Sat
Sep 13 2008
10:40 pm

State Party chairman Gray Sasser does not understand the meaning of the word "democracy." (Hint: the root isn't "Democrat." Party doesn't even enter into the equation.)

In case you haven't heard, majority does not rule in Tennessee:

The Tennessee Democratic Party Executive Committee has voted to declare state Sen. Rosalind Kurita’s thin primary victory invalid.The panel voted 33-11 on Saturday to declare Kurita’s 19-vote victory “incurably uncertain” after her opponent, Clarksville attorney Tim Barnes, alleged heavy Republican interference in the Democratic nominating contest. (emphasis mine)

This is Bush v. Gore, part II. Political leverage was used to overturn a result that the GOB (underline: boy) network didn't like.

Someone please show me in Tennessee law or state DP by-laws where Republicans can't vote in a Democratic primary. Last time I checked, this was not a closed-primary state.

173
like
Greg Mackay's picture

Not to justify what was done . .

but to answer your question about where this was to be found in the law:
look at (b)

TCA
2-7-115. Residence requirements — Primary election voting requirements. —

(a) A voter may vote only in the precinct where the voter resides and is registered, but if a registered voter has, at any time prior to voting, changed residence to another place inside the county, the voter must vote pursuant to the provisions of § 2-7-140. If a registered voter has, within ninety (90) days before a state primary or general election or federal primary or general election, changed residence to another place inside Tennessee but outside the county where the voter is registered, the voter may vote in the polling place where the voter is registered. If the voter has, within ninety (90) days before an election, changed name by marriage or otherwise, the voter may vote in the polling place where the voter is registered or is entitled to vote under § 2-7-140.

(b) A registered voter is entitled to vote in a primary election for offices for which the voter is qualified to vote at the polling place where the voter is registered if:

(1) The voter is a bona fide member of and affiliated with the political party in whose primary the voter seeks to vote; or

(2) At the time the voter seeks to vote, the voter declares allegiance to the political party in whose primary the voter seeks to vote and states that the voter intends to affiliate with that party.

R. Neal's picture

What's most curious about

What's most curious about all this to me is that nobody knows who the 700 "illegal" voters voted for. Or at least they're not supposed to. Maybe they voted for Barnes. Or does the TNDP know something different? Maybe they voted for Barnes as a way to torpedo a powerful incumbent Democrat and reduce the party's influence. Who knows?

Regardless, because Republicans didn't run a candidate in the primary, why shouldn't they "cross over" and have a say in who will eventually represent them in the Tennessee Senate?

And why didn't the TNDP contest the election before it was certified? It was certified, correct?

But all that aside, if we have a state law requiring fealty to a party, we should have registration by party to clear up any ambiguities or confusion.

And speaking of state laws, there is apparently also a state law that says elected delegates are to vote for the presidential candidate they are pledged to by the electors. But that didn't happen.

Laws are apparently useful when they fit the narrative, otherwise not so much.

Sean_Braisted's picture

The Debacle

I sat through the 8 hour proceedings, and think it was a travesty of "justice". However, there are a couple of points I'd like to clear up.

A) The TNDP did not challenge the election, Tim Barnes filed the challenge, and this Saturday was the quickest the Executive Committee could meet to hear the challenge.

B) Hillary Clinton and John Edwards released their delegates prior to the roll call vote, and therefore Tennessee law allows them to vote however they'd like.

Maybe they voted for Barnes. Or does the TNDP know something different? Maybe they voted for Barnes as a way to torpedo a powerful incumbent Democrat and reduce the party's influence. Who knows?

The Barnes' team tried to make a connection between various efforts reported in the media regarding Republicans supporting Kurita, to a seemingly high number of voters who previously voted in 4 or more Republican primaries before voting in the Dem primary on August 7th.

Technically, what the board decided was that the election was too clouded to determine the rightful winner, and thus kicked it back down to the County Democratic Executive Committees to decide the winner.

R. Neal's picture

The TNDP did not challenge

The TNDP did not challenge the election

Who said they did?

Hillary Clinton and John Edwards released their delegates prior to the roll call vote, and therefore Tennessee law allows them to vote however they'd like.

