Key leaders of the ‘Yes on 1’ campaign disavow any connection with an anonymously-posted video urging Tennesseans who support passage of the anti-abortion amendment to skip voting in the governor’s race, reports The Tennessean.
A recently launched website at truthon1.org features a YouTube video in which a woman explains why sitting out of the governor’s race during this year’s election — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam is widely seen as a shoo-in against Democrat Charlie Brown — might be good for supporters of Amendment 1, which would change the Tennessee constitution to grant state lawmakers power to set new restrictions on abortion.
“Double your vote on Amendment 1,” the narrator tells voters.
That logic, though not mathematically a “double vote,” hinges on a provision in the state constitution that outlines the threshold an amendment must get for it to succeed — a majority of the votes cast in the gubernatorial election regardless of the number of votes cast on the amendment.
…”I know you may think this is crazy, but it doesn’t matter,” the video says. “It’s the law. What does it mean for us? Vote yes for Amendment 1, but don’t vote in the governor’s race. The less people who vote in the governor’s race means it takes less votes to pass the amendment.
“In other words, if you vote yes on 1, but don’t vote in the governor’s race you’ll double your vote.
“Here’s the deal: Please tell your friends! Forward this video to them.”
The website is registered anonymously in Panama. It shows a trademarked “Truth on 1” logo but that name is not connected to any of the eight committees on Amendment 1 registered with the Tennessee Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance. The website itself doesn’t identify an organization, although videos are posted on YouTube under the name “Tenn Williamson.”
David Fowler, president of the Family Action Council of Tennessee, which operates one of those committees, said he doesn’t know who created the website, nor does he subscribe to its message.
The same goes from Tennessee Right to Life President Brian Harris, a coordinator with the Yes on1 campaign.
“I would like to just underscore that while that strategy is technically correct, it’s not something that we’re advocating from the campaign,” Harris said.