Wednesday, April 19, 2006

As Expected; As Bad As Expected

Sure enough, Ophelia Ford was booted from the Tennessee State Senate. And the vote margin, 26 - 6, was pretty bad. Only six of 15 Democrats supported her, Lt. Governor Wilder going so far as to not vote at all.

The drama's not over yet. She's already held a news conference announcing she'll fight it in court Thursday. She's got nothing else to do now, so why not just have fun throwing glue and gumming things up?

I've been looking around for Judge Donald's opinion but haven't found it online yet. You can read Ford's complaint, and appeal for injunction, here.

I found the tortured language of the daily's headline ("Senate gets nod for Ford vote today") and the identical headlines of two major television news stations, all a bit misleading. The idea is that the court said "OK" to Senate action.

That's not quite the case. Ford and her attorneys appealed to the judge to stop action by the Senate on the grounds that her previous ruling's requirements had not been met (as well as new reasons). Judge Donald refused to grant the requested stay. Ford's request was found without merit; the Senate's actions were deemed to be within the requirements the judge had previously laid out.

The Tennessean's headline gets it right: "Ophelia Ford asks judge again to stop Senate ouster." That's why I find myself more and more reading the Tennessean for state political news instead of our local daily.

Tennessee Representative Stacey Campfield offers this insider's observation:
Sen. Cohen did most of the talking on Fords behalf. Some people say Cohen was grandstanding to get the Ford vote in his run for congress. Cohen came back to the point many times how Ophelia Ford had done nothing wrong. I think most Senators have said how no one had accused her of any wrong doing but the questions of how the election results were reached was the problem that lead to the nullification of the election.
Speaking of grandstanding, I have to say that I'm remarkably tired of David Cocke's antics. He's endlessly repeated the line about Ford's Senate removal "disenfranchising" voters. Well, no. It was the sloppy and error-riddled operation of the election by the Shelby County Election Commission that is to blame. Blame the folks who allowed the errors in the first place, not the folks who pointed them out. I suspect that if the shoe was on the other foot, Cocke wouldn't even bother with the disenfranchisement line. He'd be saying the election was "stolen" from the voters and would be demanding every possible action be taken.

Ah well. At least she's gone until January. Maybe forever.

Unless, of course, a deal is made in the County Commission meeting next week and she's returned to office as an appointee!

Wouldn't that be fun?

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