They did? What's the process for that? Is there a signed and/or certified letter or notification to the delegates or state party officials? None of the delegates I spoke with had heard anything about being "released." Several told me they and most others voted at 11AM, hours before Clinton's meeting with her delegates in which she encouraged them to vote for Obama but also told them "she was not telling them what to do." As far as I know the only "release" was when Clinton made a motion on the floor for "selection" (an interesting word choice) by acclamation, there was a second, and then a vote to do so.

Sean_Braisted's picture

Hillary releasing her

R. Neal's picture

Yes, have seen many of those

Yes, have seen many of those reports, but no exact quote from Clinton.

Anyway, most delegates had already voted long before then. They were told they could change their votes, though, up until 3 PM. Maybe some did.

So what's the formal process for releasing delegates?

Sounds about as formal as having a primary, ie. not much.

Don't know why we need to belabor the point, though. Your candidate won. You're starting to sound like one of those sore winners. I've moved on to trying to elect Democrats instead of tearing them down.

Sean_Braisted's picture

Just trying to correct the

Just trying to correct the record Randy, I'm not attacking Hillary or her supporters.

There is no real "official" process to release your delegates, just as there is no real punishment for delegates who vote counter to their pledged status.

The truth is the Presidential Preference Primary isn't really subject to much regulation, because there is very little official status in terms of laws governing the party.

R. Neal's picture

There's no record here that

There's no record here that needs correcting, but thanks.

Sean_Braisted's picture

Sorry, next time when I see

Sorry, next time when I see factually incorrect statements I'll ignore them for the sake of party unity.

R. Neal's picture

I'm not seeing a factually

I'm not seeing a factually incorrect statement regarding switching of votes. A Clinton delegate says on another thread (anonymously, so take it for what it's worth) that votes by Clinton delegates were cast for Obama prior to the 2PM meeting of Clinton delegates, and no one has been able to clarify as yet whether delegates were actually released at that meeting or what the formal process is for doing so. I suppose Gray Sasser is the only person who can answer if any Clinton delegates voted for Obama prior to allegedly being "released" at 2PM.

The point is, the primary on a national level and now this situation with Kurita shows that our primary proceess is flawed. I'm beginning to wonder why we waste time and money having them.

Andy Axel's picture

I'm beginning to wonder why

I'm beginning to wonder why we waste time and money having them.

If the party is indeed the ultimate arbitor, rather than the electorate at large, that's a damned good question.

____________________________

the distance between black & white is much further than i would like until now i never noticed that fascism has many disguises -d. boon, 1981

Eleanor A's picture

Sasser won't

release the records, although in his defense neither will Party chairs in a number of other states.

Rumor has it (by many accounts on a number of national blogs) that the actual vote was held during the breakfast session of each state delegation before its members left for the Convention Center (and before Clinton released her delegates.) The story behind the silence is apparently that Clinton received enough votes to make Party elders put the results under lock and key in order to preserve "Party unity", or whatever it's called these days.

It'll be interesting to see whether the national PUMA movement decides to move forward with this. I think at this point the energies are more focused on getting Clinton elected either as Senate majority leader or into a position for a potential 2012 campaign, depending on what happens in November.

Sean_Braisted's picture

Who said they did? I thought

Who said they did?

I thought you did..."And why didn't the TNDP contest the election before it was certified?"

R. Neal's picture

Didn't say they did before

Didn't say they did before or after.

I was asking why they didn't if it was so "incurably uncertain"?

Sean_Braisted's picture

Challenging

I'm not sure if there is a way for the party itself to challenge an election, I believe a certain individual effected has to be the one to do it. And you can't challenge the results until they are certified, because you can't technically know what the outcome will be.

Andy Axel's picture

But you *can* challenge

But you *can* challenge people on the basis of party affiliation in the polling place if you believe that they're interfering. (Still the criteria the law is weak - all you have to say is that you "intend to affiliate" with that party, and you've met the standard.)

____________________________

the distance between black & white is much further than i would like until now i never noticed that fascism has many disguises -d. boon, 1981

R. Neal's picture

Actually, you are correct

Actually, you are correct here. I checked, and in a primary election only a candidate may challenge the results, and he or she must file the challenge with the party primary board within five days after certification.

A primary board (or executive committee acting as primary board), however, can request a recount. There does not appear to be any requirement as to timing of the request, so presumably it would be before the election is certified.

