Sunday, November 1, 2020

Effort to recall Nashville Mayor John Cooper fails — again

The Tennessean - "It is over and dead." 


 In a late-night email Tuesday night, organizers behind a second attempt to recall Nashville Mayor John Cooper informed supporters that the effort is quashed. 

Ed Smith, of Heritage Foundation Nashville Sentinel — part of a national conservative think tank — said the group was hung out to dry when financial backers pulled out. A group signaled its attempt to oust Cooper on Oct.12, citing the city's recent property tax increase and the mayor's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, by filing a notice of intent to submit a recall petition with the city clerk. 

It was a long-shot effort with 30 days to collect about 70,000 signatures. (link)

Rod's Comment:  Back in the summer I supported the effort to recall the mayor and members of the council who had supported the tax increase.  I donated some money, promoted the effort in this blog, and worked several days getting signatures.  Even then however, I thought it was a long shot. That effort failed.  I did not see the point in trying again so soon. 

If enough signatures are gathered to recall the mayor, what that does is cause an election for the office. It is not a "yes" or "no" vote to remove the current mayor.  The incumbent's name is placed on the ballot automatically and then anyone else seeking the office who meets the qualifications will have their name on the ballot, If the mayor gets the most votes he stays in office; if someone else gets the most votes they become the new mayor.  However, the provision for a runoff applies and if no one gets more than 50% of the votes cast. there is a runoff. 

There was no candidate leading the effort to recall the mayor in the summer nor with this latest failed effort.  You can't beat somebody with nobody.  And, while people were initially upset with the mayor over the tax increase, Nashville is still a liberal city and passions have cooled.  

I don't think most people are angry with the mayor over his handling of the Coronavirus. There is no playbook for handling such a crisis and I even cut him some slack.  I disagree with his handling and think schools should reopen and restrictions are too strict but I think he is acting in good faith and doing what he thinks is right.  

My major criticism is that the enforcement is selective.  Left wing groups can violate the  rules on social distancing and size of gatherings but it is enforced against everyone else.  Unfortunately, I suspect most voters in our city are OK with that. In today's environment of political correctness and cancel culture, respect for due process, rule of law, and free speech do not have high priority.  Social justice trumps equality before the law in the minds of many liberals. I don't think many of Nashville's voters would vote to replace the mayor because he allows BLM to march but bans church gatherings and parties. They probably agree with him. 

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