Tag Archives: United Nations

House votes to ban United Nations election monitors from Tennessee

The House approved 75-20 Thursday a bill that declares the United Nations cannot monitor elections in Tennessee.

Rep. Micah Van Huss, R-Jonesborough, characterized the bill (HB2410) as an assertion of the state and nation’s sovereignty, saying he was upset that a United Nations affiliate organization sent two representatives – one from France and one from Armenia – to monitor Tennessee elections because the state had enacted a law requiring a photo identification for voting.

“I don’t believe it’s their jurisdiction to monitor us,” he said in a floor speech.

Rep. Tony Shipley, R-Kingsport, made similar comments and told Van Huss “I applaud your patriotism.”

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner of Nashville was the only person speaking against the bill, saying it could hamper election observations by people from “emerging countries” and “Tennessee should be at the forefront of promoting democracy around the world.”

Van Huss said he would have no objection to an individual country sending representatives to “observe” a Tennessee election, but objects to UN “monitoring.”

The sponsor proposed similar legislation last year (HB589) that was killed in the House Civil Justice Subcommittee after being referred there on motion of Rep. Jon Lundberg, R-Bristol.

In the floor vote Thursday, all no votes came from Democrats. Lundberg did not vote on the bill.

The bill now goes to the Senate, where it is sponsored by Sen. Frank Niceley, R-Strawberry Plains. It is scheduled for a Senate State and Local Government Committee vote next week.

As amended on the House floor, the bill now states:

“Any representative of the United Nations appearing without a treaty ratified by the United States senate stating that the United Nations can monitor elections in this state, shall not monitor elections in this state.”

Haslam Dodges United Nations Agenda 21

Gov. Bill Haslam has declined to sign a resolution passed by the General Assembly – over Democrats’ objections – to condemn United Nations Agenda 21.
The governor’s decision (or non-decision?), initially reported by Blue Collar Muse, marks another semi-assertion of gubernatorial differences with the Republican majority of the Legislature on social issues. The biggest assertion, of course, was his first veto – the so-called Vanderbilt bill, or “all-comers bill,” if you prefer. And there was that refusal to sign the so-called “creationism bill,” or “monkey bill” if you prefer.
Says Ken Marreo in the Blue Collar Muse post:
I’m unclear on why the Governor has refused to sign the Resolution. He has not issued a statement on the matter.
But doing so gives ammunition to those believing the Governor is less than a reliable ally on basic issues. Taken alone, perhaps it could be explained away. In conjunction with actions such as his veto of the Vanderbilt Religious Freedom bill, it makes it harder to argue Haslam is a Governor of the People and not a representative of the establishment.
In fact, given the establishment and the People are in agreement on Agenda 21 and Haslam is out of step with both groups, the whole thing becomes even more confusing.
Haslam has refused to condemn Agenda 21. Just exactly where does that put him on the political map? I don’t know. Perhaps a statement from Governor Haslam explaining his decision would help pin down where he should be seen to be.

An inquiry by yours truly to Haslam’s press secretary, David Smith, asking if it was true that the governor had declined to sign and for a comment, produced this response:
“Resolutions are position statements by the General Assembly, not a law to be implemented. The governor doesn’t support Agenda 21, but he didn’t feel compelled to and isn’t required to take any action on the resolution.”
That lattter comment is true, of course. Governors may sign resolutions and, as a matter of courtesy, they usually do so. Gubernatorial signatures are not required for the non-binding and generally inconsequential statement of legislative opinion. Most resolutions express condolences on the death of a constituent or praise for some accomplishment, such as a high school basketball team’s win in a tournament.
The governor, I think, has courteously signed every resolution put before him previously. The suspicion is that the governor has been deliberately discourteous here, but would rather not talk about it. And the folks hired to spin for him need a little time to figure the best, most benign method of stating the governor’s semi-non-position.
Check back in a day or two and we’ll see.
Previous post sampler, HERE, HERE, HERE.