McLemore, County Supervisor and Unions Endorse Johnson | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

McLemore, County Supervisor and Unions Endorse Johnson

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Former City Councilman Leslie McLemore is Jackson State University's interim president.

Former Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. racked up endorsements today from organizations representing city employees, and from acting Mayor and outgoing Ward 2 Councilman Leslie McLemore, and from Hinds County Supervisor Doug Anderson.

Jackson Police Officers Association President Juan Cloy endorsed the former mayor shortly after noon, and was joined by city union head Brenda Scott, who spoke for a city employee union representing more than 500 city employees.

Cloy said the police union—which contains about 200 city police officers—came to their conclusion after several "intense" meeting with the two candidates. Cloy said former Councilman Marshand Crisler didn't show enough willingness to help city police officers achieve better working standards during his years as a city councilman.

"Crisler was a city council person for eight years and a law enforcement officer for 17 years … but we told Mr. Crisler about several occasions when the union had sought a better quality of life for the police officers of Jackson and we did not feel that he pushed at all for the officers of Jackson," Cloy said, and referenced several instances when the union lobbied the Mississippi Legislature with pro-police bills that they claim Crisler did not stand behind.

"We were not able to get the support that we wanted and we felt we needed from Mr. Crisler," Cloy said. "We felt that as a council person he could have given a lot more support, or even birthed some ideas, to raise the quality of life for officers and we feel he didn't do much."

Cloy first hit the news as a supporter of the fledgling Melton administration four years ago, though he said he eventually grew cynical about Melton's promises to improve the lives of city police officers.

"We recognize that there are some things that we need to do jointly that we didn't do these last couple of terms," Cloy said. "There are some things that we as police offices and citizens need to do to help Mayor Johnson and the city out. We're all going to have to band together and realize that we need to work together."

Cloy added that he felt Johnson "would listen" to the union, and said both parties had committed to one another: "There was no ‘I'm going to do the best I can' type of statements between us," Cloy said. "We all made some commitments and we're going to stand by those commitments."

Crisler would not comment on the union endorsement, saying that "people made a conscious decision four years ago" to remove Johnson as mayor.

"If everything was as fantastic as my opponent says it was we wouldn't have had a change four years ago. People don't send you home for doing a fantastic job. When they send you home is when they're dissatisfied," Crisler said.

Acting Jackson Mayor Leslie McLemore astounded reporters by standing with Cloy and other Johnson supporters today, after weeks of refusing to commit to a candidate—or even to comment on political issues regarding the mayoral race.

"Harvey Johnson Jr. is by far the best person in this race. I served in the Johnson administration for six years. I served on the council with Crisler for almost eight years and I considered the political maturity, the knowledge on the job and the readiness to hit the ground on Day One," McLemore said. "I think fundamentally we should not be experimenting with city government again. We went through an experiment over the last four years and I think that's over."

"This is nothing against Crisler," McLemore added, "but when I compare the two, Crisler does not measure up to the knowledge, the background, the experience and the ability to be mayor on Day One."

McLemore said he had been unable to keep his opinion to himself on the mayoral race after countless requests from his constituents.

"I couldn't stand and sit idly by representing Ward 2 for almost 10 years and not say something." McLemore said. "I was in the grocery store at McDades two days ago, and I was in there 15 minutes. Five people asked me who I am going to support, black people and white people, and I told them Johnson. Their question then was ‘why can't you do that publicly?'"

Hinds County Supervisor Doug Anderson, who supported former mayor Frank Melton over Johnson four years ago, said he was driven by false political ads by Crisler supporters to endorse Johnson.

"What really tilted the scale (for me) was some literature that was passed out at the churches that condemned (Johnson) for his stance and attributed some stances to him that he would never have committed to," Anderson said. "I could not stand to see people passing out literature that was definitely degrading to the mayor. I made up my mind on (radio show) Straight Talk that I would support Harvey Johnson and I went to sleep last night feeling good about the decision that I have made."

Sen. John Horhn, who had already endorsed Johnson over Crisler last week, was also in the crowd, and addressed accusations from Crisler supporters that he had attempted to sell his endorsement to the Crisler campaign.

Crisler had denied Horhn had approached him for an endorsement sale at an earlier press conference today, but Horhn took it a step further this afternoon by accusing Crisler of approaching him with the offer to buy it.

"I've not sold my endorsement to anyone. I will say that the Crisler campaign actively recruited me, made a number of offers that I chose not to accept because (Johnson) is the best man for the city of Jackson," Horne said.