Nobody's picture

Does anyone really believe

Does anyone really believe that Gray Sasser is in charge of anything? That little boy does exactly what the good ol' boys tell him to do. Kurita pissed me off with her vote, but this election has now been stolen. Voters have been disenfranchised. It's a huge blackeye for Democrats. There's an old saying that in order to find out who committed a crime, you look for the person that benefitted the most from the crime. It's not hard to figure out who benefitted from stealing this election.

R. Neal's picture

The not unpredictable GOP

The not unpredictable GOP reaction:

(link...)

Andy Axel's picture

What's most curious about

What's most curious about all this to me is that nobody knows who the 700 "illegal" voters voted for. Or at least they're not supposed to. Maybe they voted for Barnes. Or does the TNDP know something different?

Oh, they know damn well different. They pulled voter files. They know who those folks are.

Regardless, because Republicans didn't run a candidate in the primary, why shouldn't they "cross over" and have a say in who will eventually represent them in the Tennessee Senate?

a) When Phil Bredesen encourages "bipartisan support," it's considered political genius.

b) Even if Republicans ran someone in a primary, I have every right as a voter in this state to vote in that primary. In states where there is party registration, you have to go the extra step and change your affiliation. Big whoop. Happens all the time. Let's say that the GOP is running a primary and one of the characters is a Bible-thumping bigot, and the Democrat is running unopposed. I have every right to "interfere" in that primary. (Voting as interference - we're through the looking glass now. Goddamned pesky voters. Stupid democratic process.)

c) Now that I think about it, it especially gets my goat since she got shanked by Harold Ford's legions in 2006, ostensibly because there was this theory that HFJ would have gotten much broader bipartisan support. In that instance, we basically didn't even get to have a primary because the folks in the party knew so much better than the voters themselves. And Ford lost anyway. So much for "party wisdom."

...if we have a state law requiring fealty to a party, we should have registration by party to clear up any ambiguities or confusion.

Ding! The only action that you can take to establish your bona fides or your affiliation is to ask for a ballot with the word "Democrat" circled. (Greg: As a Democrat, if I were to walk into a Knox County polling place, would Knox County election officials require anything from me other than to say, "I want to vote in the Republican primary?" Does my name in the logbook show what way that I normally vote? Is there any other litmus test?)

For that matter, how did Tim Barnes establish his bona fides or affiliation when he said that he was a Democratic candidate in the primary? He just said so. That's all. He's never held public office before.

Does anyone really believe that Gray Sasser is in charge of anything? That little boy does exactly what the good ol' boys tell him to do.

I was pissed off when I wrote this, but I saw him on Nashville's Fox17 saying, in essence, that the DCEC decision restored the integrity and democratic character of the primary by overturning the result of the popular vote.

Given the way that we conduct primaries in this state, I can't think of a statement any more supportive of outright corruption than that.

Word around the campfire has him hanging it up at the end of this term. Bye.

____________________________

the distance between black & white is much further than i would like until now i never noticed that fascism has many disguises -d. boon, 1981

Andy Axel's picture

I sat through the 8 hour

I sat through the 8 hour proceedings, and think it was a travesty of "justice".

"Justice" is all we get anymore.

The Barnes' team tried to make a connection between various efforts reported in the media regarding Republicans supporting Kurita, to a seemingly high number of voters who previously voted in 4 or more Republican primaries before voting in the Dem primary on August 7th.

So, let's get this straight: They established a nexus between the Republicans and the media, so Kurita is out because she may have benefitted from that nexus?

On that basis, we could vacate Bredesen's election.

the election was too clouded to determine the rightful winner

The executive committee saw what it wanted to see. 19 votes is a clear majority. There's nothing clouded about that. The cloud cast was, rather, that this decision had eff-all to do about the will of the residents of Dist. 22. Party hopping in the primary happens. All. The. Time. If there was a challenge to be made about the integrity of the process, Barnes should have had poll watchers stationed in every polling place and should have made the challenges at the time the election took place, not after he didn't get the result that he wanted. There weren't dead people voting, there weren't people falsifying addresses; there was party crossover. This is somehow news to these avowed partisans? They're in such shock and dismay that they need to make this the sample case? Give me a break.

