Monday, February 1, 2016

Dems use Buchanan resignation to attack Beth Harwell. She should not have given them the ammunition.

From: Gary Bynum, Chair DCDP [] On Behalf Of Gary Bynum, Chair DCDP
Sent: Monday, February 1, 2016 2:09 PM
To: xxxxxx
Subject: Harwell appointed Davidson County Election Commission Chairman Ron Buchanan resigns
" ​It has become clear that Davidson County Republicans have no respect for women these days.  From Election Commissioner Ron Buchanan calling a female reporter a "bitch" and refusing to apologize, to Speaker Beth Harwell covering up sexual harassment at the Capitol and creating a toxic work environment for her female employees, Tennessee Republicans simply can't be trusted not to abuse their authority.  The fact that Speaker Harwell appointed Mr. Buchanan--a Republican with no election experience to speak of--to be the Chairman of the most important County Election Commission in the State of Tennessee further calls her judgment into question.  Mr. Buchanan secretly dining out at Sperry's on the public's dime during a budget crisis is bad enough.  However, the fact that he did so while he was directly responsible for overseeing the Commission's use of taxpayer money is unconscionable.  His immediate resignation was appropriate, and we encourage Speaker Harwell to appoint someone with experience and integrity to Chair the Davidson County Election Commission in his place, rather than making another patronage appointment to someone whose only qualification is being a registered Republican."
My Comment: The Democrats have a point when it comes to the Election Commission.  I don't know the details but either Wall and Buchanan are close friends or their wives are close friends. I am not sure that is a healthy arrangement when there is a close relationship of that nature between the head of the commission and the administrator of the agency who answers to that commission. Some of my Republican friends questioned the wisdom of the appointment of Buchanan and hiring of Wall at the time.

Kent Wall has announced his resignation effective March 31st. One thing that has disappointing me in Kent Wall is that he did not seek certification as an Administrator of Elections (link). Only nine of Tennessee's 90 counties do not have certified administrator of elections and most of those without certified Administrators are rural, low-income counties and their Administrator is pursuing certification. It was embarrassing that our Administrator of Elections was not certified and not seeking certification. I think The Tennessean's questioning and Mr. Bynum's criticism of the expenditure of  a $600 for a picture frame and a $125 lunch was appropriate. The Republican Party is supposed to be the party of government frugality; those expenditures can not be justified.

Ever since Republicans took control of the Election Commission there has been turmoil. Frankly, I think we should have weathered the storm and stuck with Albert Tiche rather throw him overboard, but that is history.  I hope Beth Harwell will recommend someone to replace Buchanan who is a public servant first and a Republican second and someone who knows better than to call a female reporter "bitch."  Surely we can find a good Republican to serve on the Commission who will see that the Commission hires a good administrator who wants to run a tight ship, conduct fair elections, wisely spend the money they are allocated, seek certification, and keep the Election Commission out of the newspaper.  I don't know her political affiliation and don't really care, but I think Joan Nixon should be considered for Administrator of Elections.

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