When asked to specify what type of offers Crisler's people had approached him with, Horhn answered "financial offers."

"They offered to cover my (campaign) debt and they offered a number of other inducements," Horhn said.

Previous Comments

ID
147655
Comment

Alright people we know that Crisler is trying to convince people he is a honest, hard working flunky for the North East Jackson Crowd. It's time to now gear and and let's get the vote out for Harvey Johnson! No more talk, time to show what our unions can do help the candidates that we support!!! It's time to send the real message that we will not be bought by the Republican Party and we will support people that are sincere about helping all the people. That is why we are voting for Harvey Johnson for Mayor!!!! Let's make History one more time.

Author
Tony Davis
Date
2009-05-18T15:27:15-06:00
ID
147672
Comment

A couple of things and then I will shut up. First, its a little strange that at this late hour the ledger has not written on the day's events(endorsements/dirty tricks) in its online edition.Might they decide to bury the endorsements on page 8a of tomorrow's home edition? Second, and this is just because i love history: what happened to the union movement four years ago to then cause the central labor council to endorse a self professed union buster(see ibew decert at wlbt) and the darling candidate of the "NEJ crowd"( a group/ neighborhood now derided in the above post) over Harvey Johnson? in my humble opinion "history" was made(twisted) four years ago, when self professed labor and civil rights activists gleefully teamed up with the most right wing ultraconservatives in the state to beat Harvey Johnson.Why the change of heart?

Author
chimneyville
Date
2009-05-18T18:28:00-06:00
ID
147679
Comment

Supervisor Anderson was one of the most vitriolic anti-Harvey spokespersons I've ever heard when he was pro-Melton. He was vicious when he and Higginbotham substituted for Bluntson last go-round.

Author
Razor
Date
2009-05-18T19:43:30-06:00
ID
147693
Comment

should tell u something....

Author
thabian
Date
2009-05-18T20:58:11-06:00
ID
147702
Comment

I applaud the responsible stance that has been taken here. I wish that more real Harvey Johnson supporters would stand up and tell the world (okay the city!) that they do support his campaign. With all of the negative activity that has come out of the Crisler campaign, I really don't see how even his own supporters can really support him in this stuff. Jackson deserves better. Jackson deserves the best. I know that our best can be found in Mayor Harvey Johnson. Please vote on Tuesday!! Thank you for supporting what you know is right.

Author
GratefulJTE
Date
2009-05-18T21:56:10-06:00
ID
147720
Comment

McLemore, Anderson and the Police Union are the 3 wise entities from the East, therefore, I gotta go with them. And so it was ordained and soon came to past that Johnson defeated the moneychangers and became mayor for the 3rd time. And the moneychangers got scared, grabbed up the few pennies they had left and left town to Rankin County.

Author
Walt
Date
2009-05-19T05:39:17-06:00
ID
147725
Comment

As i feared the ledger print edition has NO reporting on yesterday's events. nothing on the endorsements . nothing on the flyers.nothing about the chapter seven bankruptcy. there was,however, an editorial restating the paper's endorsement of crisler. and, the ramsey cartoon featured a voter asleep on the couch.do you think the editors intentionally decided to spike all coverageof yesterday's events in order to stem the fast moving trend among voters to johnson and to like wise suppress turnout of johnson voters.?

Author
chimneyville
Date
2009-05-19T07:45:45-06:00
ID
147726
Comment

http://kingfish1935.blogspot.com/2009/05/sanders-speaks.html curious

Author
chimneyville
Date
2009-05-19T07:56:06-06:00
ID
147727
Comment

I don't know, chimney. The Ledger has long had it in for Johnson. I was shocked and awed that they finally reported outright as fact on Sunday how much crime dropped on his watch after pushing the Perception-Gate myths and giving them legitimacy back in the day. I suspect they want to win their endorsement. They're not big endorsing someone they think might lose (unlike the JFP, which always stands by our principles and what we think is best for Jackson, based on heavy research, regardless of whether they will win.) Then again, they could all be on furlough this week.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-05-19T08:01:30-06:00
ID
147728
Comment

Yeah, someone sent me a link to the Sanders thing. Funny. He's not addressing the concerns about the PAC at all. Pretty much just more blaming-the-messenger and bizarre race rhetoric. Has someone asked him over there who else is in the Better Jackson PAC? That's what is relevant: Who is in this PAC and how much money did they give and why did they forget to file their paperwork all these weeks?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-05-19T08:03:27-06:00

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