Commissioner Accuses Steve Mulroy of Playing Politics

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(Memphis) Two Shelby County commissioners are squaring off about funding for family planning.

Commissioner Chris Thomas is accusing Steve Mulroy of changing his mind about a vote he made two years ago because he's now running for county mayor.

Mulroy, however, says he's not playing politics, just looking at the numbers.

Commissioner Mulroy voted to take Title X funding away from Planned Parenthood in 2011, but he's now saying the move was a bad idea.

Commissioner Thomas says Mulroy changed his mind to win Democrats back before an election in May, while Mulroy says his change of heart isn't anything new.

“It’s just dirty politics and this is all about Commissioner Mulroy running for mayor,” said Thomas.

Thomas says Mulroy is trying to smooth things over and erase a vote he made more than two years ago.

“All of a sudden he knows he's got some trouble with the female vote.”

“So, it has nothing to do with you running for mayor?” asked reporter Sabrina Hall.

"No, it has nothing to do with me running for mayor because my conduct has been consistent throughout,” said Mulroy.

The debate all has to do with Title X funding, federal funds given to the county to help women with family planning.

In the past, the money always went to Planned Parenthood, but in 2011, the Commission voted to hand it over to Christ Community Health Services, an organization that doesn't do abortions.   

At the time, Mulroy, a Democrat, voted for the change.

“He wasn't like gung-ho like, ‘Yay! Yay! Yay!’ but he did say it was the right thing to do,” said Thomas.  “So, fast forward two years, and now he is out here running for mayor and all of a sudden he is saying that we need to change it and urge the mayor to rebid the contract.”

“I made a deal to support it in exchange for tight compliance monitoring,” said Mulroy.

Mulroy says he's been monitoring the switch and has seen a big drop in the number of low-income women being see in clinics. He expressed this concern in the Memphis Flyer back in August 2012.

“The Health Department’s own numbers show that Planned Parenthood saw more patients and did more clinic visits in less time for one-fourth the money,” said Mulroy.

Mulroy says he's asking the Commission and mayor to cancel Christ Community Health Service’s contract, not because he's running for mayor, but because he says thousands of women aren't getting the services they need.

The County Commission is voting Monday afternoon on Mulroy's resolution asking the mayor to open-up the Title X contract for rebidding.


  • Don

    Do you need someone to help the other children behave? Give me a call if you do, I’m not doing much these days and I would be glad to help. Give me a call.

  • Hard Truths

    Chris Thomas is simply trash, as he has demonstrated time and time again.

    I just wish God would rapture all the theocrats like him, NOW.

    • Harry

      Maybe he can rapture, Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton and any black preachers in Memphis who get involved in politics and play the race card.

  • Aha!

    Good people of Shelby County — Mulroy was very much PRO school merger. For that fact alone, do not vote for him. Look at the mess the merger has caused!

    • Harry

      If you don’t work and live off the government…YOU will love Mulroy. He’s got your back. EBT cards for one and all. And don’t forget you can use your EBT cards and some Memphis liquor stores.

  • Hard Truths

    Chris Thomas is one of the politicians in Shelby County who always plays the religion card.

    As my late, Baptist mom said, “In my day nice people kept their religion OUT of politics”.

    Any politician who has played the religion card is a traitor to our secular society, in which Church and State are meant to be kept SEPARATE. But Thomas sure knows how gets the kind of Republicans who live in the ‘burbs with his theocratic blabbering.

    Oh, and he filed bankruptcy because he went from a $100K/yr job as Probate Court Clerk to County Commissioner — pays $30K.

    Not only is a theocrat, he’s really a very clever little fellow.

  • D. Slayer

    Chris Thomas is a blowhard, by the way all of this is politics. I just wish someone will replace Luttrell. I don’t think we will survive four more years of him hiding under his desk.

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