NPR Web Story on Mayoral Candidates

This is a questionnaire for a web story for our local NPR affiliate. I hope it goes well! 


1) How old are you?

I am 37 years of age.

2) What is your profession?

I wear a few hats. I own an arts-centric commercial property called The Packing Plant, that houses several galleries, including student-run project spaces, a professor-run exhibition space, and more established commercial galleries. I also recently wrapped up two seasons as a series regular on a sitcom called “Still the King” that aired on CMT, starring Billy Ray Cyrus and Joey Lauren Adams. I am a member of SAG, but was also previously a member of the Carpenters Union, having gone through their apprenticeship program after graduate school and doing union carpentry work for 8 years before the TV show.

3) Describe your family (spouse and children)?

I have two cool kids, Zollie Maude (aged 2-½) and Keen Alva (aged 7 months) that are constantly entertaining and a cool wife, who works as a director at Nashville CARES, working on HIV/AIDS support outreach.

4) What is the candidate's campaign schedule (appearances, fundraisers, speeches, etc.)?

Mostly exhausting social media possibilities, I am also participating in several mayoral candidate fora with different non-profits and media outlets. Running a half-assed smart-ass campaign is way more time consuming that I could have imagined, so Im trying to limit my activity to get best bang for the buck, as I also work most of the day as well as work at my warehouse after I put the kids to bed.

5) Can you send a campaign platform summary (about one paragraph)?

The platform has a solid 4-fold approach: Corruption, Hypocrisy, Influence, and Taxes (CHIT)- a platform that has a guaranteed success rate. Corruption- its a pay to play program going to the highest bidder. We might as well open the general funds to the general public. Hypocrisy - make promises, break promises, just claim that your ideas have ‘evolved’ for an easy-out. Influence - who are the men behind the mask? Where is the fountain of eternal dark money? Most of our seasoned politicians can point you the way. Taxes - regressive taxes borne by general public to benefit the private few will occur, but favors will be made to special friends and special interests. Implementation is not contingent on my victory. In fact, because I would be so bad at executing the CHIT program, I am asking my supporters to actively support the more seasoned politicos. I’m just a political newbie who doesn’t know the ropes, but still isn't afraid to get in the ring. If it’s all an act, you might as well go with an actor.

6) Can you provide a headshot of the candidate?

Can do.

7) Do you have a campaign chairperson? If so, what is their name?

8) Do you have a treasurer? If so, what is their name?

An old friend who has tolerated other antics, Dean Shortland has offered up his financial savvy to work as campaign treasurer. I sincerely hope and pray that he has nothing to do and that there are no funds coming in, just as there should be none going out. I’m not the man for the job!

Questionnaire from Tennessean Editorial Board for mayoral candidates

so I filled this out. Figured id share it publicly for more pain for pleasure! My pain is your gain!


What makes you qualified to hold this office, and if applicable, better qualified than your opponents? *


Being qualified as a candidate has been a great honor and the result of having at least 25 verified signatures of registered voters, meeting some basic residency requirements set out by state and local statute, and meeting the strenuous minimum age requirements. Because my platform includes a four-fold approach to city management through Corruption, Hypocrisy, Influence, and Taxes (CHIT), I must admit that I envy the political experience of my opponents and find it difficult to compete. Being a political newbie, I am not well acquainted with the hidden power structure that helps funnel massive amounts of money into the political arena for private gain from public resources. I would like to say that in order to ensure steady transfer of political titles to buttress a behind-the-scenes maintenance of continual influence, I cannot provide that safe passage. I have no access to the fountains of dark money to distribute. Don’t be a Fool, Don’t Vote for Sewell as a means to secure a more efficient implementation of CHIT.


Given the news of the failings of a few prominent officials recently, what will you do to restore faith and trust in public institutions in Nashville and Davidson County? *


The entertainment value of local politics has really pared in comparison to the national stage. Faith and trust have become marketing tools and campaign promises. I believe to a certain extent the general public understands that you don’t vote for the institutions, because they are entrenched and the real people pulling the strings aren’t really going anywhere. Yeah, someone got a little too much power and footnotes became headlines; and, the arsonists were acting like its no big deal some bridges got burned because of the water moving under them. Faith and trust do not abound, because now more people have been made aware that power is a dangerous thing, even in the hands of a progressive politico. You can elect a new store manager but they really just want to act like owners, taking profits and long vacations. But the problem is power corrupts. Those who want power, really just want their piece of the pie. Power works best in the hands of those who don’t want it.


