Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Democratic Defections Mute 'Election' Message in Whistleblowing Resolution

Posted By on Wed, Sep 29, 2010 at 7:15 AM

Commissioner Walter Bailey
  • Commissioner Walter Bailey
Shelby County Commissioner Steve Mulroy, a Democrat, two weeks ago sought unsuccessfully to put the Commission on record as suggesting that Ryder, a Republican national committeeman and the GOP’s national redistricting supervisor, recuse himself from the current election case.

Trying again last week to get the Commission to address his concerns about issues regarding the August 5 election and challenges to it, Mulroy succeeded in getting an 8-0 committee vote approving a resolution that guaranteed protection to whistleblowers in county government and specifically mentioned those employees who might report election irregularities.

Even as watered down after group discussion, the resolution was something of a coup for Mulroy, who had in mind recent claims made by defeated Sheriff’s candidate Randy Wade and Shelby county Democratic chairman Van Turner, both of whom reported alleged disclosures from unidentified “John Doe” informants, With only seven votes necessary on the full commission and with eight seemingly committed already, the issue seemed resolved.

But Mulroy’s triumph proved short-lived. When the commission took up the issue at its regular bi-weekly public meeting on Monday, Republican commissioner Wyatt Bunker praised the resolution in principle as an umbrella over employees in county government but objected to any specific language as partisan “hype” meant to reinforce losing Democrats’ claims about the late election.

The issue of including such language hung in the balance through an extended back-and-forth discussion, with Mulroy maintaining that to denude the resolution of specific language relating to elections would send the wrong message, with another potentially controversial election coming up on November 2.

He got some backup from Republican Mike Carpenter, who commented that it would be a disservice to the commission members who struggled to reach agreement on compromise language last week to drop such language this week.,

But the disposition of the matter was unexpectedly turned in the opposite direction by Walter Bailey, a returning commission member whose identity during several earlier terms had been that of a staunchly partisan Democrat. Bailey argued that unanimity on the commission was important and if it required deleting uses of the word “election” to get everyone behind a whistleblowing resolution, then the word should go.

Though he would ultimately vote with Mulroy to keep the terminology, chairman Sidney Chism echoed Bailey’s sentiments, and Justin Ford, a new member who has yet to utter a word in commission debate, would follow Bailey’s lead and vote to excise specific election references. Those two Democratic defections would carry the day for Bunker’s motion to omit any mention of elections.

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.


Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

    • "Sham" or Shaming?

      A bare-bones forum at Lakeland gets even leaner as one candidate answers an uncomfortable question by making a bee-line out the door.
    • Jennifer Lawrence: Vote 'No' on 3 Referenda on November 6 Ballot

      Think we don't have clout in the entertainment world? Jennifer Lawrence, than whom no movie star is bigger, has chosen to add her advice to Memphis voters on whether they should approve three amendments on the November 6 ballot. She says NO! Let her explain.
    • Quo Vadis, Scott?

      Democrats go in search of GOP House Candidate McCormick's School-Board attendance records

Speaking of School Consolidation


Readers also liked…

  • Cohen Tells It!

    In which Memphis’ Democratic congressman Steve Cohen, addressing an apparent GOP effort to muddy the waters on the Russian inquiry, not only takes no crap but gives it back where it came from. This is worth watching from beginning to end -- even for those who might disagree on the politics of the matter.
    • Jul 26, 2017
  • Councilman Calls for Local Control, Wants Confederate Monuments Removed

    District 1's Bill Morrison challenges state law, says Memphians should have "right and power" over public monuments.
    • Aug 16, 2017
  • Another Big Shoe Drops with Lane's Entry in Sheriff's Race

    County Homeland Security director holds kickoff rally in Millington; considered major contender for GOP nomination.
    • Sep 13, 2017

Most Commented On

© 1996-2018

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation