Sunday, September 17, 2006

Corker & Chattanooga's 911: the Facts!

Over the past few days, you may have been asked about a misleading advertisement that Congressman Ford’s friends have put on television attacking Bob Corker’s record as Mayor. The advertisement talks about the number of abandoned 911 calls during 2005. As you are talking to people, these talking points should be helpful in setting the record straight:

Congressman Ford is attacking Bob Corker's record of success to hide his ineffective record in Washington over the past 10 years. The time period that the advertisement addresses is the full year of 2005. Bob only served as Mayor of Chattanooga until April 18, 2005. For the majority of the time the advertisement covers, Bob was not Mayor and not able to influence the city’s 911 operation.

The truth is that the public record clearly shows that during Mayor Bob Corker's administration new positions were added to staff the 911 call center.

During Bob Corker’s administration there were more police officers on the streets of Chattanooga than at any other time in the city's history.

As a result of his intense focus on crime reduction and the work of the men and women of the Chattanooga police department, violent crime was reduced by 51% when Bob was mayor.

And this from the Nashville City Paper…

Nashville City Paper
September 15, 2006

Attack ad about 911 calls is disingenuous


The truth about the game of modern politics is on display for all to see in Tennessee right now. The state's U.S. Senate race once again has Tennessee at the epicenter of national politics.

Not since former Vice President Al Gore ran for the presidency in 2000 and Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. co-chaired the Kerry for President campaign in 2004 has Tennessee seen so much national attention.

Of course, for Democrats, Ford may be the key to winning back the U.S. Senate majority this year. And that is why television advertising here to aid his campaign by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is so disturbing.

National Democrats and Ford's campaign have accused his Republican opponent, former Chattanooga mayor Bob Corker, of running a city government inattentive to the emergency services needs of its residents.

Ford and national Democrats have attacked Corker for some 31,000 allegedly "unanswered" 911 calls in Chattanooga in 2005.

Our newspaper's reporting today shows the Metro Nashville had years where a comparable or greater number of calls here went unanswered during the period where Corker was in office, between 2001 and 2005. During that time frame, Democratic Mayor Bill Purcell was of course Nashville's mayor.

In addition, referring to the Chattanooga 911 calls as "unanswered" is not entirely accurate. Chattanooga Police and other emergency workers statewide actually term the calls "abandoned" 911 calls, meaning the caller could have also hung up prematurely.

In other words, the Democratic advertising campaign calling Corker out on the supposedly unanswered 911 calls in Chattanooga is not telling the entire story. Other cities in Tennessee have the same issue within the same statistical boundaries. Pinning the problem on Chattanooga and Corker alone is disingenuous.

It is quite clear that Ford - a good-looking, glib and well-polished politician - very badly wants to be Tennessee's next U.S. Senator. Tennessee voters should take a very long, hard look at his campaign and ask if attacks like these are really representative of Tennessee's values.



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