The Guvnah is concerned...According to reports (probably as reported to the Knoxville News-Sentinel by Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale), he met with Knox County legislators who were quite cool on the idea of moving toward a special election-at least they were very quiet about it. The Governor is apparently "concerned."
Even though I do think that there ought to be some sort of vote, I can understand this apparent stand-offishness. After all, had Mr. Ragsdale done his job to begin with, he would have led the way in urging term-limited Commissioners to step aside. He didn't really become all that gung-ho until the County Charter was initially ruled invalid, then the "Hell No, We Won't Go Five" were compared with the anti-federalists who were opposed to the federal Constitution!
Terry Frank is correct when she points out that Tennessee law is very clear about how replacements are to be named, and that if we want to get technical, that law was followed to the letter by the Knox County Commission. The law says the legislative body of the county (the Commission) has the authority to name replacements-and those replacements were named.
The fact that the law was followed doesn't make the process stink any less, but it does explain why Knox County's legislative delegation isn't biting. There is an underlying problem here, a hypocrisy on Ragsdale's part: If he were really concerned about letting the voice of the people be heard, he would have stood up for those original write-in candidates who worked hard and managed to get their names on the August ballot last year, but had their efforts come crashing down because of the now-overruled Chancery Court decision. I don't hear Ragsdale demanding that those folks, who followed the law to the letter, be allowed the ballot access they have already legally earned. I do not expect such words to spill from his lips, either.
Meanwhile, Commission Chairman Scott Moore is accusing Ragsdale's ethics panel of breaking the open-meetings law. What is this supposed to be, offsetting penalties and a move to Fourth and Long?