published Friday, May 11th, 2012

Time for Chattanooga mayor recallers to quit

Forecasting future events is always tricky, but it now seems likely that the misguided effort of several small groups to recall Mayor Ron Littlefield has been permanently stopped. The latest snag in the recall’s comedy of errors appears similar in nature to the earlier flaws that have halted the effort: the recallers’ appeal for an expedited appeals court hearing to approve a last-chance recall ballot in August failed, again, to meet legal requirements.

The latest snafu arose, an appeals court ruled Wednesday, because the recall proponents failed the duty of appealing first to the trial judge for a reversal of his February ruling, which had halted the recall process and barred the Election Commission from putting a recall vote on the August ballot.

Similar legal setbacks preceded the latest ruling. The recallers initially mounted their effort more that two years ago over the mayor’s tax and annexation policies, but they failed then to follow legal rules for recall petitions. Their petitions were not uniform; they didn’t ask signers if they wanted to recall the mayor; they didn’t require all signers to date their signature; and they didn’t collect enough signatures of registered voters to meet the prevailing state recall law.

The Election Commission’s Republican majority subsequently erred by accepting the flawed petitions, and by wrongly certifying a recall election. Mayor Littlefield ultimately won an injunction in a trial court due to these errors, but never mind. Even at this late date, recallers are trying to revive their quixotic mission. Good grief. With just 10 months left in the mayor’s term, it’s time to quit.

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Maybe they should have consulted with the Democrats in Wisconsin.

May 11, 2012 at 12:22 a.m.
328Kwebsite said...

Having returned home from war to find the entire city in a shambles under the arrogant and self-paying leadership of Mayor Littlefield and his cronies, I am of the opinion that every registered voter in Hamilton County should have made significant effort to put a stop to the fiasco of the Littlefield administration.

Every one of you who have tolerated this ugly and self-paying BS should be ashamed of yourselves. From his racist public statements to openly corrupt use of taxpayer funds, his administration has gone beyond embarrassment into new lows for politicians.

Get your act together and put a stop to stupidity and corruption in government now.

I continue to disagree with the paper's failure to put a stop to Littlefield's nonsense. Harassing those who sought a mayoral recall and belittling them is beneath an editorial opinion here: those voters are carrying out what they believe in. Their activities are lawful. Their cause and claims are worthy of judicial hearings.

I am stunned that there have been no criminal prosecutions based on the financial misconduct of the Littlefield administration alone. We have seen obvious corruption, plain as day. Why has no one been held to account?

Unfortunately, WEHCO Media has sunk to a level of corporate sycophant-hood that does not recognize the simple desire to maintain integrity in public office. Just as the paper banned comments from its news stories, primarily because local politicians were being hounded by a just recounting of their foul deeds, so also the paper continues to fail to recognize the main point of the mayoral recall efforts: fully justified frustration with local political corruption.

Think on it. Prevent corruption. Do not let cronies run payoff schemes with impunity in office. Do not tolerate racist policies marketed as "tourism security" when they are obviously no such thing. Do not tolerate the wrecking of your hard-earned public facilities under the disguise of "smaller government." Do not let your government employees get neglected or insulted in public by their elected and appointed leaders for the sake of their party's national political agenda.

When those things happen, and you feel something must be done, do what these recallers did: avail yourself of the system as best you can. While they may not have accomplished much, they did achieve one thing the editors of this paper have shamefully failed to do: stand up for what's right as best they could.

Insist on good government. The people deserve it.

May 11, 2012 at 12:48 a.m.
John_Proctor said...

" . . . I am of the opinion that every registered voter in Hamilton County should have made significant effort . . ."

Uh no, only voters within city limits are eligible to vote for Chattanooga's mayor. If you don't live in the city, you have no right to vote in its elections or decide on its leadership. If you do live within the corporate limits, then you have a vested interest in changing whatever it is you oppose, whether it's Mayor Littlefield or the number of potholes in your street.

May 11, 2012 at 1:23 a.m.
timbo said...

Harry Austin continues to be an ass.. He loves the fact that this scoundrel Littlefield got off the hook.

May 11, 2012 at 11:15 a.m.

John_Proctor, I agree by charter, only city voters can decide that, but I can see how the rest of us have some responsibilities. We have a common connection, far more so than with Memphis or Knoxville.

We could at least be petitioning the state government.

May 11, 2012 at 4:04 p.m.
aae1049 said...

There has been pervasive violations of bid law with extensive proof. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is a joke, and knows all about city malfeasance and has failed miserable in protecting the public. Harry Austin you are an enabler of malfeasance in local gov, and you follow whatever the power structure wants, and are not credible. TFP omission of facts is the same as blatant lying.

May 11, 2012 at 9:08 p.m.
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