Tag Archives: venable

Columnists Critique Photo ID Laws (one attacks, two ridicule)

A Republican War on the Poor?
From Wendi C. Thomas’ Sunday column:
This isn’t about fraud. What the right wants to prevent is a repeat of 2008, when a record turnout of young people, Latinos and black voters sent the county’s first black president to the White House.
In response, the GOP rammed through voter ID laws and ones to restrict early voting. It’s the party’s pitiful concession that its platform doesn’t attract and often repels black, Latino and young voters.
If you can’t convince ’em, keep ’em away.
Tennessee’s constitution has but four official requirements to vote: You must be 18, a U.S. citizen, a resident of Tennessee and registered in the county where you live.
In the margins, the GOP has added this: The poor need not apply.

For Driving, No Photo Required
Sam Venable’s Sunday column concerns a 70-year-old woman who has lots of photo ID — except on her brand new driver’s license, sent as a replacement for her former license that did have a photo.
Said Stallard: “Imagine my surprise when I received a blank license with the following statement printed on its face — ‘Valid Without Photo.’
Yep, the sovereign state of Tennessee doesn’t mind if Patricia Stallard and others in her age group hit the highways without photographic proof of who they are. But voting, as this demographic group is wont to do, is another matter.

And It Helps Inspire Apathy?
Scott McNutt touches on the topic in the course of a satire assault on voter apathy in Knox County:
Sue Pressed, an 87-year-old retiree from Inskip, credited Republican lawmakers’ voter-ID laws for helping her resist the temptation to vote.
“I haven’t had a photo ID since I retired from driving a bus 20 years ago,” she explained. “As long as I could vote with my voter registration card, I had this irresistible compulsion to go cast a ballot. But now that I have to prove I’m me to exercise my right to suffrage, I’m cured of that urge, and I want to thank Republicans for that.”

On Campfield’s Restaurant Experience

Sen. Stacey Campfiel, in a blog post, has given an account of being denied service at the Bistro restaurant in Knoxville. An excerpt:

I had not said anything. I was just standing there waiting for a table when the owner came up and started yelling at me calling me names and telling me they were not going to serve me because of my alleged beliefs saying I hate gays. I said in as calm a way as I could that I don’t hate gays and the things I have said were backed up by the CDC. I offered to send her the links.
I have been quite open and clear on my beliefs and have backed them up with facts from the CDC and others. Unfortunately some people do not let facts get in the way of their prejudice.
She looked confused on what to do for a second then she started to yell and call me names again so I figured it was better to just leave. As Jesus said, “If you are not welcomed in a town shake the dust off your feet and move on”. My friends and I went to latitude 35 and had a good breakfast.
The cries of “Ha ha. we showed him!” fall flat to me. It is not I who lost out. My friends and I still had a good meal. We just gave our money to a more gracious host.
What was showed was a lack of professionalism. In my legislative role I have always had an open door to any of my constituency. Gay rights groups have been in my office several times and I would like to think that even though we may disagree on some issues I have always treated them graciously.

Sam Venable, meanwhile, applauds the senator’s eviction.
Any joint that won’t serve Stacey Campfield is my kind of place.
As you and half of the civilized world know by now, state Sen. Bozo was told to take his business elsewhere when he attempted to enter the Bistro for Sunday brunch.
Here is the direct quote Bistro owner Martha Boggs told me: “I said I wasn’t serving that (s.o.b).”
Have mercy! Let those words be cast in bronze and permanently affixed to the building.
“I didn’t do this for publicity,” Boggs added. “I just did it because somebody needed to stand up to that bully. I’ve been overwhelmed by the positive response.”