red Cross.)
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To: GailA
Who is going to run for the 9th district seat? Another Ford?
17 posted on 12/20/2005 4:51:14 AM PST by Sybeck1 (Dr. Adrian Rogers, September 12, 1931 - November 15, 2005)
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To: mcg2000

Ford's jealousy of Obama is palpable. Ford is in the wrong state and he knows it. If he was in Illinois, he'd challenge Reid for Minority leadership of the Senate and then place himself for a V.P. slot eventually. He can't win in Tenn. and it's eating away at him.


18 posted on 12/20/2005 4:53:34 AM PST by MattinNJ (Allen/Pawlenty in 08-play the map.)
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To: Ninian Dryhope

Harold Ford Jr., is on FOX & FRIENDS? That shows how astute Harold is. He's the fair haired boy of Don Imus, and is on IMUS frequently, always accompanied by high praise from Imus. He loves the guy!!

Anyone on the right who is fooled by Harold Ford Jr's reasonable sounding rhetoric IS a fool. He's slicker than snot, polished and practiced in the art of political spit and spin, "signifying nothing". He's a charlatan! Just as liberal as every other outrageous, member of the Black Caucus, but smart enough to conceal it. (Have you ever seen Harold cozying up to Sheila Jackson Lee or Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton or John Lewis? Ain't gonna happen.)

With Barack Obama a senator, getting all the mushy, gushy love from the MSM, I bet Harold is pea green with envy.


19 posted on 12/20/2005 5:49:51 AM PST by YaYa123
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To: mcg2000

Let's go all the way with this criminal family stuff. That would ensure that Clinton could be retroactively be thrown out of office and that no Kennedy would ever be elected again.


20 posted on 12/20/2005 6:49:41 AM PST by Inwoodian
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To: Sybeck1; fieldmarshaldj

Here are the potential candidates for the 9th CD according to Politics1.com (I placed an asterisk before those who have not declared their intentions to run). Joe Ford ( http://www.shelbycountytn.gov/FirstPortal/dotShowDoc/dotContent/Government/ShelbyCountyCommission/joeford.htm
), who is listed as Harold Jr.'s brother but whom I think must be his cousin (DJ, would you know?), is an undeclared, potential candidate.

*Calvin Anderson (D) - Insurance Company Executive

*D'Army Bailey (D) - Circuit Court Judge, Ex-Berkeley (Cal.) City Councilman & Civil Rights Activist

*Steve Cohen (D) - State Sen., Ex-Shelby County Commissioner & Attorney

Laura Davis (D) - '05 State Sen. Candidate

*Joe Ford (D) - Shelby County Commissioner, Funeral Home Owner & Brother of US Rep. Ford

Lee Harris (D) - Law School Professor, Attorney & Community Activist

*Myron Lowery (D) - Mephis City Councilman, DNC Member & Ex-TV News Reporter

*Herman Morris Jr. (D) - Ex-Memphis Light Gas & Water Company President

*Tyson Pratcher (D) - Congressional Aide

Ron Redwing (D) - Ex-Memphis Mayoral Aide & Political Consultant

Ed Stanton (D) - Attorney

Nikki Tinker (D) - Attorney & Ex-Congressional Aide

John Farmer (R) - Quality Control Engineer & '05 State Sen. Candidate

http://www.politics1.com/tn.htm


21 posted on 12/20/2005 7:15:08 AM PST by AuH2ORepublican (http://auh2orepublican.blogspot.com/)
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To: AuH2ORepublican
So it looks Harold Sr. won't be able to name Jr's successor easily.
22 posted on 12/20/2005 7:31:39 AM PST by Sybeck1 (Dr. Adrian Rogers, September 12, 1931 - November 15, 2005)
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To: Ninian Dryhope

Yeah, look at McCain.


23 posted on 12/20/2005 7:33:38 AM PST by tiki
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To: Sybeck1


More than likely. I've not seen the field of RATS running yet, then again I've not been keeping a eye on The Commie Appeal much either. I've got a new job and am dating nearly every night lately and that is the important thing in my life right now.


24 posted on 12/20/2005 1:49:33 PM PST by GailA (Happy Birthday to my Lord and Savior Jesus.)
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To: Ninian Dryhope

One of the reasons they probably love him is that he's a member of the "Blue Dog Coalition". Those dems tend to vote fairly moderate positions (for dems), and also tend to be somewhat of fiscal conservatives - they may not vote for huge tax cuts, but they tend to be deficit hawks... meaning that they care more about a balanced budget than 90% of the Republicans in Congress today....


25 posted on 12/23/2005 6:28:43 AM PST by eraser2005
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