A top Kingston, Tenn., police official denied giving “special treatment” to Michael Mayfield after admitting he changed Mayfield’s initial court date from May to Aug. 27 — three weeks after an election that Mayfield’s father must win to reach Congress.
More from Chris Carroll:
“There’s no special treatment at all,” Kingston Assistant Police Chief Gary Nelson said. “It had nothing to do with the election coming up. It was totally my choice to pick that date.”
The court date for Mayfield is scheduled 25 days after the Aug. 2 Republican primary election in Tennessee’s 3rd Congressional District. That’s a crucial test for the political future of his father, Scottie Mayfield, who’s running against incumbent U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann.
On April 26, Michael Mayfield, 33, was charged with vandalism under $500 after he confessed to slashing a Fleischmann aide’s tire. The incident took place April 24 at a campaign event for his father at the Roane County Courthouse. In a public apology, Scottie Mayfield said he asked authorities to treat his son “like anyone else.”
A Chattanooga Times Free Press review of the 70 initial appearances in Roane County General Sessions Court for people arrested or cited between April 23-30 shows that the court date for the younger Mayfield is the last one. Two other dates are set for August, but the remaining 67 — some of which were assigned after Mayfield was charged — are scheduled for April, May, June and July.
He’s not debating, speaking or even appearing in public anytime soon, but Scottie Mayfield’s congressional campaign rejected rumors of its own demise five days after police said the dairy executive’s 33-year-old son slashed a rival aide’s tire at a campaign event.
So reports Chris Carroll. A further excerpt:
“We’re moving forward,” spokesman Joe Hendrix said Tuesday.
Mayfield is challenging U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann in Tennessee’s 3rd Congressional District Republican primary. Using surveillance footage taken during a sparsely attended Mayfield rally at the Roane County Courthouse last week, police charged Michael Mayfield with vandalism under $500 after he confessed to using a pocketknife to disable a Fleischmann aide’s left rear tire.
In a Chattanooga Times Free Press article published Sunday, Republican activists and officials questioned Mayfield’s long-term political viability and seriousness as a candidate, citing an overall lack of substance and a batch of negative publicity since Michael Mayfield walked into the Kingston Police Department and said, “I did it.”
A few party leaders pondered whether the elder Mayfield would drop out amid the fallout.
“That would be the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard,” campaign strategist Tommy Hopper said, “and I’ve heard some really absurd things. It has never been discussed, suggested or considered, at least in my mind or presence.”
Campaign officials are seeking to distance themselves and the candidate from the incident, declining to comment beyond a written apology released Thursday.
“This is a family matter at this point,” Hendrix said. “It’s not part of the staff, not a part of the campaign and not a part of the candidate in terms of what he is trying to do.”
Records show Michael Mayfield gave his father the maximum campaign contribution of $5,000 in March. Before the alleged criminal act, he stepped off a tour bus commissioned by the Mayfield campaign. Afterward, security cameras filmed him walking into the Roane County Courthouse, where the campaign was holding a meet-and-greet session with officials. Several paid staff joined the districtwide tour.
Scottie Mayfield apologized to U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann “and to the voters” after his 33-year-old son confessed to slashing a Fleischmann staffer’s tire at a Mayfield campaign event, reports the Chattanooga Times-Free Press.
“I am truly sorry and embarrassed,” wrote Mayfield, who’s challenging Fleischmann in Tennessee’s 3rd Congressional District Republican primary. “This kind of activity has no place in campaigns and we are regretful that it happened.”
The Mayfield campaign initially denied having anything to do with the incident, and the well-known dairy executive issued a public apology at the same time the Kingston Police Department on Thursday charged his son with a misdemeanor — two facts Fleischmann campaign spokesman Jordan Powell cited in dismissing Scottie Mayfield’s atonement as “politically motivated.”
“Is he apologizing because he’s sorry or because his son got caught?” Powell said.
Police charged Michael Mayfield with vandalism under $500 after he confessed, officials said. The incident was caught on video.
Mayfield strategist Tommy Hopper recently promised that the campaign would abstain from “political games” and “silly and childish attempts to diminish the other guys” after another video — “Scottie Mayfield Struggles to Answer Basic Questions” — anonymously was uploaded to YouTube last week.
See also, the News Sentinel
Blogger watcher Micheal Silence on Internet observations of Occupy Nashville:
There’s an old adage: “Don’t swat a hornet’s nest.”
That’s what the state of Tennessee did when it told a group of Occupy Nashville participants to get off public property, in this case the Legislative Plaza. Apparently, state officials thought the saying was “swat a hornet’s nest.”
The Tennessee blogosphere went blitzoid. As of this writing, there were more 5,400 people following @occupynashville on Twitter. From Mountain City to Memphis people sounded off on the controversy.
Mayor A C Wharton says he’ll use the $4.8 million that he’s getting from the private foundation of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to help reduce handgun violence in Memphis and spur economic development in the inner city, reports the Commercial Appeal.
The money will pay for “innovation teams” to focus on reviving blighted or abandoned properties in the city core and to approach the problem of handgun violence as a public health crisis, Wharton said.
Memphis is one of five cities splitting a $24 million grant as part of the Mayors Project, a government innovation program of Bloomberg Philanthropies.
“Mayors are uniquely positioned to tackle some of our most pressing challenges — from growing jobs to fighting climate change to keeping quality of life high,” Bloomberg said.
The $4.8 million grant requires a 50 percent local match, which would bring the total to $7.2 million. Kerry Hayes, special assistant to the mayor, said a “precise breakdown of public/private sources” for the $2.4 million match hasn’t been determined.