What are you hearing most from voters about what they want you to accomplish, if elected? *


Voters’ responses to my campaign run the spectrum from bewilderment to befuddlement and back again. I encourage the theater and embrace the spectacle now! They say, “Good Luck” and I respond “God Forbid!” But then I wonder could I really do any worse?

Describe a difficult decision you had to make in life or professionally and how you resolved it? *


I love this question! Literally a job interview question taken from a basic application template, this is a standard-issue doozy. Most of my difficult decision making in my professional life has been making sure I make enough to cover expenses for me and my family and pay back any debts owed. I have discovered that while a lot of those difficult decisions are widely shared, it’s also important to remember that there are some people who will never experience that daily struggle. Born into privilege and without worry. Pity the poor souls at the top getting all that cheese only to find out it has holes in it. I can say some of my most difficult professional decisions have not been based on how much I can get away with without being caught- because I wont get caught!


Describe a mistake you made in your career and how you recovered from it? *


I’m really enjoying the fact that a mayoral campaign would have to fill out a job application question. Because I have had and still maintain several different career trajectories, I get to make all sorts of mistakes. Why be limited? I still make mistakes every single day, and some I learn from and some end up snowballing to the point where you’re filling out job-related questionnaires in your bathtowel after getting home late and taking a shower at midnight but really wanting to turn your homework in on time even though you’re nearing 40. Keep making mistakes! Don’t stop living in the red.


Will you commit to being civil in how you present yourself and the way you interact with opponents and others? *


This question is a difficult one to answer mostly because the substance (the meat to sink the logical teeth into) is ill-defined. As men and women of letters, we know that words matter. But their use is contingent on meaning. If I use a word with varied and general meanings, its hard to say boo on something slightly good. If we approach “being civil” as a virtue, we know that its not something learned or occasionally applied, its an intrinsic element of someone’s practice. Sure, everyone’s going to say, “Yeah, Ill be civil” even though both parties haven’t even settled on a precise definition. If you wish to converse, define you terms. The definition of terms is the path to wisdom. But without it, anyone cay say they are civil, even though they be kleptocratic (corrupt), self-denying (hypocritical), inconsistent (influenced) sophists (taxing our patience).


Is there anything else you would like us to know about you, your values and priorities? *


I got into this because I thought I could poke a little fun, and tell some jokes about pitiful public resource management, but its really a pitifully serious comedy. Its all an act, and not just from me if Im being humbly honest. This city is experiencing the most rapid and well-financed growth it has ever seen, and yet somehow we cant make ends meet as a city? We’re so desirous of being chosen that we’re subsidizing new friendships: literally paying thru write-downs, and fill-ups of private coffers. We got the power but squandered it. The Trojan horse of incentives, subsidies and benefits have kicked up enough growth that its kicked back a Pyrhric victory to the people. We have the resources people are looking for, but the shopkeep has declared a winners-take-all fire sale to liquidate public potential, but its a members only discount with few available openings.


actors to the stage!

So I got invited to a mayoral forum! very excited to meet the other actors. I heard we have to bring our own wardrobe. Does anyone know if they have Hair & Makeup? I think the green room should be pretty nice because a lot of people wear ties and high heels. should be catered! maybe i can score a few snacks for later in case i get hungry. I hear sometimes people have an entourage like with their talent agents and managers and they bring their own props like spouse and children and notepads.  It should be fun. Are you supposed to thank the people who paid for your acting lessons? or just hook it upon the sidetip later? Gonna be so much fun! so much to learn from the pros!

so they got an inheritance?

TN supreme court moved election up to May , instead of August in a royal legal rumble. The top candidates got the ear of Old Nashville, as the spawn of a previous politico period or beneficiaries of a bounty. They got the low-down coming-up because they got the down-low when they were growing up! Get your finger on the pulse by being born into a provincial political dynasty- or sidle up to the big salaries!. You weren't made for the job because the mold was made many decades ago!

See y'all out there, where the dining room turns into divine right.