Skip to comments.Harold Ford Jr.'s Family Problems
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
"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.
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.
Bill Frist is vacating ...
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.
Bredesen defiantly broke campaign finance laws and bought the election. Van Hilleary didn't have the $$ to keep up with his cheating.
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.
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
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
No,Bill Frist. Lamar is up in 2oo8.I can't stand him either. He sure did stick with Lurch in 2004.
I agree. Bredesen also won because of sleezy Rhino Sunquist.
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.
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.
"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.
Income Tax Talk
Less Moralistic Legislation
If these can't spell a sweep for the GOP ... it's a an embarrassment to the state.
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.
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.
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.