If there's a problem with the way party affiliation is determined at the time, the remedy isn't throwing out the result that they don't like. It means that primaries need to be closed, and people need to vote by the party in which they are registered. Period, end of story.

____________________________

the distance between black & white is much further than i would like until now i never noticed that fascism has many disguises -d. boon, 1981

R. Neal's picture

If there's a problem with

If there's a problem with the way party affiliation is determined at the time, the remedy isn't throwing out the result that they don't like. It means that primaries need to be closed, and people need to vote by the party in which they are registered. Period, end of story.

I agree. This should be the impetus for fixing the law. Either have truly open primaries, or registration by party.

Andy Axel's picture

What a farce. If this isn't

What a farce.

If this isn't fixed by next primary, this is what I propose:

1) Get a legion of people to register as poll-watchers statewide.

2) Challenge *EVERY* person's party bonafides at the polls. "Prove you're a Democrat!" "How can we be sure that you're a Republican?"

____________________________

the distance between black & white is much further than i would like until now i never noticed that fascism has many disguises -d. boon, 1981

R. Neal's picture

My take here: Link...

My take here:

(link...)

bill young's picture

Power politics

This is a fight for control of the State Senate.Kurita didnt vote right for Lt Gov last time & the Democratic caucus wants Kurita gone & a Democrat that will vote Democrat for Lt Gov in.

When Barnes decided to challenge the primary by questioning the Democratic "bona fides" of the voters..the Democratic Executive Committee was ready willing & able to knock out Kurita.

Power politics.

As Greg pointed out the TCA allows challenges to party primary voters.

Its the law.

I'm sure its been done.But I've never done it nor have I ever heard of anybody doing it.But I bet we see it in the next party primary.Hell of a way to spend election day..sitting inside a polling place..doing nothing but trying to stop people from voting in your primary.Not my cup of tea.

What makes this dicey is the precedent.

Will we start seeing Knox County Democratic primaries challenged using
the Barnes standard?

Lots of people around here mostly vote in Republican primaries...so it wont be that hard to show Democratic primary voters..have gasp..voted in a Republican primary.

Lose a primary by 200 find out 201 have voted in a Republican primary..boom challenge..Barnes precedent..I win.

dont know the answer.

R. Neal's picture

dont know the answer. 1.

dont know the answer.

1. Registration by party (or striking current "crossover" law from the books)

2. Primaries that actually matter, ie. aren't predetermined by negotiations between party bosses at the DNC and the media.

bill young's picture

Convention tonight

The Executive Committees of the 3 counties met tonight to decide the Democratic nominee for this seat.Anyone can be placed into nomination but right now it only seams Barnes & Kurita's names will be offered.However,these things have a habit of a few last minute suprises.But no doubt Barnes is a huge favorite & also there is no doubt these partisan county Executive Committee members are still steamed about Kurita's Lt Gov vote.

There are 82 voting delegates.One person was not given credentials because no minutes were taken @ the county executive committee meeting when they were elected as a replacement.That individual cries foul because they were Kurita's county campaign manager in the primary & feels thats the real reason they cant vote @ the convention.

If Kurita doesnt get the Democratic nomination & the odds are pretty steep against that happening she will be running as a write-in.I think she can win.Four years ago,down ballot,Kurita ran just 3,000 votes behind Bush who won the district with 58.6%.

I can think of no reason why the district county Republican Parties would not get behind Kurita & maybe even the state Republican Party & it wouldnt suprise me if a few Republican incumbent senators throw some money in the race behind Kurita.

Like I said this is power politics about controlling the State Senate.Just think a month ago this race was over.No Republican nominee.Now this & suddenly the Republicans could put this race in play & pick up a vote for their caucus in the crucial election for Lt Gov.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

CAPTCHA
This question is used to make sure you are a human visitor and to prevent spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.

Lost Medicaid Funding

To date, the failure to expand Medicaid/TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding.

TN Progressive

TN Politics

Local Media Blogs

Local News

News Sentinel

State News

Wire Reports

Site Statistics

Last 7 days:
  • Posts: 24
  • Comments: 254
  • Visits: 10,496
  • Pageviews: 25,722
Last 30 days:
  • Posts: 94
  • Comments: 1062
  • Visits: 41,442
  • Pageviews: 97,528

TN Progressive

Nearby:

Beyond:

At large: