Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker blocked Senate consideration of confirming President Obama’s nomination of Marilyn Brown for a new term on the TVA board, reports the Chattanooga TFP, while supporting confirmation of four new members. The renomination of two-year board veteran Marilyn Brown, an expert and advocate of energy efficiency, was not offered to Senate members for approval.
“We respect her professional credentials, but we encourage the president to send another nominee with credentials better suited to the TVA board,” according to a Wednesday joint statement from Corker and Alexander.
Brown, a co-recipent of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for co-authorship of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, praised the Senate for approving the other four nominees, but expressed disappointment with Corker and Alexander’s characterization of her qualifications.
“I think … I’m qualified and have really pulled my weight on the board being the chair of the newly formed nuclear oversight committee for two years, which has been quite an active committee responsibility and a very important one,” she said.
The Dayton mayors wife says she was told Wednesday that her vote in the Aug. 2 Republican primary will be rejected, triggering a debate over a voters’ ability to participate in the party primary of his or her choice.
From Action Andy Sher’s report: “I’m still in shock,” Maxine Vincent, wife of Dayton Mayor Bob Vincent said.
There were unconfirmed reports that as many as five other voters had their effort to cast ballots in the GOP primary challenged by Republican election officials.
Vincent, who acknowledged usually voting for Democrats, and her husband are longtime friends and now supporters of Republican Ron Travis, of Dayton. He is running against state Rep. Jim Cobb, R-Spring City, in the House District 31 GOP primary, which is among the contests on the primary ballot. Early voting started last Friday.
Rhea County Administrator of Elections Theresa Snyder, who Vincent said challenged her voting in the GOP primary, said in an interview that “the way the state law reads you can be challenged in a political primary for several reasons.”
Snyder said a primary “is for the purpose members of that party to select a nominee to appear on the November ballot. And I think that kind of speaks for itself.”
Tennessee law says a registered voter is entitled to vote in a primary election if the voter is a “bona fide member of and affiliated with the political party in whose primary the voter seeks to vote; or 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 the voter intends to affiliate with that party.”
Snyder confirmed Vincent did take the oath as she was asked a series of questions about her allegiance to the Republican Party. But she added that “the three judges verified her voting history and made their decision.”
“Obviously, she has a strong history voting for one party, not the party she asked to vote in,” Snyder said.
Since it was a Republican primary, the panel was comprised of Republicans. Vincent said Snyder was one of the judges. Asked about that, Snyder would only say it was “three judges.” When pressed about her participation, she told a reporter to call the state election coordinator’s office and then hung up.
…Travis said he was dismayed over what happened.
“There are rules and processes that we have to follow,” he said. “But we’ve got a unique situation here” because only he and Cobb are running the GOP primary and there is no Democrat running in the House race this fall.
“This is the primary and this is the general,” he said. “There are only two candidates running. But I do believe we need to follow the rules and the processes and the law. We’re not to bend [them] to the benefit of any candidate.”
He said he thinks Vincent was treated unfairly “if she raised her hand and took the oath of the Republican Party. For goodness sake, Ronald Reagan was once a Democrat.”
After moving confidently and rapidly toward forming municipal school districts, suburban officials received notice Wednesday that their efforts are “procedurally defective,” reports the Commercial Appeal. The Shelby County Election Commission voted 5-0 to deny requests from Arlington, Bartlett, Collierville, Germantown and Lakeland to hold referendums on May 10 to authorize the formation of municipal districts.
The election commission vote was based on recommendations from commission lawyers John Ryder and Monice Hagler, who on Wednesday conferred with the state’s coordinator of elections and Atty. Gen. Robert Cooper’s office.
Halting the referendums is a setback for suburban cities, but not necessarily the death knell for municipal districts, if bills being debated in the state legislature are passed. Cooper issued an advisory opinion Tuesday that the statewide ban on municipal districts had not yet been lifted and could not be lifted until after transfer of administration of Memphis City Schools to Shelby County Schools is completed.
For the second time, a judge has ruled to block the recall election of Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield, reports the Chattanooga TFP. Hamilton County Circuit Court Judge Jeff Hollings-worth used his October 2010 decision to stop the recall effort as the basis for his ruling Friday that it should not continue.
In the previous ruling, Hollingsworth said state law trumped the City Charter, so the 9,000 petition signatures gathered by recall groups — enough signatures under city law — weren’t enough under Tennessee law, which says more than 15,000 are needed.
An appeal was filed by Citizens to Recall Mayor Littlefield, one of the groups behind the recall effort, and the Tennessee Court of Appeals overturned Hollingsworth’s decision. The appeals court said the judge jumped the gun and should have given the Hamilton County Election Commission a chance to certify the petitions.
Speaking to a packed courtroom Friday, Hollings-worth said the appeals court never said he made the wrong determination.
“They said I was premature in my decision,” he said. “Other than that, we don’t know what they were thinking.”
But he said the process being used by the election commission for the election was “illegal” and added that the recall “will not be on the ballot” on Aug. 2.