Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The TN Keep The Little Guy Down Bill

UPDATE: Terry Frank over at Frankly Speaking covered this early yesterday. Everybody in the TN blogosphere needs to send a message to Bredesen and together we will make a difference. We need bloggers in middle and west Tennessee on this one. First, it is Kelvin and Knox County. Next, it is a middle and west TN community. Do not stay silent on this one, or it will be too late.

I received the following email from Kelvin Moxley, last evening. I appreciate Kelvin bringing this to my attention. You may received his email as well, I appreciate the fact that he apparantly has sent it out to hundreds to thousands of email addresses. As you may know, Kelvin stepped up and ran as a write-in candidate for Knox County Clerk, he came close to qualifying to be a county-wide candidate against an entrenched Democrat officeholder.

Now, the legislature has passed a law to make it IMPOSSIBLE to run successfully as a write-in candidate. Contact the Governor, as Kelvin ask us to do. Remember, however the guy that Kelvin almost qualified against, Mike Padgett. Padgett's son was Bredesen's Knox County campaign coordinator.

Here is Kelvin's email in its entirity.

Over the weekend, the Tennessee General Assembly passed a change to the law governing write-in campaigns. No longer will a write-in candidate be required to get 5% of the votes cast in the district primary. He now has to get 5% of the REGISTERED VOTERS in the district primary!

This incumbent protection act (HB1114) effectively guts any write-in campaign. In my recent campaign the threshold for getting on the August ballot was 1290 votes. This change in the law RAISES the threshold to 12,000 votes!

The lag time between the candidate filing deadline and the election can be as much as 90 days. Just think of what happened in the world of politics during the past 90 days. Write-in campaigns are the public's failsafe against a corrupt incumbent politician running unopposed to re-election. Don't let the Legislature take your voter safety net away!

Call Governor Bredesen and ask him to veto this assault upon grassroots political campaigns!


Governor's OfficeTennessee State Capitol Nashville, TN 37243-0001
Phone: 615.741.2001
Fax: 615.532.9711
Key Departments :
Constituent Services


Stushie said...

Dear Governor Bredesen,

I cannot believe that the Tennessee General Assembly recently passed an act (HB1114), severely limiting the rights of Tennessean citizens to oppose political incumbents, by imposing harsh and unattainable conditions upon write-in candidates. To expect a write-in candidate to receive 5% of the total number of registered voters in any one county is largely unachievable and totally punitive to those who believe that the rights of write-in candidates are part of the sacred freedoms of this great nation.

The right to political incumbency is not provided in our State or Federal Constitutions. In fact, such a right was strongly resisted by the Founding Fathers of our country, when they took up arms against a Hanoverian king, who insisted upon incumbency for his own chosen representatives rather than those elected by the people. By passing this policy, we, in Tennessee, are turning our backs upon the very freedoms for which this nation stands. Incumbency is not a right, nor is it a privilege for the chosen few.

I once had the privilege to visit the Capitol Building in Nashville and felt proud of the accomplishments of our legislators. The magnificent statue of Andrew Jackson in the grounds inspires many Tennesseans because we know that he was not only a courageous general and a strong president, he was also a man who truly represented the common people.

It makes me wonder what he would have to say about this new act. Perhaps two of his quotes are apt:

"As long as our government is administered for the good of the people, and is regulated by their will; as long as it secures to us the rights of persons and of property, liberty of conscience and of the press, it will be worth defending."

And also:

"Any man worth his salt will stick up for what he believes right, but it takes a slightly better man to acknowledge instantly and without reservation that he is in error. "

Perhaps in this case, all of our legislators would show themselves to be worth their salt and acknowledge that they are in error. If not, then perhaps they should hang their heads in shame as they pass by Andrew Jackson's statue each day.

Please veto this unworthy act.

Rev. John Stuart, Knoxville, TN

Steve Mule said...

Mr. Hornback,
As scarey as this seems I have to agree with you about this. I'll be emailing the gov concerning this tonight when I get home from work. Everyone else should as well.