published Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

Goodbye Smith, Crutchfield

Hamilton County's Democratic party is taking a beating it doesn't deserve because two of its elders -- Paul Smith and Ward Crutchfield -- won't leave the podium. It's past time for them to go.

Crutchfield should know better than to call attention to himself. The 83-year-old former state senator left office in disgrace under the cloud of his felony bribery conviction in the Legislature's Tennessee Waltz scandal. How he managed in 2007 to wrangle an in-home penal sentence for that offense, and retain control of a $145,000 campaign war chest, still bothers many of his former constituents.

Yet Crutchfield has needlessly resurrected all those bad extortion memories recently by teasing suggestions that he may run for the City Council next year. He should save himself, and the party, from such an embarrassment.

Crutchfield's media flirtation is bad enough on its face; Paul Smith didn't have to add to the disgust. Regardless, disclosure of his mailing of an agenda package with a sexist joke to local Democrats for a meeting last month shows him to be a tone-deaf chauvinist who sees no harm to the party's reputation, if not his, for gratuitously printing an off-color misogynist poke at women.

He called it a harmless joke and claimed the Democratic women who objected were "troublemakers" who should have brought their objections to him instead of taking them to the media. That's a shamelessly unimaginable excuse. Even more strangely, Smith said the joke was intended illustrate what a "political Neanderthal" Missouri Rep. Todd Akin, a Republican senatorial candidate, was for saying (just days before Smith mailed his agenda) that women can "shut down" their body's capacity to become pregnant in cases of "legitimate rape," and therefore do not need the right to abortions for rape and incest.

Hello. Such a connection is as incomprehensible as Akin's outrageous notion. Indeed, Smith's sexist joke on the Democratic Party agenda automatically defines him as equally offensive as Akin. He obviously does not possess the intellect, sensitivity or character that his party needs. He should resign his party post immediately.

Sadly, Smith has refused even to apologize. He's just made matters worse by wading deeper into the swamp that has now trapped him. When asked about his circulation of the sexist job, he went to say that "we ought to honor women, we ought to give them the right to run for office." Apparently, the 75-year-old county party leader is still sexist enough to believe that men somehow possess the right to decide to let women run for office.

What a backward idea. Who is this "we," presumably men, that have authority to grant women the right to run for office? That is their constitutional right as a citizen. If Smith's notion isn't political Neanderthal thinking, what is? No wonder reports of Smith's sexist joke on the agenda for a Democratic Party meeting have grabbed national attention. Smith must resign. He and Crutchfield have done enough damage to the Democratic Party.

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
aae1049 said...

What is it the local Dem Party does not understand? People have complete lack of confidence in local government, and the Dem Party is enabling Ward Crutchfield and the TN Walters to return to public office. Pathetic.

The local Dem Party should be directing Ward Crutchfield, William Cotton and the Lindsay Street Cartel to never return to a meeting. Instead, they are planning their run for city council. Paul Smith needs to be fired.

There is valid reason to believe that the Lindsay Street Cartel still comprised of Crutchfield, has influence over decisions in our local government.

The public would like to believe that jail time for public corruption means you are out of local government. On the contrary in 2006, the Tennessee Parole for Sale (TN Par) Bag Man, William A. Thompson, and the Lindsay Street Cartel orchestrated the biggest land scam against the taxpayers to the tune for $800,000 for property for the Homeless that was so polluted the EPA issued sanctions that the property could not be used for overnight occupation. The TN Pars refused to share the environmental report with the appraisers, no problem. The Lindsay Street Cartel got a tax payers check anyway, defying SOP's for procurement rules.

The Crutchfield mob bosses must be kept out of City Government, and elected officials that enable them need to be rejected in the interest of good government. I believe that the Dem Party is the problem with our local government, as they have enabled corruption.

I plan to REJECT all elected officials with ties to Paul Smith and Crutchfield.

Yep, Lindsay Street Cartel, I am a "troublemaker."

September 26, 2012 at 6:02 a.m.
mountainlaurel said...

How many Democrats does it take to boot a smug egotistical Akin wannabe from office?

“Any person or persons holding office in the Executive Committee may be removed from such office by a majority vote of those members of the Executive Committee present and voting at any regular or special meeting following ten (10) days written notice to all members of the Executive Committee of intention to move the removal of such officer or officers and of the specific reasons therefore.”

September 26, 2012 at 8:24 a.m.
aae1049 said...

Goodbye!!! Lindsay Street Cartel, March 2013 you are all gone.

September 26, 2012 at 8:59 a.m.
jesse said...

The democrats suffer at the local and state level the same malaise that republicans suffer at the national level!they offer puzz poor candidates!

In reality there is ONLY ONE reason to vote for Obama, "ROMNEY"!

Absolutely NO reason to vote democratic at the local and state level!Maybe in 50 years folks around here will start to trust dems again but for now only the folks that the dems bought w/the war on poverty and the great society are in the bag!Gotta keep that rockin chair money comin!

September 26, 2012 at 11:46 a.m.
fairmon said...

The opening sentence in the article said..... Hamilton County's Democratic party is taking a beating it doesn't deserve.

Apparently it has earned and deserves it.

September 27, 2012 at 4:31 a.m.
lambswool said...

I am curious who exactly started the rumor about Ward Crutchfield running for office. I know that former party chair Stuart James is posting this, but nobody with half a brain pays attention to him.

September 27, 2012 at 8:18 p.m.
LenNich said...

I'm really amazed that the same people who criticize Paul Smith for having connections to Ward Crutchfield are the same people who reserved Ward Crutchfield an entire table at the Hamilton County Democratic Women's Club Christmas party a couple of years ago and fawn over him as if he were a rock star whenever he attends their meetings! Shame on you all for being so hypocritical.

October 1, 2012 at 10:05 p.m.
please login to post a comment

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »


Find a Business

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.