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TN Politics: The Politics of Going Away


Three Tennessee officials from different realms of government each found themselves in a negative spotlight this week. Political analyst Otis Sanford explains why each is relevant to local voters.

Shelby County Clerk Wanda Halbert had closed down clerks offices across the county so that employees could catch up on a huge backlog of work. But Halbert, herself, took a vacation to Jamaica, prompting questions of leadership and responsibility from both media and government.

Memphis-Shelby County Superintendent Joris Ray tendered his resignation while admitting no wrongdoing in the wake of an external investigation into his extramarital affairs with district employees.

And former Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada was arrested by the FBI after an indictment alleging a conspiracy that involves bribery and kickbacks.

Finally, the National Civil Rights Museum announced its Freedom Award nominees this week, which include FedEx founder Fred Smith. Smith, a billionaire, has supported numerous charities and institutions in Memphis, but his personal politics and generous support of the Republican party may raise eyebrows from those on the front lines of the civil rights movement.

Reporting from the gates of Graceland to the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, Christopher has covered Memphis news, arts, culture and politics for more than 20 years in print and on the radio. He is currently WKNO's News Director and Senior Producer at the University of Memphis' Institute for Public Service Reporting. Join his conversations about the Memphis arts scene on the WKNO Culture Desk Facebook page.