Monday, January 11, 2010

11 JAN 10: T.T. Town?

Sunday was a day when the initials T.T. seemed to dominate. News involving those initials developed not only in Columbus, but as far away as west Texas. And I suppose someone's chattering teeth in the cold weather could sound like T-T over and over.

The wheels were set in motion Sunday for Teresa Tomlinson of Midtown Inc. to run for Columbus Mayor. It started with an e-mail to campaign supporters, and apparently will lead to a formal announcement in the next couple of weeks. I assume the woman overseeing The Butler's Pantry will be endorsed by a local association of butlers after that.

An e-mail obtained by your blog indicates of all things, the Teresa Tomlinson campaign will begin online with "BLOG Operations." Uh-oh - I may have to issue the "we're neutral here" disclaimer even earlier than usual.

The e-mail reflects earlier reports that Teresa Tomlinson's campaign manager is Tollie Strode Jr. He currently serves on the board of the Columbus Housing Authority - a board which happens to include a Wade Tomlinson. This isn't simply NeighborWorks, it's PoliticalPlans.

In another sign of campaign plans, your blog learned Sunday night the web site "" has been registered since last summer. It was set up in the name of a Rome, Georgia business which specializes in "campaign website design for Democrats." So I assume all the buttons you click will be on the left side of the screen....

(We also learned the domain name "" was registered by the same business only last week. But don't confuse her with - because if you do, your "campaign donation" might wind up being a down payment to buy a house in Pennsylvania.)

Yet the e-mail we received indicates Teresa Tomlinson has the backing of Jeremy Hobbs of the Better Way Foundation. Tomlinson leans toward the Democrats, while Hobbs has been a leader of Muscogee County Young Republicans. About the only way this could be more nonpartisan would be for the "Columbus Tea Party" to hold a parade in her honor.

Tollie Strode Jr. writes in the e-mail: "Candidate Tomlinson will take some important steps in the next couple of weeks to formalize her engagement in the electoral process." This is how you can tell a woman is running for mayor. Most men know all you have to do to "formalize an engagement" is buy a ring.

Teresa Tomlinson isn't the only Columbus resident making mayoral plans. Richard Hyatt's web site says former state House candidate Zeph Baker will announce his campaign next Monday - on Martin Luther King Junior Day. You'd think someone bidding to become the city's first elected African-American Mayor might wait until Black History Month.

(We checked his name online as well - and "" was reserved by a company in Douglasville back in November. Somehow I don't think there are that many Zeph Bakers around Georgia. In fact, I'd imagine the people most likely to name a son Zephaniah are ministers - such as Baker's father.)

We already knew Columbus Councilor Wayne Anthony was running for mayor. And there's another potential candidate whose name is less familiar. Papers filed at the election board show Randall Bergman plans to run - a name which didn't turn up much in online searches. If Paul Olson is going to "pass the torch," Bergman should attend a Columbus Council meeting and say so.

There were other T.T.'s in the news Sunday -- in fact, several at the same time. Former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville was named the new coach at Texas Tech. And if that's not enough, he'll be saying "Ta-Ta" to Alabama and the Southeastern Conference.

The web site of Texas Tech athletics couldn't help noticing those initials -- saying Tommy Tuberville brings "a whole new meaning to the T.T." After all, former head coach Mike Leach had critics saying "Tsk-Tsk."

Let's "take time" from these T.T.'s, to consider other interesting discoveries from the weekend....

+ Columbus Police investigated the second shooting in two weekends outside the Carousel Lounge on Victory Drive. Perhaps the managers will learn a valuable lesson from this. The Foxy Lady Lounge donated money to Jim Wetherington's mayoral campaign [24 Oct 06], and you don't hear about trouble there.

+ The Ledger-Enquirer reported people from across the country are applying for the city Crime Prevention Director position. Maybe the city will hire someone from a place where the crime rate is lower - and propose moving some habitual criminals to his old home town.

+ A new company called Revolution Cinemas announced plans to build a 14-screen theater at TigerTown in Opelika. But what's this name I see for a Chief Executive Officer - Michael Wynn Patrick II?! Could the son of Carmike Cinemas' ousted top executive be plotting some local movie competition? Is the Columbus area big enough to have two places showing "Avatar" at the same time?

+ The Coaches' Trophy awarded to Alabama's football team was placed on public display for picture-taking -- at Wal-Mart stores in the Birmingham and Tuscaloosa areas. Doesn't this simply figure? The athletic director seemingly can't persuade fans to show up for basketball games, to get a look at it.

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